Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, July 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, Administrator Mark Borseth, 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 July 10, 2023 meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


John Carlson, Beltrami County Commissioner,was present to report that he has been asked to attend a Birchmont Beach Road neighborhood meeting on August 1st, at the home of Kim Simonson. They would like to have an update on the Birchmont Beach Road future re-construction project, and will attend along with the County Hwy Engineer and a Deputy (since it is National Neighborhood Watch Night). Chairman Frenzel will also attend to give an update on the proposed sewer project. It was agreed that the road is a County project, but the Township supports using good engineering practices with the maintenance of traffic flow (no dead-ends), speed limits, public safety, etc.

Mark Fuller, Freeberg & Grund Engineering, was present to give updates on a few projects.

  • Sewer Utility Project. Work is proceeding on preparing a preliminary presentation to the DNR in support of an agreement to lease a portion of Section 36 for a treatment system. Fuller and Borseth presented some of the information they had gathered. Borseth will try and schedule a meeting with the area’s supervisor.
  • Fairgrounds Road. The topo and design work is underway. Another conversation with the owner of Northdale Oil is likely needed regarded entrance locations. It is anticipated that the LRIP funding process will be announced soon.
  • Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Road. There has been no formal date set for the blacktopping work that will be done by Mark Sand & Gravel, with it anticipated to be mid-August. The substantial completion date is September 1st and nearing.
  • Wild Plum. There is nothing being done at this time, but conversations with the property owners should be done before fall sets in.
  • JPB. Freeberg & Grund is continuing their work on separating out the Comp Plan, and the work should be done near the end of September.


Gravel – Vigen will get prices and have the work done that is needed for re-graveling.

Striping – Vigen is trying to track down someone to do this work.

Road Tour – It was agreed that this will be scheduled for Monday, August 14th at 3:00 p.m., and a bus from Paul Bunyan Transit will again be used.


Lahn was commended for the work he did researching and chairing the meeting regarding the county jail zoning topic. The County was pleased with the outcome of the decision regarding including Jails as a “governmental” structure. All the cases before the JPB passed other than a re-zone from an R-4 to R-6. There was a moratorium placed on structures within the airport zoning area, in order that the height factor be addressed.


Barnard reported that he attended the meeting in Fosston, where the MAT attorneys were available to answer question and concerns regarding recent issues related to the proposed amendments to their By-Laws. It was re-iterated that MAT is a private company, not a governmental unit, so business is done differently than townships. There was more discussion on reasons that the proposed amendments made by Polk County Association are likely not going to pass.


There is a regular meeting and Long Range Planning meeting scheduled for Thursday. There are some issues with the new tender in that the tires are not compatible to Minnesota, and that is being dealt with. There was also some unexpected work done to Engine #1, that was not budgeted. It is felt that the topic related to forming a ‘fire district’ will likely be put on hold for a while, until the City has some of their staffing positions filled.


1)RFA notice of meetings and minutes, 2) notice of District 12 Annual Meeting, 3) Borseth notes from meeting with DNR representatives.

District 12 Annual Meeting – This will be held Tuesday, August 22nd in Erskine, and a meal will be served so RSVP’s are requested.


BRACO – There is a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, and Blumhagen will not be able to attend. Israelson will represent Northern Township if needed for a quorum.

JPB Dissolution Meeting – It looks as though this meeting will take place on August 7th.

Cemetery – Kelly asked that the committee meet soon in order to discuss topics related to a needed expansion, policy amendments, etc.

Treasurer Position – Frenzel asked that a meeting be held to talk about this position going forward, and other topics related to staffing. It was agreed that this meeting will be held Monday, August 28th at 5:00 p.m.

Land Use Ordinance – Everyone was asked to think about thismatter, and how we want to initiate an Ordinance once the separation happens. Do we use the existing ordinance administered by the JPB, or amend it, or compile a new one?

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 8:14 pm.