Chairman Mike McCullen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present: Supervisors Glen Williamson and Alden Shute, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Alden Shute, and Jim Bredesen, Clay Heller, Jr., and Stefanie Williamson.
Decision on Compensation for Thursday Conference: Alden moved that the people who attended the MAT Conference be paid for a half-day meeting for the Thursday evening vendor and social hour. Mike said Paul or others should not do unpaid work for the township and he seconded; passed.
December 6 Board Meeting. Paul read the record: Alden moved to accept the report; Glen seconded; passed.
Road Report: Eagle Head Road Beavers: Alden said the culvert seemed to be unplugged and he put a gate over the ends. He still wants a permanent solution come summer. He asked Clay if he had any success getting trappers for our beavers; not yet.
Fire Hall Furnace: Mike said the furnace was off and it was 40 degrees. The grader hall furnace was working. Mike reset it a couple of times.
Mink Farm Logging: Loggers are logging on the south side of Mink Farm Road from now until January and Fornengo Timber Products are logging at the end of McCullen Drive and paid escrow. This is the same Fornengo brother who logged as T&T Logging in our town before. Futurewood was informed of escrow and inspection requirement and they gave a check to Patrice signed by W. B. Johnson with a card in the envelope for Quinton Finley, Forester.
ECE Escrow: We’re still holding $1,000 from ECE for the completed project on Dollar Lake Road. Nadine Loew (Nadine.Loew@ecemn.com) said, “ECE does ongoing work in your township so I would say if you want to hold onto the check that would be great.”
Dollar Lake Road Entrance: Paul wrote to Greg Beck and Mark LeBrun on June 19 and again on August 3 to request that the county widen the entrance to Dollar Lake Road and culvert where it enters the Duxbury Road. No response so Alden said he will talk to them personally. Alden said at the road inspection that they could put extensions on the culverts and add several feet on both sides of the entrance.
Fire Department Report: Glen said Paul gave a report on the fire department at the Wanderers, and he thinks the board should also get a monthly report. Paul said the department is doing better than ever with more trained and certified EMR medical responders and Firefighter One and Two certified volunteers than ever before. We still need volunteers and a member for the Board of Directors from Markville and Cloverton. Mike just made an inspection of all the halls. For some reason we had almost no fires in 2023 and far fewer medial emergencies. We got a $26,000 grant from FEMA to purchase new turnout gear for all of our new firefighters, and we got all new sets of orange wildland firefighting gear.
OLD BUSINESS: MAT 2023 Annual Conference: Was December 7 – 9 at the Rivers’ Edge Conference Center in St. Cloud. Glen, Cindy Kleinschmidt and Paul attended as voting delegates. There were many informational breakout educational sessions, including CTAS (Auditor’s Office), MAT Trainers, MAT Attorneys, Broadband, EMS, MATIT, Corporate Purchasing Venture, Cannabis, Township websites, and more. Glen said the session on cannibis was especially interesting with a state representative discussing the new law. No local government can forbid using, possessing or growing marijuana in non-commercial quantities. Mark Lanterman from Computer Forensic Services gave a great speech on cybersecurity, in light of the pfishing attack on the MATIT Insurance who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars that is not insured. Stefanie said they said that if we adopt a cyber security ordinance that there are strict rules on how long we can retain records. Patrice said if we don’t adopt an ordinance it won’t apply to us.
Business Meeting: MAT had proposed resolutions and bylaw recommended changes, but Attorney Fenske said we needed a quorum all MAT members, so we could not vote. There was a lot of confusion and anger and a vote of no-confidence in the Board of Directors was taken, which Glen said was a 50-50 tie but Paul said he thought narrowly passed.
Storm Damage: Paul compiled a list of everything following the December storm related to the snowfall. Patrice has a separate CTAS code for storm related damage, 43170. According to Wayne Lamoreaux, we have one year from the date of the declaration January 31, 2023 to complete all of the work and submit our claims.
NEW BUSINESS: Earned Safe and Sick Time (ESST) Law became effective January 1, 2024, providing time off for any employee working 80 or more hours per year, one hour for every 40 hours worked. Only ‘employees’ as defined in the ESST law must be provided ESST; elected officials are not considered employees.” This will likely only apply to Alden as Road Manager/Grader operator. The State Auditor is working on getting the ESST information into CTAS, hoping to release a CTAS update in January with the ESST information.
Wilma Township Election, Tuesday, March 12, 2023: Mike and Paul are up for re-election so Paul cannot judge. Per MN Statute 204B 6.3.2 “The clerk recommends election judges to be appointed for the upcoming election and then the town board makes the appointments at least 25 days before the election.” Paul asked Stefanie if she would be willing to be trained and judge the township election and she said yes. Paul recommended that Patrice serve as head judge, and one of the other trained judges (either Erv or Cindy Kleinschmidt) and Stefanie serve from 5 to 8 p.m. Affadavits available tonight and people can file for the Clerk’s or Supervisor’s office from njow through January 16. $2 fee. So far Mike and Paul have filed and paid.
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 2024. Usually done before the April Board Meeting.
Board of Audit for 2023 Books: Usually before February board meeting. So far, both the Treasurer’s and Clerk’s books match.
Tuesday, March 5, 2024 Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP). Reimbursable costs for the primary are up to $150.00 for preparation of the polling place, costs associated with publication of public accuracy tests, compensation for election judges salaries attributed to the election, and “other expenses approved by the Office of the Secretary of State.” This is a full-day election, 10 a.m. To 8 p.m. We have a pool of trained judges and there are many state and national elections in 2024, so everyone will have opportunities to serve. Paul recommended that he, Patrice and one other trained judge (Erv or Cindy Klienschmidt) serve as judges for this election.
Primary Election Judge Training: There is a required additional 1 hour training for PNP Monday, February 5: 9:00am – Courthouse, Pine City, or 3:30pm – North Pine Government Center, Sandstone, or training can also be completed online beginning January 5; email email@example.com to signup. Anyone trained two years ago only needs the one hour; anyone else needs the full judge training plus the hour. Glen moved that anyone who is interested in judging the primary take the training; Alden seconded; passed.
Designate ARPA Funds: We will need to designate how we will spend our ARPA funds by Dec 31, 2024. The auditor said that we can use ARPA to pay for training like the MAT Conference and short courses. Alden had moved that we use ARPA fund to pay for the MAT Conference in December and this passed.
Township Day at the CapitoL: There will be a two day conference at the Radisson in St. Paul. $99 per officer, April 8 and 9. $99, motel extra ($149). “ALL township officials are invited to join the Minnesota Association of Townships for “Township Day at the Capitol” on April 8, 2024, 1pm to April 9, 11am. We’ll have trainings, speakers, and impactful meetings with legislators to advocate for important township priorities.” Banquet and breakfast included.
Assessment Training: Online training for boards of appeal and equalization is available from MAT. “Follow the instructions on the Board of Appeal and Equalization Training website and follow the instructions. Glen is certified to July, 2026 and said we need at least one other trained and certified member. 2026. Mike and Alden not certified.
Country Store and More Cigarette License: 2024 cigarette license due for renewal. $10. Paul informed Stan but he did not come to the meeting. Alden moved that if Stan does want a license, to authorize it. Glen seconded; passed. Stan cannot sell cigarettes until he has a 2024 license. Paul will contact him again.
2023 Garbage Pickup Schedule: Available at meeting.
Assessor, Board of Review and Equalization: Monday, April 15, Wilma Town Hall, 1 p.m.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Total bills for December, January, $5,576.08. Glen moved to approve her report and transfer $5,600 from savings to checking. Alden seconded; Passed.
Glen moved to adjourn; Alden seconded; passed. Meeting adjourned at 8:50.
Paul Raymond, Clerk