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WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL/EQUALIZATION, APRIL 15, 2009

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL/EQUALIZATION

APRIL 15, 2009

Chairman Glenford Williamson, Sr., called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance.   Also present were Supervisors Gary Vink and Michael McCullen, and Clerk Paul Raymond,  Lonna Meier from the Pine County Assessor’s Office, Township Assessor Robert Brewster, and Joseph Vink and Mike Fust.

Lonna got the Assessment Certification signed by the Supervisors.

First up was Mike Fust, representing William J. Fust and James E. Fust, Parcels 32.00112  and 32.0026, 93.8 acres.  Mike said the Assessment for both parcels was $213,300 for the land only, and $217,900 thousand for the land and buildings.   He said Bill Fust had a private surveyor assess the property and they came up with $148,000, which Mike said is a big discrepancy.  Bob explained that assessed values are always a year old, because they are required to do a sales study based on Oct. 1, 2007 to Sept. 30, 2008.  But even with this lag, a difference of almost $70,000 seems too much.   Bob said that Mike Sheehey asks that all private assessments be forwarded to the county for study.  Lonna said that the riverfront assessment for McDermott Creek may be double assessed, and that 1,300 front feet should be removed.  Bob said they had  a private assessment of 160 acres at $112,000, but no land in Pine County has sold for less than $1,000/acre, so this should have been at least $160,000.  Lonna said that two sales in Wilma Township, one in December, 2007, had 80 acres at $1,900/acre, and one in October, 2008, had 80 acres at $2,000/acre.  Bob said this would make the 160 acres worth $320,000.   Lonna asked Mike Fust to ask his assessor if they took into consideration the creek frontage.  Bob said to forward their assessment to Mike Sheehey at the Assessor’s Office.

Next up was Joseph Vink.   Lonna said that if any petitioner is related to a member of the Board, that if there is not a quorum of Supervisors without this Supervisor, that the petition cannot be heard but must be forwarded to the County Assessor.   Gary Vink recused himself, but with Mike McCullen and Glen Williamson, the Board still had a quorum.

Parcel 32.0053, one acre with the cabin at the corner of Eagle Head Road.  This was appraised at $100,000.    Bob said this seems high.  The land alone is $24,000.   By law the first acre of any property, no matter how many acres, is assessed at $16,000 if it is on a road with access and site amenities.  The land is $8,000 and utilities $16,000 = $24,000.  The first acre is classified as small lots, so the land is $24,000.   Bob said that 3 years ago the estimated market value was $102,000, last year at $100,000 and this year (for 2010 taxes) $97,000, so it has gone down.  The cabin is 40′ x 25′, with a closed porch, which is classified as unimproved and cold.  There is also a newer garage, 960 square feet, at $12,500, and a small lawn shed at $500.  Bob said there are two kinds of log cabins, real logs and long siding.  Bob said he knows the logs are deteriorating and cracking.  Also the forced air heating should be changed to convection.  Lonna said they’ve already rated the cabin as low as it can go, and it is fully depreciated.  The only area for change is abnormal physical deterioration, and for functional or unique depreciation they could take some off.

Second parcel, 32.0055, the north farm.  80 acres.  Joe said it went up 9.6%.   Bob said that in 2009 it was $158,000 but for 2010 it will be $153,700, so it has gone down $4,600.  Lonna said the shed is valued at  $300 but also has a $16,500 utility value for the building site and the electric utilities.  Joe said there is only a driveway, no electricity.  Bob said this is his error and can reduce the site by ¼, which will reduce it $3,250.

Third parcel, 32.0141, the south farm, 200 acres.  The buildings (barn, house and trailer) are valued at $400 total.  There is a 1-acre site amenity.  The gravel pit is closed off.  18 acres are swamp.  Two acres are for the road (1/2 mile).  It is valued as a half-site with electricity.  179 acres are high ground; 17 acres tillable.  The value went down from $305,000 to $299,000 for 2010.

Glen Williamson recused himself to appeal Parcel 32.20180, 4.7 acres on River Cabin Road.   It is appraised with a building and driveway.   Glen said his neighbor owns the driveway.  He has no buildings.  Bob said it may have been recorded wrong originally.   Parcel 180 is recorded as Craig Menson’s, not Glen’s.  Bob said he doesn’t trust the fire numbers, so goes by his odometer readings.  Lonna said the error may be in the Auditor’s transfer.  Glen asked what he should do on May 15, since he’s being taxed on a pole barn he does not have.  Lonna said he should pay the tax and then appeal to the assessor to run an abatement to have it adjusted.  He may be able to get up to three years of refunds, and this adjustment can be added to the other guy for up to six years.  Glen has owned it since 2002, and has been paying the wrong tax all along.  Only the Assessor can approve refunds.

BOARD DECISIONS:

Mike Fust: Bob recommended that 1,400 front feet of river be removed.  $44,000 will be removed but $14,000 will be added, so the actual adjustment will be a $34,000 reduction.  Mike McCullen moved that the Fust appraisal be reviewed by Bob Brewster to reduce the river frontage from 2,720′ to 1,320′ and that their private appraisal be forwarded to the County Assessor for him to rule.   Glen seconded.  Gary did not vote.

Joe Vink: Cabin at Eagle Head Road:  Glen moved that Bob go back and make an adjustment on the heating and cabin condition, and that the Board accept whatever recommendation the assessor makes.   Mike seconded.   Gary did not vote.

Vink North Farm:  Mike moved to lower the site amenity by one-fourth, $3,250.  Glen seconded.   Gary abstained.

Vink South Farm:  Glen moved that there be no change.   Mike seconded; Gary abstained.

Glen Williamson: River Cabin Road, R32080.004:  This will be reviewed by the County Auditor and Recorder.  Gary moved that Glen contact the County Assessor to have it recorded correctly and to receive an abatement of incorrect taxes paid.  Mike seconded.  Glen abstained.

There were no letters, but Lonna found a case in the office, James Bredesen.  He has a capped basement, but his appraisal went up to $92,000 from $39,000, but had made no changes.  She said it should be entered as a house, but should remove the finished basement.  This increase was likely a clerical error, and Bob agreed that it should be returned to the same as last year.   Lonna said she refigured it at $33,000.   Mike McCullen moved that the assessment be changed from $92,200 to $33,000.   Glen seconded.  Lonna said that when they make a change like this that they notify the taxpayer of the adjustment.

Glen thanked Lonna and Bob for their work and participation, and Mike Fust and Joe for coming in.   Bob said he would go to the Vink cabin after the meeting to reevaluate it.   Glen moved to adjourn the meeting.  Gary seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 12 noon.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING MARCH 10, 2009

WILMA TOWNSHIP ANNUAL TOWN MEETING  MARCH 10, 2009

Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:10 p.m., following the Township election and Board of Canvass.  The first order of business was electing a moderator for the meeting.  Patrice Winfield nominated Glenford Williamson, Sr. to moderate; Donna Filler seconded.   Glen took the chair.  Also present were Tony Williamson, Mark Pallow, April Filler, Gary Vink, Michael McCullen, Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke, and Dennis Schmedeke.

Glen called for the Clerk’s reading of the record of last year’s Annual Town Meeting.   Gary moved to approve the record; Dennis seconded.  All aye.

FINANCIAL REPORT:   Paul presented the Financial Report for 2008 as prepared by Patrice Winfield, Treasurer.  Gary moved to waive the reading of all the checks and to approve the Financial Report as written.  Tony seconded.

ELECTION RESULTS:   Glen read the results of the election:   There were 15 registered voters, including two new registrations.  Michael McCullen was reelected Supervisor with 14 votes; Patrice was reelected Treasurer with 14 votes.  Glen congratulated the candidates and the voters applauded them.

ROAD REPORT:   Gary gave the road report for 2008.  He said the grader is 100% paid off.

The following roads received gravel in 2008:

Eagle Head Road; Crooked Lake Road; Heller Drive;  McCullen Drive; Tamarack Pine Drive; Duncan Roads North and South; Fust Road; Pete Anderson Road; Langstrom Road; The Mayfield Road; Little Tamarack Lake Road; and River Cabin Road.  There was no gravel put down on Kenny Peterson Road, Schmedeke Lane, or Mona Drive.   Mark said that the

Kenny Peterson Road needs gravel.

Gary said that most of the money to gravel Little Tamarack Lake Road came from the escrow deposits of ECE and       Park Falls Hardwoods, since they did the damage to the road.  The repairs to Crooked Lake Road came from Carlson

Timber’s escrow account.   T & T Logging’s escrow account paid for most of the repairs on the North and South Duncan Roads.   Gary said that after we had repaired the damage T & T did, putting down gravel and building up the crown and  opening up the drainage lines, T & T came back in and logged again and filled the ditches in again and wrecked the road.

We haven’t gotten payment for this but Gary said he thinks they may have some more escrow monies for the Pete Anderson

Road that we can use for this.

Mark said that before winter started all our roads were in pretty good shape.   The Supervisors will do a road inspection when the roads dry out.

Eldon said he wants a complete accounting of every penny that has gone into our new grader, including the trip and travel expenses when Mark and Joe went down to buy it, plus all repairs and equipment added or replaced since we purchased it.

Eldon said that Schmedeke Lane has not been plowed all winter, and that he nearly fell trying to walk up this road to get access to his camper, and that Marjorie fell trying to walk up this road.   Gary said that he did not authorize plowing it because the county said this road was surveyed wrong and that they were going to move it eventually.   Paul moved that until this road is actually moved that we maintain it equally to all other township roads.  Patrice seconded.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:  Paul said that Ronald McCullen had asked that we bring up the suggestion of pursuing having the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department, which now serves three townships (Arna, New Dosey, and Wilma), be funded by a direct assessment of all the property owners in the three townships, just like the Tri-Township Disposal District is funded.  They are an independent agency serving all the people in five townships, and every property owner is assessed an annual $30 fee, no matter how many parcels they own.   This has been enough for the Disposal District to pay for the twice-monthly garbage pickups and to purchase a new garbage truck, and to reduce rates from $36/year to $30.   There was a discussion.   Eldon asked if we would still levy $3,500 from the taxpayers.   Mike said this wouldn’t be necessary.  Mike said that each town in the Volunteer Fire Department

has their own truck and fire hall, and including the other two towns has greatly increased the number of available trained firemen and women for fire calls.  Paul made a motion that Wilma Township pursue this suggestion and write to the other town boards and ask for their feedback and input, and ask the County Auditor for the mechanics of doing this.   Mike seconded and said that as a member of all three boards, the Town Board, the Tri-Township Disposal District, and the Volunteer Fire Department, he would gather facts and feedback and information to present to the Board.   Proposal passed.

WILMA FALL FEST:   Glen said that Wilma Days started three years ago to succeed Duxbury Days and has been held in October to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of Wilma Township.  This year we renamed it Wilma Fall Fest and set it for the third week in October, with a potluck dinner and d.j. and dance.  Glen asked if we wanted to leave it to the Board to set the funding for this celebration or if the Town should do it tonight.   Donna moved that we set a budget of $500 for this years Fall Fest; Tony seconded.   Motion defeated 7 to 5.   Mike moved that we set a budget of $400; Patrice seconded.  This passed.

UPGRADING TOWN HALL:  Paul said that we need to put siding on the Town Hall and repair the foundation and possibly put in double pane windows or get storm windows.   Eldon gave reasons he believes we should build a new town hall and not put any money into upgrading or improving our existing one.  He said he believes our Township is a county laughingstock, with our new outdoor bathroom set in front of the Town Hall, and that there is inadequate parking and no room for the fire trucks to get out.   We have no signs against parking on the road which blocks fire trucks.  He said we had an opportunity to have a new road put into our park land and have a clearing made when we let out the poplar timber bid, and we blew this opportunity by letting Duane Glienke access the timber from the back of the land.   Glen asked Paul to read the record of last year’s Town Meeting where a committee was created to get information on the costs and logistics of building a new Town Hall; he asked what happened to this committee?   Eldon said he felt that he had no support and that those who did not want a new Town Hall would prevail, so they didn’t waste their time.  Glen said that the issue of bids and contracts has been resolved in that all new contracts must have the signature of all three Supervisors.  He went around the room asking each citizen to give their feedback and opinion.   Gary said he believes we cannot afford the taxes to build a new Town Hall, and that our existing one should be painted or sided, and that the park site would be much more difficult to watch and protect.  Paul said he loves our Town Hall and has never heard anyone make fun of it;  it does need siding and some foundation repair, but his taxes have gone up beyond what he can afford already, and a new Town Hall could cost over $100,00, plus heating it all winter would add more expense.  April said that if we keep this Town Hall we need to heat it and insulate it and have indoor plumbing and move the privy.  Mark said the new bathroom had to be put in that location.  Donna said we should paint our existing Town Hall.   Patrice said she hates vinyl siding and it cracks, and she would prefer paint.  If we side it we should use steel siding.

Marjorie said that she and Eldon have vinyl siding and it hasn’t cracked.  Tony said that our Town Hall has a long and wonderful history and that we should keep it but fix it up.  Gary said that Melvin Elliot told him oil-based paint would last much longer than latex and that it should be thoroughly scraped first.  Mike said he thinks scraping wouldn’t be enough; it needs a complete sandblasting.  He said he thinks we have a great old building and he believes siding would last longer than our lifetimes and would be more economical in the long run than continual repainting.   Mark said we lose 80% of our heat through the roof, and we should blow insulation up into the ceiling.  Dennis said we should not put any more money than we absolutely have to into our current building.   Marg said she just can’t see keeping this building.

TOWNSHIP WEBSITE:  Paul said that we have two websites, Duxburynews.info and Wilmatownship.com.   The Wilma Township site is our official posting site for minutes, records and notices, plus information about our town.   So far the developer and maintainer of this site has worked voluntarily, but Paul said he believes this is such a valuable tool that the site creator should be reimbursed.   He suggested $200 per year.  Glen said that a site of our quality would have cost thousands of dollars if we’d outsourced it or contracted it, and we probably wouldn’t have a website.  Patrice moved that we pay Aspire, Incorporated, $200 to continue to maintain and update our Township Website (note:  Glen Williamson is the owner of Aspire).  Dennis seconded.  Passed.

2010 LEVIES:   ROAD AND BRIDGE:  Eldon asked how our levies are paid.  Paul said that when the Township citizens approve a levy that he reports the amount to the County Auditor who then assesses each taxpayer for their part of the total levies, and this money is paid to the town twice a year.  Eldon said that since the Road and Bridge Fund still has almost $28,000, we don’t need to levy $20,000 for 2010.   He moved that we set the levy at $15,000.  Paul seconded.  Passed.

BUILDING FUND; FIRE FUND; PARK FUND; GENERAL FUND:   The Board had proposed $1,200 for Building (no change from 2009); $3,500 for Fire (no change); zero for Park, since there is $4,500 in the fund now; $12,000 for General (no change).  Dennis moved that all these proposed levies be adopted as proposed.  Patrice seconded.  The Debt Service Fund has been dissolved as the grader is paid off.

WAGES:    The Board has proposed to keep all wages the same in 2010 as 2009:  Chairman, $17.50/hour; Supervisors:  $15.00/hour; Clerk, $75/meeting; Treasurer, $65/meeting; Reports, $10/hour; General Labor, $15/hour; Major Mechanic, $30/hour; Mechanic’s Assistant, $15/hour; Grader Operator, $16/hour; and Election Judges, $10/hour.  Patrice moved to keep all wages the same for 2010 as 2009; Donna seconded.  This passed.

OUT OF TOWN MEETINGS:   The Board had proposed to increase the pay for full-day out of town meetings from $65 to $100.  Eldon asked why the change; Paul said these meetings plus travel can last over 12 hours, and we currently are paying a little over $5/hour.  Eldon said Arna is only paying $65 and he moved and Dennis seconded to keep full day out of town meetings at $65.    Motion failed.   Tony moved and Patrice seconded to increase the out of town meetings to $100 full day and $50 half day.  This passed.

SNOWPLOWING:   Patrice moved to keep the snowplow rate at $75 per season, and $100 for driveways over 700 feet.   Dennis seconded.  Dennis asked that he be plowed out rather than in; Glen gave him Mark’s phone number so he can tell him how he wants it done.

BOARD OF REORGANIZATION:   This will be Thursday, March 19, at the Duxbury store.   Glen said let Mike set the time since he has to be there to be sworn in.

2010 ANNUAL MEETING:   Paul moved that next year’s annual Town Meeting be the second Tuesday of March following the Township election; Tony seconded.

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION/APPEAL:   This will be Wednesday, April 15 at 10 a.m.

POSTING, PUBLISHING, BANKING:   Paul moved that we keep the Pine County Courier as our paper of record, with the Evergreen and the Township Website as secondary publishers;  that the Town Hall and the Duxbury Store be our posting sites; that we keep First National Bank as our bank of deposit;  Patrice seconded.  This passed.

April moved that we adjourn the meeting; Dennis seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 10:10 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