Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

January 6, 2009


The regular monthly meeting of Watab Town Board was called to order on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 by

Chair Craig Gondeck. All board members were present: Supervisors Lloyd Erdmann, Ed Kacures Jr., Craig Gondeck, Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were:  Rosie Johnson, Walter Jansen, Earl Harden, Chad Erdmann, George Mastey, Taunya Mastey, Maureen Graber, Delroy & Donna Rothstein, Pat Koch, Kim Koch, Sandra Saldana, John Saldana Jr., Paul Jacobs, and JoAnn Baumgart.

Following the Pledge to the Flag, the Chair announced the township’s sympathy to the Mark Kosloske family on the death of Beverly, who was a long-time employee of Rumors. Also, he thanked the St. Cloud Shriners are taking care of costs for Taylor Strand’s treatment.

Chair Gondeck moved and Supervisor Kacures seconded approval of the agenda. Motion passed. The minutes of the December 2nd Public Hearing and the regular monthly meeting were approved on a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck. Motion passed. The Treasurer’s report was approved on a motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann.

Citizen’s Issues:  Rosie Johnson:  asked what time the town hall parking lot lights go off in the morning. The board will have Little Rock Electric check on the timing for this to save electrical costs. The board thanked Rosie for bringing this to their attention.

The board reviewed the bills for claims 4001 through 4021. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Kacures to approve the bills and withdraw the funds from the appropriate accounts. The motion passed.

Old Business:

1.       Open Quotes on Demolition of burned home at Norway Pine Estates: Supervisor Gondeck reported that the township attorney had been contacted by personnel from the bank who owns the home. Our attorney recommends that the board open the quotes, table action on awarding the project, and copy the quotes for the bank; they may want to clean it up rather than have the township do it.  Another updated lien will be placed against the house. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to open the quotes, give the bank a timeline of 15 days to complete the demolition, and to have the bank give the township the funds for the contractor who submitted the low quote. The township would supervise the work at no cost to the bank for the oversight.  The motion passed. Six quotes were received as follows:  (1) Henkemeyer Excavating at $3,900 ( to remove 3 dead trees) ; (2) Lloyd’s Contracting @ $8,970; (3) Rice Contracting @ $8,200; (4) MTD Excavating @ $8,645 if completed before road restrictions are on; (5) J & J Turf Sales @$8,900; and (6) Ray Thompson Excavating @ $5,900. The Chair will visit with Henkemeyers to see if they will honor the same quote and removed all the dead trees.

2.       Jon Bogart gave an update on the Fifth Avenue project.  Road design would be for a 9-ton road operating as a collector road with low traffic, about 400-500 cars per day. He distributed two cost estimates: one includes muck removal and the other using geo-textile.  He recommends rebuilding it using geo-textile. Engineering costs would be about $25,000. Project cost is estimated at $878,664.00, which includes a 15% construction contingency. John feels that we will have our best bituminous prices next year and possibly the following year. Supervisor Gondeck said that he spoke with the county engineer and assistant county engineer. They both feel that these estimates are good numbers. Supervisor Erdmann strongly suggests putting the road on the original section lines; he likes the idea of taking out the peat where possible and if the peat is deep using the geo-textile; he appreciated the good job that Jon did in putting the estimates together. Supervisor Gondeck asked about the cost for the turn lanes into Lake Andrew Development, which Jon said would cost about $30,000. This would be deducted from the project cost to the township, since the developer is required to pay for the turn lanes into the development. Supervisor Kacures asked if we should ask the county to put turn lanes on the county roads going onto Fifth Avenue. Jon felt that we should invite them to do this. He also asked other questions, which Jon addressed. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion for the Clerk to look into financing for the project, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck, and motion passed. The board feels that this project is long overdue, because it is the worst road in the township. Hopefully, the board can take bids this spring and have it as a summer project. We will have discussion about this at the annual meeting. The township will need some slope easements.  The project would take about fifty working days.

3.       Quote on additional sound panels for the town hall:  Supervisor Gondeck said the cost is $1,822 to have Minnesota Acoustics add panels on the upper west wall and above the voting booths on the south wall. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to proceed and add these panels.

4.       The Clerk reported on the Small Claims Court cases this week with Don Zieglmeier and Alisha Voigt. The judge ruled in favor of the township in the Zieglmeier case and took the other case under advisement. A written ruling will come from Judge Jesse in the next few days.

5.       Little Rock Electric Off-Peak Installation Report:  This should be completed tomorrow.

6.       Benton Telecommunications Foundation Grant: The Clerk wrote a grant request to them, and the township was awarded $1,500 to purchase an on-site defibrillator medic first aid kit, battery pack and burn pads for the town hall. Supervisor Kacures said that he has information that he is gathering on the defibrillators and certification needed. He will continue to work on it.

7.       A meeting date was set between the board and our building inspector for Tuesday, January 27th at 7:00 p.m.

8.       Township Newsletter & Stationery: (see written info from Ed Kacures). Pat would write an article on the annual meeting, agenda, financial recap, and highlights of the year;  Maureen Graber an article on MS4 and septic system maintenance; Little Rock Lake buffer project; Supervisor Erdmann on Fifth Avenue and road projects; Supervisor Gondeck on Watab Cleanup Day, History Day, and  Adopt a Road; the articles need to be submitted at the February meeting. The Chair will meet with Robin Heine on a design for the letterhead stationery. A motion was made by Supervisor Kacures and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to proceed with the plans for the township newsletter.

New Business:

1.       Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor Kacures to renew the Wacosa contract to clean the town hall at the current rate of $36 per crew hour. Cost to the township is approximately $55 per month.

2.       Road certification to Benton County: A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to certify 41.9 miles of township roads plus the public roads in the Cove development. Motion passed.

3.       SCORE grant application deadline to Benton County is February 17, 2009. The Chair asked for approval to apply for a $10,000 grant for Watab Clean Up Day in September 2009.  A motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor Kacures to make the application. The motion passed.

4.       Jim McDermott requested our input for a new county Mitigation Plan. Resolution  2009:1 giving authority for our participation was given through a  motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann. Motion passed. The clerk needs to mail the resolution to Benton County.

5.       The Clerk reported that the Annual Election will be held on Tuesday, March 11th from 11am to 8pm. She requested that absentee voting be conducted between the hours of 10am and noon on Saturday, March 7th. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve her request.

6.       The Board of Audit Meeting will be held on January 27 following the meeting with the building official.

7.       Rice Fire Board meeting report: Supervisor Kacures said they had an interesting meeting. The budget sheets he handed out last month were approved by the Rice City Council. The increase is about 7%. Supervisor Kacures again asked the Rice Fire Chief to check with Lee Hanson about tapping into the hydrants in his development. This would help our insurance rates. We should probably have an agreement in writing with both departments and Lee Hanson. They currently pay for EMT training; Supervisor Kacures questioned this since Gold Cross has paramedics who would most likely handle the emergencies. He also suggested that the Clerk send a letter to the City Clerk asking for monthly income and expenses for the Rice Fire Department.  Clerk was asked to prepare a spread sheet on past years of this contract; put in formula numbers. Include per cent increases. Supervisor Kacures called the Rice City Clerk today and asked her about the 2009 costs. She is waiting for the valuation figures from Rod Bunting, County Deputy Auditor.  It looks like our costs might be down slightly. He also asked Mayor Fiedler if the town board is paying for litigation costs or OSHA penalties that involve the fire department. The Mayor said that he will have the City Attorney respond to us.

8.       Citizen Feedback Report:  The Chair reviewed all of the citizen concerns for the past month. 

9.       Correspondence: Rinke Noonan sent a letter with a small rate increase for legal fees in 2009. We receive a reduced government rate. The Clerk certified the levy for 2009 for a total of $320,000 as approved by the electors at the annual meeting. The Board of Review for Watab Township has been scheduled by the County Assessor for April 29, 2009 at 2:30pm at the Watab Town Hall. A letter of invitation has been sent from the Minnesota Association of Townships for a workshop on energy cost reduction for township government.  Supervisor Gondeck will attend. The Clerk asked about the cancelled in route calls for Rice Fire Department when no names are reported on the call reports. Supervisor Kacures will inquire if the cost is passed on to us.

10.   Update on snowplowing by Jason Chapman. They were out five times for total plowing. Salt/sanding is additional. Supervisor Erdmann said that the township had 24 inches of snow in December according to the weather service. Supervisor Erdmann said that he had a call about the snow pack on the roads; that is a condition of this year. The minimum maintenance road has been plowed twice. Jason asked how the board feels about him scraping snow. John Saldana Jr. was out on the county roads in Benton and Stearns and they aren’t any better than the township roads. Jason was thanked for a good job. Jason said he has used 48 tons of salt/sand this year. Supervisor Kacures had a couple of calls from people who said they are already plowed last. One complainant actually lives on a road that is in the middle of the route.  The board feels Jason is doing an excellent job. Bob Raveling asked about the plowing on Shoestring Loop; Jason will look at it. George Mastey said that he has had seventeen phone calls of complaint about the sanding on the town roads. He suggested that we have a new process for sanding and the new snow plow contractor listed on our website.  Also, add this information to the newsletter. Jason approved having his cell phone number on the website.

11.   Supervisor Issues:  Supervisor Gondeck said that he’ll be pushing for applying for a grant for demolition of houses in blighted areas. The grant request would come through Benton County Economic Development Committee. On May 8th there will be an energy seminar here on energy alternatives. He requested a letter of support for the reappointment of Bob Kozel as the county engineer.  Supervisor Gondeck made a motion, which was seconded by Supervisor Kacures to have the clerk send a letter of support to the county board. Supervisor Kacures said that he is still hoping that Commissioner Wollak will pursue his complaints when he can get back to work. Supervisor Gondeck said that the Citizen Complaint Forms are very important for keeping record of communications.

A motion was made by Supervisor Kacures and seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to adjourn the meeting. It adjourned at 10:00 p.m.


                                                                Respectfully submitted by Patricia Spence, Clerk