Archive for the ‘Annual Town Meeting’ Category
WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING MARCH 10, 2015
Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order at 8:15, following the township election and the Board of Canvass. 14 citizens voted and Mike McCullen was re-elected Supervisor and Patrice Winfield was re-elected as Treasurer. Glen, Mike and Gary canvassed and approved the votes. Ten citizens attended the Annual Meeting: Eldon Schmedeke, Alden Shute, Patrick Story, Glen and Toni Williamson, Mike McCullen, Patrice Winfield, Ben Glocke, Gary Vink and Paul Raymond.
Nominations for Moderator for the meeting: Mike nominated Ben Glocke; Patrice seconded. Paul nominated Patrice; Toni seconded. Vote was tied; Patrice said she deferred to Ben and Ben took the floor as moderator.
Paul read the record of the March 2014 Town Meeting. Glen moved to approve; Gary seconded.
Patrice presented the 2014 Wilma Township Financial Statement. She explained how she broke down payroll and other compensation for officers to show what each officer is receiving in salary, and for other compensation like insurance, conferences, short courses, mileage, internet, and for judging elections. At the end of the year the township carried over a balance of $129,849.47 in all funds and CD’s. Balance starting 2014: $113,758.07; receipts in 2014: $67,229.12 in total revenues; disbursements: $51,137.72.
Paul said he had wanted to submit a supplemental report of all the governmental workers our taxes support, from the President of the United States to our Senators and State Senators and Representative, and our county officials like the Sheriff, Auditor, Jailer and Assessor, including all perks and benefits, but Pine County no longer discloses what our county officials receive, and he would have to file a freedom of information act request to see them. He said there is no doubt that township officials are at the very very bottom of the totem pole in compensation, yet they most directly benefit our citizens in our most important needs, roads, security, and community support. Patrice was commended for her good report. Glen moved to approve the report; Alden seconded.
Road Report: Road Manager Mark Pallow is in San Francisco, so Gary gave the Road Report for 2014. Gary said we used up all of our gravel pile at Alden Shute’s, and put gravel on several roads, mostly on the Mayfield Road where a new culvert was put in. Schmedeke Lane extension was adopted by the Township as a township road, and in the spring the county will pay us $10,000 to build up the road with class 5 gravel and reinforcement of the culvert. Gary said there have been some problems with escrow bonds with truckers, partly them trying to use one permit for multiple roads, and two loggers, Hayward and T&T both logging on Tamarack Pine Drive and the Mink Farm Road, but not both paying deposits. Ben thanked Gary for the road report, which he had to assemble on short notice.
LEVIES AND BUDGET FOR 2016: Road and Bridge Fund: Pat asked what comes under this fund; Mike said gravel, grading, snowplowing, culverts, grader operators, repairs and equipment. Pat asked why the fund was not being increased, when expenses in so many areas are going up. Our funds have remained stable for several years. Mike said we still have a balance of $76,625 in the Road & Bridge fund, plus over $20,000 in R&B CD’s, plus we’ll be getting the $10,000 from the county. Mike moved to leave the fund at $16,000 for 2015; Patrice seconded; passed.
Building Fund: Gary moved to keep the fund at $5,000 for 2015. Mike said there is still some electrical and other work on the fire hall. Mike seconded; passed.
Fire Fund: This amount is fixed, and what the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department requests from all three participating townships, $4,500. Gary moved to fund that amount; Mike seconded and said the Fire Dept. doesn’t intend to increase the request soon. Passed.
General Fund: Patrice said the General Fund pays for all payroll and insurance and mileage and training, and it may come up short. Mike said we spent less than our budget last year, so we’re ahead and he moved to keep the General Fund at $10,000. Gary seconded. Passed.
Park Fund: As we don’t have any expenses with our park, Toni moved to keep the fund at $100 for 2015. Pat seconded. Passed. The State Legislature and Senator Tony Lourey are passing legislation to allow the state to give the north 20 acres of our park to Wilma township under conditional use. Just this year our south 16.5 acres passed from conditional use to full ownership. Mike said the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department is trying to get ownership of the Eagle Head Fire Station that they now have under lease. He said there may be a stipulation that MN Dot can give the land and buildings to a township but not to a fire department, so Wilma would have title to Eagle Head, as we do now for our Duxbury Fire Hall. Wilma could lease it to the fire department for $1 year, and the fire department would be willing to invest in heating and insulation. Patrice asked if the house site would be included, and Mike said they’re asking for that. Patrice said it would make a nice cleared site for a new town hall, and is already leveled off. We would have to put in water and septic for the one MN Dot destroyed. Ben moved that the fire department be encouraged to go ahead with the plans to get the land, even if it involves the township getting ownership. Patrice seconded; passed.
Wages for Reports, Moderator, Meetings, Judges, Mechanic, Grader Operator: Glen moved that we keep all wages and meetings and other paid duties the same as in 2014. Patrice seconded.
Snowplowing: Patrice moved that snowplowing rates and policies remain the same for the 2015-16 season as this past season. Toni seconded. Passed.
Wilma Fall Fest: Toni moved that the fund remain at $500 for 2015. Paul seconded. Paul said we need more local participation in Fall Fest; most of the people who come are from outside our township. It’s a fun, free night of great live music and wonderful food. Motion passed.
Donations to Old School Art Center, Pine County Historical Museum, and The Seven County Senior Federation: The Board was proposing that we give each of them the same as we did last year, $100 each. Long discussion on what each group does and how it is related to our township’s citizens. Alden said he supports the Historical Society with a paid membership, plus paying admission, but he doesn’t think taxpayers should be forced to support them. Paul said they sponsored the election debates this past fall, and that with our tax base, the actual tax each one will be paying will be tiny for $100. Alden said that’s not the point. Glen said the Historical Museum helps people in Pine County to know our past and where we came from. Glen said the board has been very frugal on our donations and they are not squandering money for the township. Eldon questioned how the Old School Art Center benefits our township. He said support for them should be voluntary. Toni said OSAC features our township and area artists and it brings people together. They also have classes on art and woodworking and pottery. Pat said we should expect our local government to help fund some community benefit associations to make a better community for us all to live in and he moved that all three be funded again in 2015 by $100 each. Patrice seconded. Hand vote: 6 aye, 3 nay; passed. Paul reminded them that the Board of Supervisors has final authority on these expenditures at the Board of Reorganization.
Wilma Septic Ordinance: The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on our new ordinance on March 4th, plus it has been posted online for over 6 months. They passed the ordinance unanimously at the March 4th meeting, and it will take effect on April 1st. Gary said the township’s only alternative was to turn over all our local assessments and hearings to the county. Our ordinance is no stricter than the county’s but is is also not weaker. One major addition is that inspections are required whenever properties with septic systems are sold or pass to other owners
Board of Reorganization: Gary moved that we hold the Board of Reorganization, to swear in the two officers and make other decisions for the township on wages and notice and posting sites and bank of deposit at the regular Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Wednesday, April 1st. Toni seconded. Passed.
Board of Appeal and Review: For taxpayers to appeal their property assessments for 2016 taxes, Monday April 6, 1 p.m. At the Town Hall. There was a question of whether it is ever worth appealing. Mike said definitely. Our Board knows the people and the area and often get assessments changed. Ben said his gravel pit got taken off and that Alden should if his is also gone. They may not check for 5 years otherwise.
Eldon asked for the floor to thank Patrice for her thorough treasurer’s reports, and Mike for his wonderful, patient response as First Responder when Marjorie needed the ambulance. He also thanked Paul for his good meeting reports he provides every month. He said it seems like properties that are sold are appraised at higher rates if they have trees; he would have clear-cut his if he’d known. He says he pays $12,000 a year in property taxes. He also said we should change the name of the Road and Bridge fund to the Road fund since we have no bridges. Gary said we do share a bridge/culvert with New Dosey Township on Heller Drive. Eldon said he feels very strongly that we should have a road log in the grader so the Road Manager/Grader Operator could document thoroughly what work and gravel is being done on each road. He also believes the grader should have a log so any damages to it could be documented. We need to spend more of our funds on improving our roads, he said. He said he didn’t think a fire truck could make it to the end of most of our township roads, they’re in such bad shape.
Eldon said we need to investigate getting some kind of cell tower in Wilma Township so we can have cell-phone service. Mike said the state won’t put one on the Eagle Head Tower and it’s not economically feasible for any phone companies. Gary said MN Dot and Homeland Security don’t want to share their tower. Patrice echoed Eldon’s concern for cell service. She said companies don’t want to invest here.
Glen said it is concerns like this that make it so important that we attend state law meetings and township association meetings and lobby days at the state legislature.
Glen moved to adjourn the meeting; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Glen Williamson, Chair.
WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
March 11, 2014
Clerk Paul Raymond called the 107th Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Wilma to order at 8:20 p.m., following the Board of Canvass, with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Patrice Winfield, Glen, Toni and Mason Williamson, Jeff and Jeane Grand Pre, Mark and Maureen Pallow, Gary Vink, Barb Smith, and Mike McCullen.
Paul asked for nominations for Moderator. Gary nominated Patrice; Mike seconded. Mike nominated Jeff; Patrice seconded. Patrice was elected Moderator.
Paul read the record of last years’ annual meeting. Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded. Approved. Patrice announced the election results: Supervisor, Gary Vink 12 votes, one blank, one write-in; Paul 13 votes, one write-in. Certificates of election given.
Patrice gave out the financial statement and fund balances for 2013. Paul moved that reading of all checks be waived. Gary seconded. Gary moved to approve the report; Jeff seconded. Passed.
ROAD REPORT: Road Manager Mark Pallow gave the road report. It’s been a hard year for snowplowing, and all township roads were plowed, and received routine grading and maintenance in 2013. Repairs were completed on Mayfield Road, for FEMA, and more repairs were done due to intensive logging activity on the road. The North Duncan Road project was completed with two culverts installed and gravel put down. Pat Story requested township approval to plant trees in his cul-de-sac on Lost River Road. 2013 was Wilma’s year for the east Range Line Roads, Pete Anderson and Langstrom. Mark would like to remove some trees shading and overhanging Mayfield Road.
LEVIES: Road and Bridge Levy: Gary moved and Glen seconded to keep the fund at $16,000 for 2015. Passed.
Building Fund: Mike said we still need repairs on the Fire and Grader Garage and some repairs on our town hall. Paul moved that it remain at $5,000 for 2015; Glen seconded. Passed.
Fire Fund: We don’t have discretion for this fund as all townships are billed $4,500. Glen moved that we set the levy at $4,500; Glen seconded. Passed.
Park Fund: Gary moved that we keep the fund at $100; Toni seconded; passed.
General Fund: We always run short on this fund, but we are able to transfer from other funds. Mike moved that we keep it at $10,000; Jeff seconded; passed.
WAGES: Although the Board of Supervisors has the final vote and decision on setting wages, we have always had a public voice and vote on these. Supervisors’ wages were changed to an hourly rate when we once had a long-winded Chairman and meetings would last many hours. Glen said other townships have a straight meeting rate, like we do for our Clerk and Treasurer. Mike moved that we set a meeting rate for Supervisors at $50 per meeting, $55 for the Chairman, for meetings up to three hours; overtime would be paid at the current hourly rate of $20.50 and $18.00. Jeff seconded. Passed. This applies to regular board meetings and Boards of Equalization, not for road inspections, which Gary said can last all day. Glen moved that other wages, Clerk, Treasurer, General Labor, Grader Operator, etc. remain the same as 2013. Toni seconded. Passed.
Out of Town Meetings: Discussion on the length of half-day meetings, which usually require more than half a day, and full-day meetings, which often run until late. Patrice moved that out of town meetings be raised to $75 for half-day meetings and $150 for full day meetings. Mark seconded. Passed.
Election Judges: This has stayed at $10/hour for many years. Glen moved that it be set at $12/hour for 2014. Mike seconded. Passed.
Mileage Rate: Glen moved that we continue to use the Federal Mileage Rate, which has gone down to $.56 for 2014. Toni seconded.
SNOWPLOWING: Discussion on whether we should increase this due to the heavy snows this year. Mike reminded us of the history of our grader and how it was purchased to serve the people of our township. We originally did private drives for free, until the law said the town could not lose money doing private drives. Mike said the citizens have already paid hundreds and thousands in taxes for maintenance, grader operators, fuel, and insurance for the grader. This year was an unusually heavy one, but other years we have had as few as one or two plows. Mike moved that we leave snowplowing for the 2014-15 season the same as this year, but that for driveways 1,000’ to ½ mile, the rate be $175, and for over ½ mile, $350 per season. Jeff seconded. Passed.
OTHER DONATIONS: The township received three requests from community groups for support. Seven County Senior Federation: Patrice explained the benefits and services Seven-County provides. Paul moved that we again donate $100, like last year. Glen seconded. Gary said the law says townships can only support groups that work within that township; Patrice said 7-County does work in Wilma, including meetings of the Pine County Wanderers. Passed.
Pine County Historical Society: They’re in their third year at the AskovMiddle School; we have given $1 per citizen in the past; Mike moved that we change it to $100 like the other groups. Jeff seconded. Passed.
Old School Arts Center: The OSAC had to close for the winter when Lourey’s couldn’t keep the building heated. They found a new buyer, and the OSAC will reopen with an exhibition on March 21. They also will be teaching pottery, with a kiln Barb and Rick Smith donated. Last year the people voted to donate $100, but when Gary said the Loureys had received a grant of $46,000, the Board rescinded the donation. Barb said the grant was actually $4,000, not $46,000. Glen moved that we donate $100 this year; Toni seconded; passed.
TOWNSHIP SEPTIC ORDINANCE: The County will adopt a revised Sewer and Septic Ordinance on April 1st. The Township must revise our ordinance to make it at least as strict as the County’s by April 1, 2015, or we can let the County take over all septic inspections and licenses. We have already drafted a new ordinance, but the board may not act on it until they have to, since our current ordinance is fine. Copies are available for inspection, or can be downloaded by email from the Clerk.
TOWN PARK LAND: The State, County and Wilma Township always believed that we owned the full 36.5 acre Park west of the Eagle Head VFD Station. When we were researching the Park last year when we were discussing building a new town hall, the County discovered that we only owned the bottom half of that 40, minus the School House and Eagle Head Station. The State Legislature and Pine Co. Board of Commissioners have to authorize a conveyance to the Township of the north 20 acres under conditional use, since the TamarackRiver runs through it. The Board has made this request. We will get full and clear rights to our lower half this year, no longer conditional use, and the Duxbury Fire Dept. has a lease on the Eagle Head Station.
COUNTY LAND SALES: The County has several parcels of County land in WilmaTownship that they want to auction off in the next few years, including our Park. The Board of Supervisors have passed a resolution that whereas there is a finite amount of public land; and whereas now any citizen has access to State and County public lands; and whereas some of these parcels are now landlocked and the township would have legal hassles granting and guaranteeing easement; and whereas any benefits obtained from adding these lands to our tax roles would be offset by denying our children and their children the freedom to use these lands, we oppose the sales of any public state or county lands, except for our public Park. The County has said that these parcels will be withdrawn from sale if the Township objects.
BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION: The meeting to appeal property tax assessments for 2015 taxes will be Wednesday, April 23, 1 p.m. at the Town Hall.
WILMA FALL FEST: We have authorized $500 the past several years for Fall Fest. The Procrastinators Band costs $300 to $350. All the prizes and labor and food and many supplies are donated, and it has been a successful celebration for our Township.
Glen moved that we authorize $500 again for 2014 Wilma Fall Fest; Barb seconded; Passed.
Jeff moved that the meeting be adjourned; Jeane seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
For Supervisor and Clerk
Polls open 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Meeting starts at 8 p.m.
Wilma Town Hall
Bad Weather Date March 18
Paul Raymond, clerk
WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING MARCH 12, 2013
Clerk Paul Raymond called the 106th annual Town Meeting for WilmaTownship to order at 8:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Fourteen citizens were present: Duane Glienke, Alden Shute, Jeff and Jeanne GrandPre, Patrice Winfield, Lisa and Mark Sisterman, Joeseph Vink, Toni and Glen Williamson, Mike McCullen, Mark Pallow, Gary Vink and Paul.
Nominations opened for meeting moderator: Mike nominated Patrice; seconded by Mark Sisterman. Joe nominated Glen; Toni seconded. Patrice elected, and took the gavel. Paul read the record of last years Annual Town Meeting. Duane said the fence on the east side of the hall does not necessarily mark the property line; he put it there because the town had stored picnic tables there. Patrice said this is not a correction of the record because the board acted in good faith that the fence line was the property line, but it would be noted. Gary moved to approve the record as written; Joe seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Road Manager Mark Pallow said that in 2012 all township roads received routine grading and snowplowing. There was a major project on Crooked Lake Road in cooperation with New Dosey township, where we brushed and made ditches for the road and applied many tons of gravel to bring that road up to standards. Wilma will be doing all maintenance on that and Eagle Head Roads. Four loads of gravel were also applied on Little Tamarack Lake Road. Gary said we also put gravel to repair damage on Tamarack Pine Drive. Gary said that Tri-State Lumber stopped payment on their escrow bond for N. Duncan Rd. because they said we were still holding an earlier bond when they were unable to log. Gary said they did grade the road improperly. Forester Greg Beck said the county would repair the damages they did when they did log last year. Mark said the loggers on Little Tamarack Lake Road (Weidendorff) were the most conscientious we have ever had, and they left the road as good as before they logged, and their escrow bond was returned. Last year was Arna’s year for Pete Anderson and Langstrom roads, and they brushed the road, but only on their side, and did not bill us. Gary said the board passed a weight limit ordinance after the Tri-State issue, making all township roads off limits to over 7 ton axle weight vehicles, without a special permit from the township which would require posting a $500 escrow bond to cover potential damages. Signs will be posted on county roads entering WilmaTownship.
LEVIES: Road and Bridge Fund: Last year we levied $16,000 for 2013, and the board recommended the same for 2014. The receipts and expenditures last year were read to give guidance on how much to set for 2014. The FEMA payment was included in both, so it was misleading (+$56,000, -$49,000). Glen moved that we keep it the same; Gary seconded. Passed.
Building Fund: Paul said if we build an addition or a totally new town hall, and if there are further fire hall repairs, we should increase the building fund from $1,200. He moved that we set the fund at $5,000. Mike seconded. Patrice said we will have to get a loan and certificate of indebtedness either way; we have $4,500 in the fund now. Passed.
Fire Fund: There is no discretion on this fund, as all three townships in the Duxbury VFD are billed $4,500/year for fire protection. Glen moved that we set the levy at $4,500; Patrice seconded. Passed.
Park Fund: The fund still has a $6,000 balance, and we have no plans to improve the park. Joe said it is not a good building site, with drainage problems, one reason we never put a cemetery there. There was a question on dead timber; the board has voted that any citizen can remove any downed timber or firewood from the park, the 40 acres west of Anderson schoolhouse. Gary moved to set a $100 levy; Glen seconded. Passed.
General Fund: This fund covers all wages and taxes and notices; all general business of the town. We spent $22,000 in 2012 and had to borrow $10,00 from the Road and Bridge Fund. Paul said if we always run a deficit on this fund, we should increase it from $10,000. Patrice said we can always borrow from another fund, and moved that it stay at $10,000. Glen seconded. Passed.
Wages, Meetings, Election Judges: There was an explanation of the wages and other payments that were on the proposed budget. Technically, the Board of Supervisors has sole authority to set wages and fees, but Wilma has always allowed the people to have input and a vote. Glen said he believes that election judges should be paid the same hourly rate as the clerk or treasurer ($12/hour) and we haven’t increased it in years. Patrice said the job is so easy and it is tax-free, and we pay a lot for elections, so she doesn’t want an increase. Mike moved that we keep all wages in 2013 the same as 2012, except for a $10 per meeting increase for the treasurer, on par with the clerk. Glen seconded. Passed.
Seven County Senior Federation: Patrice said she is vice president of the Federation, and Fran Levings is president. She explained the work the federation does for seniors with education and Medicare counseling, secondary insurance and prescription drug assistance, plus help with medical billing and drug claims, and thrift stores in Mora and Isle, and statehouse lobbying. Glen said almost everyone in our town is a senior. Gary said he has the same reservation as last year, if we start giving to groups that solicit support, where will it end? Patrice moved that we give $100 to Seven County Senior Federation; Glen seconded.
Pine County Historical Museum: Alden said he fully supports the mission of the HistoricalMuseum in Askov and he even joined. He said if anyone wants to support them, they can do it personally, but he doesn’t want to be taxed for it. Paul said the tiny donation they are asking for, $1 per citizen ($67 for Wilma) would hardly affect anyone’s taxes, and he moved that the town donate $1 per citizen, $67, in 2013. Glen seconded. Hand vote: 10 yea, 4 nea. Passed.
Old School Arts Center: Paul explained that the OSAC opened in February, 2012, and exhibits work by 75 local artists (including Dave Baker, Dave Drake, Joe and Micki Vink). They have had four major free art shows and have art and pottery classes. Barb and Rick Smith donated a kiln for pottery and ceramics classes. Paul moved that we donate $100 to the OSAC; Lisa seconded. Hand vote: 9 yea, 3 nea. Passed.
Town Hall Addition: Blueprints and proposals were distributed with plans for an addition on the east side of the hall, and also for building an entirely new hall. Glen said as much as we love our town hall, it is old and bowed and the foundation is bad and the walls have nests of flies that come in whenever the hall is heated and cover the floor. The estimate of a 16’x50’ addition is about $87,000, plus almost $16,000 to repair the foundation on the present hall. The estimate for an entirely new hall on the same spot is $121,000, not counting any demolition and disposal costs for our current hall. Glen said we hope that someone will want the hall and will move it off site. Duane said Wilma may not own enough land east of the hall for a 16’ addition, and that he does not want to sell the town any land on the west side between the Duxbury Store and the hall to build there. Glen said that building it on the park site has been discussed, but there are security concerns, plus the need to build an entirely new septic tank and dig a new well and bring power to the site. The Pine County Wanderers and other groups do not want to use our hall because of no bathrooms or plumbing, but they would use a new hall, as well as wedding parties and other events. Jeff and Mike said they would like a show of hands to know if there is any interest by the citizens to proceed, or if the idea should be dropped. The majority (9-3) indicated that they wanted to proceed. Glen made a motion that the town board of supervisors be authorized to research the feasibility and cost of building a new town hall on our existing site, with a maximum budget of $150,000, with a goal to build a new town hall. Patrice seconded. Mike asked for a hand vote; 8 yea, 4 nea, 2 abstain. Glen said that any project over $100,000 would require sealed bids, and the board would have to accept the lowest reasonable bid, but if a contractor had a history of careless or untimely work, that could make their bid unreasonable. We would need to get a loan with a certificate of debt, and this would require a new levy on the taxpayers, and Paul said this would require a special town meeting for final approval, but he could check with the auditor about this. Paul moved that if we get a final bid including all demolition and disposal costs and what the levy would be and for how long, that we call a special town meeting for a vote before the final decision is made. Lisa seconded. Passed.
Pine County Regional Hospital Board: Paul explained why this was on the agenda that Wilma did not join the board decades ago when it formed to get a $150,000 bond to build the hospital. Mike and Joe said the reason we did not join at that time is they could give no assurances that the rates the township taxpayers would pay would remain stable, and the possibility of big increases. Mike said he and Shawn give many hours as first responders to the hospital district, with no reimbursement. Alden said he supports the hospital every time he uses it, with big bills. Paul said Ron Osladil said the bond will be paid off this year, and they are not asking us to join, it just came up at the county township officers meeting. New Dosey is also voting on it, but a town can only join if they’re adjoining a member town. Once you join, you can never leave. Patrice moved that we not join; Mike seconded. Passed.
Wilma Fall Fest: Glen said the Fest was started on Wilma’s 100th anniversary in 2007, and has been a big success every year. We’ve had live bands and lots of food and drink and prizes. Toni said all the labor is donated, and many of the plates and napkins and all the prizes. This year will be our 106th anniversary. We have budgeted $500 in past years for this, but have not spent it all. The band, The Procrastinators, cost $350. Paul moved that we sponser a Wilma Fall Fest this year on the 3rd Saturday in October and that we budget $500 for this. Glen seconded. Passed. We need to advertise and publicize more, to get more people.
Gary moved to adjourn the meeting; Toni seconded. Meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING, MARCH 13, 2012
BOARD OF CANVASS: Supervisors Gary Vink and Glen Williamson surveyed and signed the canvass of the votes for the election held earlier and certified Michael McCullen, elected Supervisor for the next three years, and Paul Raymond, Clerk for two years.
The Annual Meeting of the Citizens of Wilma Township followed; in attendance: Gary, Paul, Glen and Toni Williamson, Eldon and Marg Schmedeke, Patrice Winfield, Mark Pallow, Frank Rehberger, and Joe Vink. Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order at 8:20 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Nominations were taken for Moderator: Gary Vink nominated Glen Williamson; Frank Rehberger seconded. No other nominations, Glen was elected.
Paul read Toni Williamson’s record of last years Annual Meeting. Gary moved to approve; Patrice seconded.
LEVIES: ROAD & BRIDGE: Eldon read a statement regarding the powers of taxation, that taxes may only be imposed to do the necessary business of government, and any excess leads to tyranny. Eldon said that with the balances we have in our funds now, we should not be taxing so much and that he will be asking for a reduction in all our levies. Paul read the auditor’s statement on the minimum Road & Bridge levy, based on our tax base, not on our road mileage. We have a $30 million base and must tax at least .04835% of this for our roads.
Mark said as Road Manager, he would like to see us use our Road and Bridge funds this year to bring all our township roads up to specs, with gravel and crowning and grading. Many roads have not received much maintenance. Mark said we did do thousands of dollars of work and gravel on theNorth Duncan Roadin 2011. The Board had recommended a levy of $16,000 for 2013; Eldon moved that we levy $15,000. Paul seconded. Motion failed. Mark moved that we set the levy at $16,000. Garyseconded; passed. Eldon said he’d like it noted that we need to spend some funds this year to improve and fix our roads. Glen noted that we are not asking for increases in any funds, except to restore the Building Fund to its previous level.
BULDING: Last year, the town voted to lower this fund from $1,200 to $600. Paul said that with the repairs needed for the Fire Hall and the possibility of building an addition to our Town Hall, we should bring it back to the previous level. Patrice moved that the fund be set at $1,600; Toni seconded. This passed.
FIRE FUND: This one is automatic, as all three townships in the department are billed the same amount, $4,500. Garysaid that with three different Fire Halls, all with their own equipment and fire fighters, we are better protected than when we had mutual aid with Sandstone. Garymoved to set the levy at $4,500; Eldon seconded.
PARK FUND: Eldon said that with the $5,500 balance in the account we should reduce the levy to $100. He’d like to see us keep this levy going, even if we don’t need it now. He moved that we levy $100 in 2013. Garyseconded. Glen asked Paul to explain what the Park Fund is for. We own 40 acres on theDuxbury Roadnext to the Belle Anderson School House. Last yearGaryrepaired the culvert, so there is access to the park, but no areas have been cleared and there are no facilities there. A few years ago there was talk of building a new Town Hall there.
GENERAL FUND: Patrice explained what this fund is used for: salaries, insurance, propane, publishing notices, legal fees, utilities; almost everything that is not road related. Patrice said that this fund is already in the hole for this year, and we had to borrow $10,000 from the Road and Bridge Fund to keep the township running until we get some of our 2012 levies. Eldon said he would like to see this fund lowered from $10,000, and that we could continue to borrow from the Road and Bridge Fund. Patrice said that if anything, we should increase the fund. She moved that it be set again at $10,000 for 2013. Eldon seconded, but asked that it be noted that we will use the Road and Bridge funds to fix and improve our roads. Passed.
WAGES AND OTHER ITEMS: Glen said that the rest of the agenda items are to solicit the citizens’ recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. The Board alone has the authority to set wages and other items, but that we have always given the citizens the right to voice their opinions and recommendations at our annual meetings.
WAGES: Patrice moved that we keep all wages for 2012 the same as they were in 2011. Paul said the only one he thinks is not in line with the other wages is election judges. He said $12/hour would be more in line with bookkeeping wages, and could make it more attractive for people to serve. In some years he has had problems recruiting judges. Patrice said with three or four judges required for up to 8 hours for state and federal elections, this can be a lot of money, and that election judge wages are the only ones that are not taxed, either income taxes or for social security/Medicare, so they are more than they appear. Toni seconded Patrice’s motion. Passed.
SNOWPLOWING: Marg moved that we keep the snowplowing fees the same for the 2012/2013 season as this year. Toni seconded.
DENTAL COVERAGE FOR OFFICERS: Glen said that many townships provide coverage for their officers through the Minnesota Association of Townships Insurance. They offer three levels of coverage, the main difference being 80% coverage for fillings and extractions vs. 50% coverage. Eldon expressed concern that if we approve that, there will be no end to different benefits that the board will ask for. Toni moved that the township pay for the Choice Plan of dental insurance for board members with the Township Agency. Paul seconded. The vote was 6 yes, 3 no. Passed.
SEVEN COUNTY SENIOR FEDERATION: They have asked that we sign a contract with them for services to seniors. Patrice gave an explanation of all the benefits they provide for seniors, including Medicare counseling and assistance, advocacy on issues with the legislature, help with secondary insurance and prescription drugs. They maintain thrift stores to fund their services, and have requested that townships donate $300 in support, but the board has recommended $100. Eldon moved that we donate $100, authorized for this year only. Patrice seconded. Passed.
PINECOUNTYHISTORICAL SOCIETY: They recently purchased the middle school in Askov to open a museum to display Richard Bergland’s huge collection of railroad memorabilia and artifacts, and to consolidate some of their other historical displays. They have asked every township to donate $1 per resident for this effort, or $100. Glen said we do not have 100 people, but moved that we donate $1 per resident. Patrice said we have 63 residents as per the 2010 census, and she seconded the motion. The vote was 5 yes to 4 no to donate $1 per Wilma resident.
CITIZEN RECOGNITION PLAQUE: Glen said he has advocated for this for many years, a simple plaque to acknowledge contributions of our town. We have decided to limit this to people who have passed, and to open it to all citizens, not just major contributors. Mark said we should forget this idea. Garysaid where would you draw the line? There have been hundreds of people in our township, and he said this wouldn’t work. Mark moved that we not have a plaque. Garyseconded. This passed.
TOWN HALL ADDITION: Paul and Patrice explained the proposal to add a heated, insulated addition to our town hall on the east side, with plumbing and a kitchen and bathrooms. It would have access from the existing hall, which would still be used for functions like Fall Fest and the pancake breakfast. Patrice designed her home and said she would be happy to draw up plans for an addition. Mark said the foundation of our present hall would have to be repaired before we could tack on an addition. Patrice said she has checked the foundation and has not seen significant problems. Our hall is stable and the floor is solid and level. Paul said we could have a contractor check the foundation and work with Patrice to draw up a proposal. Joe said the township owns the land all the way to the fence. This area is not used now. Eldon said he prefers to start from scratch and build a whole new town hall on our park land. Patrice said this could cost us many thousands of dollars more than just adding to our existing hall. Patrice moved that we go ahead and have a contractor survey our building and site and draw up a feasibility plan, and start getting estimates or bids from contractors. Paul seconded. This passed.
WILMA FALL FEST: Toni said it was a great success last year, and we can do it again this year within the same budget. Actually, it had been budgeted at $400, but because we hired a live band, the board raised it to $500. Toni moved that we set the budget again at $500, and hold it the third weekend in October. Patrice seconded. Mark said we ran out of food because a lot of people did not bring dishes. We need to either provide some of the food or communicate better that it is a pot-luck.
BANK CD’S: Eldon said the CD’s aren’t getting much interest these days. If we increase the amounts we have deposited, we could get a higher interest rate. Patrice said our CD’s are already staggered, with 6 month, 1 year and 18 month, and we could increase the amounts in all of them. She moved that we add $500 to each CD account. Mark seconded.
BACKUP GRADER OPERATOR: Joe asked if he is still listed as backup grader operator. Glen said Mark is the Road Manager and it’s up to him. Mark then replied that he also a backup grader. Frank said he didn’t know this, and would have deferred to Joe to do the backup grading. He already does grading for New Dosey Township.
TOWNSHIP ROAD RIGHTS OF WAY: Eldon said that someone was logging up on the North Duncan Road. We could have requested that they cut all trees on the sides of the road to make it 66 feet wide, to remove the trees that are shading the road and keeping it from drying out. We did remove trees several years ago and had to write to each landowner to get permission to cut trees over 4” in diameter. Eldon said we should find a logger who is willing to cut trees in our road rights of way, or we may eventually need to condemn the land to cut the trees.
SANDSTONE HOSPITAL: Joe said a board member of SandstoneTownshiphas asked that our township show support for keeping the hospital in Sandstone. He moved that the board write a letter to the Pine County Board of Commissioners advocating keeping our hospital in Sandstone. Patrice seconded. This passed.
Glen reminded the Board and citizens of the Pine County Township Officers meeting at the Hinckley American Legion on March 31st.
The Board of Equalization and Appeal will be Wednesday, April 25, at 10 a.m. for people to appeal their property appraisals.
Board of Reorganization will be Sunday, March 25, at 12:30 p.m. at the Duxbury Store.
Gary moved to adjourn the meeting; Toni seconded. Meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk