WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 6, 2017
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present was Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Grader Operator Alden Shute, and Pat and Helena Story and Mike and Kim Goetz.
Paul read the record of the November board meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Alden said he hasn’t had the grader out because we haven’t had snow. He has contacted Summerland about the ditching and road building project in the first half mile of the joint Pete Anderson Road and dragging the washed out gravel at the big culvert back onto the road. It probably won’t happen until spring. Arna’s board has the 2018 maintenance year, but we have traditionally done snowplowing in all years. The work projects that were agreed on for 2017 will continue by Wilma until completed.
Resident Snowplowing: Discussion on whether to change the deadline for payment for snowplowing from the first meeting in November to any time before the first major snowfall. Consensus that the current policy works and the board has the flexibility to make extensions or exceptions.
Schmedeke Lane Extension: Mike said Eldon Schmedeke came to him and they went out to check the end of the road where we are extending it. Eldon wants to be able to use this road this year for equipment and our cat left deep ruts in the road. Alden said he can try to level it out if it’s not too frozen. The big debris pile is still there.
Crooked Lake Road Damage: Gary had calls for trees down on Crooked Lake Road and when he was taking care of that he saw that someone graded the road on the south end at Thunder Meadow, scraping off our crown and apparently pushing gravel into their driveway. Glen said Gary and Alden should find out who owns that land and how much gravel it will take to replace what they graded and if they did use township road gravel on their driveway. Gary said it’s the first property south of Jason Palme’s on the west side. Alden said they can meet up Sunday after the Vikings’ game. Glen said it’s good for people who do inspection or see problems that they take photos, and that any time anyone sees problems on township roads that they take photos for the board.
Pete Anderson Road Bridge: Mike Goetz said that his attorney said going to district court could cost thousands of dollars, so his attorney instead sent Daniel Lodge a Demand for Acknowledgement of Public Road Status, asking him to sign a statement recognizing Pete Anderson Road as a public road. Mike Goetz said the attorney, Mychal Bruggeman, did not mention or include the issue of access to landlocked properties. Paul said that is one of the strongest points in their case, since townships are obligated by law to grant easements to landlocked properties. The one getting the easement is responsible for all costs. The problem is the easement is in Arna Township and the landlocked land is in Wilma. Our resolution passed October 4 was not rescinded by the board. After Attorney Kyle Hartnett wrote that “It is my recommendation that Wilma Township take no action in this matter and leave the determination of the public’s right to use the road to the courts” the board tabled it and Glen said the issue will remain tabled by board. No bill from Harnett yet but we reminded him about it at the state township conference. Glen thanked Mike and Kim for coming and wished them good luck with their bridge.
OLD BUSINESS: MAT Annual Conference: Was November 16 – 18, 2017 in Rochester. Glen, Toni and Paul all attended. The Friday speakers’ theme was “Sustainable Water: The Foundation of Minnesota’s Environment, Economy, Health and Well-being, with sessions on aquifers, lead contamination, nitrites in wells.” Toni had one-on-one training on using CTAS with the State Auditor rep. Paul took CTAS courses on township budgeting so we can have a budget for 2018, plus met with Steve Flaherty, State Fire Marshall. Paul brought handouts and information for Patrice for CTAS accounting. Glen had sessions on water-related threats to roads, like beavers, and on public ditch projects and septic systems. Wilma Township has many lakes and rivers and all property owners get water from wells, and the DNR tried to make Wilma a toxic waste dump in the early 1980’s and actually buried barrels of lead and arsenic, toxic waste from 3M Corporation. The board at that time took this all the way to the state and they were forced to remove all the waste. Glen said it’s important that we all have access to clean aquifers and water, and some towns have had serious problems. Wilma will apply for $900 in scholarships from the County Township Association; no other officers from Pine County attended, even with the $300 subsidy.
Township Issues: Meeting Conduct and Records:| Pat and Helena Story asked to speak about concerns about the meeting records and officer training. Responding to an email from Pat, Glen said the board has purposely not adopted Robert’s Rules of Order for conducting meetings. The board was within their rights to pass the Policy on Public Input at Board Meetings last month: “Each speaker must give his/her name. Each speaker will have three minutes to speak. Speakers will wait until their agenda item comes up. The board may respond to speakers or take subject under advisement. The speaker will not engage in a dialogue with the board; the board’s response stands.” Pat said the record of the November meeting contained personal opinions and not objective reporting when it quoted Paul vouching for the integrity of the board members. Paul said he is allowed to speak as a citizen, and if he quotes himself in the minutes, it is objective reporting, not pushing a subjective opinion. Glen said Paul does take more detailed minutes than required, but as long as they are examined and approved by the board, there is no harm. People who can’t attend the meetings will get a good idea of what was discussed and decided. Patrice said Paul tends to quote himself more than anyone else.
Officer Training: Pat and Helena question the need for officer training. Helena said everything they need to know is in the township and legal manuals. Pat said officer training could at least be made more effective if everyone would file a simple written report on the object of the training; a summary of what details will be covered; written outcomes and application of training; and the cost of the training. Glen asked Paul to defend officer training. Paul said he knows that the training he’s received over the years has helped him enormously in being a more effective officer and better servant of the people. The Township Association has offered short-course training for many decades, and Wilma officers have always attended, at least since the 90’s when Paul joined the board. He said all institutions utilize and encourage training, the state, the county, the teachers, the hospital, the fire departments. We don’t question the value of firefighters or teachers or county officers being well-trained, but only township officers. Helena said the training didn’t help much when we had the conflict of interest issue after the blowdown. Paul said the officer involved was the one who did not attend trainings, and it is because of their training that the other officers were able to catch and correct this issue and save the board and the town’s interests. Glen and Toni just attended a training conference on running campgrounds in South Carolina on their own dime, since he values training so much. Glen said we are a small town and we don’t have all the legal expertise and knowledge of cities with full-time employees which is why we try to get the best training offered to do the best job possible to serve the people.
IC-134 Forms: Glen thanked Pat for his information on the IC-134 forms and said the board will give any future contractors the form. Forms and directions were printed out. Glen thanked Pat and Helena for attending the meeting and said he appreciates Pat and Helena’s input and suggestions and questions, and they help the board be more effective. Helena said that even if they disagree with the board, they deserve to be treated with respect, which Glen agreed.
Township Blight: Pat asked who is responsible for the junked trailers and things in the field southwest of the Duxbury corner. Mike said that’s Ben Glocke’s land, and he does plan to clean it up, but his hauler postponed coming out. Glen said we have no zoning or blight ordinances, so we rely on persuasion. Patrice said we should have a blight ordinance, so we can deal with problems and eyesores. Paul said when we had a trash problem at the schoolhouse, we wrote a nice letter offering to help them clean it up, but they moved out soon after.
Snowplowing Priorities: Pat asked how it is determined which direction the plow goes out after a snowstorm. Alden said he always does all the right-hand roads and driveways when going in any direction, and then the right-hand ones returning. He often goes east first because of Eldon and Marg’s medical condition and their need to have access for responders. He usually alternates which direction he goes on different storms, but he does not skip any roads or driveways because he does not want to go back.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Claims and bills for December total $6,587.40 and she requests a transfer of $6,800. Gary moved to approve the report and to transfer the funds; Glen seconded. Gary moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk _________________________________________
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair_____________________________