BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Monday, January 8, 2018, 6:00 P.M. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.
PRESENT: Supervisors Mike Kelly, Clark Chambers, Paul Wiese, Curt Blumhagen, and Jess Frenzel. Treasurer Doug Kranich, Road Supervisor Clarence Lindseth and Clerk Mary Israelson. See guest sign-in sheet for visitors.
Blumhagen offered a motion to maintain all of the positions, committees and sub-committees as they were in 2017, with chambers seconding the motion. The group was asked whether or not anyone wished to be removed or changed from an appointment, and no one did. The motion carried unanimously. The following appointments will remain;
Chair - Kelly
Vice-chair - Chambers
Joint Planning Board (JPB) - Kelly and Frenzel will represent Northern Township, with Chambers serving as the alternate when needed.
Beltrami Association of Township Officers (BATO) - Chambers. Israelson serves as Secretary/Treasurer.
Bemidji Rural Animal Control Association (BRACO) - Wiese. Israelson also serves as Secretary/Treasurer.
Rural Fire Association (RFA) - Blumhagen, with Wiese acting as the alternate when needed.
Joint Planning Commission (JPC) - Allen Steffen, Bill Smith and Chris Lahn.
Roads/Public Accesses - Kelly and Wiese, with Road Supervisor Lindseth also a part of the sub-committee.
Township Properties - Blumhagen and Chambers.
Waville - Frenzel as the liaison.
Human Resource - Kelly and Chambers.
LEGAL PUBLICATION - A motion was offered by Chambers, and seconded by Wiese, to continue using The Pioneer. The motion carried.
MEETING DATES AND TIME - A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Frenzel, to continue with the regular meeting dates on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, unless one falls on a Legal Holiday or changed due to other conflicts. The meeting time would also remain at 6:00 p.m. The motion carried unanimously.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS - A motion was offered by Frenzel, seconded by Blumhagen, and carried unanimously, to continue to allow the use of all local establishments.
POSTING PLACES - A motion was offered by Chambers, and seconded by Wiese, to continue using the Town Hall and Northdale Oil as posting places. They are also posted on the township website (northerntownship.com). The Clerk will check to see if the new Cenex store has a place to post notices.
Gopher Bounty and Town Hall Rental Fees - Wiese offered a motion to maintain the $2.00 per gopher fee, and the rental fees, with Chambers seconding the motion, and it carried unanimously.
Supervisor Salaries - The Supervisor fees are $250/month, with $350/month being paid to the Chairman. This fee includes all meetings of the Board, committee and sub-committee meetings, and any other special meetings. Educational or training events would still be paid at an hourly rate along with mileage. Kelly indicated that he would like to see an increase of $50/month in the Supervisor fee, but felt the Chair's fee was fine.
Kelly then moved to increase the Supervisor fee to $300/month, with the Chairman's remaining at $350/month. Frenzel seconded the motion and a roll call vote was requested. Chambers - no, Frenzel, Kelly, Wiese, and Blumhagen - yes. The motion carried.
Planning Commission - Chambers moved to maintain the meeting fee at $50/meeting, with Wiese seconding, and the motion carrying unanimously.
Treasurer, Road Supervisor, and Clerk - It was agreed that these would be left for the human resource committee to review.
The regular meeting followed;
MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Chambers, to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2017, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.
Lindseth reported that the roads are still very icy, but are getting somewhat better. More sanding will be done tomorrow with the normal sand/salt mixture.
Complaints - A couple were received regarding mailboxes being hit by the plow, and one complaining that Balsam Road was being plowed too wide! ** Property owners are reminded that mailboxes are allowed to be in the road's right-of-way and it is the homeowner's responsibility to keep the snow cleared around it, which helps the snow removal contractor avoid damaging the box. However,
occasionally the plow, or the snow being pushed from the plow, does hit a mailbox and it is the owner's responsibility to take care of the damage. There are mailbox standards that are recommended. **
Peaceful Pines - Lindseth reported that this development road has been blacktopped without consulting the township regarding specs or an inspection. There has been no inquiry regarding the township taking over the maintenance of the road, but would require a compliance inspection prior to that happening.
JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB):
Kelly and Frenzel reported that there was a case (Sanford Center), that was pulled, and another regarding a tri-plex rental in the City. The comprehensive plan and vacation home rental regulation discussion is going to begin at this month's meeting, with the JPB office completing lots of research. They have several suggestions for vacation rentals that would include inspection and licensing. Also, there has been quite a bit of comment following the variance approval for the City's new liquor store.
BEMIDJI RURAL ANIMAL CONTROL (BRACO):
The first meeting of 2018 was held with the budget being reviewed, and it was agreed to leave the fee structure the same for now. Activity for the new Animal Control Officers seems to have slowed down a bit at this time.
RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA);
Blumhagen reported that the next meeting is scheduled for January 25th.
Bills - The bills are payable with check numbers 9836-9858 (9835 was voided) totaling $66,650.23. The larger expenses were the 1st quarter payment to the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning of $12,635.50, the annual Animal Control Organization for of $9,275.00, final payment for the town hall siding project of $17,480.00, and road maintenance $14,973.00. A motion was then offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Wiese, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried.
Treasurer Report - Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue - $142,313,11, Road & Bridge - $410,322.81, Rural Fire - $45,062.62 and Sewer District Waville - $17,439.59, for a total of $615,138.13, which is the year-end balance. A motion was offered by Chambers, seconded by Frenzel, and carried, to approve the report as presented.
Certificates of Deposit - Kranich recommended that $85,000 of the maturing $150,000 CD be placed in a 30 day CD at .65% at Security Bank. Consensus was given to proceed as recommended.
Budget - Kranich reported that he will be out of the area for a few weeks, but will return prior to the first meeting of February. The budgeting will begin during February also.
1) Thank You note from the 1st Responders for the contribution, 2) letter to Turtle Lake Township Board in response to a letter received from them, 3) letter sent regarding snow being pushed or placed on roads, 4) scam email, 5) Waville Treatment System reports, 6) note from Attorney Jason Kuboushek regarding filing dismissal for the Birchmont lawsuit, 7) information from JPB office regarding two upcoming cases in Northern Township.
Lake Beltrami Road - A letter had been received from the Turtle Lake Township Board indicating that they had voted to NOT use the grant funds to blacktop the Lake Beltrami Road. In addition, they voted to return the funds to the State Park Road account. A letter was then returned to them indicating that the Northern Township Board was not informed of the vote to return the funds, that they were not included in the decision, and that they still supported completing the blacktop project since a portion of the road lies in Northern Township. The Northern Township Board has sent letters of support for the project during the grant application process. The letter was also sent to the County Highway Engineer, DNR, and Beltrami County Administrator.
Snow on Township Roads - The road supervisor and contractor continue to inform the Clerk of property owners who violate state statutes by pushing snow onto or across public roads, and letters are sent.
Scam - An email was shared of someone acting to be the Chairman and instructing the Clerk to issue a check for some consulting services. Of course, this isn't the way Townships are allowed to operate disbursements, but seemed pretty authentic. It was shared with law enforcement.
Waville - Al Gorick has noted in his monthly report that the flows into the treatment plant are quite high for this time of year. Emails were sent to the users asking that everyone check their properties for signs of a cause for this flow. Letters will also be mailed tomorrow, since there are a couple new property owners who have not updated their contact information.
Birchmont - The 30 day appeal period has expired and the Stipulation for Dismissal will be filed with the Court.
Road Supervisor - Kelly reported that Lindseth is dealing with some health issues, but following some better news than the original, he should be able to continue with his duties for some time. However, the board needs to start thinking about the future and how they want to continue with the need for road maintenance and pickup plowing. At this time, Lindseth is employed by Johnson Construction to conduct the plowing required with a pickup. But, the township might want to consider using the County Highway Dept for some work and possibly purchasing a utility truck, and hiring a part-time employee, to handle some maintenance jobs that are now contracted out. It's time to start thinking about the future.
Building - The new siding on the building is complete, with the seamless gutters scheduled to be put on tomorrow. An electrician has been asked to install new outdoor lights, and the door plates are supposed to be done also. Some painting will need to be done this spring.
With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:02 p.m.