BOARD MEETING MINUTES
Monday, November 9, 2020. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.
PRESENT: Supervisors Mike Kelly, Jess Frenzel, Clark Chambers, Curt Blumhagen and Chris Lahn. Treasurer Doug Kranich, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen, and Clerk Mary Israelson. See sign-in sheet for guests.
We are still dealing with a peacetime pandemic due to the spread of COVID-19 so this meeting is being conducted with social-distancing guidelines put in place.
Prior to opening the meeting, Chairman Kelly announced that long-time Road Supervisor Clarence Lindseth passed away this last weekend. He would have turned 90 this month, and retired his position with the township last year. The Township will forever be grateful for the dedication to his work with the roads.
MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Frenzel, to approve the minutes of the October 26, 2020, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.
Tiffany Fettig, of Greater Bemidji, presented information from the CARES Act Grant applications submitted as the result of the small business program that was recently created. There is a $79,639.18 balance of CARES funds available after the township's expenditures were calculated, and there were six (6) applications received with two (2) of them not located in Northern Township. The Board reviewed the information presented with a total of $18,000.00 recommended for distribution to the four (4) applicants. Since the response and total recommended was lower than anticipated, it was suggested that the award to each applicant be increased, to total $31,000.00. Also, the Rural Fire Association had requested help with their COVID related expenditures, and it was suggested that a total of $8,000 be given to them to help with the shares for the entities that did not receive these funds through the CARES Act. The balance once these expenditures are made will be forwarded to Beltrami County with the recommendation that some of the non-profit entities who ask the Township for a contribution each year be given priority. That amount will be nearly $43,000. A motion was offered by Frenzel, and seconded by Chambers, to approve these recommendations and instruct Treasurer Kranich to make out the checks. The motion carried unanimously.
Road Grading - Vigen reported that Johnson Construction has been preparing the gravel roads for the winter season.
Beach Lane - Jason Snodgrass has been contacted to complete some welding repairs on the dock.
Road Maintenance Contract - Johnson Construction has submitted new pricing for his services for the coming year; Summer Road Grading - $110.00/hr (up from $100/hr), Winter Snowplowing Motor Grader - $118/hr (up from $106/hr), and Snowplowing/sanding with Truck - $110/hr (up from $100/hr). A motion was offered by Chambers, and seconded by Lahn, to approve the new pricing starting November 1, 2020. The motion carried unanimously.
Darwin Weibolt - Is requesting the release of 75% of his security that was required according to the Developer's Agreement for his new road in the Plat of Plantation Estates First Addition. The road construction is complete and the road has been accepted by the township for maintenance. Freeberg & Grund Inc has agreed that the requested release is appropriate, with the remaining 25% being sufficient to cover any unforeseen issues during the warranty period of three (3) years. It was agreed to release $60,797.87 after expenses of $139.63 are paid to the township.
PUBLIC ACCESS REPORT:
Kelly reported that a longer (30 ft) used dock has been received from DNR for the Lake Movil Access and is being stored on their property over the winter. Some repair work is needed on it, with the materials received also.
JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB) REPORT:
A virtual joint LGU meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 24th. It is hoped that there is good discussion regarding adding the needed enforcement position in the JPB office.
BEMIDJI RURAL ANIMAL CONTROL (BRACO):
Lahn reported that the quarterly meeting was recently held, with the new Animal Control Officer, Keith Christianson attending his first meeting. Some information had been received from the Attorney regarding the new procedure for writing Citations that would involve using the state's automated system, the process to initiate it, and the expense associated with it. As a result, Chairman Fallis talked with Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel regarding having his department help us with issuing the Citations. He felt that it could be done, but wanted to first talk with the County Administrator regarding the process. There was also discussion regarding the purchase of a trail camera to be used by property owners who are having issues with obtaining evidence of neighboring nuisance dogs/cats. This purchase was approved once the Attorney was consulted on whether or not there are any legal issues with it.
Bills - The bills are payable with check numbers 10709 to 10738 totaling $102,946.66 from township funds, and $60,937.50 from the Weibolt Escrow Fund. The larger expenses were; Higgins Heating for HVAC improvements ($10,245.00 from CARES Act funds), Bemidji Rural Fire Assn for 2nd half dues ($64,662.00), and AE2S payment for Waville Wastewater Treatment System improvement engineering ($3,680.00). A motion was offered by Chambers, and seconded by Frenzel, to approve the bills as presented, plus the payment to the CARES Act Grant applicants approved earlier in the meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Report - Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue - $166,083.07, Road & Bridge - $339,101.11, Rural Fire - $29,611.79, Sewer District Waville - ($237.91) and the Federal CARES funds - $97,264.32 for a total of $631,822.38. A motion was offered by Frenzel, seconded by Blumhagen, and carried to approve the report as presented.
Certificates of Deposit - Kranich recommended that the $20,000 balance once the bills are paid be placed in the Money Market account. The 2nd half tax settlement will be received early December, and an investment plan will be recommended at that time.
BOARD OF CANVASS: Northern Township Supervisor results from November 3, 2020, Election were;
Seat A - Chris Lahn, 1595 votes. Write-In 20
Seat B - Jess M. Frenzel, 1613 votes. Write-In 23
Seat C (Special Election) - Micheal Kelly, 1556 votes. Write-In 54
Seat A and Seat B are four (4) year terms, with Seat C being a special election to fill the remaining two (2) year term of the seat held by Paul Wiese, and being currently filled by Chris Lahn. The new terms will begin the first Monday of January 2020. A motion was offered by Chambers, seconded by Frenzel, and carried unanimously, to approve the results of the township election as presented.
1) Copy of letter sent to the bank holding the Letter of Credit for Great Western Properties asking them to release it due to the warranty period expiring, 2) Notice of MAT Annual Conference that will be held virtually, 3) request from Darwin Weibolt to release 75% of the security for the road in Plantation Estates 1st Addition, 4) copy of recorded Plat of Plantation Estates First Addition.
Election Day - Israelson reported that Election Day went very smoothly with over 1200 voters casting ballots at the poll, and nearly 1000 voting prior to Election Day. Traffic was controlled inside the building and fortunately it was a very nice day which helped when lines did form. Face masks were required with only a couple not being able to wear them due to medical reasons, and those were helped outside. Extra sanitizing, hand sanitizer, sneeze guards, and raising the tables all helped make it a safe place to vote.
With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:19 pm.