WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF AUDIT AND SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2018
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond and Grader Operator Alden Shute.
BOARD OF AUDIT: Paul and Patrice coordinated and cross-checked their books before the meeting. Gary, Mike and Glen reviewed and compared the Treasurer’s and the Clerk’s books. Gary moved to approve the books; Glen seconded and the board signed both copies of the Schedule 1 and Cost Control Summaries for 2017.
Proposed levies for 2019 taxes and wages for 2018 presented by the clerk. No increases. Paul proposed a decrease of $4,000 in Building Fund, to $1,000, but Mike said if we ever have to increase it we will get a lot of resistance. He said we do have some building projects for 2018, including blowing more insulation into the ceiling of the fire hall since the old insulation got wet before the roof was fixed. We should put the crushed rock gravel in the whole driveway since it is so effective in front of the fire hall. Mike moved to keep the Building Fund at $5,000 in the proposal to the voters; Gary seconded; passed. With this change, Mike moved to approve the suggested levies for a vote at the annual Town Meeting March 13.
Line-Item Budget Proposal for 2018: Paul drafted a proposed budget to guide the board in 2018, based on our receipts and disbursements in 2017. Glen moved to table voting on this until the board has had time to review all the pages and to vote at the Board of Reorganization. Gary seconded. Cost-Control 10-Year Report: Paul went back for 10 years and compiled a Cost Control Summary of every year since 2007. At the beginning of 2007 Wilma had $40,548 in total funds; at the end of December, 2017 that had been built up to $165,673, even though we have not increased our levies and have reduced some of them. Glen said this shows fiscal responsibility by the board. Mike said we need to look at our roads and town hall and other projects and not be afraid to spend some money to make our town better.
Wages: Mike said we kept the half-day meeting rate at $75 for the last several years, although a half-day meeting can take up to 6 hours including drive-time and effectively can take up a whole day as far as doing anything else. He suggested the board change this to $100, and keep the full-day meeting at $150. Gary moved and Mike seconded to raise half-day meetings to $100. Passed. The voters do not approve wages, but we have always allowed them to vote and have input to guide the board when they vote on wages at the Board of Reorganization. Mike moved to keep all other wages the same as 2017.
Paul read the record of the January board meeting. Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Alden reported that he plowed one more snowfall and did some wing repairs on the grader. He said he hopes that in 2018 he can do some significant work on the North Duncan Road since people are building cabins and may be making a permanent home on that road. He said the north part of that road is almost impassable when it rains. He also wants to build up the Dollar Lake Road. Glen said at the road inspection in May we can go over these projects with Alden.
Alden did plow the range-line roads since we have received no answer from Arna on whether they want to plow Pete Anderson and Langstrom Roads in their service year 2018.
OLD BUSINESS: Pete Anderson Road Bridge: Paul sent a personal letter asking Attorney Kyle Hartnett to reduce the bill for his work, and Mike Goetz also asked him. Hartnett emailed today that his new bill for $220 was in addition to the earlier bill, for a total of $1,979. Mike Goetz called Hartnett today and Hartnett agreed to review his billing but made no promises. Mike has promised to reimburse the township for everything. We won’t pay until Mike hears back from Hartnett. Goetz and his new attorney sent a Demand for Acknowledgment of Public Road Status of the Pete Anderson Road bridge to Daniel Lodge and he replied with a refusal.
Pine County Board of Commissioners Special Local Government Meeting: The Commissioners held a special meeting for township officials on Public Safety on Tuesday, January 30, with Reese Frederickson and Sheriff Jeff Nelson. Glen and Paul attended and Paul wrote up a detailed report for the board, covering the proposed county social host ordinance, the county dispatch office, jail and sheriff’s office. Glen said the meeting was very valuable and well-attended.
Blight Ordinance: The county is considering a county-wide blight ordinance as well as county-wide zoning, but they said any ordinance will be opt-in for townships and will not be mandatory. Alden said he doesn’t want Wilma to adopt a blight ordinance because whenever we start legislating things the laws always tend to expand and become increasingly onerous. Glen said when he first moved here he was open to township zoning, but has come to see all the drawbacks and pitfalls other townships experience in enforcing these and agrees that we do not need it. Our neighboring towns with strict zoning have worse blight than we do.
NEW BUSINESS: March Township Election and Annual Town Meeting: Will be Tuesday, March 13, from 5 to 8. Toni Williamson will be Head Judge along with Jeanne Grand Pre and Patrice. Annual Meeting starts at 8 p.m. following the Board of Canvass.
Chris McKenzie Request to Speak to Board: McKenzie is Project Manager of Environmental Services, Inc. in Maple Grove. He was one of the main speakers at the annual State Township Association Conference in Rochester in November. He has asked to come to one of our board meetings to talk about issues like culverts, signs, permits, maintenance bids, our website and communications. The Board said he didn’t see much value in having him come and to write him to decline.
Replace Gross Domestic Product with Genuine Progress Indicator: We got a letter from Ken Pentel of Ecology Democracy Network asking the board to study his proposal and contact our Representative and Senator to support replacing the GDP with the GPI in the state. Mike said this is confusing and has nothing to do with us; no action taken.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the treasurer’s report which will be posted on the website. Total bills for February are $4,567.25, and she requests a transfer of $4,700 from savings to checking. Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded.
Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned 9:00 p.m.