WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, FEBRUARY 3, 2016
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilma Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Assistant Grader Operator Alden Shute, and WIFI Committee Chairman Pat Story.
BOARD OF AUDIT: The three Supervisors held the Board of Audit before the regular business meeting, inspecting both the Clerk’s and the Treasurer’s financial records. They signed the Schedule 1, and approved the Cash Control for 2015. Both sets of books independently matched perfectly, but Patrice said one check from December has not been cashed, for the Park Falls Hardwoods escrow. Paul will write to them. Paul said he and Patrice are not recommending any increases or changes in the levy proposals for the Annual Town Meeting, when voters approve or change our taxes and levies for 2017. Mike said he didn’t want the board to act on this until our next meeting before the Annual Meeting, March 2nd. No action taken.
Paul read the record of the January meeting; Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: Schmedeke Lane Extension. County Commissioners Steve Chaffee and Matt Ludwig inspected the Schmedeke Lane Extension last Wednesday before the Pine County Wanderers meeting. They reaffirmed what Mark LeBrun had told Mike last December, that they will work with Pine County to budget more funds for this extension to make the road the full width. Steve said, “Your town was shortchanged on that road and we’re going to make it right for you and for that road.” The county had originally said in 2013 that it would take $26,000 to build the road up to full county specs, but they did not want to spend this much, so they agreed to allow us to build the best road we could for $10,000. They said the road we did build with that budget is still a good road, and they want to help us make it better.
ROAD REPORT: South Duncan Road: Alden said he got a call from Tri-State Lumber saying they had been called by the DNR and told they needed a permit and escrow to log on Wilma Township roads. They told Alden they had been operating under the understanding that they did not need a permit or to pay any escrow, but they didn’t say who told them this. They said they were already done with all their logging activities on State land at the end of the South Duncan Road, so it’s too late to pay. Alden said he went down and inspected the road, and they had not done any damage, so the only thing we would bill them for is for his inspection, for which he charged $7.50. Mike said this time to just let it wash and not to bill Tri-State, but we need to make sure there is a joint inspection before and after any logging activities in our town, and we need permits and escrow payments from everyone. The DNR knows our policy now for sure since Paul sent them the ordinance and a letter.
North Duncan Road: Alden asked if the Board intends to put some more gravel at the end of the North Duncan Road, to build it up more. He said the road needs to settle for a few months before we apply any more gravel. Gary said if we put any down now, the groomer would just spread it out all over, so we should wait until spring or summer, when Mike said we will put down some pit run gravel.
Alden said they had a breakdown with the blade, but he has fixed it, and they snowplowed one more time this season. He also said the man-door into the fire hall was frozen shut because of drifting snow, and he almost could not get into the grader hall. He asked the board permission to build a berm or windbreak in front of the door to protect it. Glen said go ahead.
WIFI Committee Report: Pat and Glen and Paul met with Penny Simonsen from the East Central Regional Development Commission last Tuesday. The Blanden Foundation has awarded The ECRDC a grant for $14,000 to to bring broadband internet/WIFI to a rural township, and she said she is recommending that Wilma Township be awarded $10,000 of this, and they use the rest for their overhead and salaries. Pat has done a lot of research and gave a report on two possible providers, Motorola Canopy Systems and Mesh Dynamics out of Florida. He’s getting quotes on the cost of putting a satellite dish and antenna on the Eagle Head Tower. Mn DOT requires $700 for the application and another $800 for a study to make sure our signal frequencies will not interfere with theirs. Pat gave the Board maps showing five nodes in Wilma Township which could reach every home in our town, at a projected cost of $10,300. Mark Schmidt of Motorola Canopy is getting topographical maps to show high and low spots in our town. ECE gave Pat maps showing all the power poles in the town, some of which we could mount equipment on. Pat wants a copy of the latest census report on how many people and households are in our town. Paul will get that, and also has a mailing list of all the registered voters in our town, most of whom would probably want WIFI, for when we are ready to survey people for interest.
Glen said whatever system we end up with, we want it to be sustainable and self-supporting, with subscription fees, which would probably require weekenders to participate. It would be a great selling point for our town, universal low-cost WIFI. For the first two years, Glen said, we can use the grant to build and sustain the system, but after that runs out, we will either need to fund it ourselves without taxpayer money, or abandon it.
NEW BUSINESS: Town Hall and Fire Hall Valuation Survey: The MN Association of Township Agency sent the results of their survey to accurately determine the value for coverage for the Town Hall and Fire Hall. Report with photos enclosed. We currently have a coverage limit of $97,500 for the Hall, and MATAT is offering us the option of insuring for the replacement cost, $170,694. We presently have $42,300 coverage for the Fire Hall, and the replacement cost would be $70,219. If the Board chooses replacement coverage, annual premiums would be $699; if they keep our current coverage the premium would be $406/year. Mike said he doesn’t like being over-insured, and the premium would be $300 more a year. Patrice said this is just the replacement cost; if something happened to our hall, we could not replace it for $97,000. Paul said for just $300, we will almost double our payment if something happened. Our deductible is now $1,000, saving 10%. MATAT offered an option to increase that to $2,500, which will lower our premiums by 15%. Mike moved to keep the deductible at $1,000; Gary seconded. Glen moved to change our coverage to replacement cost; Gary seconded. Passed. Paul will send MATAT the resolutions.
Annual Town Meeting Agenda: We have requests from OSAC, Pine County Historical Association and Seven County Senior Federation for continued contracts, $100 each. Mike moved that we put this on the agenda for the voters. We also have a
request from Fran Levings and North Pine Area Hospital District to put having Wilma join the district on the agenda again. When she gave her presentation last year, Glen said we will put it on the agenda, without recommending that Wilma join. Alden said Hinckley spent over $22,000 to try to divorce from the district, and they were not able to. Alden wants to present affidavits from voters in the two towns that tried to leave and couldn’t on the disadvantages of belonging to the district. Mike said that if at the beginning they had agreed to a 2% ceiling on annual fee increases, Wilma may have joined at the beginning, but they refused.
Red Cross Provided Smoke Detectors: Mike said the Red Cross people who helped us so much during the blowdown want to provide free smoke detectors to everyone in our three township fire department area. Instead of just giving us the boxes, they want to participate in the installation. Paul asked if they have carbon monoxide detectors also? Mike doesn’t know, but said these are very good self-contained detectors with a 10 year battery life.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached). Total claims were $3,875.50. Gary moved to approve her report, to pay all the claims, and to transfer $4,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded.
Pine County Township Officers Association Meeting: Scheduled for the day after Good Friday, March 26, 9 a.m., Hinckley American Legion.
Gary moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair
Minnesota, Sandstone, Pine County