13 Jun

June 9, 2020, Township Board Meeting (Unapproved) (via teleconference)

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

Attendance: Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Deputy Clerk Stephanie Teek, Deputy Treasurer Jennifer Maciewski.

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the May 12, 2020 Minutes from the town webpage. There were no corrections cited, after which the Minutes were motioned for approval by Swanstrom, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

MAY 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 05/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $149,426.73
Plus: Deposits – $152.60
Less: Disbursements (May) – $887.84
Total Funds on hand as of 05/31/2020 – $148,691.49
May Check # 1543 – 1551

JUNE 2020
Claims (June) – $1544.27
June Check # 1552 – 1562
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed

Swanstrom motioned to approve the May 2020 Treasurer’s Report and Claims for June 2020, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Old Business

  • St. Louis County Election contacted Walllace inquiring what the township’s planned purchase date and use of the DS200 voting machine. Wallace to contact the State of Minnesota to inquire about the purchasing deadline so we don’t lose our grant. We will hold off ordering until we hear the decision on whether it will be voting by mail this year or not.
  • Reimbursement of the Presidential Nomination Primary Election costs via the state’s SWIFT system: Barnes is working with the state to get the amount refunded
  • Concern of dead trees in West Branch Road – Swanstrom volunteered to contact St. Louis County Forester to get an opinion as to the hazard of the dead Balsam since some of them are on private property. With the information from St. Louis County and after the burning area is opened, a communication will be sent to residents.
  • There are two areas of curvy road in West Branch Road that the township would like straightened and will be working with Nick Elmquist to inspect the area and determine the cost.
  • West Branch Road weight limit sign. Dressen installed the sign on June 1st and has reported no calls about the weight limit yet. Nick Elmquist damaged the sign (9 ft x 6 ft was destroyed) as he unloaded his excavator.  It’s not clear who should be responsible for repairing the sign: the party that did the damage or the party that hired the person. Kuettel to look into legal responsibility.
  • SCCU Lobby Opening on June 8th – adding deputy clerk and deputy treasurer to co-sign on the account. Barnes to make an appointment with Brad/SCCU, Teek and Maciewski; then acquire signatures from town officers.
  • Township Land update
    (1) New driveway permit:  driveway permit has been obtained at the cost of $100.00. There are two driveway options and either option is acceptable. Driveway is in the process of getting work started.
    (2) Tree pile area: Pequaywan Fire Department is agreeable to the proposed location of the burn pile. There was a discussion on burning the pile vs. chipping wood. Burning is free and will serve as training for the fire department. The cost of chipping wood is $200.00/hour and will require a place to put the chips. The township will continue to evaluate chip or burn potential as the property is developed.
    (3) Application for Property Tax Exemption: Kuettel mailed the Application for Property Tax Exemption to St. Louis County and hope it will be a permanent application that will not require renewal every 2-3 years.

New Business

  • Workers’ Comp coverage for election judges: Barnes reported that the election judges are automatically covered along with the town officers as the premium is based on total annual payroll submitted to Minnesota Benefit Association at the end of the year.
  • Township meeting: The board tentatively agreed to conduct an in-person meeting in July at Pequaywan Firehall if it is safe to do so. We will follow guidelines associated with COVID-19 to protect the health and safety of our officers and the public, some of which are: limited number of attendees, 6-foot  social distancing, wearing masks, not to attend the meeting if sick or exposed to someone who is sick,, and providing hand sanitizers. Windows may also be opened for more ventilation.Things can change rapidly, therefore, final decision as to whether it will be an in-person meeting or via teleconference will be posted on the town webpage 10 days prior to the July 14th meeting and at the door of Pequaywan Firehall.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Two LBAE Letters of Appeal
  • Email from St. Louis County Public Health Division with link to online business guide for businesses affected by the pandemic
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships re-invitation on a teleconference with Governor Walz on May 19 at 5:00m.
  • Email from US Census Bureau, Regional Weekly Partner Briefing invitation on May 14 at 10:00 m.
  • Email from St. Louis County re-Election Judge Party List
  • Email from US Census Bureau, Regional Weekly Partner Briefing invitation on May 28, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships, May 2020 newsletter
  • Weekly email update from St. Louis County Public Health Division re-COVID-19
  • Email from Minnesota Secretary of State re-VEGA-2 Reallocation Opportunity
  • Email from US Census Bureau, Regional Bi-Weekly Partner Briefing invitation on May 28 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Email from St. Louis County re-Application for Property Tax Exemption on Pequaywan Township parcel
  • Email from St. Louis County Government Services re-CDBG-CV funding application
  • Email from Minnesota Secretary of State re-PNP Payments
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships – newsletter re-Tuesday Township conference calls, Survey from Center for Rural Policy & Development, MAT Office Summer Hours and web seminar schedule
  • Email from St. Louis County re-2020 Calcium Chloride Dust Control Bid #5619
  • Email from Minnesota State Demographic Center re-how to challenge the population and household estimates from the State Demographer
  • Email from Census Bureau: Regional Bi-Weekly Chicago Region-Partner Briefing

Sent:

  • CTAS 2019 financial report submitted online to the State of Minnesota Auditor’s Office in March 2020
  • Town Levy for 2021 sent by postage mail to St. Louis County Assessor’s Office in May 2020
  • Application for Property Tax Exemption to St. Louis County mailed in June 2020

Public Comment:

Dressen was informed that Clover Valley Initiative had acquired broadband funding from another source and the individual was inquiring if the township will still provide financial support as previously pledged with the original grant application that was not approved. The supervisors agreed that financial support will be provided as promised.

Next Meeting, July 14, 2020, 7:30 p.m., tentatively scheduled to be in-person; check the township website, pequaywantownship.org for update 10 days prior to meeting for final decision (either in-person  or via teleconference).

Meeting was motioned to adjourn at 8:19 p.m. by Swanstrom, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk
Stephanie Teek, Deputy Clerk

14 May

May 12, 2020, Township Board Meeting (via teleconference)

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

Attendance:

Town Officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Deputy Clerk Stephanie Teek, Deputy Treasurer Jennifer Maciewski. Guest: Lisa Klassen.

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the April 14, 2020 Minutes from the town webpage. There was one (1) correction cited, after which the Minutes were motioned for approval. The Reorganizational Meeting Minutes were motioned for approval without corrections.

Dressen motioned to approve Minutes of the two meetings, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

APRIL 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 03/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $153,084.49
Plus: Deposits – $207.82
Less: Disbursements (April) – $3,865.58
Total Funds on hand as of 04/30/2020 – $149,426.73
March Check # 1530-1542

MAY 2020
Claims (May) – $887.84
April Check # 1543 – 1551
No transfers to Checking Account will be needed
SCCU returned $2.00 to our Savings Account (04/06/2020) due to an error in charging a Bad Address Fee. This monthly fee has been corrected by SCCU and will not appear anymore

Swanstrom motioned to approve the April 2020 Treasurer’s Report and Claims for May 2020, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Old Business

  • Update: MN Secretary of State VEGA Grant Award in the amount of $1,382.60 submitted by the township to purchase new election equipment to replace the Automark machine. Wallace reported we applied for this grant earlier in the year and we were hoping to receive $2,500.00, but only received $1,382.60 due to the number of Townships that applied for the grant. The cost of the machine is estimated to be $5,000.00.
  • Update: Burn/Chipping area on Township land. We are in the process of obtaining a permit from St. Louis County to install a circular driveway in the burning or chip area. It will cost $600.00 for the permit, of which $500.00 will be refunded after the permit is approved – leaving the final cost at $100.00. Dressen motioned to approve the purchase of the permit for $100, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried 3-0-0.A quote of $500.00 from Daryle Waldriff was received to clear the circular driveway and knock down one tree. Work will start once the permit has been received. Dressen motioned to approve the $500.00 cost of clearing the driveway and cutting one tree, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried 3-0-0.Since there were residents that submitted Public Comments related to the burn/chipping area on township land, Kuettel suggested to discuss it further under Public Comments and move on to the next Agenda.

New Business

  • Conducting future township meetings: Barnes said Governor Walz might extend the stay at home order past May 18, 2020, and/or change guidelines for length of social distancing in meeting rooms with poor air circulation advocating from 6′ to 13′. If we reconvene for in-person meeting, Kuettel recommended we follow the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) guidelines for future meetings. Announcement will be posted on the town webpage 10 days before the scheduled meeting. If an officer is not able to make the meeting, we will accommodate and conduct a teleconference call with that officer. Swanstrom motioned to approve and follow the MAT guidelines and conduct the meeting on these circumstances, Dressen seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • West Branch Road repairs: Kuettel recommended we wait another 2-4 weeks and inspect it again before doing any repair on the cracks.Widening of two (2) areas in West Branch Road: Nick Elmquist will provide a quote, hopefully, in two weeks and recommend the best method for widening. Dressen motioned for Swanstrom to notify the landowners affected by the plan in widening the two areas in West Branch Road and know the cost before we make any decision, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried 3-0-0.
  • Adding Dressen’s contact info, email and phone number, on the town homepage regarding weight limits before the signs are installed in West Branch Road: The weight limit is being implemented to conserve the newly fixed road. The signs will be delivered to Dressen who will be in-charge of installing it in township land. The wording on the weight restriction will state “Vehicle axle weight should be restricted to 7-ton axle.” If a permit is needed for overweight vehicle or if anyone has questions, contact Dressen at dhdressen@aol.com or 218-348-7318.
  • Adding Deputy Clerk and Deputy Treasurer on the life insurance policy and Workers’ Compensation: Swanstrom motioned to approve adding deputy clerk and deputy treasurer on the life insurance policy and Workers’ Comp, seconded by Dressen, motion  carried 3-0-0. Barnes will contact MATIT.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Two LBAE Letters of Appeal
  • Email request from North Shore Title requesting info on pending and/or levied assessments against a property in the township
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships, April 2020 newsletter and training info
  • Weekly email update from St. Louis County re-COVID-19
  • Email from MN Secretary of State re-VEGA-2 Grant Award in the amount of $1,382.60 submitted by the township for purchase of election equipment to replace Automark
  • Email from South St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) re-60 day Notice of Intent to plan St. Louis Watershed Comprehensive Watership Management Plan
  • Email from MN Association of Townships informing townships that in-person township board meetings are now allowed
  • Email from U.S. Census Bureau re-2020 Census Updates and Response Rates
  • Email and postage mail from St. Louis County Elections re-the November 3, 2020 Notice of General Election
  • Email from St. Louis County Assessors Department re-supplies and materials for LBAE meeting on April 29 and Minutes/Certification after the meeting
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships re-invitation on a teleconference with Governor Walz on May 13 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Email from Becky Orn/North Shore Title re-Assessment Inquiry of a property in the township

Sent:

  • Mailed Pequaywan Township Officer List to Minnesota Association of Townships on April 16, 2020 (due May 1, 2020)
  • Emailed Pequaywan Township Officer List to St. Louis County Election Department
  • Mailed snowplowing check to St. Louis County Public Works
  • Mailed decision response to the two Letters of Appeal as discussed during the LBAE meeting on April 29
  • Email response to Becky Orn/North Shore Title re-request for a pending and/or levied assessments against a property on the township

Public Comment:

Burning vs. chipping: Swanstrom reported that Lee Kaplan requested the township brush/tree collection area be designated as a “wood chip only” area. Kuettel responded that the township would like to keep the area as both a wood chip and a burn area and use it as what will be needed at the time, namely, if we need wood chip, we will chip wood, otherwise, it will be burned. Pequaywan Fire Department would also like to use this for training purposes which will help keep the overall amount of brush down. Dressen commented people might not like using the township trail system and see huge piles of brush/chips but wondering if we could extend the trail to the new property to get more benefit from it.

Kuettel received an email from a resident asking about the availability of a brush/tree collection area. He responded that it is in the process of being built and will hopefully be done this fall or earlier.

Another resident asked if the township sends out any reminder by postage mail before the 4th of July regarding fireworks and the implications of using them. Kuettel commented that the township does not send out any reminder as it would be difficult to enforce. Pequaywan Lakes Association had sent out a reminder in the past to get people to adhere to the law and be considerate of neighbors. The township cannot do anything if people do not listen.

Next Meeting, June 9, 2020, 7:30 p.m. We will follow guidelines from Minnesota Association of Townships in conducting future township meetings. Check the town webpage, pequaywantownship.org, for update as to whether we will have a teleconference or an in-person meeting. It will be posted at least 10 days before the scheduled meeting.

Swanstrom motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m., seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk
Stephanie Teek, Deputy Clerk

20 Apr

April 14, 2020, Township Board Meeting (via teleconference)

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

Attendance: Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Deputy Clerk Stephanie Teek, Deputy Treasurer Jennifer Maciewski

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the March 10, 2020 Minutes, Board of Canvass Minutes and Emergency Meeting Minutes from the town webpage.

Swanstrom motioned to approve Minutes of the three above meetings, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

MARCH 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 03/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $156,029.13
Plus: Deposits – $204.92
Less: Disbursements (March) – $3,149.56
Total Funds on hand as of 03/31/2020 – $153,084.49
March Check # 1521 – 1529

APRIL 2020
Claims (April) – $3865.58
April Check # 1530 – 1542
No transfers to Checking Account will be needed
SCCU returned $4.00 to our Savings Account (03/09/2020) due to an error in charging a Bad Address Fee. At the end of March, their computer charged our account $2.00 again for a Bad Address Fee. A computer software error is causing the problem. Their IT is in the process of correcting the error.
Our (2) 18-Month Certificates were rolled over and the new interest rate is 1.341 %. The new Maturity Date is 10/10/2021

Swanstrom motioned to approve the March 2020 Treasurer’s Report and Claims for April 2020, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Old Business

  • Reminder: LBAE (Local Board of Appeal and Equalization) meeting scheduled on April 29, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Pequaywan Fire Hall: Wallace reported that Joe Odell and Roy Levitt of St. Louis County Assessor’s Office will be participating. Per St. Louis County, physical inspections of properties are suspended until further notice and  meetings will be handled virtually by their personnel. Property owners are required to submit their appeal in writing than in-person.
  • Update: Due to COVID-19, monthly town board meetings and other meetings to be conducted via teleconference until further notice, see pequaywantownship.org for update
  • Update: deputy clerk/deputy treasurer training – training is ongoing
  • Update: Option B (appointed position) implementation for deputy clerk and deputy treasurer converting to clerk and treasurer in March 2021 – Wallace contacted MAT (Minnesota Association of Townships) to verify and was advised  by the legal counsel that since the township had passed Option B, the township can appoint the next clerk and treasurer until they rescind Option B.
  • Update: One-signatory check and adding deputy treasurer on the account – Docu-sign document instead of in-person by town officers as required by the credit union – officers signed the document and was implemented. Addition of the deputy treasurer and deputy clerk on the account will be put on hold until the time it is safe to go to the bank in person.

New Business

  • Appointing Chair and Vice-Chair: Dressen motioned to keep Kuettel as Chair and Swanstrom as Vice-Chair, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0
  • Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) online town officer training on April 17
  • West Branch Road – concern of dead trees near the road and property: Swanstrom suggested to get a map that shows the right-of-way on the township road, Kuettel suggested for the officers to have a discussion with the landowner and attend the April MAT training, “Trees in the Right of Way,” to learn the legality of removing the trees
  • MAT informational conference calls for town officers available on April 13 and April 14
  • Roster or ballots from the March 2020 Township Election may be kept and stored for the required 22 months so old election files can be shredded
  • What meetings deputy clerk and deputy treasurer required to attend: Dressen motioned that the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer may attend any of the meetings they are able to attend, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Oath of Office conducted on March 16, 2020 for elected supervisor Don Swanstrom, appointed deputy clerk Stephanie Teek, and appointed deputy treasurer Jennifer Maciewski
  • Providing keys to deputy clerk and deputy treasurer for the Pequaywan Firehall door and filing cabinet – keys were made and will be provided to the deputies
  • Discussion and adoption of the following Resolutions:
  1. Resolution for One Signatory Check to Pay Claims: Dressen motioned to approve, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0. In the case the treasurer is not able to make out the Claims and the checks, the deputy treasurer will enter the Claims in CTAS for supervisor’s approval and the clerk will prepare and sign the checks or any of the supervisors may also sign the checks.
  2. Resolution for Adopting Teleconference Meetings Due to COVID-19: Dressen motioned to approve, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0, The deputy clerk will be in-charge of the teleconference set-up.
  3. Resolution for 2021 Levy: Dressen motioned to approve, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0

Correspondence

Received:

  • Email from Saint Louis County Public Health and Human Services Department re-liaison for township guidance on COVID-19 and continuing follow-up weekly newsletter  thereafter
  • Email from Saint Louis County Election Department advising that any roster or ballots for the March Township Election may be kept and stored for the required 22 months
  • Emails from Minnesota Association of Townships re-training; online seminar, MAT Coronavirus Conference Call; teleconference township meeting guide
  • Emails from Lora Skarman of St. Louis County Assessor’s Office re-LBAE meeting instructions, supplies, Assessment book
  • Email from St. Louis County Association of Townships Officers (SLCAT) re-March Miniutes, SLCAT Lobby Day, April and May Meeting cancellations
  • Email from Phil Chapman of St. Louis County Election Department re-deadline to submit Presidential Primary Election Reimbursement
  • Email from St. Louis County Auditor re-dates of Early Distribution of 2020 Tax Collections
  • Email from Joe Odell of St. Louis County Assessors Department re-meeting options and guides due to COVID-19
  • Email from MN Department of Natural Resources re-Spring burning restrictions begin in Minnesota on March 27
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships re-the “Stay at Home” Emergency Executive Order by MN Governor Walz effective March 27 at 11:59 p.m. through April 10 at 5 p.m.
  • Emails from Katherine Brey of St. Louis County Assessor’s Office in setting up a website for townships that have changed formats of meeting to either telephone or video conference, https://www.stlouiscountymn.gov/departments-a-z/assessor/2020-local-board-format-changes
  • Email from Superior Choice Credit Union re-signing document electronically via Docu-sign for one-signatory check approval

Sent:

  • MATIT Life Insurance form and payment for officers sent via postage mail
  • Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP) Expense Reimbursement form delivered to St. Louis County Auditor’s Office Election Department on March 11, 2020
  • Personal delivery of ballots and other election materials from the Presidential Primary Election and March Township Election

Public Comment: Dressen reported that the owner of the short term rental in the township placed the property on the market and converted it to long term rental for 30 days or more. Also, that Lisa Klassen had contacted him if it is possible to change the Town Resolution for short term rental to the county. Kuettel responded that the Resolution was only Recommendations re-short term rental to the county. Other folks are asking about update on the fiber optics but there is no information available at this time.

Next Meeting, May 12, 2020, 7:30 p.m., via teleconference until further notice or check the town webpage, pequaywantownship.org for update.

Meeting was motioned to adjourn at 8:24 p.m. by Swanstrom, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

20 Apr

April 14, 2020, Reorganizational Meeting via teleconference

Meeting was called to order at 8:25 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

AttendanceTown officers: Chair Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Don Swanstrom, Supervisor Doug Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Raymond Barnes, Deputy Clerk Stephanie Teek, Deputy Treasurer Jennifer Maciewski

Discussion of the following Resolutions:

  • Resolution on Polling Place for 2021 Election/s was motioned to approve by Swanstrom, second by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0
  • Establishing Policy for the Compensation and Reimbursement of Town Officers was motioned to approve by Swantrom, second by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Resolutions to be discussed at a later time:

  • Retention Schedule
  • Statutory Conflicts of Interest

Swanstrom motioned to adjourn at 8:31 p.m., seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

28 Mar

March 27, 2020, Emergency Township Board Meeting

March 27, 2020

Present: Chair Charles Kuettel, Vice-Chair Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Deputy Clerk Stephanie Teek. By phone: Treasurer Ray Barnes, Deputy Treasurer Jennifer Maciewski.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, an outdoor Emergency Town Board Meeting was convened at the parking lot of Pequaywan FireHall to discuss issues related to ways in conducting upcoming meetings, processes to pay Claims, and training of deputy clerk and deputy treasurer.

Note that list of resources for COVID-19 is posted on the town webpage, pequaywantownship.org.

Meeting was called to order by Chair Kuettel at 1:00 p.m.

CHECK SIGNATORY/CLAIMS PAYMENT

Planning ahead, Barnes reported that he had contacted Superior Choice Credit Union a few days ago to check what can be done to avoid delay in town officers signing checks in case the township don’t meet in-person. He was advised that one-signatory authorization for the checks will be acceptable if a copy of town board meeting minutes or resolution is submitted  indicating that decision. Dressen motioned to approve Barnes to sign the one-signatory checks effective March 27, 2020 until rescinded, Swanstrom second, motion carried, 3-0-0. Barnes will submit a copy of the Meeting Minutes to the credit union. A Resolution will be submitted after the Town Board Meeting on April 14, 2020.

Kuettel instructed that Maciewski, the new deputy treasurer, should be added as signatory on the township credit union accounts. Barnes will follow-up with the credit union.

In paying Claims, Barnes will continue the procedure of running a Claims Report then will email the Report to the supervisors for approval and signature then supervisors will email back to the treasurer and copy the clerk.

DEPUTY CLERK/DEPUTY TREASURER TRAINING/SALARY

Clerk and Treasurer have been authorized to start training the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer effective immediately. Training could be done in person, telephone or using the MAT online training materials. Wallace will verify if the cancelled MAT Spring Short Course training are now available online. Swanstrom motioned that the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer be paid the same salary as the clerk and treasurer. Dressen second, motion carried, 3-0-0. The deputy clerk and deputy treasurer will keep track of their hours worked and submit it to the treasurer for payment. Wallace turned-over ownership of her old laptop to the deputy clerk. Barnes will do the same with his old laptop to turn over to the deputy treasurer.

MEETINGS

Following various COVID-19 guidelines and resolutions from government entities in conducting meetings, the Town of Pequaywan has decided that to keep everyone safe and healthy, Kuettel reported that the township has been working with Lee Kaplan on determining ways to conduct town board meetings, including the upcoming Local Board of Appeal and Equalization (LBAE) meeting, via telephone or other electronic means. He further mentioned that the only feasible way that will work in our area is via telephone conferencing.

Swanstrom motioned that effective March 27, 2020 and until further notice, the Town of Pequaywan will be holding all meetings via telephone conference, including the LBAE meeting. During the telephone conference, no public comments will be allowed. The public can contact a supervisor by phone or email of their concerns. The process is still being worked on with assistance from resident Lee Kaplan wherein a phone number will be provided to call by homeowners interested in “virtually” attending the meeting. More information will be posted on the town website. Dressen second, motion carried, 3-0-0.

LBAE MEETING

St. Louis County Assessor’s Office had informed townships of the three options to choose from in conducting LBAE meetings. Furthermore, they advised that assessors will only be available by phone or video and physical inspection of the property are suspended until further notice, a temporary solution to the crisis at hand. The choices are:

  1. to go ahead with the in-person meeting which would risks further exposing people unnecessarily to COVID-19;
  2. to hold a “Virtual Meeting” by telephone or other electronic means requiring property owners to submit their appeal in writing than in-person; and
  3. to cancel your local board meeting and allow your jurisdiction to go open book. This option places the burden on our office and allows appellants to deal with their assessor directly and if need be, go straight to the county board of appeal. All appeals could be easily handled over the phone and this option ensures the safety of board members and the general public. Jurisdictions

choosing this option will be required to go open book for this and next year’s local board season, but can regain their right to a local board of appeal and equalization for the 2022 assessment year.

Swanstrom expressed his concern about choosing #3 and states that two years is a long time to transfer jurisdiction and it is for the betterment of town folks to have us (supervisors) who live in the township  assisting them in their appeals. Swanstrom motioned to choose #2, conduct the LBAE meeting “virtually.” Dressen second, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Kuettel requested that a Resolution be created for the change of the meeting from in-person to telephone conference.

Meeting was motioned to adjourn at 2:05 p.m. by Dressen, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted,
Lita Wallace, Pequaywan Clerk

18 Mar

March 10, 2020, Board of Canvass Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 10:11 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Clerk Lita Wallace

Guests: Stephanie Teek, Ted Wallace

The Town of Pequaywan Canvassing Board certified the following official results for the March 10, 2020 Town Election:

Donald Swanstrom was elected for the Supervisor position with term date of 2020-2023.

The Town of Pequaywan Canvassing Board consisted of:

Charles Kuettel, Chair
Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor
Douglas Dressen, Supervisor

Meeting was motioned to adjourn at 10:20 p.m. by Swanstrom, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by:
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

18 Mar

March 10, 2020, Annual Town Meeting

Meeting called to order: Town Clerk Lita Wallace called the meeting to order at 8:30 p.m. The meeting was held at Pequaywan Fire Hall.

Attendance: Lita Wallace, Raymond G. Barnes, Bonnie Dressen, Douglas Dressen, Mark Freeman, Scott Gronseth, Lee Kaplan, Charles Kuettel, Phyllis Mead, Scott Mead, Steve Pelto, Donald Swanstrom, Judith Strom, Stephanie Teek, Daryl Waldriff, Ted Wallace

Election of a moderator: Phyllis Mead was nominated and elected as the moderator.

Announce Agenda for Rest of Meeting (moderator, subject to modification by vote of electorate):  no change.

2019 Minutes: Motion to approve minutes of previous year’s Annual Meeting Minutes (copies provided by clerk): Scott Mead motion to approve 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes, second by Lee Kaplan, motion carried.

Reading of the Board of Audit Report as  posted by clerk prior to meeting

Fund Beginning Balance Receipts Disbursements Total Balance
General Fund $  7,878.53 $24,043.50 $17,782.36 $14,139.67
Road and Bridge (On-going Maintenance $  5,050.47 $  3,168.80 $  2,545.62 $  5,673.65
Fire and EMS $ 21,533.13 $13,460.85 $13,500.00 $ 21,493.98
Roads and Bridges (Capital Reserve) $140,178.18 $  8,331.73 $14,389.88 $134,120.03
Total $174,640.31 $49,004.88 $48,217.86 $175,427.33

Annual Board of Appeals and Equalization scheduled on April 29 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. at Pequaywan Fire Hall.

Result of Township Election – one supervisor position (clerk): Donald Swanstrom was elected.

Position Opening: Deputy Clerk, Deputy Treasurer, Noxious Weed Inspector (see job duties below) (clerk): Deputy clerk, deputy treasurer, and Noxious Weed Inspector hire update: Stephanie Teek was hired as deputy clerk while Jennifer Maciewski was hired as deputy treasurer. Wallace will check with MAT (Minnesota Association of Townships) re- appointing them as clerk and treasurer in March 2021 in lieu of Option B passed in 2015.

Dressen will take over the duties of Noxious Weed Inspector with help from the Garden Club.

Pequaywan Town Chair’s Road Report at West Branch Road: Fixed cracks in pavement; fixed wash-out area, total cost was $14,389.88. Two culverts that are 30+ years old and close to life expectancy will need to be replaced and we are trying to get a quote. There are no plans on doing any road work. A resident mentioned that there are dead trees in West Branch Road and requesting to have something figured out what can be done.

Report from Pequaywan Fire & EMS and request for 2021 levy:  Electors vote on the amount of $16,500 to provide for fire department, supervisors will render the final decision during March Town Board Meeting.

Update, suggestions and discussions on possible projects for the land owned by the township in Rossini Road including the tax forfeited property purchased from St. Louis County: purpose in purchasing the land in Rossini Road is for burning and chipping. Future plans on the property: put up a building, add a driveway.

2021 Levy: Discussion and motion to approve general levy and any dedicated levies (road & bridge, plus others determined helpful to treat as designated and not just a budget item from the general fund) and to affirm total levy including funds for Pequaywan Fire & EMS (Note: the levy must be voted on): Scott Mead motioned to approve $43,500 for 2021 levy with $16,500 going to Pequaywan Fire Department, second by Daryl Waldriff, all in favor, motion carried.

SUMMARY 2019 LEVY 2019 DISBURSEMENTS 2019 RECEIPTS
General Fund 4,890.00 17,782.36 24,043.50
Road and Bridges (On-going Maintenance 1,650.00 2,545.62 3,168.80
Fire and EMS 13,500.00 13,500.00 13,460.85
Roads and Bridges (Capital Reserve) 9,960.00 14,389.88 8,331.73
Total 30,000.00 48,217.86 49,004.88

 

SUMMARY 2020 LEVY 2020 BUDGET
General Fund 5,000.00 19,000.00
Road and Bridges (On-going Maintenance 3,000.00 2,500.00
Fire and EMS 15,000.00 15,000.00
Roads and Bridges (Capital Reserve) 12,000.00 5,000.00
Total 35,000.00 41,500.00

 

SUMMARY 2021 LEVY 2021 BUDGET
General Fund 12,000.00 20,000.00
Road and Bridges (On-going Maintenance 3,000.00 3,000.00
Fire and EMS 16,500.00 16,500.00
Roads and Bridges (Capital Reserve) 12,000.00 10,000.00
Total 43,500.00 49,500.00

2021 Annual Town Meeting: the state set the Annual Town Meeting on the second Tuesday of March following the Township Election and will be held at Pequaywan Fire Hall.

Motion to set monthly Town Board Meeting: Charles Kuettel motioned to set the Town Board meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm at Pequaywan Firehall, second by Donald Swanstrom, all in favor, motion carried. Exception of March meeting to be  scheduled after the Annual Town Meeting and on months with federal and state election that may need to be re-scheduled on a different date which will be discussed at least two months before the election).

Motion to set voting place: Kuettel motion to set Pequaywan Fire Hall as the primary voting place; and Pequaywan Trail Blazer Snowmobile Club garage as secondary voting place in case Pequaywan Fire Hall is not available due to unforeseen circumstances, second by Scott Mead, all in favor, motion carried. Barnes as contact person for the garage.

Motion to set voting time:
Lee Kaplan motion to set the voting times listed, second by Charles Kuettel, all in favor, motion carried.
7:00 am – 8:00 pm, Presidential Nomination Primary Election, Primary Election and General Election
7:00 am – 8:00 pm, State Election
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Special Primary Election  and Special General Election
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Township Election

Posting areas:
– pequaywantownship.org website
– West Branch Road Sign board
– Pequaywan Fire & EMS bulletin board
– Pequaywan Inn bulletin board
-Pequaywan Association website

General Discussion of Items of Concern: None

Adjourn: Scott Mead motion to adjourn the Annual Town Meeting at 9:25 p.m., second by Charles Kuettel, all in favor, motion carried.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

18 Mar

March 10, 2020, Township Board Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 9:40 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

Attendance: Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Clerk Lita Wallace

Guests: Mark Freeman, Scott Gronseth, Scott Pelto, Stephanie Teek, Daryle Waldriff, Ted Wallace

Clerk’s Report: Wallace presented the minutes of the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 11, 2020. Motion to approve by Dressen, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

FEBRUARY 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 02/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $153,220.19
Plus: Deposits – $4,570.76
Less: Disbursements (February) – $1,761.82
Total Funds on hand as of 02/29/2020 – $156,029.13
February Check # 1516 – 1520

MARCH 2020
Claims (March) – $3,149.56
March Check # 1521 – 1529
No transfers to Checking Account will be needed
A recurring bad address fee of $2.00/month charged by SCCU is being investigated – this is a recurring error by the credit union as the treasurer’s address on file with them is correct.

Motion by Swanstrom to approve February Treasurer’s Report and March Claims, second by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Old Business

  • Reminder: LBAE (Local Board of Appeal and Equalization) meeting scheduled on April 29, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Pequaywan Fire Hall.
  • Deputy clerk, deputy treasurer, and Noxious Weed Inspector hire update: A deputy clerk (Stephanie Teek) and deputy treasurer (Jennifer Maciewski) have been selected and hired by the clerk and treasurer. The plan is for them to take over the clerk and treasurer position in March 2021. Motion by Dressen to approve the hires, second by Swanstrom, motion carried. 3-0-0. Wallace will check with MAT (Minnesota Association of Townships) if they can continue to be in an appointed position (Option B) in March 2021. Dressen will take over the position of Noxious Weed Inspector with assistance from the Garden Club. Pomroy will conduct a presentation and training to the Garden Club.
  • Result of 2020 Township Election – one supervisor position: Donald Swanstrom was elected as the supervisor to serve until 2023.
  • Update on land acquisition: the township has received the Deed of Sale but there were some errors on it that needs to be called to the attention of St. Louis County.
  • Update Presidential Nomination Primary (PNP) Expense Reimbursement: Wallace completed compiling all hours and expenses incurred during the PNP election and the amount of reimbursement totaled $1,174.85 that consists election hours, mileage, and training for election judges which will be submitted to St. Louis County for reimbursement by the state.

New Business

  • CD funds maturing on April 10, 2020: CDs will be rolled over.
  • The board approved for supervisors, clerk, treasurer, deputy clerk, and deputy treasurer to attend MAT’s (Minnesota Association of Townships) upcoming 2020 Spring Short Courses on April 3 – Wallace will register all the seven officers.
  • 2021 Town Levy: the amended amount of $43,500.00 was passed by the residents present during the Annual Town Meeting with $16,500.00 going to Pequaywan Fire Department. Motion by Dressen to approve the amount of $43,500.00, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Distribution are as follows: General Fund – $12,000.00; Road and Bridges (On-going Maintenance) – $3,000.00; Fire and EMS – $16,500.00; and Road and Bridges (Capital Reserve) – $12,000.00.
  • Reminder that the Board of Canvass Meeting will commence right after the March Township Board Meeting.

Correspondence

Received:

  • State of Deed for the property located in Rossini Road purchased from St. Louis County through Land and Minerals Department
  • Blank Officer List form to be completed and returned to Minnesota Association of Townships updating officer list after the election
  • Various emails from St. Louis County re-training, roster, instructions, forms, election supplies, Uncommitted vote, Polling Place Write-in Summary, and ballots/election supplies pick-up and delivery for the Presidential Nomination Primary election
  • Email from SLCAT re-January 2020 Minutes and SLCAT Lobby Day
  • Emails from MAT re- (1) Spring Short Courses schedule and (2) Legislative Update & Advocacy Alert
  • Email from North Shore Title inquiring of any pending and/or levied assessment against a property in the township
  • Voter Master List from St. Louis County Election department
  • Email from St. Louis County Public Health requesting for the best contact info for 24/7 communication for the township re-Coronavirus
  • Emails from St. Louis County with attached roster for Town election

Sent:

  • Confirmation of the map of the township in regards to the Initial Boundary Validation Program (BVP) from the United States Department of Commerce ensuring the bureau has the correct legal boundary, name, and status for the township

Public Comment:

Next Meeting, April 14, 2020, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall, 8764 Pequaywan Lake Road

Meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

18 Feb

February 11, 2020, Township Board Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

Attendance: Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Clerk Lita Wallace

Guests: Ted Wallace, Daryle Waldriff

Clerk’s Report: Wallace presented the minutes of the Board of Supervisors meeting  on January 14, 2020. Motion to approve by Swanstrom with typo correction on Kuettel’s name, second by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report:

JANUARY 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 01/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $175,427.33
Plus: Deposits – $783.74
Less: Disbursements (January) – $22,990.88
Total Funds on hand as of 01/31/2020 – $153,220.19
January Check # 1507 – 1515

FEBRUARY 2020
Claims (February) – $1,761.82
February Check # 1516 – 1520
No transfers to Checking Account will be needed

Motion by Dressen to approve January Treasurer’s Report, February Claims, and to transfer $15,000 to the checking account to cover a check for Pequaywan Fire and EMS, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Old Business

  • Review and approve the following Town Resolutions: (1) Appointing a Deputy Clerk; (2) Appointing a Deputy Treasurer; and (3) Purchase of Tax Forfeited Land

New Business

  • Election and meeting dates & time:
  1. March 3, Presidential Nomination Primary election, 7:00am-8:00pm;
  2. March 10, Town Election, 5:00pm-8:00 pm;
  3. March 10, Annual Town Hall Meeting, 8:30 pm;
  4. March 10, Township Board Meeting, after the Town Hall meeting;
  5. March 10, Board of Canvass Meeting, after the Township Board Meeting
  • February 29, 2:30 pm-Public Accuracy Test of the Automark Voting Machine
  • April 29, 3:00-4:00 p.m., Local Board of Appeal and Equalization (LBAE) Meeting, Pequaywan Firehall
  • Swanstrom motioned to keep the current $2,000.00 coverage of the employee life insurance, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Swanstrom motioned to approve the township’s boundary map from the United States Department of Commerce for its Initial Boundary Validation Program (BVP) to ensure the bureau has the correct legal boundary, name, and status for the township, seconded by Dressen.
  • Dressen stated that he will take the lead in finding a replacement for the Noxious Weed Inspector and will discuss it with the Garden Club.
  • Barnes reported that W-2s have been mailed out to employees as well as the Sales Tax Report form mailed to the State of Minnesota.
  • Starting in 2021, Barnes suggested that the town board schedule the Budget Meeting for 2021 budget one or two weeks before the February meeting so that the budget amount for each account codes can be determined for CTAS purposes and Audit reports. Otherwise, the beginning balances for the year will all show zero. The Board of Audit Meeting can be scheduled right after the February Town Board meeting.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Bill from SLCAT for MAT dues $307.44 plus county dues $161.70 = $469.14
  • Life insurance billing statement from Minnesota Benefit Association – $165.00 due 4/1/2020
  • Request from North Shore Title for information on any pending and/or levied assessments against a property in the township
  • January newsletter from Minnesota Association of Townships
  • Election judge training materials and online training module for the Presidential Nomination Primary election from St. Louis County Elections
  • Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan from St. Louis County for public review and comment by January 31
  • Blank Annual Report of Outstanding Indebtedness form from St. Louis County Auditor
  • Notice of MAT District 10 Lobby Day scheduled on March 18 in St. Paul
  • Email from St. Louis County Elections re-posting notice of Presidential Nomination Primary election and sample ballots for the election for posting
  • Updated Noxious Weed List from St. Louis County Land and Minerals Department
  • Voter Master List received from St. Louis County Elections
  • Map of the township from the United States Department of Commerce for the board to review the Census Bureau’s boundary data to ensure the bureau has the correct legal boundary, name, and status for the township for its Initial Boundary Validation Program (BVP)
  • Letter from United States Department of Commerce with the form 2020 Boundary and Annexation Survey Annual Response and Contact Update Form, an opportunity for the township to participate in the BAS to ensure that the Census Bureau has current and accurate boundary, legal name, and status information for the township

Sent:

  • Voting Equipment Grant Application Form mailed to the Minnesota Secretary of State and a copy provided to St. Louis County Elections
  • Annual Report of Outstanding Indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, mailed to St. Louis County Auditor
  • A check ($5,340.83) for purchase of forfeited land from St. Louis County was delivered

Public Comment:

Next Meeting, March 10, 2020, 9:30 p.m. or after the Annual Town Hall meeting, Pequaywan Firehall, 8764 Pequaywan Lake Road

Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

11 Feb

February 11, 2020, Budget Meeting, after Board of Audit Meeting

Meeting was called to Order at 8:51 p.m.

Attendance: Chair Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom, Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes

Guest: Ted Wallace

Discuss and set-up budget for 2020
Discuss and set-up budget for 2021
Discuss levy recommendation for 2021

BUDGET FOR 2020 AND 2021
GENERAL FUND 2019 ACTUAL DISBURSMENTS 2020 BUDGET 2021 BUDGET
General Property Taxes (31001 through 31299) 11,830.56
Total Acct 310 11,830.56    
Forfeited Tax Sale Apportionments 2,861.69
Total Acct 319 2,861.69    
Taconite Production Tax 3,270.40
State – Payments in Lieu of Taxes 3,886.94
Town Aid 1,671.00
Total Acct 334 8,828.34    
Interest Earning 522.91
Total Acct 362 522.91    
Total Revenues 24,043.50    
Disbursements:
Council/Town Board 2,180.27 2,200.00 2200.00
Total Acct 411 2,180.27 2,200.00 2200.00
Clerk 5,404.07 5,000.00 5000.00
Total Acct 414 5,404.07 5,000.00 5000.00
Treasurer 3,973.32 4,100.00 4100.00
Total Acct 415 3,973.32 4,100.00 4100.00
Other General Government 5,999.00 6,200.00 8100.00
Election Judges 225.7 1,500.00 600.00
Total Acct 419 6,224.70 7,700.00 8700.00
Worker’s Compensation – Unallocated 0 0 0.00
Insurance – Unallocated 0 0 0.00
Total Acct 492 0 0 0.00
Total Disbursements 17,782.36 19,000.00 20000.00
ROAD AND BRIDGE (ON-GOING MAINTENANCE) 2019 ACTUAL DISBURSMENTS 2020 BUDGET 2021 BUDGET
General Property Taxes (31001 through 31299) 1,662.49
Total Acct 310 1,662.49    
Town Aid 1,506.31
Total Acct 334 1,506.31    
Total Revenues 3,168.80    
Other Financing Sources:
Total Other Financing Sources    
Disbursements:
Paved Streets 2,545.62 2,500.00 3,000.00
Total Acct 431 2,545.62 2,500.00 3,000.00
Total Disbursements 2,545.62 2,500.00 3,000.00
FIRE AND EMS 2019 ACTUAL DISBURSMENTS 2020 BUDGET 2021 BUDGET
General Property Taxes (31001 through 31299) 13,460.85
Total Acct 310 13,460.85    
Total Revenues 13,460.85    
Disbursements:      
Fire Fighting 13,500.00 15,000.00 16,500.00
Total Acct 422 13,500.00 15,000.00 16,500.00
Total Disbursements 13,500.00 15,000.00 16,500.00
ROADS AND BRIDGES (CAPITAL RESERVE) 2019 ACTUAL DISBURSMENTS 2020 BUDGET 2021 BUDGET
General Property Taxes (31001 through 31299) 3,082.47
Total Acct 310 3,082.47    
Taconite Production Tax 3,157.60
Total Acct 334 3,157.60    
Interest Earning 2,091.66
Total Acct 362 2,091.66    
Total Revenues 8,331.73    
Disbursements:  
Paved Streets 14,389.88 5,000.00 10,000.00
Total Acct 431 14,389.88 5,000.00 10,000.00
Total Disbursements 14,389.88 5,000.00 10,000.00
GRAND TOTAL
48,217.86 41,500.00 49,500.00

 

LEVY RECOMMENDATION FOR 2021
SUMMARY 2021 LEVY 2021 BUDGET
General Fund 12,000.00 20,000.00
Road and Bridges (On-going Maintenance 3,000.00 3,000.00
Fire and EMS 16,500.00 16,500.00
Road and Bridges (Capital Reserve) 12,000.00 10,000.00
Total 43,500.00 49,500.00

Meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk