The meeting was called to order by Chairman Peterson at 7:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance. All Board members, Chief Schultz, the Clerk, the Deputy Clerk, and 10 others were in attendance.
Motion by Bilek, second by Ommen to approve minutes of the August 12th Board Meeting and the September 7th Special Meeting as presented. Carried unanimously.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Scott Goddard spoke offering to answer questions about law enforcement coverage in the Township. Several residents expressed concern about break-ins during the winter especially on the north side of the lake. They suggested that increased presence in the area would create deterrent and help response time. Goddard responded saying it was impractical to dedicate officers to patrol specific areas but suggested homeowners install alarm systems that can provide protection for not only burglary & video surveillance, but also low-temp and CO2 detection. He also reminded people that have video surveillance systems to register with the sheriff’s office so that those systems can be reviewed if something occurs nearby. He also spoke about the importance of talking with your neighbors so that people know each other and can coordinate to monitor the area especially during winter. He reminded residents that if they see something suspicious, say something.
Goddard also asked about potholes on Buschmann Road that are causing a safety hazard. Chairman Peterson responded that he will check into options for getting them repaired. Commercial traffic from the nearby gravel pits are contributing to the poor condition of the roadway there, so it may be possible to get those businesses to contribute to make the repairs. Goddard also asked about plans for upgrading Buschmann Road. Peterson has discussed options for the road with Breezy Point who have recently authorized a study of the road usage, condition, and upgrade options.
Resident Dave Johnson commented that he felt that the Township should increase pay & benefit levels for the fire department members even if it means taxes have to be increased. He feels that increasing benefits will help with recruitment and retention of personnel. Peterson replied that he has had some discussions with the members and will be working on a plan to address the issue to be presented at the Annual Meeting in March.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Planning & Zoning report as follows:
- Discussed the variance request for sideyard setbacks by Terry & Cheryl Stansfield on Butternut Point Road. The old structure which encroaches on a property line is to be replaced. New structure to be similar size but will be positioned within lot lines. Plan will also reduce impervious surface area. The applicants were present and provided information. Motion by Ommen, second by Bilek to recommend approval with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
- Bruce Shultz spoke to the Board regarding the road setback variance request by Gilmore & Kristin Irey for a 2-story detached garage on Butternut Point Road. The structure will replace an existing garage that is non-conforming and is closer to the road than the proposed structure. Motion by Peterson, second by Ommen to recommend approval with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
- Discussed the request for a land use map amendment for Steven Routledge on Star Lake. The request is to change a parcel from Waterfront Commercial with Commercial classification to Shoreland District with Rural Residential 5 involving approximately 5.1 acres. No one was in attendance to represent the applicant. Motion by Bilek, second by Ommen to recommend approval with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
- Marcelo Valdes spoke to the Board regarding his request for lake & bluff setback variances on his property on Lake Ossawinnamakee. Plans are to remodel an existing non-conforming dwelling to add 2nd story and change the roof line. The footprint of 752 sq ft will not change. The project was discussed at a county DRT meeting and did not identify any concerns about the plan. Motion by Bilek, second by Ommen to recommend approval with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
Chairman Peterson presented the Road and Bridge report as follows:
- Presented Resolution 2019-05 designating the first 1.345 miles of Ossawinnamakee Road as a Rural Residential District and to establish an enforceable 35 mph speed limit. The City of Breezy Point has a adopted a similar motion for the road portion that is shared. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to adopt Resolution 2019-05 to be effective once speed limit signs are installed. Carried unanimously.
- Working with Breezy Point to approve a cost-share agreement to resurface the remaining section of Ossawinnamakee Road next year.
- Have completed chip sealcoating on about 4.5 miles of road.
- Construction work on the first section of Ossawinnamakee Road is nearly complete. Dave Johnson commented that he’d never seen road work done so quickly & so well. The neighbors are very happy with results. He asked the Board to consider installing a feedback speed sign. Peterson noted he is working to share cost with Breezy Point and is also looking at having “Share the Road” signs.
- The fall mowing is underway.
- Crew is also working on transitioning equipment & facilities for fall & winter.
- Received inquiry from TDS Telecom regarding permits needed to put utility equipment in Township right-of-ways. There is no permit required but just asked to be notified when they are working in our ROWs.
- Sent several letters asking for obstructions to be removed from road ROWs with a deadline of September 30. Three of the five cases have already complied. Will look at the remaining cases after deadline.
- The ROW obstructions ordinance passed at the August meeting has been published in summary as required by statute. It has been posted on the Township website and will be on file at the Brainerd Public Library.
- Dale Orred asked about who to call to report trees down on Township roads. Calling the sheriff’s non-emergency number will work at any time, or you can call the clerk’s office or the maintenance department during business hours.
- There were no safety incidents.
Chief Schultz presented the Fire Department report as follows:
- Reviewed request for a house burn on Butternut Point Rd. While the department likes to do house burns for training purposes, this particular case is not suitable as the structure is too close to neighboring buildings.
- Run report for August shows 12 calls – 9 medical, 1 mutual aid fire, and 2 false alarms.
- Had another successful Beef Feed and served about 2000 people.
- Discussed possibility of having an electronic sign to announce “now hiring” for the fire department and other notifications for the Township. Peterson said he checked into county ordinances and wasn’t encouraged but will look into it further.
- Would like to upgrade the well at Station 2 to provide capacity similar to Station 1. Clerk will work with Chief to set up a meeting with a vendor.
- The annual relief association audit is completed and the audit certification has been signed and submitted as required.
- The Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education grant that provides reimbursement for training costs has been renewed for 2019-2020. The Clerk submits the requests for reimbursement as training cost invoices are received.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Transfer Station/Recycling Center report as follows:
- Year to date receipts are $64,668, up about $9300 compared to last year. Permits issued year to date is 1135.
- The recycling hauler is planning to bring new color-coded containers with signage to help reduce contamination.
- Received notice from Crow Wing County that after a review of SCORE funding requests for 2020, our grant amount was reduced by $3500 to $31,500.
Dale Orred asked about how pricing is determined for the Transfer Station. Bilek explained it is combination of cost to remove materials, comparison to charges at the county landfill, and to keep charges affordable. Overall the Township tries to have the Transfer Station charges cover the costs as much as possible.
Supervisor Ommen presented the Buildings, Grounds, Parks & Recreation report as follows:
- The roof drain has been upgraded to bring water from the flat roof away from the building and into the retention pond area. Have had a few heavy rains that proved it is working.
- The roof repair project is complete including the gym exhaust vent leak repair.
- Working with a program to help keep track of the facility projects.
- New gutters were installed to replace decayed ones at each end of the long truck bays.
- Working on getting bids to replace the entry door in truck bay 5.
- Will begin putting together plan for fixing the mold issue in the utility room in basement. Chief Schultz suggested installing a vent fan to help remove moisture.
- The upstairs meeting room is complete and will initially be used for the records retention project.
- Working to prioritize other projects on the facilities list.
Supervisor Ommen presented the Legislative & Research report as follows:
- The MAT L&R Committee meeting is coming up in September and will be developing the agenda for next year’s lobbying effort. Peterson & Ommen are planning to attend. Peterson is on the county township association board and will report on the meeting.
The Clerk presented the treasurer’s report. Motion by Bilek, second by Ommen to accept the treasurer’s report for August as presented. Report includes receipts #5882 through #5907 totaling $35,258.30 and disbursements #SL080119 through #22911 for total of $107,92.06 plus operating funds transfers. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk also reported on a series of items related to the treasurer’s report:
- Received the annual financial condition statement from the 4M fund.
- Received the monthly report on fine sharing from the county court administrator showing nothing for Ideal Township.
- Received the quarterly report and payment from the Charter Communication franchise fee in the amount of $4003.33.
- Received the annual renewal for the consolidated insurance policy from MATIT that covers liability, vehicles, buildings, & equipment with premium of $15,339.
- Budget reports are available for review.
The Clerk presented the claims for payment. Peterson asked for detail on the Kirvida claim #44177. Chief Schultz responded the bills are for ladder testing, repairs and maintenance on several vehicles. Motion by Ommen, second by Bilek to approve the August claims as presented, claims #44138 through #44182 totaling $38,388.88. Carried unanimously.
Discussion of the group health coverage renewal for 2020 took place. The Clerk received a comparison of several similar plans and recommends accepting the renewal of the current HealthPartners plan. The renewal plan is a high-deductible embedded health savings account plan with a $3850 deductible per person and an open network. Monthly premium for the 3 full-time employees is $4360.57; up from $4043.99. The Township HSA contribution would remain at $4500 per employee per year paid quarterly. Motion by Peterson, second by Ommen to renew the current group health plan as presented. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented several items of other business:
- Notice of annual enrollment period for the group life plan provided via the MN Association of Townships. It is a decreasing benefit term life plan that includes some new benefits and cost is the same as it has been for several years. The Clerk will relay the new information the eligible employees.
- Have registered Ommen and the Clerk for the upcoming Payroll Law seminar.
- Report on website activity showing 691 users and 1,204 pageviews in August.
- Upcoming calendar items were reviewed.
Peterson spoke about the Big Island Joint Powers Board agreement between the Township, Crow Wing County, and MN DNR. The Township has been incurring costs each year related to the group’s activities, but the other parties have not been contributing to the costs. Peterson feels that not all Township residents directly benefit from the arrangement and should not bear all the costs. It should be distributed equally between the parties so the agreement should be restructured as such. Dale Orred asked about what the costs are for. Peterson explained that the Township contributes labor, equipment, and storage space for the firewood that is brought to the islands. He said he is not opposed to contributing, just that it should be equally divided.
Peterson added that he is working to develop a new road specifications document so that residents can know how to build new roads if they want the Township to take over maintenance. He has obtained a sample from Crow Wing County Highways that includes details and diagrams. He will get the documents updated and present at a future meeting.
There being no further business to transact, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.
Ideal Township Clerk-Treasurer
October 17th, 2019