The meeting was called to order by Chairman Peterson at 7:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. All members, the Clerk, and eight residents were in attendance.
Motion by Bilek, second by Peterson to approve the minutes of the July 10th Board Meeting as presented. Carried unanimously.
A resident asked about the result of the request by residents on Birchdale Villa Drive who asked the Board to consider adding signage to the road. Peterson responded that the request is still being considered, that Board action to set speed limits is in process, and that would necessitate posting of the new speed limits on roads as appropriate.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Planning & Zoning report as follows:
- Attended recent DRT meeting and reviewed pending requests for zoning change to two parcels. Both requests are to change from commercial to rural residential.
Chairman Peterson presented the Road and Bridge report as follows:
- Attended the joint County/City/Township cooperative roads meeting. One issue discussed was potential state funding to improve roads leading to lake accesses.
- The road assessment vehicle has inspected all the township roads and will provide the report soon which will help create a long-term plan for road improvements.
- Working with the County to purchase & post a solar-powered radar speed sign for the 35 mph section of north-bound County Road 39. The County & Township will split initial cost 50/50 and the Township will be responsible for maintenance & replacement of the batteries and display.
- The new dump trailer has been put in service and is working out well.
- The salt shed construction is progressing. The footings and block work is complete and the pad paving is expected to happen on Friday.
- Two new tires have been installed on the mower tractor.
- Also reviewing options for replacing tires on the loader.
- Working with property owner and surveyors to establish easement for turnaround cul-de-sac at end of Northview Harbor Drive.
- Extensive discussion of mowing policy, liability issues & speed limits on Northview Harbor Drive in response to request by residents to adjust mowing protocol to encourage native vegetation in the road side. Residents presented a proposal and letters of support asking for the Township to mow the road only once each season in late October which will allow native vegetation time to self-reseed. Peterson discussed the need to clear back from the roadside in order to maintain the road safe zone. Some clearing along the electric power line will be done by Crow Wing Power this fall and once that is done, the Township can evaluate what additional clearing work is needed. Peterson will discuss the requested mowing change with the maintenance staff.
- Discussion of the options available to the Township to set speed limits on township roads took place. One option under consideration is the “Residential Roadways” designation under Minn. Stat. § 169.011 subd. 64 which allows local road authorities to set a 25 mph limit on roads that are less than one-half mile in total length. The Clerk has prepared a resolution to adopt the designation for all Township roads that would qualify under the current certified road mileages. Roads longer than one-half mile could be evaluated to see if they qualify under the “Rural Residential District” designation which allows a 35 mph limit. Setting a limit on roads that don’t qualify for either of these option requires MNDOT approval after doing a speed & traffic study of the road. The roads would have to be posted prior to the speed limit taking effect.
- There were no safety incidents.
Chairman Peterson presented the Fire Department report as follows:
- There were 16 calls during July – 2 fire; 14 first responder. Year to date count is 67 up from 56 at this time last year.
- The Relief Association annual audit is complete and the financial report has been received by the Clerk.
- Successfully completed the 40th Annual Beef Feed serving about 1800 people.
- Rob Birkeland, President of the Relief Association, spoke about the firefighter’s retirement benefit level and reviewed the funding ratio based on the current level of $2400 per year of service. Discussion took place regarding the benefit level relative to neighboring departments and its effect on recruitment & retention of members. Due largely to the performance of the fund over the last few years, the benefit level could be raised $250 and the association would still be fully funded. Birkeland suggested raising the level by $100 which would result in a 106% funding ratio and then review the level again next year. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to set the Relief Association benefit level at $2500 per year of service effective 1/1/2018. Carried unanimously.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Transfer Station/Recycling Center report as follows:
- July 2017 receipts of $11,769. Total year to date receipts are $43,076. Permits issued in July was 135; year to date total is 947.
- Twenty-two tons of tires have been removed at a cost of $3408.
- Maintenance crew have cleaned up the grounds and removed some noxious weeds.
- Considering having the compost dirt screened so that it can be used by residents or on roadsides. Received one quote of $2 per yard for the screening, but will check into other options.
Supervisor Johnson presented the Buildings, Grounds, Parks & Recreation report as follows:
- The new buck-a-bout for the playground has been delivered. Maintenance staff will work to get it installed.
- Suggested having some air fresheners in the park bathrooms.
- Discussion of option for the town hall standby generator took place. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to authorize expenditure for the project up to $35,000 including the $12,500 of grant funding already received. Carried unanimously.
Supervisor Johnson reported on Legislative & Research issues as follows:
- There is a L&R conference hosted by the MN Association of Townships coming up next month.
Motion by Bilek, second by Johnson to accept the treasurer’s report for July as presented. Report includes receipts #5396 through #5422 totaling $215,527.24 and disbursements #SL070117 through #21400 for total of $84,783.88. Carried unanimously.
Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to confirm the levy for 2018 as set at the Annual Meeting at $978,000. Carried unanimous. The Clerk will certify the levy amount to the county auditor before the September 15th deadline.
Motion by Bilek, second by Johnson to approve the July claims as presented; claims #43061 through #43109 totaling $228,468.39. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented a series of correspondence items as follows:
- Reimbursement has been received from the State for one of the two storm disasters last year. The cost to the Township from the storms of 7/9-11/2016 were calculated to be $5583 and the State reimbursed $4187 of that cost.
- Notice was received from the State regarding town aid to be paid in 2018 as $6697.
- A check was received from the MN Association of Township Insurance Trust in the amount of $7370 that is a refund of workers compensation premiums.
- The annual renewal of the group health policy was received to be effective 11/1/17. The overall premium increase is about 10.8%.
- Notice of rate increases & channel lineup changes was received from Charter/Spectrum.
- A quote from CDW for a new computer for the Clerk’s office. Pricing is discounted via NJPA contract at $1152.75 for computer, monitor, and backup drives.
The Clerk asked the Board for a wage increase as he has now been in that office for over 5 years. Motion by Bilek, second by Johnson to increase the Clerk’s wage by $1 per hour. Carried unanimously. The Clerk also noted that Tara McCapes has completed her probationary period and is due an increase of $.50/hour per the hiring agreement. The increase will be paid on her next check and will be made retroactive to 7/1/17.
Peterson gave a brief report on a cyber-security seminar that he and the Clerk had attended given by an expert from the firm of CliftonLarsenAllen. He suggested that the Township undergo a security audit by the firm and the other Board members agreed it would be helpful.
Upcoming calendar items were reviewed as follows:
- The MN Association of Townships District 8 meeting on August 16.
- The September Board meeting on Monday, September 11.
- The MN Association of Townships L&R meeting on 9/13-14 in St Cloud.
There being no further business to transact, the meeting adjourned at 9:45 pm.
Ideal Township Clerk-Treasurer
August 21st, 2017