Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, February 13, 2023. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

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


The purpose of this hearing is to establish a map of the proposed right of way (ROW) for Fairgrounds Road, in order to facilitate a proposed upcoming road improvement project. The map will better enable the discussions needed to make the necessary adjustments with the adjacent property owners. Those conversations will take place individually with the four (4) affected property owners.

A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Lahn, to accept Northern Township Road Right of Way Plat #1 as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Lahn, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the February 27, 2023, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Wayne Combs – Asked about the status of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Bemidji for sewer and water utility usage. The proposed MOU has been given to the City representatives and it is hoped that it will be discussed at their meeting next week.


Frenzel has been in contact with Rep. Grossell and is hoping to have a meeting with him regarding his support for our request for state bonding dollars for Phase II of the proposed utility extension project. Senator Bliss is authoring the bill and it has moved on to committees in a couple different funding sources. Barnard suggested that a letter be sent to each member of the committee, in order that they better understand the project and need.

Letter in The Pioneer – Lahn and Barnard have worked on a letter that explains the proposed project, the successful receipt of funding for the project, the need to now get the City of Bemidji to approve the hookup that they had originally offered, and asks City of Bemidji residents to voice their concerns. After some discussion, it was agreed to ask that the letter be published in The Pioneer Newspaper.


Vigen reported that Lofgren Tree Service is finishing up on their work.


The regular meeting was held, and there was discussion about the coming year and the transition with Northern Township leaving the organization.


Kelly has volunteered to take on the position of Vice-treasurer and is going to be helping the Treasurer set up the records to better help the RFA understand the status of their finances. The budget for 2023 is $1.15 Million and Northern’s share of the fees for 2023 will be $202,901 (they were $171,216 in 2022) and are predicted to be $226,090 in 2024.


The regular meeting was not held due to lack of a quorum.


Bills – Kranich reported that the bills are payable with check numbers 11410 to 11433, totaling $30,556.97. The larger items include; Freeberg & Grund – $6,001.00, and Johnson Construction for road maintenance – $7,894.50. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report – Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $231,028.30, Road & Bridge – $861,980.42, Rural Fire – $4,494.72 and Sewer District Waville – $16,035.80, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Federal COVID Relief funds – $237,448.72, for a total of $1,350,987.96. A motion was offered by Kelly, seconded by Blumhagen, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit – Kranich recommended that $285,000 be invested for 30 days at Security Bank at 3.04%. Approval was given to proceed as recommended.

Annual Audit – The township’s receipts for 2022 fall just short of the threshold determined by the State Auditor, so this will be the first in many years that a full audit will not be needed. Kranich asked that he be able to meet with Miller McDonald Inc to receive their help to complete the necessary requirement for the State Auditor. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to authorize that expense. The motion carried unanimously.

Beltrami County Assessor Agreement – A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the Agreement for 2023 for $24,521.00. The motion carried unanimously.


  1. Annual Report and request for contribution from Beltrami County AIS office, 2) requests for contributions from; Bemidji Senior Center, Northwoods Habitat for Humanity, First Call 211, and North Country First Responders, 3) lists of new maintenance rates from the Beltrami County Hwy Dept, 4) 2023 Dues Invoice from the RFA of $202,901.00, 5) copy of letter that was mailed to the Birchmont Court property owners regarding survey work, 6) copy of information sent to the four property owners along Fairgrounds Rd regarding the public hearing for the ROW Plat #1, 7) letter from MATIT regarding them becoming a victim of a Business Email Compromise involving $834,197.

Beltrami County AIS – The Board asked that the director be asked to come to a regular board meeting in order to discuss this program. The annual contribution has been $2,000, and is used for increased hours of watercraft inspection on Lake Bemidji in Northern Township public accesses.


Blumhagen indicated that he will be on vacation for the next couple of weeks, but will try and join via the Team Meets link.

Wild Plum Rd – Mark Fuller has set up a meeting with MnDot and the DNR to discuss this potential project, for Friday at 1:00 p.m. at the Town Hall.

Rep Stauber – Will be in Bemidji Thursday for a meet & greet and Frenzel will attend to thank him for his work on the funding for the sewer/water extension.

Planning Position – Members of the Board will meet with a candidate for the position and try to negotiate with him.

Budget Review – It was agreed that the Budget will need a bit of time to go over, so a work session will be held Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.