17 Sep

September 10, 2019, Township Board Meeting

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, Treasurer Raymond G. Barnes, Clerk Lita Wallace

Guests: Marialice  Arndt, Richard Arndt, Bonnie Drummond, Wes Haberger, Lisa Klassen, Paul Klassen, Gordy Larson, Jeffrey Maida, Greg Planting, Deb Pomroy, Charmin Thramer, Daryle Waldriff

Clerk’s Report : The minutes of the Board of Supervisors meeting  on August 13, 2019 was presented and reviewed. Motion by Swanstrom to approve the minutes, second by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.

Treasurer’s Report

AUGUST 2019
Total Funds on hand as of 08/01/2019 (Includes Investments) – $176,126.36
Plus: Deposits – $8,056.35
Less: Disbursements (August) – $298.95
Total Funds on hand as of 08/31/2019 – $183,883.76
August Check # 1469 – 1471

SEPTEMBER 2019
Claims (September) – $15,252.11
September Check # 1472 – 1481
No Fund Transfers Needed

Old Business

  • Land value for tax forfeited parcel south of Rossini Rd: St. Louis County (through communication from Stacy Melcher of Land and Minerals Department) valued the sale of 4.1 acre land to Pequaywan Township at ballpark of around $5,100.00. The parcel ID is 502-0020-02725. Discussion as to whether purchase it outright or other options (1) subsidy for 30-year use plan with rough cost of $1,000.00 plus small yearly cost and with restrictions; or (2) pursue a grant. After discussions that the land is needed to get access to a future burning pit and other improvements, with no restrictions on its use, and after confirming with the treasurer that the township has funds to purchase the land, Swanstrom motion to purchase the section of the land outright from Rossini Road to the township land for $5,100.00, second by Dressen, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Picnic Table: The picnic table built and donated by Alex Olson through his work with Boy Scouts of America Eagle Board will be installed this weekend.
  • Township property development: Dressen reported that he talked with Steve Nelson of St. Louis County Public Works and was told that the township qualifies for a grant from IRRRB in funding the construction of a Townhall Community Center on the township land. The county will contact IRRRB, help with the application, plan the building, critique, and determine the budget which will include running water, sewer and electricity. The township might need to fund about $35,000.00 of the cost.
  • Coop Light broadband: Coop Light and Power applied for a $5M grant from the State. The new program will provide 1GB fiber to the home instead of the current 7MB. Wifi supports audio compare to what we have now that only supports text. If the $5M grant is approved, Pequaywan Township will be asked to donate $500.00 given to Cloquet Valley Internet Initiative. Other neighboring townships have confirmed support of CLP’s efforts. If CLP does not get the $5M from state, there are four other possible grants available if approved. CLP expects to break ground in 2020 with completion in 2022. Dressen motion to approve the $500.00 donation to Cloquet Valley Internet Initiative, second by Swanstrom, motion carried, 2-0-1.
  • Speed and weight limits for township road: Dressen spoke with Victor Lund of St. Louis County Road Department who oversees the changes in road speed limits. The township can impose change in speed and weight limits but there will be no enforcement. The proposed changes are: maximum weight limit is 7 tons per axle and speed limit is 30 mph on the West Branch Road owned by the township. The changes are done to avoid damage to the newly reconstructed road. The cost of the sign is $150.00 which can show speed and weight limits on it and will be purchased from St. Louis County. Plow trucks, emergency vehicles and garbage trucks are exempted. Dressen will compose a Resolution for the changes in maximum weight of 7 tons per axle and speed limit of 30 mph.
  • Speed limits for Pequaywan Lake Road: Residents voice concern on the danger in curved roads from oncoming cars not seen when trying to get out of driveways. Residents requested for the county to conduct a study to post caution signs on curve areas in Pequaywan Lake Road especially on those areas where driveways are on a curve.
  • West Branch Road: Kuettel reported that the old pavement in West Branch Road is starting to crack, as well as new pavement. He added that Elmquist will be able to do the work for $1,500.00. Motion by Dressen to approve $1,500.00 cost of fixing the cracks, second by Kuettel, motion carried, 3-0-0.
  • Township Land: Gordy Larson reported that he and Paul Klassen did some work on the township land: etched a road to get a trail up to  speed-completed 1/2 of all the trails in the wood, ripped out tree stumps, shoveled, raked and backhoed. There were no money involved except for fuel. He also reported that if the township would like to put in a culvert, the cost is $271.00. The township decided that a culvert is not needed at this time but big rocks should be put to block the road.

New Business

  • Weed Inspector: Deb Pomroy reported that a study was conducted along Rossini Road and Pequaywan Lake Road and found Tansy , Leafy Spurge, Spotted Knapweed. Along the West Branch Road township property, Tansy, Spotted Knapweed, Japanese Barberry, Common Buckthorn and Alien Honeysuckle were found. Findings will be reported to St. Louis County.

Correspondence

Received:

  • Mail from St. Louis County, Planning and Community Development Department re-Proposed Revision to St. Louis County Zoning Ordinance 62 (proposal to allow for the short term rental of properties through the issuance of permits in St. Louis County land use administered areas)
  • Email and correspondence from St. Louis County requesting help with processing documents to avoid loss of CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funding as required by HUD
  • Email from St. Louis County Public Works re-continuation of the Aggregate Crushing, Maintenance Striping, Crack Sealing and Chip/Scrub Sealing Programs.

Sent:

  • Wallace submitted the Presidential Nominating Primary Expense Reimbursement Estimate to St. Louis County to be incurred during the Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020 in the amount of $1,243.70
  • Wallace also reported that the Township Final Levy Certification form for taxes payable 2020 has been submitted to St. Louis County Auditor’s Office

Public Comment:

  • Property and access/service road: Greg Planting built a pole building to replace an old one on the same location and found out afterwards that it was a roadway. Since it is a dead end road and ends in his property, he is requesting if he can vacate the road, nobody owns any property on the three sides of his property. Dressen expressed that there would be no problem cooperating if it does not interfere with anyone else and if it is in conformity with the county. Planting stated that he has a copy of the Minnesota Statute for his request and will review it.
  • Short-term rental (STR): Lisa Klassen expressed concerns on short-term rentals in Pequaywan Township. She is requesting for the township’s help in sending a letter to Louis County that is asking communities to submit in writing concerns, comments or input regarding short term rental (STR) regulations with a deadline date of September 30, 2019. Some issues she is requesting to be covered are: classifying STRs as commercial property, limitation on the number of guests and STRs owned; restriction on renters putting their own watercraft in the lake; requiring owners to provide watercraft for renters. Dressen clarified that the township does not have any zoning authority but has taxing authority. Kuettel agreed to write a letter of suggestion regarding STR concerns by Pequaywan Lake residents.
  • Burning pit in township property is badly needed as people are dumping brush and garbage towards the end of West Branch Road.

Next Meeting, October 8, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall, 8764 Pequaywan Lake Road

Meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Town Clerk