Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

April 3, 2007



Chair Craig Gondeck called the regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board to order at 7:05pm on Tuesday, April 3, 2007. In addition to the chair, all other board members were present:  Lloyd Erdmann, Brad McIntosh, Eileen Saldana, and Pat Spence. Audience members were:  Maureen Graber, Jim Hjoille, Roger Peterson, Ron Bomstad, Rollie Doroff, Brian Erdmann, Scott Hamak, Wayne Brutger, Marty Reker, Traci Balder, Bob Erickson, Ron Hommerding, Ed Kacures, Bob Pazdernik, Jim Hovda, Rosie Johnson, and Mary Winskowski.


The meeting began with the presentation of the United States of America and Minnesota flags. The U. S. flag was donated by Boser Construction, and the Minnesota flag was donated by the Rice American Legion and Sauk Rapids VFW who presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. The chair extended thanks from the board for the Minnesota flag donation.


The board’s first item of business was election of officers. Following Lloyd Erdmann’s nomination of Brad McIntosh for chair, Supervisor McIntosh declined because of time constraints due to work; Supervisor Erdmann withdrew that nomination and nominated Craig Gondeck for another term as Chair; the motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed.


The chair entertained additions or changes to the meeting agenda after adding a proposal by East Central Electric and informing the board that Commissioner Joe Wollak would not be present. Supervisor Erdmann added a proposal from a crack sealing company, and Clerk Pat Spence added a resolution setting the meeting dates for the coming year.


Chair Gondeck moved approval of the minutes of the March 6th regular meeting and the March 13th Board of Canvass; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed.


Eileen Saldana gave her Treasurer’s report; current cash balance (savings and checking) is $487,171.60. Motion was made by Supervisor McIntosh and seconded by Chair Gondeck to approve her report; motion passed. The Chair thanked her for a great job.


There was one Citizen Issue:  Maureen Graber inquired about the low spot on Plaziak Road right off River Road and she also asked about trash pickup.


The bills were presented for approval. A motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor McIntosh to pay all bills as presented; motion passed.


The Town Hall Construction Update was given by Ron Hommerding.

  1. MTD has the contract for demolition of the old town hall. Ron needs their insurance certificate, asbestos abatement inspection, and report on where the demolition materials will be dumped. He informed the board that the township will be responsible for paying for the asbestos abatement. He stated that he has been unable to get the above information from the contractor during a two-month period and would like permission to send a certified letter to the contractor asking for a written response to the above three issues within three days from receiving the letter. If he doesn’t get a response, he would like to terminate the MTD contract get another bid. Supervisor Erdmann said he will abstain from the discussion and vote because of his involvement with MTD. Supervisor McIntosh said he supports Ron taking this action. Chair Gondeck moved to authorize Ron to send the 3-day notice letter to respond to the contract requirements; motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed with Supervisor Erdmann abstaining.
  2. Ron also asked for authorization to write a contract to Certified Aggregate Products for a 2 ½ inch wear course on the parking lot at the town hall for a cost of $15, 750.00 + tax. If additional Class 5 is necessary to bring it up to grade, that cost would be $13 per ton from Saldana Excavating. A three inch mat would be $19,200. Ron said that he recommends the 2 ½ inch blacktop. Supervisor Erdmann recommended holding down the surface by an inch for future blacktopping. Ron noted that the quote includes reshaping the Class 5. Supervisor Erdmann said that the sub grade is right, but there needs to be some shaping around the curb and sidewalks. Brian Erdmann said that Marson is going into blacktopping and should get the opportunity to bid. Ron said that the bidding process was open last fall, and it would not be fair to reopen it at this time. After discussion about the timing and details of the project, the Supervisor Erdmann made a motion for Ron to go ahead with the contract for Certified Aggregate Products. The motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed. The board set a special meeting for Thursday, April 12th at 8am to further discuss the parking lot project. The meeting will be held at the town hall.
  3. Finally, Ron reported that the project will be completed under budget at $100 or less per square foot.


Chair Gondeck made a motion to set up escrow accounts for new developments. $5,000 would be paid to the town by the developer at the time of preliminary plat approval. From the escrow account, the town would pay related road review and inspection fees, attorney fees, and board related expenses. The amount remaining, if any, would be repaid to the developer. The motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed.


Chair Gondeck moved Preliminary Plat approval for Paradise Plat with the condition that the escrow amount be paid and the developer’s agreement signed; motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh. Town attorney, Scott Hamak, reported that he is waiting for any changes the board has for the developer agreement. Supervisor Erdmann noted that the language should be in the agreement regarding sewage treatment. The conditions should be taken from the past board minutes. The motion passed. Marty Reker presented the board with the $5,000 payment.


A motion was made by Supervisor McIntosh and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann approving the preliminary plat requested by Wayne Brutger. He is proposing to develop up to 4 lots on the property where he currently lives on River Road. He stated that he has no intention of making the driveway in the development a future township road. He wants to keep large wooded lots ranging from 2.8 to 5.2 acres each. Bob Erickson asked about width of the road for fire department access; he recommends that fire department look at the plat. There is 50 feet dedicated adjacent to the River Road for a future trail in lieu of the park dedication fee. Mr. Brutger said he was not aware of it, and also stated that the plat will not be filed if he sells his house with all the property. The motion passed with the understanding that the plat would be reviewed and approved by the fire department.


Utility location information was tabled until a future meeting.


Supervisor McIntosh reported that our MS4 application will be published on April 24th.

Within 6 months, the town needs to have ordinances in place. He has been working with Benton County on trying to get one ordinance that could work for Sauk Rapids, Benton County and Watab Township. MPCA said that the township is in charge of storm water runoff in the township and their authority supersedes that of Benton County. Brad reported that he toured, with a county official, the three developments in the township today and they will be reporting violations to MPCA. Clerk Spence questioned why Supervisor McIntosh was going on a tour when we don’t have ordinances in place or authority from the board to report violations. Supervisor McIntosh said he arranged for and went on the tour for educational purposes. He added that the SWIP plan is handled by Planning and Zoning and the MS4 is handled by the Highway Department, which makes the process more complicated. Brian Erdmann said that each contractor has an appointed person who has training—an 8-hour course—to monitor runoff at their worksite. He recommended having Benton County do the township inspections. Supervisor McIntosh wants a special meeting to discuss MS4 with the county planning and zoning and the highway department, so that we can develop uniform ordinances. This will be added to next Thursday morning’s agenda for the special meeting.


Liquor license renewals were approved as follows:

  1. Chair Gondeck moved approval of renewal for Oak Hill Golf Course; motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed.
  2. Chair Gondeck moved approval of renewal for Rumors Bar & Grill, Inc. Motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed.
  3. Supervisor Erdmann moved approval of renewal for Pine’s Edge Liquor; seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed.

The Chair thanked all the owners for running good businesses in Watab Township and not having any license violations.


The board discussed use of the town hall by citizens. The Chair noted that use by the Watab 4-H Club has already been approved. He stated that he is willing to lock and unlock the hall.  The Clerk was asked to contact our insurance carrier and to draft a usage policy and contract agreement. All agreed that there would need to be a damage deposit by individuals using the hall. Rosie Johnson stated that she doesn’t think cleanup will be a problem. Mary Winskowski said that she feels it should only be used by Watab residents, which is the policy in Sauk Rapids. The Clerk will check with other jurisdictions such as Palmer Township, City of Sauk Rapids, and City of Rice and bring draft proposals to the next meeting.


Chair Craig Gondeck made a motion that the board hire Traci Balder as Assessor for a 2-year contract as Assessor for tax years 2008 and 2009. The position was advertised in the Sauk Rapids Herald, and she was the only one to submit a proposal. Traci spoke about the services she would provide, which would include coming to quarterly town board meetings. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed. The contract is on file in the Clerk’s Office.


Chair Gondeck reported that met with developers of Oak Hill Estates, and they agreed to put flags on the hydrants so the snowplows don’t hit them. Scott Hamak will add that requirement to all developer agreements. Lee Hanson asked if the township would buy the property needed to provide another access. The Chair asked permission to work with Ray Schlichting about purchasing the necessary property, and the board agreed. Supervisor Erdmann added that some street extensions were put in, but the temporary cul de sacs have not been created. Two streets are over a block long with no turnarounds which is a problem for snow plows. Chair Gondeck recommended that Supervisor Erdmann write up a complaint form on this. They also said that some streets in the development need the second overlay.


The board discussed 2007 road projects:

  1. There is a drainage problem on Sucker Creek Road where the county should have put in a culvert on the county road. Bob Erickson proposes that Benton County should maintain the waterway in the county ditch, so that it does not become a township liability. He recommends a meeting with the County Engineer and neighborhood members. The Chair will set up a meeting on site to look at the options.
  2. Norway Pine Estates Road will be corrected.
  3. Bob Erickson recommended that citizens call supervisors with road issues that they would like addressed; supervisors should fill out a complaint form so that there is a written record.
  4. Check and repair the road dip on Plaziak Road reported by Maureen Graber.


Bob Erickson has developed a report on snow plowing for the last 8 years; he will discuss this with the board next month.


The board decided to advertise the position of cleaning the town hall. It will be advertised through all our posting places.


The Fire Report was given by Chair Gondeck. He had a meeting with Scott Hamak, the Rice Fire Chief, Joe Voigt—City Council member in Rice and the Rice city attorney.  Scott Hamak distributed an agreement revising the fire contract between Rice and Watab, which came from Tom Wenner, Rice City Attorney. It is still unclear what we will need to pay for the reports on fire, rescue, medical and other calls. Chair Gondeck congratulated Supervisor Erdmann for not wanting to sign the contract in 2002, because he agrees that it should never have been signed. Scott Hamak will work out language for Watab paying $50 to $60 per year for reports. Once we get this agreement signed, we also want to discuss other items that are not being followed in the contract. The Fire Board needs a formal procedure/memo of understanding on meeting dates, agendas, minutes, and budget presentations by certain dates. We will work with our attorney to get this language and discussion so that the Fire Board follows the contract. A motion was made by Chair Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed to approve amendment with necessary changes.


Chair Gondeck, the Clerk and Treasurer went to the Spring Township Short Course Training. Emphasis was placed on the roles and responsibilities of each person on the town board. There are very few things that a supervisor can do on their own, unless they get prior authority from the board. If there is no imminent threat, the rule is to wait until you have a board meeting. If you are not acting under delegated authority of the board for a specific duty and there is a law suit, you are personably responsible for your own attorney fees, fines, or jail time.


The Board of Equalization will be conducted on May 2nd at 2:30pm at the town hall.


Supervisor Erdmann made a motion appointing Chair Craig Gondeck as the board’s representative to all committees and boards. The motion was seconded by Supervisor McIntosh and passed.


East Central Electric wants to put in underground electrical service and needs permission to trim trees up 5 feet. They have sent out letters to homeowners. The Chair was given authority to work with East Central Electric on this. The board approved blading of Doeden Road. Craig will report water usage at the town hall to county for septic monitoring. Craig reported that the Cove developer agreement is agreed on, and he would like permission to have it signed.  Motion was made by Supervisor McIntosh, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to authorize signing of the agreement; motion passed. The Chair reported that a Memo of Understanding was written by the Clerk stating that Pirates Cove will pay Watab Township $3,000 for the railroad study on discontinuing train whistles. He asked for a motion to authorize him to sign the memo of understanding; motion was made by Supervisor McIntosh, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed.


A motion was made by Supervisor McIntosh, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed hiring M & M Window Cleaners to clean all town hall windows inside and outside for $80. This was the low quote.


The Chair showed the board current complaint forms; the board gave him authority to proceed with responding to them.


Supervisor Erdmann will invite a crack sealing firm to a meeting after the road tour.


A motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Chair Gondeck to purchase a security system for $1,200 for the town hall. There will be a $20 monthly fee for the alarm calls to go to supervisor’s homes. Motion passed. This was the lowest cost.

There will be a May agenda item to talk about landscaping of the new hall.


Resolution 2007-1 was adopted on motion by Chair Gondeck and second by Supervisor McIntosh setting the meeting dates and time for the coming year. They are May 1, June 5, July 10, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 13, December 4, January 8, February 5 and March 4.


Motion was made by Chair Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor McIntosh authorizing the Clerk and Treasurer to create a proposal on investing some of the township funds. Motion passed.


The meeting adjourned at 10:15pm.


                                                Respectfully submitted by Clerk Pat Spence