19 Jan

January 12, 2021 Township Board Meeting via teleconference (Unapproved)

Meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm by Charles Kuettel

Attendance:

Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, supervisor Donald Swanstrom, supervisor Douglas Dressen, clerk Lita Wallace, treasurer Raymond Barnes, deputy treasurer Lynne Scalzo, and deputy clerk Amber Cruz.

Guests: Pequaywan Fire & EMS Fire Chief Dale Brooks, Paul Klassen and Lisa Klassen

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the Decem   ber 8, 2020 minutes from the town webpage. Dressen motioned to approve the minutes, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report:
DECEMBER 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 12/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $170,204.59
Plus: Deposits – $13,795.77
Tax Apportionment – $12,799.39
Township Aid – $864.00
Interest on Accounts – $132.38
Less: Disbursements (December) – $885.88
Payroll – $614.88
Office Expense – $16.00
Worker’s Compensation Policy – $255.00
Total Funds on hand as of 12/31/2020 – $183,114.48
December Check # 1606 – 1613

January 2021
Claims (January) – $19,684.06 (includes $16,500.00 for Pequaywan Fire & EMS)
January Check # 1614 – 1626
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed.

Dressen motioned to approve the December 2020 Treasurer’s Report and Claims for January 2021, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.  As per Minn. Stat. 367.18, the township board has audited and approved the claim; (2) the clerk has indicated his or her approval that the board took the action indicated; (3) the treasurer indicates there is money available in the township’s account to pay the claims; and (4) the board has delegated the authority to issue the check.

Old Business

  • Township Board Meetings: February meeting will be held via teleconference.
  • March meetings (Annual Town Hall, Town Board, Board of Canvass) may be held via Zoom or in-person.
  • Board of Canvass meeting must be conducted within two days after the March Town Election (to certify the elected officer) by teleconference or in-person which will be discussed during February meeting.
  • If the Annual Town Hall and Town Board meetings are conducted in-person and if attendance reaches capacity (to maintain proper social distancing), the meetings will be tabled until warmer weather will permit an outdoors meeting. Levy is not due to St. Louis County until August so voting can be done in the spring. The two meetings will be discussed further during the February meeting. Brooks mentioned that the front area of the Pequaywan Firehall may be used if the weather is nice. Fire trucks may be taken out if there is no snow that day. Brooks also mentioned that he will test the Pequaywan Firehall for internet speeds for possible Zoom meeting usage.
  • New township officers: Amber Cruz and Lynne Scalzo where hired as the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer, respectively. Wallace sworn them in for the Oath of Office on January 9, 2021. Swanstrom motioned a $15.00/hour salary during their training phase up to March 9, 2021. On March 10, 2021, they will take over the clerk and treasurer positions and they will be paid the same salary as the present clerk and treasurer are receiving. Seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Swanstrom motioned to add Cruz and Scalzo as signatories for all the accounts with Superior Choice Credit Union, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • One hundred forty two (142) letters were sent by Wallace via postage mail advising resident voters of mail-in balloting for March 2021 Town Election. Ballots will be mailed no later than February 9, 2021 with return address sent to Wallace. Pequaywan Ballot Board will review the ballots and will be opened and counted March 9, 2021.
  • Reminder for 2 meetings: Board of Audit Meeting and Budget Meeting scheduled on January 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Pequaywan Firehall – this is an Open Meeting (we will follow COVID-19 guidelines – must wear a mask, hand sanitizer provided, social distancing to limit number of people)

 New Business

  • Brooks reported that in the near future, the roof of the firehall will need replacement. The cost is being looked at, as well as, avenues for payment. The fire department is setting aside money for the repairs. He submitted a budget spreadsheet for the fire department from the last few years and requested the amount of $16,500.00 for 2022, same as in 2021, for contribution from the township.
  • Approval of Resolution #2020-001, appointing 2021 Election Judges. Swanstrom motioned to approve, Dressen seconded, motion carried 3-0-0.
  • Approval of Resolution #2020-002, Appointing the Absentee and Mail-in Balloting Ballot Board for 2021 March Town Election. Swanstrom motioned to approve, Dressen seconded, motion carried 3-0-0.
  • Conditional use permit application for short-term rental for a property located in the township that St. Louis County is considering a meeting on February 11, 2021: Wallace is to send information to the supervisors about the approved St. Louis County Provisions for Short Term Rental for review before responding.
  • Opening for an individual to manage trouble shooting the town’s webpages using WordPress: Swanstrom mentioned that he knows someone and that he will talk with the individual.
  • Requests have been made to reduce the speeds on Pequaywan Lake Road from the north end of the big lake to Pequaywan Inn. A survey of the residents may be conducted, as well as checking with St. Louis County and state level. The state controls the speed limit.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Letter from St. Louis County Planning Commission re-conditional use permit application located in 9335 Pequaywan Lake Road for short-term rental and consideration for a meeting on February 11, 2021
  • Emails from Phil Chapman of St. Louis County Elections re: (1) approval for mail-in balloting and various email responses to inquiries; (2) Town Clerk Election Guide; (3) Absentee Voting Administration Guide; (4) address label file and list of resident voters for sending letters and ballots to resident voters for town election; and (5) envelopes use for mail-in balloting
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships with information on how to use mail-in voting for the March township election
  • Weekly email newsletters re-COVID-19 from St. Louis County
  • December 2020 newsletter from Minnesota Association of Townships
  • Email from St. Louis County Land Minerals Department re-2020 Annual Noxious Weed Report to be filled out and submitted by January 31, 2020
  • Email from Office of the State Auditor stating that CTAS 2021 is now available including 2021 Tax Tables
  • Invoice of $65.18 from St. Louis County Auditors Office for services completed in the preparation and delivery of the Proposed Tax Notice
  • Resume from applicants for clerk and treasurer positions
  • Affidavit of Candidacy from Charles Kuettel for supervisor position
  • Annual Report of Outstanding Indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, received rom St. Louis County Auditor’s Office to be completed by February 1, 2021.

 Sent: 

  • Resolution #2020-015, Authorizing Mail Balloting for 2021 March Town Election and Resolution #2020-008, Designating Annual Polling Place emailed to St. Louis County Elections
  • Workers’ Comp Survey mailed to MATIT
  • Emailed to St. Louis County a copy of Public Notice for the supervisor opening for March town election
  • Letters sent by postage mail to 142 resident voters re-mail-in balloting for March township election
  • Submitted the following documents via electronic filing to the State of Minnesota:  (1) Minnesota Unemployment Insurance; (2) Minnesota Sales and Use Tax; and (3) Minnesota Withholding
  • W-2s sent by postage mail to town officers
  • Deb Pomroy, Pequaywan Township Weed Inspector, completed and signed the 2020 Annual Township and City Report, co-signed by Kuettel, was submitted to the St. Louis County Agriculture Inspector
  • Annual Report of Outstanding Indebtedness as of December 31, 2020, sent to St. Louis County Auditor’s Office

Public Comment: None

Next Meeting: February 9, 2021, 7:30 p.m. via teleconference

Adjourn meeting: Dressen motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m., seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Clerk
Amber Cruz, Deputy Clerk

24 Dec

December 8, 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.

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the November 10, 2020 minutes from the town webpage. Dressen motioned to approve the minutes, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

NOVEMBER 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 11/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $171,717.42
Plus: Deposits – $135.50
Interest on Accounts – $135.50
Less: Disbursements (November) – $1,648.33
First Half Snowplowing Township Road – $1,121.25
Other Disbursements – $527.08
Total Funds on hand as of 11/30/2020 – $170,204.59
November Check # 1599 – 1605

DECEMBER 2020
Claims (December) – $885.88
December Check # 1606 – 1613
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed

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

Old Business

  • West Branch Road update: a supervisor will check the plowing turnaround area with damages on newly planted trees
  • Future voting and meetings update:
    1. Location of the Annual Townhall and March Town Board meetings will be discussed at the January Town Board Meeting.
    2. There were 134 residents that voted during the November 3 General Election which was conducted by St. Louis County via mail-in voting.
    3. January meeting will be conducted via teleconference.
    4. Swanstrom motioned and Dressen seconded to schedule the Board of Audit Meeting and Budget Meeting on Tuesday, January 26, at 7:00p.m. Motion carried, 3-0-0. These are open meetings.
    5. Wallace reported that due to COVID-19, the municipal governing body may authorize mail balloting by resolution for the March 2021 town election. And also due to COVID-19, two of the election judges are not available to serve and back-up judges may also not be available. Due to the worsening situation with the virus and not knowing what it will be like in March, Dressen motioned to submit a resolution to conduct mail balloting during the March 2021 town election, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Update on the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer open positions:
    1. Discussion will include possible letter to township residents and the possible dismantling of the township if we can’t fill the open positions.
    2. Wallace reported that as of this date, there were no applicants for the deputy clerk/clerk position. Kuettel instructed Wallace to put together an advertisement for clerk position in the Duluth News Tribune, must reside in Duluth or surrounding area.
    3. Barnes reported that Lynne Scalzo applied for the treasurer position. Swanstrom motioned, Dressen seconded to accept the hire of Scalzo as treasurer-in-training, motion carried, 3-0-0.
    4. Kuettel presented a rough draft of a letter for residents requesting assistance in finding an individual to apply for the clerk position and explaining the possible scenario in case one is not found.
  • LBAE supervisor training: Kuettel had completed the training

New Business

  • Polling place and resolution for 2021 elections: Pequaywan Firehall has been designated as the polling place for March 2021 elections per Town Resolution # 2020-008, Resolution Designating Annual Polling Place
  • Report open town officer position/s to St. Louis County for March town election: one supervisor position is open

Correspondence

Received:

  • Newsletters via email from Minnesota Association of Townships re-polling place designation for 2021; and operational guidelines operating the township amid
    COVID-19
  • Email from EDDMapS (Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System) coordinator confirming that a local EDDMapS verifier has verified that plant determinations submitted by Deb Pomroy, town’s Noxious Weed Inspector, on August 5, 2020, was correct and will be publicly available on maps and download
  • Schedule of SLCAT meeting for December 2020 to March 2021 meetings
  • Email from St. Louis County’s COVID-19 weekly partner communications with information on the new COVIDawareMN app that will notify the population if someone who’s been near them later test positive for coronavirus, COVIDaware MN | State of Minnesota COVID-19 exposure notification applicatio

Sent: None

Public Comment: None

Next Meeting, January 12, 2021, 7:30 p.m., via teleconference

Adjourn meeting: Swanstrom motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m., seconded by Dressen, motion carried 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

20 Nov

November 10, 2020 Township Board Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 7:34 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

Attendance: Town officers: Supervisor Charles Kuettel, Supervisor Donald Swanstrom,

Supervisor Douglas Dressen, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes.

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the Ocotober 13, 2020 Minutes from the town webpage. Swanstrom motioned to approve the minutes, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

OCTOBER 2020

Total Funds on hand as of 10/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $172,757.54
Plus: Deposits – $2,081.11
CARES Election Grant ($449.00)
Transfer to Building/Property Fund from General Fund ($1500.00)
Interest on Accounts ($132.11)
Less: Disbursements (October) – $3,121.23
Transfer from General Fund to Building/Property Fund ($1500.00)
Other Disbursements ($1621.23)
Total Funds on hand as of 10/31/2020 – $171,717.42
October Check # 1593 – 1598

NOVEMBER 2020

Claims (November) – $1648.33 (includes snowplowing bill)
November Check # 1599 – 1605
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed

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

Old Business

  • Update on West Branch Road – some residents have expressed concern on trees going down partly in township area. No update yet whether the repair on West Branch Road had been completed.
  • Discussion on upcoming township meetings – with the uncertainty of the effects of COVID-19, the township will continue to meet via teleconference and will keep discussing monthly. For the election and Annual Town Meeting in March, the township will try to find a location to conduct the election and the meeting. Barnes will check with the Snowmobile Club if their building can be used.
  • Update on clerk and treasurer positions – The position for clerk and treasurer are still open. No application has been received as of this date. Barnes will talk with the incoming North Star clerk if she might be interested. The only problem is that she cannot be in two places during the Annual Town Meeting. Kuettel requested Wallace if she will be available to conduct the Annual Meeting and serve as Deputy Clerk. Wallace agreed.
  • Dressen mentioned that there was a situation when an individual called asking about the vehicle axle weight limit in West Branch Road but has no idea how big the equipment is.

New Business

  • Invasive weed report – Deborah Pomroy, Town of Pequaywan Weed Inspector, reported that she completed the submission of the required Noxious Weed Survey Report online via EDDMaps to St. Louis County Land Department. She mentioned that other government agencies such as the MN Department of Agriculture reviews the report but nothing has been done by the agencies.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships re-the 2020 MAT Educational Conference and Annual Meeting schedules
  • Various emails from St. Louis County Elections re- upcoming General Election on November 3
  • Email from Frontier Communications verifying if they need a permit for a work to be done on the township between homes 9196 and 9182 West Branch Road
  • Email from Minnesota Association of Townships re-2020 MAT Educational Conference and Annual Meeting on November 20 to be held via Zoom webinar due to the pandemic
  • Email from St. Louis County Association of Townships re-Agenda for October 28 Zoom meeting, minutes of February 2020 meeting, minutes of the 56th Annual meeting on May 22, 2019 and the By-laws
  • Snowplowing bill for West Branch Road from St. Louis County Public Works Department in the amount of $1,121.25 for 1st half of 2020-2021
  • Bill from Deborah Pomroy, Pequaywan Township weed inspector, in the amount of $200.00, for the survey completed in two areas specified in the report below
  • Bill from Minnesota Association of Townships Insurance Trust in the amount of $255.00 for Worker’s Compensation premium covering 1/1/2021-1/1/2022 due 1/1/2021

Sent:

  • Minnesota Unemployment Insurance and the Minnesota State Withholding Reports have been filed electronically with the State of Minnesota by Barnes
  • Noxious Weed Survey Report of burning site on township land located at T54N R12W NE1/4 of NE1/4 Sec 19 and weed survey of St. Louis County gravel pit located at T54N R12W NE1/4 of SE1/4 Sec 18 was submitted by Deborah Pomroy to St. Louis County Land Department thru EDDMapS, http://www.eddmaps.org/
  • Submitted the Resolution Adopting the Minnesota Township General Records Retention Schedule to Minnesota Historical Society – confirmed received on 11/10/2020

Public Comment:

  • Outdoor lighting – the individual that requested this topic was not able to join the meeting but the supervisors agreed that it is a concern. They could make recommendations but the township cannot enforce it.

Next Meeting, December 8, 2020, 7:30 p.m., via teleconference

Swanstrom motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:16 p.m., seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

14 Oct

October 13, 2020 Township Board Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 7:34 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

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

Guests: Richard Arndt, Lisa Klassen, Paul Klassen, Shane Stolp, John Wilson

Clerk’s Report: Since the meeting was conducted via teleconference, the supervisors read the September 8, 2020 minutes from the town webpage. Dressen motioned to approve the minutes with spelling correction of his last name, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

SEPTEMBER 2020

Total Funds on hand as of 09/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $174,718.78
Plus: Deposits – $135.21
Interest on Accounts ($135.21)
Less: Disbursements (September) – $2,096.45
Total Funds on hand as of 09/30/2020 – $172,757.54
September Check # 1580 – 1592

OCTOBER 2020
Claims (October) – $1621.23
October Check # 1593 – 1598
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed

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

Old Business

  • Update on the West Branch Road repairs: Kuettel stated that part of the work was done and will be completed the week of October 19.
  • Tree branch drop off site update: Kuettel mentioned that tree drop off is done for the year and dates for 2021 will be scheduled in the spring. Motion by Dressen to close the tree drop off site for 2020 and to request Pequaywan Volunteer Fire Department to burn the pile after a snow fall, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried 3-0-0.
  • LBAE training: Supervisor Dressen had scheduled a mid November date to complete the training. Supervisor Swanstrom has not completed the training.
  • Position opening for deputy clerk: At this time there has been no application received for the deputy clerk position. Ray Barnes will discuss the position with an interested party when North Star Township meet this Thursday. Supervisor Dressen suggests that meetings go through Zoom for more interest in the meetings in general but also for the deputy clerk position.

New Business

  • Monthly town board meetings and upcoming meetings and elections including budget meeting, board of audit meeting, annual town meeting, board of canvass meeting, reorganization meeting, LBAE meeting, and annual town election: Discussions need to be had about safety protocol for meetings and election or locate a larger capacity location. Pequaywan Firehall can accommodate up to 13 people. The snowmobile club is 40×60 and may be a solution as the grooming equipment will not be housed until after April 1st. If Zoom is considered a practice, run would be prudent.
  • Wallace reported that the township received CARES election grant funding from the state through St. Louis County to assist the township with 2020 election cycle preparation and related costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the amount of $449.00. The amount submitted was for $515.98. The default allocation included the following factors: a flat base allocation for all counties, 2018 voter turnout, 2018 absentee voter turnout, number of registered voters, number of polling places, and population.
  • Barnes will create a new fund titled Building Property and Maintenance Fund in the amount of $1,500.00 which will come from the General Fund.
  • Town residents Marialice Arndt, Richard Arndt and John Wilson proposed to install a flagpole, a landscape rock and a granite plaque in the corner of West Branch Road with the landowner’s approval. Motion by Dressen for Richard Arndt to apply for a Cooperative Light & Power (CLP) Roundup Grant to install a flagpole at the corner of West Branch Road using the township as Representative Organization, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Email from Brian Fritsinger, St. Louis County Administrator re-CARES grant to Small Cities and Town to reimburse election and non-election expenses incurred related to COVID-19
  • Email from Phil Chapman, St. Louis County Elections re-CARES grant for reimbursement of expenses related to election in the amount of $449.00
  • Email from Lora Skarman of St. Louis County Assessor’s Office re-LBAE Minnesota training for 2021 LBAE meeting

Sent:

  • Submitted the CARES grant reimbursement form for election expenses related to COVID-19 in the amount of $449.00 to St. Louis County

Public Comment:

  • Short term rental/license: St. Louis County Ordinance 62 will go into effect in January 2021. Chair Kuettel said that Pequaywan Township has no jurisdiction for enforcement of short term rental/license as that is the role of the county.

Next Meeting, November 10, 2020, 7:30 p.m., via teleconference

Dreseen motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:29 p.m., seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Minutes was taken by Marialice Arndt, Recording Secretary

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

15 Sep

September 8, 2020 Township Board Meeting

The meeting which was held outdoor was called to order at 6:42 p.m. by Chair Kuettel. Attendees were following 6-foot social distancing.

Attendance:

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

Guests: Richard Arndt, Bonnie Dressen, Lisa Klassen, Paul Klassen, Deb Pomroy, Faye Swanstrom

Clerk’s Report

A copy of the minutes of the Board of Supervisors meeting on August 12, 2020 was provided to attendees, Motion to approve by Dressen, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0

Treasurer’s Report

AUGUST 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 08/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $169,188.54
Plus: Deposits – $8,844.16  (2020 MN DNR PILT $3,867.51; 19 Tac Prod-Aug20 Dist $4,841.00; Interest on Accounts $135.65)
Less: Disbursements (August) – $3,313.92
Total Funds on hand as of 08/31/2020 – $174,718.78
August Check # 1570 – 1579

SEPTEMBER 2020
Claims (September) – $2,096.45
September Check # 1580 – 1592
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed.

Motion by Swanstrom to approve August Treasurer’s Report and September Claims, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Old Business

  • September in-person meeting was held outdoor.
  • Update on the tree branch drop off site and discuss next date for drop off: There were 51 individuals who came on August 29 to drop off dead trees. One problem is that branches were not cut off from the trunk. Reminder to make sure that trunks are de-limbed or branches separated from the trunk. The township thanks Richard and Marialice Arndt for helping during the drop-off. Kuettel and Dressen finished the access road. Next drop off date is September 26 from 10: a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Richard Arndt will have the key to the gate and will supervise the site.
  • West Branch road damage – what to do if contractor damage (discussion on road damage while unloading large equipment for work on homeowner property): It was decided that in the latest case, the road was not properly firm and the township must pay for the repair. Per Minnesota Association of Townships, the landowner is liable for road damage due to work connected with their property and may seek reimbursement from the contractor.
  • Weed control update – Once leaves fall, Pomroy and Dressen will inspect for Buckthorn.
  • Mail-in voting for November General Election – 136 letters from the township mailed on August 24 to resident registered voters.
  • Walking path: Dressen mowed the walking path for the last time this year. The path is greatly improved and the area provides a lovely walk.
  • LBAE training: reminder to supervisors that needs re-certification to complete the online training for 2021 LBAE meeting.

New Business

  • Position opening for deputy clerk: The deputy clerk hired earlier this year has put in her resignation. And since the current town clerk is leaving the position in March 2021, the township really needs to hire a deputy clerk as soon as possible so that person can be trained to take over the clerk position. It is vitally important that this position is filled, so please ask any prospective applicants to contact the town clerk at peqclerk@gmail.com. The posting with required qualifications and duties can be found at http://www.pequaywantownship.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/deputyclerk.pdf.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Auditor approval letter from St. Louis County Auditor’s Office re-approval to switch Pequaywan Township to a mail ballot precinct for the 2020 General Election
  • LBAE training information for 2021 appeals season from Minnesota Department of Revenue
  • From Minnesota Association of Townships: District 10 meeting in August; 2020 Fall Legislative & Research Committee meeting; August 2020 Newsletter
  • From St. Louis County re- (1) County Small Business COVID-19 relief grants available starting August 24; (2) maintenance programs for 2021
  • Special assessment request from Steve Ball & Associations for a property at 9021 West Branch Road
  • Special assessment request from North Shore Title for a property at 8887 Pequaywan Lake Road

Sent:

  • Mail-in voting letter for the November General Election to 136 registered resident voters

Public Comment:

  • Short-term rental (STR) and enforcement: St. Louis County Ordinance 62 will go into effect in January 2021. A local resident has applied for an STR application. Another local resident has stated some complaints but was advised to concentrate more on the illegal activities than the lesser problems.
  • Speeding in Highway 44: Increased speed continues to be a problem in Highway 44. The township is looking into adding road signs for lower speed.
  • A resident inquired about the Rossini Road being closed for traffic: Rossini Road signs do not indicate date of work on road. Kuettel called St. Louis County and was told that September 9 is the only day the road was closed so a culvert can be installed.

Next Meeting, October 13, 2020, back to regular time at 7:30 p.m. and will be held via teleconference. Barnes will be the moderator with Wallace as back-up. Will contact Lee Kaplan for assistance in setting up the teleconference.

Dressen motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 p.m., seconded by Swanstrom, 3-0-0.

Minutes were taken by Bonnie Dressen.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

13 Aug

August 12, 2020, Township Board Meeting

AGENDA

The meeting which was held outdoor was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chair Kuettel. Attendees were following 6-foot social distancing.

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

Guests: Marialice Arndt, Richard Arndt, Bonnie Dressen, Jim Hacking, Paul Klassen, Ken Kost, Deb Pomroy, Tom Sykes, Ted Wallace, Daryl Waldriff, John Wilson

Clerk’s Report:

Wallace presented the minutes of the Board of Supervisors Meeting  on July 14, 2020 and July 29, 2020 Emergency Meeting. Revision was suggested to add that instead of in-person voting in November, it will be mail-in voting for the July 14 meeting minutes. No changes on the Emergency Minutes. Motion to approve by Dresden, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0

Treasurer’s Report

JULY 2020

Total Funds on hand as of 07/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $148,470.88
Plus: Deposits – $22,890.22
Less: Disbursements (July) – $2,172.56
Total Funds on hand as of 07/31/2020 – $169,188.54
July Check # 1563 – 1569

Motion by Swanstrom to approve July Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

AUGUST 2020

Claims (August) – $3313.92
August Check # 1570 – 1579
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed

Motion by Swanstrom to approve August Treasurer’s Report and the Claims, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0

Old Business

  • August in-person meeting was held outdoor.
  • September in-person meeting will be held at Pequaywan Firehall with a possibility of conducting it outdoors, weather permitting, following guidelines for in-person meeting. September Town Board Meeting has been revised to start at 6:30 p.m. Motioned by Swanstrom, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Status and possible date for tree disposal at township land/opening of collection area for dead trees: St. Louis County is scheduled to inspect and approve that a culvert is not needed in the driveway to the tree disposal area. Kuettel reported that the tentative date for the tree disposal area will be Saturday, August 29, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Requirements are that maximum diameter must be 10 inches and the branches must be de-limbed/ separated from the trunk.  Second burning will be scheduled sometime in September and will be announced during the September meeting. Swanstrom motioned the opening of the area and the date and time, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Update on the walking trail: Dressen reported that he had finished mowing the trail and mentioned that there is a huge problem with thistle. He commented that “the walking trail is an absolute jewel for the township.” The township is hoping that more people will use it.”
  • Fire threat from dead trees at West Branch Road: Swanstrom reported that he talked with Kelly Sandroski of St. Louis County and they are interested in getting the trees taken cared of as we are. Landowners could be advised to take care of the issue and if they don’t do anything with it, the township can decide what to do next. DNR has more authority on it. Some guests suggested to write a letter to the property owners to ask them to remove the dead trees. The dead trees are in the county land within the right of way.
  • DS200: Wallace reported that she talked with the company that sells DS200 and was told that the machine processes ballots at 300 per hour. The county stated that it is not a requirement to purchase the machine, a township can continue to do hand count. Since the town only has under 150 registered voters, the supervisors decided that it is not worth it to purchase the machine for over $5,000.00 . Swanstrom motioned to advise the state that the township declines the grant, Dressen seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Cares Act grant for Election 2020 expenses: Wallace reported that the state through St. Louis County has approved this grant to cover expenses incurred during state and federal elections during this pandemic. Example of an expense will be plexiglass barrier.
  • August 2020 Primary election update – 32 out of 135 registered voters voted in-person. There were 13 Absentee Ballots.
  • November 2020 General Election mail-in voting: Registered voters will be receiving their ballots for November election from St. Louis County
  • Discuss the following resolutions:
    1. Records Retention and Filing System for Townships
    2. Statutory Conflicts of Interest
    Dressen motioned to approve the two resolutions, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0.

New Business

  • Dressen reported that there is someone selling a landmower that the township can purchase. Dressen motioned to set-up a Building/Property Maintenance fund for $1500.00, Swanstrom seconded, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Chinese Mystery Snails (click to view image) in the area and how to dispose of them: Pomroy reported that she had seen hundreds of Chinese mystery snail in the area. She also mentioned that these snails (click to view image) were found at the little lake two years ago. Furthermore, she said that to properly dispose of them, DNR advises to bury them in the ground. The snails carry parasites transmissible to ducks and they are decimating certain population of waterfowl. Dressen suggested for Pomroy to do a research for helpful websites that can be posted to the town webpage. Guests were concerned that folks are bringing boats that are used from other lakes and bringing invasive species to the lakes here.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Newsletters from the Office of the State Auditor with information on CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Securities)
  • Several emails from St. Louis County Elections: clerk/election judge training; election supplies; rosters; PPE (hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, masks) available for pickup; reminder to do preliminary test of the Automark machine prior to holding the public accuracy test; DS200 manual; mailing labels for registered voters; sample mail ballot letter; CARES Act; names of voters that requested Absentee ballots for August election to be marked on the roster
  • Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State with instructions on VEGA-2 grant funds and expenditure reporting for the purchase of DS200 counting machine
  • Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-81 from St. Louis County which says beginning July 25, 2020, all Minnesotans must wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces including polling places
  • Requests from Steve Bell & Associates, and North Shore Title to verify special assessments levied on properties in the township
  • Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) re-unsolicited packages of mystery seeds appearing to come from China
  • MAT special teleconference on CARES Act funding for townships
  • S. Census Bureau updates on the Final Boundary Validation Program
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources re-CPL grant program open for applications to nonprofit organizations and government entities with purpose of funding conservation projects that restore, enhance, or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota with grant ranging from $5,000 to $400,000

Sent:

  • Emailed Resolution 2020-012 Supporting Mail Voting for November 2020 General Election to St. Louis County Elections
  • Emailed list to St. Louis County Elections of training completed by election judges

Public Comment:

Next Meeting, September 8, 2020, 6:30 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall, 8764 Pequaywan Lake Road

Dressen motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m., seconded by Swanstrom, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

31 Jul

July 29, 2020 Emergency Township Board Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

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

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and decide whether to conduct  in-person or mail voting during the November General Election due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuettel read aloud the Resolution Supporting Mail Voting for November 2020 General Election with wording as follows:

RESOLUTION # 2020-012: A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING MAIL VOTING FOR NOVEMBER 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

WHEREAS, the Pequaywan Town Board, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, offers this resolution in support of mail balloting for the November general election;

WHEREAS, due to the pandemic, voting in a building would have the voters and election judges subject to becoming infected with COVID-19;

WHEREAS, the Town Board feels this action is in the public interest of voters and election judges in Pequaywan Township,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED; that the Pequaywan Town Board does hereby support the voting for the November general election by mail.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the supervisors support this resolution with the following signatures and attested to by the town clerk.

Adopted by the Pequaywan Board of Supervisors this 29th day of July 2020.

Swanstrom motioned to approve the resolution, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Kuettel verified who is in-charge of mailing the ballots and how much work does it entail for the clerk. Wallace responded that the county will be mailing the ballots but the township would probably need to send out letters to the resident voters to let them know of the decision to change from in-person voting to mail voting (Absentee ballots.) Wallace will contact the county to get more information.

Meeting was motioned to adjourn at 7:12 p.m. by Dressen, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

20 Jul

July 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 town officers read the May 12, 2020 Minutes from the town webpage. There was one (1) correction cited, after which the Minutes were motioned for approval by Dressen, motioned by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

JUNE 2020
Total Funds on hand as of 06/01/2020 (Includes Investments) – $148,691.49
Plus: Deposits – $1,323.66
Less: Disbursements (June) – $1,544.27
Total Funds on hand as of 06/30/2020 – $148,470.88
June Check # 1552 – 1562

JULY 2020
Claims (July) – $2,172.56
July Check # 1563 – 1569
No transfers to the Checking Account will be needed

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

Old Business

  • Status and possible date for tree disposal at the township land: Waldriff Trucking completed the work on the driveway access and clearing the land  for $700.00. However, two stumps still need to be cleared. Nick Elmquist provided an estimate of $1,050 to pull the two stumps and bring a load of gravel for the unloading area. Swanstrom motioned to approve the work for $1,050, Dressen seconded, motion carried. 3-0-0. Kuettel estimated that the disposal area will be ready by mid-August. Announcement when it is open will be posted at the town webpage. Kuettel also announced the need for help to clear rocks in the land. Residents can remove the rocks free for personal use or move/pile a little ways out of the way from the unloading area.
  • Dressen volunteered to do mowing on the town property. The township will cover the cost of repair to the equipment if it breaks while mowing the area.
  • Develop plan for future in-person meeting: Kuettel provided the guidelines the township will use to safely conduct in-person meeting starting in August: (1) use of facemask; (2) providing hand sanitizer; (3) sanitizing tables, chairs, etc.; (4) capacity of 12 excluding family members; (5) if a person has fever or exposed to someone with COVID-19, they must stay home (body temperature may be checked); (6) windows open; and (7) follow 6′ social distancing. Swanstrom motioned to approve the in-person meeting following the guidelines provided with the option to change, if necessary, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Repair estimate for cracks in West Branch Road: Swanstrom motioned to approve the cost estimate of $2,500 ($1,000 for materials and $1,500 for labor), seconded by Kuettel, motion carried 2-1-0.
  • Discuss fire threat from dead trees at West Branch Road: Swanstrom was not able to check with the county. Reminder that the trees are in public land so information gathered will be provided to the landowners.
  • DS200 grant/purchase update from state: Barnes reported that he got trained for the use of DS200. He explained that the DS200 is a tabulating machine and not a voting machine and as of this time there is not a machine that is replacing the Automark. He also reported that he took the maintenance individual to the firehall to update the Automark. Decision in purchasing DS200 continues to be put on hold. Wallace will get more information from the county and state.
  • Schedule an appointment with deputy clerk, deputy treasurer and SCCU to add them to  co-sign the accounts: Barnes will work on this.
  • Correct the curve in West Branch Road: cost estimate is $3,000 and will need the landowner’s permission. No action taken.

New Business 

  • Primary Election, August 11, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall
  • General Election, November 3, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall
    (Revision update:  the Pequaywan Town Board passed Resolution 2020-012
    A Resolution Supporting Mail Voting for the November 2020 Election on July 29, 2020 meaning there will be no in=person voting in November. Ballots will be mailed to voters by St. Louis County.)
  • The township encourages voters to wear a mask but not mandatory for the elections
  • Town Board Meeting date/time as Primary Election in August is same day as the Town Board Meeting with the following option changes:
    1 start at 8:30 p.m. if hiring additional judge to help count ballots, with approval
    2. start at 9:00 p.m. if not hiring additional judge
    3. schedule another day

Swanstrom motioned to re-schedule the meeting to either August 12 or August 13, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0. Wallace will check the availability of the firehall with the fire chief.

  • Swanstrom motioned to hire additional election judges starting at 8:00 p.m. during the November General Election to speed up counting the ballots, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Minnesota’s Secretary of State will provide facemasks for election judges and voters, hand sanitizers and disinfectant for use during election but townships are responsible for purchasing Plexiglass barriers. The state can require election judges to wear masks and encourage voters to wear masks but voters cannot be required to wear a mask to vote.
  • Wallace requested approval in purchasing Plexiglass barrier, disposable gloves, plastic wrap, paper towels, and other items for safety precaution use during elections. Swanstrom motioned to approve the purchase, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Swanstrom motioned to approve for two of our election judges who needed re-certification to take the St. Louis County online Election Training for election judges at $9.90 per person, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Wallace reported that she has completed the St. Louis County’s 2020 Clerk Election Training
  • Dressen motioned to approve the deputy clerk to work during primary and/or general election as part of election training, if her schedule allows, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Minnesota Association of Townships online training in July for election judges and treasurer’s handling of election judges salary.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Presidential Nomination Primary election reimbursement expenses in the amount of $1,174.85 was received
  • Clerk election training information, guidelines during election day, election judge recruitment resources, polling places, Notice of Primary and General Election posters
  • Release of CTAS 2020 software from the Office of the State Auditor
  • June 2020 Newsletter, info on governor’s funding to Minnesota communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, special teleconference with the governor from Minnesota Association of Townships
  • Regional Bi-Weekly Partner Briefings from Census Bureau
  • Benafica health insurance benefit available to town officers and employees
  • Department of Revenue notification of training for 2021 Board of Appeals and Equalization registration is now open
  • Pending and/or assessment info request against a property on the township from North Shore Title
  • DS200 Sales Order Agreement in the amount of $5,760 from Election Systems and Software
  • Notice of Litigation from Brown Rudnick LLP (acting as facilitator),  sent to all city, tribe, county or other municipality holding consolidated claims against Purdue Pharma, L.P., Case No. 19-23649

Sent: None

Public Comment:

  • Alex Olson who built the picnic bench on the township land received his Eagle Scout rank
  • Kuettel reported that John Wilson is requesting a copy of the key to the gate as he goes to the town property 2-3x a week to water trees, maintain wood chips, etc. Swanstrom motioned to approve to provide Wilson with a copy of the key, seconded by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Next Meeting, August 12, 2020, 7:30 p.m. at Pequaywan Firehall, 8764 Pequaywan Lake Road

Meeting was motioned to adjourn at 9:01 p.m. by Dressen, seconded by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk

13 Jun

June 9, 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 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 reported no inquiries about the weight limit yet.
  • 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 the Clover Valley Initiative continue to acquire broadband funding from another source and the individual was inquiring if the township is still able to provide financial support as previously pledged. 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 (will be updated whether it is a teleconference or in-person meeting at least 10 days before the scheduled meeting.)

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 town officers 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