Wednesday May 1, 2024, Wilma Township

The minutes as requested by the Board of Supervisors:

Chairman Glen Williamson started the meeting at 7:45 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. In attendance: Supervisor Mike McCullen, Supervisor/Road Manager Alden Shute, Treasure Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Angie Anderson, Stefanie Williamson, Tracy Riley, Stan Riley, Lori Shute, Zach Hanson, Kim Felton, Jodie Mattson, Nick Mattson, Janet Egan, Kathleen Ackerman, Clayton Heller, Jason Williams, Ben Glocke, and Jim Bredeson.

 Glen then went over the ground rules of the meeting: Citizens must raise their hands to speak. No interruptions, you can ask questions of another person and they can answer but the speaker holds the floor. Maintain respect and decorum.

Stefanie Williamson Taking Record: Paul Raymond produced a report that indicated it is a conflict of interest for Stefanie Williamson to be paid for taking the meeting record. He supplied documents to the board to support this. Stefanie agreed to continue taking the record without compensation. If it is determined that there is no conflict of interest and $100.00 per meeting minute is paid to Stefanie Williamson, she will donate that money to the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department.

Paul Raymond presented documents to Glen Williamson and Alden Shute his record of the March 6, 2024, meeting and a copy of Stefanie Williamsons record, and challenged them to point out the inaccuracies. Glen made a motion to table the issue until next month. Alden seconded the motion and Mike voted no. Carried 2 to 1.

Stefanie Williamson read the record of the Town Board of Supervisors Meeting from April 3, 2024.

Paul Raymond objected to the term unanimous for two motions in which Mike McCullen did not vote, and the term “admitted” was asked to be changed to “said”. Paul wanted Kim Felton’s statement to have quotes and her name added to it.

Alden made a motion to accept the minutes with the corrections discussed. Glen seconded the motion. Carried by 2 votes. Mike abstained from the vote.

Alden Shute Road Report: “I got all the roads graded. I have gone through some things on the roads. Little Tamarack when you talk about projects, Little Tamarack on that first 1/8th mile in is nothing but rock. I would like to get a good coat of gravel over that, otherwise at the 1/8th mile I don’t even put the blade down. Eagle Head we will need to figure out that culvert issue, somewhere along line, we have beaver problems. Heller Drive, the corduroy is starting to come through that first swamp there. Rather than just put gravel over it we may start putting pit run over some of that stuff. River Cabin Road, just past Jim Otters, to the cul-de-sac the gravel is pretty much sunk into the clay, Its getting very bad down there. I would like to dig it out and put rock down and fresh gravel over that. North Duncan there is going to be a logging project. It is regulation is going to be to close the roads but there are still some culverts that we are going to have to cover up a little bit better. But it won’t be able to be a winter sale but there still will have to be some improvements made on the road. Crooked Lake will get a small parking lot where the access is, one mile in, for people to put their kayaks in. They will put a culvert in at no cost to the township.”

Alden made a motion to pay Jim Bredesen $25.00 per beaver for 4 beavers so $100.00. Mike seconded the motion, passed unanimously. Jim said he would donate the money to the fire department.

Clay Heller asked about the beavers on Heller Road. Alden explained that the road was taken care of and there was no flooding on the road. Clay Heller also had concerns about the pit run being used on his road. He will go along on the road inspection and look at it with the board.

Township Day At The Capital: Our town was advocating for cell service because we have such terrible cell service in our town. The rest of his report is in the agenda dated May 1, 2024. Not included in the agenda report, “MnDOT is now considering now allowing a cell repeater on the tower at Eagle Head. So that is a huge thing.” Paul said.

Township Election Lost Ballot: Patrice spoke with Kelly Schroeder about the lost ballot, she was told to leave it unopened and hold on to it for 22 months and then throw it away.

Stefanie was directed by Kelly Shroeder to report the ballot issue so it could be investigated and find out whether there is a problem or not. So, Stefanie made a report about the ballot to the County Attorney.

Paul produced a police report dated as “closed on 3/19/2024” Stefanie made the report about the ballot to the County Attorney after the April 6, 2024, meeting. It was determined that the police report Paul produced was for a different incident.  After much discussion Paul Raymond said, “I stand corrected.”

Preliminary report on Fire Protection Resources in our area: Paul Raymond presented a written report and gave each board member a copy of it. Paul has made the report a part of the record. Paul summarized his report for the purpose of the meeting.

Based on the report produced Wilma Township will not consider a change in fire protection at this time.

Dave Fornengo, the Chair of New Dosey Township, has requested to have a meeting with Glen Williamson and the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief. Nick Mattson agreed to meet with Dave and Glen.

Fire Department Report by Nick Mattson, Fire Chief: The fire department will do an annual report. The report will include how many calls were EMR, how many fires, and how many responded. The fire department has updated their application process, so at there is a pdf of a firefighter application. The Fire Chief welcomes anyone who wants to, to fill out that application. There have been quite a few new applicants. There will also be applications available at the town hall.

Mike made a motion to put the link to the fire department website on the Wilma Township website. Glen seconded the motion. Passed.

New Business: Road Inspection will take place May 20, 2024, at 10 am, starting at the town hall.

ARPA Report April 30th the report has been completed and submitted by Paul

PNP Election Reimbursement Report: All the claims will be paid.

Stan Riley volunteered to raise the flag and not be paid. This will not be needed as Paul said he will not charge to raise and lower the flag.

Stan would like it on the record that he has denied, saying that he would not want Mike on his property.  He said that he as made this denial at every meeting that is was brought up.

Treasurers Report: The bill for the month is $4836.79 and I will transfer $5000.00 from savings to checking to cover that amount.

Alden made a motion to pay the bills and transfer the amount, Mike seconded, and it passed.

Alden made a motion to adjourn Mike seconded and the Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:10pm.

Unapproved minutes

Submitted by Stefanie Williamson_____________________________Date______________

Chair Glen Williamson _____________________________________Date_______________


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, Nick and Jodie Mattson, Stefanie Williamson, Stan and Tracy Riley, Angie Anderson, Lori Shute, Janet Egan, Kathleen Ackerman, Zach Hanson, Clay Heller, Jason Williams, Ben Glocke, and Jim Bredesen.

Approve Ground Rules: Glen read the ground rules for the meeting: Citizens must raise their hand to speak; No interruptions; If a speaker asks question of another person, they can answer but speaker holds the floor; Maintain respect and decorum.

Stefanie Williamson Taking Record: Paul said that the vote to appoint Stefanie and pay her $1,200 per year was invalid because of a conflict of interest, as she is living with the supervisor who appointed her. Per MAT Attorney Steve Fenske: “Its best to address that kind of situation as a statutory conflict of interest. There is some expectation that the shared living arrangement results in the benefit of the funding going toward the supervisor in some way.” (See new Township Insider article by MAT Attorney Madeline Cash, page 10). “The attached document describes the conflict and how to resolve it. The interested supervisor will end up sitting out while the two remaining supervisors consider the waiver resolution. If it passes the practice can continue with that person receiving the money and the interested supervisor passes in an affidavit when the employee makes claim for payment.” Documentation given to the board. Stefanie said she would take the minutes for free, which eliminated the conflict. Paul said he will continue to take the record, even if it is not approved by Glen and Alden.

Jody said Stefanie ran for clerk and was defeated by Paul; why is she still trying to do part of the Clerk’s job? Glen said state law says the board can appoint someone else to take the record. Paul said the state law does not mandate this, it only permits it. Paul read part of Stefanie’s record of the March 6 board meeting: “At this time the Chair Glen Williamson, states: ‘As the chair I have totally lost confidence in the Clerk giving an accurate minute. In my opinion you are stuck with me for another year. The Clerk is absolutely biased in the way he puts stuff down and he puts his own interpretation constantly. His own opinion instead of reporting on the minutes.”

Paul gave each member of the board a copy of his March 6 record and said, “I challenge Glen or Alden to show me one thing in my record that is not accurate and objective and has bias or my own interpretation.” The board did not find any inaccuracies or bias on first inspection, but said they will table the issue until they can review the record more thoroughly. Paul gave them Stefanie’s report of the same meeting which he said does have inaccuracies and bias: She said, “Glen abstained due to Paul putting too much of his own opinion in the meeting minutes.” Paul said this is personal opinion and bias, not facts. Stefanie claimed that, “Mike stated that the absentee ballots should not be counted.” Mike denied that he ever said that.

Report of April Board Meeting : Stefanie read her record of the April 3 meeting. Paul corrected her claim that there was a unanimous vote for Glen as Chair. Mike did not vote for Glen. Stefanie said she thought that if there are two votes and one absention, it is unanimous. Paul said unanimous means all three Supervisors. Paul said her comment that “Paul admitted that [the absentee ballot] was handed to him” implies some wrong-doing, and asked that it be changed to “Paul said.” Paul said she inserted her personal opinion when she said regarding drinking at the annual town meeting, “We would like to make sure that this does not happen again.” Paul asked, “Who is We?” This is purely her personal opinion and she does not speak for the township or the board. She said she was quoting someone else saying that. Paul said she needs to put quote marks and say who said it. Stefanie said she will not change the record. Glen said to put quote marks on the comment. Glen moved to approve the record as changed; Alden seconded, as changed. Mike abstained. Passed.

Road Report: Alden gave the report. He graded the roads. Heller Drive has corduroy exposed and needs gravel. Clay said pit run gravel is not good enough for the road; Alden said he uses it on other roads. Little Tamarack Lake Road the first 1/8 mile is exposed rock and needs gravel. There is no base to put the blade down. He is still working on the culvert issue on Eagle Head Road. Jim Bredesen removed four beavers. Alden moved that the town pay him $25 per beaver; Mike seconded. All aye. Patrice made a claim. Jim said he will donate it to the fire department. Clay asked about the beavers on Heller Drive. Alden said they are not building more dams and the water is not up to the road. The dams are on private property and we can’t go on private property. Clay will join the board at the road inspection of Heller Drive.

River Cabin Road: The rock at the cul-de-sac is soaking into the clay and needs more rock and gravel.

Crooked Lake Road: The county will make a parking area at the lake access about one mile up so cars don’t need to park on the road.

Land Sale on N. Duncan Road: Alden would like to put some pit run over the culverts on this road because there will be a logging project. One condition of the sale is they can only haul in winter months. The Board will inspect this road at the May road inspection.

Road Inspection: The board set the inspection for Monday, May 20 at 10:a.m. Paul will contact Jason Palme. Clay Heller wants to join the inspection on Heller Drive. Paul asked for his cell so we could call him; he said he will know.

OLD BUSINESS: Township Day At The Capitol: Paul gave a report. He said it was a very valuable training and lobbying experience. He spent good time in Rep. Nathan Nelson’s office and Senator Jason Rarick’s. Paul’s report was printed on page 34 in new MAT Township Insider Magazine which is seen by over 9,000 Minnesota township officers. Our main advocacy at the MAT event and with our representatives was about rural areas being under served or not served with cell phone reception.

Paul said, “Many other officers thanked me for advocating for universal cellservice; even the Senators said they hit many dead spots when driving to their homes from the Capitol.  They said when the big boost for broadband started, cell reception was put on the back burner, but now they will look into it more.” Jason said he is working with MN Dot and they are relaxing their opposition to allowing cell repeaters on the Eagle Head Tower. Many officers wanted a referendum or vote on the new flag, but it won’t happen. They said many townships have already said they will not fly the new flag.There were good sessions with the Secretary of State, the State Auditor, the DFL Majority Leader, House Minority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, and the house assistant Majority Leader, plus three other State Senators and MAT’s full-time lobbyist at the Capitol, Shep Harris. The whole MAT staff were there, attorneys Fenske, Cash and Graham-Moberg, and the director and executive director and many district directors.  Paul said if it weren’t for MAT, the Senate and House would ignore township issues as if we don’t exist.  There are 1,780 townships in Minnesota with 16% of the population, and 41% of the roads. They said the squeaky wheel gets the grease, which is what MAT does. The State gave townships $37 million for roads in 2023 out of the $230 million spent on roads and bridges. Paul got to watch the House session on Monday from the gallery and see Rep. Nelson at work. They passed two bills, one unanimously.

Township Election Lost Ballot: One absentee ballot was found after the election, securely sealed in three envelopes. MAT Attorney Fenske said it won’t make any difference, so it is not an issue. Patrice said that Kelly Schroeder said we do not have to open it but have to save it for 22 months. Patrice said we don’t know who it was who voted. [All absentee ballots have an evelope with the person’s name and information and the envelope inside showed that it was David Glocke who voted.] Paul said David told him he voted for Mike and Paul. Paul got a report from the Sheriff regarding an investigation and he thought it was about the absentee ballot. Glen showed that it was about the March 12 election and the challenged voter, not the absentee ballot issue that came up in April. Paul acknowledged his error.

NEW BUSINESS: REPORT BY THE CLERK ON WILMA TOWNSHIP INVESTIGATING OTHER RESOURCES FOR FIRE PROTECTION AND EMR SERVICES THAN DUXBURY VFD: Per Stefanie’s request at the April board meeting which Glen and Alden voted for, asking that the Clerk investigate other resources for fire protection and EMR services for Wilma Township and asking that all pertinent information be provided to the board by the May meeting of the Wilma Township Board of Supervisors, and that the Clerk is to send an email to the Wilma Town Board that includes who was contacted and the status of the report by April 24, 2024, and a full report be made to the Board at the meeting on May 1, 2024.” Paul provided the report, which showed that no other fire department is interested in serving Wilma or they will charge much more than we pay now and will not include EMR services. All our surrounding fire departments are controlled by their cities, so we are waiting for the city council response from Sandstone and Askov. The Chiefs of these cities have indicated that they do not want to cover Wilma as they are over-extended as it is. Dairyland, Danbury, cannot do EMR medical responses. Paul also provided the responses and reactions from the community.

Glen said he has complete confidence in the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department and has no interest in contracting with anyone else. He said the depatment has improved significantly in the past two years with may new volunteers joining and getting EMR and Firefighter 1 and 2 training. He claimed that this is because of the criticism the department has endured the last few years. Paul said not one person got training because of their attacks. Stefanie said she did not ask for other fire resources for fire protecton but she only wants transparency; how many firefighters, what are the physical requirements to join the department, how do people apply, residence requirements, etc. Paul read the actual motion which does not support this. He said if you are satisfied with your wife you don’t investigate other resources. Nick said the information to join is all on the Fire Department web site and Paul can post it in the Wilma Township website. Paul said even city fire departments don’t share the names of their firefighters or responders.

Nick said if someone is interested the website has a PDF form on the website to apply to join the department. Nick said no way can we compete or compare to city departments like Hinckley with huge financial resources, when the $4,500 that Wilma pays for coverage won’t even pay for one set of turnout gear, which can cost up to $6,000. As chief, he will give the towns a report yearly of how many calls and other pertinant information. [To join, they can call Paul Raymond, secretary, at 320-245-2579.] Paul said the fire department accepts all qualified applicants regardless of age, sex or race or physical ability. There is a requirement to own property in one of the three covered towns. Glen said Dave Fornengo of New Dosey wants to speak with Nick about fire department issues.

Mike said even Hinckley and Sandstone often have no one or very few people to respond and quoted an article in the Askov American. He said we are always looking for volunteers.

Clay said you cannot compare Duxbury VFD to the city fire departments in Hinckley and Sandstone. He said there is no reason for anyone who lives in Wilma Township and Duxbury not to know who is on the fire department.

Glen said he thinks he speaks for the Supervisors that they have no interest whatever in getting another fire department for Wilma Township and he really wants to commend the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department and all the improvements and training done in the past few years. Mike moved to put the app on the township website for people to join the department. Glen seconded. All aye.

ARPA Report (On Monies Spent from Our ARPA Fund: Paul said the ARPA report was a very difficult federal report. He and Erv Kleinschmidt and Pat Story had the same experience filing a FEMA report for the fire department and the State Fire Marshall’s office had to come to Duxbury to help us. Paul struggled with it for two days and then his computer crashed. Patrice tried to get in to do the report and it was very difficult to even sign in and she spent three hours trying to get in. The report was finally submitted successfully.

PNP Election Reimbursement Report: We will be reimbursed for all or most of our expenses conducting the March 5 presidential primary. The report was completed and submitted.

Town Hall Flag: Stan said he wants to save the town money and volunteered to put up and take down the flag for no pay. Paul said he did not claim and is not being paid for putting the flag up just before the meeting tonight. But in the winter he has to make a special trip to the hall to turn on the heat and raise the flag and he is paid for that, but not mileage.

Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Total bills for May, $4,836.79. Alden moved to approve her report and transfer $5,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded; all aye. Passed.

Alden moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Chairman adjourned the meeting at 9:10

Paul Raymond, Clerk