February 2, 2016
Chairman Stegmeir opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. Board members present were Supervisors Tomczak and Kiner, Clerk Mary Manninen and Treasurer Callais. Seventeen guest attended the meeting, Colin Markusen from SEH called in on conference line. Board members and guests recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Agenda – The agenda was reviewed. Motion by Supervisor Tomczak to approve the agenda, seconded by Supervisor Kiner. Motion carried, all voting aye.
Minutes – The minutes for the January regular meeting were reviewed. Motion by Supervisor Tomczak to approve the minutes, seconded by Supervisor Kiner. Motion carried, all voting aye.
The treasurer’s report was read by Treasurer Callais. Motion by Supervisor Tomczak to approve reports, seconded by Supervisor Kiner. Motion carried, all voting aye.
Beg Bal Jan, 1 2016 – $142,545.99
Income - $2,477.42
Expenses - $24,708.09
End Bal Jan 31 2016 – $120,315.32
Road Account –
Beg Bal Jan, 1, 2016 - $32,786.17
Income - $1.26
Expenses – $0.00
End Bal Jan. 31, 2016 - $32,787.43
Community Bldg Fund –
Beg Bal Jan, 1, 2016 - $29.337.85
Income - $1.13
End Bal. Jan. 31, 2016 - $29,338.98
Checking - $25,523.86
Road Acct. - $21,073.37
Road Acct. - $21.471.47
Claims – The total claims paid out in January were $793.88 and were approved on a motion by Supervisor Kiner, seconded by Supervisor Tomczak, motion carried and approved.
Miriam Burchell would like to see the minutes posted sooner on the website after meetings have been held and would prefer to not see the use of acronyms. Chairman stated the minutes would be posted on the website by the weekend before Township meetings.
Miriam asked if anyone has looked into getting Northern Lights road paved, Chairman Stegmeir reported that discussions with County roads personnel revealed there are no near future plans to blacktop more of the county road system in the Township. He will request a written response to this issue at the yearly road review this spring.
Miriam also asked why the township contacted our attorney about putting a board member on the Cook Hospital Board. The Township asked our Township lawyer for an opinion on whether or not the Township should participate on the hospital Board as this seat is available to us by law as a Town in the district.
Miriam requested information on absentee ballot procedure. The process was explained. (refer to Secretary of State website.)
Larry Warrington reported that the Kabetogama Fire Dept. does not need to increase their budget, the building is paid for and one outstanding loan will be paid off in 6 months. The fire hall roof needs some repair and he will be putting out bids for this work. Chuck
Carlson asked what was thought about the use of reclaimed blacktop on the Olsen road near Cook, he felt it may be something to look at for the Northern Lights Road. Chairman Stegmeir responded that when he asked the County roads personnel if reclaimed blacktop could be workable for Kab Township roads. Their answer was the use of this material is experimental. They are not convinced of long term value.
Colin Markusen from SEH joined meeting via conference call. All three contract packets have been sent to the township for signature. All insurance issues with all three have been ironed out according to what was listed in the specifications, the attorneys have reviewed the contracts and they are comfortable with everything. The Dispersal contract with Vittas was just sent out today for signature. Project schedule –They are trying to get the funding packets (PFA, MPCA) moving in a direction that we can actually pull from them. USA and Vitta’s would like to begin work soon. Vittas would like to have all clearing done by March 31, they must avoid the dates between June 1st and July 31st because of the “Long-eared bats”. USA would like to be in the collection system work early. Starting early requires DNR land lease execution and project funding finalization. SEH did not anticipate having an inspector on site until spring. Financial Plan – Scott Harder is working on the final draft and should have it complete by the end of the week. Easements – the Township’s attorney is reviewing examples of blanket temporary construction easements. A blanket easement gives the contractor or Township the opportunity to construct what needs to be constructed on that parcel at that time, they are not bound by a permanent easement description. Permanent easements done early can be a problem because of unforeseen problems that could occur. Permanent easements can be done after the system is constructed. DNR Land Lease – the Township’s attorney has contacted the DNR but has not gotten a response. The Township is ready with funding for this lease and that will be reimbursed from the PFA funding at a later date. DNR Capital Payment – Collin has been in contact with Scott Kelling (NE Region Manager for DNR Parks and Trails) He would like to see the final cost before committing to a schedule for the payment of the capital and O & M costs. Scott reminded SEH that there was no fiscal note attached to the legislation regarding Pucks Point. There is a possibility that an appropriation could be made during this legislative session. Gary Cerkvenik will be looking into this. Preconstruction Meeting Schedule and Location - This meeting will be held at the Virginia SEH office on February 26th at 10:00am.
Chairman Stegmeir asked about the restoration of the PPSSD road after all the construction is done. Is there anything in the contracts that says that it will be restored to its previous state? Collin said that there is.
SEH Construction Administration Contract - Contract for engineering services related to Construction Administration. A portion of the work described in the contract has already begun. The contract amount is the same as that listed in the Sources and Uses and Financial Analysis, so monthly costs will not be affected by agreeing to the contract. Chairman Stegmeir asked what determines the end of the contract. It is the end of construction which can be affected by many things. Chairman Stegmeir asked about the operation and maintenance manual. This will be done at the end of the project. Chairman Stegmeir moved to approve the agreement for Professional Services with SEH, Supervisor Tomczak seconded, all in favor aye, motion carried.
Operation and Maintenance contract will be created with the help of our township attorney. Chairman Stegmeir has been putting together a request for bids. The board will further go over that towards the end of the meeting.
The request for bids package was approved after discussion with the changes requested for the bid package on a motion by Supervisor Kiner, seconded by Supervisor Tomczak, motion carried.
Roads & Trails
Clerk Manninen will contact the correct person for insurance for Greg House.
Supervisor Tomczak read the letter she received back from the county regarding widening of the side of the road. She got a positive response regarding this matter.
In response to a past request by the Crane Lake ATV group, Chairman Stegmeir has talked to DNR officials about the group. He got a favorable and supportive response. Chairman Stegmeir moved to write a letter of support for the Crane Lake ATV group, seconded by Supervisor Tomczak, motion carried.
There are still trucks hauling timber from our area.
Community Center Planning
Marlene will be ordering a coat rack for the hall, Betsey Warrington is ordering a new flag and stand. The community club is paying for these items.
Ellen Hart asked about getting a tv for the hall. There are leftover Lady Slipper funds and they have decided to donate $1,500.00 to the Town hall for purchasing a tv. The board agreed that it was a good idea.
Supervisor Tomczak said that instead of holding the annual St. Urhos day this year they are planning a benefit for Rusty Lehto who will be undergoing stem cell transplant at Mayo clinic. Any volunteers interested in helping are welcome.
Cook Hospital District
Chairman Stegmeir contacted representative Ecklund regarding the hospital district. Rep. Ecklund was filled in on what the issue was and what we have been doing to address it. On our behalf, Representative Ecklund has talked with Senator Bakk and to Commissioner Rukkavina. He does not think there will be much enthusiasm to address the issue in this (2016) legislative session because of the short session. He will continue to talk to people gather background information. Rep. Ecklund is committed to doing what he can to help us resolve this issue. Representative Ecklund’s recommendation for us go back to the county to talk with our county commissioner and county board to see if they could reconsider what they may be able to do to help us. Chairman Stegmeir gave these recommendations to the board:
Next Steps for Township:
- Send another Resolution to County Board with our Last resolution attached.
- Contact Commissioner Rukavina on the issue again.
- Submit Township Petition to the Hospital Board to be removed from the Hospital District.
- Repeat steps 1-4
Facts remain the same:
- If the Hospital Board feels that the conditions and need for forming the Hospital District remain the same, they can reject a petition outright. They do feel conditions are the same and probably would reject
- “Unfair taxation” would probably not be enough to bring successful suit.
Subd. 2. Territory. No city or town shall be included in a hospital district created or reorganized under this section unless its entire territory is included in the district and the territory is contiguous at one or more points to the territory of one or more of the other cities or towns included.
It has been suggested that this part of the state law is grounds to sue for removal.
This is a non-starter because our township IS contiguous at one or more points to the territory of one or more of the cities or towns included. They are unorganized townships – as we once were.
Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept Chairman Stegmeir’ recommendations, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried.
Chuck Carlson voiced his displeasure that no progress has been made on this issue since it was first brought to the board over a year ago.
Supervisor Kiner pointed out some inaccuracies in Jerry Snyker’s mass mailing to the community.
Tim Watson stated that this issue can only be addressed at the State level because it is State Law that established the Hospital District and provides the framework for governance and operation. He is not in favor of sueing.
Board Meeting Change –
The township board meeting must be changed because of the caucuses which are held on the same night. The board decided to change the meeting to the second of March at 7:00 pm. The annual meeting will be held on the following Tuesday.
Levy Review –
There was a brief discussion regarding the levy amounts and any changes that they thought might be good. The levy will be voted on at the annual meeting March 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm.
March Elections –
The annual March elections will be held on March 8th here at the town hall from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The annual township meeting will be held directly after the elections. The bad weather date is the following Tuesday March 15, 2016 same time and place. Absentee ballots are available by going to the Secretary of State website. Download the form, fill it out and mail it to the township Box 191 or give to the clerk, Mary Manninen. The ballots will be available from the 5th of February until March 7th. You must follow the same rules for absentee ballots as during normal November elections.
Local Board of Appeal and Equalization –
Chairman Stegmeir and Supervisor Tomczak took the training necessary to be able to hold this meeting locally again. The county has received our resolution and will send us the dates of the meeting.
We received a letter from the IRRB, they are accepting for the fiscal year 2016 public works stimulus grant. The deadline is February 11th. If you have a shovel ready project you will be considered.
Senior Citizen Building, the DNR does not want to release the lease. The rejection came from St. Paul because of the past problems with transferring this type of lease. The DNR is sending the senior citizens a letter providing some options where they would not be responsible for removing the building. The lease area most likely will be offered for sale by the state at some point in the future.
Township copier/printer, Clerk Manninen has a line on a better copier that does all that we want it to do but does not have enough information for this meeting. She will have all the details at the March meeting.
Supervisor Tomczak moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:35, Supervisor Kiner seconded. Motion carried.
Mary Manninen, Clerk