Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

June 1, 2010


The regular monthly meeting of Watab Town Board was called to order at 7pm on June 1, 2010 at the Watab Town Hall by Chair Ed Kacures Jr. Other board members present were Supervisor Craig Gondeck, Supervisor Lloyd Erdmann, Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were Rod Bunting-candidate for Benton Co. Auditor-Treasurer, Bob Raveling, Brian Erdmann, and Kevin Reiter,

            Supervisor Gondeck expressed sympathy to the families of Jim Harren, Phyllis Frerich, and Joanne Betker, town residents who died during the past month. He also thanked Eileen Saldana, referring to the article in the newspaper, on her role as a Foster Grandparent at Rice Elementary School and for the positive impact she is having on his granddaughter at school. The following additions were made to the agenda: quotes for Indigo Road cleanup and Bob Raveling plat approval, through a motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Kacures; motion passed. May minutes were approved on a motion by Supervisor Gondeck, second by Supervisor Kacures, and motion passed. Treasurer’s Report was approved on motion by Supervisor Gondeck; second by Supervisor Erdmann; motion passed. Approval was given to pay the monthly bills and $4,380 payment from the loan fund for Bogart, Pederson & Associates and withdraw the funds from the appropriate accounts through a motion by Supervisor Erdmann, second by Supervisor Kacures and passed.

            Old Business:

1.      Open Bids for Crack Filling and Crack Sealing Projects and Set Pre-Construction Meeting: The town received bids from Astech Corporation. Crack Filling bid was as follows: Timber Lane Loop NW--$5,969; Ferry Point $10,325; High View Terrace--$4,644 for a total of $20,938. Supervisor Gondeck said that there are three alligatored areas on Ferry Point Road that might need to be patched before crack filling. A bid bond and insurance was included. Chip Sealing bid was as follows: Timber Lane Loop NW--$8,682.65; Ferry Point--$17,340.40; High View Terrace--$6,617.72. Total bid amount was $32,640.77. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to approve the bids to Astech after checking the bid amounts and the insurance. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed. Pre-Construction Meeting will be set by Supervisor Erdmann.

2.      Two quotes were received for ditch mowing. Rice Contracting and Development Services quote was July cutting estimated at $3,000. Hourly rates were skid loader at $95 per hour; tractor with disc mower at $65/hour. Late September cutting had same hourly rates for estimated cost of $5,100 for a total of $8,100, due to mowing to ditch bottoms. Second bid was from MTD Excavating: hourly rates were $75 per hour at estimate of 48 hours; second cutting in the fall 25 hours at $75 hour for $1,875. MTD did not have an equipment list. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the two year contract to Rice Contracting with the stipulation that the second cutting be done at the board’s discretion; seconded by Supervisor Kacures; motion passed with Supervisor Erdmann abstaining. Clerk will draft the contract and contractor was asked to do a late June or early July cutting of the roadsides. (Note: the day following the meeting the board learned that the advertisement for bids had a typographical error stating that the bids could be received at the 7pm meeting on June 2 rather than June 1).

3.      Clerk Spence reported that League of MN Cities membership would begin in September at annual cost of $2,830. The board decided not to join at this time.

4.      MNDoT will do the speed study on Fifth Avenue by August 9, 2010. Future requests for speed studies should be made directly to them rather than through Benton County.

5.       Supervisor Gondeck met with Steve Bogie regarding his mailbox. He has until June 16th to remove it or the board will remove it and bill him, as it is a serious safety issue. It is made of ¼ inch plate steel and overhanging the road at car windshield level.

6.      Supervisor Erdmann has been talking with the road master of the railroad and his supervisor regarding the railroad approach. The township cannot work within 25 feet of the nearest rail without a railroad flag man. He will continue working on this. Supervisor Gondeck is going to check on a possible grant for this work. Supervisor Kacures said that the railroad has been working on the crossings during the past week. Two crossings were closed at the same time, so Supervisor Erdmann was asked to inquire why the railroad closed them simultaneously.  

7.      Supervisor Gondeck met with Jeremy Huls, the homeowner about the plumbing permit for which the township received a $603 check from Cold Spring Plumbing, which did not clear due to insufficient funds. The homeowner is going to try to get the check covered by Cold Spring Plumbing, or he said he will take care of it.  Clerk Spence was asked to talk to Nancy Scott about not issuing a certificate of occupancy until all checks have cleared.

8.      Supervisor Gondeck checked on Phil Saldana’s driveway complaint. The company moving the home broke the axles, which damaged the house; the problem was not caused by the township road project on Roseanna Beach. There is no township responsibility. He also met with the engineer and found the boundary stakes. Phil is pleased with the way the township handled checking into his issues. Supervisor Gondeck recommends the Supervisors using disposable cameras and taking pictures of all areas before any road work is done.

9.      Supervisor Erdmann has been checking on the irrigation system at the town hall. The zones won’t shut off; he tried to take the tops off the valves and clean them, but the top of the valve leaks. He recommends getting self-cleaning valves. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to have Supervisor Erdmann replace the valves; seconded by Supervisor Kacures; and passed.

10.  No garbage hauler report yet by Supervisor Erdmann.

11.  Quotes were submitted to Supervisor Gondeck for a culvert and digging out the ditch on Indigo Road. Quote from J & J Outdoor Contracting was $1,500. Homeowner will pay for the culvert. Rice Contracting quote was for $895. Supervisor Gondeck showed both of the contractors what the project entailed before they submitted their quotes. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to have Rice Contracting do the work and collect for the culvert from the homeowner; motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures; motion passed with Supervisor Erdmann abstaining.

12.  Bob Raveling submitted a proposal to divide Lot 11-Block 2 of Shoestring Acre. He wants to turn the garage into a shed house. The area is zoned R-3. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion stating that if he meets the county rules, the township should approve the plat proposal and authorize the chair to sign the document; motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures; motion passed. Chair Kacures signed the Township Acknowledgment Form.


New Business:

1.     Department of Natural Resources sent a poster and letter regarding the importance of pollinators, especially native bees. It states, “Research has found that the amount of natural areas in proximity to farms directly impacts the diversity of bee species and crop production can significantly increase. We can all take actions that will improve pollinator habitat.” An example is given in the letter that shows that the chemical Crossbow, a pesticide for weed control, will kill bluebirds and bees, even when used as directed on the label.

2.     Reflectivity of Signs will be handled by the township rather than hiring a consultant.

3.     Clerk Spence was asked to register the entire board for the Summer Short Course on July 12 at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud. Supervisor Erdmann will take the Board of Equalization training. Authorization was given to send a check with the registration forms to reduce each registration fee by $10.

4.     The Clerk has received a list of election judges from the county, who received it from Republican and Democratic parties. Rod Bunting, Deputy Auditor-Treasurer, said that this year the county will handle all the absentee ballots. They will process them through the tabulator and flag the rosters as having been voted absentee before the Clerk picks them up for Election Day. August 10th is the primary election day. At the request of Supervisor Gondeck, Rod informed the board of county office seekers.

5.     Benton Co. Economic Development Board Meeting had a report from Ridgewater College on the farm economy. It doesn’t look good for farmers. The Neighborhood Stabilization Grant to Benton County did not include Watab Township. He is looking into the reasons for it. Report was given by Supervisor Gondeck.

6.     Supervisor Kacures talked about the Rice Fire Contract. He is going to send information and have a meeting with Scott Hamak regarding the issue that the City of Rice does not have a current, approved operating budget. We have not had any communication from Rice in response to our letter.

7.     Supervisor Erdmann asked about the lawsuit with Doug Boser; Clerk Spence gave a brief update.

8.     Supervisor Gondeck showed pictures of Lake Andrew development road issues to be placed on file. He also has a picture of damage done by a truck to a culvert by Zwillings on Fifth Avenue. He is also working on damaged signs. STS crews will not cut grass; they have funding until the end of the year for other roadside work.

9.     The Clerk brought the attention of the board to the grant for $1,000 received from Benton Telecommunications Foundation for future flood assessments and thanked Supervisor Gondeck for his work on this. He will talk to Jim McDermott to review our equipment needs list. Clerk Spence was asked to get an article in Citizen Times & Herald thanking Benton Telecommunications for the grant. She will also send a thank you letter to Cheryl Scapanski.

10. Kevin Reiter asked about a speaker system for the town hall. He said it is difficult to hear what the board is saying. Supervisor Gondeck will check into it. Rod Bunting said that he came to meet the board; Watab has taken advantage of several services he has provided as Deputy Auditor. He is running for Auditor-Treasurer and has worked in the office for 11 years. He started in county government in the early 1970’s. The county levy has doubled in ten years; he hasn’t seen that happening with the townships. The Clerk thanked him for the good job he has done the election judge training. There was discussion about the need for cross-training in the Auditor-Treasurer’s Office, which could save costs. For example, license bureau employees are not cross-trained to do other work when they are not serving license customers, so there is a lot of “down time.”

11. Supervisor Gondeck said the county was granted a broadband grant and he is working on faster speed service for the town hall.


The meeting adjourned at 9:45pm.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted by Clerk Pat Spence