NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, April 24, 2023, 6:00 PM. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.
PRESENT: Supervisors: Jess Frenzel, Chris Lahn, Mike Kelly, Gary Barnard, and Curt Blumhagen. Road Supervisor Tim Vigen and Clerk Mary Israelson. See sign in sheet for guests.
MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the April 10, 2023 meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.
Wayne Coombs – asked for information on the Waville Wastewater Treatment System. It was explained that it is a small twenty user treatment system that was established in 1999 as a Subordinate Service District. The users share the expense of operating the system that is managed by the Township.
LAWN CARE BIDS:
One quote was received from T&K Outdoors, who has been doing the work for a number of years. Each property was quoted separately as follows; 1) Town Hall – $150/time, 2) Evergreen Cemetery – $480/time, 3) Hunter Dr vacant lot – $110/time, 4) Lake Movil Public Access – $150/time. All Spring Cleanup would be billed at $85/hour.
These rates were quite a bit higher than previously, more than double in some cases. Therefore, it was agreed that no action be taken at this time and Kelly would talk with T&K.
ROAD REPORT: Road Supervisor Vigen reported that he has been doing some inventory of work that needs to be done this summer. There has been some more snowplowing, and some grading of gravel roads.
Tree – A tree had fallen from a property onto S. Movil Lake Road. The tree was larger than what Vigen could handle, so Lofgren Tree Service was called to take care of it. The tree fell from private property, so is the owner responsible for the cost of the cleanup? The Clerk was asked to check on this.
JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB) REPORT:
Lahn reported that they dealt with; 1) a rezone request in the Industrial Park, 2) new daycare at St. Philip’s Church, and 3) revoking of an IUP permit due to no progress. Also, Nick has resigned from the JPB office and Melissa has been hired as his replacement.
EXTENSION OF UTILITY SERVICES:
The guidance for the Federal Grant has now been released, and Lahn has been reviewing it. The state bonding request seems to be a dead end since there is still no agreement with the City of Bemidji to provide the services as they had originally offered. It was suggested that some discussion with First National Bank happen in case a loan is needed for the matching funds portion of the Federal funds. Another small group meeting is being planned with the City of Bemidji and it is hoped that this effort can still happen. There needs to be some protection against further annexation in the event an agreement is made.
BEMIDJI RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA): There a two (2) meetings this week, one for the Long Range Planning Committee, and another is a regular quarterly meeting. Blumhagen will miss them, and Kelly will attend.
Exempt Permits – Fundraiser Raffles for BSU Foundation at Bemidji Town & Country Club: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the consent for: 1) Gordy Skaar Memorial Golf Tournament, 2) Nagle Memorial Golf Tournament, and 3) Howe-Welle Golf Tournament. The motion carried unanimously.
Requests have been submitted from a dozen plus non-profit organizations, and there has been direction given from the electors at the annual meeting for the Board to use its best judgment in distributing the $2,000 designated for this purpose. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Kelly, to distribute the $2,000 the same as last year; 1) North Country First Responders – $1,000, 2) Lakes Area Dive Team – $500, 3) Support Within Reach – $200, 4) Let’s Go Fishing – $150, and Great River Rescue – $150. The motion carried unanimously.
1)Notice from DNR that burning permit requirements are being turned on, 2) copy of Letter to the Editor that was published in The Pioneer Newspaper, 3) notice that the Spring Short Course was rescheduled in Bemidji for April 26th, 4) quarterly report from Advanced Utility Solutions for the Waville wastewater treatment plant, 5) notice of RFA quarterly meeting, 6) Annual ARPA Report, 7) Information from Murray Surveying regarding research for Birchmont Court NE.
Letter to the Editor – Resident Bill Smith submitted a letter regarding his observations of the process that has transpired with the City of Bemidji in the attempts of an agreement for sewer/water extension.
ARPA Report – Treasurer Kranich completed and forwarded the required report for the American Rescue Plan Act funds that were received by the township.
Birchmont Court NE – Murray’s letter reported that there is basically no recorded documentation of the creation of this roadway. He indicates that the minutes of County Board meetings from 1913 are quite specific about the road, but the follow-up recording apparently did not happen. It was agreed that a letter will be sent to the property owners indicating that a proposed right-of-way will be marked by Freeberg & Grund in the near future, in order to proceed with the process to create a proper roadway.
Planner Position – Mark Borseth has accepted the position that was offered to him, and will begin full-time employment in July. An Employment Agreement will be drawn up and signed by him and Chairman Frenzel. Another meeting with him will be attempted in order to review a plan for some contract work that can start soon.
Cemetery – There was some fence work needed, and the work was completed by WS Field Service.
Wild Plum Road – Frenzel will follow up with the contact from MnDot regarding the request for a conveyance of property for this possible improvement project.
Fairgrounds Road – One of the property owners has signed the Quit Claim Deed needed for this project. The other three (3) are still being worked on.
ARPA Funds – It was agreed that some of the funds will be designated for possible remodeling of the town hall office.
With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 pm.