April 5, 2016
Chairman Stegmeir opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. Board members present were Supervisors Tomczak and Kiner, Clerk Manninen and Treasurer Callais. Six guests attended the meeting, Colin Markusen from SEH called in on conference line along with Sharon Decker. Board members and guest 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 March 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 Kiner to approve reports, seconded by Supervisor Tomczak. Motion carried, all voting aye.
Beg Bal March, 1 2016 – $123,325.99
Income - $13,588.90
Expenses - $68,865.19
End Bal March 31, 2016 – $68,049.70
Road Account –
Beg Bal March, 1, 2016 - $32,789.00
Income - $1.26
Expenses – $0.00
End Bal March 31, 2016 - $32,790.26
Community Bldg Fund –
Beg Bal March, 1, 2016 - $29.340.39
Income - $1.13
End Bal. March 31, 2016 - $29,341.52
Checking - $25,523.86
Road Acct. - $21,073.37
Road Acct. - $21.471.47
Payroll – 312.42
Payroll – 273.22
Payroll – 327.43
Payroll – 938.38
Payroll – 323.22
Falls Fire & Safety – 102.52 annual inspection
The Journal – 270.00 Meeting notice and PPSD
St Louis County Auditor – 150.00 permit app for PPSSD
Dept. of Natural Resources – 65,100.00 lease payment
Kabetogama Lake Association – 315.53 lodging tax
Xstamperonline.com – 98.57 Notary stamp and pad
Office Depot – 71.60 case of paper
Frontier Phone Co. – 63.50 Phone & Internet
North Star Electric – 80.00 Power for Town Hall
PERA – 188.80 Public Employees Retirement Account
MAT – 250.00 Spring training for town officers
Chairman Stegmeir explained what the payment was to the DNR. This payment is for the lease of the land at Woodenfrog for the PPSSD project. These funds will be reimbursed to the township at some point in the next couple of months. Supervisor Tomczak moved to allow the Clerk or Treasurer to open a new checking account at Border State Bank if needed for the Legacy funds coming in for the Pucks Point Sanitary Sewer Project, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried, all voting aye.
Claims – Supervisor Tomczak read the claims.
North Star Electric – 84.00
Frontier Phone – 63.50
Mel Carlson – 50.00 for Moderator at the annual meeting
Deana Callais – 124.85 for mileage to training in Grand Rapids
John Stegmeir – 124.85 for mileage to training in Grand Rapids
Betsey Warriington – 54.00 for election judge at annual elections
Carol Stegmeir – 54.00 for election judge at annual elections
SEH – 27,612.00 Construction Administration PPSSD
Viitas Excavating, Inc. – 10,985.80 2016 Waste Water Dispersal, Kabetogama Twp.
Gateway Store – 16.11 for stamps and paper
Xstamperonline.com – 98.57 for Notary stamp and pad
Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept the claims but the payment to SEH and Viitas will be held and paid when we get our grant money for the project, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried. All voting aye.
Resident Lee Herseth asked about the widening of the roads by St. Louis County to accommodate, runners, bikers, walkers etc. The board decided to discuss this further during the roads part of the meeting.
Jerry Mitchell asked when the dump site was going to be burned before all the snow leaves. Fire Chief Larry Warrington said the fire department would burn it and they did not need snow cover to do so.
Jerry Mitchell also suggested that the township be in contact with the joint powers commission for Lake of the Woods water shed so they could give a heads up to resort owners who are working on docks this time of the year as to water levels. Discussion followed suggesting that some of the reason was due to the early thaw and rain that we had this year. Things seem to be about 30 days ahead of schedule. There have been articles in the paper on this along with information online for the public to view. Chairman Stegmeir said that we can contact the board and ask if they will put us on the list for notification, the (Rainy Lake board of control). The township will make a slot on their township website for this information.
Colin Markusen from SEH joined meeting via conference call along with Sharon Decker who will be working on the sewer project, working with contractors to make sure they are wage compliant. Project schedule – Tree clearing by Viita’s for Dispersal and Pretreatment areas has begun. USA (EBI) will start tomorrow on directional drilling. EBI will avoid private property for now. The DNR lease has been executed. Pretreatment and Dispersal, there is no work on start dates but both have submitted shop drawings. The remainder of the collection system will be installed in the fall.
DNR Lease - The lease has been executed. The cost of the lease for a 20 year period is $65,100 which includes timber damage. The township paid for this out of the Township General Fund, which will be reimbursed from project funds when the grant transactions are complete.
Meeting with the DNR March 28, Grand Rapids. Attending: Chairman Stegmeir, Colin Marcuson and Sara Christianson from SEH; Mia Thibideau, township project attoney; Wade Pavlick, Brian McBride and Gary Cervanik representing VNP Clean Waters Joint Powers Board; State Representative Rob Ecklund; representatives from US Sen. Amy Klobachar’s and US Rep Rick Nolan’s offices and various DNR officials. The following items were discussed:
Land exchange involving leased land at woodenfrog - In an effort to have long term security for this land which contains the treatment systems for PPSSD, discussions to include this parcel with a land exchange between the County and the State
Involving land at Ash River for their sewer project.
DNR Capital Payment to PPSD Project – The DNR was quite pleased to find out the capital payment for Woodenfrog was $64,000 instead of $200,000 that they thought it was. SEH is sending out a memo to the Commissioner of the DNR as requested by Lori-Dowling Hanson, to explain the current estimated capital fees related to the Pucks Point project .
DNR Connection – The DNR said they have no current plan to connect to the system. Camping fees collected at the campground go directly into the School Trustfund. All operating dollars come from their general fund for which they only receive maintenance dollars for Woodenfrog. Woodenfrog seems to be a low priority facility for the DNR. They have no plans to make improvements on this site. That being said, there is legislation directing the DNR to connect to the PPSSD in the 2014 bonding bill. There were no dollars attached to the legislation. The Township along with the VNP Clean Water Joint Powers Board will continue to work on this issue.
Construction staging and storage areas – Scott Kelling with the DNR Parks and Trails sent a list of contacts for construction related items to Colin.
Funding – the draft Financial Plan is complete but subject to change based on grant/loan split from PFA funds. The delay in the PFA agreement for legislative session/bonding bill. It may be the end of May before we know anything.
Easements – all but two of the construction and permanent pipeline construction easement agreements have been sent out to property owners. Fryberger has received 4 or 5 signed easement agreements. There are township signatures necessary on these before they can be recorded.
The township has moved to pay application No. 1 for Viita’s Excavating. The township would like to hold off on this payment until we receive our grant funds if possible.- The SEH bill will be paid after funding has come in. Collin will send us a new billing statement.
Jerry Mitchell came with a proposal regarding PPSSD. If the lines continue to go down the lakeshore on his property and extend across to Burchell and Puttikka that would much cheaper. The savings would be somewhere around $150,000. In consideration to that, he would like to be able to be compensated some for allowing that to go through. If they allow the sewer district to run through their property and tie in the other two properties and utilize some of their existing equipment they would like to have their cabins hooked up to the sewer system and they would like to have their bill reduced by $4,000 each year. The board agreed that it would save money as did Collin. Larry Warrington’s concern is that this change would slow the progress or delay the progress of the project when it is just now getting going. The board asked Collin to speak with the contractors and get some new numbers for us to look at. The contractor would have to give a change proposal number. There should not be much if any delay in the project. The contractor will be notified that we are looking at this so no work is done in an area that is going to be changed. Chairman Stegmeir would like to have this information gotten out to all the members of the PPSSD project once we get the new numbers in. This meeting will be recessed tonight and reconvened on April 12th at 7:00 pm to discuss this proposal and what numbers Colling and the Contractors have come up with.
Request for Bid, Operator and Maintenance There have been no bids received from anyone for a maintenance operator for the district once it is completed. Two people requested the bid forms but we did not receive them back. We will have to go back through the process. We may go back to Kooch County and see if we can work something out with them. John will also contact the people that did request the bid package and speak with them to find out why they did not submit the bid.
Roads & Trails
The board did receive a comment about the condition of state point road. Road Supervisor Stegmeir did review the road and there are spring time conditions. His plan is to get the road graded when the frost comes out of the road bed. The northern lights road was graded because there was gravel dumped on it.
Lee Herseth, Tim Watson and Tim Snyder would like to see the township continue to talk with the County Engineer and Commissioner Rukavina to try and get the shoulders of the roads out here widened. The county has stated that if they do this it will delay the resurfacing of our roads by three years. It is the opinion of these people that the wait is well worth it. It is a very big safety issue with all the people who use the sides of our roads for running, walking and biking. They have suggested that the township along with the Lake Association get together and have a meeting here with the County Engineer and Commissioner Rukavina at a time where many of the resort people are around so they can attend. The county did not pave the way the grant was written years ago, they did it the way they wanted. Federal Grant explanation from Tim Watson – the Federal Highway code did not allow a wide land on one side and not on the other. That is why it was done that way. It had to be the same on each side. It was federal mandated money and they had the say so.
Community Center – Supervisor Tomczak received a letter from the health department saying that we need to seal the old well. Marlene spoke with Kolstad who said they could put a seal on it and a pump handle. Chairman Stegmeir requested that Marlene to contact the Health Department and make sure this will be ok. There are some liability concerns on the quality of the water. Railings still need to be installed on the steps at the side of the building, Marlene will look into getting this taken care of. Clerk Manninen will contact the MATIT Insurance agency and ask what kind of material can be put under the playground and get back to the township.
Cook Hospital District
There was no Hospital Board meeting in March. Two meetings are scheduled in April.
Representative Rob Ecklund will be meeting with the Cook Hospital Administrator to discuss our membership and what can be done about it. Chairman Stegmeir stated that we will soon be sending our proposal to withdraw from the hospital district. MATIT is being asked to let us know if we need an attorney to present our petition for detachment.
The residents would like to know exactly what process we are using in this matter. They have asked the board to contact our attorney, and get process again that was given to Robert Nevalainen.
Duluth Training – the board has decided to cancel this training due to the bad weather.
Liquor Licenses – Supervisor moved to approve the following liquor licenses; Arrowhead Lodge, The Ledge, Kecs Kove, and Sandy Point Lodge, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried. All voting aye.
Supervisor Tomczak read a resolution supporting the Voyageur Country ATV Club. Supervisor Tomczak moved to approve Resolution 2016-02 supporting the Voyageur Country ATV Club, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Reorganization Meeting – Supervisor Kiner moved to approve the minutes from last year’s meeting, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried. All voting aye.
Chairman/vice-Chairman – John Stegmeir will remain Chairman, Marlene Tomczak will remain Vice-Chairman on a motion by Supervisor Kiner, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried, all voting aye.
Board Meeting Schedule and Location for the township board meetings in 2016; Jan 5, Feb 2, March 2, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, Aug 2, Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov TBD, Dec. 6. All meeting will be held at the Town Hall, 9707 Gamma Road. Supervisor Kiner moved to accept these dates and place, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried, all voting aye.
Official Newspaper – The Journal, International Falls, MN, Supervisor Kiner moved to accept this newspaper, seconded by Supervisor Tomczak, motion carried, all voting aye.
Township Attorney – continue using Mr. Robert Ruppe as our attorney. Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept Mr. Ruppe as our attorney, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye
Road Supervisor – John Stegmeir as road supervisor. Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept John as road supervisor, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Community Center Supervisor – Marlene Tomczak; Chairman Stegmeir moved to have Marlene as the supervisor, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Meeting Notice Posting Place – Gateway Store, Town Hall, Township web site and the billboard across from the hall; Chairman Stegmeir moved to use all of the above, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Emergency Trail and clean-up contractor – Greg House; Supervisor Tomczak moved to use Greg House, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye
Bank Designation – Border State Bank; Supervisor Tomczak moved to use this bank, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Township Engineer – SEH; Supervisor Tomczak moved to use SEH, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Planning Commission – the Planning will meet as needed at least twice a year and evaluate quarterly. Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept this schedule, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye.
Compensation Rates for Township Officers
Chairman - $350.00 per month
Supervisors - $350.00 per month
Treasurer - $350.00 per month
Clerk - $18.00 per hour
Deputy Clerk and Deputy Treasurer - $50.00 per meeting when filling in for the Treasurer or Clerk
Mileage Rate – follow current Federal Mileage Rate at that time
Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept these rates, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried. All voting aye.
Additional Compensation Rates:
Election Judge - $12.00 per hour
Town Hall Cleaner - $18.00 per hour
Miscellaneous Clerical duties when Clerk is unavailable $15.00 per hour
Planning Commission Board Members - $50.00 per meeting attended
Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept these rates, seconded by Supervisor Kiner, motion carried, all voting aye
Supervisor Tomczak moved to recess this meeting at 9:50pm, seconded by Supervisor Kiner. Motion carried. All voting aye.
Mary Manninen, Clerk
April 12, 2016
Chairman Stegmeir reconvened the meeting at 7:00 pm. Board members present were Chairman Stegmeir, Supervisor Kiner and Clerk Manninen along with 2 guest, Jerry Mitchell and Collin with SEH calling in on the phone line. All attending recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Collin opened the meeting with a discussion regarding the Moosehorn property. USA was not able to get someone out to the Moosehorn property to do some potholing and try to figure out whether the revised alignment and the revised depth on this property would be going through rock or going through sand or open cut it or do directional drilling. They were able to determine that if the piping all the way around the county road and down to the Putika and Burchell properties were deleted that would be about 154,000 savings. That does not include what work would need to be done to put the pipe in on Moosehorn property over to the Burchell and Puttika property deeper and possibly through rock. Directional drilling through rock is priced on the bid sheet given us by the contractor was $109.00 per foot and would have to install at least 1000’ linear total to get all the way to the Puttika property so that would be $109,000 and that does not include some pits and staging areas that the directional drilling would need. So there would be between $25,000 and $35,000 savings by going with this alternative route would be worse case scenario. It may be even more that that but right now they don’t know. There is another option that the USA contractor was looking at was keeping the 1.5” insulated pipe as planned and hopefully going down toward the water a ways and burying it at about 4’ The insulated pipe would act like a 9’ year round insulated pipe. There is still ongoing discussion with the contractors on this issue. Talking with Scott Harder, the savings mean that at $50,000 savings there is about a $4.00 savings per EDU per month on the bills. $100,000 equals $7.00 per EDU per month on the bills. Colling spoke with our attorney on this matter and it was her opinion and a colleagues opinion that giving a person who is in the district or an entity in the district a break or deduction on their bill is not legal. She said what could be done is that the easement would be sold to the township or to the district from Moosehorn and that would have to be at fair market value. Colling said he figured that the easement would be about 450’ long by 20’ wide roughly estimated. We would have to get an appraisal done by an independent party in order to get a fair market value on the easement. Jerry Mitchell has agreed to have the township further review this option. The township board of supervisors would like it to go on record that they intend to continue their investigation into this matter. The township will look to have an appraiser out to the property and hopefully will have some numbers for our next meeting in May. Jerry would also like it noted that this will not slow up the progress on the sewer district at all, the township agrees with this. The next item to discuss is insurance regarding one of our contractors, Sharon Decker. John spoke with Mia and the MATIT insurance agents and what they came up with is that we can lower the amounts we require this contractor to have to $1,000,000,000 but then the township assumes the remaining $500,000. This contractor got back to us and found that she has more coverage than we require so there is no need to worry about this matter any longer. Her auto liability is at $1,000,000,000 and the township will would be liable for the remaining $500,000. The township board of supervisors has accepted the revision on the insurance requirement on our contract for the services of Sharon Decker and the contract was signed.
Supervisor Kiner moved to adjourn this meeting at 7:42 pm, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried. All voting aye.
Mary Manninen, Clerk