Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present: Supervisors Mike McCullen and Alden Shute, Treasurer Patrice Winfield, Clerk Paul Raymond, Road Manager Alden, Stan and Tracy Riley, Doug Witta, Rod Sodergaard, Stefanie Williamson, Angie Anderson, Jale Kirchberg, Jim Bredesen, and Scott Trentholm.
Clerk’s Report of July 6 Board Meeting. Paul read the record of the July 6 meeting; Mike moved to approve; Alden seconded; passed. Glen wanted it noted that Stefanie is only able to get township dental insurance because she is on the board as Deputy Clerk. She hasn’t applied for it yet.
ROAD REPORT: Alden said many roads had 2”-minus pit run gravel spread: N. Duncan (3 loads); Little Tamarack Lake (2 loads); Vink Road (2 loads); Mayfield (4 loads); Eaglehead (1 load). All gravel leveled and bladed.
Tamarack Pine Drive: Alden gave a report on Tamarack Pine Drive project. A constituent contacted Glen with concerns about Tamarack Pine Drive being graded so it is several feet narrower than it was. Alden said that project is still on-going, and he cannot yet complete it with red-rock gravel because the gravel supplier won’t be back until after Labor Day.
Jerry’s Roadside Mowing: He completed the job and billed us for $1,175.00. Alden said Danforth had already mowed both sides of Crooked Lake Road, so he had Jerry go over it again but we will not charge Danforth. A citizen on Lost River Road said the mower took out all the berry bushes just as they are ripening. She asked if we can wait next year until the berries are done. Alden said the end of August may be too late, but we will decide next year. Mike said to tell her there are many, many patches of berries on the Markville road that are not mowed or sprayed.
Wind Damage August 2nd: Alden and Mike inspected tree damage from last night’s big storm. Trees down on Tamarack Pine Drive, Little Tamarack Lake Road, Lost River Road, Fust Lane, S. Duncan Road, Langstrom Road, Schmedeke Lane, Pete Anderson Road and Mayfield Road. He cleared trees on all roads and bladed debris and logs to the side of the road. Mike and Kim Felton also cleared trees until late last night on the Little Tamarack Lake Road.
Kenny Peterson Road: Terry Koscielniak bought the 80 acres from Joe Vink on the north Kenny Peterson Road far beyond the .26 mile of road we maintain and claim for gas tax. The road is under water there and we do not claim it as a township road for gas-tax purposes. It was established in 1920 as a 1 ½ rod cartway, ½ mile. Terry said he still wants to build up the road and asked if the town could work with him, either to help build up the road to give him access to his land or to abandon that part of the road to allow him to gate off the road if he builds it up. He wants to investigate the abandonment of the road for no maintenance. Mike said the people retain access rights to all former township roads and rights-of-way that have not been vacated, and Terry could only gate his own land, not before. Alden will give him the number for our attorneys, Couri and Roupe, but he will have to pay them.
OLD BUSINESS:Public Hearing on Land Sales in Wilma Township: Mike attended the hearing yesterday, August 2 at the courthouse in Pine City. “Purpose of hearing to solicit testimony about reclassification and sale of 200-acres of tax forfeited property in Sections 10 and 11 on North Duncan Road.” Mike told the Commissioners that the Board’s position has always been to oppose any selling of public land in Pine County, since these are hunting and recreational lands used freely by the people and our board passed a resolution in 2020 to the county to state such. He said the sales will go through no matter what, and they have a ten-year plan of other parcels in our township they plan to sell, including on N. Duncan Road.
NEW BUSINESS: Omniballot Counter Test: Paul and Patrice have set the date to test Omniballot Marker. Sunday, August 7, 1 p.m.
Primary Election: Will be Tuesday, August 9, polls open at 10 a.m., close at 8 p.m. Judges from 9:30 to 8:30. Paul, Patrice and Tracy will judge.
Appointed Election Judges: For primary August 9 and General Election November 8. The Board appointed Patrice Winfield, Stefanie Williamson, and Tracy Riley as judges. Patrice, Paul and Tracy attended in-person judge training and Stefanie can take the online training. To take it online, email name, email address, and telephone (preferably cell phone) number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilma Fallfest: Stefanie asked people to mark the date for the annual Fallfest celebration, Saturday, October 22. We will have karaoke this year.
Annual Legal Seminar: Couri & Ruppe have scheduled another free legal seminar for Saturday, September 17, 2022, 9 am to 4 pm. Reserve at email@example.com.
District 7 Meeting: Will be Thursday, August 11, 7 p.m. at Chisago Lake Township at 12400 316 Street in Lindstrom. No online participation. Glen said he cannot attend.
MAT Annual Conference: Will be October 14 and 15 at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Glen said he cannot attend, but Paul said he has registered to attend. Two days instead of three as in previous years.
Public concerns about No Parking Signs: A number of citizens wanted to speak in support of Stan Riley and his business, Country Store and More, and that the county is preparing to post No Parking signs in front of his property and business, which Stan said would adversely affect his business. He said he has been dealing with issues with board members Gary Vink and Mike McCullen since he started his business, first over obtaining liquor and 3.2 and cigarette license and then issues over parking on Tamarack River Road. Gary and Mike refused to issue the cigarette license and blocked the liquor license until Stan remedied the parking situation. Stan made a parking lot and has asked people not to park on the road. Jim Bredesen said he has attended every fire department raffle and cars have always parked on both sides of the Duxbury Road and up Tamarack River Road and this was never an issue before.
Angie said she felt one of the Supervisors was unprofessional and at the April board meeting told someone in the parking lot that he’d like to run someone over, which she believes was her (when asked, she said that he said, “You know who I mean”) and also claimed that Mike made an inappropriate racial slur about the Chairman. Angie said on township property that Supervisors must be professional and she demanded his resignation. Mike denied saying this or making any racial comment.
Stan said that Mike has been telling and showing people his past criminal record, for which he has paid all his time and has had his rights restored and he said he has completely turned his life around. Paul asked if Mike shared this information as DVFD Fire Chief or as a Supervisor? If it was only as Chief, this meeting is not the proper forum to discuss it. Glen said it doesn’t matter, Supervisors are always on duty. Mike said yes, he has told the fire department board of directors about the record because they have to carefully vet people who apply to be on the department, including past records. Stan said this controversy has cost him business, and now the county is prepared to erect No Parking signs in front of his property. Even though he has made a parking lot, at times a truck with a trailer has to park on Tamarack River Road, and this will take away and discourage business. Due to this the Rileys are asking Mike to step down and have made a deadline line of 60 days.
Mike said he has had several anonymous complaints about people parking on the road and his only concern is for public safety because as Chief he would have to respond to any serious accidents caused by cars coming over the hill and slamming into parked cars and he is responsible for the safety of our citizens. Glen said we cannot make policy based on anonymous complaints and that people need to come to meetings like tonight and express concerns on the record. Mike said he did go to the county to express his concerns about the danger of cars parked on the road. Glen asked Paul to research how many accidents have happened in front of Stan and Tracy’s home and how many were caused by hitting parked cars and not just icy roads.
Glen said we all have a past, and people should be credited for trying to remedy their past and live as good, productive citizens. Glen said he has known Mike for many years and Mike has always been firmly against government interference in the lives of private citizens and has been against regulations and rules to control people who are just trying to live and do business and succeed, and he believes Mike has strayed from his past Republican/Libertarian convictions.
Alden said he doesn’t like the idea of No Parking signs in front of Stan’s business, and he wants everyone who is trying to make an honest living to have the opportunity to do so without unnecessary interference. He moved that the Board of Supervisors ask the county to not put up any No Parking signs on Tamarack River Road because of the anger and pain this issue has raised in our township and because Stan has remedied the parking situation. Glen seconded the motion. Mike abstained. Passed. Paul will contact Greg Beck and the Pine County Highway Department, Mark LeBrun.
Treasurer’s Report: (Attached) Patrice said total bills for August are $3,829.26, and she needs to transfer $3,800.00. Mike moved to approve her report and to transfer the funds. Glen seconded; passed. Alden moved to adjourn the meeting; Mike seconded; passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:15.