Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, January 23, 2023. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

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

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the minutes of the January 9, 2023, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Christine Imbra, lives on a property in Northern Township that has the old Lavinia School located on it. Her original intention when she purchased the property was to renovate it, but has since determined that it is cost prohibitive for her and she would like to use the space where it is located for a new garage. She has contacted several organizations, but so far no one is interested in having it. She would like to cover all of her bases in trying to get rid of it, before she decides to destroy it. Kelly had a bit of history on the school and also suggested that it could possibly be used for a home business, if she were to choose that use. It was agreed that the information would be put on the township’s website, for any potential interest in it.

Mark Fuller, Freeberg & Grund Engineer, has a couple items to discuss:

Fairgrounds Road – Murray Surveying is working on the best plan to get this proposed project’s right-of-way (ROW) issues taken care of, and he suggests that the first thing would be to record the ROW as a plat. This would not finalize anything, but simply make it easier to reference a map instead of using legal descriptions. It was then agreed that the required public hearing would be scheduled for Monday, February 13th at 6:00 p.m.

Federal Grant – Fuller found out that our funding is an appropriation through the Interior and Environment Agency and our contact person works for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She doesn’t have a lot of information for us yet, while she waits for guidance. The decision at this point would be how much to do while we wait? It was agreed that the Birchmont Court ROW has been an issue for a long time, and that might be a good place to start with the needed survey work in order to help determine ‘the needs’ there. A motion was offered by Lahn, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the prescriptive survey work for Birchmont Court NE (@ $35,000.00). The motion carried unanimously. A letter will be sent to the property owners informing them of this upcoming work.


Tree trimming – Vigen recommended that more work be allowed by Lofgren Tree Service, with a current quote of $250/hr. Forty hours was approved for last year, but there was some question regarding whether or not the work was done, since a bill was not received. This will be checked on.


Lahn was elected Chairman for the coming year. There has been some correspondence regarding the Bemidji Iron and Recycling CUP violations, and the owner has been asked to appear before the board with an update.


The joint meeting was held on January 17th. It was agreed that the Township will have a decision made by July 1, 2023, regarding a final date for exiting the JPB. According to the agreement, the exit date is December 31, 2024, unless an earlier date is agreed to. There wasn’t a lot of resolution from the meeting on an agreement for the extension of sewer/water services that would allow a connection to the facility in the City of Bemidji.


It was then agreed that a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would be created so that it can be presented to the City of Bemidji as a starting point for the needed agreement. A work session meeting will be held Monday, January 30th at 6:00 p.m. to discuss and work on a draft of the document before being presented to the City Manager, so that it can hopefully be included on the Agenda for an upcoming City Council Meeting. Attorney Jason Kuboushek will be invited to attend the work session meeting virtually.


The Annual Meeting will be held this Thursday. There will be an election of officers, and it has been suggested that some new leadership might be warranted. Kelly indicated that he would be open to helping out in any capacity that he could, with Blumhagen remaining as the Northern Township Rep.


1) Annual Assessment Agreement from Beltrami County in the amount of $24,521.00, 2) email from State Rep Matt Bliss, 3) Notice of Township Day at the Capitol scheduled for Feb 1 & 2, 4) Thank you from Great River Rescue for the contribution and consideration again in 2023, 5) email concern from resident of Red Pine Lane regarding the tree trimming along the road, 6) information regarding the higher resolution aerial photography scheduled to be done, 7) quarterly report for the Waville Sewer District, 8) new date of March 7, 2023, for e-permitting on the GBAJPB website.

Rep Matt Bliss – He has indicated that he is planning on redrafting our bill requesting funds for the extension of sewer/water services as Phase II of the whole project, and it will hopefully be included in the bonding bill.

Red Pine Lane – A property owner had questions regarding the tree trimming that took place along the road. This work was done in the road right-of-way as part of the township’s ongoing attempt to clear obstructions from the ROW.

Aerial Photography – It was agreed to pass on this enhanced work this year.


Planning Administrator – A draft job description was reviewed and will be used to talk with a potential candidate for the position.

Re-organizational Meeting continued (omitted from the last meeting):

Legal Publication – The Pioneer.

Meeting Dates and Times – These will remain as the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month with a starting time of 6:00 p.m. Changes may take place due to Legal Holidays or other conflicts.

Financial Institutions – All local Financial establishments.

Posting Places – The Town Hall and Northdale Oil. Agendas and minutes are also posted on the township website.


Gopher Bounty – $2.00 per gopher.

Town Hall Rental Fees – It was suggested that these all be increased by $10.00.

A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Lahn, to approved all the recommendations as indicated. The motion carried unanimously.

Staff – The Clerk asked that the salaries be reviewed.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 9:04 p.m.