The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was held on
Approval of the minutes was given on a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck with the following change on the September 7 minutes: in the sixth paragraph down “They borrowed approximately 15 cubic yards of topsoil to use for landscaping from the pond area.” The motion passed.
A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve the Treasurer’s Report. The motion passed.
There were no citizen’s issues.
Approval for payment of the bills was given for all presented bills listed on the claims list plus payment to Saldana Excavating for $3,141.26 and payment to Supervisor Erdmann for his claim. The motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed.
2. Snowplowing Damage Bill Consideration: Supervisor Erdmann said that all the shrubs damaged by snow plowing were on the township road right of way. Supervisor Gondeck said that townships are not responsible for damage done by contractors. He read from the snowplowing contract with George Mastey. The contract said that complaints must be filed with the contractor. Supervisor Gondeck will send the bill back to Don Girtz Construction with a copy of the contract paragraph, and will recommend that he take up the issue with MTD Excavating.
Road Report: Bob Erickson recommends that the
minimum maintenance road should be left as it is to keep it as a walking
trail. He suggested withholding $2,000 for
1. Watab Clean Up Day Report: the first year, 63 people participated; last year, 116 people participated; this year, 150 people came. There is more traffic coming to Clean Up Day, but less garbage is coming. The clerk commented on the express lane and how well it was organized. We have a $10,000 grant to cover expenses. If costs are higher, we will bill to other government jurisdictions.
Snow Plowing Report & Recommendations: Bob Erickson said that we need to try to be
more efficient in our expenditure for snow plowing. He provided a written report that included
comparisons with three other townships. The township names were kept
confidential. Bob recommends that we create a policy on plowing based on the
number of inches of snow fall. We also need to evaluate the type of equipment
and its efficiency for a given snow fall. Don’t double up on the roadways and
run the routes efficiently. Another
consideration is the standard for cleaning the roads. He recommends that the
board meet soon in a special meeting to make decisions on these standards.
Rosie Johnson reported that plowing was done south of her home where no one
lived. Supervisor Erdmann said that the Cove development paid for that
area. Supervisor Erdmann added that we
need to consider what the taxpayers want as a standard. Bob Erickson said that
we need to understand the efficiency of the equipment for certain roads. Brian
Erdmann recommended that we bid out the job at a per mile cost per year. That
is something the board can consider when the contract comes up. George Mastey
said that he had one call last winter with a complaint about ice; he feels he
has done a great job of keeping the township roads clean of ice and snow.
Supervisor Gondeck said that the electors allocated $25,000 additional money
for road construction and repair at the last annual meeting, and the board
needs to have a plan so that the money is available for that purpose and is not
used for snowplowing. George Mastey said he believes people demand clean
roads. Taunya Mastey suggested that the
board ask the citizens if they are satisfied with the snow plowing. Supervisor Erdmann asked for an update on
4. Chair Gondeck reported on his road survey on road right of ways. He asked for permission to apply for a grant to cover the cost of the road study. Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to apply for the grant. The Chair commended the town board in the 1970’s for insisting on the 66-foot road right of way. All this information can be entered into a computer data base. Bob Erickson said that he is going to a meeting tomorrow that is hosted by Rinke Noonan Law Firm on legal issues on roads.
Chair Gondeck reported on the
6. Chair Gondeck recommended that a Resolution be passed allowing Supervisor Erdmann to install the town hall irrigation system. He tabled this until Supervisor McIntosh is present since Supervisor Erdmann cannot vote on the resolution.
The Rice Fire Department has proposed a 29%
increase in their budget request for 2008. Their capital outlay set aside is
for future equipment. Supervisor Erdmann said that he is not in favor for
giving Rice more than the contract calls for (3% for uncontrollable costs) unless
it can be justified. Supervisor Gondeck said that a large part of the budget
increase is to add two more firemen, their equipment, and for increased
training costs. It costs $12,000 to outfit two firemen. The Mayor has said that
he will be going through the budget with the Rice City Council. Supervisor
Erdmann said that the township needs to know how the money will be spent,
because the public expects accountability. Also, Chair Gondeck said that there
is not money set aside for a new fire truck. The Clerk noted that we currently have
a $3,400 balance in our fire fund. We would need to have a special annual meeting
to increase the levy for 2008 to meet this requested increase by the City of
Supervisor Erdmann recommended that county road
Citizens Complaints: Chair Gondeck met on a complaint regarding the
building inspector; the complaint has been dropped because she had verification
of her inspections. In the future, the
contractor will be asked to sign a card noting that the Building Inspector did
an inspection. There was a water quality
complaint along county road 13 that the water was yellow; there have been no
problems. Another complaint came from a resident saying that
Rosie Johnson talked about the increase in accidents after the curve has
been removed near her home on
Maureen Graber said that our SWPPP is in public comment period until October 28. From that date, we will have six months to have our ordinance in place. Maureen has 10 copies of the plan for use by the public. Supervisor Erdmann commended Maureen on her work on this. Chad Erdmann commented that he did the clean up at Lake Andrew Development.
Ed Kacures asked about repayment from Don Zieglmeier. The chair reported that we have received $250, and he hopes to collect more money from him.
Clerk Spence read a letter from Joan Neyssen explaining comments she made at the county township officer meeting. Brian Erdmann asked about attendance of a township officer who doesn’t come to town board meetings and asked what the township has as recourse. There is none. The Clerk read a letter from Bob Helland regarding his mailbox issue. He is requesting a variance. Supervisor Erdmann noted that he will need to abstain from voting on this, because he is doing work for Bob Helland on a new home.
History Day Update: Supervisor Gondeck said that is was an excellent day and that there was a column in the Benton County News complimenting the township for hosting it.
Ron Hommerding reported on the storm water pond issue. He said that the board asked him to get quotes on filling the pond. 3,000 yards of fill are needed to fill it. Five companies submitted quotes to Ron: Ray Thompson--$ 16350; Rice 16380 Wollak 18,910, Burski 23125, MTD $26,250. The board decided not to fill the pond because of lack of funds for this purpose, and the township had already paid out funds to create the pond.
Two paving quotes were submitted for the hall parking lot: Rice
Contracting at $4900 and Certified Aggregate Products at $5175. Supervisor
Gondeck recommended that the board table this, because Supervisor Erdmann said
at the last meeting that all board members need to be present to vote on this.
Ron Hommerding said that this project has been approved by the engineer. He
added that the pond was built as a borrow pit for the fill that was needed by
the hall. Chair Gondeck said that there was a donor for the fill: Ernie Wollak,
and that he had made Ron Hommerding aware of Ernie’s offer. Ed Kacures said he feels
that this is mismanagement. Class 5 is
classified the same as a bituminous surface for runoff issues. The washout will
have to be corrected. George Mastey still has a budget for seeding and shaping.
He has been paid but hasn’t completed the seeding because of the rain. He says
the erosion will be the same if the parking lot is increased with more
bituminous or not. Lloyd said that he feels there is a need for larger parking
area because of the large turnout for the lake association meeting. Heavy rains
are going to make the erosion of the gravel increase. Supervisor Erdmann said that he wants Supervisor
McIntosh present to make a decision. He then made a motion to pave the portion of
the parking lot that is now graveled and to accept all the quotes. The Clerk
recommended that the money for the parking lot come from the Road & Bridge
Fund to keep the necessary balance to make the bond payment and interest
Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence