annual meeting 2013

Crow Wing Township held its annual meeting on Tuesday March 12, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. at the Crow Wing Town Hall. Present were Clerk Virginia Rogers and those on the attached roster.

Ginny called the meeting to order and the pledge to the flag was recited.

Wendy DeBusk nominated Marla Dillon as moderator. There were no other nominations.

Dave Schultz gave the road report. He noted that our street signs have been replaced according to the new federal legislation. Also in 2012 we repaired Lone Oak Road at a cost of $24,000. He shared the five year road plan as well as budget items. It was noted that it will cost approximately $1,000,000 to overlay Wetherbee Road, Cook Road and 50th Ave. Jim Goodew stated that at the rate we are saving we will not reach the necessary amount to meet the road plans. He asked if there was wisdom in doing some of it sooner since costs seem to continually rise. Discussion followed. Jim stated his appreciation of the fiscal responsibility that the board has shown over recent years. Monty Jensen asked if we get competitive bids. Dave stated that the estimates are based on quotes, but the actual jobs would be opened for bids. Monty Jensen asked if we save money using our own equipment for ditch mowing versus contracting for it. Dave shared numbers showing that we saved over $10,000 this year considering the expected life of the equipment and factoring in all costs. Monty Jensen asked about the children at play signs. He stated that they should not be removed and asked if the residents want them why they shouldn’t have them. Dave stated that the county has shared information that they are not effective and that they no longer use them. The speed on 70th Ave and Lone Oak Road was brought up for discussion. The only option the township has that it has not yet attempted is that of adding speed bumps. The residents were instructed to ask that this be placed on an upcoming agenda and that we coordinate with the county sheriff for the same meeting. A culvert under Ravenswood Road was requested. The board has checked into the legality of this and have been told that It can be installed, but there are limits. The natural level of the wetland cannot be lowered. The board is still working on this and it has not been forgotten. A resident stated that it doesn’t appear the culvert will help very much and added that the houses that have the water issues probably should not have been built where they are. Moving the water could cause problems for others. Dave suggested that using a pump might be more cost-efficient since it is unlikely that we will see water levels as high as last year more than every ten years or so. The pump could be used as needed on the wettest years when there is water in the ditch. The beaver dams in the area were also brought up. The town board has been told that we have no authority to deal with them because they are not directly impacting our roads. Monty Jensen suggested that we contact Paul Koering and ask that he do something. It was decided that he should be invited to an upcoming board meeting.

Brad Arnold gave the planning and zoning report. He gave a background on the planning commission and planning and zoning administration. He also reviewed methods of evaluating our cost effectiveness including an as-needed cost for services with Community Growth Institute. He shared about a recent meeting with Chris Pence at the county requesting where he inquired about any state funding that would be for our township. We can ask the county board for our portion of that funding.  A review of land use violation policy was given as well as an update on progress in resolving outstanding violations. Monty Jensen asked about cleanups and associated costs. Discussion followed. Brad noted that we are always considering these things. Cliff Carlson added that in his years on the planning commission it was essential to have a professional to advise us regarding the zoning ordinances.

It was asked if we could vote on whether or not to move the township election to November. Discussion foillowed concerning the fact that supervisors would have to go to six year terms. The annual meeting would still have to be held the second Tuesday in March according to state law. Notification was considered. It was noted that we have sent out postcards and newsletters in the past and have still had low participation.  Two residents took a sample resolution to complete for voting by the electorate.

During this time, Greg Smith gave the recycling program report and discussed potential cleanup events. Questions were asked and answered.  

Mark gave the cemetery report including an update on verifying the accuracy of records and changing to a new lot numbering system that is easier to understand.  A report was given by the BMX club.

Trent Bauman made a motion to adopt the attached resolution regarding the township election date. The motion was seconded by Monty Jensen .   A vote was taken with the following results:  13 and 13.  Discussion concerning what to do.  The clerk suggested taking a second vote in hopes that someone who abstained would add their vote. The second result was  14 for and 13 against.

Steve Hagen made a motion to install a streetlight at the intersection of 70th and 371. The motion was seconded by Trent Bauman. Brad asked that the board also develop a policy if they do install the light that states why the request was granted. The motion passed with many in favor and none opposed. This is made as a recommendation to the town board. Wendy DeBusk made a motion to install a streetlight at 50th Ave and Highway 371. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety.   Discussion followed.  Several were in favor and none opposed.

Greg shared information on a request for a warning siren in the township. Gwendolyn Scott presented a petition from Crow Wing Estates (attached). Costs were reviewed including $25,000 - $35,000 for installation and potentially $300 per month maintenance fee and additional costs for backup power. Questions were asked including what will activate it to go off in time for people to evacuate. Kathleen Lordbock stated that her home was hit by a tornado and the siren did not go off in Brainerd until after the tornado had passed. She wondered if our siren would be coordinated with those in Brainerd or initiated in our area. She also asked where the residents in Crow Wing Estates are supposed to go in the event of a tornado. Residents there stated that there is no storm shelter or underground area for them. Monty Jensen stated that he had been asked to run for township office partly because of this request. His research indicated that the cheapest siren would be $16,000 and that this is too costly. He recommended putting some money into weather radios instead of a siren. He also said he is concerned that the residents requesting the siren do not have a safe place to go if there was a severe storm. He also stated that when you live in the country you know you don’t have these services provided. Dave Schultz added that it would take 9 sirens to cover everyone in the township. Zack Jackson stated that his family has been in the township for over 100 years and to his knowledge no one in the township has ever been physically injured in a tornado. Wendy DeBusk suggested that the association in the trailer park raise funds to build a shelter. Carolyn Strong stated that money they had saved for the project was stolen by two of their officers. Other comments followed. Monty Jensen added that the weather radios have a wider range than a local siren might have. It was suggested that if any future mobile home parks are developed in the township they be required to install a storm shelter and a plan. Carolyn Strong made a motion to recommend purchasing a siren. The motion was seconded by Quintin Scott. The motion failed with the majority opposed.

Mark Platta shared the board’s proposed levy amounts as follows:

General Fund  $70,00  Fire Fund $40,000  Road and Bridge Fund $130,000  and Park Fund 0.  He added that the board had since received word that the fire protection costs for 2014 will be raised to more than $50,000. Discussion followed. Brad Arnold made a motion to approve the levy as recommended. The motion was seconded by Jim Goodew and passed with none opposed.

Mark Platta made a motion to continue the official posting place at the town hall with courtesy posting at Wild Rice Depot. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and passed unanimously.

Dave  Schultz made a motion to set the gopher bounties 1.50. The motion was seconded by Mark Platta and passed unanimously.

Donation requests were next on the agenda. The clerk began to read through the list of requests. Monty Jensen stated that he did not want to see the township give anything to any organization. He then made a motion to give nothing.  The motion was seconded by Zack Jackson and passed with the majority in favor. 

Mark Platta made a motion to hold the 2014 election on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 with polls open from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the canvass meeting at 8:20 p.m. and the annual meeting at 8:30 p.m. The  motion was seconded by Brad Arnold and passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned by general consent at 12:20 a.m.