Minutes of Watab Township Annual Meeting
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
The Annual Meeting of Watab Township was called to order by Clerk Pat Spence at pm on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at the Watab Town Hall. Audience members present were: Duane & Rosie Johnson, John F. Olson, Maureen Graber, Craig & Jana Gondeck, Pat & Guy Spence, Lloyd & Debbie Erdmann, Louie LeBlanc, Paul Jacobs, Ray Thompson, Allen & Sandra Saldana, Delroy & Donna Rothstein, Lucy Palmer, Eileen Saldana, Ed Kacures Jr., Mary Isaacs, Ralph & Marian Berger, Gary Aschenbrenner, Mary L. Popp, Rob Jacobs, Don Landwehr, Brian & Wendy Erdmann, JoAnn Baumgart, Keith O’Brien, Ray Thompson, Phillip J. Nelson, Richard Koll, Commissioner Joe Wollak, Charles R. Manthey, Ed & Carol Gnifkowski, Ray Schlichting, Ed Kacures, Clifford Weitgenant, Ronald C. Hommerding, Al Voigt, and Brian Schoenherr.
The first item of business was election of a Moderator. Ray Thompson was unanimously elected. A motion was made by Ed Gnifkowski and seconded by Lucy Palmer to approve the agenda; motion passed. The minutes of the 2009 Annual Meeting Minutes were approved as written on a motion by Craig Gondeck and second by Mary Popp; motion passed.
Clerk Pat Spence presented the Board of Audit Report. After questions and discussion, a motion was made Ed Gnifkowski and seconded by Sandy Saldana to approve the report; motion passed.
Supervisor Lloyd Erdmann gave a report on all the 2009 road projects. He asked for questions: Louie LeBlanc questioned why the town board approved construction of Fifth Avenue. Ed Gnifkowski asked Lloyd if he knew why the county engineer is having another meeting on the County Rd 55 project. Lloyd did not know. Ed & Louie discussed pros & cons of Fifth Avenue bike lanes. Maureen Graber said that she came to almost all the monthly meetings and knew the town board worked very hard on the road projects, and she really appreciates their work. Craig Gondeck answered Ed’s question about the County Road 55 meeting saying that the county engineer’s ideas about the road are still the same, but he wants to meet with the people who live on the road about the timing of the project and to review it. Lloyd Erdmann discussed the wear coats on Fifth Avenue that are planned for 2010. Bids will be taken this spring with an anticipated cost of $100,000. Clerk Spence stated that Lake Andrew Development has an assessment for the turn lanes that hasn’t been paid yet. Lloyd Erdmann asked for suggestions for road repairs for the coming year. Ralph Berger said that there is a large hole where 105th Street meets River Road, and that he has reported it over a long period of time. Ed Kacures said that the county didn’t have the manpower to take care of the repair this past year, but they have said they will fix it this year. Lloyd Erdmann suggested that we have a local contractor fill the hole in the meantime. Ray Thompson asked about the Plaziak railroad crossing saying that there is a large drop off on each side by the tracks. Allen Saldana said that all our crossings are like that. Lloyd Erdmann said that he would contact the railroad about this issue.
Requests from Non-Profit organizations for donations:
1. Ed Gnifkowski said that Henkemeyer’s Landfill started a fire and it’s been burning for 10 days. He challenged our supervisors to attend the Benton County hearing on renewal of the landfill permit because of violations. Lloyd Erdmann said that Henkemeyer’s are asking for a permit for continuous burning. He burns construction material, mobile homes, etc. and should only be burning brush. Lloyd said he wants it operated with integrity. Ray Thompson discussed the permits that should be followed. Ed Gnifkowski said that our supervisors should attend the meeting and say that the consensus of the township is that his permit be denied. He wants it closed and that it not be allowed over 12 feet. Ed Gnifkowski made a motion for the supervisors to go to the hearing. Rosie Johnson said that Ed should also go to the hearing. Ed responded that he would go and support the supervisors. Mary Isaacs said that she totally agrees and seconded the motion, because she said the fires go on for days on end. She said it’s up to us to put a stop to it. The meeting is March 16th at the courthouse in Foley at 7pm. Motion passed.
Craig Gondeck, Benton County Service Agent for the Salvation Army, gave the Benton County Salvation Army Service Award to Eileen Saldana, Watab Township Treasurer, praising and thanking her for all her volunteer work in the community and her church. He presented her with a certificate, and Eileen received a round of applause.
The Clerk gave the preliminary election report. There were 302 voters. Craig Gondeck was elected with 197 votes for a three-year term as Supervisor; Mary Isaacs, his opponent received 105 votes. Pat Spence was elected to a two-year term as Clerk with 263 votes. There were six write-in votes for Clerk: Scot Vogt, Monte Hall, Jim Hoihjelle, anyone, Peggy Hommerding, and Renee Zeleny.
Craig Gondeck reported that he is organizing the 4th Watab History Day for a date in October. It will be a reunion of the King’s Inn Supper Club employees.
Craig Gondeck reported that he wrote a $17,000 grant application for Watab Clean Up Day, which has been approved by Benton County. Clean Up Day will be at Rockwood Estates on September 18th. No hazardous waste will be accepted.
Lloyd Erdmann made a proposal to have the township license garbage haulers for different districts within the township, because he said that a lot of our township roads have many different garbage haulers & recycling trucks going down them. There can be ten trucks a week on each road. He recommends dividing the township into areas to save wear and tear on our roads, especially this time of the year. This is a safety issue. He said that he brought it up last year and it wasn’t accepted, but he wanted to bring it back up again this year. Mary Isaacs said that she thinks it’s a good idea, but asked how the town board would communicate it well to the township residents, so that everyone would understand it. Lloyd said that he doesn’t want the township to be in the garbage billing business, but we could license the various garbage haulers for the different areas. Many cities do this. Lloyd said that there are 5 different garbage haulers’ businesses that pick up on Sucker Creek Road where he lives. Ed G. said that the township has to be involved and he agrees that it would be a good idea to study it. It should be in the garbage hauler’s best interest as well. Ed Kacures said that it came up again, because of the supervisors’ time on Fifth Avenue and seeing how many garbage haulers were trying to access that road. He thinks that this might really save on our roads. Paul Jacobs made a motion for Lloyd to go ahead and study it and not to implement until the residents know what the cost is. JoAnn Baumgart seconded it. Rosie asked if we’d have one hauler for the whole township or several different ones. Lloyd said he’d favor different haulers in different areas. Brian Erdmann said we’d have to get a per can bid for the various sizes. Ed G thought there should be a public hearing. Craig Gondeck said that Foley got a better bid by having one hauler. Mary Isaacs said that she has her business bid every few years. Researching with other cities would be good. We have 43 miles of road in the township. Ed G recommended 2 to 3 haulers but said to research it. Motion passed.
Ed Kacures said that our Benton County Commissioner, Joe Wollak, would like to speak. He gave a report from the county. He talked about the hiring freeze, department heads cutting budgets, and said the board is looking at having open forums prior to the 2011 budget because they don’t want to raise taxes. They’ll ask for input on where they should cut. He covered the license bureau losing money, furloughs, and union negotiations; he said they have a budget balancing plan. Sentence to Serve is a money saving program, and Governor Pawlenty is proposing cutting that program effective July 1. He recommends writing letters to legislators to keep it. Craig Gondeck asked if the license bureau could be moved to a non-elected official to make it a money-making proposition because he knows that Ben Laterall made a lot of money at it. Pat Spence asked Commissioner Wollak about the county’s reserves. Joe did not know the total amount, but he said he would get back to her with the information.
Ed Gnifkowski made a motion, Craig Gondeck seconded, to use the Sauk Rapids Herald for legal publications. Motion passed.
The Clerk reported on the current posting places. Rosie Johnson said that notices haven’t been posted on the outside town hall posting place. The Clerk said access to the sign has been difficult because of the lock not working well and the deep snow leading to the sign. Ed Gnifkowski made a motion, seconded by Gary Aschenbrenner to have posting places be the outdoor sign (or inside of front door of hall when necessary), Channel 3, and the website. Motion passed.
Supervisor Gondeck said that people have asked questions about the Sentence to Serve Crew doing work in the township. They have a chance to get out of their cells and the time served goes toward their restitution. They are carefully screened before they go out and are often in jail for crimes such as writing bad checks and other minor crimes where they wouldn’t be dangerous to citizens. They have saved the township a lot of money because there is no charge for their services and they have done brushing and tree trimming. He encourages everyone to send a letter to legislators to keep the program. Ed G asked if we could post on our website a sample letter that residents could copy and send to legislators. Clerk Pat Spence will draft a letter.
The Annual Meeting and Election for 2011 was set for March 8th with polls open from 11am until 8pm and the annual meeting at 8pm through a motion by Craig Gondeck and second by Ed Gnifkowski. Motion passed.
Moderator Ray Thompson announced that the Watab Town Board of Equalization will be April 28th at 9:30am.
Craig Gondeck said that he received a new donation board from Twin Pines for the town hall that shows all the grants received. His wife and daughter have listed grants received so far. Twin Pines donated the sign.
Ed Gnifkowski made a motion for the meeting to adjourn at 10:30am; motion seconded by Gary Aschenbrenner and passed.
Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence Clerk