Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, January 9, 2023. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

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

Prior to the meeting being called to order, Gary Barnard, Micheal Kelly, and Curt Blumhagen, took their Oath of Office as Supervisor elected at the November General Election for terms of four years each.

Chairman Frenzel noted that the Re-organizational Meeting was first on the agenda tonight, but asked if anyone was opposed to address the other items on the Agenda at this time instead, and no one was opposed.


Mark Fuller, Freeberg & Grund, Inc., had a few topics to discuss with the Board:

Fairground Road – Matt Murray has been working on the details needed to prepare the road for obtaining the proper ROW for possible future improvements. Kelly asked that ‘fee title’ be used to obtain the necessary property, versus our normal easement procedure.

Extension of Utilities – Fuller reported that there is still a little time before he will need direction to start some of the work required for this project on the north end of Lake Bemidji. The LGU meeting with the City of Bemidji is scheduled for next Tuesday, and an agreement for services will be part of the discussion. The Federal funding appears to be complete other than formal notice that the bill has been signed by President Biden.

Wild Plum/Beach Lane – Ottertail Power had indicated that they will be doing some work burying their services in this area, and had made contact with Fuller to go over plans for any potential re-construction work.

Joel Johnson, Johnson Construction, has submitted a request for an additional fuel surcharge above the rates that he quoted this fall and went into affect December 15th, 2022. The request is for an additional $10/hr for the grader, and $7.00 for the truck plow/sander, with the rates totaling $160/hr for the grader, and $142/hr for the truck. Johnson explained that he was under the assumption that fuel costs would continue to decline when he submitted his bid, but they have not. Kelly did not have a problem with the request, as long as the rate comes down again if fuel costs go down. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Lahn, to approved the request with a month-to-month review of the rate. Diesel fuel is over $5.00/gallon at this time, and if it goes down to $3.50/gallon, the rate will adjust back down. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Lahn, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the minutes of the December 27, 2022, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Vigen reported that it has been pretty quiet the last couple of weeks.

Mail Box Policy – Kelly responded to a call regarding a mail box being damaged, and referred them to our policy.


The regular meeting will be held this week on Wednesday, with the re-organization and election of officers. It is Northern Township’s turn to Chair the Joint Powers Board, so Lahn will be nominated to do it. The CUP for Bemidji Iron & Recycling is in the process of being reviewed.


Blumhagen reported that the Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, January 26th at 7:00 p.m. at Fire Station 4 (Winter Sumac Road). The Board of Audit will be held at 6:30 p.m.


Letters will be sent to our local State Legislators regarding our request for state bonding for the potential 2nd phase of the sewer/water extension.


Bills – Clerk Israelson presented the financial information in Kranich’s absence; the bills are payable with check numbers 11387 to 11409, totaling $81,341.97. The larger items include; the annual fee to BATO – $1,708.68 and Rural Animal Control – $10,060.00, 1st quarter fee for joint planning – $14,275.75, Freeberg & Grund – $5,115.50, and Johnson Construction for road maintenance – $35,109.25. A motion was offered by Lahn, and seconded by Blumhagen, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report – Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $262,955.18, Road & Bridge – $894,902.83, Rural Fire – $2,826.84 and Sewer District Waville – $17,419.94, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Federal COVID Relief funds – $239,474.22, for a total of $1,417,579.01. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Lahn, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit – There is a 1 month $285,000 CD maturing at Security Bank, and Israelson recommended that $200,000 be reinvested for 1 month at 2.9%, with the balance needed to pay the bills. Approval was given to proceed as recommended.


  1. Notice of the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization set for Tuesday May 2nd at 9:00 a.m. for Northern Township, 2) Notice of New Clerk and Treasurer Training at the MAT offices, 3) Notice of Rezone of PID 80.006631.00 from the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, 4) Notice of LGU Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 17th at 3:00 p.m. at Cit Hall, 5) Notice and Agenda of Bemidji Rural Fire Association meeting on January 26th, 6) note regarding aerial photography from Planner Jamin Carlson, 7) copy of the bonding request narrative, 8) information from Beltrami County Commissioner Craig Gaasvig and County Engineer Hasbargen regarding properties along Fairgrounds Road.

Aerial Photography – The city and county are going to be doing the aerial photography again, and the Planning Director is asking if the township is interested in the 3” resolution, as was done last time. There is an additional cost for this higher resolution of approximately $230 per square mile, and is a much better quality. Frenzel will talk with Carlson about it.

Fairgrounds Road – Hasbargen had been told that there is a rush to get the ROW title work done, and asked for an explanation, since he does not wish to take time away from other things that he is working on. Fuller will inform him that there is not an immediate need, but we are hoping to have all the work in place when/if the LRIP funds become available for application.


Contributions – Lahn reported that Michael Granlund has been working on getting donations for a possible updating of the restrooms at Lake Bemidji State Park, and now believes there might be some state funding for the project.

Planning Position – Barnard has prepared a draft of a potential job description for the planning position. This is a work in progress and some more discussion will be held on it.

Re-Organizational Meeting:

Chairman – Clerk Israelson asked for nominations for Chairman, and Barnard offered a motion, with Kelly seconding, to nominate Frenzel as Chairman for another year. Blumhagen then offered a motion to nomination for Lahn as Chairman, with his explanation being that Frenzel had indicated that he did not wish to take on the position again and this would let him off the hook. Lahn declined the nomination due to Frenzel indicating that he would accept the nomination, and Blumhagen then withdrew his motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Vice-Chairman – A motion was offered by Blumhagen to nominate Lahn, and Barnard seconded the motion, with it carrying unanimously.


Joint Planning Board (JPB) – Frenzel and Lahn will represent Northern Twp, with entire Board as the alternates. Kelly and Frenzel will remain on the committee working to dissolve the JPB.

Beltrami Association of Township Officers (BATO) – Barnard will remain as the representative.

Bemidji Rural Animal Control Association (BRACO) – Lahn has been the rep, but Blumhagen volunteered to do it in place.

Rural Fire Association (RFA) – Blumhagen, with Kelly acting as the alternate when needed.

Joint Planning Commission (JPC) – Allen Steffen, Clark Chambers and Michael Granlund. Steffen was recently re-appointed to a three year term.


Roads/Public Accesses – Kelly and Frenzel, with Road Supervisor Vigen also a part of the sub-committee.

Township Properties – Blumhagen and Kelly.

Waville – Barnard will continue as the liaison.

Human Resource – Blumhagen, with Barnard replacing Lahn.

Utility Extension – The Chairman will be the liaison, with Lahn helping.

Future Incorporation – Lahn will continue to research, with Barnard helping.

The following were not completed prior to the meeting being adjourned at 7:35 p.m.






Gopher Bounty –

Town Hall Rental Fees –

Supervisor Salaries –

Planning Commission –

Treasurer, Road Supervisor, and Clerk –