[Note: These are the approved minutes; the record was read and approved at the May board meeting. MAT Attorney Graham Berg-MKoeberg instructs clerks that “There is no requirement that meeting minutes be a complete transcript of everything that is said at the meeting. The minutes need to indicate the votes taken at the meeting. Especially for controversial issues or disputes that may end up in court, it is a good idea for your minutes to include your reasoning or important pieces of evidence that led the town board to their decision, and this may be summarized.”]
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 Shute, Stan and Tracy Riley, Kim Felton, Stefanie Williamson and Deputy Clerk Cindy Kleinschmidt.
BOARD OF REORGANIZATION: Alden took the Oath of Office for Supervisor, Patrice as Treasurer, and Cindy as Deputy Clerk. Alden nominated Mike to serve as Chairman; Mike seconded. Glen abstained. Passed. Mike took the gavel. Mike moved that Glen be assistant Chair; Alden seconded; passed. Treasurer Patrice designated Northview as our bank of deposit. Mike moved that The Evergreen and Pine County Courier and the Town Hall and the township website be our notice-posting and publishing places. Alden second. Passed.
Approve wages and fees for 2023-2024:
Mike moved to change the wages for Mechanic Assistant, General labor, Clerk and Treasurer Reports from $20 to $22/hour for 2023. Alden seconded; passed. Mike moved to increase election judge wages fro $18/hour to $20. Alden seconded. Passed. Mike moved to increase Supervisor labor (clearing trees, etc.) from $20/hour to $25. Alden seconded; passed.
WAGES Chairman $105/Mtg. (3 Hrs). 105/meeting
Supervisor 100/mtg. (3 Hrs.) 100.00/mtg.
Clerk 100.00/meeting 100.00/mtg.
Treasurer 100.00/meeting 100.00/mtg.
Clerk and Treasurer reports 20.00/hr. 22.00/hour
General Labor 16.00/hour 22.00/hour
Major Mech. 30.00/hour 30.00/hour
Mech. Asst. 16.00/hour 22.00/hour
Grader Op. 25.00/hr 25.00/hour
Annual Meeting Moderator 75.00/mtg. 75.00/mtg.
Out of Town Meetings 100.00/half day 100.00/half day
150.00/full day 150.00/full day
Election Judges 18.00/hour 20.00/hr.
Zoom Meetings for all Board Members 20.00/hr. 20.00
Hourly rate, Chairman $24.50; Supervisors $22 (Supervisor Labor $25/Hour)
Mileage: Federal rate for officers, judges, delegated township representatives, for judges training, township officers training, and association meetings, etc. $.65.5/mi. For 2023.
SNOWPLOWING: 75.00/per season 100.00
Driveways over 700 feet: 100.00/per season 125.00
Driveways 1,000’ to ½ mile: 175.00/per season 200.00
Driveways over ½ mile 350.00/per season 375.00
Northview CD’s Resolution: At our March meeting, the board voted to move all four CD’s to four new 13 month CD’s at the 4.05% rate. Glen moved that we remove deceased board members Gary Vink and Antoinette Williamson from our bank documents and resolutions, and that the board adopt a resolution to transfer our CD’s at Northview Bank to new CD accounts with higher interest, and that Patrice Winfield, Paul Raymond, Glen Williamson, Sr., Mike McCullen, Alden Shute, and Cynthia Kleinschmidt be added to our Bank Resolution; and that Mike and Patrice be authorized to open deposit accounts; Patrice only to enter a lease for a safe deposit box; Patrice and Mike authorized to use Visa Debit Cards for business checking and/or Visa credit cards; and all six officers’ signatures are required to endorse checks or withdraw or transfer fund on deposit. Alden seconded; passed. All six board members signed the bank resolution. Patrice said we may have penalties on some of the CD’s for early transfer; Mike said if we will make at least 50% more in interest for transferring them in the long run, to do it.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING: Approve Ground Rules: Mike asked for a motion to approve some basic 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 the speaker holds the floor; Maintain respect and decorum. Glen moved; Alden seconded; passed.
Affidavit of Conflict of Interest for Website: Glen signed an affidavit of conflict of interest for the Wilmatownship.com website. He said Alden and Mike should also file affidavits and that you only need to do it when you are paid for any work they do for the township besides their Supervisor duties. Paul will need to file one for maintenance work.
Clerk’s Report of March Board Meeting. Paul read the record; some corrections: On the motion to approve the Clerk’s report, it should read, “Passed.” Paul added “unanimously.” Mike said any time there is a Supervisor abstention or no vote, it must be noted in the record. On the State, County and Township Road Emergency: Add Maureen and Kevin as citizens who had to clear township roads after the December 14 storm. On Town Propane Tank: Our “500-gallon” propane tank only holds 400 gallons. On Town Hall Furnace: change subject “dropped” to “tabled for one year.” On the subject of our propane tank being empty, Alden said he has Jeff come out once a year to check on the garage furnaces. Question on how old they are. Paul thought they were recent, 10 or 20 years, but Mike said they may be the original furnaces when the hall was built. [“June 6, 2005 record: Fire Hall Furnace: The fire dept. has been getting bids on furnaces for the fire hall, and will get a bid for two furnaces from Federated. November 5, 2005: They’re in and installed. One can’t be connected until a hard-wire line is run to it. Gary has someone lined up to do it.”]
Road Report: Alden gave Paul the billing for Crooked Lake, Eaglehead and Heller Drive range line roads. He said he plowed all roads and subscribed drives several times and cleared major drifts and Heller, Mink Farm and N. Duncan Roads. He did maintenance with Greg on the lights, steering column, wing cable, pulleys and pistons, and greasing the grader. He got a call from Pat Story today about the ice storm and slush on Lost River Road and he went out and plowed it. Alden said he was offended that there were complaints on our Heller Drive maintenance. Alden said that we want citizens to know that any problems we are made aware of will be taken care of. We have the records of the work done on the road last year. Paul will compile it.
Alden said he’d like an increase in our charge to neighboring townships for range-line roads, from $100 hour to $120/hour and he so moved; Mike seconded; passed.
OLD BUSINESS: Pine County Township Officers’ Meeting: Was Saturday, March 25, at the Community Center in Hinckley. There was good attendance with speakers and reports by Senator Jason Rarick and Representative Nathan Nelson, Commissioners Teri Lovgren and Steve Hallan, Sheriff Jeff Nelson, Jordan Zeller from ECRDC; Barbara Fisher from NPAHD; Caleb Anderson from zoning; Mindy Sandell from Veterans, Jeff Krueger, Exec. Director of MAT. Glen said he has a report on the Pine County Township Officers Website. Paul gave a report: There was a big focus on broadband and ECE bringing fiber optic to the homes of all Wilma residents within the next five years. Commissioner Hallan said ECE has 94 miles of fiber optic ready to go. With 1500 miles of roads in our
county, that won’t go far, he said. He said that Pine County currently provides scholarships for 49 county youth to attend Pine Tech to become mechanics, plumbers and electricians. He and others talked about the meth and opioid crisis in Pine County. Commissioner Terry Lovgren spoke about the county family resource center, to help with money or child care. She said we need more cell towers for cell phone reception; Sheriff Jeff Nelson spoke about the opioid and meth crisis; we had 3 OD’s just last week, 17 this year and 6 deaths.
The Sheriff’s Department is sponsoring a free seminar on the opiod crisis in Pine County on April 26, with a free dinner, 5-8 p.m. Hinckley Casino Ballroom. Register using the link below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pinecountyopioidforum. Jeff Krueger the MAT director encouraged people to go to the lobby day in St. Paul on April 18, and the annual conference in St. Cloud on December 8 and 9.
State, County and Township Road Emergency: In January, the board and Pine County declared that the December 14 storms were a county and township road right-of-way emergency, allowing us to clear and cut trees in the right-of-way. Paul filed our official application for disaster assistance, and we gave the county an estimate of $6,000 for Wilma Township damages, based on Alden’s estimates for Rootke and Duane Glienke. It will be actual costs that will be reimbursed. We can’t cut the trees until the snow thaws.
Tree Trimmings: Alden said the actual deadline for landowners to claim or remove tree trimmings and cut trees in the right-of-way will be determined by when we can do the work. It will be 30 days from when we do the work. Paul said he won’t send notices until then.
Alden said that Carlson Timber also does tree-trimming work and he will get estimates from them as well as Rootke. Mike said they might be pretty booked up so we need to do it soon, and we should get the one who can do it soonest.
Dumpster Camera: In February, Glen gave the camera to Stan to program it to show on cell phones. Stan said he was not able to program it so it was given to Cindy Klienschmidt for Erv to program it. Erv said by the time he got it, the camera lens was scratched and did not work, so he bought a new camera and installed it and it is working. It is mounted on the fire hall.
Fire Hall Light: Mike said it is dark at night on the east side of the hall and at night you can’t see to unlock the door or pump water from the tank. Glen moved that we have Erv purchase and install a motion-sensitive solar-powered light facing east on the hall. Alden seconded. Passed.
NEW BUSINESS: MAT Spring Short Course: Will be this Friday, April 7, at the DECC in Duluth. We will car-pool and Patrice will drive. Glen said he doesn’t want to go. The Short Course that Cindy was planning to attend was canceled for the blizzard Thursday. Alden will also go to Duluth but drive separately. He said he would not bill for mileage; Paul said that he should.
Pine County Highway Department Bridge Report Heller Drive: We have a copy for our files and for any questions. Mike gave the report to Alden to go over it and report; it is several pages long.
MATIT Consolidated Liability Coverage Renewal: They asked the Board to review our coverage for June, 2023 to July 1, 2024. Mike said we are paying to insure the Automark. Patrice said it was because she stored it at her home and we no longer have it. Alden moved and Glen seconded to drop the insurance for it. Passed.
MAT Lobby Day in St. Paul: Will be on April 18 to lobby our Representative and Senator and other officials with township issues; RSVP requested. It will be at the Minnesota State Capitol Building in St. Paul from 12:00 to 4 PM, hosted by MAT District 7 Director Tammy Carlson. They request a RSVP to Kristen at Kristen@RosedahlPublicAffairs.com or (651) 764-9953 with your name, position, and township. Both Glen and Stefanie said they want numbers to show the power and importance of townships. Glen said if anyone wants to go, he will drive and we can carpool. Paul said he will go, and Patrice also said she may.
Board of Appeal/Equalization: For voters to appeal 2024 property tax assessments, will be held on Monday, April 10, 2023, 1 p.m. at the hall. County Assessor Lorri L. Houtsma and the county assessor for Wilma Township will be here. Glen said we can’t have it unless we have a supervisor trained for township’s boards of review, and he is the only one. He said he may not show up. If he doesn’t we will have to cancel the board and will not be allowed to hold a local board of review for two years; citizens will have to go to the County courthouse. Mike does not have internet to take the class. Paul said he got a new PC computer for the town hall that can connect to the internet and Mike can go to the hall to take the class when it is set up.
Town Park: At the Annual Town Meeting the voters asked to have a sign on the park (the 36 acres behind and west of the Eagle Head Fire Station), identifying it as the Wilma Town Park, with boundary markers. Mike suggested a carved wooden sign like the DNR uses for state forests. Cindy said she and Erv have contacts to make these signs; they get them for the ATV trails. She will get prices for a sign, at least 5 feet long, with Wilma Town Park carved in.
Town Hall Maintenance and Mowing: Stan Riley resigned as grounds manager and Paul has been shoveling out the propane tank and ramp. He is willing to mow and weed whip this summer at the Clerk’s rate. He will sign an affadavit of conflict of interest, although he doesn’t vote on payroll. He has a mower that the township could buy. Mike said we’d be better off getting a new mower and Glen moved that we purchase a push mower for $300 or less. Alden seconded. Passed.
Township Website, Wilmatownship.com: The voters at the annual meeting said they’d like to have a tab on the website that would take people to another page on the website for community events and notices like well-water testing or fire department events. Glen had said that he can do this, but if he does the minutes will not be the first thing one sees opening the web site. Patrice said she doesn’t see the minutes at all when she goes to the site. Glen said it would be better to have a separate Facebook page if we want community postings. The consensus of the board was not to open a social media page.
Couri&Ruppe Legal Seminar: Will be Saturday, September 16 in Rutledge, 9-4.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report. Total bills for April are $5,792.12; she needs a transfer of $5,700. Alden moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds. Mike seconded.
Grader Operator: Stan said that now that Alden is a Supervisor, Stan would like the job of Road Manager/Grader Operator. He said he has experience with machinery. We will find out from MAT Attorney Steve Fenske if there is a conflict of interest in Alden serving both positions.
Fire Department Meeting Records: Glen said that since the township is paying for fire protection and medical responses, the board should be given copies of the minutes and records of the fire department. Mike said he’d ask the other fire chiefs in the county what they do.
Township/Fire Department Issues: Stan again brought up the March 3 response by the DVFD Chief Mike McCullen to his home. He wanted the record to state that Stan never said that if he or Tracy had a heart attack he would not want Mike in his home. Paul said he can state in the record that Stan says that he did not say that if he or Tracy had a heart attack he would not want Mike in his home. Stan is not satisfied with this. Mike said he now has the transcript of the actual 911 call made by Stan and Tracy.
Stefanie Williamson Statement: She said she wanted to file a complaint against the Clerk, Paul Raymond, alleging biased or loose record keeping. Part of her complaint is that Paul did not print the entire complaint made by Stan and Tracy in the record. Paul said the way township records work is that he takes as complete and accurate records as he can, he posts them on the website for anyone to correct, and then the whole board votes on whether it is a true and accurate record or not. So far, until tonight, all of his records for the last 29 years have been approved unanimously by the Supervisors and he has never before been accused of inaccurate records. The Supervisors and the public have another opportunity to correct the record before they vote. Once they are approved, they are not the Clerk’s record but the record of the Board of Supervisors. He also said that now that we are recording meetings, the recordings are also the official record of the Board of Supervisors and cannot be altered or deleted. Stefanie said that Stan Riley never said that if he or Tracy had a heart attack he would not want Mike in his home. Paul said she wasn’t there, he was, and he says before God that Stan did say that to him, and Stan had multiple opportunities to deny it when confronted and he did not, until the last two meetings when he said it wasn’t him but three other citizens who said they didn’t want Mike in their homes after Stan told them about Mike’s EMR certification having expired.