Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, October 9, 2023. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

PRESENT: Supervisors Jess Frenzel, Curt Blumhagen, Gary Barnard, Mike Kelly, and Chris Lahn. Administrator Mark Borseth, Treasurer Doug Kranich, 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 September 25, 2023, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.


Wayne Combs – Thanked the Board for the letter that was recently mailed out to all property owners, indicating that it was well done.


Lahn reported that Mark Fuller was nearing the completion of an updated budget for the project and once that is done, it will be ready to complete the request for a State funding request. Even though a site isn’t finalized, it was felt that a request to the State Legislature would still be made, along with a request from Beltrami County for the road improvement project along Birchmont Beach Road. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to proceed as needed with the bonding request. The motion carried unanimously. Lahn also reported that he has been in contact with the person assigned to the Federal Bonding portion.


Tavistock/S. Movil Lake Road – The blacktopping is complete, as well as the striping. The shouldering has not been started, but will be done soon (Johnson Construction). For the first time, new mailbox posts were installed as part of the road project. This has caused some calls and questions from the residents, and should be handled better next time by supplying more information regarding the process.

Substantial Completion – According to the contract, substantial completion of the blacktop portion of the project was to have been done September 1st,, which would include completion of the road striping. The contractor put down temporary striping, and would like that to be considered the completion date (only a couple days elapsed before the permanent striping was done). It was agreed that the date that the temporary striping was done would be the date of substantial completion.

Rights of Way (ROW) – Vigen will be contacting some property owners before winter sets in, about moving belongings off of the right-of-ways. No obstacles are allowed in the road ROW according to State Statute, since this a hazard to motorists and road maintenance equipment.

Plantation Estates – Developer Darwin Weibolt is requesting the release of the funds that he was required to submit as warranty escrow on Dels Court. This road was accepted three (3) years ago, along with Shelby Drive, in the Plat of Plantation Estates. Freeberg & Grund will be asked to inspect the road for any issues. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Lahn, to approve the request to release the funds contingent on a satisfactory inspection report from the engineer. The motion carried unanimously.

Fairgrounds Road – Mark Borseth and Mark Fuller are working on letters of support from the property owners along the road, to complete the LRIP application.


Lahn reported that there were no cases. The JPC reviewed the recommended amendments for the ordinance as it relates to Jails. There are some questions regarding the information provided, and what the staff was asked to do.

Dissolution Meeting – There is a meeting scheduled for November. A draft Agreement should be coming that will be reviewed by each entity prior to approving.


Blumhagen reported that he and Kelly will be attending a meeting tomorrow. The Clerk reported that she had received a call from Fire Chief Justin Sherwood, regarding the condition of the Northern Mobile Home Park. He would like to have a conversation with our Board on how these types of rentals can be handled going forward, particularly if a Fire District were to be formed.


Bills – Kranich reported that this month’s bills are payable with check numbers 11610 to 11630, totaling $55,295.98. The larger items include payments to; Miller McDonald for State Auditors Report work – $1,800.00, Johnson Construction for road maintenance and construction on Tavistock/S. Movil – $8,325.60, Freeberg & Grund for various projects – $16,600.96, and MnDOT for road striping – $8,116.84. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Lahn, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried.

Treasurer Report: Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $209,860.23, Road & Bridge – $1,032,601.45, Rural Fire – $20,696.87, Sewer District Waville – $13,395.47, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds – $200,483.65, for a total of $1,477,037.67. A motion was offered by Lahn, seconded by Blumhagen, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit: Kranich recommended that a $525,000 CD be set up for 30 days at 5.2% interest, in order to cover the blacktopping invoice expected next month. Consensus was given for approval.

Treasurer Position: Kranich questioned the status of finding a new Treasurer to replace him. He indicated that he is planning to be gone part of the winter. There have been a couple serious inquiries about the position.


1) DNR Area Parks and Trails Supervisor David Schotzko has submitted a letter supporting the request for funds from the Sate Park Road Account (SPRA) program for Wild Plum/Beach Lane, 2) note from the Bemidji Fire Dept with reminder of our Fire Extinguisher inspection due in November, 3) inquiry from property owner regarding mailbox on Tavistock Rd, 4) request from Ryan Mason.

regarding turn-around on the west end of Lakewood Drive, 5) note from Mark Fuller regarding Stop sign at intersection of Town Hall Rd and Irvine Ave, 6) correspondence regarding proposed easements for Wild Plum/Beach Lane, and 7) letter mailed to approximately 1,550 property owners.

Ryan Mason – Has talked with the Clerk about the turn-around that was constructed at the west end of Lakewood Drive near his property. This one-sided turn-around was designed with the co-operation of the property owner, to allow for larger vehicles to be able to turn and back up. He is asking that the Township send a letter to ISD #31, indicating this, in order that they will allow a school bus to use it. It was agreed that this would be done, with the Clerk writing and sending the letter.

Stop Sign – Fuller looked at the area, since a caller asked that something be done to help motorists notice the Stop sign at Town Hall Road/Irvine Ave intersection (heading west). Fuller inspected it and feels that there is nothing additional needed. The only thing that might be recommended is rumble strips, but this is not a standard practice in the township. The Board felt that they have done their due diligence by having an engineer look at it.


Ordinance Revisions – Borseth reported that he is working on the task of reviewing and taking out items from the existing zoning ordinance that do not apply to Northern Township. He also has worked on doing the same with the Fee Schedule and submitted a draft proposal. He will keep us informed as to when a review of his draft ordinance might be scheduled, possibly an hour before the next meeting on the 23rd.

Computer Program – Borseth has recommended that an autoCAD program be purchased for his upcoming work for the township, at about $490/year. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the expense. The motion carried unanimously.

Township Website – It was agreed that Lahn be paid for his time working on the website.

Treasurer – The HR sub-committee and Borseth were asked to proceed with the work as needed to hire someone.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.