Minutes Watab Town Board Meeting
June 2, 2009
The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 by Chair Ed Kacures Jr. All board members were present: Supervisors Lloyd Erdmann and Craig Gondeck, Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were: William Mayland, Bruce Campbell, Maureen Graber, Mary Lou Amundson, Lee Mortenson, Jack Amundson, Rand Schaper, Delroy Rothstein, Sandra Saldana, Allen Saldana, Paul Jacobs, Brian Erdmann, and Paul Schwinghammer.
Following the Pledge to the Flag, the Chair asked for changes to the agenda. He noted that Item B on New Business would be moved up in order. The minutes of the May 5th regular meeting and the May 19th meeting were approved on motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed. The Treasurer’s Report was given on checking and investments. She recommends transferring $95,000 to checking; a motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to accept her recommendation; motion passed.
The only citizen comment were two questions by Maureen Graber requesting monthly budget updates so that the town board knows how expenses relate to the budget and whether Governor Pawlenty’s state budget cuts would affect government aid to townships. The Clerk responded that the monthly reports can be provided. No one knows yet what the Governor will be cutting to townships.
Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve monthly bills as presented and withdraw the necessary funds from the appropriate accounts; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed. Claims paid were numbers 4111 through 4128 totaling $65,263.67 and payroll totaling $2,387.85.
Bill Mayland, Benton County Park Administrator, distributed a zoning map of Watab Township. Since the beginning of the year, the county’s development department staff has been reviewing the zoning ordinances and maps. There was not clarity and consistency in some shoreland areas that needed to be rezoned to R-3. The staff has made these recommendations to the Planning Commission, which will meet on June 11, and will take testimony from residents; after their approval, this will be forwarded to the Benton County Board. The map and document is posted on the county website. Setbacks remain the same, but lot sizes change. Rand Shaper recommended that the lots be zoned R-1 to discourage density. He believes that is what the people of Watab want. Bill clarified that the lot width is what determines whether or not a lot could potentially be subdivided. You would need to own multiple lots to subdivide. Supervisor Erdmann requested that the Department of Development send special notices to the specific properties that are affected by the rezoning clarification. Bill Mayland agreed. Bruce Campbell, Chair of the Parks Commission, was also present at the meeting. Bill addressed the park dedication fee. There is approximately $30,000 within the park fund to be spent in Watab Township. He distributed a document summarizing the Master Plan for Parks and Trails. Development in parks is done through grants and use of park dedication funds. The board thanked both Bill and Bruce for their presentation.
Road Repair Projects: Jon Bogart was present to go through several items.
The board discussed financing of Fifth Avenue. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to set up the loan at Falcon National Bank as a construction loan, lock in the interest rate at 4.5% interest, with the first payments made in September to contractors. This a lower total inclusive interest rate with lower fees than going out for a public bond sale. The board had reviewed documents from Ehlers and Falcon National Bank. The Clerk also checked on other banks’ interest rates. Supervisor Gondeck seconded the motion; motion passed. Clerk Spence will contact the bank president, John Herges.
Mustang Map Report: Supervisor Gondeck suggested using the GIS maps from Benton County, so that we don’t need to hire Mustang Map and have this additional expense.
Sucker Creek Road berm: Supervisor Erdmann said that he doesn’t believe the township can do anything in creating a berm, because the township will assume liability.
Report on sign replacement: Supervisor Gondeck said he will start replacing signs this month. About twenty signs are needed at a cost of $765. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to authorize this work; motion passed.
Iron filter for the town hall: install an in-line filter that Supervisor Kacures will install to remove rust. The board asked Maureen Graber to purchase the filter.
Removal of rust from hall and surrounding area: Supervisor Gondeck can apply the rust remover at a savings to the township compared with hiring a contractor. Supervisor Erdmann noted that the control valves are rusted in the sprinkler system. He will try to clean them. The board authorized this work.
A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Kacures and passed approving Resolution 2009-6: Authorizing Benton County Assessment to Assess Property Taxes for 9102 Indigo Road NW, Rice in the amount of an additional $7,280.10. The Clerk will send the resolution to Benton County.
The current Ditch Mowing Contract continues until next summer: Brian Erdmann recommended doing the mowing in August unless there are areas where there is a need. The board agreed with his recommendation.
Supervisor Gondeck asked for consideration of an amendment to the recently approved Administrative Policy to extend the meeting time beyond three hours if there are only a couple of items left. The board agreed.
The Clerk read her correspondence to Jim Brownson and letters back from Bob Erickson to her and to Jim Brownson. Supervisor Gondeck said that the county auditor cannot accept partial payment from Jim Brownson. We could write a letter of understanding with Jim that if he pays the full amount to the township that the township would reimburse him for the difference once we receive the payment from the county: A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and passed authorizing the above action. Supervisor Erdmann abstained because of a conflict of interest.
Jason Krueger sent correspondence about County Road 55. Both the Clerk and the Chair have responded that it is a county project and his concerns should be sent to the county engineer. The Chair summarized Jason’s concerns.
Traci Balder has informed the board that she needs to increase her level of licensure to a Certified MN Assessor Specialist. She is working on that licensure and will accomplish it within 3 to 6 months.
Supervisor Kacures made a motion to have Supervisor Gondeck apply fertilizer and weed killer to the town hall lawn; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed.
Supervisor Gondeck reported on the Benton County Economic Development Board Meeting. There is $600,000 available to loan to businesses for start up or expansion.
Supervisor Kacures said that there has not been a Rice Fire Board meeting; next meeting is in September. He calculated all the figures on how the townships and Rice have been charged. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the letter and cost comparison sheet to be sent to the Rice City Council Members, Rice Fire Chief, and all Township Supervisors in Graham and Langola Townships; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed. Supervisor Kacures abstained because he wanted the letter to cover only the billing issue. It was noted that the township appreciates the good work of the Rice Firemen; the only issues are with administration of the contract and communication.
Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to pay $23,782.50 to Bogart Pederson for additional work completed this month; funds will be taken from the Road and Bridge Fund.; the motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck; motion passed.
The Supervisors discussed issues they have been working on. Supervisor Gondeck was asked to deal with right of way issues.
The Minnesota Association of Townships Summer Short Course is July 13; board members are encouraged to attend. The Little Rock Lake Association picnic is June 27 at Rumors Bar. The meeting adjourned at 10:30pm.
Respectfully submitted by Clerk Pat Spence