WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, OCTOBER 7, 2015
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisor Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Mark Pallow, Assistant Grader Operator Alden Shute, Bill Peno, Barbara Smith, Lisa Sisterman, and Tom Crotty.
Paul read the record of the September meeting; Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded.
OLD BUSINESS/ROAD REPORT: Schmedeke Lane Extension Update: Alden gave a report on progress of road. The work is almost completed except for spreading the gravel a little more. They were able to dump and spread enough gravel straighten out the curve in the road and to gravel Eldon’s two approaches. Glen said we can now claim the extension as a township road for road tax on the County Highway Department report due November 15, an added ¼ mile, plus we can bill the County for the work, up to $10,000. We spent more than that on the road, including all the labor and inspections, but it is a beautiful road.
Vink Road Gravel Issue: Glen said he has never had so many calls and letters from constituents regarding road issues. The Board sent a letter to Barb Smith about moving gravel from the Vink Road onto her driveway. Barb attended the meeting and read a response to the board, stating that the new gravel we put on the road wasn’t spread out and there was a two foot drop-off leaving the road entering her driveway. Barb said she did not take any of our road gravel but used her own gravel to make a smooth transition from her driveway to the road to be able to enter her driveway. Barb said that the grader did come out after her complaint, and gravel was spread out better, but she also would like a letter of apology. Glen said we should have phrased the letter to her more diplomatically, and we need a new procedure to address concerns like this. Glen apologized for the board and said our letter never should have said she took road gravel without some proof or confirmation. Gary said he has contacted the utility locators to find out where their lines are so we can install a culvert at the beginning of the road where it is flooded. Gary moved that a culvert be installed there if it is needed. Glen seconded. Vink Road is one of the roads that will be brushed this winter. Alden said in many road rights-of-way the brush is too large for a hydro ax, and wondered if we could ask landowners to cut down small trees in the rights-of-way. Gary said the right-of-way is whatever we maintain; we don’t necessarily have to make the road 33′ wide.
Eagle Head Road: Gary located one culvert but couldn’t unplug it. At the next culvert he removed the screen Danforth Township had put in and cleaned out the culvert and replaced the screen. We need to bill Danforth for: 10/4/2015 ¼ hour, for culvert, $4.50; and 10/6 1 hour, to locate culvert, $15, total $19.50. Plus Alden graded Eagle Head and Crooked Lake Roads, 2.5 hours @ $100/hour, $250, Danforth’s half: $125. Total billing so far: $144.50.
South Duncan Road: Loren Kratzke said that a culvert was damaged in the attempt to create a drainage ditch on the west side: “The repair severely damaged one culvert to the point that no water can pass through it and pushed so much dirt and grass in front of another culvert that it is nearly plugged. The Road itself has been washed out almost a third of the way across in the area of the damaged culvert. Immediate attention to this damage would be appreciated because, if the road washes out any further, we may not be able to access our property.” Mark and Alden ditched the South Duncan Road and replaced the culvert. Gary said it took one hour to ditch the landing ($150) and 3.5 hours labor ($126), total $276, to be deducted from Park Falls Hardwood Escrow Account. Patrice said we do not have any escrow from Park Falls. Gary said they had complained to Greg Beck that we were holding their escrow.
North Duncan Road: On the North Duncan Road before the swamp Mark back-hoed and and ditched on the east side. Bill Peno said there is an apron on Thiry’s land that prevents water run-off. Gary said Hopkins went back and ditched the road.
Bill Peno and Tom Crotty both requested that the Board complete the North Duncan Road north of Thiry’s so that it is passable by vehicles other than four-wheelers. Bill says we recorded the road as a four-rod road all the way to Ox Creek. Bill said he’s been dealing with township maintenance of this road for 45 years, all the while paying township taxes. When Bill was seriously injured at his cabin two years ago the ambulance and sheriff would not drive down the road and had to walk to his cabin. He had to be medevacked to the hospital. Bill said the road has a good base, but grass has grown over the base and the road is very rutted past Thiry’s. Bill said two years ago Glen had said, “Let’s get it done!” yet very little has been done. There has been no ditching and the apron built up on Thiry’s land has blocked drainage. Bill said he had been assured he could attend the road inspection this May, but he was never notified. He also said he has never had a fire number for first responders. Glen said Bill needs to contact the county about that. Bill said the last time a gravel truck tried to dump gravel on the road by his land they got stuck and refused to dump the gravel. He said it is impassable now. Gary said Hopkins gravel put 50 loads of gravel on North Duncan Road and the Board spent $7,000 on the road in the last 5 years. Bill said no way could they have dumped 50 loads, but any work benefited property owners before his land. Mark said it would cost $20,000 to build up the road to Ox Creek to make it passable, all for one landowner, and there is no way a gravel truck can get in there without getting stuck. Bill said it is ½ mile from Ox Creek to Thiry’s, and maybe gravel could be dumped and bulldozed in.
Gary moved that the entire board inspect the road along with the two road managers. Glen seconded this and said he couldn’t do this until after the second week of November. He will set a date at the November 4th Board Meeting, and any work may not start until next July. We may be able to do some ditching this fall. Mark said they could bring a back hoe in. Bill said any work needs to start with ditching the east side and removing the apron and pushing the gravel into the ruts. Glen moved that the road committee (Mark, Alden and Gary) be authorized to find out the cost to rent a excavator or backhoe and if they can do this under $1,000 that they be authorized to do the work before the November meeting. Gary seconded. Alden said they should get a wide cad cat with a 6” blade to go in there and do the ditching.
Lost River Road: Mark and Gary have gone back and repaired all the damage the grader did at the curve and replaced the sod. Glen got four letters from residents on or near Lost River Road saying that they had no complaints about our road maintenance on Lost River, nor do they have problems with horses or ATV’s using the road. Following a complaint, the Board had sent a letter to a constituent with horses that asked them to “be respectful of township dirt roads when they are soft.” We got a very angry letter in response, stating, “If someone could have taken the time to go investigate claims that my horses have damaged this road it could have saved a letter sent wrongfully to me.” They were also very upset that their name was published on the public website. Glen said he immediately went online and replaced their name with “a constituent” and said we do owe this person a formal apology from the board. Paul apologized for printing their name and said he thought no one ever looked at our website. The board authorized Paul to send a formal apology and tell them of our resolution to thoroughly investigate complaints before acting in the future.
NEW BUSNESS: Duxbury VFD Annual Fee: Glen moved that we pay our annual fee to the fire department $4,000. Gary seconded.
Automark Maintenance: The Auditors’ office wants all Automark machines returned to the courthouse for preliminary maintenance. Patrice will bring it down. It can be left there until next year’s elections.
Town Hall and Fire Hall Valuation Survey: The MN Association of Township Agency wants to schedule a survey or our halls to accurately determine the value for coverage. Paul will meet with them.
County Township Officers’ Meeting: Saturday, October 24, 9 a.m. Hinckley American Legion. Paul can’t attend, but Glen will come down for the meeting, and Patrice may attend.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the Treasurer’s Report (attached), and claims were presented. Total claims $11,905.48. Gary moved to approve her report, to transfer $12,000 from savings to checking, and to pay all the claims. Glen seconded. Gary moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to by: Glen Williamson, Chair