Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, October 24, 2022. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

5:30 P.M. – ROAD INSPECTION at Acorn Ridge Road NW.

PRESENT: Chairman Jess Frenzel, and Supervisors Chris Lahn, Curt Blumhagen, and Gary Barnard. Absent Mike Kelly. Road Supervisor Tim Vigen.

Board members met and observed Acorn Ridge Road NW in the Plat of Acorn Ridge. They then returned to the Northern Town Hall for the Public Hearing regarding the acceptance of the road.


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

Jay Hill, the developer of the Plat, was present and Chairman Frenzel indicated that member of the Board had inspected Acorn Ridge Road NW in the Plat. Mark Fuller, with Freeberg & Grund, had also inspected the road during/after the bituminous was applied and has written a letter recommending approval for acceptance as a township road.

A Letter of Credit is being held as security according to the Road Agreement between the Township and Developer Jay Hill. It was agreed that Hill will be required to maintain a Letter of Credit (security) of at least 25% of the original amount for the three (3) year warranty period. This will amount to $52,500.

Resolution #2022-1015: A motion was then offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the Resolution Accepting A Platted Road For Maintenance By The Town, contingent on the security (Letter of Credit) being received. The motion carried unanimously.

The Regular Meeting Followed: (It was noted that the posted Agenda had a transposed time of 6:30 p.m. The Legal Notice for the Public Hearing had the correct time of 6:00 p.m.)

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Lahn, to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2022, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Jeff Peltier and Christian Knutson, residents of George Drive, were present with concerns regarding the driveway approach that had been installed on the end of George Drive. Peltier wanted to be assured that the property owner went through the proper process to install the approach, and Knutson had concerns due to the ground water flooding that happened on his property several years ago, hoping that research was done in order that the approach doesn’t adversely affect his property.

Vigen reported that he had looked at the site, and had talked with road maintenance contractor Joel Johnson about the flooding issues. Johnson indicated that the flooding concerns were due to elevations near the rear of the property, and not related to the road. Also, Mark Fuller, Freeberg & Grund Engineering, had looked at the site, and had indicated that the approach would not affect the current flow of the groundwater.

It was also noted the T at the end of George Drive abuts the property to the east, which was a driveway easement for the applicant. They did abut each other with no property gaps between the two. Vigen noted that he approved the Entrance Permit Application due to there being no reason for denial.

It was then agreed that Vigen would try and set up a meeting with Fuller at the site, along with Knutson, in order that his concerns could be addressed.


New pickup plow – Vigen reported that the new plow was being installed on the pickup and should be ready tomorrow.

S. Movil Lake Road – The project is proceeding after some delays with subsoil issues along the Tavistock Rd portion of the project.

Cemetery – Vigen reported that he had met with Kelly Skime at the Cemetery, in order to look at some needed leveling work. Skime will use the fill material that is there, use his equipment, and will charge $35/hour.


Lahn reported on the recent meeting, with a review of the Royal Bay Town Homes permit for riprap and some disagreement with the minutes of that approval. There was also a garage addition and apartment building case.

The City has not officially responded to the Northern Township request to leave the JPB after the notice was presented at the Joint LGU Meeting. They were to discuss it at tonight’s work session.


There has been no more information received regarding the sewer/water extension proposal. Work will proceed with getting a new request to the State Legislature prior to this year’s deadline. Frenzel will attempt to scheduled a meeting with the County Administrator following the General Election.


The approximately 1500 letters went out to property owners, inviting them to a meeting to discuss the topic of the township incorporating, in order that the Board can receive their input on the topic. They are also encouraged to email, write, or contact us with their thoughts. The meeting will be held at the Northern Town Hall on Wednesday, November 2nd at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Blumhagen reported that he will be attending two (2) rural fire meetings this week, the regular quarterly meeting, and a Long Range Planning meeting.


The regular quarterly meeting will be held Wednesday at noon. Lahn indicated that he won’t be able to attend, so Blumhagen agreed to attend in his place.


The semi-annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and Barnard will attend as the rep from Northern Township. Beltrami County Auditor/Treasurer JoDee Treat, Sheriff Ernie Beitel, and Commissioner Jim Lucachick will be the presenters.


1) Legal Notice for the Public Hearing and Road Inspection for Acorn Ridge Road, 2) email from resident with concerns regarding the Schulke recycling business as it relates to compliance with their Condition Use Permit, 3) response from Melissa,JPB enforcement, regarding same, 4) email from City Manager to Chairman Frenzel regarding the possibility of merging with the City of Bemidji, 5) email from County Hwy Engineer regarding being contacted by Turtle River Twp regarding Big Bass Road, 6) Agenda for RFA meeting Thursday, 7) Agenda of BATO meeting Tuesday, 8) letter mailed to approximately 1500 township property owners regarding input meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Nov 2nd, 9) seven calls/emails from property owners who are in favor or township moving forward with Incorporation, and one indicating not in favor.

City Merger – There has been a request by the City Manager for the Township to consider the possibility of a merger with the City of Bemidji, versus considering incorporation. It is not know if this request is coming from the City Council and Mayor, but it was agreed that one of the reasons for investigating incorporation is to maintain the rural character of the area, and not to be a part of the City of Bemidji.

Big Bass Road – Turtle River Township had contacted the County Hwy Engineer and the County Administrator about their input for an agreement regarding Big Bass Road. It was felt that there hadn’t been much of an attempt to discuss this matter in person by the boards, so the Clerk was asked to reach out to them in order that a possible meeting could be scheduled.


Wild Plum Road – Fuller has been asked to provide some information to the DNR/State of MN regarding the road right-of-way along Wild Plum Road near their parking lot there. Discussions are ongoing regarding the possibility for road improvements that might utilize the State Park Road Account funding.

Fairgrounds Road – Frenzel asked the Clerk to check on the status of this potential project.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was inadvertently adjourned at 6:51 p.m. Muriel Gilman had arrived at 6:30 p.m. thinking that was when the meeting started, since that was on the notice. She had received the letter regarding possible incorporation and was not happy with the Board’s actions. She feels she does not get heard by the existing town board and feels that if she was annexed she would at least have a council person who represented her that she could talk with. She also felt that the Board had already made up their minds regarding going forward with the Incorporation process. She was told that the reason for the public input meetings was to receive input from the residents, and that if the incorporation were to be done with success, there would be a special election whereby a new city council would be elected, along with a Mayor. It was not known if there would be wards and council members representing each. That would be researched. This conversation ended at 7:03 p.m.