Watab Town Board Meeting Minutes

March 2, 2010



††††††††††††††† The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 7pm by Chair Ed Kacures Jr. All board members were present: Supervisors Craig Gondeck and Lloyd Erdmann; Treasurer Eileen Saldana; and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members present were: Paul Jacobs, Paul Schwinghammer, Kimberly Thielen Cremers, Douglas J. Boser, Allen Saldana, Mary Isaacs, Brian Erdmann, Maureen Graber, Bob Steffen, and Cindy Johnson.

††††††††††††††† Following the Pledge to the Flag, the agenda was approved with the addition of Old Business: STS Report by Supervisor Gondeck. The minutes of the regular and special February minutes were approved on motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann. Treasurer Eileen Saldana gave the Treasurerís Report. Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann, seconded by Supervisor Kacures and passed approving her report.

††††††††††††††† Kimberly Thielen Cremers was welcomed to give a presentation on Mississippi River Renaissance: Our Vision for the Future of the Mississippi River in Central Minnesota. She presented the vision and asked for the board to support it through a resolution. The river communities within Benton and Stearns County are included. The project is funded through the McKnight Foundation. Community input began in May 2009. Resolution 2010-3: Watab Township Support of the Vision for the Future of the Mississippi River was passed through a motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Erdmann. Motion passed unanimously. She also asked for a Supervisor to serve on the task force with three meetings during the next few months.

††††††††††††††† Citizenís Issues:

1.       Doug Boser asked for an update on Fifth Avenue.

2.       Maureen Graber asked to speak on the MS4 part of the agenda.

The board authorized payment of the monthly bills through a motion by Supervisor Gondeck and second by Supervisor Kacures; motion passed.

Jon Bogart reported on Fifth Avenue. The board received a letter with his recommendation for additional compensation request by MTI Corp., on Fifth Avenue. He recommends that we donít pay any additional cost based on two reasons: (1) MTI should have come to us according to the specification before doing the work; and (2) MTI did not acquire all the mining permits before bidding. Therefore, he should not be asking for a subsidy for his neglect to get the permits in a timely manner. We will be receiving a letter from our attorney with his recommendations. This will be tabled until we have the opinion from the attorney based on a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck. Motion passed. Jon says that the road is in relatively good condition and the wear course should be able to be down in May.He recommends that the second layer go down later in the summer.Jon doesnít recommend any load restrictions for the spring. Other questions by audience members were answered by Jon and the board members. The board suggested that Jon go out for quotes since the wear course project is estimated at slightly under $100,000. This must be based on bids that Jon is currently getting on other projects. Supervisor Gondeck said that he doesnít want Knife River to get the work if they havenít paid the claims for auto damage made by residents of the road. Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann for Jon to make an estimate and If itís under $100,000 to go out for quotes for the wear course from several companies, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck with above stipulation regarding payment of claims; motion passed.The Clerk will seek a loan fund transfer for payment of the engineering bill.

Maureen Graber presented the annual report form for 2009. She will provide the transition to working with Paul Schwinghammer, but wishes to step down from administering MS4 by June 1. Kimberly Thielen Cremers said that there is a central Minnesota group that does the paperwork for MS4 communities.There was discussion about gravel tax collection in Watab Township. The board thanked Maureen for all her volunteer work. The board discussed the MS4 Enforcement Contract with Red Barn Ridge LLC. Paul Schwinghammer asked for an addition to language in item 8: The Town or Red Barn Ridge LLC may terminate this Agreement. This will be tabled until next month to set a separate fee for larger developments. Supervisor Gondeck will work with Paul on seeing what the fee should be for larger developments. We want to be equitable with other local government units. Clerk should make changes to the Enforcement Contract. This should also be reviewed by the attorney.

Approval of the township newsletter: it went to the printer this morning and will be mailed on Friday.

SCORE Grant application was approved for $17,000; September 18th is Watab Clean Up Day. No hazardous waste will be accepted. He hopes to have the STS Crew help. The grant for the dumpster was denied.

Snow Plowing Contract Review: this will be decided in two months. In meantime, make notes of desired changes. Paul Jacobs asked about having roads scraped when there is soft snow and ice on the road.The board assured Paul that Jason is fulfilling his contract.

Ditch Mowing Contract Review: cover next month. Supervisor Gondeck said that our ditch mowing cost is covered in the SCORE Grant.

Message Board for the Town Hall: Supervisor Gondeck reported that Twin Pines Restaurant donated a message board for the hall. It will list the grants we have donated. It was in appreciation for Benton Co. Economic Development Board meeting there monthly.

He asked for support of keeping the STS Crew program through a resolution that would be sent to all legislators in this area.

New business: The Clerk presented the 2010 budget. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion 2011 levy of $120,000 for General Fund and leave others the same and ask us to tighten our belts as much as possible; motion seconded by Kacures and passed.

The board reviewed the Clerkís Report for the annual meeting.

Requests for donations for the Annual Meeting are:Tri-County Humane Society, LRLA, Rice Recreation, and Benton County Agriculture Society. These should be added to the agenda.

Supervisor Reports:

1.       Rice Fire Board: the board went to the Rice Fire Board meeting. We were to have final figures from City of Rice for the fire budget on January 27th. The meeting was cancelled because the City Clerk didnít have the report. Supervisor Kacures said there were many questions. For example, when the Fire Department goes over budget, they are to get approval for further expenditures from the Fire Board. This did not happen. Supervisor Kacures said that he left a message for Mayor Mitch Fiedler today telling him that the numbers they are using are incorrect. He asked for another meeting date for the Fire Board as soon as possible. He asked the Clerk to send a letter on March 3rd to Mayor asking for the Fire Board meeting, remind him of the phone call, and what Ed believes are the correct numbers for the actual costs for 2009 rather than City Clerkís numbers.

2.       Sauk Rapids Fire Board Meeting: very professional Ėour cost is $29,000 for each of the next two years. Our donation goes to the new truck fund. Sauk Rapids plans to build a sub-station and would like to talk to the town board about where it goes.

3.       Benton County Association of Townships meeting: Supervisor Gondeck reported that Joan Neyssen is losing money on the license bureau. The Commissioners proposed her opening additional hours, but she refuses because she says she is an elected official. The board heard reports from each department and commissioners on different subcommittees they serve. One of the themes of the night was how much the county is losing in state dollars. The census is coming up this year. County Road 78 & 55 are going to be done this year.

4.       Benton County Economic Development Board:Supervisor Gondeck reported on Venture Allies report. Our strong points for economic development are work force, location, industrial parks, and highway system. Our weak point is the difficulty in getting things through the planning commission.Monthly meetings will be held at Twin Pines. Currently there is $591,000 in the revolving loan fund. The vocational school has been certified as a community college.

5.       Communications: request for quiet zone; Clerk covered letters; bus ride to capital. Supervisor Gondeck talked about the $135,000 grant application by Jim McDermott for a hazardous warning system; he will know by end of September if the county gets it. Heíll put cones by a frost heave on West Lake Road by Earl Tuttleís house.There were no complaint forms. Supervisor Gondeck was authorized to apply for a Round Up Grant from East Central Electric.

The meeting adjourned at 10:40pm.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence