WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, OCT. 5, 2011
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilma Town Hall in Duxbury with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Gary Vink and Mike McCullen, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Deputy Clerk Toni Williamson, Deputy Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Grader Operator Mark Pallow, and Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke.
Paul read the record of the September Board Meeting. Mike moved to approve; Gary seconded.
OLD BUSINESS: North Duncan Road: Glen had a letter from Bill Peno, saying that no work was done on the North Duncan Road for the past two years, saying, “The promise to finish the road past my property needs to be fulfilled. We agreed at the Road Committee Meeting that a culvert needs to be put in on the south end and in the depression on the north end of that low spot, as water crosses in large quantities in both places due to Ox Creek, and the ditch on the east side.” Mark said the road should be dry enough to get it done now, with pit-run gravel. Gary said it was too wet last summer, which Bill Peno agreed, and that there is only one good turn-around for the trucks, at Thiry’s driveway. Gary said that the board had voted to devote 10% of our Road and Bridge budget to this project, $7,000 maximum. Mark said he will have Hopkin’s Gravel inspect the project this week to make sure it is dry enough to get trucks in.
Errors and Omissions: Patrice said that MAT said we are covered for Errors and Omissions in our policy.
Wilma Fall Fest: Patrice said Denny and Steph Hanson’s band is not available for October 22. Papa John’s band charges $600, more than our budget. Toni found a band called Barry and the Hoot Owls who play county-rock and other styles, and will play for $375, almost the whole $400 budget voted on at the annual meeting. Toni requested that the board increase the Fall Fest budget to $500. Glen moved that the Fall Fest budget be increased to $500 this year, provided we are able to secure a live band. Mike seconded. Mike asked the Fall Fest Committee to keep track of all the details, e.g. attendance, hours, reactions to the band, etc. to see if it is worth the added expense.
Pallow/Fust Wedding: Mark asked for the forms for renting/using the Town Hall for his wedding to Maurine Rioux this coming Saturday.
Snowplowing: Paul got an email from Kim Points, who is clerk of Grant, who asked to have their driveway on Mona Drive plowed this winter. Paul replied with our township policy as voted on by the voters at the last annual meeting in March that private snowplowing be limited to permanent, year-around residents. Kim wrote, “I have been there for 6 years and am there year round. I do not close for winter. The neighbors and builder indicated this was available, just as it is to all residents.” Mike said that the policy as voted is clear, only homesteads are plowed. Gary added that the law states that the township cannot subsidize this plowing and the fees must cover the service. Mark said that he keeps track of the time plowing private drives. Last winter was very hard and the cost went over $150 per drive. The board consensus is not to change the Town’s policy, but to review it and bring it up again at the next annual meeting, the second Tuesday of March, 2012. The Board instructed Paul to post and publish the plowing notice for this upcoming season (fees to be paid by the November meeting, Nov. 2, 2011), and Mark to keep careful records again this season. Glen said that he is very happy with the job Mark has been doing. Eldon asked that we continue the policy for township roads, that the plow alternate which direction it starts, North, South, East, and West. Gary said that Township roads have precedence over private drives.
Danforth Township Invoice: Jason Palme gave us an invoice fromDanforth Township for road work on our rangeline roads, Eagle Head and Crooked Lake Roads since the last invoice, $2,230.00. Mike said the invoice is confusing and he doesn’t understand it. Glen asked Mark to meet with Jason and have him explain the claim.
Heller Drive: Mark said he graded another rangeline road, Heller Drive, and Paul should invoice New Dosey Township for 1 hour of grading, $150/hour, New Dosey’s half, $75.00.
MAT State Conference: Glen said he needs to make hotel reservations by October 13, and asked for a decision by the board whether to send him to the state townships conference Nov. 17-19 at Arrowwood Resort. Paul said last year the board sent both Toni and Glen to the conference, for a total of $610.00. Mike moved to send Glen this year, and pay his tuition and hotel and mileage. Gary seconded. Glen abstained. Paul asked that in future years, that the board send alternate board members who are interested in attending. MAT has sessions for both supervisors and for clerks and treasurers, and either he or Patrice could attend sessions for both, and he would like to go.
Outhouse Pumping: Mark asked the board to authorize pumping out the holding tank for the town’s outhouse. Glen moved that the board pay $130 to get the townhall outhouse pumped out. Mike seconded. Passed.
Attorneys’ Legal Seminar: Paul gave a report on the legal seminar our law firm, Couri & Ruppe held in Cotton on Saturday, Oct. 3. Paul said some of the topics weren’t immediately relevant to our township, including planning & zoning, which we don’t have, and protecting township roads from windfarms, and on paved road maintenance, and township fire departments. But other subjects were immediately relevant, and more now than ever. One whole session was devoted to contracts and conflicts of interest. Contracts over $100,000 must be awarded by sealed bids, and to the lowest responsible bidder. Bids cannot be changed or supplemented, but can be rejected or rebid if non-responsive/responsible, or if requirements are not met. Between $25,000 and $100,000, can be sealed bids or by negotiation, with two or more quotes when possible, but does not have to comply with competitive bidding laws. Any contract under $25,000 can be made on the open market or by two or more quotations, if possible. Quotations must be kept on file for one year.
Conflicts of Interest: The seminar said MN. Stat. 365.37 says that “A Supervisor may not be a party to or to have a direct or indirect interest in a contract made or payment voted on the the Township Board, including family members or entities in which a supervisor has an interest. Violation is a misdemeanor and the Supervisor must leave office if convicted.” MN Statute 471.88 says an interested Supervisor can file an affidavit of interest, stating that his/her price is lower than can get elsewhere, and the board must pass a resolution stating this. Paul said we have been using these affidavits for supervisors for a long time, for grading or building maintenance. Mike said that every time we send officers to township training, they come back with more laws and restrictions on the board’s activities.
FEMA Funding to Clear Wind Damage: Mike presented the documentation and documents of his meetings with Mike Fedoruk, the federal FEMA representative. He said it’s a mess. The good news is the township has already been awarded $1,248.93 for the work we have already done to clean up the windstorm damage from July 1 (for equipment and administrative costs).
Mike said that he and Gary called an emergency town board meeting in September in order to count all the downed trees and washouts from the storm so an accurate report could be given to FEMA. They determined that gravel is needed on the Duncan, Pete Anderson, Lost River Road, Mayfield, and Little Tamarack Lake Road, and had to number all the downed trees so a bid could be made to FEMA. Patrice said that the washout on Mayfield road occurred before the July 1 storm. Gary said they reported a different part of the road. Mike said the FEMA rep surveyed it with him and said we need to put a culvert in the road there.
Mike said that FEMA granted $6,153 for grading and gravel for our storm-damaged roads, which covers administrative costs, labor, gravel, and equipment. Mike said his intention in negotiating with FEMA was that FEMA would buy Wilma Township a dump-truck and pay our workers, so they would be covered under the township’s workers’ comp policy, but that Mike Fedoruk said that any current employee of the township could not be paid from FEMA funds for labor clearing the trees, if Wilma Township got the contract. Mike took the initiative of approving and signing the contract between Wilma Townshipand FEMA for $29.25 per yard for removing and disposing of the downed trees from the storm from Wilma Township roads. All the lumber is to be stacked on Mike’s land so that FEMA can verify the total yards removed. Mike then submitted a bid from his company, Fudally Tackle, to contract withWilma Township to be reimbursed 75% from FEMA and 25% from the State of Minnesota to remove 1,000 yards of lumber and debris from WilmaTownship roads to be stacked on his land, at the agreed-on rate, for a total of $29,250.00. Mike said Arna entered into a similar contract with Todd Elliot for some of their roads. Mike wants to subcontract the Town of Wilma to do the labor at $16.00/hour, and the township pay the workers $15/hour, so any workers would be covered under Wilma Township’s Workers’ Comp policy. He will subcontract the township for 3 weeks of labor, paying for two or more employees of the township at $16/hour. Mike said the FEMA reps are leavingMinnesota and that he had to negotiate on the spot,
Glen said this is the first he has heard of any of this, including the special emergency town board meeting. Glen said that only the clerk can call an emergency or a special board meeting and that this was an illegal meeting. Glen said the township paid Mike as a supervisor to do the research with FEMA on getting compensation for Wilma Township for our storm damage, and that Mike used his knowledge and position to negotiate a private contract for his tackle company with Wilma Township under the auspices of FEMA. Glen said that Fudally Tackle cannot subcontract the Town of Wilma to do labor for him. Paul said Mike informed him of the situation on Monday, October 3rd, and he called our township insurance company, MAT, to see if township employees could be covered under Wilma Township’s Workers’ Comp policy if they did work for an independent contractor. MAT said no.
Glen said he wants it on the official record that the contract and agreement between Fudally Tackle and Wilma Township/FEMA is a conflict of interest, and Mike was wrong to negotiate for Wilma Township with FEMA, and to then sign a private contract with his company and Wilma Township/FEMA, and for him to profit from this contract, without ever notifying him, the Chairman of the Board, of any emergency board meetings or of the negotiations. Glen said that Mike is acting consistently with his character and personality. “This is wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” he said.
Mike said he had to act because of the limited time-frame. The FEMA supervisors were leaving Minnesota and he couldn’t wait for the October meeting. Patrice said that Mike had said at the fire department training that he would call a special board meeting. Mike said New Dosey isn’t getting a nickel because they missed the deadline, and he believes Arna Township got a lot more money than they would have without his help and guidance.
Glen said he does not see a need to continue this meeting until next week to approve the contracts, and that Mike has demonstrated that he is concerned with the interests of the township and that Mike’s intentions are good. Glen moved that if Mike can offer proof of liability insurance, that the board approve the contracts Mike signed between Fudally Tackle and Wilma Township/FEMA. Glen said he wants it on the record that this is like a shotgun wedding, and that he feels that this time-pressure is like a shotgun to the board’s head. Gary seconded. Mike abstained. Passed.
Mike said he already purchased liability insurance for more than $1,000 and that he has also purchased a dumptruck for his company. He spent many hours researching trucks for the township as the board instructed him to last April. Mike said that he would be willing to sell the truck to the township when he is done with this project for $5,000 or so, but that FEMA would not reimburse the township for this truck, or for any of the labor done since the last invoice he submitted, including the hours he and Gary spent surveying the storm damage for FEMA. He said if Wilma Township employees can’t be covered by the township workers’ comp policy, he could subcontract them so they would be responsible for their own insurance, or he could contract with the labor pool in Minneapolis who would send up workers and would cover their workers’ comp insurance. Paul said Todd Elliot is providing workers’ comp for his employees, and that Cheryl Wickham, Arna Clerk, said that FEMA requires proof of both liability and workers’ comp insurance for contractors. Paul said Wilma doesn’t pay very much for workers’ comp, and maybe Mike could get a policy for three months at a low cost. MAT said they would not insure private contractors.
Supervisor Gary Vink said the board is spending too much time on this subject and that he had had enough. Gary left the meeting at 9:30 p.m.
County Road 141/Duxbury Road: Paul sent letters and photographic documentation to County Coordinator Marc LeBrun, and to County Commissioners Steve Chaffee and Doug Carlson regarding the deplorable condition of County Road 141/The Duxbury Road east of Duxbury, especially in the Spring and Summer. Eldon said the letters are good, and he hopes will lead to better repair and maintenance.
TREASURER’S REPORT AND BILLS: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (Attached). Bills were presented:
Jenn Nelson (mileage to meeting/training) 18.87
Patrice Winfield (internet/expenses) 34.01
US Treasury (3rd quarter taxes)
Paul Raymond (mileage; internet) 126.11
Mark Pallow (mileage)
Mike moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report, to pay all the claims, and to transfer $3,000 from savings into checking. Glen seconded. Passed.
Mike moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.