WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2020

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2020

Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present: Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Pat Story, Grader Operator Alden Shute, and Fran Levings and Kris Sundberg from North Pine Area Hospital District, Wilma assessor Bob Brewster, and Stefanie Rahn.

North Pine County Hospital District:  Fran Levings and Kris Sundberg asked to address the Board to explain the mission, work and new developments of the NPAHD including a chemo infusion center, telemedicine, a new ambulance garage with state-of-the art medical technology; tobacco and addiction treatment, wound care, and most importantly to Fran, mental health services, up to three days a week. The NPAHD is a separate entity with a separate board from Essentia, but she said the new hospital never would have been built without the NPAHD, who got the $25 million bond to make it possible. They also focus on nutrition as part of health and providing fresh produce to the Pathways Food Shelves. They have a first-responder program to provide AED’s to fire departments rescue squads. They encouraged Wilma Township to join the NPAHD at the cost of $31 per year per $100,000 property value which would also allow us a board member position. So far there are 12 townships and 6 cities in the district. Long discussion. Alden’s concern was that once you join, you cannot leave until all the bonds are paid off. Mike said Essentia is the only hospital in the whole county. Pat said he thinks Essentia Hospital is only in it for the money and he sees no advantage for the township to join, and we would be held liable of the bond defaults. Paul said he’d be glad to pay $31 a year for all the benefits he has received from the Hospital and Gateway. Fran said this would have to go before the whole township at our annual meeting March 10th. Glen told Paul to put it on the agenda for the meeting and Kris said she could come out to our meeting to present the case for joining.

Meeting Record: Paul read the record of the December board meeting. Bob said the minutes said that he did intend to get commercial assessment certification; he does not. Paul said it only said that Mike reported that he did, not Bob. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.

ROAD REPORT: Alden has had some issues with the grader, including a flat tire. It needs new fan belts but he can’t get at the belt and may need a service call from John Deere. He said the tires are old and he’d like to replace them, either with used tube tires for $2,380 or four radial tires for $4,500, that would last as long as he is alive. Mike said the supervisors have always said that he had the discretion to do whatever work he felt the grader needed, and that we have the funds to get the radial tires and fix the fan belt and whatever Alden thinks he needs, but Mike made a motion to permit Alden to get new tires and get the belt and any other work needed. Gary seconded. Passed. Alden plowed a few roads and one drive that was very slushy.

OLD BUSINESS: Little Tamarack Lake Road Shoreland Mitigation: Alden had said the Little Tamarack Lake Road needs some serious work on the shoreline where erosion has undermined the road. He had asked if we could see if we could get some funding and planning help from Pine Soil and Water. Paul contacted Katie Petzel, District Technician of the Pine Soil & Water Conservation District. They said they do have grants for shoreland projects and we may qualify for some funding. Paul will keep working with her.

Relationship between Wilma Township and the Contract with DVFD, Inc. The Duxbury VFD’s proposal to Ogema and the Band was for $1,000 from Ogema and $2,000 from the tribe for medical responses. Mike met twice with the Ogema board and tribal representatives, on December 12 and again last night. Mike had hoped that Danbury could take over medical responses in the reservation, but they no longer have a rescue squad or an ambulance. Mike said they may join Essentia; they now use North Memorial. He said the tribe moves very slowly but he made it clear that we need some kind of reimbursement and a contract. We have a mutual aid contract with Hinckley Fire Department to respond in their jurisdiction, like on the reservation.

County Assessment Takeover: Bob Brewster asked to speak and presented a petition to the county asking for another public meeting, along with a page and a half explanation of the situation with True Assessment and how all the problems with it, including a $6.10 charge per parcel for them to supervise local assessors, on top of what we already pay our assessor, $1,700 to $3,500 per township extra. Bob said he spoke to two township attorneys who both said this is not legal. He asked if the Pine County Township Association would get behind sending the petition to all the townships. Glen said no. Bob said he doesn’t want it to go out under his own name. Paul said he’d do it if he were paid. Gary said the town cannot pay for this, but Bob said he’d pay Paul for his time. The explanation letter does tell towns to send their petitions to Glen; Paul asked if he’s ok with that. Mike moved that Wilma adopt and sign the petition to the county asking for another special meeting on True Assessment. Gary seconded. Paul will send it to all the commissioners

County Septic Adminstration: Gale Kespohl resigned as our septic ordinance administrator as of January 1, 2020. The whole board attended a special meeting with Caleb Anderson, Pine Co. Land and Resources Manager and Lukas Olson, Pine Co. Environmental Tech and Ian Harrison from the MN Pollution Control Agency who explained the county program and MPCA concerns and problems with failed systems. Mike told them we are going to use Denny Schlomka as our inspector, with Patrice tentatively handling the paperwork and permits. Patrice said she would meet with Gale and see what is involved in the paperwork. Bob said he’d give her any help or advice she needed.

NEW BUSINESS: Presidential Primary 2020: There will be a Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020. All expenses will be paid by the county, including judge training and mileage. Each election judge will need one hour of additional hour of training if working the PNP.  We will have two in person training dates as follows: February 3, 2020 10:00am-11:00 or February 6, 2020 3:00pm-4:00 pm am at the North Pine Government Center, 1610 State Hwy 23. Patrice, Gary, Stefanie Rahn and Paul will get training. Paul told them to keep track of mileage.

Filing Period for March, 2020 Township Election: Gary and Paul filed Affidavits of Candidacy for re-election. Filing is open until Tuesday January 14. Paul and Gary cannot judge at the March Township election, so will need three judges, Patrice, Stefanie and Pat Story said he’d judge. Paul said he needs to go to the training.

Deputy Clerk: Mike moved that the board pass a resolution to appoint Stefanie Rahn to be Deputy Clerk to replace Toni Williamson. Gary seconded. Glen swore her in, and she will attend short courses and clerk training and judge training.

Board of Audit for 2019 Books: Mike moved to schedule board of audit before the February 4th board meeting. Paul and Patrice need to meet to coordinate and cross-check books before the audit.

2020 Garbage Pickup Schedule: Copies available and posted on websites.

Duxbury Store Cigarette License: 2020 cigarette license due for renewal. $10. Gary paid and he and Paul signed the permit.

MAT Spring Short Course: Will be Friday, April 3, at the DECC in Duluth. No posting yet on schedule or times. MAT Summer Specialized Training: Will be Thursday, June 25, at the DECC in Duluth. No schedule released yet.

Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report. Total bills for January are $3,761.23 and she wants to transfer $3,800 from savings to checking. Gary moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds; Glen seconded. Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned 9:30 p.m.

Report by Paul Raymond _________________________________

Attest: Glen Williamson, Chair______________________________

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019

Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present: Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Steve Menth, Pat Story, and Grader Operator Alden Shute.

Paul read the record of the November board meeting. Glen asked that the Fall Fest committee be changed to Glen and Paul, not Patrice and Paul. With this change, Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.

ROAD REPORT: Alden plowed out all the roads after the big December 1st snowfall. Steve said after he plowed Mona Drive that the county came through and put a lot of snow on the entrance and that Alden should go back after the county is done plowing. Alden said they do this to every driveway and road entrance. They usually go out before him, but they go back over and over, sometimes 3 times. He cannot justify the cost of going back to every road entrance and driveway and plow them out again. Alden gave Paul the range-line road data including removing a tree with a chain. Duane Glienke paid his share for his part of the driveway, $250.

Alden said the Little Tamarack Lake Road needs some serious work on the shoreline where erosion has undermined the road. He asked if we could see if we could get some funding and planning help from Pine Soil and Water. Paul will write them.

OLD BUSINESS: Supervisors or Board Members Doing Work for the Township: Mike had said we need a resolution for any officer to do work for the township and moved that the board adopt “A Resolution Authorizing Contract with Interested Officer Under Minn. Stat. #471.88 Sub. 5” covering all township officers in case we need to do any outside work for the township. Gary seconded. Passed. Glen and Paul signed it.

Relationship between Wilma Township and the Contract with DVFD, Inc. Pat asked if there was any information regarding the Duxbury VFD responding to areas outside of our townships without reimbursement. The Duxbury VFD’s proposal to Ogema and the Band was for $1,000 from Ogema and $2,000 from the tribe for medical responses; they offered $1,500 for both. They asked for a list of medical calls in Ogema. We asked the MAT Attorneys if we can share this information with them without violating HIPAA privacy laws. Steve Fenske, MAT Attorney, says: “HIPPA does not apply to the fire department as a service provider. If you look here (https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Administrative-Simplification/HIPAA-ACA/AreYouaCoveredEntity) emergency service providers are not “covered entities” in HIPAA which is aimed at health care providers, insurers, and the third-parties they use to handle patient data. That’s not you. Even if your fire service was covered by HIPAA, there are exceptions for billing purposes, which is why the neighboring township needs billing information from you.” Chief Mike McCullen will meet again with the Board of Supervisors of Ogema Township, and Glen said that Mike and the fire department should handle any agreement or make any decisions so our townships aren’t carrying the whole load. Mike said there are going to be some changes in the fire department that he will explain when the VFD Board makes their decision.

2019-2020 Snowplowing: The deadline for payments to enroll for snowplowing was November 6th, but one person said she was out of checks and asked on Nov. 26 if she could still sign up. The Board has the discretion to make any decisions regarding snowplowing and Glen moved to accept her check; Gary seconded. Last year a person was two months late and the board then said that was too much time.

County Assessment Takeover: There was a meeting on Tuesday, November 26 of the Pine County Commissioners with Assessor Lorri Houtsma and Auditor Kelly Schroeder explaining the proposal to convert all property assessments in Pine County to the county, not private assessors.  Our assessor Bob Brewster only plans to work two more years at most, and this proposal won’t go into effect for at least one year, so for us it’s kind of moot.  Mike said that Bob is willing to get all the required training to be certified for commercial assessments if the county did not take it over, although he had told us before that he was retiring and could not afford the training. They showed several examples of inequitable assessing by private assessors (not ours), so some people are being assessed too little and burdening the rest. Wilma Supervisors Glen Williamson and Mike McCullen both spoke. There was a lot of concern about a big-government power grab taking one more jurisdiction from the people, and Kelly and Lorri and the board defended their position. David Minke says that at least for two years we will pay no more than we pay now. Mike said the county wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on hiring more assessors and towns are going to get it in the rear. Glen said the Assessors Office could go to towns that are being unfairly assessed too low and suggest they fire their private assessor. Paul said they are benefiting so why should they change? Glen had a resolution to the county opposing any county takeover of assessing and moved that the board adopt it and send it to the Assessor and the Auditor. Mike seconded. Passed.

County Septic Administration: Gale Kespohl is resigning as our septic ordinance administrator as of January 1, 2020. Auditor Kelly Schroeder says, “Wilma Township does not have to have your own inspector/ordinance- you can fall under Pine County’s ordinance (which is the exact same as yours), and Pine County will administer it at no cost to the township.” Denny Schlomka told Patrice that he wants the job, but doesn’t want to do any paperwork. Patrice volunteered to go see Gale and see what is involved in the paperwork and if it’s not too much, she will do it. Paul asked who will pay her? Right now the people who get the permits and inspections pay the township and we pass this on to Gale. If Patrice does the paperwork, he said we should deduct her time from the fee before we pay Denny. Gale will be done January 1, 2020, but there won’t be any system inspections until spring so Mike said to table it until then.

NEW BUSINESS: Presidential Primary 2020: There will be a Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020. All expenses will be paid by the county, including judge training and mileage. Each election judge will need one hour of additional hour of training if working the PNP.  We will have two in person training dates as follows: February 3, 2020 10:00am-11:00 or February 6, 2020 3:00pm-4:00 pm am at the North Pine Government Center, 1610 State Hwy 23. Patrice, Gary and Paul will get training, and Glen may have someone to judge and be trained.

Filing Period for March, 2020 Township Election: Affidavits of Candidacy must be filed from Tuesday, December 31 until Tuesday January 14. Gary and Paul are up for re-election and both plan to run. Paul and Gary cannot judge at the March Township election, so will need three judges, maybe Patrice, Glen and his interested friend.

Government Help With Snow Removal: Pat said that years ago Gary Pederson and the MAT Attorney Ruth Simpson said there was a program for underfunded snow removal to give towns assistance with this. Paul said that he has never heard this at any short course or training. Glen said maybe it was for cities.

Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report. Total bills for December are $5,246.88 and she wants to transfer $5,200 from savings to checking. Gary moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds; Glen seconded.

Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned 9 p.m.

Report by Paul Raymond ___________________________________

Attest: GlenWilliamson, Chair_______________________________

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2019

WILMA TOWNSHIP  BOARD OF  SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2019

Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Also present: Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Steve Menth, Cindy Kleinschmidt, and Grader Operator Alden Shute.

            Paul read the record of the October board meeting.   Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.

          ROAD REPORT:   Carlson Timber Road Work:  Alden said that Carlsons  have finished with Schmedeke Lane and should get their escrow payment refunded.  They had an earlier escrow for this road in 2018, but Alden said we used this up in building the road back up, which is why they paid an additional escrow. Gary moved to refund the $500 escrow; Mike seconded.  Alden gave the clerk his record of work on the range line roads with Danforth and Arna townships for billing.  He did routine blading on both Duncan Roads.

          Eagle Head Road Culvert:   Alden said there was no choice but to build up the road at the culvert on Eagle Head Road since the road is below the water level, even with the culvert draining properly.  The Board had advised Alden to bring this up at the annual road inspection next May but Alden said it had to be built up now as it was under water. Summerland put 8 loads of pit run and 3 loads class5, and now it is high and dry.

          Parking Lot Gravel Project:   Duane Glienke said he would pay for one load to cover his part of the lot and Alden will talk with him and tell him how much he owes.

          OLD BUSINESS:   Supervisors or Board Members Doing Work for the Township:  Mike said we need a resolution for any officer to do work for the township.  We do have a resolution on file for Gary, “A Resolution Authorizing Contract with Interested Officer Under Minn. Stat. #471.88 Sub. 5. Mike moved to adopt a resolution covering all township officers in case we need to do any outside work for the township. Gary seconded. Passed.

             Relationship between Wilma Township and the Contract with DVFD, Inc.  Duxbury VFD Chief Mike McCullen will meet again with the Board of Supervisors of Ogema Township to finalize an agreement so our townships aren’t carrying the whole load.  Mike said there are going to be some changes in the fire department that he will explain at the next meeting.

          Pine County Board of Commissioners Special Meeting:   Was October 29 in Pine City with some very informative University of Minnesota Extension speakers on agriculture and farming in Pine County.  Paul gave out the statistics and handouts for board.

          Pine County Township Officers’ Meeting: Was Saturday, October 26 at 9 am at the American Legion in Hinckley. Paul distributed a detailed report for the board. Very good meeting.

          Wilma Fall Fest:   Was October 19, pot-luck dinner at 6 p.m. and Procrastinators played for the whole evening until 9:30. Big turnout and fun evening.  Patrice asked if we could pay the band $350 instead of $300 since they had so many people playing.  Mike said that is a Fallfest Committee decision. Paul and Patrice are the committee, and both agreed that is a good idea. We will still be within the $400 budget, although there is a question if the agreed budget was $500.

          NEW BUSINESS: Annual MAT Conference:   Will be Friday, November 22, 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, November 23, 8 – 4 p.m.  Verizon Center, Mankato. One night. Glen and Paul are not planning on attending.

          2019-2020 Snowplowing:  The deadline for payments to enroll for snowplowing is tonight.  Patrice has many checks.

          Pine County Fire Chiefs’ Meeting:   Mike asked to use the hall for the meeting on November 21.  Gary moved to allow it; Glen seconded.

            Designate polling place for 2020.   Glen moved that the board adopt a resolution naming the Wilma Town Hall as our designated polling place for all elections. Mike seconded. Glen and Paul signed the resolution.

          Presidential Primary 2020:   There will be a Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020.  All expenses will be paid by the county, including judge training and mileage.  Each election judge will need one hour of additional hour of training if working the PNP.  We will have two in person training dates as follows: February 3, 2020 10:00am-11:00 or February 6, 2020 3:00pm-4:00 pm am at the North Pine Government Center, 1610 State Hwy 23.  Patrice, Gary and Paul will get training, and Glen could also be trained as a backup.

          Assessment Contract for 2021-22:  Bob Brewster has given us a contract for Assessment Years 2021 and 2022. The assessment cycle starts every year on July 1. He attended the meeting to enlist our support to oppose the county takeover of our assessments.  He feels there was inadequate notice and warning although there were two meetings with township officials since this was proposed.  He feels that the powers of townships are being taken over by the county. He has15 years of faithful service assessing townships and has had no issues or improper work and he has brought new ideas to the assessment process. He has spent thousands of dollars and many hours on assessment training,and they want to increase this to 50 hours of classes for $1,000. He thinks that we will lose our local boards of review. Glen moved to approve the contract for the next two years after this coming year and he and Paul signed it.

          County Assessment Takeover:   There will be a meeting on Tuesday, November 26, 7 p.m. at the Government center in Sandstone about the county ending private assessors in the county and taking it over.  The concern was inconsistent assessments and some private assessors’ work being challenged by the county.   Bob Brewster wants to keep assessing for two more years.  His fees are $2 less than the county charges, he says. David Minke says that at least for two years we will pay no more than we pay now. Bob wants Wilma to attend the meeting and appeal this change. Bob said we already paying taxes to the county; why should they also charge us for assessing? Mike said all interested officers should attend the meeting and asked Paul to remind him.

          County Septic Adminstration:   Gale Kespohl is resigning as our septic ordinance administrator as of January 1, 2020.  Auditor Kelly Schroeder says, “Wilma Township does not have to have your own inspector/ordinance- you can fall under Pine County’s ordinance (which is the exact same as yours), and Pine County will administer it at no cost to the township.” Bob Brewster said he is sending out letters to all licensed inspectors to get bids for Arna Township.  He said Denny Schlomka wants the job, but he works for Summerland digging and installing septic systems.  Paul asked why we should spend time writing and interviewing and getting another inspector/administrator when the county will do it for free?  Gale will be done January 1,2020, but there won’t be any system inspections until spring so Mike said to table it until then.

          Memorial Garden in Wilma Township:  A group wants to purchase some land west of Tamarack Lake for a cemetery/memorial garden for cremation ashes. Mike and Gary both checked out the land east of Tamarack Lake, and aren’t sure which parcel they have in mind but there are high ground areas.   

          Commemoration of the Death of Toni Williamson:    Mike wanted it to be on the record our sadness and sorrow at the death of our long-time Deputy Clerk Toni Williamson, who also served as election judge and headed the FallFest committees since our first celebration. She and her contributions to our township will be missed greatly. 

          Closed Meeting:   The Board dismissed all non-board members to discuss a personnel issue.                                                     

           Treasurer’s Report and Claims:  Patrice gave the treasurer’s report.  Total bills for July are $2,589.77 and she wants to transfer $2,500 from savings to checking.   Gary moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds; Glen seconded.

          Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded.  Meeting adjourned 9 p.m.

                   Report by Paul Raymond ___________________________________

                   Attest:  Glen Williamson, Chair_______________________________