Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, October 10, 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.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the September 26, 2022, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Jamin Carlson, Joint Planning Director, was asked to attend a meeting in order to review and explain the intent to modify the zoning in an area of Northern Township. The area includes a mix of commercial and residential classifications surrounding the Fairgrounds and Alpine Roads, with grandfathered and uses that are affected by covenants. The intent is to allow some commercial uses that fit the area, and might include some amendments to the Ordinance.

Scott Lee, S. Movil Lake Rd, reported that some damage was done last winter by a front-end loader, to the retaining wall landscaping at the entrance to his property. He asks that more care be taken this winter, if that type of snow removal is again needed. It was noted that encroachments are not allowed in the road rights-of-way in order that it can be clear for road maintenance needs. He was thanked for drawing attention to the matter, and hopefully care will be taken in the future.

Rodney Olson, Bakkum Road, has purchased a property with a very long driveway that abuts George Drive, which is a township road. He is asking that an approach to his driveway be approved at the end of George Drive, in order that he can shorten the length of his driveway, particularly for winter maintenance. It was noted that George Drive does abut the property line, and some more review is needed in order that there are no issues related to the flooding that happened in this area several years ago. An Entrance Permit Application will be needed by the applicant.

John Carlson, candidate for the new District 5 County Commissioner position, wanted to introduce himself. Due to the redistricting that took place in order to distribute the population more equally following the 2020 Census, Turtle Lake Township was removed from District 5 and put into District 1. Therefore, Jim Lucachick, who lives in Turtle Lake Township, no longer represents District 5 and was not able to run for the seat. Carlson and Sandy Hennum are the candidates running for the District 5 seat. He was informed that a couple items that Northern Township is concerned with are; 1) 4-wheeler and side-by-side use along our roads tearing up the ditches and road entrances, and 2) support for our legislative bonding requests for the sewer/water extension and the annexation issues.


One bid was received: Johnson Construction – Summer Road Grading at $140/hr, Snow Plowing Road Grader at $150/hr, and Sanding at $135/hr.

A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Lahn, to approved the bid as presented to begin December 15, 2022, for one year’s time. The carried unanimously.


Tavistock/S. Movil Project – There ended up to be numerous spots along Tavistock Road that were bad and needed extra material to fill. Therefore, all of the reclaim material from the job has been used in those areas. It is hoped that the high bid estimates for material will meet the needs for the remainder of the project.

Acorn Ridge – The Petition to take over the maintenance on Acorn Ridge Road was accepted with a motion from Kelly, a second from Blumhagen, and carrying unanimously. The Board’s inspection will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 24, 2022, and the Public Hearing to follow at the Northern Town Hall at 6:00 p.m. that same evening.

DNR – Frenzel drafted a letter to be sent to the DNR with a proposed mediation for easements along Section 36 on Elliot Road and Big Bass Road. It was agreed that the letter would be sent as written.

Turtle River Township – It was agreed that it is a bit frustrating that Turtle River Township felt they needed to involve the Beltrami County Engineer and Administrator regarding their request that Northern Township share in the maintenance costs for Big Bass Road, instead of having a meeting with reps from both townships first. There has never been a meeting to try and come to an agreement regarding this matter.


Frenzel will be out of town for the meeting this week, so Kelly will attend in his place, with Lahn also attending.


A new application with updated cost estimates will be needed for the new Legislative Session, and Mark Fuller will be asked to start some design work in order that he can make the appropriate updates for the bonding proposal.


The next meeting will be held October 27th at Fire Station #4.


Cemetery – Vigen had been asked to fill a sunken grave site, and would like to have someone take a look at the numerous areas where leveling and filling could be done. He suggested that Kelly Skime, who does this type of work at other cemeteries, be asked to give an estimate for some of this work to be done.

The Clerk reported that Cemetery Sexton Ken Glidden has indicated that the Board should start considering clearing more cemetery property for another expansion. He also feels that at that time, the policies for the cemetery should be reviewed for placement of monuments, markers, etc., in order that those rules are made more clear regarding what might be allowed. It seems that there are a lot of issues with the placement of memorials, causing issues with routine maintenance.

Garage – There is only a small amount of work left involving the start up of the furnace, so Kelly asks that the final payment of $5,000 be held until the work is done and he does a final walk-through with the contractor.


Bills – Kranich presented the bills payable with check numbers 11300 to 11331. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve payment of the bills totaling $242,056.49. The larger items include; the annual Beltrami County Assessor expense – $22,896.00, quarterly fee for joint planning – $14,275.75, Mn Sealcoating for parking lot – $2,700.00, Pitch Black Sealcoating for crack filling – $13,670.00, ditch mowing – $5,325.00, Larson Electric for garage – $6,449.22 & outside lights – $2,149.74, Freeberg & Grund – $7,101.25, and Johnson Construction for a progress payment on Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Road – $135,708.93. The motion to approve payment of the bills carried.

Treasurer Report – Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $268,750.22, Road & Bridge – $937,322.08, Rural Fire – $18,765.30, and Sewer District Waville – $16,144.96, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Federal COVID Relief funds – $265,705.44, for a total of $1,506,688.00. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit – Kranich recommended that after this month’s bills are paid, $255,000 be invested for one (1) month at 2.39% interest at Security Bank. Consensus was given to proceed as recommended.


  1. letter to DNR regarding easement for Elliot Road, 2) agenda for the Joint LGU Bus Tour on Wed October 5th, 3) email from County Engineer Bruce Hasbargen regarding Turtle Rive Twp request for input on Big Bass Road, 4) Agenda of RFA meeting, 5) MAT Annual Conference Agenda, 6) MAT training for Supervisors and Clerks, 7) email request from resident of Elmwood Court for updated blacktopping figures, 8) email from Chairman Frenzel regarding several calls that he had after previous board meeting, 9) Waville operators contact info.


Incorporation – A draft letter was prepared by Lahn and Barnard, and it was agreed to have Attorney Kubousheck review it. The letter will encourage property owners to express their thoughts on the proposal to proceed with the process to incorporate Northern Township. There will be two (2) meeting times scheduled property owners to receive information from the Board, and to express their thoughts; Wednesday, November 2nd from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., and on the same day from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Once the Attorney has reviewed the letter, it will be mailed.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.