WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2020
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.
Meeting Record: Paul read the record of the November board meeting. Mike moved to approve; Gary seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Alden said he had nothing to report. He explained the billing for the road brushing, and that he had asked them to separate range line roads from other roads. The billing for this year was similar to the bill in 2016 when all the roads were last brushed, $4,800. Bob Brewster had demanded an answer about ditch work at the end of Pete Anderson Road on Arna’s side: he wanted to know who ditched it and who authorized it? Alden spoke with him and explained it. Paul just sent out the billing to Arna and New Dosey and Danforth for range line road work done in 202o. Patrice said she just got the billing for the brushing so it will need to be billed later.
Vehicle Blocking Mink Farm Drive: Gary had to make repeated trips to the end of Mink Farm road for a car parked in the right of way that would prevent the grader from turning around, and even cars. He left notes. Mike said we have the authority to tow cars if necessary to keep the roads accessible. Mike said to document incidents like this with the licence plate numbers.
OLD BUSINESS: Wilmatownship.com postings: Paul asked if the board could add Deputy Clerk Stefanie Rahn as a site administrator to work directly with the Clerk and the Treasurer to post meeting records and notices and monthly financial reports expeditiously. Mike said this is not a board issue. We contract with a website developer and administrator and he decides who posts what and when. Glen said he is trying to post things quickly and recent records went up quickly.
Broad band Internet: At the November meeting, Patrick Story brought up the Border to Border Broadband Development Grant Program that was created in 2014 with the legislative focus to provide state resources for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state. In the 2019 legislative session, $20 million was appropriated to DEED for each of the next two years. The board authorized Paul to research this grant and if we could ask that some of it be used to extend or improve service in under-served areas in our township, like Pat. Paul did contact the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development to ask about their broadband grants. They said CenturyLink got a federal grant, not a DEED grant, and no one has applied to DEED for broadband expansion in our area. Our only recourse would be to pay for it ourselves. Diane Wells wrote: “The township might want to consider working with either CenturyLink or whoever is the winning bidder in the new round of funding to see if there is a way to get the remaining areas of the township built out with broadband. We have examples of townships using bonding to help pay a provider to deploy broadband in those hard to serve areas where no provider can make the business case without outside funding. (In some instances, that bonding was paired with state grant funding. However, the state grant program has been funded on a yearly basis and we likely won’t know until the 2021 session ends whether it will be funded again. And, given the budget constraints going in to session, funding for the state program cannot be assumed.) If there is interest by the township in a financial partnership with a broadband provider to get services constructed, our office can help facilitate those discussions.”
2020 MAT Educational Conference and Annual Meeting: All sessions were virtual by Zoom for two days of meetings and trainings: Friday, November 20 Breakout Rooms (CTAS, Township Succession; Winter equipment; Workers’ Comp; Noxious Weeds; Cartways; Mediating Conflicts). and Saturday, where Gov. Walz was the featured speaker at the annual business meeting. Videos of the sessions for clerks, treasurers, and supervisors are all online at the MAT website. The board agreed to reimburse those who attended by Zoom at their hourly rate. Mike asked Paul to see if he can get the handouts and power-points for the board.
NEW BUSINESS: Break-ins in Dairlyland, WI: Glen and Mike got warnings from citizens in Wisconsin about a rash of break-ins in their area. They have a video and photos of the suspect.
Elections: Glen moved to approve a resolution to designate the Wilma Town Hall as our polling place for 2021. Mike seconded; passed. Filing for March 9, 2121 Election: Filing period is from December 29 – January 12, 2021. Patrice and Mike are up for re-election in 2121.
Death of Scott Quady: Glen reported that one of our long time citizens, Scott Quady, died this past week and the board extends condolences. Mike said the funeral will likely be in Buffalo, and with COVID it won’t be big.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Patrice gave the December treasurer’s report (attached). Total bills for $3,296.82 and she wants to transfer $3,000 from savings to checking. Mike moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds; Gary seconded. Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned 8:45 p.m.
Report by Paul Raymond _________________________________
Attest: Glen Williamson, Chair______________________________