Watab Town Board Meeting

July 1, 2008



The regular monthly meeting of Watab Town Board was called to order at 7pm on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 by Chair Craig Gondeck. All board members were present:  Supervisors Craig Gondeck, Lloyd Erdmann and Ed Kacures, Jr. ; Treasurer Eileen Saldana; and Clerk Pat Spence. Those present in the audience were: Jeff Hanson, Maureen Graber, Bob Erickson, George & Taunya Mastey, Traci Balder, Douglas J. Boser, Marlen & Marcy Johnson, Jason Fleming, Paul Jacobs, Jon Bogart, Sandra Saldana, Brian Erdmann and Chuck Ertl. Following the Pledge to the Flag, the chair asked for approval of the agenda with the addition of the road mowing contract approval. He moved approval, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and motion passed.


The Chair moved approval of the June meetings’ minutes; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, and passed. The Treasurer gave her report. The Chair moved approval, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and passed. There were no Citizen Comments. The Clerk presented the bills and asked the board for approval to pay and withdraw the necessary funds from the appropriate accounts. A motion was made by Supervisor Kacures and seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to pay the bills as presented. Motion passed.


Old Business:

1.      Road Patching:  Supervisor Kacures said that he contacted George Mastey regarding road damage from the snow plowing. George is still working on the patching, and it will be completed next week.

2.      Jason Fleming: Jason is the Fire Marshall for our district. He presented information on what a governmental unit can do in case of home fires where the lot is left in an unsafe condition. There is a state statute which allows a governmental jurisdiction to pass a resolution which asks the Commissioner of Commerce to place the township on the fire loss escrow account. A separate account in the township must be established to receive the funds; they cannot be co-mingled with other town funds. Principal and interest must go to offset the costs of cleanup from the fire. Doug Boser asked if this fund would also cover meth lab cleanup. Jason said it only covers fires. Supervisor Gondeck asked how we would receive the money. We would file a claim with the insurance company. They contact the township and make payment.  Jason Fleming said that the home fire in Watab this spring is under investigation. Passing a resolution at this time would not help us take care of the past fire; it would help us in the future. A finance company in Missouri owns the property. The township can bill the property owner for the fire; if it is unpaid, we can have it billed to their property taxes. Sauk Rapids Fire Department hired Henkemeyer Landfill to help clean up the site. The Chair asked Jason to send the bill to the township and we will place it on their taxes. Our attorney advised that there is an Ordinance we can pass to help us clean up the site. It is very important to keep a paper trail, and he will give us a step-by-step process to follow.  Chair Gondeck asked to be the designated person that Jason would contact in future cases. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to draft a resolution patterned after Sauk Rapid’s; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck; motion passed. Paul Jacobs asked if the investigation is still open; Jason responded that four jurisdictions are investigating. Jason added that there are two ambulances that now serve the southern 2/3 of the township from Sauk Rapids.

3.      Frost Road and Plaziak Road repairs: Bob Erickson explained the improvements. Frost Road had a cost overrun because of water running through the road bed and the need for a drain pipe and fabric.  Both projects are well done. Maureen Graber thanked the board for the improvements to Plaziak Road.

4.      Doug Boser showed the board the acoustical panels and the colors available. It costs approximately $10 per square foot. Doug proposes spending $1,300 for a total of six panels to improve the acoustics in the meeting room. Chair Gondeck made a motion to order the panels in the color of wedgewood; seconded by Supervisor Kacures; motion passed.

5.      Maureen Graber gave a report on the stormwater pond. Lloyd Erdmann donated the wood chips; Saldana Excavating donated the rock for the swale; Brian Erdmann donated the mowing; it was seeded last Friday morning. The roots for the native plants will take a couple of years to establish. She thanked all those who donated and said that the donor’s names will be placed on the plaque. Doug Boser will help Maureen with the sign. Ed Kacures will donate posts for the sign. Brian Erdmann will donate rye grass seed for the area near the swale. The Clerk commended Maureen for all her volunteer work on this project, and Maureen received a round of applause from the board and audience.

6.      Henkemeyer Landfill is wiling to set up a compost site for the township. The cost would be 50 cents a bag for leaves and $10 to $15 for brush from Watab residents. We will not need to sign a contract with them. We can have a sign placed there that could be paid for through the SCORE grant. We should have this added to our website. Chair Gondeck made a motion to set up the compost site; seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, and passed.

7.      A road right-of-way ordinance will be drafted by our attorney. Because we are an urban township, we should have an ordinance that will control private property placed in the road right-of-way. We should have the draft ordinance by the August meeting. Supervisor Erdmann suggested that the ordinance include all items that are placed in the road right of way that could cause a problem with safety.

8.      Chairs for board the board table at the town hall will be on next month’s meeting. Supervisor Gondeck will bring in another sample.


New Business:

1.      Traci Balder, Assessor, gave her report. She did 393 reviews during the past year. There were 128 property reviews that were previously omitted. She distributed a written report. This year she will be doing sections 8 through 10. From October to now, sales are all more than the assessed value. February is the end of her contract; she asked to have it extended three more years so that we would have consistency. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to extend her contract for three years at the same cost; seconded by Supervisor Gondeck; motion passed. The contract was signed and will be placed on file.

2.      Snowplowing Contract Bid Process: Doug Boser made a presentation summarizing what was accomplished at the June 30 meeting. (See June 30 meeting minutes). Supervisor Erdmann questioned if one plow truck would be able to do the township in a timely manner. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the bid process. Supervisor Erdmann said that he has concerns about the lump sum payment method and its fairness to the contractor. Doug Boser answered that his personal experience is that this is a good way to protect the township. All contractors will have the opportunity to bid based on the same criteria. It should save money for the township. He feels that if you go with time and material, there needs to be a board member who carefully monitors the work. Supervisor Erdmann said he is also concerned about a freezing drizzle and everyone having a different idea about the need for sanding; the board has the ultimate authority to say when the plow goes out. Maureen Graber said that she thinks it is a great bid process. Taunya Mastey said that there was a problem with the board oversight last year and disagreements. Supervisor Kacures asked about Section 13. Clerk will make addition as stated in minutes. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the process for bidding and the stated criteria; motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures and passed. Golf Haven, Pirates Cove, Lake Andrew, Oak Hill Estates, Plaziak Road are not on the map. There will be an attachment to the map stating that the new developments are not on it; contractors who wish to bid on the snowplowing contract should contact supervisors with questions; road total is about 46 miles.

3.      Weed Report: Supervisor Gondeck said that because of the late spring, we have very few noxious weeds in the township at this time. Supervisor Gondeck went on the weed tour with the county official. They will be putting up signs for the town hall. Supervisor Kacures asked about treating poison ivy. Each supervisor can go out and spray.

4.       Seal Coating: John Bogart gave a report on the bidding process and presented the contract proposal.  He recommends fifteen days for completion of the work.  Receive bids by July 23; advertise usual posting places and the construction bulletin. Potentially two to three contractors will likely be interested. Send the package directly to Astech and Pearson Brothers. Supervisor Kacures suggested that sand be removed from the road surface and cracks blown out before work is done. This will be added to the specifications. Work will be awarded at the August meeting. Roseanna Beach Road has an area that may need to be patched rather than seal coated (from 3+00 to 7+00). John recommended doing soil borings on that section before work is done there. Supervisor Kacures asked about the section on Saldana Road being completed as part of this project; also he suggested notification to homeowners that the work will be done. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to go ahead with the bid process for the seal coating with the revised changes on the map; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck. Supervisor Erdmann asked what the board should do on Roseanna Beach Road. He added leaving out 3+00 to 7+00 on that road; the first 300 feet will be chip sealed.  Motion passed. Supervisor Kacures asked if trucks on Saldana Road would damage chip seal. On Saldana Road from Highway 10 to the railroad tracks, John recommends an overlay.

5.      John Bogart gave an update on Fifth Avenue. He is currently drafting a proposal for the improvements. He will also develop an estimate for his fixed fee and bring it to the August meeting. Motion by Supervisor Gondeck, second by Supervisor Erdmann; motion carried.

6.      Summer Short Course: attendance was encouraged. It is July 18th at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud.

7.      Supervisor issues: Supervisor Gondeck commented on the citizen complaints. Nancy Scott is getting an opinion from the State Building Inspector to see if the Building Inspector is responsible to inspect the sewer installations. Supervisor Kacures asked about pothole patching on Saldana Road. Supervisor Gondeck said that patching would also be needed on Riverview Loop.

8.      The Clerk reviewed the monthly correspondence. Supervisor Kacures reported that he tried to communicate with Mayor Fiedler again this past month regarding the fire contract with Rice and has had no response. He will keep attempting to get one.

9.      Bob Erickson sent a letter to MNDoT about the proposed road east of highway 10. Funds will be available until July 2009. David Schwarting, Project Manager for MNDoT, sent a letter responding to several questions. In summary: (a) MnDOT will continue to budget for the frontage road project for FY ’09. If the project is not going to be let before June 30, 2009, the funds will no longer be available and the project will have to recomplete for future funding; (b) MnDOT does not participate in land acquisition for local frontage roads that are initiated locally; (c) MnDOT would allow the westerly side of the frontage road to drain into US Hwy 10 right of way; (d) drainage from the east side of the frontage road would have to be reviewed for approval; (e) the frontage road on the west side of US 10 would be eligible to complete for local initiative funds available; and (f) there has not been any discussion within MnDOT to set a date for closure of the median on US 10 north of CSAH 4/CR79. Closure would be determined by evaluating the benefits of closing the median that would reduce accidents and not increase them at another intersection.

10.  Supervisor Gondeck said that building permit sales are greatly reduced this year. He asked for permission to replace signs where needed and listed them. Supervisor Erdmann made the motion, seconded by Supervisor Kacures to authorize Supervisor Gondeck to order the signs. Motion passed.

11.  Doug Boser proposed video taping the meetings. The board agreed. Doug will bring the camera.

12.  Supervisor Kacures proposed that we should think about board and audience safety after what happened in Little Falls at the County Board meeting.

13.  Ditch Mowing:  There was extensive discussion about the award of the ditch mowing contract. Supervisor Kacures said that since both Rice Contracting and MTD have the same price for mowing the town roads, he recommends that it be rebid for a lump sum price. He suggested no fuel surcharge. Cutting would go back eight feet. After considerable discussion on how to proceed with the letting of the contract, Supervisor Erdmann said that he has a conflict of interest on this issue. Two audience members, Sandy Saldana and Maureen Graber, said that he should not have been involved in the conversation at any time, last evening or tonight, about this contract since his brother and George Mastey both gave quotes. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion for having Rice Contracting get the two year contract because he has the lowest quote with adequate equipment; he resides in the township and has provided volunteer services for the township. Discussion continued, and the Clerk suggested that because of the conflict of interest Supervisor Erdmann should not continue to be part of the discussion on the contract. He then left the meeting.  Supervisor Kacures suggested that the contract should have a maximum cost each year of $3,000 for both road mowing and brush cutting with no fuel surcharge. Supervisor Kacures seconded the motion. The motion passed.  The Clerk was given authority to use the mowing services contract model from the Minnesota Association of Townships to prepare the contract for signing.


The meeting adjourned.


                                                Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence, Clerk