Chairman Glen Williamson called the Board of Audit 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, and Stefanie Williamson, Rod Sorgaard, Stan and Tracy Riley, and Jim Bredesen.
BOARD OF AUDIT: Paul and Patrice had coordinated and cross-checked their books before the audit. The three supervisors checked and compared the records and signed off. Mike moved to approve the records; Alden seconded; all aye. Proposed Budget and Levies for 2024 to present to voters at Annual Meeting. Mike said the people get to vote on all the levies, but the board has final approval on the wages and salaries and snowplowing policy. He said we have always allowed the people to vote as a sign of confidence, or not.
Judges: The only proposed change in the budget is to increase the election judge pay to $20/hour, comparable to paperwork by the clerk and treasurer. Mike said even though judges have only to sit for hours, we can’t get people to take the job at $18/hour. Paul had to bring in someone from Arna. Mike said he doesn’t think it’s fair that hard physical labor and sitting as judge get the same pay. Paul said election judges don’t “just sit there.” They are the forefront on insuring election integrity for our citizens, making sure the vote is honest and that everyone eligible who wants to vote gets to vote and no one who is not eligible votes. No one has ever challenged the integrity of elections in Wilma Township. Mike moved that we increase judge pay to $20/hour to present to the voters in March.
Snowplowing: Alden asked if we should charge more for snowplowing private drives after such serious storms this year. Patrice said it would be best to have a separate snowplowing account but that would make Alden separate his plowing roads and drives or require him to do all roads first and then go back and plow all private drives. Both are unworkable, Alden and Patrice said. Paul said we should increase the snowplowing rates; he’d be glad to pay more. Alden moved that we propose a $25 increase across the board, $100 per season; $125 over 700 feet; $200 1,000 ft. to ½ mile; and $350 over ½ mile. Glen seconded. Passed.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING: Clerk’s Report of January Board Meeting: Paul read the record of the January meeting; Patrice said the actual bills were $5,860 not $5,285, because she hadn’t included or sent the 4th quarter tax withholding in. Corrected, Mike moved to approve; Alden seconded; passed unanimously.
ROAD REPORT: Alden plowed all township roads and most of the subscribed driveways. The grader lights and other parts were damaged by so many trees down or over the road. Brad Rootke of East Central Logging will trim all the overhanging trees at $300/hour. In January, the board declared that the December storms were a township road right-of-way emergency, allowing us to clear and cut trees in the right-of-way. The worst roads are Tamarack Pine Drive, the Mayfield Road and the Vink Road. Some citizens had to start clearing township roads, including Erv and Cindy Klienschmidt and Nick Mattson. Mike moved that we pay them at $20/hour for the time they spent clearing the road,capped at $1,000, and we will pay them at the next meeting and submit the claims to FEMA/Pine County for reimbursement. Paul will make non-tax forms for them. Alden seconded; all aye.
Increase Township Grader Rates: Alden said we need to charge neighboring townships more for grading and plowing range-line roads. $100 doesn’t cover our costs. He suggested $120/hour.
Grader Hall Furnace: The furnace went out but Federated serviced it and replaced the defective parts. Mike said that’s why we always keep the door open between the halls.
County Road Damage Assistance: The county contacted us: “We are doing a preliminary damage assessment for Pine County due to the storm from 12/13 – 12/15. Allowable expenses are as follows:
Emergency plowing for restoration of power is a recoverable expense.
Emergency plowing for rescues (fire, EMS) is a recoverable expense.
Costs associated with emergency sheltering; i.e. food, water, etc. are recoverable expenses.
Debris removal from the road, to open the road itself is recoverable. Plowing curb to curb is not recoverable. The complete debris removal in the spring is recoverable and PDA requests the best estimate of what these costs will be.”
“Normal costs to counties and townships are not recoverable expenses. Overtime for emergency plowing for restoration of utilities is recoverable, but not if plows are normally out plowing that area.”
The Pine County Sheriff’s Office said, “We declared a local emergency on 12-20-22 to start the process for disaster declaration.”
Wilma Covered Road Recovery: Alden has already had work done on the roads that we will submit for reimbursement: He opened the Kenny Peterson Road, 2 hours at $100/hour. Duane Glienke cleared some of the bigger trees on Little Tamarack Lake Road, Mayfield, N and S. Duncan Roads, and Vink Road. He will turn in a bill for us to be reimbursed.
Zoom Meeting with Wayne Lamoreaux, Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Paul attended the meeting on January 11, and gave an estimate of $6,000 for Wilma Township damages, based on Alden’s estimates for Rootke and Duane Glienke, plus grader damage, and an added a $1,000 cushion. Other towns were throwing out numbers like $60,000 $70,000. Paul asked if we are locked into our estimate and they said no, it will be actual costs that will be reimbursed; the estimate isn’t important except for Pine County to qualify for State aid. Grader damage has to be submitted first to insurance and they will pay anything insurance doesn’t cover. Mike said it may be better to eat it than risk our insurance rates going up. We had lights and hydraulic lines damaged and McCoy Construction can repair them, plus at least one tire damaged.
Grader Tires: Alden said the tires are bad and he needs to replace two, and the only ones who carry our brand are NTS Tire in Redwood Falls. He will need to bring the tires there and wait while they mount them. Their cost is $1,361 each plus $40 to mount them.
OLD BUSINESS: Dumpster Camera: Glen gave the camera to Stan to program it to show on cell phones. Mike said someone already filled the dumpster with garbage bags even though it’s behind the hall.
Internet Fund: The fund is down to $386, about 6 months. We can use our ARPA funds for this but mike told Paul sto send an application to Blandin Foundation to give us an additional $5,000 to extend our internet with Centurylink. Paul did apply but Glen found a typo where Paul gave the wrong internet address. He will have to correct this and notify them.
NEW BUSINESS: Town Hall Furnace: Glen said our furnace blower is very, very loud and has to be unplugged during meetings. Paul said he put a box fan on the table in the kitchen and it circulated the air better than the blower and is silent. Glen asked Paul to research gas stoves or getting a furnace repair man out to service our blower.
Town Hall Rental: Rod and Lauren Sorgaard ask to rent the town hall on Saturday, June 3, for their daughter’s wedding reception. Glen found our rental agreement from February, 2010, on the township website and pulled it up. https://wilmatownship.com/category/hall-rental-agreement/
Mike moved and Alden seconded to allow the Sorgaard’s to rent the hall. All aye. This is the week after the pancake breakfast so the hall will be cleaned up and all the tables will be set up. Paul asks that they leave it as they find it.
Wilma Township Election, Tuesday, March 14, 2023: Patrice and Alden are up for re-election and both filed, along with Stan Riley for Supervisor. Jody Mattson, Peggy Branch from Arna Township, and Paul will judge. Board of Canvass and Annual Town Meeting: Will follow the election. Board of Reorganization: To swear in newly elected officers and set wages, bank and posting sites for 2023; Will be before April board meeting.
March, 2023, Meeting Change: The March, 2023 board meeting changed from March 1 to March 8. The Annual meeting is March 14.
Snowshoveling and Grounds Maintenance: In an emergency after talking with the Chair, Paul authorized Stan Riley to shovel a path to reach the propane tank and also to shovel the ramp and steps for the Garbage Board Meeting and Board Meetings this week. Because the snow was so deep and hard as cement, it was very difficult. Stan said if it had been shoveled after every storm, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Paul said he only shovels before meetings, so sometimes weeks can go by. Stan asked to have this as a permanent job along with the lawn maintenance as Property Maintenance Person. Patrice said it would have to be as a contractor, but the board asked why couldn’t he be an employee like the Road Manager? Alden moved to hire Stan Riley as year-around Property Maintenance man to keep the grounds mowed and clean and the ramp and steps shoveled when there is more than 3” of snow. Mike seconded; all aye. Stan said he’d take before and after photos. He will give Patrice all his tax info.
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. Paul will post the meeting. The Supervisors cannot appeal their assessments at the meeting but have to go to the county. Mike and others have said their assessments have gone way, way up and they want to question them. .
U.S. Census Boundary and Annexation Annual Survey: No changes in Wilma.
MAT Expells 5 Townships: MAT says to ignore them. We received letters from both MAT and from rebel townships. District 7 Director: Tami Carlson from Pine City Twp. Was elected District 7 Director. Paul urged Glen to get her to speak at the County Township Officers’ Association meeting March 25.
Pine County Township Officers’ Meeting: Will be Saturday, March 25, 9 am at the Community Center, Hinckley. Planning meeting for PCTOA board February 15 at 7 p.m. At Tobies.
2023 Garbage Pickup Schedule: Copies available at meeting.
Deputy Clerk: Paul said he has appointed Cindy Kleinschmidt as Deputy Clerk. He will notify MAT/MATIT for insurance and publications. We also need to update Alden with MATIT but can wait until after the election if he wins.
Treasurer’s Report: (Attached) Patrice said total bills for February are $3,588.88, and she needs to transfer $3,600. 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 9:15.