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, and 1 resident were in attendance.
Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to approve the minutes of the December 10th Board Meeting, the December 21st Special Meeting, and the January 4th Special Meeting as presented. Carried unanimously.
Resident David Johnson reported that he had spoken with Pequot Lakes Police Chief Klang and suggested Klang make a presentation regarding police coverage in the Township. Chairman Peterson commented it would be good to explore options.
Johnson also asked about the option to have the Township election in November along with the state general election thinking it might help get better voter turnout. Peterson explained that the Township considered that in the past and decided against it because of the change of Board member terms required. The Clerk noted that the Township would still be required to have the Annual Meeting in March and that having the election in November would likely reduce attendance at the meeting.
Chairman Peterson presented the Fire Department report as follows:
- The total calls for calendar year 2018 was 126 - 17 fire calls, 83 first responder calls, 1 gas leak call, 1 standby call, 3 good intent calls, and 21 false alarm calls.
- Exploring possibility of charging a fee for false alarm calls. Maybe could charge after a property has 3 false alarms. If the policy is adopted, would be important to make sure residents are aware of the policy change. They can be informed after the first false alarm, so they have opportunity to correct the conditions that cause the false alarm.
- Firefighters had annual physicals and mask fit tests last week.
- The department had its Holiday Party on January 12.
- Have responded to questions regarding medical leave absences and relief association service year credits. Under current rules, a firefighter is not eligible to get service year credit for the time when they were on medical leave.
- Discussion of the per call rate for firefighters. The rates were partially raised last year, after being at $15 per call for many years, to be $20 for each fire or responder call and $15 for other activity. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to raise the firefighter per call rate to $20 for all activity effective 12/1/2018. Carried unanimous. Supervisor Johnson commented it is a good move, that the residents value the department highly, and that the firefighters serve for the community, not for the money.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Planning & Zoning report as follows:
- Discussed the variance requests by David and Barbara Rossi for their property on Star Lake Drive to allow them to build a dwelling, deck & garage. The proposed structure would require 3 bluff setback variances including a zero-foot setback to the proposed deck where 30’ feet is required. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to recommend denial since there is enough room to build within proper setbacks reducing impact to the bluff area. Carried unanimously.
- Discussed the request by Charles and Cindy Williams for a conditional use permit (CUP) for dirt moving and variance for maximum patio & pool size on their property at 8945 County Road 16. Bilek noted that the case was discussed at the DRT meeting and found no issue with approval. Motion by Bilek, second by Peterson to recommend approval of the CUP request with no conditions. Carried unanimously. Motion by Johnson, second by Peterson to recommend approval of the variance request with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
Chairman Peterson presented the Road and Bridge report as follows:
- Working with Crow Wing County on plans for road construction this year. Looking to resurface and widen to 24’ the first 1.2 miles of Ossawinamakee Road. The preliminary estimate including the County’s administration fee is $243,378. The County will be awarding contracts and finalizing estimates over the next few weeks. Motion by Johnson, second by Bilek to proceed with the planned road construction. Carried unanimously.
- Planning to meet with Breezy Point to develop plans for resurfacing the shared portion of Ossawinamakee Road. Looking to possibly do that work in 2020.
- The crew has been sanding roads to help with icy conditions.
- The repair on the loader is complete.
- Also still working on clean up after the ROW clearing that was done in the fall.
- Will attend the City-County-Township road maintenance meeting coming up on the 28th.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Transfer Station/Recycling Center report as follows:
- Total receipts for 2018 were $76,497; compared to $65,287 from 2017.
- Total permits sold in 2018 was 1321; about 200 more than 2017.
- The SCORE grant funds of $35,000 has been received from the County to support the recycling program.
- Crow Wing County has raised landfill prices for furniture and mattresses significantly. That will increase the cost of hauling those materials from the Transfer Station. Our prices will be raised accordingly – all sizes of mattresses will now be $45, sleeper couches are now $35. Also going to clarify prices by size of electronics and tires to be more in line with disposal costs. An updated Disposal Guide is being prepared and will be available at the station and on the website.
Supervisor Johnson presented the Buildings, Grounds, Parks & Recreation report as follows:
- On the roof repair project, have contacted both contractors to ask for their best price given the size & schedule of the project. One contractor declined to provide an updated proposal, but Herzog Roofing lowered their estimate by $4200. Discussed the options in the Herzog proposal and agreed that all should be included at this point including the option to use steel roofing in the sloped portion over the main meeting room. Will finalize & accept the Herzog proposal and work them to coordinate the work schedule.
Supervisor Johnson presented the Legislative & Research report as follows:
- The new legislative session has started but nothing has passed that affects Townships yet.
- The MN Association of Townships L&R meeting is coming up on February 20 & 21st.
The Clerk presented the December treasurer’s report including the year-end balances for each fund. Johnson asked about the excess spending in the Capital Projects fund that resulted from purchase of the new tractor and the building of the maintenance cold storage addition. Peterson noted that was offset somewhat by the sale of the old tractor that brought in $35,000 against the new tractor price of $110,500. In addition, there was significant carryover amount in the fund from previous years leaving sufficient balance to cover projects planned for this year.
Motion by Bilek, second by Peterson to accept the treasurer’s report for December as presented. Report includes receipts #5725 through #5739 totaling $25,797.41 and disbursements #SL120118 through #22443 for total of $395,244.77 plus $80,000 of operating funds transfers. Carried unanimously.
Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to approve the January claims as presented; claims #43795 through #43842 totaling $34,347.44. Carried unanimously.
Supervisor Johnson gave a report on the Charter cable franchise renewal agreement. Charter has provided a response to the redline version from our counsel and we are in the process of responding to the remaining issues, such as having Charter provide an “as built” map showing where their service is available in the Township. Expect to have more details soon.
Received a request by TDS Telecom to consider a cable franchise agreement with them. They have new technology that will allow them to provide cable TV service via their existing equipment. A timeline of the process was provided showing the steps required. The first step is to publish a Notice of Intent to Consider an Application for a Franchise setting a hearing date. Motion by Johnson, second by Bilek to move forward with the process as presented. Carried unanimously. The information will be forwarded to counsel for their review and to coordinate the process.
Discussion took place regarding the contract with Crow Wing County for their support with administering the Township election. The Clerk explained that the contract takes care of the programming of the election equipment, preparation & printing of the ballots, and general administrative support. The cost for the support is $300. The cost of programming, printing, and expenses are to be billed to the Township. The total cost last year was about $600. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to accept the election administration contract with Crow Wing County as presented. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented several items of other business:
- The IRS has issued standard federal mileage rate for 2019 as $0.58 per mile. The Township will begin using the new rate effective January 1, 2019.
- Received several notices from Charter/Spectrum regarding channel line-up, service packages, and price changes.
- Referred to recent article regarding the City of Lakeshore taking action to regulate short-term private home rentals.
- Received notice of Substitution of Collateral from First National Bank. This replaces the securities pledged as collateral in amount of $500,000 with a new one. Pledged collateral is used by the bank to secure the Township’s deposits in excess of the FDIC insured limit. Now that we’re using the 4M Fund for the majority of savings funds, our accounts at FNB have large balance for a couple short times during the year.
- Received letter from the County Solid Waste Coordinator reminding us that residential solid waste collectors are prohibited by law from imposing a greater charge for residents who recycle than on residents who do not recycle.
- Upcoming calendar items were reviewed.
Discussion took place regarding the proposed 2020 levy and fund budgets. Peterson pointed out that the fire department receives additional funds from the Timothy Township fire service contract that could be deducted from the fire department budget proposal making it $161,000, and the overall proposed levy $1,013,000. The final proposed total levy for 2020 will be presented and voted on at the Annual Meeting in March.
The beginning fund balances for 2019 were also reviewed to adjust so that each fund has roughly 60% of its annual budget available at the beginning of the year. Motion by Peterson, second by Johnson to transfer $46,000 from the General Fund to the Road & Bridge Fund. Carried unanimously.
There being no further business to transact, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.
Ideal Township Clerk-Treasurer
February 8th, 2019