WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY MAY 3, 2017
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present Supervisors Mike McCullen, Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Grader Operator Alden Shute, and Pat Story and Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke.
Paul read the record of the April board meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Someone left a note on the town hall door saying that grading the day before a rainstorm loosened the top so their road could not drain, and there have been big frost boils on their road. They said they will be sending the township bills for their car repair. Mike affirmed the Board’s support for Alden and the job he is doing, and said Alden had no way to know that it would rain and damage the road. Alden said he thinks this may be Crooked Lake Road, since it has the worst frost boils. He did some grading and repair on Crooked Lake and Eagle Head Roads, locating and cleaning out the culverts; he located and cleaned out the culvert on Heller Drive; he bladed Tamarack Pine Drive, Duncan Road South, River Cabin Road, Lost River Road, and Mona Drive. Alden said Crooked Lake Road needs more gravel; he can fix it so water doesn’t run down the road but into the ditch. The ditch needs to be deepened. The North Duncan Road is still impassable at the end. Pete Anderson Road needs gravel and ditch repair as it is under water in the first part, and Heller Drive needs to ditch at the swamp. Eagle Head Road needs some pit-run gravel and ditching at the low spot. We need a backhoe to do all the ditch work, and Alden said Hopkins can do the work.
Little Tamarack Lake Road: The lake is eroding the road at the first curve. Mike talked with Dave on Little Tamarack Lake Road. Our permit to build up our shoreline road is still good for another year, so we can do whatever is needed to build up and fix the road.
Schmedeke Lane: Alden did some work on the ditch at the end of the road. He asked where the road ends because he needs to push some stumps off the road. Eldon said he does not feel the board did their job by not demanding $20,000 from the county to bring the Schmedeke Lane Extension up to specs instead of agreeing to $10,000. He said he has paid a huge amount of township taxes over the years, and isn’t getting a return. He said he wants the ditch to be done at the end of the road this year. Alden said he is going to do it, and Eldon may come along when the board does the inspection of Schmeeke Lane on Tuesday, May 30 so he can make his concerns known.
Eldon asked the board to request that the county use 40′ culverts on their roads and entrances to township roads like Schmedeke Lane. Mike said we will get a backhoe to do the ditch and all the ditches.
Pete Anderson Road Bridge: Gary went to the DNR and got aerial photographs of the bridge, which shows that they detoured to the right of the Pete Anderson Road at the creek and the old bridge is entirely in Arna Township, and McDermott Creek is not the border between the range-line townships and New Dosey Township. Paul will write to Mike Goetz and to Daniel Lodge with the information, and copy Cheryl Wickham so Arna knows this is their issue.
Road Inspection: Will be Tuesday, May 30, starting at noon. This can free Alden to work for Hopkins in the morning and do the whole inspection in the afternoon. It will take all afternoon. Paul will contact Jason Palme, and we can pick Eldon up for Schmedeke Lane.
Backup Grader Operator: Steve Menth is still interested and willing. He is on the road right now. He will work with Alden for training. Gary said Steve may retire in nine months and will be available more, and he will be driving less in the summer.
OLD BUSINESS: Township Records: One year ago today our records were left on Glen’s driveway. They are not stored safely yet. Glen forgot to check at Sam’s when he was there, but said he can order one on Amazon. Mike will still check at Fleet Farm and Sams when he is there.
Spring Short Course: Was April 7, Black Bear Casino in Carlton. Gary and Glen attended Supervisor sessions and brought road manuals and materials back for Alden. Paul and Patrice were with the Clerks’ and Treasurers’ and said they think we should start a record book of all of our township policies, everything we all know but have not written down in one manual, like pay rates and when the snowplow is sent out or when claims are due in Patrice’s box. Patrice already has a list of policies, and she and Paul will work on compiling and cataloging all of them. Paul said the Supervisors can help also, if they have info on any policies. Paul said any future contractors we hire must have their own certificate of insurance. Pat said they also need to provide a IC134 Form along with their invoice, assuring all subcontractors have been paid.
NEW BUSINESS: Resolution On Donations to OSAC, Pine County Historical Society, and Seven County Senior Federation: Pat said he has concerns about the township donations to OSAC, Pine County Historical Museum, and the Seven County Senior Federation, what service do they provide for the township voters, and what legal justification the board has to donate $100 to each of them. The voters at the annual meeting and the board at the Board of Reorganization voted to support these three groups with $100 each. Paul wrote up a resolution to explain reasons and justification and legal authorization for these donations. Glen said the history museum gives a strong benefit to keep our culture and community and history alive. He said the ECRDC has so much regard for the society and museum that they are holding their next meeting there. He said we have 33 towns and 14 cities in our county and the society helps keep track of all their histories a very difficult job. Mike said they are very underfunded and understaffed, and are doing the best they can with what they get. (Copy of resolution attached, with details of benefits to the township voters of OSAC and of the Seven County Senior Federation). Mike moved that the Board adopt the resolution, for this year only. Glen seconded; passed. Gary voted no.
Firehall Agreement: Pat asked if there ever was an agreement between the township and the volunteer fire department spelling out whose responsibility is the fire hall. Mike said all the townships in the fire department have agreed to build and maintain their fire halls, for the benefit of their citizens. If we tried to make the fire department share in the utilities or maintenance, the township donations would have to increase to cover it. Mike asked Paul to check in township meeting records from 1985-87 to see if there is any agreement between the township and the fire department regarding the fire hall. Pat said the MAT website has great information on fire protection plans for townships and fire departments. Pat asked who will pay for the damage to the door by the fire truck? Mike said it may not require any money to fix. He already pushed the door back so the doors can close. It just needs some tweaking, he said, and he and Jeff will check on it. Pat asked about the flashing and siding; Paul said some of that had been torn off in the past by other drivers.
Town Hall and Fire Hall Roof Repair: There are leaks in the roof, which need to be sealed and the inside ceiling needs to be patched or replaced. We will need to hire contractor with his own insurance. Glen directed Paul to find a contractor and get estimates and inspections. Patrice said Glen Roberts did her house, but she doesn’t know if he will do roof repairs. Mike said they are re-roofing Holly’s old schoolhouse and Paul can ask them if they will do the hall if he can catch them.
Sentencing to Service Program: Paul asked if he should we re-submit our request for the Pine County Jail program to sand and poly the town hall floors? Glen said yes.
Pine County Board of Commissioners Special Meeting: The Commissioners are holding another township meeting on local government issues and county-wide zoning, Wednesday, June 14, 6 p.m. Glen said we got very good information from the last township meeting, and he asked if he and Paul can go again, and he will drive so they can carpool; it is not a half-day meeting, but hourly. Mike and Gary questioned the value of what can be learned for the money and mileage spent; Paul explained the presentation at the last meeting and the discussion on county-wide zoning, which we do not want. Any board member could go, but Mike moved that Glen and Paul be authorized to go; Gary seconded. Glen abstained; passed. Mike said Glen should ask why the county allowed the DNR to remove the dam at Grace’s Lake to drop the water level two feet and destroy the best fishing lake in our township? He is very angry that this lake was destroyed, for a wild rice lake, he heard. Paul said the board could make a resolution to send to the DNR about this.
Internet Compensation: Glen said he still feels there is an injustice that Paul and Patrice are both partially compensated ($10/month) for their use of the internet for their township work, but he is not, although he needs to use the internet for township business a lot. Paul said much of what he sends Glen is for the website, and Glen is paid $300 a year for the website. Glen said there are letters and correspondence and things that have nothing to do with the website for which he is paying the full internet bill. Patrice said she now is willing to have no-one subsidized for intenet. Paul said he uses it a great deal for township business and the town is paying only 1/7 of his bill, and nothing for the use of his new computer or new printer, except for some cartridges. Mike said why can’t Glen use the township WiFi? Glen said if he has to come down to the hall to do township business, the town will be paying more for mileage than $10 for the internet. No motion or action taken at this time.
Grand Opening Pine Hospital District New Campus: Tuesday, May 9, 4 p.m. at the new campus. Glen said this is a tremendous benefit to our community and urged everyone to go. Mike said there will be a special tour for fire departments and responders later.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Claims and bills for May total $2,282.89, and she requests a transfer of. $2,500. Gary moved to approve the report and to transfer the funds; Mike seconded.
Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned 9:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk _____________________________
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair_____________________________
WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION, APRIL 10, 2017
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 1 pm at the Wilma Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance. County Assessor Kelly Schroeder and Wilma Assessor Bob Brewster attended, plus Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink and Clerk Paul Raymond.
Paul read the record of last year’s Board of Equalization. Kelly corrected the record that the assessor must keep our values within the 90% – 105% range of county assessments, not 95% – 105% as the record stated. With this correction, Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
There were no property owners with appeals, and no letters of appeal were received. Mike had a question about parcels that are reclassified from agricultural homestead to high ground and have their taxes doubled, including township taxes; does the town get that extra revenue? Kelly said that the town receives the same total amount they levied, but that if someone pays more, everyone else will pay less.
Glen asked a theoretical question about his campground; if he were to sell it or shut down the campground, how would the taxes change? Kelly said that the 68 improved full-service sites with water, septic and electricity would still be assessed, even if they were vacant, but the taxes would go down a little. Mike asked what the RVL classification means. Kelly said it is Rural Vacant, a new classification made in 2009 for any non-farm acreage over 20 acres, for improved properties.
Mike asked if he planted corn could he get an agricultural classification. Bob said a minimum of 10 acres is required.
Assessor Certification: Gary is good through 2020, but this is Glen’s last year to be certified. Kelly said he can get the training on-line or possibly at the township summer short course. There is a law requiring township assessors to be trained in commercial assessments, even if the towns they assess have no commercial properties or so few that the county assessor can easily do them, like with Wilma and the camp and store. When it takes effect in two years, Bob will not be able to do our assessments. Bob said Senator Tony Lourey is fighting this bill, and Kelly said there are now four competing bills to either remove this requirement or extend the current requirements. One is to get rid of the law totally. One is so it does not go into effect until 2022 (instead of 2019). Another proposal is that it does not affect anyone who was working prior to 2010 (I started in 2004). There are many different proposals. Paul said our board just attended the spring short course for the MN Association of Townships and they didn’t even mention this in the legislative update. He will write to them to add this to their legislative lobbying at the statehouse, and to discuss it at the Legal Short Course on April 20, since this affects many townships. Bob said that in about 2/3 of all 87 counties in Minnesota, the county does all of the assessing. There are no township assessors at all. The only reason we have township assessors here is because our Pine County Board allows it. We are in the minority. Maybe this is why MAT is not very involved. Bob said the increased training would affect 600 local assessors, and they have no way to offer training to that many people by the deadline.
Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned at 1:35 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to: Glen Williamson, Chair