16 Nov

November 10, 2015
Township Board Meeting Minutes

ATTENDANCE

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

AGENDA

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

CLERK’S REPORT

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

TREASURER’S REPORT

October 2015 Treasurer’s Report

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

OLD BUSINESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW BUSINESS

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

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

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

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

PUBLIC COMMENTS – none

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

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

Respectfully submitted by
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk