Minutes of May 15, 2007 Watab Town Board Meeting



The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 7pm by Chair Craig Gondeck. Board members present were Chair Craig Gondeck, Supervisor Lloyd Erdmann, Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Supervisor Brad McIntosh was absent. Those present in the audience were: Bob Erickson, Rosie Johnson, Joe Wollak, Donna M. Rothstein, Taunya Mastey, George Mastey, Maureen Graber, Ed Kacures, Duane J. Popp, Ron Hommerding, Ray Schlichting, Jason Zwilling, Rand Schaper, Brian Schoenherr, Brian Erdmann, and Wendy Erdmann. Following the Pledge to the Flay, the Chair extended sympathy to the Neeser family; expressed hopes for a quick recovery for Michael Erdmann; and expressed thanks to the Sauk Rapids VFW for the POW flag for the hall. Chair Gondeck moved approval for the consent agenda; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed. There were no additions or changes to the agenda.


Citizen Issues:  Duane Johnson asked about the April minutes regarding the road for Lee Hanson and if the township would pay for it; the response by the chair was that Lee will pay all costs for the road extension and will reimburse the township for any costs.


Commissioner Joe Wollak gave a Benton County Report:

  1. He complimented the board on the new town hall.
  2. Joe stated that Benton County as the fifth highest debt per capita in Minnesota.
  3. Northstar Corridor extension has cost the county $224,000. The county board is having a survey done to determine if citizens see the extension to Rice as an opportunity or a liability. The county board has three members in opposition to the extension and two in support at this time. Following a question from Rand Schaper about projected economic impact, Commissioner Wollak said that the County Assessor is researching it.
  4. The county board is struggling with the Bend in the River Park because of a lack of funds.
  5. All the SCORE grants have been approved.


The monthly bills were presented to the board by the Clerk & Treasurer. A motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to pay the monthly bills as presented and to withdraw the necessary funds for their payment. The board signed the claims list indicating their authorization. Motion passed.


Old Business included:

  1. Ron Hommerding gave a town hall construction update. He is waiting for the report from George Mastey on the asbestos assessment and materials testing. After considerable discussion, the Chair recommended that Ron submit George’s bill to the clerk prior to the next meeting. Ron will contact MPCA on May 16th regarding the abatement and will let George know how to move ahead. Ed Kacures expressed his strong feeling that the demolition of the old hall should have already been completed, and the parking lot should be finished.
  2. Chair Gondeck recommends that the township purchase granite memorial benches with funds received in $12,500 bequests from the Plaziak Brothers. He was given board authority on motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck to move forward with obtaining quotes for the benches. Ron Hommerding was asked to contact Helmin’s Nursery for a landscaping plan. Motion passed.
  3. The Clerk distributed copies of the revised road platting manual. Bob Erickson said that the drawings will be added to the document before the June meeting for final approval of the document.
  4. Supervisor Gondeck attended a meeting in Sauk Rapids on the train whistle study. Projected cost of $3,000 for Watab Township crossings has increased from $3,000 to $6 to $10,000. If this moves ahead, costs will be paid by the New Pirates Cove Development. Jim Brownson will meet with the consultants and let Chair Gondeck know if they plan to proceed with paying for the study.
  5. Chair Gondeck spoke to the county board regarding roles and responsibilities for enforcement of MS4. They stated that the Dept. of Development only has authority for storm water runoff through developer’s agreements (no MS4 authority); once a development is completed, the township has full authority. The Highway Department has MS4 authority on their property including roads, bridges, and county ditches. The county board asked Bob Kozel and Chelle Benson to write a memo to the board outlining their roles. Chair Gondeck expressed his desire to keep the process simple in the same way that the City of Sauk Rapids is doing. If there are problems noticed in a development, he hopes that the township will work with the developers rather than taking a punitive approach. He feels we should hire a consultant to help the township through the process. Bob Erickson also recommended that we hire Red Barn Ridge to assist us. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to invite Paul Schwinghammer of Red Barn Ridge to the June meeting to guide us through the process. Motion passed.


New Business:

  1. The Road Tour was set for Saturday, May 19th at 7am beginning at the town hall.
  2. The Clerk requested that Maureen Graber be named the Deputy Clerk in case of need for a substitute at to assist with filing of materials from the old town hall. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann giving the approval.
  3. Bob Erickson distributed a snow plowing analysis with costs per inch and per mile during the past several years. Thirty-five files of town roads are plowed. Costs have escalated in the first four months of 2007, so Bob suggests that the township get information from other urban townships about how they keep snow plowing costs under control. George Mastey said that Benton County has used more salt in the past four years than ever before because of the freezing rains. The Chair asked Bob to meet with George Mastey before the next meeting and return to the board with recommendations for the next meeting. The Chair is to give Bob a list of townships that he should contact.
  4. Six parties showed an interest in cleaning the town hall. The Clerk reported all the proposals. A motion was made by Chair Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to hire WACOSA at a monthly cost of $54 to clean the hall and to give him authority to sign the contract for one year cleaning. Motion passed.
  5. The Clerk reviewed the draft of the Town Hall Rental Agreement. A motion was made by Chair Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann adopting the town hall rental agreement and policy with the addition of political parties that are recognized by the State of Minnesota. Motion passed. Chair Gondeck said that he will host the Benton County Economic Development Committee at the hall on June 13th. The Clerk was asked to make copies of the rental policy and use form for the next meeting and to post on the website.
  6. The ditch mowing contract is coming up for renewal; supervisors will determine what roads should be mowed when they go on the road tour. The board wants to keep costs down by requesting that homeowners mow their ditches. This will be discussed further at the next meeting.
  7. Lake Andrew Development has requested signs on Fifth Avenue at County Road 4 and County Road 33 to direct the public to Lake Andrew Public Trails. This was tabled to learn more about the signs’ appearance.
  8. Upcoming meetings were noted.
  9. The Clerk reviewed the monthly correspondence.
  10. Chair Gondeck asked for authority to deal with the monthly citizen complaints. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck giving him the authority. The motion passed. More facts are needed on the Norway Pine Estates sewer issue; Chair Gondeck was given authority to do a legal survey of the cul de sac by Keith Wolfe’s house as soon as possible. Bob Erickson reported on the Lake Andrew roads; Sucker Creek Road has more watershed because of work on Little Rock Road. He also reported on water containment in Norway Pine Estates and will work with Supervisor Erdmann on it.
  11. The Paradies Developer Agreement and the agreement with Lee Hanson for reimbursement of road costs will be on the next meeting agenda.
  12. Duane Popp complained about the debris in the ditch by a house in Lake Andrew.
  13. Ed Kacures asked if Rice is giving the board requested information about fire and rescue calls. The Chair said that the township is not getting any of the information, and the city is not following their own attorney’s advice to furnish the names and addresses for all calls. Supervisor Gondeck was directed to meet with the Sauk Rapids Fire Department about serving all homes in Watab Township, breaking the contract with Rice because of a lack of cooperation, and investigating insurance costs. Supervisor Erdmann suggested a special meeting with residents once we get the information. Ed also asked about the reimbursement from Don Zieglmeier; it has not been received. Rosie Johnson asked about the water pipes by the town hall; they are for Pirates Cove development, which is piping water from Lee Hanson’s development.


The meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence