Northern Township

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

PRESENT: Supervisors Mike Kelly, Curt Blumhagen, Gary Barnard, and Chris Lahn. Chairman Jess Frenzel arrived later in the meeting after attending the Bemidji City Council Work Session. Treasurer Doug Kranich, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen and Clerk Mary Israelson. See sign-in sheet for guests.

Vice-chairman Lahn called the meeting to order.

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


Treasurer Doug Kranich presented the 2022 Reconciliation of Treasurer and Clerk’s Report, comparing each funds receipts and disbursements as reported by the Treasurer and by the Clerk. There were no discrepancies between the two. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Barnard, and carried, to accept the records for the Board of Audit as presented.



Vigen reported that snowplowing was done over the weekend, following a recent snowfall. Johnson will using the loader to push back snow in some locations.

Tree/brushing – Vigen recommends that another 40 hrs of work by Lofgren Landscaping, at $250/hr, be approved for this year. Lofgren recently finished up the work that was approved for the calendar year 2022, so that payment was made in 2023, which may cause the line item to appear over budget for 2023.


The regular meeting was held, and there were four (4) cases before them, all being in the City of Bemidji. Frenzel wants to assure that the staff will be available to help with our conversion once the separation takes place.

New Planning Administrator – Kelly reported that he, Frenzel, and Barnard met again with the candidate, who will have a decision to them by March 20th.


Kelly is working with the RFA Treasurer to get the financial information better formatted.


Bills – Kranich reported that the bills are payable with check numbers 11434 to 11458, totaling $56,235.02. The larger items include; MATIT for our consolidated insurance coverage – $3,948.00, Freeberg & Grund – $8,044.35, Johnson Construction for road maintenance – $11,887.50, and Lofgren Landscaping for the work approved for 2022 – $13,750.00. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report: Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $224,847.44, Road & Bridge – $897,464.09, Rural Fire – $4,497.03, Sewer District Waville – $14,067.10, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds – $237,448.72, for a total of $1,378,324.38. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Barnard, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit: There are three (3) CDs totaling $485,000.00 maturing, and Kranich recommended the following be reinvested; $280,000 for 30 days at Security Bank at 3.95%, and two (2) at First National Bank, with one for $100,000.00 for 1 year at 3.78%, and the other for $50,000.00 for 1 year at 3.78%. Consensus was given.


  1. Beltrami County AIS Technician, Bruce Anspach, will attend the March 27th meeting, 2) ads for bids for the Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Road blacktopping were submitted, 3) correspondence regarding the utility extension, 4) quotes for a laptop computer from Bemidji Communications, 5) copy of information sent to each City Council member in preparation for their work session this evening, 6) note from Frenzel regarding JPB staff time, 7) information regarding vacation of Jon Avenue.

Laptop – Lahn was given approval at the last regular meeting to purchase a laptop computer at his discretion, and one was selected at Bemidji Communications.

JPB Staff – Frenzel reported that he wanted to make sure that staff time is available to help us when the conversion takes place, since time is being spent for the City’s purposes. He asked that this be documented.

Jon Avenue – A new platted road has been created in preparation of proposed improvements to Fairgrounds Road. As part of the process, the old road in the Plat of Wrightwood Acres will need to be vacated. This can proceed following receipt of a Petition, or it can be requested at the township’s annual meeting. Since the Annual Meeting is tomorrow evening, action will be requested at that time.


City of Bemidji – Frenzel arrived following attendance at the City’s work session for the purpose of addressing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the extension of utility services into Northern Township. Council members had received a letter, along with a memo from our Attorney Jason Kuboushek and a copy of the memo from more than a year ago with the options given the township for connection to the City’s services. Frenzel reported that they have agreed to offer a Resolution at their next City Council Meeting to agree to a joint meeting with the township board, and further request that there be a mediator involved.

After some further discussion, it was felt that the thought of the City agreeing to and following through with the offer that they made to the township over a year ago, to agree to extend the services if the township were to complete all of the needed work at their own expense, without any form of an annexation agreement, is probably not going to happen. It was further felt that a joint meeting would not be for the purpose of mediation, so a facilitator would not be needed. It was agreed to continue to work toward an agreement, but alternative waste treatment solutions might need to be researched. A meeting with Freeberg & Grund Engineering will be scheduled for next Monday at 4:00 p.m. at the Northern Town Hall.

Budget Review – Kranich submitted the requested adjustments to the budget, along with the proposed Levy worksheet with an increase of 10.8% over last year’s Levy. These will be presented at the Annual Meeting tomorrow evening.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:43 p.m.