BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Monday, August 27, 2018, 5:30 p.m. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.
PRESENT: Supervisors Mike Kelly, Jess Frenzel, Curt Blumhagen, and Clark Chambers, with Paul Wiese arriving at 5:53 p.m. Clerk Mary Israelson and Road Supervisor Clarence Lindseth. See guest sign-in sheet for visitors.
Waville Subordinate Service District Meeting:
Chairman Kelly started the meeting reporting that the most recent Audit done for the township identified the fact that the Waville Treatment Plant is nearing complete amortization, and suggests a plan to begin looking at future operations. The system has been in operation for more than 18 years and is currently working quite well, but it is unknown how much longer it will operate efficiently. The current Operation & Maintenance Fund is designed to handle the daily operations throughout the year. Operator Al Gorick has prepared a draft Capital Improvement Plan, and suggestions for a possible feasibility study that might be done to help answer some of the unknown concerns regarding the future of the system.
Tom Story, is not happy with this matter and believes the system should have come with warranties and should operate longer. He also stated that the system was originally designed for 40 homes, and it only supplies 20.
Sandy Aanderud, questioned why the system is fully amortized when it has only worked for 10 years. She isn't in favor of tying up a lot of money for a study, and also questioned what would happen to any fund balance if an alternate source for waste treatment were to come along for them (ie; city sewer, etc). Frenzel was very certain that the Township could not absorb the funds other than those owed for expense associated to this system, but that needs to be clarified.
Barb Johnston, commented on the problem that was encountered this past winter when clear effluent was running into the system, believing that instruction needs to be given to new property owners who purchase property on the system.
Mike Roysland, indicated that he is a newer property owner on the system, but has followed the history of it. He questioned the Township's involvement in the District and whether they are all 'in'?
It was explained that the system was originally formed according to State Statute as a Subordinate Service District, requiring that an Ordinance be incorporated for its governance. Northern Township is required to manage the system for the residents on the system, and has covered more than $250,000 in expenses. Kelly indicated that IF the residents wanted to take over the management of the system, this Board would support that request and help with dissolving the District. The Township has the authority to collect unpaid fees/expense via property tax payments, while the property owners would not have that same authority.
Marshall Johnston, has been involved with this matter since discussions started prior to 1999, and has talked with another community and to an Attorney regarding some of the issues that have been encountered. He believes that that current operator gets paid well, and asked about the proposed increase in monthly O&M fees.
Craig Johnston, addressed the problem from last winter when excessive water was running into the system believing that flow/event meters need to be installed on all of the grinder pump stations. He also asked about access to their properties, and everyone was encouraged to have a local contact person who can access their homes when they are not here. It is not the plant operator's roll to take care of issues on personal property. He also suggested that funds that might be used for a feasibility study be used instead to repair or replace existing equipment.
Kelly summarized the items that will be discussed and addressed later in the meeting; 1) installation of flow/event meters, 2) increase in monthly O&M fees to start addressing future needs, and 3) whether or not to move ahead with a feasibility study.
The regular meeting opened at 6:46 p.m.
MINUTES: A motion was offered by Chambers, and seconded by Wiese, to approve the minutes of the August 13, 2018, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.
Mark Fuller, from Freeberg & Grund, Inc. was present to discuss some current road issues;
East Movil Lake Road (north end). He presented some aerial photos depicting design options at 45, 40, and 35 mph for the curves along the northern portion of East Movil Lake Road in Northern Township. It was agreed that the 40 and 35 mph options will be shown to the property owners at the meeting scheduled for Monday, September 10th. The Board has agreed that unless the road can be designed and constructed to a proper standard for a blacktopped road, they are not going to spend township funds for any improvements to the road, or to the portion that is currently blacktopped. Some cooperation from the property owners whose property will be encroached on is required.
Deer Path Development - Fuller asked about the status of the roads in this development. His firm has not been contacted by anyone from the development to inspect any of the work that has been done. It is not known if all of the required work is complete, and the Board is waiting for the property owners, or developer, to present an inspection report to the township. There is a deadline of October 1st for the process to be completed prior to the winter maintenance season, which include a public hearing and road inspection by the Board.
Aspen Avenue - The Gopher One locates have been called in and the topo work has started. The Clerk has also completed the Deed research for all the properties that will be required to sign a right-of-way easement. The plan is to have the documents ready for when an informational meeting is held this fall/winter, with bidding to take place sometime this winter.
Corey Wright - Has owned a property with a trucking business in the township for many years and is quite frustrated with the attitude of the staff in the JPB office. He asked what the Board's thoughts are going forward with the joint planning once the current agreement is complete in January 2020. Kelly reported that the township has not made any agreements going beyond 2020, and is waiting for the City to provide some discussion regarding it. They also agreed that they would consider the property to be a grandfathered use if it were sold.
Lakewood Drive Blacktopping - Lindseth reported that the work is to be done this Wednesday.
Striping - This work is done until after the chip seal work is complete.
Chip Sealing - The contractor has indicated that they will be here the week after the Labor Day holiday. September 15th is the completion date.
Crack Filling - All Things Asphalt is supposed to be here the first week in September to do this work. George, Alder, Golfview, Forestview, Majestic Pine, Quiet Magestic, and Whitetail Road are planned. Maple Ridge will also be done.
Gravel - Wildwood Rd might be done next week.
Ditch Mowing - The 2nd round will be started.
Brushing - Johnson is going to be finishing the brushing/chopping this week or next.
Trees - Tim Vigen will be helping with some trees and signs tomorrow.
Bel Tree Drive - Some discussion was held during the road tour regarding some reconstruction needed on this road. Ditching is needed, especially along the south end and Johnson Construction has indicated that it can be done with a maximum of $15,000.00. The Board gave a consensus to have the work done not to exceed $20,000.00. North Country Circle/Lane needs to be considered for similar work in the future.
JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB):
Kelly reported that he has attended two meetings including representatives from Beltrami County, City of Bemidji, MPCA, DNR, etc. dealing with future road needs along Birchmont Beach Road on the north end of Lake Bemidji, and also future needs and capacity of the City's wastewater treatment system. He was also told that the City is considering a study on the individual wastewater treatment systems along the north end of Lake Bemidji in Northern Township. It was reported that non-compliant systems would require replacing, but this matter has been placed on hold for the time being.
1) Thank You note from Senior Activity Center for contribution, 2) notice of meeting sent to Waville Subordinate Service District property owners, 3) letter sent to First National Bank & Trust Co. and to J. Adam Hamilton regarding his request to release a portion of his Letter of Credit, 4) letter from Beltrami County Hwy Engineer regarding replacement of the Northern Town Hall sign along Irvine Avenue, 5) notice of County Board meeting on August 21st and the Liberty Town Hall, 6) Primary Election results with approximately 25% turnout in Northern Twp, and 7) request from JPB office regarding term of JPC member Bill Smith.
Sign - It was agreed that the Northern Town Hall directional sign on Irvine Avenue should be replacement when required. A fee of $300.00 is required.
JPC - Bill Smith's three (3) year term will be expiring in January, and he has agreed to continue if needed. The Board agreed that Smith serves the Township very well and welcomed his involvement for another term.
Primary Election - The Clerk reported that the new equipment seemed to work quite well and thanked the Board for agreeing to purchase four (4) poll pads initially, utilizing the grant funds (@$300/each). Some polls now want to add the equipment at $1,200/each.
Survey - Kelly has been approached by a resident asking if she could pass out a survey at the General Election asking for input regarding continuing with Joint Planning. It was agreed that this type of activity at the polling place is not appropriate.
So Movil Lake Road Property - Kelly met with the Realtor and signed the appropriate papers accepting the counter-offer of $66,000.00 for the property. The closing is expected to be on, or prior to, October 1st. A final amount with closing fees will be requested for the next meeting in order that it can be approved for payment. Once the closing in complete, a survey will be requested. The Clerk will find out if the property can be combined with the 10 ft. public access to the west of this property.
Waville Wastewater Subordinate Service District:
1) Flow/Event Meters – Blumhagen offered a motion to have Wagner Plumbing install the meters on each of the grinder pump stations, with the Township paying the expense and billing each property owner. The motion was seconded by Frenzel, and carried unanimously.
2) Operation & Maintenance Fees - Chambers offered a motion to increase the monthly fee paid by the members by $20.00 (from $65.00 to $85.00) starting in January. The motion was seconded by Blumhagen, and carried unanimously.
3) Feasibility Study - A motion was offered by Chambers, and seconded by Wiese, to move ahead with requests for proposal for a preliminary design report. The motion carried unanimously. The RFP will include; a) status of existing system and drainfield, with estimate of their life expectancy, b) suggested replacement, or upgrade, options, and c) estimated cost of replacement/upgrades. Approval will be required once the RFPs are received from at least two (2) bidders.
With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.