Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

February 8, 2010


                The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order at 7pm by Chair Ed Kacures  Jr.  All board members were present:  Supervisors Lloyd Erdmann, Craig Gondeck , and Ed Kacures Jr.; Treasurer Eileen Saldana; and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were Ron Bomstad, Kevin Reiter, and Allen Saldana

                Following the Pledge to the Flag, the Chair welcomed those in the audience. Supervisor Gondeck thanked Jerry & Judy Bueckers for the donation of a coffee maker to the town hall in appreciation for being able to use the town hall for their firearms training. He also thanked all residents for patience with the snow plowing. There were two changes to the printed agenda: addition of a Salvation Army Service Agent report by Supervisor Gondeck and deletion of discussion of Township Attorney. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and passed to approve the agenda. The January meeting minutes were approved through a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck. The Treasurer’s Report was approved through a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck.

Kevin Reiter reported that the hill near Brian Erdmann’s property has been extremely icy. Jason Chapman asked Kevin to call him whenever sand is needed at that location.

Supervisor Kacures noted that the bill from AllSpec Services, LLC included a penalty on one of the permits, which doubled the fee. 100% of the penalty is paid to AllSpec Services. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve the payment of the bills as presented and to authorize the withdrawal of funds for their payment from the appropriate accounts. Clerk Spence also asked for authority to pay Bogart, Pederson and Associates for work on Roseanna Beach Road and Fifth Avenue. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to table payment of this bill until the board meeting with Jon Bogart.

Old Business:

1.       Snow Plowing Memorandum of Understanding with Cove Development: Supervisor Erdmann said that they will sign it tomorrow.

2.       Little Rock Watershed Committee appointment:  Diane Wojtanowicz is willing to serve. A motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and passed approving her appointment.

3.       Snow Plowing Letter to Citizens Plowing onto Road Right of Way: Clerk Spence reported that she had included a copy of the letter in the board packets. Discussion ensued about sending the letters. Both the Clerk and Supervisor Gondeck felt it would be preferable to notify people in person if they are plowing on the right-of-way. Ron Bomstad said that Benton County sends out a letter to people who were plowing onto county road right of way, but the county never prosecuted anyone. Supervisor Erdmann suggested adding a sentence to the letter that “we have no intention of pressing charges at this time; this is for information only.”  Jason Chapman said that there is a problem with plowing onto the road on West Lake Road.  So far, letters have been sent to people on 10th Ave. NW and 109th Street. The Clerk asked for the board chairperson to sign the letters rather than her. Board members agreed that they will not charge time for handling information about these letters.

4.       MS4 Permit Contract with Paul Schwinghammer. Supervisor Gondeck recommended that we go into an agreement with Paul at the costs suggested by Paul.  He recommended talking to Paul about how much other local government units charge as an administrative fee, and discuss this further at the next meeting.

5.       Township Newsletter Review: Supervisor Kacures distributed a quote from Palmer Printing for the newsletter at $1,500 for 1,500 copies.  This is for an eight-page newsletter on the same quality paper as last year. Tom Connor, who designed last year’s newsletter, has not been contacted yet.  Board members were asked to e-mail their articles to Supervisor Kacures.

6.       Early warning system:  Ron Bomstad gave a background on the history of the early warning system study by Benton County. He had let Supervisor Gondeck know about a grant he had learned about, because he knows him. Ron said that the current Benton County Emergency Management Director, Jim McDermott, has had his budget cut severely by the county board and does not have time to research these grants. Other counties and fire departments are getting grants, because they have staff to work on them.  Ron asked the board to take an interest in seeing what is going on at the county level. He also said that he does not think that the town board chair can tell him that he can’t call Supervisor Gondeck if he has an issue or information to share, because he has known Supervisor Gondeck for years. He asked the board to work together for the benefit of the township and not worry about who gets the credit for doing things.  Arguing doesn’t get the board anywhere. He observes that when people get to be elected officials, power sometimes goes to their heads. Supervisor Gondeck said that he contacted Stearns County officials, and they will not cross boundaries on notification of storms. Supervisor Gondeck said that Jim McDermott strongly suggests that our town board stay involved with Benton County and attend the upcoming mitigation meeting, and if the county gets funded (one chance in 100), he will notify our township. The county does not have copy of the previous Benton County study. Supervisor Erdmann thinks he might have a copy and will bring it to the town hall.

7.       Road Repair Estimated Costs for 2010: Supervisor Kacures talked with Jon Bogart about pricing for road repairs next summer. At this time, he does not see any real jump in price increases compared to last year’s prices. Allen Saldana said that the new section of Plaziak Road has many new cracks. The board should look at it in the spring. There’s also a frost heave on West Lake Road. There should be warning cones placed there. Supervisor Gondeck will do that. There are no frost heaves on Fifth Avenue.

8.       Supervisor Gondeck reported that September 18th is the date for the next Watab Clean Up Day. An STS crew will be used, since it has become such a large project. Supervisor Gondeck applied for a grant for $17,000 from Benton County to fund it. He also applied for the dumpster grant in cooperation with the Little Rock Lake Association to try to keep garbage off the ice.


New Business:

1.       Resolution 2010-2: Approve Election Judges for the Annual Election with the amendment suggested by the Clerk to remove Sandy Reberg’s name since she will not be available.  Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and passed approving the resolution. The chair signed the resolution.

2.       The next snow plowing contract: Supervisor Gondeck asked to have it tabled. Clerk Spence was requested to make copies for the next meeting.

3.       Ditch mowing contract: The Chair asked the board to review the current contract and make notes for desired changes.

4.       The board discussed the letter from Bill Mayland, Benton County Parks Department, reporting what they had done in the past year and asking for input for next year’s spending. The board said that they would like to have a sign directing people to the parks on Little Rock Lake and to purchase more fire pits for St. Regis and Rose Anna Beach parks. Clerk Spence was asked to send a letter.

5.       Resolution 2010-1: Tax Assessment on Steven Sommers property. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to pass the resolution passing on fire call costs to the tax assessment, seconded by Supervisor Kacures, motion passed. The Chair signed the resolution. The Clerk is to send a copy of this resolution immediately to Benton County.

6.       Communication :  Clerk Spence reviewed items of correspondence (a) letter from Nancy Hoffman, Benton Co. Dept. of Dev. Inviting the board to comprehensive economic development strategy meetings; (b) letter of invitation to Outdoor Family Fun Day Off on the Mississippi River on August 14; (c) letter of invitation to Benton County Mitigation Plan Meeting on March 9th from 10-11:30am; (d) letter requesting funds from the Benton County Agricultural Society (bring to Annual Meeting); (e) newsletter article written by Maureen Graber on the Ordinance to Regulate Storm water and Illicit Discharge; (f) Certification of Bridge Safety Inspection to the Commissioner of Transportation from Gerald Hovde & Robert Kozel; and (g) a letter from Jon Bogart regarding the Fifth Avenue project.

7.       Supervisor Reports:

a.       Benton County Salvation Army Service report: Supervisor Gondeck and his wife Janna are service agents for the Salvation Army; he reported on what has been done to assist struggling families

b.      Complaint reports: Supervisor Gondeck reported that Corey Tretter is telling people on Fifth Avenue that he won’t pay damages. Bob Steffen wanted this placed in the minutes.

c.       Township issues: Supervisor Gondeck checked costs for a message board for the town hall to recognize grants received by the township; he said that we may get one donated. He marked off a frost heave on one of the town roads. Supervisor Gondeck had a couple of calls on snow plowing that he referred to Jason Chapman.

d.      Benton County Economic Development Committee: Supervisor Gondeck reported that the new monthly meeting place will be at Twin Pines; the board met there and greatly appreciated their hospitality. Nancy Hoffman is getting some calls from interested businesses. There is no money available for job training currently.

e.      Rice Fire Board report:  Supervisor Kacures reported that the Rice Fire Board did not meet as scheduled, because the Clerk said she didn’t have the figures from the attorney. She rescheduled the meeting for February 17 at 5:15pm; Supervisor Kacures requested that it be changed since that is Ash Wednesday.  He attended a City Council meeting in Rice when the Fire Budget was on their agenda. Today he received a copy of the Rice Fire Department expenditures for the past year.  The Rice City Clerk reported at the City Council meeting that the budget dollars for last year were approximately $150,000 and that expenditures came to $173,000. All supervisors should attend the Rice Fire Board meeting.

f.        Sauk Rapids Fire Board: the rescheduled meeting date is Tuesday, February 16th. Supervisor Gondeck will attend on behalf of the board.

g.       Jon Bogart would like to have the board review his recommendation on the Corey Tretter request and then have a special meeting with the board.  In addition the board wants to discuss his billing. The board will meet on February 15th at 7pm with Jon Bogart if he is available. Supervisor Kacures will take the minutes since Pat cannot attend.

h.      Supervisor Gondeck said that town road certification needs to be rechecked. The board asked Jason Chapman to report the mileage he plows. Gerry Hovde, Benton County Highway Department, did not know where the road mileage was obtained. Supervisor Gondeck was also asked to get quotes on installing thermostats in the offices. He reported that if the building is kept at 50 degrees, the computer equipment is okay.  The board agreed not to have thermostats installed at this time. Also, he learned that only county governments can collect gravel tax. Kevin Reiter said that there are a lot of tires dumped on the minimum maintenance road. Benton County will be replacing the street signs with reflective ones to meet the new law.


The meeting adjourned at 9:40pm.


                                                                                Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence, Clerk