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Regular Minutes - April 14, 2015

Regular Meeting – April 14, 2015; 6:00pm  Crow Wing Town Hall

Board Members Present:  Chairman Greg Smith, Supervisors Mark Platta & Dave Schultz, Clerk Susan Amick, Treasurer Susan Kern

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

Katherine Torbert from North Central Speedway was present to renew 3.2 percent malt liquor license.  Mark Made a motion to approve the renewal, Dave seconded motion passed. 

Tad Erickson was in attendance to share an update regarding the FEMA Safe House grant.  Carolyn Strong, and Mr. & Mrs. Eischens were present to represent Crow Wing Estates.  There is a possible conflict between the safe house project and a project for a new well due to a newly placed mortgage on the piece of land that the safe house would be built upon.  Currently there are 2 bids from contractors to build the safe house, a 3rd is needed.  There was discussion between the board and the residents to try to assist them in brainstorming ideas as to how they might possibly afford & manage both projects.  It was suggested to the residents to do a petition and gather the proper % of the property owners signatures to allow the township to establish a subordinate district.  Susan will find the information on the MN Association of Townships website to send to Carolyn Strong to move forward with that option.  Tad is able to put about 10-15 hours more work into the grant, but will be available to assist in final work on it.

Jerry Eischens was present to talk about the well digging project.  He gave a history of the previous attempts to find water on the park property being unsuccessful.   The minutes were reviewed as to the history of the well project. Jerry Eischens phone 828-4677 to contact regarding well project.  Greg will meet with Richard Munch to discuss the matter of the Crow Wing estates well project to try to find out cost, marking of property lines, and gather general information on behalf of the estates.

Brad gave the planning commission report from the meeting the previous evening.  He shared the information obtained from Troy Gilchrist (Mn Association of Township lawyer) as well as the information in the new town manual pg 95 regarding the member eligibility for the planning commission.  Mr. Gilchrist suggests we adopt section 462 in the MN Statutes via public hearing.  We are currently operating under 462 not 366.  There is no need to find a new planning commission member, members are not required to own property in the township, only have residence in the township.

 Mr. Gilchrist shared that:

“The ordinance in question (366) actually refers to the county authority for adopting zoning regulations and is citing to authority that does not apply to the town.


The reference to county planning commissions is in Minn. Stat. 394.30 and it is different than both 366 and 462.  However, even though the town cites to 394, that does not actually make the town subject to the provisions of 394 applicable to counties.


The town has actually been acting in a manner consistent with its authority under 462, not 366, and there is no indication in the ordinance itself that it intended to adopt the ordinance under 366.  As such the fact that one or more planning commission members are not landowners within the town has no effect on their eligibility to continue to serve on the commission or in any way calls into question their past service on the commission.  The town board could, in its ordinance establishing the commission, limit who may serve on the commission, but I do not believe I have ever seen a landowner restriction in such regulations (a residency requirement perhaps, but not property ownership).”


The planning commission asked the town board for permission to adopt the new ordinance and refer to page 95 in the township manual which states:

15-2. Authority to Plan & Zone

Towns have had the authority to plan and zone for decades. The basis for town zoning authority can actually be found in two locations in the statutes. Initially, the statutes made a distinction in zoning authorities based on whether a town had adopted urban town powers under Minn. Stat. Chap. 368. Urban towns were authorized to exercise the zoning powers given cities under Minn. Stat. Chap. 462. Rural towns had a separate source of authority for zoning located in Minn. Stat. 366.10 to 366.181. The primary distinction between the two authorities is that Chapter 462 is much more comprehensive and Chapter 366 requires elector authorization before a town may engage in zoning or make changes to an existing zoning code. A vote of the electors is not required for towns relying on Chapter 462 for their zoning authority. In 1982, the importance of the distinction was essentially eliminated when the legislature amended the definition of municipality in Minn. Stat. 462.352, subd. 2 to include all towns. Since that time, all towns have had the authority to adopt planning and zoning under the more comprehensive scheme of Chapter 462. While the Chapter 366 zoning authority remains in statute, nearly all towns exercising zoning authority today do so using the Chapter 462 authority. Towns who originally relied on the Chapter 366 authority should consider revising their zoning ordinances as part of its next scheduled update to reflect they are based on the Chapter 462 authority. Towns just starting the zoning process should refer exclusively to the Chapter 462 authority.

The board gave permission to the planning commission to seek guidance from Troy Gilchrist as to how to adopt 462 and to go through the statute thoroughly to be sure it is done correctly.  Greg made a motion to allow NJPA to move forward in adopting the 462 statute.  Mark seconded the motion.   Motion passed.

Brad shared that there is a request for a rezone on the old Jensen property currently owned by Mr. Sand.  He has an easement from Potlatch.  It is technically an unconforming lot due to new zoning ordinance.  Currently it is 20 acres classified as medium density and wishes to split the land into two 10 acre lots.  Other items brought to the board were possible horse barrel racing on land near North Central Speedway.  An upcoming new business being built south of Brainerd Overhead & Door was discussed, Grayden Outdoor (a storage facility that also does light shipping, receiving and manufacturing related to fish houses and campers). The Big Woods owner will be visited by Brad to discuss ways to clean up and screen the property in response to complaint calls from numerous residents.  The annual road tour is April 18th beginning at 8:00am, leaving from the town hall; Susan Kern will accompany the supervisors in place of Susan Amick to take minutes.

The Crow Wing County Association of Township Officers meeting is April 20th, 7:00pm at the Crow Wing Township Hall.  Dave will pick up cookies, bottled water and coffee to serve 60 people.  Randy will handle the room set up in advance.  Mark and Dave will handle getting the food out and overseeing everything.

There have been a few calls requesting a porta-potty be placed in the park.  Dave will call to get prices.

Sue Kern gave the treasurers report.  Claims were examined and approved by the board.  The supervisors went through township financial reports year to date.  The board requested treasurer Susan Kern to look into the interest that is owed to Joe Schlomer and add it to the balance in his account in the paperwork.

Road Report was given by Dave.  The truck may require new batteries in the near future.  The last time batteries were put in the truck was 2010.  Dave’s grandchildren picked up garbage along several township roads.  Roads will be inspected during the April 18th road tour report.

Reorganizational items were next discussed. It was determined that Greg will continue Chairman and assigned to work with planning and zoning. Mark will continue as Vice Chair and will continue to work with the cemetery. Dave will continue to work with roads.

Mark made a motion to adopt Resolution 2014-01, authorizing Dave Schultz to work with the roads for the next year. The motion was seconded by Greg and passed, with Dave abstaining.

Greg made a motion to adopt Resolution 2014-02, authorizing Mark Platta to work with the cemetery for the next year. The motion was seconded by Dave and passed, with Mark abstaining.

Mark made a motion to pay Susan Amick the previous clerk salary of $900/month now that her trial period had ended , Dave seconded.  Motion passed.

Mark made a motion to raise the treasurer salary to $400.  Motion failed for lack of a second. 

Greg made a motion to keep the treasurer salary at $300 and also pay an additional $22 per hour for preparation of quarterly and end of year reports and taxes.  Mark seconded it.  Motion passed.

Greg made a motion to set hourly employment at $20 per hour for all employees.  Mark seconded it.  Motion passed unanimously.

Mark made a motion to raise the election judge wages to Head Judge $15/hr, Election judge $13/hr.  Dave seconded it.  Motion passed unanimously.

Randy requested to purchase 3 more tables for the town hall.  Greg made a motion to approve Randy to purchase 3 tables for the town hall.  Mark seconded it.  Motion passed.

Greg made a motion to leave planning and zoning rates the same.  Dave seconded it.

Dave made a motion to leave recycling rates the same. Mark second.

Mark made a motion to set elected official meeting rates at $100 per meeting.  Greg seconded it.  Motion passed unanimously.

Dave made a motion to keep the AWAIR meeting rate the same.  Greg seconded it.  Motion passed. 

Dave made motion to keep annual meeting moderator rate the same.  Greg seconded it.  Motion passed.

Greg made a motion to keep cemetery actuary rate the same $25/trip.  Dave seconded it. Motion passed.

Greg made a motion to approve the  March 24th minutes.  Mark seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 10:10pm.

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