WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, DECEMBER 2, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Assistant Grader Operator Alden Shute, Penny Simonson of the ECRDC, and Pat Story.
Paul read the record of the October meeting; Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded.
NEW BUSINESS: ECRDC GRANT: Penny Simonsen from the East Central Regional Development Commission gave a report on the ECRDC’s efforts to bring broadband internet to rural areas of the five counties in the service area (Pine, Chisago, Kanabek, Isanti, and Mille Lacs). They have applied for a grant from the Blanden Foundation which will allow them to expand broadband to people who aren’t now served except by expensive and slow satellite. The grant deadline is December 4th, so Penny said ECRDC will make the application on behalf of interested townships. She believes there will be four or five townships that will express interest, and we may receive as much as $10,000.
Glen asked how long the service will last? Even if they pay for the initial equipment and the first year of service, how much will it be after that?
Penny said that a high tower with a satellite dish that can then beam WiFi signals to our whole township is a possibility. This would require homes to have a receiving antenna. Discussion about getting rights from MN Dot to use their big tower at Eagle Head Fire Station.
Pat Story said he’s done a lot of research about getting faster internet to our area and to his home. He’s had meetings with Qwest to get cell phone service in our town, as well as faster internet. He said the MESH System has merit to do this. This involves a satellite dish mounted on a tower that can receive an internet signal and then beam it out to every home with a receiving antenna. Glen moved that Wilma Township be added to the list of townships interested in being part of the Blanden grant to the ECRDC, to the maximum amount possible, to bring WiFi Broadband internet to our township. Mike seconded. Penny said that having the ECRDC getting the initial grant will give townships time to formulate proposals and research options. Pat said a 75′ – 100′ tower can pull in a good signal and can be purchased from $3,500 to $8,500. Mike moved that we appoint a committee of Glen, Pat and Paul to research and study our options and to write up a grant application; Gary seconded. Pat will chair the committee and take care of the technical research; Glen will handle the administrative part. Pat will call the meetings.
OLD BUSINESS: Road Report: Alden gave the road report: they bladed Eagle Head Road and put some gravel on low spots at the end by Grabaus’s. They did some shaping and drainage on the South Duncan Road. Glen got a very appreciative letter from Loren Kratze commending our road crew for their repairs of the South Duncan Road. Alden said all township roads are being brushed now, except for the west Rangeline Roads which Danforth did. Gary did some beaver abatement work and he said the DNR will not do anything about beavers unless they are on state land. Alden said he has done a lot of work on the grader and got the lights fixed. Mike said he needs to have the grader moved out in order to move the fire department brush rig into the west bay of the fire hall; he will meet with Alden tomorrow.
Schmedeke Lane Extension: The Clerk billed the county for $10,000 as per their contract, but Auditor Cathy Clemmer said we needed to provide copies of all the actual checks that we paid the contractors and employees for work on this road. Paul has this paperwork completed except for one check to Mark Pallow that he hasn’t cashed yet. Mike said to call him.
Midwest Hardwood Escrow: Patrice asked if there were any documentation for the $276 in damages we have deducted from their $500 escrow? Gary said it is for damages (ditching, inspections, and labor). Paul will find claims and invoices from this past summer and fall on the South Duncan Road so he can document our deductions and mail that with their check for $224.00.
Snowplowing: About 9 or 10 people have signed up. Gary said Mark wants to refund two people and does not want to plow them: Mark Ackerman and David Storvik. Mark Ackerman told Patrice that he only wants snowplowing when he is out of town and can’t do it himself. Storviks driveway is very narrow and they have no turnaround space. Alden said he could plow Storviks by backing in and then pushing the snow out, so not to refund their payment. Mark Ackerman had told Paul that he would be responsible to call when he does not want to be plowed. Mike moved that the plow operator be directed to plow Ackermans’ drive if he goes by there and it has not already been plowed. Gary seconded.
Minnesota Association of Townships Annual Conference: Paul gave a report on the conference he and Glen and Toni attended November 19-21 in Alexandria. Paul and Glen had $300 scholarships from the County Township Association. Paul needs to file a claim with the County Township Association to receive the scholarship money. The theme was public safety. Paul gave all the board members copies of the power-points and handouts from the conference. The theme was Public Safety, with a focus on rural EMT services; road safety; sign maintenance; greater Minnesota law enforcement and corrections trends; rural fire safety and local fire departments. There were also breakout sessions and training for supervisors and clerks and treasurers on conflicts of interest; road right-of-way issues; records retention; fire-wise and fire protection; and workers’ comp audits. Glen said to avoid any conflict of interest, supervisors must file affadavits of interest whenever they invoice for work not related to their supervisor duties. Paul will print more forms so we have enough. Glen said our township will benefit from our attendance at the conference, for example on broadband Wi-fi for our township.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached). Total claims were $8,806.86. Gary moved to approve her report, to pay all the claims, and to transfer $9,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded.
Gary moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair