2023 Annual Meeting is March 14th at 8:00 pm

2023 Annual Meeting is March 14th at 8:00 pm at Wilma Town Hall

Townships are the original form of local government in Minnesota. The township form of government, a carryover from Europe, served as a familiar building block to develop the State by dividing land areas into 36 square mile units. As of 2009 statistics, Minnesota had 1786 organized townships governed by local boards of supervisors. The Township provides, or contributes to the providing of, the following services to its residents as provided by statute: public safety and emergency services, road and bridge maintenance, parks and recreation, public improvements, planning and zoning, general administrative and other services.

Townships powers are derived from state statutes. A town board of supervisors, elected to staggered two – six year terms makes up the governing body for most townships. The board of supervisors in most townships consists of three members elected by the residents. Supervisors must be residents of the township.

The annual meeting is what really sets townships apart from other forms of local government. At this meeting, the residents of the township have a direct opportunity to have a voice in how the township will be run. They do this by voting on a variety of matters on which the town board must receive elector approval, and most importantly, by directly voting on and approving the township’s tax levy for the next year. This means that, with very limited exception, the town board can only spend that which has been authorized by the voters.

The board of supervisors are joined by a township clerk and a township treasurer. Most townships elect these positions, with the clerk being elected in the even years and the treasurer being elected in the odd years. In 2005, Lent residents voted to make the clerk’s office a position to be filled by the appointment of the board of supervisors. The appointed clerk may be a non-resident of the township. Minnesota statutes encourage the appointments of a deputy clerk and deputy treasurer to ensure continuity of the clerk and treasurer duties in the event of an absence.

While supervisors are the only ones with an official vote on most final decisions, the clerk and treasurer positions are vital to the operation of the town and their participation may be allowed by the town board. Townships must also comply with State and Federal mandates and, in the case of planning and zoning, must be consistent with or more restrictive than county regulations.

Day-to-day paperwork is usually handled by the town clerk. Most townships divide up certain tasks, such as overseeing work by contractors, which would be done by staff in other units of government, making townships the most economical form of government. The board of supervisors appoints one of their own to serve as the chairperson, although other than running the board meetings and being the person required to sign official documents and checks, the chairperson has no extra powers. Only the board as a whole can make decisions binding on the entity. Township officers attend several training sessions per year to keep current on the ever changing township issues, procedures and legislation.

Local property taxes, intergovernmental grants, charges for services, license and permit fees, and interest on savings account for most of the revenue received by townships. Most township expenses are road and bridge expenditures, general government expenses, fire protections services and debt payments and other expenditures.

As shown by the following procedures, township government by its very nature is an open form of government: Townships voluntarily provide access to public data upon reasonable requests. All meetings of the town board and any official township committees are accessible to members of the public and are preceded by proper notice. The minutes of the proceedings of the governing body are kept and available for review by members of the public. Notice of all ordinances adopted or amended by the town board are published in the designated official newspaper of general circulation within the township. At the annual meeting, the residents authorize the annual levy which controls the amount of expenditures that may be made by the board of supervisors.

Source: https://www.lenttownship.com/township-government/

Wilma Township Board Meeting, November 2, 2022

Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present: Supervisors Mike McCullen and Alden Shute, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Alden, Stefanie Williamson (Deputy Clerk), Jim Bredesen, Dale Kirschberg, and Stan and Tracy Riley.

Clerk’s Report of OctoberBoard Meeting: Paul read the record of the September meeting; Patrice said the balance we had for the propane prebuy was in checking, not savings; with this correction, Mike moved to approve; Alden seconded; passed unanimously.

ROAD REPORT: Alden has been getting the roads ready for winter, blading Heller Drive, Tamarack Pine Drive, North and South Duncan Roads, and the west roads.

South Duncan Road Entrance Project: Alden was able to prep and widen the entrance to the South Duncan Road to make it easier to access and exit, with 4 loads of pit run and 2 of class 5 gravel. He also put 10 loads at the cul-de-sac at the end where it was very slick.

Tamarack Pine Drive Project: Alden will go in when the road restrictions are lifted next spring to do the red-rock surfacing of the road.

Grader batteries: Alden said the batteries aren’t connecting properly; Mike said he may have two batteries, or we may need to buy another battery.

Snowplowing: Alden has had no response from David Storvik about obstructions in his drive so Alden can’t turn around. Paul will contact him and tell him to meet with Alden to fix this. So far six people have paid. Paul and Mike said they’d bring their checks to Patrice. Paul will contact Tom Ackerman to see if they want to be plowed. Snowplowing fees for 2022-2023 are due tonight.

OLD BUSINESS: Wilma Fallfest: The annual Fallfest celebration was Saturday, October 22, with Silly Miss Tilly (Amber Lynn Corbett) she was very good. A talented singer. A big potluck dinner started at 6:30 p.m. followed by prizes and Karaoke hosted by Silly Miss Tilly. It was a good crowd with great food and many singers.

Ideas for FallFest: Stefanie and Tracy said they have some ideas for next year, to start earlier so it is still light and we can have a campfire, and to have a hayride.

Propane Pre-buy: Patrice ordered and paid for 1400 gallons of propane for 2023. Paul and others moved the picnic tables and junk obstructing the tank and Stan cleared all the weeds and brush. Mike moved that next spring we should put a load of gravel over the area to smooth it out; Alden seconded; passed.

Pine County Township Officers’ Association Meeting: Was at the Hinckley American Legion on, Sat. Oct. 22, 9 a.m. Glen and Paul gave a report on all the speakers who participated, candidates Jen Schultz (US Congress); Jason Rarick; Michelle Boyechko, Eric Olson, and from Commissioners Hallan and Lovgren, Auditor Kelly Schroeder, Sheriff Jeff Nelson, Ben Karin from the DNR; Curt Kale from the Mille Lacs Band; Jeff Kruegar, MAT Executive Director, and Tammy Carlson who is running for Mike Miller’s seat.

Citizen Complaint: Jim Bredesen said that many years ago, when Joe Vink and Ron McCullen were on the board, he felt that the board accused him of gating the North Duncan Road and they posted a nasty sign on the gate and accused him of damaging the road. He said if someone wants to make an accusation like this they need to talk directly to the person.

Dumpster Abuse: Stefanie said that someone had dumped garbage in the dumpster. Discussion about surveillance and enforcement, and purchasing a camera. Mike moved that Paul buy a motion-sensitive, night-vision, solar camera for $50 or less so we can monitor the dumpster. Glen said he wants to be included in the purchase decision. Alden seconded. Passed.

Junk Behind Hall: Stan said that when he was clearing the ground behind the hall, a passerby volunteered to clear away the junk. Glen motioned that Mike and Alden form a committee to determine the value of the items before we allow the passerby to haul it away. The motion was seconded and passed.

NEW BUSINESS: Duxbury VFD and Two Creeks: Two Creeks Campground donated an additional $877 to the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Dept.

Pull-behind Plow: Wilma has an old pull-behind plow in the front lawn. Dale Kirshberg said he’d like to buy it. Glen suggested we have a committee of Alden and Mike to study this and see if it is a good idea, or if we want it as a decorative installation that we clean it up for display. Alden so moved; Mike seconded; passed.

Mileage Certification Report for Highway Department: The board reviewed the maps and our former certification reports and indicated that there is no change; to report that we have 15.75 miles of township roads maintained for gas-tax.

Special Election to Replace Mike Miller: The election for District 7 MAT director will be Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at the Corinna Town Hall in Annandale. Only in-person voting.

March, 2023, Meeting Change: Glen reminded the board that we agreed to change the March, 2023 board meeting from March 1 to March 8. The Annual meeting is March 14.

General Election November 8, 2022: Paul, Patrice and Tracy Riley will judge. Polls open at 10 am and close at 8 p.m. Paul and Patrice will conduct the accuracy test of the Omni-ballot Marker tonight in a separate meeting following the board meeting. The public is invited to observe.

Board of Review and Equalization: Will be Monday, April 10, 2023, at the Hall at 1 pm. Lori Houitsma and Karen Stumne, our appraiser, will attend. Her phone is 320-591-1639. Glen said he has worked with Karen on his commercial assessment and believes she is very qualified and good.

Treasurer’s Report: (Attached) Patrice said total bills for November are $7,749.69, and she needs to transfer $7,700.00. Mike moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds. Alden seconded; passed. Alden moved to adjourn the meeting; Mike seconded; passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:00.

Paul Raymond, Clerk