Minutes of Watab Town Board Meeting

May 4, 2010



                The regular monthly meeting of the Watab Town Board was called to order at 7pm on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 by Chair Ed Kacures Jr. Other board members present were Supervisors Lloyd Erdmann and Craig Gondeck, Treasurer Eileen Saldana, and Clerk Pat Spence. Audience members were Maureen Graber, Joan Spiczka, Sandra Saldana, Bob Raveling, Paul Schwinghammer, Kevin Reiter, Marty Reker, Phil Saldana, Mary Isaacs, Brad McIntosh, Brian Erdmann, and Allen Saldana.

                Following the Pledge to the Flag, the Chair asked for announcements, and there were none. Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to approve the agenda with two additions: Annual MS4 meeting for public input & Marty Reker information on Paradise plat; second was made by Supervisor Erdmann, and motion passed. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to approve all minutes of April meetings with three changes to the April 6, 2010 minutes: page 2, item 2 under Citizen Issues—Supervisor Kacures told Mary Isaacs that the County Commissioners increased their salaries 10 to 14% last year; page 2, item 3—Hardrives misspelled as Harddrives; and page 3, item 1—typo to change “sing” to “sign.” Motion carried.  The Treasurer’s Report was approved through a motion by Supervisor Erdmann and second by Supervisor Gondeck.

                Authorization was given to approve the monthly bills by Supervisor Erdmann including the bill from J & J Turf Sales to pay the 5% retainage for the snow plowing one month earlier than stated in the contract, because there has not been snow for a couple of months and there are no issues. Motion was seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed. Supervisor Gondeck said that on the attorney bill the letter written by Rinke Noonan to the board cost $249; if the board had allowed him to go to the attorney’s office, there would not have been the need for the letter and his visit could have been a billing for ½ hour or $12.50. The Chair did not recall telling him not to go.  Supervisor Erdmann made a motion for the Treasurer to withdraw the funds from the appropriate accounts, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, and passed.

                Clerk Spence was asked at the last meeting to research the town records regarding board compensation and also to get comparable data from other townships. Her report included the following:

June 5, 2001 Supervisor Renee Zeleny made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann for the board to be reimbursed at the rate of $25 per hour.  Motion passed.

December 3, 2002 motion was made by Supervisor LeBlanc to have himself and his son do the town hall lawn mowing because it would save the township money rather than having a lawn service do the work; motion seconded by Supervisor Bechtold; motion passed with LeBlanc, Erdmann, and Bechtold in favor.

April 1, 2003 Supervisor LeBlanc raised the issue of board compensation at $25 per hour as too high. Supervisor Erdmann stated that $25 per hour is set to replace the $50 meeting fee. Motion passed with Supervisors Bechtold and Erdmann voting in favor, Supervisor LeBlanc abstained.

April 4, 2006 motion was made by Supervisor Lloyd Erdmann, seconded by Supervisor

Brad McIntosh to pay board members $75 per meeting and continue the rate of $25 per hour; motion passed unanimously (Erdmann, McIntosh, Gondeck). 

June 7, 2005 motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck to pay the clerk $300 monthly stipend and treasurer $200 monthly stipend following Supervisor Gondeck’s survey of salaries in other urban townships. He reported a range of $350 to $550 per month for clerks.

Supervisor Gondeck reported that he contacted several urban townships regarding board compensation, several of them have staff and none of them have the responsibilities of this town board. He gave examples of MS4 enforcement, 55 plots, 4 active developments, maintenance of town hall. He noted that he does not charge anything for township work that he performs at home such as phone calls. He read his claim form for the past month. Clerk Spence reported that in her inquiries, she found similar information. This town board acts as staff, which she believes is a savings over having hired employees who would also receive benefits such as medical insurance or by hiring professional, private contractors.  Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to continue with the same rate of pay of $25 per hour and $75 per meeting; motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures, and passed unanimously.

                Contract with Red Barn Ridge for enforcement for MS4: Supervisor Gondeck said that other townships are using an engineering firm and paying much more than Paul Schwinghammer is offering as his rate through Red Barn Ridge LLC. Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, and passed adopting the Town of Watab MS4 Enforcement contract with Red Barn Ridge LLC effective May 4, 2010 through May 4, 2011 with the inclusion of doing the reports. Brad McIntosh apologized to Paul Schwinghammer for a comment that he made that offended Paul at a prior meeting stating that he was riled up because he was upset about board compensation. He said that he has total respect for Paul Schwinghammer. Motion was passed.

                Property at Indigo Road where board did clean up has an assessment by the township against it for the clean up of over $11,000. We will hopefully recoup these costs when the property sells.

                Marty Reker appeared before the board with a courtesy visit regarding Paradise plat. He would like to split Outlot A into two lots: one 2.35 acres and one 2.4 acres. He would come back later with a preliminary plat and survey. Each lot has a separate septic system. There was discussion about emergency access. Supervisor Erdmann said that he will be researching quiet zones for the railroad crossings. Marty asked the board to check on his $5,000 deposit with the township to determine the status.  Motion was made by Supervisor Erdmann that the township is not opposed to the split of Outlot A as proposed; motion seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed.

                Joan Spiczka gave a presentation on township website maintenance. She started in November 2005 at $25 per month and increased her rate about two years ago to $30 per month. She saved the township money by getting us on a two-year contract with Homestead, which is where the website is published. To totally reformat the website would be a maximum of $250. Supervisor Gondeck commended Joan Spiczka for her work on the site. She had a quick response time on the flood emergency with getting the notice on the website. Supervisor Erdmann made a motion to offer Joan a two-year contract at $30 per month, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck. Motion passed. Supervisor Kacures made a motion to have Joan redesign the website at a cost not-to-exceed $250, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, and passed. Board will give input over the next couple of months.

                Clerk Spence gave a report on League of Cities membership. Benefits of membership for an urban township include full voting membership, advocacy, conferences, access to research and attorneys, and publications. Membership would cost approximately $2,500 per year. She will get further information; the board will continue conversation next month.

                Supervisor Gondeck reported on the grant application to Benton Telecommunications Foundation for $2,000 for emergency equipment for the town hall; it was completed by himself and Clerk Spence. We have not heard yet if it is funded.

                MS4 input comments were requested from the audience by Maureen Graber. She stated that much progress was made during the past year including completion of the ordinance, contract signed with Paul Schwinghammer, a form worked on for the application for permit that can be placed on the website, and partnering with the Little Rock Lake Association in support of buffer strip development. The 45 page annual report is the Best Management Practices with additions for this year. Maureen will put it on a CD for both Paul and the Clerk. There needs to be a map of the outfalls and creeks in the township.  We talked about a formal process with Benton County if someone is disturbing more than one acre that they be referred to the township for their permit.  Maureen Graber was thanked for her wonderful job as she passes the baton to Paul Schwinghammer.  Supervisor Gondeck suggested a stamp on the land use permit and he praised Brad McIntosh and Lloyd Erdmann for working on MS4 initially. There were no other comments.

                Resolution 2010-5: Authorizing Work by Town Board Members: Motion was made by Supervisor Gondeck, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann to adopt the resolution with an hourly rate for work at $25 per hour. Motion passed.

                Road Tour Report:  The board completed the road tour on April 24th. Supervisor Gondeck reported on the possible work needed. The Clerk requested a copy of his report for the files. Board discussed the Sucker Creek Bridge deck. The engineer recommends that items which he rated one should be done; higher numbers should not be done, because those roads need to be reclaimed. Supervisor Kacures suggested that the board get quotes to do the crack filling and seal coating on High View Terrace, Ferry Point, & Timber Lane Loop. Motion made by Gondeck to get quotes on above listed without routering the cracks, seconded by Supervisor Erdmann, and motion passed. Clerk Spence was asked to send out for quotes separately for seal coating and crack filling to Marson Contractors, Astech, Allen Saldana, and usual posting places with quotes to be received by June 1 at 5pm. She was asked to contact Supervisor Gondeck when she has the paperwork done.  Supervisor Gondeck made a motion to post Fifth Ave NW at 30 mph speed limit at this time and proceed to request a MNDOT speed study; motion was seconded by Supervisor Kacures, motion passed. 

                STS crew is scheduled in Watab for a week. Supervisor Gondeck will keep track of how many hours they work for us.  Brian Erdmann will make a recommendation about work needed for the minimum maintenance road after the brush is removed.  Clerk Spence was asked to send a 30-day written notice to Steve Bogie to remove his mail box, in violation of road right of way ordinance, since the issue has been brought to his attention three times personally. It is a traffic hazard. He is to given 30 days to remove it or township will take action to have it removed and bill him for the cost.  Supervisor Gondeck, Erdmann made the motion to have Saldana Excavating do all the pothole repairs on the township list of needed repairs Supervisor Erdmann was asked to look at the Lakewood Shores Railroad Crossing area for repairing the road section of about 300 feet.  Four-wheelers are undermining the black top. Knife River said there was no winter maintenance clause in their contract for Fifth Avenue. Final grading will be done by April 15 and black topping on April 14th and 17th. Knife River is very unhappy with the dumping of stumps, wires, and gas lines in Mel Grile’s property by Cory Tretter. Knife River will try to resolve the issue. Supervisor Kacures will check with Jon Bogart on the timing of overlays for Fifth Avenue.

                Ditch Mowing Contract: Chair Kacures asked other supervisors for any recommended changes. Supervisor Ka cures also asked about cutting ditches twice during the season. Ask for quotes for mowing for first 6 feet  around July 4th and then a separate quote for mowing twice—one time 6 feet and second time late August or mid to late  September as much into ditch as possible.  Clerk Spence is to take care of advertising. There will be no fuel surcharges.

                Monthly Correspondence: Supervisor Kacures made a motion, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed to pay $375 to Bogart Pederson for meetings on the road projects from the road loan fund. Motion was made by Supervisor Kacures, seconded by Supervisor Gondeck and passed to pay Eric Burski  $80 for pocket gophers.  Stearns Co. Soil & Water Conservation District sent a letter of invitation for a Thursday, May 20th meeting for Mississippi River Renaissance Project.

Supervisor Gondeck will pursue the NSF check with Jamie Huls, owner of the home, where Cold Spring Plumbing did the mechanical and plumbing work, since the business has not covered the check. Supervisor Gondeck said that Pines Edge will let us use their business as a posting place for township business if we get a piece of plexiglass for the wall. There was no report for the Benton Co. Economic Development meeting since Supervisor Gondeck was unable to attend. Supervisor Kacures said that there has not been a Rice Fire Board meeting. Letters were sent certified by clerk notifying the City that there is not an approved budget; there has been no response.

                Supervisor Gondeck reported that Watab was incorporated in 1858. He encouraged people to visit Benton Co. Historical Society to see Watab records. He’s also getting good response on Watab History Day. He asked for authority to purchase blood clean up materials for the first aid kit. Supervisor Kacures will get it along with spray to dissipate blood. Supervisor Gondeck reported on the disposition of complaint/feedback forms.

                Citizen Issues:  Phillip Saldana reported a driveway problem on Roseanna Beach. Supervisor Gondeck & Jason Chapman will talk to the surveyor about the stakes and review the condition of the driveway.


                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted by Pat Spence, Clerk