Northern Township

Monday, February 14, 2022. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

5:30 P.M. – The Board met via tele-conference with Attorney Jason Kuboushek to review some of the procedures taking place with the City of Bemidji, and seeking funds via State, Federal, Rural Development, etc. The Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) will also be contacted, for support in the legislative process. The topic regarding possible future incorporation will be discussed at the Annual Meeting.

The Regular Meeting Followed:

PRESENT: Supervisors Jess Frenzel, Curt Blumhagen, Chris Lahn, Mike Kelly and Gary Barnard. Treasurer Doug Kranich, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen, and Clerk Mary Israelson. See sign-in sheet for guests.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the January 24, 2022, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Melissa Fahrenbrach, JPB Enforcement, was present to introduce herself and talk about some of the matters that she is dealing with in Northern Township. The primary issue is dealing with violations in the three (3) mobile home parks owned by Bemidji Ironwood, and they have until spring to clean them up before action is taken. She is also dealing with the salvage yards and going through files to determine the need for inspections on certain Conditional Use Permits.

Snow Removal – Vigen reported that he has been trying to keep up with the windy and snowy conditions. The pickup truck is down at this time, but should be ready to go tomorrow.

New Pickup – Additional quotes were received on a couple new one (1) ton pickups, which totaled approximately $50,000+. Blumhagen questioned the expense of purchasing and maintaining a new vehicle versus hiring the work out, and wondered if Vigen would be doing the work for an extended time. Vigen did indicate that he had no plans to discontinue doing the work for some time. A motion was offered by Lahn, and seconded by Barnard, to authorize Kelly to negotiate the purchase of a new pickup, for up to $55,000 plus tax and license. The motion carried with Lahn, Barnard, Kelly and Frenzel, voting ‘yes’, and Blumhagen voting ‘no’. A plow would then be purchased separately ($8,000 – $10,000), and bids on a new garage to store it would also be solicited. ARPA funds are expected to be used for these expenses.

So. Movil Lake Road – Mark Fuller was present to provide some estimates for work on S. Movil Lake Road, west of Irvine Ave, and extending through Tavistock Road to Whiting Road. The work would include that much like what has been done on S. Movil (east of Irvine Ave), Whiting Rd, and Aspen Ave, and include 11 ft driving lanes and 4 ft shoulders on the S. Movil Lake Road portion, but not Tavistock Road. Fuller was then asked to estimate the addition of shoulders on the Tavistock Road portion also. The proposed project would include dirt work in 2022, and blacktopping in 2023. The So. Movil Lake Rd portion would be approximately $331,345, and the Tavistock portion would be approximately $297,804 plus a rough estimate of $88,000 for the addition of shoulders. Fuller would have to calculate the additional work for a better estimate.

The State’s Project Priority List (PPL) – it is important to get on this list, so Fuller did the work to complete it. Also, the State Legislators have indicated that they would support a bill, with Representative Matt Bliss introducing it. Letters of support are needed and are being worked on, including the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT). A letter from the City of Bemidji is also needed, and they have indicated this would be done. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will also be required at some point. Frenzel and Kelly will be addressing the Beltrami County Board tomorrow, and another meeting with the Bemidji City Council will be considered for Tuesday, March 1st, to address their concerns for alternate plans for the proposed project.

Federal Program – We have been made aware of a program for funding from Congressman Pete Stauber – FY23 General Community Project. A motion was offered by Barnard, and seconded by Blumhagen, to authorize the needed work to apply for these Federal funds. The motion carried unanimously.

There was one (1) planning case reviewed for Caribou Coffee to be located in the former Dick’s Northside location. The Year End Report was also reviewed, as well as the Budget, showing a fare amount in the Reserves.

Blumhagen reported that the Annual Meeting was held and the new Budget reviewed and approved. Due to the added expenses related to the purchase of a new truck, this year’s portion billed to Northern Township is $171,216 (up from $152,100), and next year’s will be $194,045. The new officers were elected and Blumhagen was chosen Vice-chair.

Lahn reported that the regular quarterly meeting was held, with procedures regarding Citations and quarantining animals being discussed. The quarantining of dangerous dogs is being done by the City of Bemidji, since Beltrami County has two (2) kennels reserved. The budget was reviewed and fees were increased a bit due to added expenses, basically from the legal work done on the citation process.

Bills – Kranich presented the bills payable with check numbers 11096 to 11114 totaling $43,117.81, with the largest payments to; BRACO (annual) – $10,160.00, and Johnson Construction for winter road mnt – $12,230.00. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to pay the bills as presented, and it carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report – Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $271,337.31, Road & Bridge – $637,877.14, Rural Fire – $14301.13, and Sewer District Waville – $14,981.73, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Federal COVID Relief funds – $216,043.83, for a total of $1,154,541.14. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Barnard, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit – Kranich reported that there is a $120,000 CD maturing and recommended that $100,000 of it be invested for 30 days at .70% at Security Bank USA. Consent was given for the investment.

Annual Audit – Kranich reported that the annual threshold has been released by the State Auditor, and it appears that we will again be required to have an audit conducted. He was given the authority to contact Miller McDonald for this service.

1) Bemidji Rural Fire Association fee information for 2022 and 2023, 2) Beltrami County Property Management Portal change information, 3) Form related to the FY23 General Community Project Form from Congressman Pete Stauber, 4) Letter from Turtle River Township regarding the maintenance costs for Big Bass Road, 5) letter sent out to the Waville Wastewater Subordinate Service District users with information regarding the new operator, 6) Lakes Area Dive Team request for contribution, 7) Bemidji Senior Center request for contribution, 8) First Call 211 request for contribution, 8) various email correspondence regarding the sewer/water matter.

Al Snider – Is asking for the Board’s thoughts on a request that he has to vacate an old platted road area along his property on Birchmont Court, outside of the existing 66 ft road ROW. After reviewing the map that Snider provided, it was agreed that the Board wished to wait until after more is known about the possibility of the sewer/water extension being installed along the road.

Cemetery – An estimate was received to repair the fence that was hit and damaged by a motorist. It totaled $6,213 and a letter has been sent to the owner of the vehicle.

Budget Review – Kranich lead a discussion regarding some of the line items on the budget worksheet, and further review will be held prior to the next regular meeting on Monday, February 28th at 5:30 p.m.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 8:42 p.m.