Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

May 5, 2009



                The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at the Watab Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. by Chair Ed Kacures Jr. All board members were present: Supervisors Kacures; Craig Gondeck and Lloyd Erdmann; Treasurer Eileen Saldana and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were:  Kimberly Thielen Cremers, Marlen and Marcy Johnson, Walter Jansen, Earl Harden, Maureen Graber, Leonard Smallwood, Jon Bogart, Allen Saldana, John Thompson, Donna Rothstein, Delroy Rothstein, Brian Erdmann, and Jim Brownson.

                Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Craig Gondeck extended sympathy to the Eugene Case family; he was a St. Joseph Township Supervisor for many years and very helpful to Craig. The board considered the agenda. The Clerk added for discussion an amendment to Resolution 2009-2: Setting Meeting Dates. Supervisor Gondeck added a presentation by Leonard Smallwood on Firearms Safety Training  being conducted at the town hall . Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve the agenda as amended; motion passed.

                Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve the minutes of the regular April meeting and the Board of Equalization meeting; motion passed. The Treasurer’s Report was given. Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann and seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to approve the report; motion passed.

                The Chair asked for citizen comments. There were none. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the bills as presented for Claims 4091 through 4109 and to withdraw the necessary funds. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed.

                Maureen Graber presented the annual report for MS4: Municipal Separate Storm Water Systems.  She distributed a handout titled “Differences in Annual Water Budget from Natural Land Cover to Urbanized Land Cover.” It detailed the typical annual water budget comparing forested land cover with urbanized land cover. She informed the board of the need to map all culverts in the township. One of the accomplishments during the past year is the display in the town hall entrance. Maureen also distributed a progress report from 2007 through the present time.  She noted that Paul Schwinghammer is our professional consultant on MS4 for the township. You can contact him or Maureen or access our website if you are going to disturb one acre or more for construction.  Watab Township is the only township in Benton County that is required to implement MS4. She files an annual report with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She asked if there is any public input. She asked the contractors if they would like to have a workshop. They have required training annually, so they didn’t feel it is necessary. We partnered with Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District to choose the shrubbery that was planted last week by the township hall pond. She has spent a lot of time on researching other jurisdiction’s ordinances. She attended the Benton County MS4 meeting and has been asking for two years to partner with Benton County on their ordinance. She also highlighted our partnership with the Little Rock Lake Association on a buffer strip. Maureen answered questions from audience and supervisors. When we have the public hearing on the ordinance, we will invite all the contractors. She recommends that we drop the SEH contract for MS4 recordkeeping to save the township funds and her time; she developed her own system, so using the SEH program is repetitive.  Paul Schwinghammer also recommends dropping the program. A motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann to accept their recommendation and drop the SEH contract; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed. She asked Supervisor Erdmann to help her with mapping of the township culverts. We also need to set up a voicemail account for residents to report illegal discharges. She will let the Clerk know what she wants on the phone message. The board commended Maureen for the many hours of volunteer service she has given the township on this project.

                The Chair invited Kimberly Thielen- Kremers from the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Mississippi River Renaissance Project.  She said that the river hasn’t been valued as a great resource until the past few years. She is working with communities to find ways to use the river to their benefit. She asked what the Mississippi River means to board members and what they value. They responded with their personal statements. She then asked how the board envisions the Mississippi River ten years from now.  Responses included a resource for fresh water; attraction for Watab; housing development along the river; cleaner water; and opportunities for the public to have more access to property along the river. She is working on visioning with community people to develop a shared vision for the river from south of Royalton to Saint Cloud. The next step after that will be to develop goals and objectives to achieve that vision. We need to have a cohesive plan for the entire area. Kimberly distributed a handout that is on file in the Clerk’s office.  The board thanked her for her presentation.

                Len Smallwood, representing Firearms Instructors, appeared before the board. They instruct people who want to carry personal firearms. They are a non-profit organization and are using the town hall for instruction. They have donated $340 of funds to purchase tables for the town hall to show their appreciation for using the hall. Supervisor Gondeck said he sat in on one of the training sessions and felt it was very well done. The board thanked him.      

                Old Business:

1.       Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to amend Resolution 2009-2: Setting Meeting Dates for 2009 with changes to June 2 and September 1; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed.

2.       Jim Brownson asked for consideration of a change to a property assessment made to a lot in the Cove Development. He said that a verbal agreement was made between him and Supervisor Gondeck for a contribution of $1,100 prior to the assessment being made to the property for the total costs the town paid on behalf of the Pirates Cove Development that totaled $3,178. Chair Kacures suggested resolving the issue by Jim Brownson paying half of the disputed amount.  The amount to be assessed $1,100 + one half of the $260 paid to Bob Erickson for a total of $1,230.00. Supervisor Kacures made a motion to redo the assessment on the Pirates’ Cove lot to $1,230; seconded by Supervisor Gondeck; and passed. Jim said that Bob Erickson never did road inspections in the Cove Development, and that Bob had told a couple of other people that he didn’t do any inspections; so he did not feel they should be assessed for them. He then addressed the letter he received from the township asking the Cove to give access to development fire hydrants by the Sauk Rapids Fire Department in case of a fire in the area. He feels this puts a high burden of cost on the development and asked what Oak Hill Estates is doing. The township has a signed agreement with that development to provide access at no cost to the township. Supervisor Kacures made a motion to table the issue and have Jim Brownson and Lee Hanson discuss this issue further with the board.

3.       Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve Resolution 2009-4:  Assessment to Property Owner for Home Demolition and Cleanup at 9102 Indio Road NW, Rice. The final cost to be assessed against the property is $11,569.60. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures and passed.

4.       Road Projects:   Jon Bogart discussed contract documents that he prepared for crack filling and seal coating this year; they are the same format as last year. The 2009 crack seal project is estimated at $45,600 for 2.4 miles at $19,000 per mile. The chip seal project is estimated at $46,500 for completing 3.1 miles at $15,000 per mile. The crack filling project is to be completed by the end of May and includes 105th Street, Rose Anna Beach Road NW, Gannet Road, 107th St. NW, 108th St. NW, 109th St. NW, 10th Avenue NW (approximately 9,100 lf of roadway), and Frost Road NW (approximately 3,500 lf of roadway). After discussion of the proposal, a motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann to authorize Jon Bogart to request quotes for these roads with the addition of completing crack filling that was not completed last summer on Isaac Road and 95th Street from Ray Thompson’s home to the railroad tracks. The quotes are due by 5pm on May 19th and will be opened, reviewed, and work awarded at a 7pm meeting on May 19th.The motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed. The Clerk was asked to advertise the meeting.

5.       Jon Bogart also submitted a written proposal for chip sealing of Lakewood Shores, 95th Street, Isaac Road NW, Circle Pine Road NW, Iten Road NW, Ingot Road NW,  and Ingot Court NW. All work is on the east side of the railroad tracks. The section of road between Circle Pine Road NW and the railroad tracks will need to be reclaimed.  Jon recommended two soil borings for Roseanna Beach Road where there have been significant frost heaves. Total cost for the soil borings is $1,130. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck to complete these two soil borings plus the soil borings on Riverview Loop for a total additional cost of $180. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures and passed.

6.       Jon Bogart informed the board that the plans for construction of Fifth Avenue are 2/3 complete. He recommended having a meeting with the residents at 8pm on May 19th.  The Clerk should send letters of invitation. Motion was made by Kacures to have an informational meeting with the residents on the above date; seconded by Supervisor Gondeck; and passed.

7.       The board gave a report of the road tour and Supervisor Gondeck submitted a list of road issues. The board identified potholes, right of way issues, and frost heaves on Frost Road. Utility companies burying cables under roads can be causing the frost heaves. We perhaps need a policy on utility companies posting a bond to fix the problems they cause. Supervisor Gondeck said he would like to see Allen Saldana fix our potholes in the township since he has done a good job in the past.  Allen thinks it should be done as soon as possible.  It we do it now, there won’t be as many complaints. Supervisor Gondeck outlined actions needed from the road tour.

8.       Supervisor Gondeck will get prices on replacement signs that are needed. The board tabled discussion of the road berm issue at Sucker Creek Road until they can investigate liability issues. Supervisor Erdmann will look into this.

9.       Supervisor Gondeck said that he and the clerk will apply to Benton Telecommunications Foundation for funding for emergency equipment including ladders, road blocks, sand bags, and hip boots.

10.   Supervisor Gondeck reported that the Mustang Map update of town roads is being reprinted and will be brought back to the board for final approval. Maureen Graber noted that these maps could be used for marking township culverts for MS4.

11. Rice Fire Department Cost Analysis: Supervisor Kacures has done further work on the analysis. He met with the township attorneys to review his calculations. The Rice Fire Department has always used runs in the past instead of hours; this year they billed based on hours. The attorneys stated that the Clerk of Rice had no authority to change to hours. There are no minutes from the January meeting. Supervisor Gondeck said that Rice has changed the computations since Mitch Fielder became Mayor. Billing is done based on budget amounts rather than actual costs from the previous year. Supervisor Kacures made a motion for a letter to be written to the town board members of other townships, the Mayor, the Clerk, the Fire chief and the City Council.  Spread sheets in same format as Rice used in the past will be sent with the letter. The Clerk and Maureen Graber will prepare the letter. The motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed.

12. Supervisor Gondeck met with Copy Central and they can make picture identification cards for the town board for a cost of $20. We will need small photos of each member of the board to be used in case the town hall is used as an emergency management site. The clerk offered to take the pictures.




New Business:

1.       Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve Resolution 2009-5: Administrative Policy for Operation of Township.  One item in the policy limits board meetings to three hours. The Chair offered an addition that if the meeting needs to go beyond 10pm, the chair will reconvene it to another evening during the month at no extra cost for meeting fees to the township. Supervisor Gondeck accepted that change; motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures. Motion passed.

2.       All board members were encouraged to attend the MAT Summer Short Course.

3.       Supervisor Gondeck reviewed the issues he’s taken care of during the past month. He also reported on the Flood Emergency Follow up Meeting. He said that it was good training for the future. Sandbags have been removed from the properties, and they are looking for a local storage place for them.

4.       MAT Urban Township Course:  Supervisor Kacures attended this in Elk River. He said it was well organized. He copied information for the board. One of the sessions was on fire contracts. There was also an update on township legislation during this session.

5.       Benton County Economic Development Board:  Supervisor Gondeck is Vice-Chair of the Executive Board. He said it is an excellent means of communication. There are some potential projects in Watab.

6.       MN Maintenance Training Expo: MNDot commissioner gave a report. Income to MNDoT is down; this is a national trend. People are asking a lot more questions since the I35W Bridge collapsed. Road projects in the state that will benefit safety are ones that he will consider. 

7.       The Clerk reported on the website information provided by Joan Spiczka.

8.       Supervisor Gondeck attended a League of Minnesota Cities meeting. He said they suggest that the Clerk contact insurance companies that are listed on the contractor’s insurance. Subcontractors work should also be documented. The attorney should review all contracts that are signed. Supervisor Gondeck sees benefit to the township by belonging to this organization.


A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to adjourn at 10:30pm. Motion passed.


                                                                                Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence, Clerk