445 Town Hall Rd NW
Bemidji, MN  56601

Phone: 218-751-4989
Fax: 218-444-5374
Date: Aug 12, 2019
Monday, August 12, 2019. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

PRESENT: Supervisors Mike Kelly, Jess Frenzel, Paul Wiese, and Curt Blumhagen. Treasurer Doug Kranich, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen, and Clerk Mary Israelson. Absent; Supervisor Clark Chambers. See sign-in sheet for guests.


Chairman Kelly opened the meeting by explaining that AE2S had completed their assessment of the wastewater treatment plant, by determining the current status, possible options for refurbishing or replacement, and financing suggestions. It was determined that the plant is operating quite well at this time, but something will need to be done within the next few years. Refurbishing the current system was recommended as the most viable, with a total estimated cost of approximately $170,000. The process would consist of emptying the tanks, replacing the top portion, and refinishing the interior. The system would need to be taken off-line for that time, with the effluent hauled to the City's treatment plant.

Al Hansen asked if there had been consideration to replace the current steel tanks with new fiberglass tanks. It was felt that it would have been considered as part of the assessment, but a better answer would be checked out.

Jayme, with AE2S, and plant Operator Al Gorick were later consulted with this being their response; "The existing tanks are not just round empty tanks. They have specialized compartments in them that provide different functions. We do not have good enough prints to replicate them. A significant share of the equipment resides within the tanks, so by the time you excavate completely, remove all the equipment, re-install the equipment in a new tank, place the new tanks back, and replace the soil and other equipment you have to move, your total project cost would be in excess of rehabilitating the existing tanks. Not to mention the need for a long-term bypass while each tank was being replaced. Also, the electrical panel would then have to be replaced because it is supported by the existing tank configuration. Basically, you would be building a new plant. Replacing may open a whole new can of worms in the Medium Sized ISTS regulatory requirements, permitting, etc. MPCA would be involved and possibly become the permitting authority."

After some additional discussion, Kelly reported that the Board would proceed with working on getting proposals for the refurbish work in the next year or two. This would give everyone a better idea of what the actual costs would be in order that grants and funding could be sought, and options for payment worked on.

A new spare blower was purchased, as suggested in the report. It was then noted that the current fund balance had been depleted to less than $6,000, with the billing for the plant assessment work yet to be sent. The total cost of that work was $11,086.00, to be divided between the 19 property owners equaling $583.00 each. Those bills will be sent this week.

The regular Board of Supervisors Meeting was then called to order at 6:05 p.m.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Wiese, to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2019, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Many visitors were present who would be addressed during the Public Access Report.

Aspen Ave - The re-construction work is moving along quite well, with gravel completed on the north portion, and the curb/gutter area to be done soon. The engineer has asked if there might be a consideration to place calcium chloride on the gravel once it completed, since the blacktop won't be done until next spring/summer. After some discussion, it was agreed to wait to see if it is needed.

Matt Lee - Has a property on the east shore of Lake Bemidji that he is in the process of dividing. He would like to change the access/driveway to his home on that property, using an existing un-built platted road that abuts an undeveloped public access roadway (Pier Street). The Board agreed that they had no issues with him using the roadway.

Lake Movil - Many visitors were in attendance regarding the proposed public access along So. Movil Lake Road. Kelly reported that the first meeting of the committee appointed to help determine the needs for the possible uses of the property will be held tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, but will be limited to discussion between the committee members, consisting of; DNR Trails & Waterways Supervisor, DNR Fisheries Supervisor, Bemidji Rural Fire & Rescue Chief, Law Enforcement, JPB Staff, Freeberg & Grund Engineering, Turtle Lake Township Supervisor, three (3) volunteer residents of Lake Movil, a Northern Township resident, and two (2) Northern Township Supervisors.

Some of the items asked from the visitors present tonight have been asked and answered previously, and included;
- The property was purchased last fall with the intent of creating some sort of public access, but the process will determine what is agreed on
- The Corp of Engineers will have the final say on what is approved
- There has been no plan approved, or even submitted at this point
- The intent is to allow winter access, but it is not known to what extent
- Minutes of all the approved Board Meetings are posted on the Northern Township website at - www.northerntownship.com
- Shep Wilemek read and submitted another letter to the Board
- He also submitted a petition of 42 signatures from "neighborhood residents who'd be seriously impacted by the Board's current proposal to create a public access to Lake Movil....indicating our displeasure and opposition to such a plan - trusting each supervisor will reconsider constructing such a facility and ultimately vote to abandon the idea - as it's entirely out of character with our present residential setting and backwoods surroundings."
- There are residents who are in favor of the concept, but it is human nature that they don't come to meetings to express their thoughts like those who are more directly affected
- There is no plan to allow parking along the road, and it would up to the Sheriff's Dept. to enforce the parking restrictions
- The south shore does not seem to be conducive to running a pontoon or power boat. Those natural elements will certainly dictate the uses.
- A complete delineation of the wetland on the property will been done
- Requests for privacy fences by adjacent property owners would need to be considered by the Board
- There will be open meetings once a plan is ready to be submitted for approval

Minnesota Energy - There was a question from a resident asking if there was any information regarding the possibility of a natural gas line extension along S. Movil Lake Road. Kelly reported that he had met with representative of Minnesota Energy that day to discuss the matter. It was determined that the line could be extended if the users along the road would pay upfront for the main line; $27,000, or $44,000 if the trailer court was included. This would not include the connection from the line to the home.

There were several cases reviewed at the recent meeting. The legislature has given back authority to the Mississippi Headwater Board to have the final say on permits in their jurisdiction inside non-chartered cities. Which means that they will have the final approval on everything, other than normal permits, within their jurisdiction in Northern Township. Frenzel also reported that they are still working on details regarding the use of 'storage units' within commercial zones.

Blumhagen reported that there have been no new meetings.

The quarterly meeting was held. There was discussion regarding the policy regarding the payment of fees that are incurred outside of normal BRACO expenses. It was recommended that an additional $100 per entity would be assessed over the next three (3) years to build a fund to pay for these occasional expenses vs. each entity being responsible for these types of bills. The Bemidji Township rep agreed to the suggestion, and indicated that they would pay their outstanding invoice if the policy were to change as suggested. Also, it was agreed to work with the designated Attorney on the procedures required for issuing citations, as well as a review of the Dog and Cat Ordinance.

Bills - The bills are payable with check numbers 10316 - 10343, totaling $71,470.47. Larger invoices include; Johnson Construction, mainly for the work on Aspen Ave - $40,274.41, Freeberg & Grund, Inc - $7,727.50, Mike Lucas for ditch mowing - $3,185.00. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Wiese, to pay the bills as presented, and it carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report - Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue - $219,701.50, Road & Bridge - $665,361.70, Rural Fire - $37,657.77, and Sewer District Waville - $8,534.54, for a total of $931,255.51. A motion was offered by Frenzel, seconded by Blumhagen, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit - Kranich recommended that $480,000.00 be placed in a one month CD at Security Bank at 1.5%, to cover upcoming road project expenses. Consensus was given to proceed as recommended.

1) Note from resident Matthew Lee regarding access to his property on Pier Street, 2) Note to committee members who will be participating in the upcoming planning for the public access on Lake Movil, 3) Note to resident users of the Waville Wastewater Treatment System, 4) Note from Mark Fuller regarding applying calcium chloride to Aspen Ave, 5) Reminder of the MAT District 12 Meeting on Tuesday, August 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bemidji Eagles' Club.

Open House - A recognition time will be held Monday, August 26th from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. to acknowledge the retirement of Clarence Lindseth as the Northern Township Road Supervisor. Cake and coffee will be served.

East Movil Lake Road - Where are we at with the discussion regarding possible improvements to the northern portion of E Movil Lake Road? Following the informational meeting last fall, it was suggested that the ROW boundaries be staked again in order that the two (2) owners of property who are to be affected the most would again see them, since there seemed to be some confusion regarding it. It was then felt that those property owners might again be visited with, prior to the staking being done. Bill Joyce indicated that it is the obligation of the Township to maintain the current bituminous surface. The Board reiterated that they do not wish to put funds into a 'band-aid' fix without completing the project properly for the entire road, and feel that they are not required to maintain the bituminous surface stating that it could indeed be returned to gravel if need be.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:43 p.m.

Northern Township is part of the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board

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