Annual Meeting - March 10, 2015

Annual Meeting March 10, 2015

Annual Meeting March 10, 2015

Crow Wing County held its annual town meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 8:30pm at the Crow Wing Town Hall.  Present were Clerk Susan Amick and those on the attached roster numbering 35 (plus late comers).

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

George Burton was nominated as moderator, but declined the nomination.  Susan Amick nominated Kathleen Lordbock as moderator.  There were no other nominations.  Kathleen was voted in as moderator.

The first item was to agree to an end time to the meeting, reconvening if necessary to complete business.  Doug Kern made a motion to end at 10:30pm.  Brad Arnold seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

The minutes of the 2014 Annual meeting were read by Susan Amick.  Doug Kern made a motion to amend the annual meeting minutes to reflect there was discussion at the 2014 Annual meeting regarding the Washington DC trip that Ginny Rogers took for training several years ago He wished it to be stated that any misunderstanding about the trip was cleared up at that time, and also wanted it noted that it was her daughter Lana who accompanied her on the trip (not her son) at the expense of her parents.  Sue Kern seconded the motion.  Mike Amick called a point of order that there was a need to accept the minutes with the amendment.    Sue Kern made a motion to accept the minutes as written with the addition of the amended material. Tom Mertens seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

Doug Kern addressed the group regarding the election related post card he mailed out to correct erroneous information in the campaign letters sent out by the Alliance of Concerned Citizens of Crow Wing Township.  Doug asked if there were any members from the Concerned Citizens Alliance present to be used as a contact person.   No one came forward to represent the group. He also asked if there was a representative present at last year’s Annual meeting.  He reviewed the information stated in the letters sent out by the group and discussed how this same information had been addressed and covered at last year’s annual meeting as is recorded in the minutes .  He revisited each point being readdressed from past years as well as new areas of concern, including the use of the internet cloud for information storage and township property ownership for planning commission board positions.

Susan Amick read the audit budget, copies were made & handed out to those who requested one.

Greg gave the road report in Dave Shultz, our road supervisor’s, absence.  Crow Wing Township has 39 miles of roads of which 35 miles are paved and 4 are gravel.  Greg shared that Dave would be meeting with the county engineer for road review, to discuss ongoing road maintenance for 2015 and possibly chip seal Gorron, 80th, 70th, & 75th roads.  He shared that about 10 miles of road will need some work in the near future.  A resident inquired about the chip sealing process.  He was wondering if there are repairs done to the road before the chip repair is begun.  Greg affirmed that needed repair is completed before the chip sealing process.

Greg also discussed the election related letters that were sent out by the Alliance of Concerned Citizens of Crow Wing Township regarding Mark Platta as township supervisor.  He looked into the legality of the letters with the MN Association of Townships lawyer Troy Gilchrist.  It was reported that there was basis for which Mark could pursue the matter legally, but if he chooses to do so it would need to be done by Mark without the aid of township funds.   The township cannot spend tax payers dollars to defend Mark Platta in this particular case.  He would need to contact the Office of Administrative Hearing (OAH) to begin the process.  The OAH began hearing and deciding complaints alleging violations of Fair Campaign Practices in July 2004.   Anyone who wishes to review the process on their own was invited to do so.   The Fair Campaign Practices are outlined in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 211A & 211B.   The process is not considered a law suit. The information is presented to a three judge panel who makes the final decision.

Brad Arnold presented the planning and zoning report.  He gave a brief history of the township’s P&Z administration and welcomed anyone to speak with him who wished to get involved and also encouraged attendance at monthly meetings to remain informed and part of the process.   In 2007 it was decided by the town to act as its own planning & zoning administrator.  The planning committee researches information and reports it to the town board to make the decisions. It also reviews & investigates land use, permits, application, & responds to questions or complaints about violations.  Brad gave a review of how the township has worked with Community Growth Institute (CGI) for the past few years until the business closed at the end of 2014.  Since then the planning commission and town board have begun to work with National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) on a trial basis based on what the township residents give for feedback.  Justin Burslie was our planning and zoning administrator with CGI and is now with NJPA, which allows us to continue to work with someone very familiar with our needs.  Currently he is at the town hall on Wed. 1-3, at the Planning Commission meetings each month, and available by phone and appointment.  Zach Jackson asked about what would happen with Zach Rogers being on the planning commission since he is not currently a land owner in the township.  Brad shared that it was thought that since he had been a resident all of his life in the township and was well suited for the position he would be a good addition to the commission.  At the next meeting the MN statute that calls into question whether he can be a board member if he has does not hold property in the township will be discussed & acted upon.   Doug Kern added that he feels anyone who is a board member (township or Planning Commission) should be a property owner and asked if Brad would look into the matter.  Steve Hagen asked about the current situation in regards to whether it has been considered to turn planning & zoning back over to the county. Brad shared that we are trying out the current arrangement with NJPA, but that option has not been ruled out.  Zach Jackson requested it be noted in the minutes that he has previously asked 3 times for the NJPA contract with the township to be placed on the township website.  Greg Smith stated that this had been covered at the regular town board meetings and that anyone who wants to see the contract may do so as Zack Jackson already has.  He also wished it be noted that Zach Jackson was given his own hard copy of the contract, as well as photos of it.

Steve Hagen asked about the Big Woods property and if the appearance of the building would be improved by the owner.  Brad shared that the owner chose his building materials for economic purposes and since he sells those materials, he feels he is showcasing his product.  Brad added that the property owner is due for an inspection onsite to deal with cleaning up debris on his lot, landscaping issues not yet addressed, etc.  It was requested by Steve Hagen to see if the Planning Commission can do something to require him to address the issue of the building appearance and possibly amend the township planning & zoning policies to reflect stricter requirements in this regard in the future.

Monty Jensen inquired as to the current building permit prices.  Brad Arnold and Justin Burslie answered the questions regarding pricing.  Mr. Jensen made a clarifying point regarding his status as a township resident, that he currently is not a resident, but plans to move back into the area.  The moderator, Kathleen Lordbock stated that he may not vote on motions, but may ask questions during the meeting. 

Greg presented the recycling report and reviewed the current schedule, improvements such as adding someone to haul away e-waste & appliances, as well as the addition of an extra dumpster to keep up with the growth of the program.

Kathleen Lordbock shared the boards proposed 2016  levy amounts as follows:  General Fund:  $65,000, Fire Fund $53,000, Road & Bridge Fund $140,000. 

Zach Jackson made a motion that we levy planning and zoning at $0.00.  Stacy Torkelson made a second.  Motion failed.  Sue Kern made a motion to accept the recommended amounts set in the levy by the board.  The motion was seconded by George Burton.  Motion passed.

Jeff Rogers made a motion that we keep the current designated notice posting sites as is (the town hall, with courtesy posting at Wild Rice Depot), it was seconded by George Burton.  Motion passed unanimously.

Randy Powers made a motion to leave gopher feet bounties at 1.50 per pair.  It was seconded by Sue Kern.  Motion passed.

Donation/Contract for Services requests were the next item on the agenda.  Ginny Rogers shared about LAPS and the services they provide.    Zach Jackson voiced that he is in disagreement with donations being made by our township and suggested we choose not to donate.  Michael Amick stated that this is an opportunity as a township to work together as a community to make decisions on such matters.   Zach made a motion that we give $0.00 to all the donation/service contract requests that were about to be presented.  Ross Mulholland pointed out that the Zone One First Responders were there to request donation and without it there may be no first responder coverage to our township.  Mr. Jackson formally withdrew his motion.  Steven Hagen made a motion to donate $1000.00 to Lakes Area Pregnancy Center, Doug Kern seconded it.  The motion was voted on and passed.

Lindsay Mulholland presented the donation request for ZoneOne First Responders which cover 9 townships in this area.  She shared they have answered 11 calls in our township this past year.  Their biggest need is for new equipment, they buy used to save on funds (defibrillators & police phone/radios).  Zach Jackson suggested the First Responders look into different phone equipment because he is a commercial helicopter pilot and is aware of cheaper options.  Lindsay asked him if he would be willing to come to the First Responder office to share that information in hopes of possibly being able to obtain equipment at a cheaper cost since she was not familiar with the type of phones he was suggesting.  There was a motion made my George Burton to donate $2000 to the first responders.  Linda Schuety seconded it.    Motion passed. 

Doug Kern requested that groups asking for funding be placed on the website so individuals may choose to donate if desired.  Susan Amick will take this request to the board meeting.

Zach Jackson made a motion to donate $0 to Crisis Line, Greg seconded the motion.  Michael Amick requested the information from the letter be shared.  Kathleen Lorbock read the request letter.  A resident asked what the amount donated to them last year was, the minutes stated $250.  A motion was made by Ginny Rogers to donate $250, it was seconded by Michael Amick.  The motion passed.

Zach Jackson made a motion to donate $0 to the American Legion Safety School.  It was seconded by Stacy Torkelson.  Motion passed.

Zach Jackson made a motion to donate $0 to the Crow Wing Fair Association, Doug Kern seconded it.  Motion passed.

Discussion regarding the date & time of the next township election was had.   It was noted that state law requires the polls be open from 2:00-8:00pm, but if townspeople would like us to open earlier we could start as early as 7:00am.  Zach Jackson asked that the election be moved to November.  Zach made a motion that the question be put on the March 8, 2016 ballot as to whether to move the township election from March to November.  There was a second by Steve Hagen.  Motion failed.  Sue Kern made a motion to keep the election polling hours from 2:00-8:00pm.  The motion was seconded by Greg Smith.  Motion passed.

George Burton made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:32pm.  Ross Mulholland seconded it.  Motion passed.

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