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WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING DECEMBER 9, 2009

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING DECEMBER 9, 2009

Chairman Glenford Williamson , Sr., called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.   Also present were Supervisors Michael McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, and Clerk Paul Raymond, plus Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke and Dennis Schmedeke.

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

OLD BUSINESS:  MAT Insurance Coverage:   Paul said that the jeep and old grader were dropped from our insurance policy, and that they refunded several years of our payments for them, $1,400.

Northern Corridor Railway Meeting: Glen said that there will be a meeting regarding the future high-speed railway from the cities to Duluth in Hinckley on December 10 at 5 p.m. at the City Hall.   Mike said this doesn’t really affect our township.

Road Report: Gary asked Paul to bill New Dosey for half of one hour of blading Heller Road on November 11,  $75.  Short Road/Mink Farm Road:  Gary inspected both roads after T & T Logging finished their activities.  Despite our request that they meet with us so there are no questions about the escrow deductions, no one from T & T  has contacted Gary.  He said they rutted up the Short Road pretty badly, and cut up the Mink Farm Road with dozer tracks.   Gary said that at the spring road inspection the board can make a determination of the damages.  We can contact T & T to be present then.     Dollar Lake Road:   Mike said Eric Vathne has had loggers on his land, and they have torn up Dollar Lake Road.  Mike and Gary thought Eric was doing the work himself, but before hunting season Mike saw a logger and truck in there who wasn’t Eric.   Mike said we shouldn’t treat this any differently than other loggers, and he moved that we write to Eric Vathne and ask for a $500 escrow deposit for the road if there is going to be any continuing logging activity on that road.  Glen seconded.   Mike said he could be done by now with all the logging.

NEW BUSINESS:    Pine County Soil & Water District Meeting:   Glen said that the Pine Co. Soil and Water District is having a public meeting on January 30th for training county and township officials on road maintenance and the Wetland Conservation Act.  Mike said we should probably attend this training, especially to discuss the issue of people gating off old cartways so people can no longer use them to access waterways and state land.  He said the south end of Crooked Lake Road has been gated off; at one time the Mayfield Road went all the way to Crooked Lake Road as a state snowmobile trail, and Crooked Lake Road went two more miles south.  Also Heller Drive is posted at the end, when it used to cross the Tamarack River to the Vink Road.   Even though the township does not claim these cartways or maintain them as township roads, they should be kept open for public use after years of serving as cartways.  Glen asked how we can remove a gate?  Mike said that’s why he wants to go to this meeting.   Mike said we should discuss attendance at our January 6th Board Meeting;  they need to be notified by January 20th.

Lakes & Pines Cooperative Agreement: Lakes & Pines has applied for a grant to help low-income home-owners fix up their homes, as well as commercial building owners and low-income rental housing.  The State said that the first 15 months of this program need to be targeted at certain towns and townships in the north part of the county, like Willow River and Sturgeon Lake, but after that any county property owner could apply.  They sent us a cooperative agreement that would permit property owners in Wilma Township to apply for these funds.   Glen moved that we sign this and participate in this program; Mike seconded.   Glen and Paul signed it and will send it in.

Schmedeke Lane: Eldon asked for the floor to discuss Schmedeke Lane and the Memorandum of November 12 sent out to all the board members and to interested parties by County Attorney John Carlson regarding Schmedeke Lane and the history and controversy.  Eldon said that he and Bob and Barbara Jensen attended the County Commissioners meeting in Pine City on December 1st, and he wanted to correct some falsehoods in the document and at the meeting.   He said that Barbara Jensen was lying when she said that she did not measure out the distance for Schmedeke Lane with Marjorie Schmedeke, and that by denying this she was calling him and Marjorie liars because they say she did assist in the measurement.  Eldon said he never put no trespassing signs on Schmedeke Lane, but that Bob Jensen did.  Eldon said that subsequent surveyors have made and perpetuated errors.  He read a document that stated that an original survey has precedence over all subsequent surveys.  Eldon presented charts showing the exact mile measurements between sections, north and south and east and west, and that there is exactly four miles from Tamarack River Road to the Langstrom/Pete Anderson Roads.  He also had charts demonstrating a distorted survey, which he said the county wants to enforce.  He presented a resolution he asked the board to adopt and submit to the County Commissioners which states, “We, the Board of Supervisors of Wilma Township recommend that the County abide by the original govt. records of 1853 and recorded 1899. True measurements from govt. monument 2 miles north of Co. Rd. 141 starting at NE corner of Section 3, running due south between Sections 3-2 and 11-10 and ending at SE corner of 10 and Duxbury Rd.  From NE govt. corner of Section 3 due east one mile (5278’) to newly set monument thence going due south between Sections 2-1 and 12-11, two miles to Duxbury Rd and ending there.  This will be proper and solve a multitude of problems and possible litigation.”  Glen moved that the board adopt this statement as a recommendation, not a resolution, and submit it to County Attorney John Carlson.  Paul asked that the board not take a position on the conflicting surveys until the meeting with the County Commissioners.   Eldon took issue with this, but Paul said he was not taking sides but was only concerned to protect the township from litigation.   Mike seconded the motion, and Paul will forward it to John Carlson.  Glen moved that the Board of Supervisors attend the meeting of the County Commissioners at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 21, at Schmedeke Lane, to join them in their survey and deliberations.   Gary seconded.   Paul will post this as a public meeting.

Glen reminded Paul to post and publish the dates to file Affidavits of Candidacy for our Township Election on March 9, 2010.  Glen and Paul are up for reelection.  The filing dates are December 29 through January 12, 2010, and the fee is $2.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills:    Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached) and bills were presented:

The Evergreen                         $        42.00

Pine County Courier                         13.16

ECE                                                  38.40

MATIT (Workers’ Comp.)               770.00

Joe Vink                                           150.30

Paul Raymond                                  106.20

Gary Vink                                          62.33

Michael McCullen                                        66.95

Patrice Winfield                                101.38

Glen Williamson                               24.24

Total Bills            $     1,389.01

Mike moved to approve the Treasurer’s report, to pay all the bills, and to transfer $1,400 from savings into checking.   Gary seconded.

Gary moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING March 4, 2009

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING  March 4, 2009

Chairman Gary Vink called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.   Also present were Supervisors Michael McCullen and Glenford Williamson, Sr., Treasurer Patrice McCullen,  and Clerk Paul Raymond.

Clerk’s Report: Paul read the record of the February meeting; Glen moved to approve; Mike seconded.

OLD BUSINESS:  Snowplowing fees: We got Alden Shute’s check for snowplowing; there had been a mixup at the bank.

Road and Bridge Levy: Cathy Clemmer, County Auditor, sent letters to the Supervisors telling them that our Road and Bridge levy for 2010 has to be at least .04835% of our total 2008 taxable market value in our township, which was $25,225,800, or $12,197.   We are asking for a levy of  $20,000, so if that passes, we will be OK.

Qwest ditching work: Qwest sent a letter asking if we required special permits to ditch and bury phone lines on township roads.   Paul responded that we wanted to be notified before any ditch work to prevent any culverts being cut.

Grader blade: We got a bill for $327.93 for the cutting edge on the wing of the blade.

Highway Dept. Bridge Inspection Report: We got a copy of the bridge inspection report for our township for bridges and culverts on county roads.

Escrow Account: Patrice went through the Escrow Account to try to reconcile our books with the bank record.  We found one deposit that had not been transferred from Escrow to Road and Bridge, from Park Falls Hardwoods.  Gary said that in 2008 we put gravel and did grading to repair Little Tamarack Lake Road for a total of $1,000, $500 from ECE and $500 from Park Falls Hardwoods.  Glen moved to make this transfer from Road and Bridge into Escrow.   Mike seconded.   After this transfer, the Escrow Account totals $4,101.75.

NEW BUSINESS:  Election Tuesday: The Township election is Tuesday, March 10, starting at 5 p.m.   Pat McCullen will need an absentee ballot; Paul will bring it to her.

Township Short Course: The closest Short Courses for this Spring are in St. Cloud March 23 or Thursday, April 2, in Grand Rapids.   Glen said the April 2 Short Course is best for him;  Paul and Patrice will also ride with him, and maybe Gary.  Mike moved that any officers who wanted to go be authorized to attend the Spring Short Course.  Gary seconded.

County Township Officers Meeting: This will be Sat. March 28, in Hinckley at 9: a.m.  There are at least two positions on the board open.    Glen said Joe Drilling is pretty ill and  may not be able to attend.  Mike said he’d heard Joe is going back to work.  Glen said the meetings pay $35 and are usually in Hinckley at Frank Grundemeir’s home.   Mileage is not reimbursed.

Board of Appeal/Equalization: This will be Wednesday, April 15, at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall.

Town Hall Repairs: Mike said this is the year we need to make repairs on the Town Hall foundation and to the Fire Hall damages from the tornado that was never properly repaired.  It’s too late to get insurance money for it, but we should have enough in the building fund to do the foundations and to re-side the Town Hall.   We can also make transfers from other funds that have a surplus.

Snowplowing: Paul will bill New Dosey and Arna for the February 27 storm snowplowing.  New Dosey, 20 minutes, $45, New Dosey’s ½ = $22.50;  Arna, 40 minutes, $100, Arna’s ½ = $50.

Dental Insurance: Glen said he would like to know about enrolling in the Township Association’s Dental Insurance Program.  Gary said we need at least two officers, and if they are willing to pay the premiums, they can sign up.  We can get the details at the Short Course.

CTAS Accounting System: Glen and Patrice will meet at Paul’s house at 1 p.m. Friday to install the CTAS Accounting Program on his computer so that both the Clerk and Treasurer can do all the town books on computer, and eliminate the old accounting ledgers.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice presented the Treasurer’s Report (attached).  Bills were presented:

Patrice Winfield (expenses)                                  $                             7.27

ECE                                                                                                                49.36

Pine County Courier                                                                              30.08

Little Falls Machine                                                                             317.93

Michael McCullen                                                                                       24.24

Paul Raymond                                                                                  96.97

Mark Pallow                                                                                             132.08

Patrice Winfield                                                                                      242.41

Glenford Williamson, Sr.                                                                      33.47

Gary Vink                                                                                                   54.26

TOTAL ALL BILLS      $                                                                      988.97

Glen moved to pay all the bills, to approve the Treasurer’s report, and to transfer $1,000 from savings to checking.   Mike seconded.   Mike moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

Board of Appeal/Equalization, April 16, 2008

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL/EQUALIZATION
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2008

Chairman Gary Vink called the meeting to order at 10: a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were County Assessor Mike Sheehy, Wilma Township Assessor Bob Brewster, Supervisors Michael McCullen and Glenford Williamson, Clerk Paul Raymond, and Joe Vink, Eldon and Marg Schmedeke, Bruce and Donna Filler, Dave and Judy Swanson, Patrice Winfield, and Scott Quady.

Joe Vink asked for the floor to ask a question of Mike Sheehy: “What would happen if the Board lowered everyone’s taxes to what they were a year ago?” Mike said the Board has no authority over taxes, but can lower property values, but the overall taxes would remain the same. Joe said that taxpayers have lost control of their government and we have to take back the power.

Paul read the record of last years Board of Appeal/Equalization. Mike moved to approve the record; Gary seconded. Mike Sheehy confirmed that there was a quorum present and that both Gary and Glen are certified as having taken supervisor assessment training.

Mike McCullen said he has heard from outraged taxpayers who are fed up with our valuation. He said our values are way too high. There are no sales in our township because prices are set so high by realtors.

Mike Sheehy said valuations are sometimes higher than what properties sell for, sometimes less. They compare assessments to sale prices of what properties actually sell for. The middle rate is the median ratio. There were 267 sales, 1/3 less than the year before, with an average of 96.8% of market value. The base year for 2008 assessments and 2009 taxes is October 1, 2006, to September 30, 2007, so there is a lag in a time of decreasing values that won’t be reflected for a couple of years. Mike said that of 57 sales in Pine County for all land from 30 to 730 acres, only three sales were for less than $1,000 an acre, even in the declining market. Ten years ago there were many sales for $200-250 an acre. Mike said that taxes are based on local jurisdictions, such as townships and school districts. Costs for things like fuel have gone up, and towns lost local government aid that used to alleviate the tax burden.

Bob Brewster said that being fair and comparable is foremost on his mind in doing assessments. He said that evaluations are going down in Wilma township for most taxpayers. The site amenity for the first acre went down from $18,500 to $18,000. Bob encourages taxpayers to call him (320/242-3236).

First up were Bruce and Donna Filler, Parcel 32.0095. They said the appraisal is higher than the real value for their manufactured home. Their home on 8 acres is valued at $157,000, and they feel it’s closer to $100,000. Bob said their assessed values actually decreased this year, and that he could take another look at the part of their land that is swamp. Wasteland is valued at $650/acre and high ground is $1,500. Filler’s home was evaluated as a modular home, not a manufactured home, and there is a difference. Stick-built homes are $96/square foot; modular homes $70/ square foot; manufactured homes $60/square foot; and mobile homes $40/square foot.

Second, Patrice Winfield, Parcel 32.0138. She said her valuation went up and she believes it is being appraised at 100% complete. Bob said it is still rated 95% complete. She asked why her land valuation went up from $102,000 to $109,500 and her building from $144,100 to $146,400. Her overall assessment rose from $247,000 to $255,900. Bob said she has 825 feet of river front land, appraised as waterfront property, 10.25 acres of high ground, 8 acres limited access, across the river. The site amenity for riverfront property went up from $27,000 for the first acre to $35,000, an increase of $8,000.

Next, Dave and Judy Swanson, Parcel 32.0028, 42.4 acres. Bob said it went down from $80,400 to $78,100, and their overall assessment went down from $158,100 to $155,200. The limited market value of all properties has been kept artificially low for many years by the state legislature, but this will expire so the limited and estimated market values will be the same, and the limited market values went way up for 2009.

Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke, Parcels 32.0104, 0106, 0008, 0114, and 0112. He asked if any parcels in Wilma sold for over $2,000 an acre. He said these five parcels are all valued at over $2,000 an acre. Bob said three of the parcels went down in value, but 0008 has McDermott Creek running through it. Eldon said that the taxable market values are going up and this scares him. People don’t seem willing to speak up and we are going to lose our land. Bob said that by law they must set values at 90 to 105% of what it would sell at an open transaction.

Joe asked why river frontage keeps going up while DNR restrictions on use of that land keep increasing. He asked how you could remove wetlands from tax rolls. Mike explained that in southern Minnesota farmers who had wetlands that could be feasibly drained could have them removed from the tax rolls since they couldn’t farm the land.

Next, Scott Quady, Parcel 32.00160. He has 2.5 acres and a hunting shack, and he had a jump from $14,200 to $26,900, while he has made no improvements. Bob said he valued the site amenities as a full site, with a well and septic. Scott said he only has electricity. Bob said this would drop it $8,000, to $18,900.

Glen Williamson had a question about his high land vs. swampland. Because he is on the board, his questions need to go to the county board. Gary moved that Glen’s case be kept open and forwarded to the county board for action. Mike seconded.

BOARD ACTIONS:

Bruce and Donna Filler: Gary moved to change the classification of their home from modular to manufactured, and that the assessment change be made by the county assessor. Mike seconded.

Patrice Winfield: Mike moved to make no change but to have Bob re-evaluate Patrice’s property and land and forward his recommendation to the board. Glen seconded.

Dave and Judy Swanson: Glen moved to make no change; Mike seconded.

Eldon and Marg Schmedeke: Seven parcels went down and one went up due to river frontage. Glen moved that Bob review the 7 parcels and see if they are fairly assessed as far as high vs. low land. Mike seconded.

Scott Quady: Glen said this is the clearest one as it was improperly assessed for site amenities, and he moved that it be assessed as half a site; Mike seconded.

Mike had two letters. One trailer at Two Creeks Campground had no license so was assessed as private property. Mike moved to remove the assessment as private property as it has been licensed and has current registration. Gary seconded.

Second letter, Gordon and Delores Anderson, Parcel 32.0195, next to Randy Michel’s old place. They felt they were under-assessed. They have a 20 x 30′ cabin with a deck and porch. Mike moved to have Bob assess this cabin and to forward his recommendation for adjustments to the county board; Glen seconded. Glen said the Andersons deserve a commendation from the board for coming forward to have their assessment corrected.

Glen moved to adjourn; Gary seconded. Meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk