The meeting was called to order by Chairman Peterson at 7:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. All Board members, the Clerk, the Deputy-Clerk, the Fire Chief, and 12 others were in attendance.
Motion by Bilek, second by Wortham to approve the minutes of the January 14th Board Meeting, the January 30th Special Meeting, and the February 6th Special Meeting as presented. Carried unanimously.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard presented a report on the number and type of calls received in Ideal Township during 2018. He reported that there were 454 calls in Ideal and 27% were alarm calls and 15% were EMS calls. He pointed out that his office handles the 911 calls and is the one point of contact for all types of emergency and non-emergency responses. During 2018 they handled over 30,000 911 calls and over 80,000 non-emergency calls. Chairman Peterson asked if they charge for false alarm calls. Goddard replied saying that there were so many variables in the alarm calls that it would be difficult to determine which calls to charge for and that his office has an alarm registration fee that helps cover the cost of alarm calls. Supervisor Bilek asked about the number of patrol squads that serve the county. Goddard said that it varies as activity warrants, but generally there is a minimum of 5 or 6 officers patrolling.
Pequot Lakes Chief of Police Eric Klang gave a presentation outlining options for the Township to contract for police coverage through his department. His proposal included a dedicated officer assigned to patrol the Township, a vehicle & equipment, and would handle all the required reporting & record-keeping. Klang indicated he would work with the Town Board to develop a police coverage plan that works for the Township. He estimated having coverage year-round with an officer on duty for about 30 hours per week, would cost approximately $50,000. Sheriff Goddard commented, as a resident of Ideal, he felt the plan does not provide enough benefit to justify the cost.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Planning & Zoning report as follows:
- Discussed the variance requests by Bruce Schultz for his property on Old Whiskey Road to allow them to build an addition to the existing dwelling which would require 2 setback variances and install a new septic system which also requires 2 setback variances. Motion by Bilek, second by Wortham to recommend approval with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
- Discussed the requests by Susan Leagjeld/Driftwood Resort & Lodge for a land use map amendment, a conditional use permit (CUP), a preliminary plat, and 27 variances to allow redevelopment of the Driftwood Resort property. Cindy Hidde of Stonemark Survey gave an outline of the project plans that include renovation & additions to 9 existing cabins, 11 new cabins, a restaurant, a lodge with 6-9 lodging units, a maintenance building, and a clubhouse with pool & spa. Several residents expressed concerns about the project plans including the size & location of the cabins, the number & location of boat slips, the amount of impervious surface area, and whether the boat ramp would be monitored for invasive species. Chairman Peterson spoke about the possibility of vacating a section at the end of the Township portion of the road to accommodate the redevelopment’s plans. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to recommend approval with the conditions that a suitable turnaround is completed and that the DNR reviews the number of boat slips. Carried unanimously.
Chief Schultz presented the Fire Department report as follows:
- Exploring possibility of charging a fee for false alarm calls.
- Completed a contract with the DNR for support on wildlands fire incidents.
- Department is looking at abandoning the dry wells due to the difficulty & cost of maintaining them. The department has several options for getting water now so the wells are generally not needed.
- Looking at putting in a new high-capacity well at Station 2.
- Completed the annual certification of equipment (FA-1) required for receiving local fire aid. The Clerk will submit to the state before the March 15 deadline.
- There were no safety incidents.
Chairman Peterson presented the Road and Bridge report as follows:
- The roads crew has been busy plowing & sanding cleaning up after the repeated snow falls recently.
- Received a question regarding plowing on Peoria Road north The situation was reviewed and determined that the crew has been plowing the Township portion appropriately. A resident had submitted a bill for plowing part of the road but that claim is denied.
- Salt/sand used already this season is more than what was used all last year. The new salt shed has made it easier to use leftover supply from last year.
- The petition to vacate a portion of Driftwood Lane was submitted but was determined invalid as it does not have the required number of Town voters.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Transfer Station/Recycling Center report as follows:
- Working with road crew to get snow cleaned up around containers.
- Had another trespass incident discovered by the Pequot Lakes Police Department. Could not charge the individual because items were not yet loaded into their vehicle, but the person was arrested and taken into custody on other charges.
- Total receipts for 2018 were up by about $10,000 over 2017.
- Receipts for January was $2638 with 126 permits sold.
- The price of household garbage will remain the same at $4 for a regular sized bag, but will begin charging $6 for large bags.
Chairman Peterson presented the Buildings, Grounds, Parks & Recreation report as follows:
- The roof repair proposal from Herzog Roofing has been accepted. Waiting for them to set the work schedule.
- Discussed the water fountain options – repair, replace, or remove. Since water is available from other places in the hall, and because that space would be helpful for some hall rentals, it was decided to have the fountain removed. Will have plumbers remove and cap water lines and then have carpenter cover opening to match.
- The new garbage bins have been received. The Deputy Clerk will mark the new bins. Once the bins are ready, can cancel the current garbage pickup service for the Town Hall, Fire Hall, and Station 2.
Chairman Peterson presented the Legislative & Research report as follows:
- Will be attending the MN Association of Townships L&R meeting coming up on February 20 & 21st. It has been a good opportunity to meet legislators and discuss legislative issues important to Townships.
The Clerk presented the January treasurer’s report. Motion by Peterson, second by Wortham to accept the treasurer’s report for January as presented. Report includes receipts #5740 through #5755 totaling $104,933.40 and disbursements #SL010119 through #22507 for total of $103,918.87. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented the February claims. The claim by Darrel’s Vehicle Repair (#43872) for fire truck annual maintenance was reviewed. Motion by Bilek, second by Wortham to approve the February claims as presented; claims #43843 through #43878 totaling $24,058.52. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented a proposal to implement Microsoft Office 365 and enable cloud-based access to documents and shared calendars, contacts, and task lists. The plan includes technical support, software licenses, and secure email account hosting phased in over the next few months. The current estimate working with Cascade Computers was about $2500 for 2019 and about $1800 for 2020. The Clerk can check with other providers before committing. Motion by Peterson, second by Wortham to proceed with plans. Chairman Peterson suggested that a proposal for a record retention policy be prepared for the April Board meeting.
Curt Johnson gave a report on the Charter cable franchise renewal agreement. Charter and our counsel have completed a final draft of the agreement which was provided to the Board. The major change from the previous agreement is a 5% franchise fee on revenue including the right for the Township to periodically audit Charter’s revenue figures. The intention is for the Township to use the franchise fee funds to push the expansion of service coverage in the Township. Johnson recommends the Board approve the agreement as presented. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to adopt Ordinance 2019-01 Granting A Franchise to Spectrum Mid-America, LLC. Carried unanimously.
Chairman Peterson gave a report on plans for a timber harvest and sale from Township property south of the Transfer Station. The Board has engaged Sharp’s Forestry Consulting, LLC to prepare and conduct the sale. Sharp has surveyed the property and developed a plan to harvest timber of about 24 acres and sell as biomass sometime this summer when prices are best. He will have agreements drafted soon and wants the agreement approved before spring breakup to allow for sale this summer. Sharp will present more details at the next Board meeting.
The Clerk presented several items of other business:
- A Certificate of Appointment and Oath of Office for Bill Wortham are on file in the Clerk’s office.
- Have implemented Google Analytics on the website to enable detailed statistics.
- Received notice of changes to the channel lineup and prices for cable TV service in the Township from Charter .
- Upcoming calendar items were reviewed.
There being no further business to transact, the meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Ideal Township Clerk-Treasurer
February 8th, 2019