WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING, WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present Supervisors |Michael McCullen and Gary Vink, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Grader Operator Alden Shute, Mike Goetz and his friend, and Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke.
Paul read the record of the August board meeting. Gary moved to approve; Glen seconded.
ROAD REPORT: Alden did road grading and routine blading on several roads: North and South Duncan Roads, Crooked Lake Road, Fust Lane, Schmedeke Lane, and Pete Anderson Road. The rip-rap project on Little Tamarack Lake Road and digging out and dropping the culvert on Mayfield Road were completed successfully, with 3 loads of rip-rap in the Little Tamarack Lake erosion and a total load of dirty gravel and class 5 on the culvert. Alden said the Pete Anderson road should be ditched at the first part where the corduroy is exposed before gravel is put down; he would like to have a contractor inspect the first part of the road to see what we need to do to properly ditch it and build it up where it floods. Alden also wants Arna’s approval for this and also for dragging the washed out gravel at the big culvert/bridge back onto the road. Paul contacted Arna Township to get approval for the work we plan to do on Pete Anderson Road, but no reply yet.
Town Hall and Fire Hall Roof Repair: Beaver Roofing from Moose Lake, Steve Vogel, has the contract for $3,580 (He will repair all the fasteners, install hex headed washers and screws; install urethane caulking on all fasteners; remove ridge cap and install new foam vented ridge and reinstall). 2 year warranty on leakage. Steve has been very busy, but promises to complete the work this fall.
District 7 Meeting and Election: Was Wednesday, August 30, but Glen decided not to run for District Director so no one from Wilma attended.
Pete Anderson Road Bridge: Mike Goetz took the floor to explain the history of the bridge at the end of Pete Anderson Road. The bridge was there for 84 years and after both towns stopped maintaining the last quarter mile of the Pete Anderson Road, adjoining landowners took over the job of maintaining the north quarter mile and the bridge across |McDermott Creek. Mike Goetz asked, “Can I have permission from Wilma Township to maintain an ATV/snowmobile trail in the public easement where the bridge was vandalized on Pete Anderson road and to replace the bridge?” Mike Goetz and other landowners had a bridge across the river and said the DNR and the state hydrologist inspected and approved it, but Daniel Lodge destroyed it. The bridge is in Arna Township since the road veers off to the right at the end, but Wilma has had attorney rulings that roads that have never been vacated remain in the public domain. Mike McCullen said he is not sure how we could get deputies to enforce the public access to the road and bridge and protect the bridge. Paul said he can write a resolution quoting our attorney decisions on public rights-of-way and that no one can can impede the public’s right to use old roads that have never been vacated and which remain public rights-of-way and that it is in the interest of the public and citizens to be able to use the road and bridge and that tampering with or vandalizing a legally approved bridge is subject to criminal prosecution and penalties. Also two parcels on the left side of the creek only have access across the bridge, so this is a public easement. Mike Goetz said since the original right of way was 33′ on both sides of the road, this could put the right of way within Wilma Township, even if the bridge crossing is in Arna. Mike said Dave Wallens has a lot of information on the history of the Pete Anderson Road. Glen said to write Daniel Lodge and invite him to a board meeting, to inform him that anyone damaging the bridge if it is rebuilt can be held criminally liable.
NEW BUSINESS: Failing Bridge Resolution: Resolution to the Pine County Highway Department and the Pine County Commissioners to put the bridge replacement (on Markville Road, ¼ mile east of Tamarack River Road) higher on their schedule and agenda and requesting complete inspection. Mike said the first great flood was in 2000, not 1999, and he asked that the clause asking for a thorough inspection be deleted. He said if they inspect it and find it defective they could close it off for months before they replace it. With these changes, he moved that we adopt the resolution as written and send it to the Commissioners and the Pine County Highway Department.
Pine County Tax-forfeited Land Sale: Will be Friday, September 15, Pine County Courthouse, 10 a.m. Two Tracts in Wilma Township, both at end of Mink Farm Road extension are for sale. The Board passed a resolution in 2014 stating, “The Wilma Township Board of Supervisors, acting on behalf of the citizens of Wilma Township, does not approve the sale of County lands within Wilma Township,” and this was sent to the Pine Co. Land Dept. and the Commissioners. Mike said this will just put more land out of public hunting and use.
Schmedeke Lane Extension: Eldon took the floor to ask the township to extend the Schmedeke Lane extension at a few hundred feet, up to the swamp, and to remove the stumps and trees at the end of the existing extension and extend and make this a decent road. Mike had talked a lot with Eldon earlier in the day, and Mike explained that the township cannot build a road on private land, but only land that has been deeded to the township. We found a letter from Auditor Cathy Clemmer from 2013 that stated: “Keep in mind that the current road is not built on all of this retained easement because it runs into the swamp.” This means that the township or the county already have easement rights to build the road further, and Mike said he would like to have the board revisit this and inspect the end of the road again to see how much further it could be extended before it hits the swamp. The County had agreed to build the base of the extension to a length of two 40’s, or 2,640 feet, and to pay Wilma Township $10,000 to bring this extension up to township and county specs, and Wilma recorded this extension as, “West 66 feet of the east 132 feet of the NE ¼ of SE ¼ and the West 66 feet of the East 132 feet of the SE ¼ of NE ¼ Section 11, Township 42, Range 17.” Eldon said he does not ask the town to go any further than to the swamp. The full Schmedeke Lane has been measured at 3,340′ long, about 6/10 mile. Mike moved that we do not adjourn tonight’s meeting but recess and meet again on Monday at noon at Schmedeke Lane to inspect and measure the road and see how far we can practically extend the road. Glen seconded. He will pick people up at the store at noon.
Township Legal Seminar: Couri & Ruppe, our attorneys, have a free legal seminar for township officials Saturday, September 16, in Rutledge, this year on road ordinances, open meeting law, township liability for snowmobile and ATV accidents on town roads; and free legal advice. Paul wants to go and Glen moved to approve; Mike seconded.
Annual State MAT Convention (November 16-18 in Rochester). Long discussion on the costs and benefits of attending this and other training conferences for the township and Board. Mike said he hears grumbling from anonymous voters. Gary asked if we couldn’t get the same training online. The total costs were tabulated, accounting for the $800 scholarship from the County Officers. |Mike asked what value this would be for our town and citizens. The 2017 Annual Conference theme is “Sustainable Water: The Foundation of Minnesota’s Environment, Economy, Health and Well-being.” Wilma Township has many lakes and rivers and all property owners get water from wells, and not many years ago the DNR tried to make Wilma a toxic waste dump. Glen, Toni and Paul have reserved rooms, but are not yet registered. Glen and Paul gave a defense of the value of having well-educated and well-trained township officers to represent the township with qualified and informed officers, which benefits the township in many ways. Mike took a poll of the voters present, Eldon, Marg and Alden; Eldon and Marg voted no, Alden said he didn’t want to get involved. Paul pointed out how much of our tax dollars go to train and educate our county and state officers and representatives, and we never complain about that. He said he’d go even if the town doesn’t pay for meeting pay, and that not one taxpayer will pay a nickel more in taxes if we send officers to training. Gary said we should reduce our levies then. Paul said we haven’t raised levies in many years, and have reduced some and he knows he is an effective clerk because of the training he’s received. Glen said he didn’t attend any of the short courses this year, so the town didn’t pay anything for that. Mike moved that since Glen didn’t attend these trainings, that Glen, Toni and Paul be authorized to go this year to the annual conference. Glen seconded.
Treasurer’s Report and Claims: Claims and bills for September total $4,030.97 and she requests a transfer of $4,200. Gary moved to approve the report and to transfer the funds; Glen seconded.
Gary moved to recess the meeting until Monday, September 11 at 12 noon; Glen seconded. Meeting recessed at 10:00 p.m.
Schmedeke Lane Extension: The board meeting reconvened at noon on Monday and met at the end of the Schmedeke Lane extension. Mike had already driven out past the extension with his ATV to survey the possibility of extending the road and made a trail, and Glen, Gary and Paul measured the existing extension from the beginning stake. The County had agreed to build the base of the extension to a length of two 40’s, or 2,640 feet and Eldon gave them the easement rights to this length. When we measured the new road with a surveyor’s wheel it is about 2040′. The county had said they couldn’t go further because of the swamp directly in the path of the easement. Mike made a trail and the board walked as far as the swamp and measured it; the swamp and beaver dam don’t start until about 314′ from the end of the extension. Mike said there are no large trees in the way of extending the road, and a Caterpillar should be able to knock down the saplings and brush and clear a good road bed in one day. Mike moved that we hire a cat operator to clear the brush and saplings to extend the road up to the swamp wide enough to ditch, about 314′, and then the board can determine how much gravel is needed. Glen seconded. Passed. Alden will be in charge of the work and hiring a contractor, and it will be paid out of the Road and Bridge Fund.
Wilma Fall Fest: Glen moved to move Wilma Fall Fest from October 21 to October 28, the same day as the County Township Officers’ Meeting, because the Procrastinators have a conflict with the 21st. Mike seconded. Passed.
Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded; meeting adjourned at 1 pm.
Paul Raymond, Clerk _____________________________
Attested to by Glen Williamson, Chair_____________________________