Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes
December 4, 2007
The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order at 7pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 by Chair Craig Gondeck. Board members present were Supervisors Craig Gondeck and Lloyd Erdmann, Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Supervisor Brad McIntosh was absent. Those present in the audience included Rosie Johnson, Paulette Haehn, Maureen Graber, Brian Schoenherr, Paul Schwinghammer, and George Mastey.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, the Chair thanked everyone for coming and encouraged every one not to drink and drive during the holiday season. Supervisor Erdmann said that Supervisor McIntosh is working at the Becker Power Plant and will come if possible. MS4 was added to the agenda, a web-site change, and liquor license renewal for Twin Pines. The minutes of the November meeting were approved on a motion by Chair Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann. The Treasurers Report was approved on a motion by Chair Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann; Eileen Saldana noted that the report did not reflect money deposited that day from Benton County. The Chair requested that people follow a protocol during the meeting of one person speaking at a time and coming forward to the podium to speak. Maureen Graber recommended Allied Waste for garbage service at the town hall since they would consider the town hall as a residence and would give the lowest rate at $21 per month. On a motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann, the Clerk was requested to contact Allied Waste to begin the service.
Supervisor Craig Gondeck read snow plow complaints from a few residents. He noted that George Mastey’s cell phone number should be taken off the website. George should not receive calls directly from citizens; calls should go to the Supervisors. George Mastey explained the snowplowing process. Supervisor Gondeck will have George Mastey’s phone number taken off the website.
After the discussion last month about the storm water pond, Maureen Graber asked Paul Schwinghammer to make a recommendation on the pond because of a complaint received on November 19th regarding potential violations of state stormwater regulations. Paul inspected the site and discovered several violations of these regulations: no temporary stabilization and no inspection records available. Paul read the “Storm water Compliance Report” which he had prepared. It contained a recommendation that the pond be left alone until spring thaw and then straw mulch added to aid in the establishment of vegetation and prevent erosion. Current impact is minimal. We need to lead by example. Maureen clarified that this report will be added to our MS4 report. It must be addressed in the spring. The board directed the Clerk to place it on the March agenda.
George Mastey asked the Clerk to read the minutes from June 20, 2006 regarding the snow plowing contract. The motion passed at that time was to approve $500 annually for salt/sand storage at MTD; indemnify the township from any liability; and to reopen the contract for fuel adjustments. George is asking for a monthly fuel adjustment based on the amount he is paying for the fuel; he added that this is customary in the industry. Supervisor Erdmann suggested that we adopt a fuel surcharge over $3.00 per gallon cost for the fuel. MTD would need to present the township the invoice or receipts. George’s proposal is not retroactive but for going forward. For every dime the fuel goes up, the cost per hour would go up by $1 per hour on large equipment and 50 cents per hour on the skid loader and pickups. Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann to approve this fuel surcharge subject to careful review next month; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck. The motion passed. Supervisor Gondeck said that all of this is based on trust.
Chair Gondeck was at the MAT Conference and one of the topics was having workmen’s comp insurance certificates on file. We will be asking for a list of employees for each contractor working for the township.
The monthly bills were presented. A motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor McIntosh to approve the bills as presented and to withdraw the money from the correct account. The motion passed.
Bob Erickson gave a report on a legal seminar he attended regarding roads. He will furnish the board with a report. Also the highway department will be upgrading the roadway from Seeker’s going north with a service road. They want to get accesses off Highway 10. Bob recommends a meeting with Ray Schlichting, Lee Hanson, the county and state to decide the best placement. It appears that MNDot will pay for the road going to Schlichting’s property. MNDoT wants to eliminate the Jackal Road access. A meeting needs to be called with the township, Hansons and Ray Schlichting. The planning process will take a year. The Chair will set up the meeting for January.
Report on Mississippi River Conference was given by Chair Gondeck: about 14 agencies participated. He said it was an excellent conference.
MAT Conference report by Chair Gondeck: risk management; complaint form was well received; subcontracting was covered—it is up to the township to set the standards. A motion was made by Chair Gondeck that the Clerk should send a letter to all the township sub-contractors getting a list of their employees; the motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed. Rosie Johnson suggested that everything be more businesslike with things in writing. It is good to have a paper trail.
Fire Board Report by Chair Gondeck: There was a Fire Board meeting and the budget increase is 14% rather than the 29% they proposed. This should be about a $2,000 increase in cost for our township. There is not adequate space at Rice City Hall to house Gold Cross full time. The state and federal governments are mandating additional training and not funding it, so this causes a serious funding problem for the fire department. We would like to see them pursue more grants, as many neighboring departments have applied for and received Homeland Security Grants for their fire departments. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the Rice fire budget with the stipulation that they show evidence they are seeking grants. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed.
Traci Balder gave the quarterly Assessor’s report. Land value is still increasing in Watab Township. She will go over the sales again in March or April. There will need to be adjustments on the values for the lots in developments which are selling for much more than the price they are listed. There will be adjustments in the plats.
Supervisor Gondeck spoke about a grant process for septic system updates. He will check into it. He then reviewed the citizen complaints and Supervisor Erdmann made the motion for the Chair to act on all of them. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed.
The Clerk gave a power point presentation of the breakdown on the town hall building expenses. She was asked to make a printed copy for distribution at the next meeting. The board approved the placement of expenses in the various accounts.
Monthly Correspondence was reviewed by Clerk Spence. The annual road report needs to be authorized to Benton County. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to have the Chair sign the report as printed. Motion passed.
Chair Gondeck reported that Watab Cleanup Day costs totaled $8412. 172 people came through; Langola had 41 people dropping off trash. The Clerk was asked to bill Langola Township on a strict percentage basis compared to how many came from Watab.
The Chair reported that 19 new homes were built in Watab during the past year at a value of $4,952,000.
Clerk Spence requested approval of the final levy request to Benton County. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann for the Clerk to certify the levy as approved by the electors at the annual meeting in March. Clerk Spence recommended that the town board work on the 2008 budget at the January meeting. This will be placed on the agenda. Supervisor Erdmann recommended that the budget and levy is the first agenda item at the 2008 Annual Meeting so that more people are present.
Pat Spence was asked by Supervisor Gondeck to send a letter of support for the rezoning request by Marty Golembeski. He made a motion which died for lack of a second. Supervisor Erdmann said he would not support the motion because he did not have enough information about the project and the road right of way.
Chair Gondeck moved approval for the 3.2 liquor license renewal for Twin Pines; it was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed.
The Clerk noted that filing for the annual town election opens on January 2nd. The Clerk and Supervisor position held by Brad McIntosh will be open for a two-week filing period. Contact the Clerk for affidavits.
Supervisor Erdmann requested that the information on snow removal costs be removed from the township website. The Chair agreed and will have it removed. The meeting adjourned at 10:10pm.
Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence