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 2 others were in attendance.
Motion by Bilek, second by Johnson to approve the minutes of the November 13th Board Meeting as presented. Carried unanimously.
Chairman Peterson presented the Fire Department report as follows:
- Looking at possibly closing some of the dry wells and installing a high capacity well at Station
- Contacted the ISO rating agency to find out how this would affect the department’s rating.
- The department will have its Holiday Party on January 12.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Planning & Zoning report as follows:
- Been a busy month. Attended DRT meetings at the County.
- Discussed the variance requests by Robert & Ann Reid for their property on Birchdale Villa Drive to allow them to add a second story addition. Bruce Schultz provided some details about the case. All four variances are for setbacks to the existing structure. Motion by Bilek, second by Peterson to recommend approval with no conditions. Carried unanimously.
- Schultz also gave some info about his variance request which will come before the Planning Commission next month.
- Bilek spoke about a recent article in the Echo about the City of Lakeshore considering an ordinance to regulate short-term rentals of private homes.
Chairman Peterson presented the Road and Bridge report as follows:
- The 2007 plow truck has been repaired and is back in service.
- Have put a set of new tires on the work truck so that it is ready for the winter.
- Also looking to get some new tires for the 2007 plow truck.
- The road right of way clearing by Schrupp Excavating is completed. A few complaints have come in mostly concerning cleanup that is still being done.
- Working with Crow Wing County on plans for road construction next year. Looking to resurface and widen the first part of Ossawinamakee Road. The preliminary estimate was about $219,000.
- Also planning to chipseal about five miles of roads that were crack sealed last year.
- Discussed the proposed snow removal policy that was prepared based on a sample policy provided by the MN Association of Townships. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to adopt the policy as presented. Carried unanimously.
- The Mailbox Policy had been updated to specify ranges for how mailboxes are to be positioned. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to adopt the updated policy. Carried unanimously.
- There were no safety incidents.
Supervisor Bilek presented the Transfer Station/Recycling Center report as follows:
- Receipts year to date is at $73,016; up about $10,000 compared to last year.
- The tires have been removed. Given the cost to haul away tires, looking to increase our prices and be more specific about tire sizes.
- The metal pile has been hauled away and received $300 salvage value.
- Crow Wing County is considering raising landfill charges particularly with mattresses and furniture that could affect our costs of disposal. There is a public meeting planned on December 26 to discuss the increases.
- Looking at pricing compostable material coming in to the transfer station. The maintenance crew puts in considerable time to manage the piles so it’s fair to charge some to cover that cost. Similar to how we handle loads of brush, will charge $3 per load but will allow one load for free with a paid permit.
- Received $101 of restitution from the cases of two persons who were arrested in March for trespassing and theft at the Station.
- The forest consultant, Al Sharp, was taking a walk-through today on the property to develop his timber sale plan.
Supervisor Johnson presented the Buildings, Grounds, Parks & Recreation report as follows:
- Working on the facilities list and moving those projects forward.
- The water fountain in the main meeting room/kitchen area sprung a leak so is now shut off. Have received complaints in past about the fountain so are looking at either removing or replacing. Peterson noted we should have a fountain and it would be nice to have a water bottle filler included in a new fountain. Will get a proposal to replace.
- Have received an updated proposal from Thelen on the roof repair project that makes it a closer comparison to Herzog’s. Reviewed the quotes and options offered including whether to put a steel roof on the section over the main meeting room & kitchen so that it would match the other visible roofs. Will ask the two contractors to review their proposals to see if they can offer a better price. Motion by Johnson, second by Bilek to proceed with the roof repair project, allow Johnson to select a contractor and develop the work schedule, not to exceed $115,000. Carried unanimously.
Supervisor Johnson presented the Legislative & Research report as follows:
- Presented a draft response regarding the Charter franchise renewal from counsel. Looking at a possible 5% fee agreement to be included that could provide revenue that the Township could use to expand service. Once the renewal proposal is forwarded to Charter, we can begin the negotiations to include getting an estimate of possible revenue to the Township from the franchise fee. Peterson asked about the Exhibit A chart listing Township facilities that are to be provided with cable service and suggested it should have all facilities, so services are available when needed. Motion by Johnson, second by Bilek to authorize counsel to forward the response to Charter. Carried unanimously.
Also discussed a letter from TDS informing the Board of their intention to expand cable video and broadband service in the Township. This expansion will require a cable television franchise from the Township and they will make a formal request in January. At that time, they will provide detailed info about the process.
Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to accept the treasurer’s report for November as presented. Report includes receipts #5707 through #5724 totaling $350,968.56 and disbursements #22273 through #22349 for total of $66,667.63 plus $120,000 of operating funds transfers. Carried unanimously.
The December claims were reviewed including a challenge to claim #43791. Motion by Bilek, second by Johnson to approve the December claims as presented; claims #43741 through #43794 totaling $327,127.98. Carried unanimously.
Bilek asked the Board to consider a donation for the Loon Center to be built in Crosslake noting his feeling that the Center could provide significant economic benefit to the area. The Clerk was asked to review the donation to confirm it would be authorized under statute and bring it forward at the next meeting.
Peterson presented a preview of the year-end fund balances and suggested making an interfund transfer to insure all funds have positive balances to begin 2019. Motion by Peterson, second by Bilek to transfer $15,000 from the General Fund into the Recycling Fund. Carried unanimously.
A discussion of the compensation policy and rates took place. The officer’s rates for the monthly meeting and hours has not been changed for several years. The clerk provided a list of current staff wage rates and suggested a cost of living increase of approximately 3% for each employee. Motion by Johnson, second by Bilek to increase officer pay to $200 per meeting & $21.50 per hour, and increase staff wages by 3% with exception of one Transfer Station attendant who will get a larger increase because that person is taking on additional responsibilities. Carried unanimously.
The Clerk presented several items of other business:
- A letter from the City of Jenkins indicating their council voted to no longer participate in the lodging tax area and to rescind the joint powers agreement with Ideal that allows us to administer the lodging tax for them. The lodging property affected has said that they want to continue their participation, so not sure if there will be counter action on the issue. For now, the City’s participation is set to end as of 12/31/18.
- Voided check #22316 was mistakenly issued to pay for registration at the annual fire chief conference. It had already been paid by Chief 2 Stoltman and so is included with his expense reimbursement this month.
- Referred to recent article regarding the City of Lakeshore taking action to regulate short-term private home rentals.
- Received a check from the Bridge Club for $500 for their use of the Community Center.
- Received letter from the MN Department of Revenue regarding a recalculation of Town Aid funding to be received in 2018 which results in an additional $93.
- Presented a donation received from Bob Nelson of $50 to support the First Responders. The donation is in memory of David Maxwell.
- Received some information on upgrading to Microsoft Office 365. There is a government version available that provides additional security functions, but the regular enterprise version is cheaper and provides all the critical functions we are wanting. Also have some info on rates for having Cascade Computer help with the setup and transition. Will present further info at next meeting.
- Upcoming calendar items were reviewed.
There being no further business to transact, the meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.
Ideal Township Clerk-Treasurer
December 17th, 2018