Annual Town Meeting, March 13, 2007


Clerk Paul Raymond called the meeting to order at 8:15 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance, following the township election and Board of Audit. Fourteen registered voters cast ballots in the election, and Glenford Williamson was elected Supervisor for a 3-year term and Patrice Winfield was re-elected Treasurer for a 2-year term.

Citizens present were Bruce and Donna Filler, Joseph and Beverly Vink, Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke, Kenneth Yager, Glen Williamson, Ronald McCullen, Gary Vink, Patrice Winfeld, Mark Pallow, and Paul Raymond. Nominations were open for meeting moderator. Gary nominated Joe Vink to chair; Mark seconded. Joe nominated Eldon Schmedeke to chair; he declined. Joe approved, and he took the chair.

First order of business was setting levies for the year 2008.

Road and Bridge Fund: The Board had recommended an increase in the Road and Bridge fund from $20,000 to $25,200. There was a discussion on the need for this increase, and what the fund would be used for. Because of the purchase of a grader this past year, and the establishment of a debt service fund of $53,000 to pay for the grader over two years, the board has been taking monies from the Road and Bridge Fund to pay the $2,000 monthly grader payments until these levies are received. The board was concerned that the debt repayment would need to come from the Road and Bridge fund until 2008. When the County Auditor was able to add $25,200 of the debt service fund to our 2007 taxes and revenues, there is no longer a need to increase the Road and Bridge Fund. Eldon moved to keep the R & B Fund at $20,000. Gary seconded. Passed.

Building Fund: The Board had recommended an increase in the Building Fund from $1,200 to $1,600. The fund currently has $6,800 in it. There are many improvement projects planned and needed for 2007: A new, handicapped-accessible outhouse for the Town Hall as required by the Help America Vote Act; a need to have the Town Hall scraped and painted; and repairs on the deteriorating foundation of the hall, especially on the southeast corner. There was a concern that the Town Hall may need to be jacked up to repair the foundation. There was a discussion on the history of moving the Town Hall to its present site, and whether or not the foundation repairs could be made without jacking up the hall. There was a discussion on the condition of the hall itself, with some voters saying they think the hall is falling apart. Other voters said the fact that the hall does not leak, and the floors are not warped or cracked, indicates that the hall and foundation are essentially sound and the hall could serve for many more years. There is an agreement that it needs a good professional paint job. The County Sentence-to-Serve inmates can no longer do township projects, so we will need to hire a painter. Eldon moved to keep the Building Fund at $1,200; Glen seconded. Passed. Gary said we will still need to address the need for foundation repairs.

Fire Fund: The Board had recommended that the Fire Fund remain at $3,500, to be able to make our annual payment to the Duxbury Volunteer Fire Department for fire protection for our citizens. Eldon asked why our payment is the same as New Dosey and Arna, when they are larger townships. Also, that he had heard that New Dosey may drop out of the Duxbury Fire Department and rejoin Dairyland. He believes that payments should be on a per-capita basis. Joe pointed out that townships like Danforth that are affiliated with the Sandstone Fire Department pay much more than we do to the Duxbury department. Patrice said that homeowners insurance is lower because we have fire protection locally. Paul said we have among the best fire coverage of any township, with the fire department within a few miles of all of our homes, and $3,500 is a bargain. Patrice moved to keep the Fire Fund at $3,500. Glen seconded. Passed.

Park Fund: The Board had voted to recommend cutting the Park Fund to zero for 2008, from $400, partly to compensate for their recommended increase of $400 in the Building Fund. Glen suggested that we keep the fund at $400. It would be nice to have a park, he said. Gary said the board had agreed to have some of the poplar trees trimmed, but that with logging prices down, no one would want to take on that job now. Patrice said it would be nice to have picnic tables and a wayside park/picnic area, and we could get volunteers to clear out an area. Glen moved to keep it at $400; Ken seconded. There was a hand vote on this, and it passed.

General Fund: Ken moved that the General Fund be kept at $12,000, as the Board had recommended. Glen seconded. Passed.


Town Board Chairman: Glen moved to keep the wages for Chairman at $17.50/hour; Marg seconded. Passed.

Supervisors: Gary moved to set the Supervisors’ pay at $15/hour. Glen seconded; passed.

Clerk: Patrice moved to keep the Clerk’s pay at $75/meeting. Joe seconded. Passed.

Treasurer: Ron moved to keep Treasurer’s pay at $65/meeting; Mark seconded; passed. Mark moved to keep Clerk and Treasurer’s hourly wages for bookkeeping and reports at $10/hour. Ron seconded; passed.

General Labor: Eldon moved to keep general labor at $15/hour; Gary seconded.

Major Mechanic: Eldon moved to keep major mechanic at $30/hour; Gary seconded; passed.

Mechanic Assistant: Gary moved to keep mechanic assistant at $15/hour; Ron seconded.

Grader Operator: Ron moved to keep grader operator at $16/hour. Eldon seconded. Paul pointed out that this is a $4 cut from the 2005 rate of $20 per hour. Passed.

Out of Town Meetings: Glen moved to keep out of town meetings at $65 for full-day, $35 half day. Ron seconded; passed. Ron said it is very valuable for the Board members to attend the Township Short Courses, and it is well worth the cost to the town to send as many as possible.

Election Judges: Mark asked Marg if $10/hour is enough for the judges; she said yes. Mark moved to keep the wages at $10/hour. Ken seconded; passed.

Mileage: The rate has been 44 ½ cents per mile for two years; Patrice moved that it be rounded up to 45 cents; Paul seconded; passed.

Snowplowing: Marg moved to keep snowplowing of private full-time resident drives at $50 per season; $75 for driveways over 700 feet. Joe seconded, passed. Joe moved that a deadline of November 1st be set for the fees to be paid, to avoid the problem of people waiting until there is a big snowfall, sometimes as late as March, to pay the fee. Mark seconded. Passed. Joe moved that special plowing or plowing for anyone who misses the deadline be set at $100/hour. Patrice seconded; passed.

Paul read the minutes of the 2006 Annual Town Meeting. Eldon commended Paul for a thorough record and moved that the record be approved; Patrice seconded; passed.

Treasurer’s Report: The Financial Statement for the year 2006 had been distributed to all present. Paul moved that we waive the reading of all checks, and that the report be approved as written. Marg seconded. Passed. Paul said it is a beautiful and clear report.

Road Report: Gary gave the road report. Todd Elliot put Twenty yards of Class 5 gravel and a culvert in the Heller Road. Roads receiving gravel were the Heller Road, Little Tamarack Lake Road, Eagle Head and Crooked Lake Roads, Fust Lane, McCullen Drive; the Vink Road.

The Duncan Road project was done by Hopkins Gravel, 6/10 of a mile from the swamp to the river where the road terminates, at a width of 33 feet. The cost was $4,000. The property owners on Duncan Road are happy with the work. Mark said it still needs a topcoat of Class 5 grave. The Kenneth Peterson Road was repaired and a culvert was installed on the north end, and 10 yards of pit-run gravel spread. Hopkins Sand and Gravel did the work, and the property owners on the road spread half of the gravel. $1,900 was paid to Danforth Township for work done on the Crooked Lake/Eagle Head Roads before our joint-road agreement was written and approved Arna Township has sent the Township a bill for the 2006 road reconciliation work on the Pete Anderson and Langstrom Roads. Gary said that he is still studying the bill and it has not been paid yet. They are billing $1,792 for a culvert and for extending the road closer to the claimed road length. Ron asked why we are not getting some payments from Ogema Township for our grading and snowplowing of the Little Tamarack Lake Road, which serves property owners in Ogema Township. Eldon said he attended the meetings for the Tamarack Lake Plats and was able to secure a boat landing for people to be able to have access to Little Tamarack Lake. He said that he agrees that Ogema Township should be paying us for the work we do on that road.

Snowplowing: There was a discussion on the need to snowplow roads that do not have year-round residents. Eldon said if we don’t plow all these roads, that snowmobilers will drive in and break into cabins. Joe said that if

we don’t snowplow these roads they get ruined by 4-wheelers and snowmobiles. Joe said the new grader drives like a dream; it is faster, smoother, and turns shorter.

Townhall: Eldon said instead of sinking $8,000 into our current townhall, we should check on the building’s condition and possibly wait until the grader is paid off and take out a loan to build a new Town Hall.

Joe said that when the Hall was moved to its present site that all new floor joists were put in. The hall is 8″ off square. The foundation sat for a year before the building was lowered onto it, but it could probably be repaired without jacking the whole building up.

Town Web Site: There was a discussion on posting the open meeting minutes on the website, and the danger of people finding out who attends meetings and the possibility of them taking advantage of this to break into citizens’ homes while they are at meetings. Paul said the meeting minutes are a public record, and there is no way to leave off the names of people who contribute to the meetings. Few people know about the website, and he thinks the possibility of thieves reading it is remote.

2008 Annual Meeting Date/ Newspaper of Record: Paul moved that the 2008 Annual Election and Town Meeting be the second Tuesday of March as required by law, and that the Pine County Courier be our Newspaper of Record for publishing notices, with the Evergreen as a secondary publishing site; and that the Town Hall and The Duxbury Store be the posting sites for Township Notices. Patrice seconded. Passed.

The Board of Reorganization is Thursday, March 22nd, at the Duxbury Strore at 6:30 p.m. The Board of Audit will be Wednesday, April 11, at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall.

Mark moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk