Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, January 8, 2024, 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 Crystal Peterson, Road Supervisor Tim Vigen, and Clerk Mary Israelson. See guest book for visitors.

VISTORS:

John Carlson, Beltrami County Commissioner, discussed some updates regarding information related to the Township’s work on trying to locate a property suitable to construct a pond wastewater treatment system. The County seems willing to work with the township in a land swap, if this process were to help with a solution. Frenzel will attend the County’s next work session on Jan. 16th to garner their support in this effort. He will also attend the Turtle River Twp board meeting to update them on this matter, since there might be acceptable county land there.

Re-Organizational Meeting:

Chairman – Frenzel asked for nominations for Chairman, and Lahn offered a motion, with Blumhagen seconding, to nominate Frenzel as Chairman for another year. With no further nominations, the motion carried unanimously.

Vice-Chairman – A motion was offered by Blumhagen to nominate Lahn, and Barnard seconded the motion, with it carrying unanimously.

COMMITTEES:

Rural Fire Association (RFA) – Kelly is acting as the Treasurer for the organization, so will be the township’s representative. He will also be a member of their Long-Range Planning Committee, due to his role as Treasurer.

Beltrami Association of Township Officers (BATO) – Barnard will remain as the representative.

Bemidji Rural Animal Control Association (BRACO) – Blumhagen volunteered to continue with this group.

SUB-COMMITTEES:

Roads/Public Accesses – Kelly and Frenzel, with Road Supervisor Vigen also a part of the sub-committee.

Township Properties – Blumhagen and Barnard.

Waville – Barnard will continue as the liaison.

Human Resource – Blumhagen and Barnard, along with Borseth.

Utility Extension – Frenzel will be the liaison, with Lahn and Barnard helping.

A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the appointments as discussed.

Legal Publication – The Pioneer.

Meeting Dates and Times – These will remain as the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month with a starting time of 6:00 p.m. The Planning Commission will meet on the 3rd Monday of the month, as needed. Changes may take place due to Legal Holidays or other conflicts.

Financial Institutions – All local Financial establishments.

Posting Places – The Town Hall and Northdale Oil. Agendas and minutes are also posted on the township website.

Fees:

Gopher Bounty – $2.00 per gopher.

Town Hall Rental Fees – These were adjusted last year, and will remain the same.

A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Lahn, to approved all the recommendations as indicated. The motion carried unanimously.

Salaries:

Planning Commission – Will remain at $75.00/meeting.

Board of Supervisors – Will remain at $450/month for the Chairman, and $400/month for the other Supervisors.

Election Judges – The rate has been $22/hour since the pandemic began, and will remain.

All other Salaries will be reviewed by the Human Resource Committee.

A motion was offered by Kelly, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the recommendations as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

The regular meeting followed:

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to approve the minutes of the December 18, 2023, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Borseth reported that there will be no Planning Commission this month due to not having any applications to review, and that the date falls on a Legal Holiday. He and Israelson met with the staff from Beltrami County Environmental Services today, and they have agreed to handle all of the septic permitting for us.

Kelly believes that the town board needs to be appointed as a ‘planning board’ and conduct a separate meeting to hear and act on permit recommendations from the

Planning Commission, as the City of Bemidji does. Since this has not been done in the past, Attorney Kubousheck will be contacted.

1st Street Public Access – Borseth was contacted by a property owner who inquired about vacating a portion of a public access. It was reported that the property owner had petitioned the District Court in 1992 to vacate the access due to the existing home encroaching on the access. When contacted, the township was in agreement with allowing a portion of the access be vacated where the house lies. Now, the property owner is asking that more of the access also be vacated. The Board’s policy is to not allow these vacations, unless there are unusual circumstances. The DNR is required to weigh in on requests that access public waters, and they are opposed as well.

Lily Street – A property owner is looking at the possibility of asking the Board to approve vacating a portion of an old un-built platted road. The board would like to see more of a plan prior to making a definite decision regarding the matter.

ROAD REPORT:

Plowing – There was a small snowfall and the plow has been out.

Auto Start – Vigen presented three (3) quotes to have a remote start put in the new pickup. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Lahn, to approve the expense of $539.32 to be done by Details Plus. The motion carried unanimously.

JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB) REPORT:

There has been no complete report of the financial information to date submitted. This is to be done and wrapped up in February.

RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA) REPORT:

The Annual Meeting is scheduled for January 25th at Fire Station #4.

TREASURER REPORT:

Bills – Peterson reported that this month’s bills are payable with check numbers 11693 to 11716, totaling $23,464.66. The larger items include payments to; MAT for the annual dues – $1,652.56, Iverson Reuver Law Office – $1,650.00, and Freeberg & Grund for various projects – $4,860.00. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, and seconded by Barnard, to pay the bills as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Report: Cash by Fund balances are; Revenue – $230,417.63, Road & Bridge – $961,578.95, Rural Fire – $7,633.30, Sewer District Waville – $14,204.16, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds – $190,773.65, for a total of $1,404,607.69. A motion was offered by Blumhagen, seconded by Lahn, and carried, to approve the report as presented.

Certificates of Deposit: Peterson reported that 2 CDs are maturing and recommended that the following be invested at Security Bank; $400,000 for 30 days at 5.0%, and one for $100,000 for 6 months at 4.95%. Consensus was given for approval, and Kelly asked that she also check the rates at other banks next time.

Budget – Peterson reported that she will be meeting with Kranich to start working on a proposed Budget, and will have it ready to start reviewing at the February meetings.

Credit Card Equipment – Peterson provided some information regarding equipment that could be used if it was decided to start accepting credit cards in the office, particularly for land use application fees.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1) Easement received from Park View Improvement Co for the proposed Wild Plum improvement project, 2) letter from MAT regarding processing dues directly through their office vs the county units, 3) notice of Beltrami County’s Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting set for Monday, April 29th, 4) email from County Administrator Thomas Barry with an invite to the commissioner’s next work session.

OTHER:

Beltrami County Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – Beltrami County Hwy Engineer, Bruce Hasbargen, supplied a MOU in order to bid the proposed chip seal work for Elliot Road. This work is budgeted for and to be split 50/50 with the City of Bemidji, and estimated to be approximately $40,000 per mile.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.