18 Oct

October 8, 2019
Township Board Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Chair Kuettel.

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

Guests: Bonnie Dressen, Eric Hofstad, Lisa Klassen, Paul Klassen, Alex Olson, Kevin Olson, Deb Pomroy, Scott Mead, Ted Wallace

Clerk’s Report: The minutes of the Board of Supervisors meeting  on September 10, 2019 was presented and reviewed. Motion to approve with corrections by Dressen, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report:

SEPTEMBER 2019
Total Funds on hand as of 09/01/2019 (Includes Investments) – $183,883.76
Plus: Deposits – $221.22
Less: Disbursements (September) – $15,252.11
Total Funds on hand as of 09/30/2019 – $168,852.87
September Check # 1472 – 1481

OCTOBER 2019
Claims (October) – $2351.81
October Check # 1482 – 1491
No Fund Transfers Needed

Old Business

  • Land purchase from St. Louis County: email correspondence was sent to St. Louis County (Attn: Stacy Caldwell Melcher) by Kuettel on September 17 re-acceptance of offer to purchase the land parcel for the value around $5,100.00. As of today, no response has been received from St. Louis County.
  • Road work at West Branch Road: repair of old pavement in West Branch Road has been completed by Elmquist.
  • Short-term rental (STR): Per request from residents, Pequaywan Town Board sent a Letter of Recommendation signed by all supervisors to St. Louis County regarding STRs that applies to the township. Lisa Klassen commented that some of the recommendations by the Town Board was added by St. Louis County to its revised STR.
  • Speed limit on Pequaywan Lake Road: Dressen reported that he is still waiting for a response from St. Louis County regarding his inquiry.
  • Speed and weight limit on West Branch Road: Dressen presented a copy of the Resolution that he constructed but due to further discussions, the wording on the Resolution needs to be changed. New proposals were a speed limit of 35mph from the start of township road and change maximum weight limit to axle weight instead of tonnage.

New Business – None

Correspondence

Received:

  • Invoice #205819 from St. Louis County Public Works Department for 1st half of 2019-2020 Snowplowing in the amount of $1,121.25
  • Letter from St. Louis County Planning and Community Development re-Public Hearing for Zoning Ordinance 62 proposed Short Term Rental standards and amendments – meeting on October 10, 2019 at the St. Louis County Public Works Building, 7823 Highway 135, Virginia in the lower-level training room
  • Letter from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency re-Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing Water Quality Standards – Class 2 and Class 7 Use Designations, Minnesota Rules chapter 7050
  • Email from St. Louis County Election Department re-changes in designating a Polling Place by resolution or ordinance (Note from clerk: Resolution #2019-003, Designating a Polling Place for 2020 Election, completed in April 2019 and is posted on the township’s website)
  • Email from St.Louis County Public Works Department reminding townships that requests for any work done by St. Louis County not covered by an active “Road Maintenance Agreement” be submitted in writing yearly to include sanding, thawing culverts, grading roads, etc.
  • Email from Office of the State Auditor re-new Tax Tables updated in September 2019 to import to CTAS

Sent:

  • Letter of Recommendation re-STR sent to St. Louis County
  • Form filled out, signed and returned to St. Louis County re-CDBG Program Requalification, as requested

Public Comment:

  • Picnic Shelter: Alex Olson showed a video of the construction of the Picnic Shelter from start to finish, and acquired board’s signature for Eagle Scout Application. Thank you Alex for your wonderful donation to the township!
  • Broadband Grant Project: Kevin Olson of Cooperative Light and Power reported the following:
    (a.) CLP has submitted an application for Minnesota’s Border to Border Broadband Grant ($20 Million of available funds) in September.  The grant can provide up to 50 percent of a project’s infrastructure costs (project planning, permits, construction plant and labor, installation and testing, engineering, etc.). The maximum grant amount is $5 million.  Our defined project area is known as the Cloquet Valley and
    includes the townships of North Star, Fairbanks, Ault, Pequaywan, Normanna, Alden, Lakewood, Gnesen and two unorganized townships 53-15 and 54-13. It will also include the northeast corner of Rice Lake Township and a small southern portion of Bassett Township by Fairbanks and Bassett Lake. Basically it is the Hwy. 44 corridor from Island Lake to Bassett Lake.  This fiber-to-the-home project will include
    3,459 passings and increase currently available speeds of less than 25 Mbps to an ultra-fast 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps);
    (b.) CLP, CTC, Gnesen and CVII have developed a true partnership to bring fiber-to-the home in our service territory. Because of the organizations’ efforts, rural residents will have the opportunity to work from home, safely stay in their homes longer, and increase communication options for area businesses and residents;
    (c.) Rural electric coops are uniquely positioned to provide Internet service to their existing customer base. The current stock of incumbent Internet service providers operate on a next-dollar profit model and are unlikely ever to serve the needs of  sparsely populated rural areas.
    (d.) Although we don’t know the size and scope of the other applications, we don’t expect any to offer high speed internet to as many Minnesotans as ours which is the State’s mandate for the Grant program. Our goal is to transform CLP into an electric and broadbandservices Co-Op which will improve the lives of our members and surrounding community.
    (e.) There are currently 78 applications successfully submitted for the 2019 Border to Border Broadband Development grant.

Next Meeting, November 12, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall, 8764 Pequaywan Lake Road

Meeting adjourn at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk