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, Chief Schultz, and 10 others were in attendance.
Motion by Ommen, second by Peterson to approve the minutes of the March 11th Board Meeting, the March 20th Special Meeting, the March 25th Special Meeting, the April 3rd Special Meeting, and the April 4th Reorganizational Meeting as presented. Carried unanimously.
Curt Johnson gave a status update on the Charter TV franchise renewal and the TDS TV franchise agreement. The Charter agreement is complete and includes a 5% franchise fee to be paid quarterly to the Township. The draft TDS agreement has been reviewed by counsel and by law must be substantially similar to the Charter agreement. The final version can be considered for approval by the Board at the May meeting. TDS has offered to provide a map of infrastructure in the Township, but will require a confidentiality agreement to make that available to the Board.
Dan Leagjeld spoke to the Board about his upcoming application for a land use map amendment and conditional use permit to allow a commercial operation on lots 7-9 of the Driftwood plat. He has operated a dredging business and a houseboat business from that location for many years, but now needs the approval in order to install a new launch ramp on the site. He is asking the Board for a letter recommending approval of the application. Chairman Peterson suggested that an onsite inspection is appropriate for the Board to see the site and get more information. Leagjeld will work with the Clerk to set a onsite meeting date.
Dave Johnson asked the Board if anything had been decided regarding the presentation by Pequot Lakes Police Chief Eric Klang on their department providing dedicated coverage to the Township. Peterson responded that the proposal should be considered further, but that funds have not been budgeted for that purpose at least through 2020. Discussion continued focused on the current situation with the sheriff department’s response to calls, the when, where & what kind of calls in the area, the value of visibility of law enforcement, and the new sheriff’s assurance that there would be more patrol coverage in the township.
The Clerk gave a report on the Township election held on March 12. There were 926 registered voters at the start of the polling and there were 8 election day registrations. Voters cast 175 ballots in total – 26 by absentee and 149 in person on election day- for a turnout rate of 18.7%. Results were announced at the Annual Meeting as 38 votes for Galeen Royce and 136 votes by write-in for Ronald Ommen. There was 1 blank ballot cast. The canvass board convened immediately after the Annual Meeting to certify the results.
Chief Schultz presented the Fire Department report as follows:
- Run report for March shows 1 chimney fire.
- Working on getting pump practice tank ready.
- Membership of the department has been dropping over the last few years and haven’t been seeing many people interested in joining. If the department is unable to recruit new members soon, it may become impossible to continue. Several factors contribute to the difficulty recruiting members. The commitment of time required conflicts with work & school activities for young families. Many locals must work outside the area and so are not available for calls during work hours. And the cost of housing in the area adds resistance to living where they can respond in a reasonable time. On top of these things, the compensation for members in the Ideal department is not competitive relative to neighboring departments particularly with regard to the pension benefit level. The Pequot Lakes department is currently at $4250 versus our $2700 per year. Peterson responded saying that the Board is aware of the situation, that the per call rates were raised recently, that he plans to increase the Township’s contribution to the Relief Fund in 2020, and that he will look to increase the benefit level over the next few years as the fund balance position allows. Schultz said he will ask for the auditors to provide sample reports at some increased benefit levels to see how they would affect the fund balance position.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Planning & Zoning report as follows:
- Gave a status update on the Driftwood Resort redevelopment. The Board attended a review team work session earlier today. The project is running into complications with the DNR on several aspects of the project. The Developer is considering modifying the project to avoid complications and may eliminate the restaurant & use the space for more cabins. The review team is planning an onsite meeting once the snow is gone.
- The request by Daniel & Diane O’Klock for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a G3 Extractive Use Operation at 32498 Nelson Road was approved by the county Planning Commission.
Chairman Peterson presented the Road and Bridge report as follows:
- The roads crew have removed the wing plows.
- Working on the rolling racks which allow moving the plows around and into the storage area.
- Have starting blowing roads to clean off remaining sand.
- Received update on the sealcoating cost share with the County and it should be about $3000 less than previously quoted.
- Received a quote of $3250 from Anderson Brothers to patch the west end of Peoria Road.
- Working with the Driftwood Resort developer to finalize plans to vacate a portion and for a turnaround at the end of Driftwood Lane.
- The road salt for next winter has been ordered through the state cooperative purchasing venture.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Transfer Station/Recycling Center report as follows:
- Have begun spring hours as of April 1st – Wednesdays & Saturdays 8am to 4pm.
- March receipts were $3583; compared to $2838 during March last year.
- Total receipts year-to-date is $7545; compared to $6374 last year.
- The weather seems to be affecting activity with permit sales down slightly from last year at this time.
- Have received complaints on the household garbage price change.
Supervisor Ommen presented the Buildings, Grounds, Parks & Recreation report as follows:
- Will arrange for a tour of the facilities and review of the project list.
- The roof repair contract is completed with Herzog Roofing. Expecting info on work schedule soon. Chief Schultz asked to coordinate schedule with him to insure no conflicts with the fire department operations.
- The vent pipe on the far south end roof has been repaired.
- Received an estimate from People’s Security on entry security and surveillance system. A salesman will present details at the May Board meeting.
- The water fountain has been removed and the space repaired.
Chairman Peterson presented the Legislative & Research report as follows:
- A court decision has granted that the City of Proctor can annex a portion of Midway Township despite the orderly annexation agreement between Midway and the City of Duluth. Legislation addressing this issue has been under consideration for years that would provide equity to townships that have orderly annexation agreements.
The Clerk presented the treasurer’s report. Motion by Ommen, second by Bilek to accept the treasurer’s report for March as presented. Report includes receipts #5769 through #5782 totaling $8,129.73 and disbursements #SL030119 through #22619 for total of $51,749.88. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk pointed out the Interim Financial Report (YTD) showing the actual vs. budget figures for each fund & account and asked Board members to review to see if revisions are needed.
Motion by Bilek, second by Ommen to approve the April claims as presented; claims #43927 through #43979 totaling $24,418.76. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk asked for a motion to approve renewals of 3 liquor licenses – Old Milwaukee Club, Norway Ridge, and Whitefish Golf. Motion by Peterson, second by Ommen to approve annual renewal of liquor license for 3 establishments. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk reported on efforts to repeal the lodging tax in the City of Jenkins and the Township of Jenkins. The township’s repeal is at the request of the one resort in their jurisdiction, but the city’s repeal was initiated by the town council. The lodging association is opposing repeal in both cases. Will continue the monthly notices and collections for those properties until the jurisdictions provide notice that the repeals are passed.
Chairman Peterson presented a Resolution to Establish a Policy for the Compensation and Reimbursement of Town Officers. The resolution document was taken from a sample provided by the MN Association of Townships and provides policy guidelines for the compensation and reimbursement of town officers including meeting & work hours, mileage & travel reimbursement, and allowance for mobile phone & internet use. Motion by Peterson, second by Ommen to adopt Resolution 2019-02. Carried unanimously.
Peterson also reported on the status of the upcoming timber sale from the property owned by the Township south of the Transfer Station. The consultant is moving the sale forward and is expected to make a report to the Board at the May meeting.
And Peterson reported on a meeting of the Crosslake Economic Development Authority. The discussion led the group to identify two priorities for the area: housing and infrastructure. The group will meet once a month to work on moving forward on priorities and other efforts to support economic development. Galeen Royce asked about the Board’s feeling on housing development. Peterson responded that there is no official position other than what is outlined in the comprehensive plan.
The Clerk presented a Resolution Adopting the MN Townships General Records Retention Schedule. This resolution allows the Township to follow the retention schedule recommended by the township association, participate in the Government Records program at the MN Historical Society, and therefore allow for the management of Township records in an efficient & appropriate way. This is an initial step in the process of sorting, digitizing, and destroying township records on an ongoing basis. Motion by Ommen, second by Bilek to adopt Resolution 2019-03. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented several items of other business:
- Received a request to provide a letter of support for locating a Children’s Museum in Pequot Lakes. The museum is a project of the Region 5 Development Commission and is in the process of selecting a site. Pequot Lakes is presenting 3 site options. The Board agreed to send a letter of support with no commitment of funding.
- Have met with and received estimates from People’s Security to consider a security system for the community center and fire hall. A representative of People’s Security will present at the May meeting.
- Noted the website activity for the month of March showing 557 user sessions and 1346 pageviews.
- Received notice from the Crow Wing County Attorney regarding a person arrested at the Transfer Station last year. The subject did not appear for the hearing so an arrest warrant has been issued. They will send notice of the next hearing.
- The Ideal Green Market will be holding their Indoor Farmers & Crafters Market at the Community Center on Saturday April 27.
- Upcoming calendar items were reviewed.
There being no further business to transact, the meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.
Ideal Township Clerk-Treasurer
May 10th, 2019