Watab Township Public Hearing & Board Meeting Minutes

December 2, 2008




A public hearing to consider a change to Ordinance I: Adopting the MN State Building Code was called to order at the Watab Town Hall at 7pm on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 by Chair Craig Gondeck. All board members were present:Craig Gondeck, Lloyd Erdmann, Ed Kacures Jr., Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were:†† Rosie Johnson, Bruce Christofferson, Paul Jacobs, Delroy Rothstein, Jim Wensel, Nathaniel Schraut, Maureen Graber, and Jim Brownson. The meeting opened with the Pledge to the Flag. The Chair reminded everyone in the audience not to drink and drive during the holiday season.


The Clerk explained the purpose of changing the Ordinance is to have our ordinance perpetually update to the state building code.The Chair gave the rules for the public hearing.First he called all those in favor of the change in the ordinance; he asked three times. No one chose to speak. Then he asked for those who wished to speak against the ordinance. He asked three times; no one chose to speak.Supervisor Gondeck closed the public hearing. He then asked the board for comments. Supervisor Erdmann spoke in favor of the change. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to adopt Ordinance No. 1 as amended. Motion passed unanimously. The public hearing was adjourned.


The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order on Tuesday, Dec 2 at 7:04pm. The agenda was adopted with a change in order on motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Kacures. The minutes were approved as written on a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Kacures.Eileen Saldana gave a Treasurerís Report, which was approved on a motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Kacures.


Citizenís Issues:

1.       Jim Brownson, President of the Cove Development Co. has received a bill for attorney fees from the township and asked for clarification. He stated that it was broken into three parts: water line easement; right of way; and developerís agreement. He said that he had a verbal agreement with Supervisor Gondeck for $1,100 for attorney fees. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to agree to change the amount due from $1,391 to the $1,100 agreed on. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed. The Clerk will check on Bob Ericksonís bills and contact Jim Brownson to clarify what was done. This will be on next monthís agenda.

2.       Bruce Christofferson, Hemlock Road came on behalf of the Little Rock Lake Association. At the Annual Meeting the citizens gave $2,000 for weed spraying. The DNR did not give permission for the spraying. However, the lake association has continued to be proactive. They purchased books on septic management and had a seminar at the town hall. There are also two upcoming seminars in the coming year that will be given by the University of Minnesota. They would like to use the $2,000 for shoreline management/buffer zone development with native grasses. It would help with the MS4 work in the township. The work shops cost $1,000. Maureen Graber spoke in favor of the township giving the funding toward this project. She distributed DVDís on the impaired waterways.Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to give the $2,000 for this purpose; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck.Paul Jacobs said that he felt this would be opening the township for many other requests. The Chair explained the process that requires board approval. Motion passed.

3.       Maureen Graber said that the software cost contract was only $600, so the township overpaid the bill. She presented a refund to the township board.


The Chair called on Scott Hamak regarding the Norway Pines burned property. He outlined the process that has been followed and the required next steps. The township should have the authority to move ahead by the first of January or when we get the court order to proceed. It has taken a great deal of time because of due process required when private property is involved.Supervisor Gondeck asked if the board would have any liability for the property in the future. Jim Wensel said that an adjoining property has sold and he asked why this is taking longer. The attorney responded. He asked if this happens again, would it move more quickly. Supervisor Kacures added that there also was an arson investigation.Jim Wensel said that a contractor quoted him $10,000 to clean up the site. He asked if we can go ahead and get quotes so that weíre ready to clean it up. The board agreed that would be wise. Paul Jacobs recommended that tree removal be covered in the quotes. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, to adopt Resolution 2008-11: Authorizing Letter to Hazardous House Owner. Motion passed and two copies of the resolution were signed.The attorney will file the documents immediately to expedite the process as much as possible.


The board reviewed the monthly bills. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Kacures to pay the monthly bills for claims numbered 3442 through 3459 as presented and to withdraw the funds from the appropriate accounts.


Chair Gondeck presented costs to complete the acoustical panels. The east wall gable above windows and west wall above booths would cost $1976.00; an additional panel on the south wall would be $453.00. Rosie Johnson asked why we need more panels. Supervisor Gondeck said it would give more sound improvement.Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to purchase all the extra panels. Supervisor Kacures felt we should wait until the video screen is up. He wants to do the south and west wall. The motion was amended according to Supervisor Kacuresí recommendation. The east wall will be completed after the screen is installed. Motion carried as amended.


The Clerk submitted a grant application to Benton Telephone Foundation for a defibrillator and first aid kit for the town hall. Supervisor Gondeck researched what equipment we might need.


Building Inspector Contract Information:Nancy Scott inspects individual septic systems in Rice. Other townships and cities have the same contract. The board wishes to have a personnel meeting to discuss the details of the contract with her after Christmas.


Newsletter:Supervisor Kacures looked into printing a newsletter: Palmer and Continental Printing were contacted. He presented their quotes.We can include the ordinance on road right of way, snow plowing, citizen feedback form, MS4, lake association buffer project, county road project, clean up day, history day, annual meeting, picture of the board with names and phone numbers.Rosie Johnson suggested that Watab Township be printed clearly on the outside, so people receiving it donít think itís junk mail. Board members should think of articles for the next meeting. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to work with Palmer Printing on the newsletter, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed. Supervisor Kacures was asked to check on the deadline for articles so that the newsletter would be in peopleís homes by the first week of March.


Small Claims Court Issues: Gondeck has filed the paperwork.

Supervisor Gondeck reported that the township can develop our own septic system ordinance.


Clerk Spence reviewed the boundary map from the U. S. Census Bureau. Corrections were listed and the Clerk will make the necessary corrections.


Citizen Feedback:the Clerk discussed a concern about the billing for a medical call. Supervisor Gondeck said thereís lots of suspicious activity in the township; kids are ringing doorbells and running off.Everyone should be cautious and watch neighborís homes if they are away.


Supervisor Erdmann brought up the draft of specifications for the clearing of the Norway Pines property:All dead and or seriously damaged trees shall be removed along with the stumps. All concrete block, brick, stone, wood, metal and plastic shall be removed from the site and properly disposed of according to county ordinance. The basement hole shall be filled and compacted with sand. When completed, the fill shall be level with the surrounding area. The sewer and water pipes shall be capped off and sealed at a point at a minimum of one foot outside the existing footings. Care should be taken not to damage the existing sewer and water lines outside the footing area. Gas, electric, phone and cable tv lines shall be cut off and buried just outside the footing area. Care shall be taken not to damage trees, utilities, roadways, or any other items that are not to be removed. Contractor will not be paid until site is inspected by the board. All insurance must be provided. Supervisor Gondeck moved approval of these specs, seconded by Supervisor Kacures. Clerk will hand out spec sheets to interested bidders. They will be notified when work is ready to begin. Price needs to be good for 90 days. Motion passed.


Supervisor Kacures wrote a letter to Commissioner Joe Wollak and Bill Mayland regarding citizen complaints. The board authorized him to send the letters on motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck. Motion passed.


Supervisor Kacures asked about getting township stationery. Each person on the board can bring forward a design for the January meeting. Also we should have business cards. The clerk will prepare them for each board meeting. Each board member should give the clerk the info they want on the card.On our website, we could have a picture and bio of each board member. We will hire Robin Nelson to take photos. She will be invited to the January meeting. Supervisor Erdmann will talk to Jim Brownson about plywood and pipe from the township left on Cove property by one of our contractors.Supervisor Kacures asked about input for the fire board meeting. Supervisor Gondeck asked Ed to get a letter from the Mayor of Rice that the fire budget wonít be affected by the lawsuits in Rice.


December 30th is the first day for residents to file for township office. Two positions will be up for election: treasurer for a two-year term and one supervisor position for a three-year term. Filing closes on January 13th at 5pm at clerkís home.


The meeting adjourned at 10:15pm.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence