Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

July 6, 2010



The regular monthly meeting was called to order at 7pm by Vice-Chair Craig Gondeck on July 6, 2010 at the Watab Town Hall. Board members present were Supervisors Lloyd Erdmann and Craig Gondeck; Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Supervisor Ed Kacures had a work conflict. Audience members present were:  Paul Jacobs, Maureen Graber, Carol Schmitt, Kevin Reiter, Allen Saldana, and Brian Erdmann.

            Following the Pledge to the Flag, Supervisor Gondeck made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve the agenda with the following changes: Supervisor Erdmann requested that garbage collection be removed because he has not worked on this, and he wished to add quiet zones for railroad crossings. Motion was passed. Minutes of the June 1 monthly meeting and June 22 special meeting were approved through motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck. Treasurer Eileen Saldana reported $91,147.37 in the checking account; motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve; motion passed. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck and seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve payment of all monthly bills for a total of $9,706.47 for claims 4387-4401, and net pay to board members of $1,653.88. Motion passed. Clerk Spence reviewed the pending bills for payment on the Fifth Avenue Road project. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed approving payment of these bills to Knife River and Bogart, Pederson, and Associates from the loan account.

Supervisor Erdmann talked about the design improvements needed at the railroad crossing on Lakewood Shores. He thinks the town should raise the grade on each side of tracks; he also said there is serious erosion there on each bank. Supervisor Erdmann has asked for an estimate from the town engineer; he would survey existing conditions of the road and ditches and design a plan for the road to the new width and proper slopes for a cost of $1,325. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to hire Jon Bogart at $1,325 to do the study and plan for the Lakewood Shore crossing to make it wide enough, to bring grade up on each side, and to blacktop on each side where it is seriously deteriorated due to 4-wheelers damaging the slopes; motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck, and passed.

Sprinkler system valves were cleaned by Supervisor Erdmann and all are working except those on the east side of the building. He offered to clean them.

Supervisor Erdmann said that some residents have asked for Quiet Zone establishment and additional information is needed. He believes the traffic numbers that the railroad has for vehicles crossing Frost Road and town hall road are incorrect. He talked about risk factor for the township decreasing with railroad crossing improvements. This issue was tabled until he has further information.

Supervisor Gondeck said that he requested the speed study on Fifth Avenue. He requested that Clerk Spence read the letter from Thomas Dumont, St. Cloud District Traffic Engineer for MNDoT. The letter recommends the statutory limit of 55mph with no speed limit signs. MNDoT also recommends removing the speed limit signs on Plaziak Road since they are not legal. The board accepted Mr. Dumont’s recommendations.

Supervisor Erdmann is waiting for the call from Astech regarding the start date for both the chip sealing and road mowing work.

Steve Bogie has removed his mailbox and replaced it according to the town’s wishes. Clerk Spence was asked to send him a thank you letter for complying with the township’s request.

Supervisor Gondeck reported that Jamie Huls may take Cold Spring Plumbing to court on plumbing issues with his new home and at the same time try to collect the NSF check that the plumber gave the building inspector. Supervisor Gondeck will follow up again this month. Clerk Spence was asked to contact the State Plumbing Inspector to see if his license can be pulled.

The Summer Short Course by MAT will be held at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud on July 12. All officers of the board said that they will attend. The board authorized the Clerk to send an advance check for the registration fee to save $10 per person.

Sound System Report by Supervisor Gondeck: Audio Professionals is going to give an estimate by the next meeting.


New Business:

A.      Town Hall Floor Maintenance: Wacosa does not do floor waxing. Al Schlein would do it for $730.  Clerk Spence will check on other recommendations with Bill Rauch.

B.      Clerk Spence reviewed election judge process and the issue of not yet knowing when the training would be offered. This is a difficult planning issue because of summer time vacations. The board authorized the Clerk to do any necessary training and make the appointments.

C.      Supervisor Reports:

1.      Benton Co. Economic Development Board report: There is money to loan from the revolving loan funds, but it is very difficult for businesses to get bank loans. It is important for the economy for banks to start loaning money.

2.      Rice Fire Board: Supervisor Kacures not present.

D.     Supervisor Issues: Jim McDermott sent Supervisor Gondeck an e-mail for a mass notification system, which he received a grant to use in the county; he talked about the idea of selling advertising to support our newsletter and said it’s expensive to get ads; he asked the board to think about having our vendors give a donation for the newsletter and they would be listed as sponsors. He requested to put up a stop sign by the golf course driveway that would be seen as you leave the business. Supervisor Gondeck was given authority to do so. There was property damage to the Welcome to Watab Sign at 115th Street; he showed photos and reported that he filed a criminal complaint with the sheriff’s department. There is a complaint at 115th that the shoulders are breaking up because of all-terrain vehicles; he asked to get quotes on repairing it. A couple of years ago Allen Saldana fixed it. The board gave him authority to get quotes for the repair. Walkers on 85th Street and Ivy Place are having difficulty because of speeding cars. The yield sign should be changed to a stop sign. There have been some close call accidents. The board approved the change in signs. There have been complaints for two years about pot holes at the intersection of Co. 55 and 105th Street; Supervisor Gondeck met with Jerry Hovde at Benton County and he said he was unaware of the problem; we have a copy of a letter we sent to the county and a reply saying that it would be repaired this summer. The county was unaware of the truck traffic on that road. The county officials will meet with Supervisor Gondeck next week to discuss a solution. Carol Schmitt asked when the county is going to redo Co. Rd. #55. Supervisor Gondeck said that he understands the project will be scaled back because of opposition to shoulders. It is to be reclaimed. A neighborhood meeting is not likely to happen. Clerk

Spence was asked to send a letter to Bob Kozel asking him to keep his commitment to hold a meeting at the town hall for the residents along the road. Carol Schmitt asked how much higher the road would be; people don’t want to have to raise their driveways. She doesn’t want the road widened, because it creates a steep ditch. She  also asked about placement of the mailboxes; earlier Bob Kozel had said the mailbox locations would have to be changed and grouped. She requested that a copy of the Clerks’s letter to be sent to her with a copy of the response and also cc’d to Commissioner Joe Wollak. The Clerk was also requested to send a copy of the letter to Mike Weis. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion for Clerk Spence to write the letter following the above-mentioned procedure; motion was seconded by Supervisor Erdmann and passed. Supervisor Kacures and Gondeck reviewed the Fifth Avenue project; there are wash out issues due to the heavy rains, and Supervisor Gondeck has photographs of them.  Jason Chapman will need to shape them when it dries out. The landscaping has to be done before the final wear course can go on. Red Barn Ridge will be looking at the wash outs tomorrow. Supervisor Erdmann also has a concern about the dirt pile on Jarnot’s property; he said a silt fence needs to be placed around it, because dirt is running down the streets. He also talked about the catch basins that are plugged with mowed hay and grass growing up through cracks in the black top. Supervisor Gondeck will bring the issues to Scott Jarnot’s attention. He talked to Greg Marshall about the high speed internet at the town hall; the security system should not affect the speed of the internet connection. Update on early warning system: Supervisor Erdmann said that Jim McDermott will find out in August or September if he gets the grant. He will make sure Watab gets part of it if approved; Supervisor Gondeck was given authority to purchase emergency equipment for the township with the $1,000 grant money from Benton Telecommunications Foundation: four road barriers, safety vests, flashing lights, and ladders.

E.      Clerk Spence reviewed the past month’s communication:  (a) Maureen Graber sent an e-mail regarding planning more native prairie grass and wildflower seed at the town hall pond site; an e-mail from Marty Reker regarding the reimbursement of portion of his $5,000 developer agreement deposit; the public hearing notice on park dedication policies being held by Benton County at the same time as the township monthly meeting; state demographer report stating that the town has an estimated April 1, 2009 population of 3,192 and 1,172 households. County Auditor certified the August 4, 2009 resolution for the issuance of a $900,000.00 General Obligation Infrastructure Management Fund Bond levying taxes for their payment; certification was done on June 1, 2010. James McDermott sent an e-mail regarding a county contract with  Global Connect to make emergency and community notifications and telephone polls. It can be used by the townships when the database is established.

F.       Supervisor Gondeck reported that the STS Crew will be in the area in the next couple weeks to do some tree cutting.


  1.  Citizen Issues:  Kevin Reiter expressed concern about the lateness in the season of road mowing; weeds are high along the roads. He recommends the board phoning the contractor; Supervisor Erdmann offered to call him.  A question was asked by Clerk Spence about the selling of cars from private property; Supervisor Gondeck said an owner can sell up to nine licensed cars from his property. Supervisor Erdmann said that he looked at the ditches and swale on Rose Anna Beach Road, and it looks good. He’ll have Jason Chapman remove the silt fence.


Meeting adjourned the meeting at 8:30pm.