Minutes of Watab Town Board
April 12, 2007
A special meeting of Watab
Town Board was called to order at 8:10am on Thursday, April 12, 2007 by Chair
Craig Gondeck. The meeting was called on April 3rd to deal with two
agenda items: town hall demolition and MS4. Board members present were Chair
Gondeck, Supervisor Lloyd Erdmann, and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members
present were: Brian Erdmann, Bob Erickson, George Mastey, Ron Hommerding,
Gerald Hovde, Paul Ripplinger, and Rick Buss. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the board
dealt with the two items of business:
with MTD Excavating on town hall demolition: Ron Hommerding said that he now has George
Mastey’s insurance certificate and other necessary information, and everything
is now in order. Ron will verify the procedures with the asbestos
inspector. He recommends if there is asbestos involved that we get quotes
on the asbestos removal. George Mastey said that the inspector will have
all building materials in the old town hall tested. Vermiculite was found
yesterday during the inspection, and it needs to be taken care of in the
same manner as asbestos. George said that his letter from Ron Hommerding
said that he was to arrange for the asbestos abatement with a contractor,
and he has done that. We won’t know
the exact cost until the reports are back from the testing company. The
Chair asked George why it took so long to get this done when Supervisor
Erdmann was appointed to work with him five weeks ago. He said that he was
unaware of an exact timetable. Bob Erickson asked how we will address the
cost. Ron said that he will review the costs and award the contract. Ron will
get the quotes. He said that his letter to George should not have said
that George should arrange for the abatement contractor. Ron will call the contractor whom George
has arranged and ask him to send the quote to him after the inspection
report is returned. Paul Ripplinger asked if someone could document a
procedure for George to make the process clearer.
- MS4 Ordinance: We are
required by MPCA to administer our own storm water runoff in the township.
The county is required to administer storm water runoff for their
properties (county roads and facilities). Paul Schwinghammer said that
MPCA says any ditch is a storm water conveyance. Local municipalities can
be the most restrictive entity. Stearns County has four people that go out and do inspections. Chair Gondeck
stated that Chelle Benson told those present at the township officer’s
meeting that Benton County Highway Department is in charge of MS4 for the
county. There is confusion because Brad McIntosh had a tour with someone
from Chelle’s office who has some authority, and they reported violations
to the MPCA. Chair Gondeck made it clear that our supervisor went on this
tour without board authority; he also stated that he believes that it is
in the best interest of the township to work with developers. If we see a
violation, we should contact them first and give them an opportunity to
rectify the problem. Supervisor Erdmann and Paul Schwinghammer agreed. Gerald
Hovde feels the township and county could hold the public hearing together
and co-sponsor educational efforts for contractors. One agency could
handle the permits so there wouldn’t be duplication. We have to establish
a complaint line where people can call in their complaints and then there
is township follow up. The county
uses a poster with a 1-800 number. Lloyd sees a problem with Planning and
Zoning getting involved. MPDES permits are also required by contractors.
Paul said that the simplest thing to do is ask the contractor for their
paperwork. If they have the proper paperwork, they are doing the
inspections and you don’t need to be out walking around.
recommends that the county look at the documentation on the inspections and review
the plats for proper drainage. He clarified that the Wetland Conversation Act
deals with wetlands and drainage. MPDES deals with developments, which is a
permitting process. There is no permit for MS4 for new developments. The county
will do semi-annual inspections. MPDES inspections have to be done constantly.
Paul said there should be a cooperative effort with the county because they
have the staff. The State of MN issues MPDES permits and Watab needs to review the
licensed engineer is required to review plans for drainage. If we write an
ordinance, it needs to specify that. The
township would need to hire a township engineer to review the grades and
drainage. Bob Erickson recommends a chain of authority developed through a
round table discussion. Larger cities have at least one full-time person and
then they job out. The question is what the township should do. The township
could job out our plan to another jurisdiction. We don’t need to do it ourselves.
Paul likes what Sartell is doing and suggested we might piggy back on what they
suggested that if anyone wants to be educated, they should go to the MPCA
website and read the SWIP’s from other jurisdictions. It will show who is responsible for
what. We will need to educate contractors
to do the right thing rather than using the approach of giving tickets.
welcomes the idea to be part of the discussions so that we can streamline our
process. He said that audits will start by MPCA to see that MS4 plans are being
enforced. They’ll want to see our ordinances and documentation.
said that we need to safeguard the taxpayers’ dollars so that the county and
township are not duplicating efforts. He repeated that the Town of Watab is required to have a plan and ordinances in place.
Chair Gondeck said that he favors contracting out the work at this time rather
than hiring staff. Brian Erdmann reminded the board that the township is
responsible for the storm water run off from the township roads and right of
special meeting adjourned at 10:05am.