Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, December 18, 2023, 6:00 p.m. Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN. This meeting is being held on the third Monday of the month, due to the Christmas Day Legal Holiday on Monday, December 25th.

PRESENT: Supervisors Chris Lahn, Curt Blumhagen, Gary Barnard, and Mike Kelly. Administrator Mark Borseth, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen, and Clerk Mary Israelson. Absent: Chairman Jess Frenzel.

PUBLIC HEARING – SECOND READING OF THE PROPOSED NORTHERN TOWNSHIP COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND THE ZONING & SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE.

Administrator Mark Borseth reported that the newly formed Northern Township Planning Commission had their organizational meeting. They also reviewed the proposed Comprehensive Plan and recommend approval of the document as presented with the understanding that they will be working on updates to better fit the needs of Northern Township in the coming year.

They also reviewed the proposed Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance, and identified some of the changes that were made to the current ordinance and recommend approval of the document with some minor changes that will be identified prior to publication at the end of the year. This document will also be reviewed in the coming year for possible amendments.

Upon polling those in attendance, the reading of the documents was dispensed, and the hearing closed at 6:04 p.m.

The regular Board of Supervisor meeting was called to order at 6:04 p.m. by Vice-Chairman Chris Lahn.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2023, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: A motion was offered by Barnard, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the recommendation of the Northern Township Planning Commission to approve the plan as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP ZONING & SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the recommendation of the Northern Township Planning Commission to approve the ordinance as presented, with some minor changes that will be identified prior to publication (summary also presented). The motion to approve the ordinance and the summary publication carried unanimously. The ordinance will be effective following legal publication on December 30th.

RESOLUTION #2023-1222, 2024 PLANNING FEE SCHEDULE. A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the fee schedule as reviewed and presented. The motion carried unanimously.

ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Borseth reported that the new planning commission met and held their organizational meeting. They will be meeting on the third Mondays of the month, pending cases or other needs. He also reported that a meeting was held with the county land manager, his replacement, and Commissioner John Carlson, to discuss possibilities of lands that the county might have available for a waste treatment site, or that might work as a possible trade for preferable sites. The county seems very willing to help try work out a solution to this issue.

ROAD REPORT:

Lake Movil Access – The ice has pushed up onto the ramp again and will need repair.

Sanding – There hasn’t been any snowfall, but some sanding has been needed.

Elmwood Court – A property owner has inquired about the possibility of having their development road blacktopped. They will be kept in mind if the nearby Whiting Rd/Wild Plum project were to be approved.

Wild Plum – Murray feels he is close to getting the needed easements signed.

JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB) REPORT:

Lahn reported that the end of this organization is very near, coming on the last day of the year. There will be a full JPB meeting on December 20th.

RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA) REPORT:

A special meeting was held to re-address the vote that was taken to approve the City’s recommendation of adding two (2) fire fighters. After the budget was reviewed with some better information, the vote was re-taken and denied again with a 6 to 8 vote. The Levy is proposed to increase a maximum of 5%.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1) Letter from Patty Thielen, DNR Director Forestry Division, regarding Sect 36 property, 2) invite from the County Administrator to attend the County Board Work Session on January 16th.

Thielen – The letter indicated that they have had several requests for the use of these School Trust Properties and that they “need to develop a standard approach to evaluating requests like these”. She recommended pursuing other locations.

County Board – Frenzel will attend the work session on January 16th.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:26 p.m.