WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, JANUARY 6, 2016
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Mark Pallow, Assistant Grader Operator Alden Shute, Eldon Schmedeke, and Pat Story.
Paul read the record of the December meeting; Mike corrected the record that it is Tom Ackerman, not Mark as the record stated. With this correction, Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: Schmedeke Lane Extension. Mike inspected the Schmedeke Lane Extension with Mark LeBrun from Pine County on December 10. Mike was able to show Mark that we spent the full budgeted amount on the road for Class 5 gravel, plus $900 to repair and reenforce the culvert. The county paid us the contracted $10,000, but Patrice said she hasn’t deposited the check yet. Mark LeBrun told Mike that he will work with Pine County to see if they will budget more funds for this extension to make the road the full width. 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. Eldon asked for the floor to express some of his dissatisfaction with the result. He said his marker posts were moved or removed, and he had them there for a purpose. He also wanted to know why any gravel was expended on the first part of Schmedeke Lane, and not all of it on the extension. Eldon had photographs showing gravel on Schmedeke Lane. Alden said they had to spread some gravel and build up the first part and grade the road to haul all the loads of gravel to the extension. Mike said the budget for that gravel came from our Road and Bridge Fund and not from the county. Mike showed Eldon invoices from Hopkins Gravel and from Duane Glienke to prove that the town used every bit of the money from the county on the Schmedeke Lane Extension, and that we know it needs more to be the full width, but the agreement with the county was that once we built a $10,000 extension and adopted it as a township road (part of Schmedeke Lane) we could not ask for any more funds.
Snowplowing: Patrice gave the board and the grader operators the final list of people who signed up for snowplowing. Glen said by law we have to break even on private drives and asked where we were now. Mike said it has to be averaged over 10 years, and everyone being plowed is already paying taxes for the grader and the operator, on top of the additional fees they paid.
Eldon said when he was plowed some gravel was moved that blocked his garage. Mark and Alden said they would fix it and not let him happen again.
Road Report: Alden said all the road brushing was done, and they plowed snow one time this season. Alden said Storviks widened their drive a bit and he was able to turn around when he plowed them. Alden said someone will be logging on state land at the end of South Duncan Road and they built a turnaround space. Mike told Paul to contact the DNR and let them know of our load limit and logging permit and escrow requirements before they go in with trucks. Paul said we had to make sure there is a joint inspection before and after, so we don’t keep having problems with loggers like with Midwest Logging.
Glen said he has been getting calls and emails from constituents, and almost all of them very favorable and approving of the job the board is doing, and especially the road manager and grader operator.
ECRDC GRANT: Pat has been in contact with Penny Simonsen from the East Central Regional Development Commission and he gave a report on her negotiations with the Blanden Foundation on how to bring broadband internet. They want to know about usage. Pat said MnDot has given permission to put a satellite dish and antenna on the Eagle Head Tower. They require $700 for the application and another $800 for a study to make sure our signal frequencies will not interfere with theirs. Including the equipment and installation, it will add up to more than $22,000, so the township would have to pay $12,000 at east even if we got the $10,000 grant. Our equipment would be 2/3 up the tower, about 190′, and could have a reach of 30 miles.
Glen asked what signal we would get for that. Pat said from 10 to 150 gigabites bandwidth. Glen said for just 10 it would not be worth it; it would have to be 150. He will be getting 150 GB at the campground soon, for only $90/month. Mike said the township voters probably would not approve us paying $13,000. Glen asked Pat to get some more specific figures for the equipment.
Town Hall and Fire Hall Valuation Survey: The MN Association of Township Agency scheduled a survey or our halls to accurately determine the value for coverage. Rosa Brandon met with Paul on Tuesday to complete the survey.
NEW BUSINESS: Cigarette License: Glen moved to approve a 2016 cigarette license for the Duxbury Store. Mike seconded. Gary abstained. Approved.
Board of Audit: Will be part of the February 3 Town Board Meeting. Paul said both his and Patrice’s books have been reconciled and they will be ready.
Meeting Posting: Glen said we should put a notice in the Evergreen and the Courier stating our meeting times for 2016. Paul said he would.
Robbery Suspects: Pat said the Sheriff’s Dept. caught the people who were robbing and stealing homes and cabins, including Paul and Gary’s tires. Mike said the deputies told him this also. Paul said they haven’t been contacted yet about getting our tires back.
Town Board Meetings: Pat asked what are the rules of order for township meetings. Why does the board allow citizens to speak up and take the floor with complaints and issues? Sometimes it looks like the board is losing control. Glen said that because we are such a small town, it is his decision to allow citizens an opportunity to speak at board meetings, and this hasn’t been abused. We used to have a lot more complaints and issues, but knowing they will be heard increases trust and confidence. As long as the board elects him as chairman and moderator, Glen said he wants to have full representation.
Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s report (attached). Total claims were $5,898.44. Gary moved to approve her report, to pay all the claims, and to transfer $6,000 from savings to checking. Mike seconded.
Gary moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair
Glen Williamson is the current chair of Wilma Township, just east of Sandstone, Minnesota