Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, February 26, 2024, Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN, 6:00 p.m.

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

PUBLIC HEARING: Ordinance Establishing Land Use Permit Fee Schedule. A motion was offered by Barnard, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve Ordinance No. 2024-020100 – Land Use Planning Permit Fee Schedule. The motion carried unanimously.

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Barnard, and seconded by Blumhagen, to approve the minutes of the February 12, 2024, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Borseth reported that he has been responding to several calls regarding land use permitting. Although there are no actions to consider, the Planning Commission will be meeting Monday, March 18th, to review several topics that have come up. Kelly asked what was being done to monitor some of the existing projects taking place in the township, and mentioned several that he has observed. Borseth indicated that he had just received the report submitted by the JPB office and will be reviewing it with the planning commission.

There have been several meetings related to the proposed wastewater treatment project, including starting to plan for a possible route through the state park property, and meetings with Legislators Matt Bliss and Matt Grossell to address the needs for funding. Kelly proposed many questions that there are no answers for at this time, including how specific costs are going to be billed to users, as well as requirements for connection, etc. A presentation for the Annual Meeting is being planned, with the understanding that many of the concerns/questions will not have answers at this point. Lahn will make the power point presentation.

ROAD REPORT:

Vigen reported that he has started to prepare for the needed re-graveling that was put off last year and will be done this year. He has received one quote and will get another, to meet requirements.

Tree trimming is also needed, and it was agreed that it can start any time.

RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA) REPORT:

The Annual Meeting was held, with the Fire Chief making a good presentation. There were 25 total calls in Northern Township, with five (5) of them being fires. They are working on the concept of having on-call firefighters work rotations at the fire hall, to help with the personnel shortage, as well as a grant to help fund up to five (5) full-time firefighters. A new contract will be worked on during the coming year, with a three-pronged approach to address; 1) contract between the City/Rural Fire Assn, 2) capital improvement purchases, and 3) how to fund those purchases.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1) Notice of upcoming MAT short courses, 3) notice from Beltrami County Auditor of upcoming deadline dates associated with township annual elections/meetings, 4) notice from Beltrami County of a couple short term rentals approved in Northern Township, 5) rate information from BRO Property Services on lawn services for the coming year, 6) information from the DNR Forestry of upcoming appreciation dinners for fire wardens.

OTHER:

Letter to DNR – The letter has been reviewed, along with the attachments associated with it, and each will sign before it is sent via email tomorrow.

Town Hall – Blumhagen has talked with an architect, who will be taking a look at possible options for an addition.

Land Use Permit Fee Escrows – It was agreed that a separate Fund will be established to hold the existing escrow funds transferred from the JPB, as well as future funds.

Budget Review – Treasurer Peterson walked everyone through some of the questions she had on individual line items, and then asked for direction on the proposed Levy. There were some mixed ideas regarding a proposed increase, with the feeling that some kind of increase is needed. It was agreed that another meeting to discuss these topics will be held Monday, March 4th, at 4:00 p.m.

Board of Audit – Will be held during the next regular Board Meeting, on Monday, March 11th, 6:00 p.m.

Annual Meeting – Will be held Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m.

Presidential Nomination Primary – Will be held at the Town Hall tomorrow (March 5th) with the Poll open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.