March 2, 2016
Chairman Stegmeir opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. Board members present were Supervisor Tomczak , Clerk Mary Manninen and Treasurer Callais. Six guests attended the meeting, Colin Markusen from SEH called in on conference line. Board members and guest recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Supervisor Kiner was absent.
Agenda – The agenda was reviewed. Motion by Supervisor Tomczak to approve the agenda, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir. Motion carried, all voting aye.
Minutes – The minutes for the February regular meeting were reviewed. Motion by Supervisor Tomczak to approve the minutes, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir. Motion carried, all voting aye.
The treasurer’s report was read by Treasurer Callais. Motion by Supervisor Tomczak to approve reports, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir. Motion carried, all voting aye.
Beg Bal Feb, 1 2016 – $120,315.32
Income - $6,429.15
Expenses - $3,418.48
End Bal Feb 29, 2016 – $123,325.99
Road Account –
Beg Bal Feb, 1, 2016 - $32,787.43
Income - $1.57
Expenses – $0.00
End Bal Feb. 29, 2016 - $32,789.00
Community Bldg Fund –
Beg Bal Feb, 1, 2016 - $29.338.98
Income - $1.41
End Bal. Feb. 29, 2016 - $29,340.39
Checking - $25,523.86
Road Acct. - $21,073.37
Road Acct. - $21.471.47
Claims – Supervisor Tomczak read the claims.
North Star Electric – 94.00
Frontier Phone – 63.50
Epson Store, ink – 97.93
Falls Fire & Safety, annual inspection and Maintenance – 102.52
The Journal – Ad for meetings, PPSSD legal notices – 627.95
Supervisor Tomczak moved to accept the claims as read, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried. All voting aye.
Comment Period: Miriam Burchell read the notice in the paper from the legislature and was wondering if they plan on having a public sewer for the whole lake area. It was her opinion that taxes are a problem here and all this free money that comes from the legislature, that is tax money there and people’s taxes go up when they get the sewer so she would really like us to consider other means and let the health department take care of it. Chairman Stegmeir referred to the Voyageurs National Park Clean Waters Comprehensive plan formed in 2011. This plan describes how we will address the clean water and other sewer issues in the area, including Ash River, Crane Lake and Island View. The representatives on that board are public representatives. The township has a comprehensive plan that shows other areas in the township that would need sewer districts at some time but it is up to the residents in those areas to petition to the board that they want to become a district.
Colin Markusen from SEH joined meeting via conference call. Project schedule – USA and Viitas’s would like to begin work soon. They would like to start work before resorts open and people come back to their cabins. Viita’s would like to avoid the “Long –eared bats” tree clearing avoidance dates, so they would like to be done by the end of March. USA would like to begin collection system work and have much of the directional drilling done in April. Starting early requires that the DNR lease be executed and project funding finalized. The bill from Viita’s would be approximately$19,000, Collin wanted to know if the Township would be able to pay this out of their own funds for now and then get reimbursed once the funding has come through. Chairman Stegmeir and Supervisor Tomczak agreed that we would be able to pay the bill for Viitas and recoup the funds once we get the Legacy funds in. The legacy fund should be signed soon which will help. SEH did not anticipate having an inspector on site until spring. Time to check in on contractors during winter and spring months may add more construction administration cost. Viita’s has asked for a burn site location and any possible stump disposal locations. SEH has been in contact with the DNR about temporary access on their property for project staging and storage for contractor’s equipment and supplies.
Funding - Draft Financial Plan Complete but subject to change based on grant/loan split from PFA funds. The Legacy Grant Agreement is nearly complete. IRRRB and past tax levied funds were allowed as match dollars. There is a delay in the PFA agreement for legislative session/bonding bill.
Easements – The Township’s attorney has Construction and Permanent Pipeline Construction Easement Agreement document nearly complete and will be sending to the property owners soon.
DNR Lease – John contacted Jo Rockwell who is the DNR land Operations Supervisor out of region two in Grand Rapids. John would like to get something together sooner rather than later on the lease. Mr. Rockwell was going to check in with Dep Felipovich who did the lease and get back to John next week. SEH has been in contact with Scott Kelling (NE Region Manager for DNR Parks and Trails). Updated financial plan has been sent to him to allow them to discuss connection and payment. There is a possibility that an appropriation could be made during this legislative session. Gary Cerkvenik will be looking into this. There is a meeting with the DNR staff on March 28th that John will be attending. Chairman Stegmeir suggested that a letter be sent out to the PPSSD members updating them on the project. Collin agreed that it would be a good idea and he would try to put this together and get it sent out via e-mail. Chairman Stegmeir stated that we have not gotten any bids back yet for maintaining the system once it is done. Chairman Stegmeir also brought up the consultant for the wage stuff, Sharon Decker. The funds we will be paying her with will be project money. The board will need some training on how to handle the grant funds for the PPSSD project. Nancy will be a good trainer for this. The township needed a consultant to oversee the contractors to make sure that they met all the state requirements. SEH used to do this but they don’t do this anymore. SEH recommended Sharon Decker. Chairman Stegmeir has started the process on getting a proposal from Sharon Decker for this work. Chairman Stegmeir will check with our township attorney as to what is needed from her to work with us. Her fee is $90.00/hr. Supervisor Tomczak moved to hire Sharon Decker Consultant for the PPSSD project, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir contingent upon our township attorneys recommendations, motion carried, all voting aye.
Roads & Trails
Chairman Stegmeir spoke with Commissioner Rukkavina and reported that the county will do the shoulders as stated in the letter we sent but they will not widen unless we really want them to but this would need easements and would delay the work on our roads by three years.
Community Center – Dan Barg funeral will be held at hall and a luncheon on Monday at 2:00 pm. Marlene would like to get an exterminator for a routine spring spraying. Supervisor Tomczak moved to call an exterminator, seconded by Chairman Stegmeir, motion carried, all voting aye.
Cook Hospital District
Chairman Stegmeir attended the Cook Hospital District meeting. The final nursing home plans are being finalized. It looks like they will be receiving a good sized grant from the state for this project. There will be two meetings in April, one to look at the plans for the nursing home and then the regular board meeting. Nothing was done yet in terms of our steps going forward. That will be coming up starting with meetings with Commissioner Rukkavina in April on the 20th. After that we will send out a letter to request being let out of the district. Commissioner is supportive of our position. He was told what our steps are and agreed with it. The hospital district has made no levy change this year. Jerry Snyker asked what constitutes a resolution. Chairman stated that the resolution would be from the township board. Jerry would like to see a delegation go to the county attorney on the issues, then appear before the county board so that they question and answer back and forth on this issue and only this issue for now. He also stated that he believes that the Cook Hospital will reject our petition to get out of the district. Jerry feels strongly that we are not following the state statute in relation to getting out of the district. The board feels that there is less than a 50/50 chance that we will succeed in getting out of that district. Tim Watson says that we need to go to the state on this matter to get results.
The Board of Equalization for taxes will be held here at the Township Hall on May 11, 2016 from 1 to 2pm.
The spring township training is to be held in Grand Rapids on March 31, 2016 beginning at 9:00am.
Levy discussion – Lower or remove the amount to the Community Building/Town Hall. It was suggested to leave at least $5,000 for the building for supplies and upkeep.
Chairman Stegmeir moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:47pm, seconded by Supervisor Tomczak. Motion carried. All voting aye.
Mary Manninen, Clerk