Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, July 10, 2023. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

PRESENT: Supervisors Jess Frenzel, Curt Blumhagen, Gary Barnard, Mike Kelly, and Chris Lahn. Treasurer Doug Kranich, 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 June 26, 2023, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Mark Borseth, who has been recently hired as the Township’s Planning Administrator, was present via Microsoft Teams.


A meeting was held with Mark Fuller to talk about a plan to present information to the DNR regarding the concept of leasing a portion of Section 36 School Trust Property for a waste treatment system. The discussion included ideas for talking points to be proposed for a Phase I and Phase II plan. Fuller will be asked to attend the next town board meeting to present a preliminary draft.


Striping – Vigen has been trying to find someone to do this work, and it was suggested that he find out who is doing the work for our Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Rd projects. Also, the County and MnDot might be a resource.

Fairgrounds Road – The topo and background mapping work is being done by Freeberg & Grund and should be ready mid-August. The LRIP process has not been announced yet for this year.

Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Roads – The blacktop contractor has indicated that they are anticipating a mid-August date for the work to be done.

Chip Seal – The County Engineer indicated that they did not bid any work in the area of Elliot Road this year, but will include the road in their bidding next year.


Frenzel attended the City Council meeting that our letter regarding the plan to leave the JPB was addressed. It was accepted with a 5-1 vote. The JPB meeting will be held an hour early this Wednesday and Kelly will be attending in Frenzel’s seat. Discussion will take place regarding the matter involving a new county jail, with some controversy involving the zoning requirements for one, and whether or not a moratorium is needed in order for amendments to the zoning ordinance to happen. It is the general feeling from this board that jails were intended to be included in definitions that include governmental buildings.


Blumhagen reported that the new tanker has finally arrived! Kelly is working on obtaining the bank information needed to complete his work on updating the financial records.


Barnard reported on the meeting held recently to address support of the proposed MAT By-law amendments prepared by Polk County. The group agreed to not act on supporting the amendments at this time, until more information is received. They did agree to send a letter to MAT asking that there be a fair and objective process to suggested changes to their procedures.


Kelly reported that he had a conversation with Sexton Ken Glidden regarding the need to start considering Phase II of the expansion of the cemetery. Also, he has concerns with the lack of rules or guidelines regarding the placement of memorials in the Cemetery. The sub-committee will meet to discuss these issues.


It was suggested that an expansion to the town hall office be kept on the radar for the future. This topic will be discussed again once Mark Borseth begins his work on July 24th.


Bills – Kranich reported that this month’s bills are payable with check numbers 11538 to 11561, totaling $55,115.16. The larger items include payments to; City of Bemidji for the 3rd quarter JPB fee – $14,275.75, Freeberg & Grund for various projects – $12,135.90, Veit & Company for cleaning catch basins on S. Movil Lake Rd – $4,800.00, and Johnson Construction – $4,513.50 for road grading. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to pay the bills as presented, except the payment to the City of Bemidji for our JPB contribution. He felt that it should be held until after the committee meets to talk about the dissolution, and will suggest there be no further payment made since the fund balance is likely sufficient enough to cover until the end of the year. The motion carried.

Treasurer Report: Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $265,169.13, Road & Bridge – $1,131,179.31, Rural Fire – $20,207.02, Sewer District Waville – $19,857.15, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds – $223,934.21, for a total of $1,660,346.82. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Lahn, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit: Kranich recommended that the following CDs be approved; $400,000.00 for 30 days at 4.68%, $150,000.00 for 3 months at 4.68%, $150,000.00 for 6 months at 4.75%, and $125,000.00 for 1 year at 4.72%. Consensus was given for approval.

State Auditor’s Report: Kranich reported that the annual State Auditor’s Report has been filed as required. This has been done the past several years as part of the Audit done by Miller McDonald.

Resignation: Kranich announced that due to health reasons, he is submitting his resignation as Treasurer this evening. He will stay on until someone is appointed to replace him and the appropriate training is done. The Board thanked Kranich for the 31 years of exemplary service to Northern Township, and will consider how they wish to handle his replacement.

  1. Notice of Variance request for property along Waville Road, 2) request for scheduling meeting with City of Bemidji reps to dissolve JPB, 3) County tax settlement information, 4) Memo from MAT Attorneys regarding Analysis of Proposed Bylaw Changes from Polk County, 5) copy of letter sent to MAT from BATO.



Wild Plum Lane – It appears that MnDot is proceeding with their process to provide easement to the portion of property needed for improvements to Wild Plum Lane.

Laptop – It was agreed that a new computer will be needed for Mark Borseth to use. Also, Treasurer Kranich has used his home computer for his township work, but a designated township computer should be used going forward. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Chris, to purchase two (2) new laptop computers from Bemidji Communications. The motion carried unanimously.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:42 p.m.