09 Dec

December 8, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

ATTENDANCE

Board members: Supervisors Scott Mead, Lee Kaplan, Don Swanstrom; Treasurer Kim Hand and Clerk Lita Wallace
Number of residents (2) – non-residents (1)

AGENDA

Meeting was called to order by Scott at 8:35 p.m.

CLERK’S REPORT

Minutes of November 10, 2015 meeting was read by Lita. Motioned by Don, seconded by Lee, motion carried  with corrections and additions.

TREASURER’S REPORT

$     257,884.36 Total Cash On-Hand as of 10/31/15
 +           218.39 Deposits
–             838.70 Expenditures
$     257,264.05 Total Cash On-Hand as of 11/30/15 including interest from CapitalOne

OLD BUSINESS

  • Lee reported that he completed and passed the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization training as required by the Department of Revenue (via St. Louis County Assessor) and was issued a certificate.
  • Kim reported that she has changed the format of the Timesheet/Expense Reimbursement for CTAS purposes. Kim also reported that she had completed data entry of payroll and receipts from January to November 2015.

NEW BUSINESS

  • Kim asked if the supervisors would consider using the $165.00 for officer’s life insurance and spend in PERA retirement instead. Scott requested Kim to get more information about PERA.
  • We received the Workers’ Compensation Audit Report form from MATIT and are required to return the form with proof of Workers’ Comp (WC) insurance from contractors hired by the township.
  • Lee proposed a resolution for the following question to be placed on the March 2016 Board election ballot — “Shall option B, providing for the appointment of the Clerk by the Town Board be adopted for the government of the town?” Lee further explained that the township incurred problem early in the year to find a qualified replacement for the clerk who resigned in the middle of her term; that nobody from the township was interested in serving; and that the township had invested on Lita, the current clerk, who is qualified and capable of performing the clerk duties. Lee clarified that at this time the proposed resolution is only for the town clerk position and provided several Minnesota Statutes to support his proposition.
  1. Minnesota Statute 367.30 Subd. 2 states: “Option B; appointment of clerk and treasurer. A town may provide for the appointment of the town board of its clerk or treasurer, or both, or if combined pursuant to the adoption of option D as defined in subdivision 4, its clerk-treasurer, as provided in sections 367.30 to 367.36. This is option B.”
  2.  Minnesota Statute 367.31 Subd. 4 states: The proposals for adoption of the options shall be stated on the ballot, substantially as follows: “Shall option B, providing for the appointment of the clerk and treasurer by the town board, be adopted for the government of the town?”
  3. Minnesota Statute 367.34 Subd 1. states: “If option B is adopted at an election at which a clerk or treasurer, or a clerk-treasurer under option D, is elected, the candidate elected to that office shall not take office and that candidate’s election shall be null.
  • Lita reported that she received the Calendar of 2016 Minnesota Towns with March Election from the State Auditor’s Office, reviewed the materials and compiled important deadline dates for the March 2016 Town Board election which will be posted to the Pequaywan Township webpage. If you wish to file candidacy for any open position. contact Lita Wallace, town clerk, at peqclerk@gmail.com or 218/525/4068. Submit the Affidavit of Candidate and Receipt for Filing between December 29, 2015-January 12, 2016.
  • Currently, all funds of the township is under General Account and a budget has not been set as of earlier date and it was proposed that an amount be designated before the end of 2015. Fund designation for 2016 will be tabled in January. Also request for 2017 levy will also need to have a distribution. 2015 Fund distribution is as follows as motioned by Don, seconded by Lee, motion carried —– General Fund: $228,942.43; Roads and Bridges: $3,300.00; and Fire Department: $13,500.00.

CLAIMS

  • Total claims for November totalled $3,421.49.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – Letters regarding Firewise funding have been mailed to residents. Beta testing for the internet towers were conducted the last few days and next week, the rest of the residents in little and big lakes will be hooked up.

Next meeting: Tuesday, January 12, 7:30 p.m. at Pequaywan Fire Hall

Lee motioned to adjourn at 9:35 p.m., seconded by Don, motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

16 Nov

November 10, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

ATTENDANCE

Board members: Scott Mead, Lee Kaplan, Don Swanstrom, Kim Hand, Lita Wallace
Number of residents (6) – non-residents (1)

AGENDA

Meeting was called to order by Scott at 7:30 p.m.

CLERK’S REPORT

Minutes of October 13, 2015 meeting was read by Lita. Motioned to approve by Lee and seconded by Scott without any corrections, motion carried.

TREASURER’S REPORT

October 2015 Treasurer’s Report

$     256,010.30 Total Cash On-Hand as of 9/30/15
           3,304.57 Deposits
–         1,430.51 Expenditures
$     257,884.36 Total Cash On-hand as of 10/31/15

OLD BUSINESS

A proposal to open an online savings account through CapitalOne (following a problem with the account at AffinityPlus that was proposed at last month’s meeting) in the amount of $8,000.00 has been motioned by Don and seconded by Lee, motion carried. Interest for one year will be 1% and .4% thereafter. We can take up to 6 withdrawals a month.

In the review of preliminary budget figures for 2016, the township will be receiving $13,500 from the Levy which will be geared for the Fire Department payment.

Judy Strom stated that the FireWise Grant was approved for the amount that we requested. Activities and programs will start in the spring and will be posted to the Pequaywan Township webpage. The township portion will be through volunteer hours including cutting down trees, working on address signs, and bringing big balsam to the gravel pit, and all other activities that will minimize or prevent fire hazard.

Reminder: Special General Election for Representative 3A on December 8, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and due to the Election, December meeting will start at 8:30 instead of 7:30 so that the Election Judges can complete their tasks.

Ray Barnes and Linda Britton of North Star conducted CTAS training for Lee, Kim and Lita. For data entry responsibilities, Kim will enter payroll and revenue transactions while Lita will enter all non-payroll claims (bills) as they come in. Then each of them will provide a summarized report of what they entered for the other person to enter in their laptops so that their data are synchronized. Kim and Lita requested approval to enter all transactions starting from January 2015 for ease in submitting annual report to the State Auditor’s Office. Scott motioned, Lee seconded, motion carried.

Lee proposed to purchase gift certificates in the amount of $25 each from Pequaywan Inn for Linda and Ray to show our appreciation for the time spent during the CTAs training. Scott and Don agreed.

Scott reported that he had not heard back from Tom Rukavina regarding the removal of dead trees on the county roads.

DNR had moved the location of the mining lease sale a few parcel west of the township.

Lita reported that she started receiving newsletters from DNR via email and will be forwarding those to the Board members.

There was a question raised whether Election Judges need to have a withholding tax or FICA deduction and the answer is “no” since they are considered a contractor and not an employee of the township.

Budgeting for future road repair – Lee did a review of the town’s financial position, year-to-date. With Kim’s help, they constructed a five-year forecast of where we would be, assuming only a 2% increase in the annual levy. His analysis showed that we can continue to meet our ongoing annual expenses, but we will not be positioned to fund the major repair of a roughly 1/4-mile stretch of West Branch Road that is anticipated to be needed in the near future. It is the township’s legal obligation to maintain the last 2.3 miles of this road in a safe condition. Lee proposed to hire an outside professional firm to conduct a civil engineering study that would outline the best options for repair, provide specifications for bidding out the work, and provide cost estimates to help us plan what we would need for the levy to finance the project over the coming years. He pointed out that the Minnesota statute that controls special assessments states that residents can only be assessed for the project to the extent that it improves their property’s market value. Since we would have to hire legal counsel and an independent assessor to determine this amount  — and it is likely to be only a rather small portion of the cost of the project —  a better option would be funding it from a reserve in general funds accumulated in the levy over a number of years. As a result, Lee suggested that we need to be proactive in proposing an increase in the levy at the next annual meeting and adjust it (up or down) in subsequent years, depending on estimates provided by the civil engineering study. He asked that we continue discussion of this issue at the December meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Kim proposed to insure the new laptops which was approved by Scott.

The Department of Revenue through St. Louis County requires townships to submit proof of compliance for Board of Appeal and Equalization. The form needs to be submitted to St. Louis County by February 1, 2016. Don and Lee will complete the training and future training will be staggered so that there will always be a voting member in compliant.

March Town Board election is scheduled on March 8 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Affidavit of Candidacy may be filed with the Town Clerk between December 29 and January 12. Fee is $2.00. Form and contact information will be available on the township webpage. There are two Supervisor positions open: one is for a term of 1-year to complete the position vacated by Rick Fry’s resignation and the second is for a 3-year term. Clerk position is also open.

CLAIMS REPORT for November 2015 Total claims report for November is $837.20.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – none

Next meeting: Tuesday, December 8, 8:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Lee motion to adjourn at 8:30 p.m., seconded by Scott, motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

16 Oct

October 13, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

ATTENDANCE
Board members – Scott Mead, Lee Kaplan, Don Swantstrom, Kim Hand, Lita Wallace
Number of residents – 4
non-residents – 1

AGENDA
Call to order by Scott at 7:30 p.m.

CLERK’S REPORT – September Meeting minutes was read by Lita. Motion to approve by Lee, seconded by Scott, motion carried.

TREASURER’S REPORT
September 2015 Treasurer’s Report

$   256,117.41         Total Cash On-Hand on 8/31/15
+            910.05           Deposits
(         1,017.16)         Expenditures
$     256,010.30         Total Cash On-Hand on 9/30/15

Motion to approve by Scott, seconded by Lee, motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS

Rick Fry’s resignation letter submitted during the August meeting states that his last day will be October 13 or whenever a temporary replacement is found. Don Swanstrom, a resident, has volunteered to serve the balance of Rick’s term. Don was sworn in by Lita. Lee made a motion for Scott to serve as the new Board Chair, Don seconded, motion carried.

During the Special Primary Election for Representative 3-A held on September 29, 34 residents voted out of 110. Two used the Automark. Election judges completed Election Training which was submitted to St. Louis County to record their certification which is good for two years.

Lee motion, Don seconded, motion carried, to increase the hourly compensation for outside meeting work for the Treasurer and Clerk to $20 due to the complexity of duties they perform at a professional level including CTAS, the online accounting system of the State of Minnesota and also to make it competitive with other townships. As an example, nearby townships gets paid $100.00 or more for monthly Board meetings compared to Pequaywan Townships at $25.00

To keep our balance at SCCU under the $250,000 limit for federal insurance, Lee motioned to open a CD account with Affinity Credit Union in the amount of $8,000 for a 12-month term, seconded by Scott, motion carried.

At a meeting attended by Lee and Scott with County Commissioner Tom Rukavina, they had a chance to ask him whether Pequaywan Township would need to write him a letter to request cutting the dead trees on West Branch Road and they were told that a letter is not needed.

Bill Hudson of Carlson Logging stated early this year that logging will be done early summer 2015, then early fall, but nothing has been done yet as of this time. They had paid $300. Since their contract is good until July 2016, there was a discussion whether we should buy out the contract and refund their $300 or wait until next July. We also need to clarify whether the loggers will be cleaning the brush or not. A former supervisor involved with the contract mentioned that the loggers are not required to remove the brush. However, the logging company said that they will.

NEW BUSINESS

The Board meeting normally starts at 7:30 p.m. but due to the Special General Election for Representative 3-A scheduled the same day on December 8 with closing time of 8:00 p.m., the Board meeting will instead be starting at 8:30 p.m. to give time for the Election Judges to complete their tasks.

Claims Report for October is $1,427.01.  Motioned by Scott, seconded by Don, motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – None

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 10, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Motion to Adjourn by Scott at 8:30 p.m., seconded by Lee, motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by
Lita Wallace, Township Clerk

09 Sep

September 8, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

The meeting wa called to order by Rick at 7:32 p.m.

ATTENDANCE

Board members – Rick Fry, Scott Mead, Lee Kaplan, Kim Hand, Lita Wallace
Number of residents – 6, non-residents – 1

CLERK’S REPORT – minutes of August meeting was read by Lita. Motioned to approve by Lee, seconded by Scott, motion carried with the following additional follow-up report:  Lee submitted Lita’s email to DNR. Lita has not received any email from them.

TREASURER’S REPORT

July 2015 Treasurer’s Report
$     247,671.46 Total Cash On-Hand on 7/31/15
$          7,892.50 Deposits
$         (1,248.20) Expenditures
$     254,315.76 Total Cash On-Hand on 7/31/15
August 2015 Treasurer’s Report
$     254,315.76 Total Cash On-Hand on 6/30/15
$          3,369.26 Deposits
$         (1,567.61) Expenditures
$     256,117.41 Total Cash On-Hand on 8/31/15

Motioned to approve by Lee, seconded by Scott, motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS

Bank account status. Kim has transferred the funds except $500 from Beacon Bank to Superior Choice Credit Union. Kim, Lee and Lita have all signed the required bank documents. Lee stated that since CUNA can only insure funds up to $250,000.00 and we have more than that, he suggested to move some of the funds to a different institution. Kim will check which institution provides a higher interest.

CTAS program status. CTAS software is installed in both laptops. Kim showed the CTAS manual which is 800 pages long. She suggested that she and Lita could request to set-up a meeting with Linda Britton and Ray Barnes of North Star Township to assist with training on the use of the software.

The construction of two towers have been approved and construction will begin in October/November.

DNR in Two Harbors rejected the request to vacate the 33-foot lot the State owns on Big Pequaywan Lake. There is already a plan in place between 2017 and 2019 for construction of landing for public access. Motion by Scott, second by Lee, motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS

Lita received notification from St. Louis County Election Department that there will be a Special Election for Representative 3-A position and that:

  1. there will be a Special Primary Election on September 29 and Special General Election on December 8.
  2. she is required to publicize in the newspaper; i.e., Duluth News Tribune, about the Public Accuracy Test of Automark (machine that may be used by voters instead of paper copy).
  3. Bob McDonough and Kathy Sluka needed certification as Election Judges which will be good for two years. Lita asked if the supervisors would like her to submit Bob and Kathy’s names to St. Louis County Election Department so that they will have a record of the certification which will be good for two years. They will be paid the regular pay for the training that Lita will conduct. Motioned by Rick, seconded by Scott, motion carried.
  4. an announcement should be posted on September 15 to announce the date, time and location of the election. Possible posting places are online at pequaywantownship.org, pequaywan.com and hard copies at Pequaywan Inn and Pequaywan Firehall. The Special Elections  will be conducted from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for both the Special Primary Election on September 29 and the Special General Election on December 8. Motioned by Rick, seconded by Scott, motion carried.
  5. ballots and other election materials will be ready for pick up at St. Louis County Courthouse on September 17. Lita will pick up and for security purposes, she will keep the materials at her home before and after the election. All the materials will be delivered back to St. Louis County the day after the election.

With the additional job duties and skill requirements related to CTAS  plus other functions performed by the Clerk and Treasurer, Lee proposed to increase their hourly compensation by $5.00 so to make it commensurate to the tasks they are performing. Other comments was to make it competitive in the market. Rick suggested to table the discussion for October meeting.

Rick supported a request from a resident to send a letter to St. Louis County requesting removal of dead trees at West Branch Road within the easement.  Motioned by Scott, seconded by Lee, motion carried.

A proposal was made for the supervisors to support a grant application to the DNR’s Firewise Program. The purpose of the grant is to mitigate the risk and impact of wildfires in Pequaywan Township and the resulting damage to buildings. The suggestion was also to have the Township act as a fiscal agent, specifically, the Treasurer, to receive the funds. Any expenses for the above stated items will be coming from the grant instead of the Township. Rick motioned to sign the form, seconded by Scott, motion carried.

Dale Brooks, Fire Chief of Pequaywan Fire Department, mentioned that dead balsam trees, where the sign will be put up, is in the process of being cut.

Rick reported that Pequaywan’s State Demographic is 123 residents with a household estimate of 60.

Claims Report: Total Claims – $1,017.26. Motioned to approve by Rick, seconded by Lee, motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENTS – none

Next meeting: Tuesday,  October 13, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Motion to Adjourn at 8:40 by Rick, seconded by Scott, motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by Lita Wallace, Township Clerk

24 Aug

August 11, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Rick at 7:30 a.m.

ATTENDANCE
Board members – Rick Fry, Scott Mead, Lee Kaplan, Kim Hand, Lita Wallace
Number of residents – 28, non-residents – 10

CLERK’S REPORT – read by Rick. Motioned to approve by Scott, seconded by Lee. Motion carried.

TREASURER’S REPORT (was not read and approved)

July 2015 Treasurer’s Report (not read and not approved)
$247,671.46 Total Cash On-Hand on 6/30/15
       7,892.50 Deposits
–      1,248.20 Expenditures
 $254,315.76  Balance as of 7/31/15

OLD BUSINESS

DNR response to 7/17/15 Township letter requesting extension of public input from August 15, 2015 to November 21, 2015, re-metallic mineral lease sale – request was denied.

Discussion on the State’s proposed nonferrous metallic minerals lease sale – Victoria Sellner and Dave Dahl, guest representatives from DNR described the process that will be used in reviewing the lease applications in the unincorporated area to the west of the township. Supervisors and residents requested more notification of future actions on mining leases. Lee will send a request to Victoria Sellner to put Lita’s email address on the “Interested Person’s list for future notification. Folks will have until August 21 to send comments to DNR at Division of Land and Minerals, 500 Lafayette Road, St Paul, MN 55155-4045.

Review of a proposal for a Preliminary Engineering Consultation from Northland Consulting Engineers for road repair at West Branch Road.

The cost of paving the road is estimated at $100,00 to $380,000 depending on the type of repair: patching and fixing the bad areas, or paving the road.

Road Report/Striping – The County will conduct yellow striping in the middle of the road at West Branch Road. They will not do white striping.

Tree give-away project for replanting on the township land at Rossini Road – Logging company has scheduled the project in the fall and we will discuss again about tree planting afterwards. There was a talk about devoting a spot for helicopter landing but instead of being in the logged area, it will most likely be at Pequaywan Lake Road and will require involvement by St Louis County and Pequaywan Fire Department/First Responder.

Laptop update – 2 Dell computers were purchased.

Authorization to grant Superior Choice Credit Union  for the following transactions to open an accounts (e.g., money market, share certificate, savings, checking) :

o   Access account information

o   Endorse checks

o   Make deposits

o   Make transfers

o   Make withdrawals

o   Open accounts

o   Receive mailings (e.g., bank statements)

Motioned by Rick that Kim, Lita and Lee will be signers for the checks, Kim will receive bank statements, Kim or Lee will have the authority to conduct the other listed transactions. Seconded by Lee. Motion carried.

Other Old Business – None

NEW BUSINESS

Discussion on vacating the 33-foot lot the State owns on Big Pequaywan Lake – evidently the township has some control over it – Rick motioned to approve a request to vacate the lot. Seconded by Scott. Motion carried. A letter signed by the supervisors will be sent out.

District 10 Meeting and Election – will be held on August 27, 2015 in Grand Lake Townhall, St. Louis County, Highway 53 N in downtown Twig.

Report on Fire Department Sign – Pequaywan Lake Association proposed putting a sign by the road and was originally discussed that the Fire Department and the Association will share the cost of $830.00. However, after careful considerations, the Fire Department decided that they will bear the cost since the sign is located in the property owned by the Fire Department.

2015 Minnesota Election Laws (from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State Elections Division) new publication – available if anyone is interested to review.

Claims Report totalling  $1567.61.

Other New Business – None

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Cleaning brush on the road – Rick suggested to call the County Commissioner’s Office.

A request was made that the supervisors send a letter to St. Louis County Planning and Community Development to support the construction of two wireless internet towers in the township by Coop Light  Power (CLP) and urge the County to approve CLP’s land use application as quickly as possible. – The supervisors agreed to send a letter.

Next meeting: Tuesday,  September 8, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Rick motioned to adjourn at 10:00 p.m., seconded by Scott. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,

Lita Wallace, Township Clerk

16 Jul

July 14, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chair Rick Fry.

ATTENDANCE
The following Board Members were present: Supervisor Rick Fry, Supervisor Scott Mead, Supervisor Lee Kaplan, Treasurer Kim Hand and Clerk Lita Wallace.

Number of residents: 4 / non-residents: 2

CLERK’S REPORT

June meeting minutes was read by Lita. Motioned made by Rick and seconded by Scott  to approve the minutes. Motion carried.

TREASURER’S REPORT
$233,870.55              Cash on hand as of 5/31/15

14,511.54               Deposits

        -710.63                Expenditures

$247,671.46              Cash on hand as of 6/30/15

Motioned to approve by Rick, seconded by Lee. Motion carried.

OLD BUSINESS

Road Maintenance in West Branch Road – An engineer from St. Louis County will be meeting with Rick at his house on Friday, July 17 at 8:30 a.m.

Laptops – Lita reported the following: HP laptop for $400.00, $20 for Anti-virus software, $149 for Microsoft Office, $35 for laptop case plus tax or an estimated total of between $600-$700 for each laptop. Rick motioned to approve the purchase of two laptops at $700 each. Seconded by Scott. Motion carried.

Potential bank/credit union investment options – Rick motioned to change banks from Beacon Bank to Superior Choice and maintain a balance of $5000.00 in the checking account; to invest $50,000 in share certificate and $192,671.46 in Business Money Market with Superior Choice. Seconded by Lee. Motion carried.

Other Old Business

Rick’s Resignation – Lee mentioned that someone he knows is interested in taking over Rick’s position. It is suggested to have the individual attend meetings to get familiar with the processes.

NEW BUSINESS

MAT Membership Cards – Lita mentioned that with the use of the card, Board Members are eligible for government discounts in hotel.

Letter from DNR re- proposed Metallic Minerals leases for our area – states that residents have 60 days from June 23 to submit comments. Guests tonight were Wendy Robinson and Kris Larsen who are active in the cause. They showed maps of the areas to be leased which showed that most residents will be affected having properties located around state-owned lands. Wendy and Kris requested Pequaywan Township supervisors to write a letter to DNR asking for a 90-day extension so that part-time residents who are not back in the area until fall will have a chance to comment and give more chance to inform other residents. Kris volunteered to write a draft of the letter. All supervisors have agreed to sign the letter.

More information may be found from the following websites:

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/3771760-dnr-set-mineral-lease-auction
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/06/23/dnr-mineral-leases-in-forests
http://www.sosbluewaters.org/

Road striping in the Pequaywan Township portion of West Branch Road – Scott reported that St. Louis County will be charging the township $900 for the striping. Scott will verify if the striping is for the middle or sides of the road or both.

Claims Report – totalling $1,248.20. Motioned by Rick to approve and seconded by Lee. Motion carried.

PUBLIC COMMENTS- none

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday,  August 11, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Motion to Adjourn at 9:30 p. m. by Scott and seconded by Lee. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by:

Lita C. Wallace, Township Clerk

 

 

 

 

11 Jun

June 9, 2015
Township Board Meeting

Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chair Rick Fry.

ATTENDANCE
The following Board Members were present: Supervisor Rick Fry, Supervisor Scott Mead, Supervisor Lee Kaplan, Treasurer Kim Hand and Clerk Lita Wallace.

Number of residents: 1 / non-residents: 1

CLERK’S REPORT – May meeting minutes read by Lita. Motion made by Rick and seconded by Lee to approve the minutes. Motion carried.

TREASURER’S REPORT – the financial report presented by Kim shows the following transactions and balance:

$ 234,632.08        Total Cash On-Hand as of 4/30/15

52.88       Deposits

            814.41        Expenditures
$ 233,870.55        Total Cash On-Hand as of 5/31/15

OLD BUSINESS

Road Maintenance (engineer inquiry) – Rick reported that St. Louis County will allow an engineer to come to Pequaywan to ascertain what direction to go.

CTAS – Accounting System Requirements/Laptop/Video Conferencing – Lita researched the operating system requirements for CTAS via the State Auditor’s Office website and visited Best Buy to get ideas on laptops. Any laptops in the market would work including video conferencing. Laptops would cost around $600.00, Microsoft Office $140.00, Anti-virus software $20.00 a month for the first year and $50.00 per year thereafter. A 3-year extended warranty costs $310.00 which Rick decided is not needed and Lee agreed. Lita was requested to research the following:
(1) What internet speed is needed in downloading the CTAS software? (Ray Barnes offered to conduct the download at North Star, if needed.)
(2) How many laptops can Microsoft Office software be installed?
(3) Is there a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty?
(4) What is the cost of the laptop with Windows 7 if it is not a touch screen?

INTERNET UPDATE was made by Lee – Two towers will be built and homeowners within 1/4 mile of the towers will be notified by postal mail once the contracts have been signed between Coop Light, property owners and St Louis County.

POTENTIAL BANK/CREDIT UNION OPTIONS – Kim presented a report showing the comparison of interest rate for money market between several banks and credit unions. The supervisors requested Kim to:
(1) Study comparison between MCCU’s 5-year 2.10% rate vs. SCCU’s 1.85% on $50,000.00 money market based on the report presented.
(2) Check rate at Hermantown Federal Credit Union and Duluth Teachers Credit Union.
(3) Can a Township join a credit union?
(4) How easy is it to move money from Beacon Bank to a new bank/credit union?
(5) Check checking account system transferring from one bank to another bank/credit union.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN  – Scott reported that he contacted the Planning & Development Office of St. Louis County and was advised that there are two things we can do: either develop a Community Plan or a Comprehensive Plan. Township can apply for a grant based on either of the two plans. Scott suggested to look at the Comprehensive Plan, vision of what we want the township to look like. We can get history,  specifics and samples from other counties; as well as involve community members in getting their ideas.

LOGGING AT ROSSINI ROAD – will be done this summer.

ASSISTANCE FOR TREE PLANTING AND BUD CAPPING ON THE TOWNSHIP LAND – Scott reported that he contacted the Sheriff’s Office and was advised to contact Woodland Hills which told him that their clients do this type of task as part of their community service. They have a policy of 20-mile radius but is negotiable. There is no charge but would probably need to pay for transportation. Lee mentioned that Boy Scouts Troops might be a good one to contact, too.

Other Old Business – None

NEW BUSINESS

PAY FOR EQUIALIZATION MEETING ATTENDANCE  – Supervisors gets paid $25 as approved during March for attending meetings and for training attendance only.

TOWNSHIP ADDRESS – Kim reported that Keith is still getting mail from the county and was forwarding to her. In the past, April received the bills and Keith made payment. Kim called the county to change the address to hers but was told that mails should go to the clerk.

SUMMER SHORT COURSE: is going to be held at Carlton County in June. None of the Board Members are able to attend.

MEMBERSHIP CARDS: Lita received membership cards from the County and was distributed to all Board Members.

BILLS TO PAY THIS MONTH: Motion made by Rick and seconded by Scott to approve payment of the bills, carried.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: None

Motion to Adjourn at 8:30 p.m. by Rick and seconded by Scott, carried.

Next meeting: Tuesday,  July 14, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Township Clerk

16 May

May 12, 2015
Township Board Meeting

Meeting called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chair Rick Fry.

ATTENDANCE

The following Board Members were present: Supervisor Rick Fry, Supervisor Scott Mead, Supervisor Lee Kaplan, Treasurer Kim Hand and Clerk Lita Wallace.

Number of residents: 3 / non-residents: 2

CLERK’S REPORT – January and April minutes read by Lita.

Motion by Rick, seconded by Scott to approve the January minutes, carried.

Motion by Rick, seconded by Lee to approve the April minutes, carried.

TREASURER’S REPORT – presented by Kim

$232,369.65        Total Cash On-Hand on 3/31/15

2,915.32        Deposits

           652.89         Expenditures

$234,632.08       Total Cash On-Hand on 4/30/15

Motion by Rick, seconded by Lee to approve the Treasurer’s report, carried.

OLD BUSINESS

Road Maintenance (long-term plans for road repair) – Five-year long-term plan for West Branch Road owned by the Township was discussed. Estimate on what can be done and how much it would cost. May need to contact an engineer to do a study. Rick will make contact with an engineer as well as the county if their engineer can come instead.

Logger at Rossini Road-what do they plan to do and when they plan to do it – Scott stated that Bill Hudson of the logging company said that work will be done sometime this summer but no definite date is available. The Township will be paid $6,700.00 which will go to replanting of trees.

Internet Review – no new information available.

CTAS accounting system – The advantages of using CTAS  was discussed along with purchasing two laptops for the use of the Treasurer and Clerk for an estimate of $1700-$1800. Lita will research the system requirements/Windows that works with CTAS and cost of the laptops/flashdrives.

NEW BUSINESS

Preparation of budget – Lee had requested Kim to prepare a report of expenditures incurred in 2014. There was an expense last year in the amount of $3,600 for the Assessor’s Office that will not be spent this year.

Use of Skype or Google Hangout technology to conduct meetings when a supervisor is out of town – Lee checked with the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) and the lawyer advised him that it is acceptable to use teleconferencing but the out-of-town supervisor would have to open their home to anybody that will be interested in attending. Up to 10 people can connect in Google Hangout. A high speed internet is required. Lee will conduct experimentation.

Exploring options in using new bank (e.g., Superior Choice Credit Union) – Kim will check. The Township will also explore investing part of the Township funds in (CDs) Certificate of Deposit. Kim will verify  with various credit unions how much interest is offered for different maturity dates of 3 or 5 years. Maybe put $50,000.00 in CDs. Ray Barnes, the Treasurer at North Star mentioned that North Star has their funds in Money Market and keeps only $200 in checking account. After expenditures are approved at each meeting, he then transfers the amount from Money Market to the checking account via online banking.

Electronic banking application status – We will hold off on this pending result of switching to a different bank and change of Board membership.

Proposed updates to the timesheet/expense forms – For now, we will keep using the Monthly Disbursement Forms and we can determine later if we will want to use the form that can be generated from CTAS.

Form 941 applicability – Our township is not required to file Form 941 for the following reason (per the Form 941 instructions): “Generally, employers are required to file Forms 941 quarterly. However, some small employers (those whose annual liability for Social Security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes is $1,000 or less) may file Form 944, Employer’s ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, annually instead of Forms 941.”

New employee forms – Lee, Kim and Lita submitted all the required new employee forms such as I-9 and W-4.

Other new business: Reimbursement approval totalling $814.41. Motion by Rick, second by Scott to approve paying the submitted reimbursements, motion carried.

Next meeting: Tuesday, June 9, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Fire Hall

Motion to adjourn, carried at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lita Wallace.

16 Apr

April 14, 2015
Township Board Meeting

Call to Order at 7:30 p.m. by Chair Rick Fry.

Attendance:

Board members present:

  1. Rick Fry, Supervisor
  2. Lee Kaplan, Supervisor
  3. Scott Mead, Supervisor
  4. Kim Hand, Treasurer
  5. Lita Wallace, Clerk

Board members absent: none

  • Number of residents present: 2
  • Number of non-residents present: 2

Treasurer’s Report

$232,502.65     Cash on hand as of March 1, 2015
–         133.00     Expenditure (Minnesota Benefit Association (officers life insurance renewal)

+            0.00      Deposits
__________
$232,369.65     Cash on hand as of March 31, 2015

Discussions:

Kim mentioned that in going through the records, she discovered that mileage expense reimbursements have not been requested/paid for over a year. Motioned/seconded/approved to process any approved mileage expense reimbursement request.

For speedy processing, bookkeeping and recordkeeping, Kim prepared various forms for reimbursement and requested the supervisors to review the forms for approval. Motioned/seconded/approved.

Training expenses, meals, mileage will be reimbursed monthly. Reimbursement Form due at the meeting after expenses incurred. Motioned/seconded/approved.

Motioned/seconded/approved to pay $0.20 per page for photocopying Township documents; i.e. Treasurer’s Report, Meeting Minutes & Agendas.

To respond to the question what was deducted from wages of Board Members in past years, Kim explained that deductions were for Social Security and Medicare.

Lee asked if the township need to file a Quarterly Payroll Tax Report. Kim said that we do not have to file since the township does not owe more than $1000 in payroll tax to require filing the form quarterly. Kim can report once at the end of the year.

Clerk’s Report

  • Minutes from March 10, 2015 was read by Lita. Lee motioned to change the word “budget” to “levy” as it is actually a levy and not a budget. There are no other additions or deletions. Motioned/seconded and approved.

Old Business

  • Election result
  1. Lee was elected as Supervisor and Kim was elected as Treasurer. Term of office is three years for Supervisor and two years for Treasurer.
  2. Number of votes for Supervisor: Lee Kaplan (23), Mark Freeman (4), Bonnie Dressen (1) Steve Call (1), Dona Dressen (1), Dale Brooks (1)
  3. Number of votes for Treasurer: Kim Hand (21), Jack Mead (1), John Wilson (2), Bonnie Dressen (1), Keith Stone (3), Sue Johnson (1)
  •  Internet Review

Judy Strom, a resident, shared the following information:  There will be two wireless towers — one that serves the Little Lake and one that serves the Big Lake.  Contracts with the landowners of the two properties where the towers will be located should be signed within the next several weeks. Following that, most likely in May, Cooperative Light & Power (CLP)  will go to a meeting with the St. Louis County Commissioner to apply for a conditional use permit. CLP anticipates that the towers will be erected in June. Then, there will be about a month of system testing and upgrades to the “backbone.” Given the above scenario, installation to the home should begin in mid to late July and August. The main towers will have a radius of 1.5 miles so there may be some pockets or areas on our two lakes that might not be reached. It may be necessary to have one or two repeater tower/antennas located on a building to extend the main towers’ reach to those areas.

  • Motioned/seconded/approved bills and disbursements as follows:
  1. Training reimbursement for new Board members on April 3 in Cloquet for Lee Kaplan, Kim Hand and Lita Wallace.
  2. Salary for March meeting for Lee Kaplan, Kim Hand
  3. Mileage for April Smitke for trip to Pequaywan Fire Hall to assist with absentee ballot.
  • Committee Reports
  1. Road Review on part of West Branch Road owned by the township – Rick stated that half of the road is in good shape and half is lumpy and bumpy. To fix it, about a mile of the road needs to be dug out, replaced with gravel and then asphalted which will cost a lot of money that the township does not have. The last asphalt was put in 1991-1992. Unfortunately, there is no state or county funds available to fix it either.
  2. Scott mentioned that in 2016, Highway 44 will be worked on from the intersection of Briar/Barrs Lake to approximately two miles north of Rossini Road.
  • Township Website

Lee finalized the draft of the new Township website that looks very professional and user-friendly. With the new website, each Board member will be able to access the site and be able to post, make corrections or additions.

  • Logging at Rossini Road

The logger, Carson Timber and Land Clearing, had a contract to log 34.6 acres that the township owns off at Rossini Road. There is no activity up to this time but they had sent the township $300.00. Scott will follow up on the status.

New Business

  • April Smitke resigned as Township Clerk during the March meeting.
  • Lita Wallace was offered the position of Township Clerk and agreed to serve for one year. Motioned/seconded and approved for Lita to be appointed and sworn-in as the new Township Clerk effective April 14, 2015. Lita does not live in the township. According to MAT (Minnesota Association of Townships), Treasurers and Clerks must live in the township to be elected for a term of two years. Treasurers and Clerks may be appointed for an unlimited term and do not need to live in the township.
  • Lee, Kim, and Lita completed the MAT orientation in Cloquet.
  • Rick announced that he is resigning as one of the Supervisors. His last meeting will be October 2015. However, if a replacement is found before October, he is willing to step-down sooner.
  • CTAS (City and Town Accounting System) program – Ray Barnes, Treasurer with North Star, explained the advantages of purchasing CTAS specifically for the use of the Treasurer and Clerk to better manage recordkeeping requirements by the State Auditor’s Office. Motioned/seconded/approved to purchase the program at a one-time cost of $300.00. Rick requested Kim and Lita to meet with Ray for further discussions.
  • Online banking – Kim explained the advantages of using online banking such as transferring funds from one account to another and paying bills online.
  • State Auditor’s Office requires that there be three signatories on the check: Supervisor, Treasurer and Clerk. To comply, Lita will be added to the account.

Next meeting: Tuesday, May 12, 7:30 p.m. at Pequaywan Fire Department building

Motion was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Lita Wallace

18 Mar

March 10, 2015
Annual Meeting

The annual meeting was convened at 8:15 pm.

17 residents were present.

Clerk Smitke called the meeting to order. Volunteering to be citizen monitor is Brian Landstrom.

2014 annual meeting minutes read. No treasurer’s report was given.

Road report: Patching is continuing to be done on the road.

The levy for taxes was motioned/seconded to be set at $13,500 for the year. Motioned/seconded/carried.

The annual elections were reported on that Lee Kaplan was elected for a 3-year term as supervisor and Kim Hand was elected for a 2-year term as treasurer.

The voting hours motioned/seconded/carried for Primary, General and Special Statewide election hours to be 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. The annual township election hours are to be 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

The monthly meeting time and day shall be 7:30 pm on the second Tuesday of each month, and the annual meeting shall be the second Tuesday of March after the annual township election.

Local notice postings can be made at the Pequaywan township bulletin board, PVFD bulletin board, pequaywan.com Website and pequaywantownship.org Website.

Meeting adjourned.