Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 p.m. 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, new Treasurer Crystal Peterson, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen, and Clerk Mary Israelson.

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

VISTORS:

ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Borseth submitted a summary of the meeting that was held with County Commissioner Carlson, County Natural Resource Manager Dick Moore, Supervisor Barnard, and himself, to talk about possible options for county owned property that might be utilized for waste treatment purposes, or purchased for the purpose of an exchange for land that might be better suited for it. There is an entire section in an adjacent township, but it would add approximately $2.1M to the cost to use the property for treatment. Next steps were considered with Frenzel agreeing to talk with the DNR Area Supervisor regarding a response from a recent meeting that was held at the State level. Frenzel believes that the board needs to start talking with the area legislators about funding and the topic of school trust land use.

Fairgrounds Road – The LRIP application was completed and submitted. Acknowledgment was received of its submission.

Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan – The planning commission will be meeting Monday, December 18th at 4:00 p.m. to review the documents and to make a recommendation that night to the township board for acceptance. The 2nd Reading of each document is scheduled for that same night at 6:00 p.m.

ROAD REPORT:

Plowing – There was a small snowfall over the weekend, coupled with some high winds, that warranted some sanding.

Auto Start – Vigen asked that he be allowed to get some quotes to have an auto start put in the new pickup. He will also check with the dealership regarding their recommendation.

JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB) REPORT:

Lahn reported that the last meeting will be held with three (3) cases forthcoming, with one being a variance in Northern Township. There is a new senior living apartment complex being proposed for the Irvingboro neighborhood, that has proven to be quite controversial with the area property owners.

There is one more meeting scheduled this month for the dissolution subcommittee.

RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA) REPORT:

There was a long-range committee meeting, with the budget being reviewed. It appears that the Levy for 2024 does include funds that would cover the two (2) new proposed full-time firefighter positions approve by the City. Kelly is recommending a 5% increase in the Levy for next year. There is a special meeting scheduled for December 13th, to re-address the budget and the vote taken previously to not support the hiring of the firefighters.

LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWAL – RUTTGER’S BIRCHMONT LODGE:

A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Lahn, to approve the township consent. The motion carried unanimously.

TREASURER REPORT:

Bills – Peterson reported that this month’s bills are payable with check numbers 11665 to 11692, totaling $51,167.54. The larger items include payments to; MATIT for Worker’s Comp – $2,138.00, Johnson Construction for final payment (less 1% retainage) on Tavistock/S Movil – $22,216.34, Freeberg & Grund for various projects – $4,860.00, and Lofgren Tree Service – $3,250.00. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Lahn, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report: Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $235,312.33, Road & Bridge – $968,634.36, Rural Fire – $1,045.07, Sewer District Waville – $16,722.23, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds – $191,718.65, for a total of $1,413,432.64. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Kelly, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit: Peterson reported that the 2nd half tax settlement was received and there are three (3) CDs maturing at Security Bank, and recommends that a 30 day CD for $360,000 be set up at 5%, and one for six (6) months for $400,000 at 4.95%. Consensus was given to go ahead.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1) Submitted application for Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) for Fairgrounds Road, 2) receipt of the 2nd half tax settlement from the County, 3) third quarter report for the Waville Wastewater Treatment System, 4) coverage document for the worker’s comp renewal, 5) Quitclaim Deed from the State of Minnesota for ROW along Wild Plum Lane, 6) memo from Mark Borseth regarding the meeting held with the Beltrami County Natural Resource Manager, 7) memo from Attorney Jason Kuboushek regarding Condemnation of School Trust Land, 8) email correspondence regarding language for ROW easement along Wild Plum Road.

OTHER:

Outgoing Planning Commission – A recognition will be held prior to the town board meeting on Monday, January 8th for Al Steffen and Mike Granlund, who have served on the joint planning commission.

The Pioneer – Frenzel has been asked to sit down with a reporter to talk about the township’s plan for future land use planning.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:21 p.m.