Northern Township

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – Monday, January 22, 2024, Northern Town Hall, 445 Town Hall Road NW, Bemidji, MN.

5:00 P.M. – An appreciation time with cake and ice cream was held to acknowledge the work that Allen Steffen and Micheal Granlund did with the planning commission. They were each awarded a plaque as a thank you for their time serving on the commission.

6:00 P.M. – Regular Meeting followed.

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

MINUTES: A motion was offered by Barnard, and seconded by Lahn, to approve the minutes of the January 8, 2024, meeting as presented. The motion carried unanimously.

ROAD REPORT:

There has been little precipitation, so there has been very little snow removal. Some scraping and sanding has been done when needed.

JOINT PLANNING BOARD (JPB) REPORT:

The final financial report will be submitted soon. The files have been transferred to the township office.

RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION (RFA) REPORT:

The Annual Meeting is set for this Thursday at Fire Station #4. Kelly will also attend the Long Range Planning meeting on that morning. Kelly is hoping that a small increase in the Levy will be proposed in order to help budget for any short-falls.

BEMIDJI RURAL ANIMAL CONTROL ORGANIZATION (BRACO) REPORT:

Blumagen reported that the quarterly meeting was held, and the 2024 budget was approved with no increase in fees billed to the eight (8) entities. There were two (2) guests from the impound facility, and they are dealing with a massive surge of stray cat impounds and are trying to find some solution to the problem. Many of these impounded cats are carrying deceases that spread very easily to the other cats causing Great River Rescue to close its doors for a month to get rid of the infestation.

ADMINISTRATOR REPORT:

Utility Project – Frenzel, Lahn and Borseth reported that they met this evening with Pete Aube, who is retired from Potlatch, and has lots of connections with various contacts in the state who deal with forestry properties. Lahn added that they are working on a new letter to the DNR that addresses many of the topics that have come up, along with the legislative directive regarding section 36 property throughout the state. There were several thoughts about the proposed letter, and it was agreed that some more work would be done on it, sent to each supervisor, and then decided how to proceed with it. Frenzel also attended a Turtle River Township meeting, along with County Commissioners John Carlson and Craig Gaasvig, in order to address the thought of a possible land exchange in their township with section 36, if that were to become possible. They seemed receptive to the idea. Frenzel also attended a County Board work session, and they seem very receptive to help support our efforts. They aren’t ready for the Birchmont Beach Road project anytime soon, since they are still looking for funding. Another topic that was discussed, was the thought of switching gears from a pond waste treatment system to a mechanical system, that would cost less in the short term and use much less land. This is a new concept and it was agreed that more information from Mark Fuller is needed. A meeting will be considered prior to the next regular meeting, which isn’t for three weeks.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1) New Assessment Agreement with Beltrami County Assessor for $25,311.00, that requires approval, 2) Notice of Bemidji Rural Fire Assn Annual Meeting, 3) copy of letter from JPB office sent to short term rental owner in Northern Township, 4) copy of Resolution passed by the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners supporting our proposed infrastructure project, 5) information from Attorney Kubousheck regarding our Board of Adjustment process.

OTHER:

Staff Salaries – These will be reviewed.

Wild Plum – Lahn reported that he has heard that one of the property owners is likely not going to be signing the ROW easement along Wild Plum Lane that was requested for the proposed improvement project.

ARPA Funds – Frenzel asked that some adjustments be done to the budget in order that the remaining funds be designated during this year, as required. Also, he would like the funds spent on the infrastructure project so far, be re-coded in order that the spending qualifies for matching funds with the federal grant dollars that have been awarded to the project.

Vacations – The Clerk, Deputy Clerk, and Administrator will be taking some vacation time in the coming month, and the office will be covered as needed.

With no further business forthcoming, the meeting was adjourned at 7:44 p.m.