Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, August 8, 2022. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

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

4:30 p.m.: Meeting with Attorney Jason Kubousheck.

Discussion were held updating Kubousheck on the status of the proposed extension of utility services to the north end of Lake Bemidji, basically waiting to find out if any of the requests for funding will come through. Other matters discussed involved the concept of exploring the possibility of the township incorporating in order to have more opportunities for government assistance, among other reasons. Kubousheck gave examples of other townships going through the same issues, and gave the Board an idea of what would be involved and a timeline. The discussion ended at 4:44 p.m.

The Regular Town Board Meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the July 25, 2022, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.



Thistle – Vigen met with Jason Snodgrass, to look at a few areas in the township where thistle is growing in the road ditch. The areas that will be sprayed are along Aspen Ave and a couple areas along Town Hall Road. It seems that thistle is a big problem due to the very dry summer last year.

Traffic Counter – Vigen was asked to place a traffic counter on Wild Plum/Whitetail Road and when checked on, it had been thrown into the woods. He determined that it probably wasn’t the best time to take the count since County Road 20 is currently closed for reconstruction.

Crack Filling – We are still waiting for this work to be done along Winter Sumac Road as well as the town hall parking lot. Beltrami County Highway Dept will be putting their crack filling work out for bids next year, and will welcome the townships to be included in their bid. Hasbargen wants to be clear that this work is for crack “filling” only, and NOT crack “leveling”. Crack filling is normally done on roads that have newer blacktop with smaller cracks. Crack leveling is a different process and takes much more work and expense.

Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Road – Some utility work is taking place along these roads, in preparation for the road construction that will start later this summer around Labor Day.


The monthly meeting will take place this week and Kelly will fill in for Frenzel, who cannot attend. Frenzel did meet with the city reps regarding the proposed budget, but would like to set up another open meeting for more of the Board to attend.

There was also discussion about some of the changes that have taken place within the joint planning organization and the thought that it might be time to re-consider the extension of the agreement for land use planning.


Following the discussion with Attorney Jason Kubousheck, each Supervisor was asked their thoughts on proceeding with exploring the concept of becoming incorporated into a city. It was agreed that this is a realistic endeavor and the right time to proceed. The first step would be to ask the residents of the township their thoughts by sending a mailing and conducting an informational meeting regarding the topic. Kubousheck will be asked to lay out the potential steps involved in the process.


Blumhagen reported that the long-range planning committee met, and the financial information regarding the budget overage was explained. The costs needed to keep a fire department running have increased with inflation, especially with the increase in fuel prices. The City of Bemidji is going to look into replacing their current facility with a possible combination City/Fire Hall. The RFA will look further into developing a fire district with a possible study in 2023.


Lahn reported that the quarterly meeting was held with updates of the calls and finances. Work is nearly done to complete the process of issuing citations through the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Dept and the Court system, which as taken much longer than expected.


Cemetery – The repair work to the fence is now complete, with additional fencing needed due to a portion that was lost to theft. Periodic inspections of the fence line should be done by Board members in order to detect any indication of damage, or other issues.

Garage – The work is progressing as materials are made available. Minnesota Energy will be installing the new gas line.


Bills – Kranich presented the bills payable with check numbers 11245 to 11267 totaling $30,624.34, with the larger payments to; Wilson and Son Field Services for the final work on the cemetery fence – $3,907.08, Freeberg & Grund for engineering work on the Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Road project – $3,420.00, and Mike Lucas for the first round of ditch mowing – $4,125.00. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen to approved payment of the bills as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report – Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $284,350.16, Road & Bridge – $950,173.66, Rural Fire – $18,491.46, and Sewer District Waville – $19,916.85, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Federal COVID Relief funds – $316,861.74, for a total of $1,589,793.87. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, and carried, to approve the report as presented. Kranich reported that the county tax settlement and the ARPA 2nd distribution were both received, totaling more than $754,472.

Certificates of Deposit – Kranich reported that a $400,000 CD was maturing, and recommended that $385,000 be re-invested for one (1) month at 1.75% interest at Security Bank. Consensus was given to proceed as recommended.

Kranich has talked to Security Bank and First National Bank about municipal lending and they both can issue Certificates of Indebtedness. It is an approximate two (2) month process with some fees involved.


  1. Copy of email correspondence from City Engineer Sam Anderson, to County Highway Engineer Bruce Hasbargen requesting that Elliot Road be added to their chip seal bid next year, 2) County Board to conduct a remote Board Meeting at the Northern Town Hall on August 16th from 3:00-6:00 pm, 3) Quarterly Waville Report from Advanced Utility Solutions, 4) Thank You note from Great River Rescue and Support Within Reach for the contributions, 5) notice of MAT District 12 Meeting on Tuesday, August 23rd at the Bagley High School, 6) note from the JPB that their offices have moved to new offices at 315 5th Street NE, 7) email correspondence from County Highway Dept regarding ditch mowing and weed control along Sumac Road, 8) letter from Mark Fuller, Freeberg & Grund, reporting that the roads in the Acorn Ridge Plat meet his approval and recommends acceptance, 9) quote from RB Enterprises for labor and materials to trench gas line from the town hall to the new garage, 10) letter sent to Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge with update of the sewer/water extension.

Elliot Road – After this Board’s recommendation, a chip seal treatment will be planned for the summer of 2023, with costs being equally shared by Northern Township and the City of Bemidji at approximately $20,000/each.

Acorn Ridge – Final approval was given by Engineer Mark Fuller that the roads meet the proper road requirements for township roads. A Petition for Town Road will need to be submitted by the developer (Jay Hill) prior to proceeding with scheduling a Public Hearing.

Garage – A quote was received from the building contractor to dig in a natural gas line from the connection on the town hall to the new garage for $2,500.00. This would eliminate an additional meter and fee. It was felt that the $2,500 cost was too much, and a connection will be made from the main line on Town Hall Road to the new garage at a minimal cost from Minnesota Energy.

Ruttger’s Letter – A copy of the letter will be sent to the MPCA.


Road Maintenance Bid – It was agreed to put the road maintenance work out for bids again, as has been done in the past. The current contract runs into December.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:14 p.m.