Annual Meeting - March 9, 2010


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                                                                                                March 9, 2010


Crow Wing Township held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. at the Crow Wing Town Hall. Present were Clerk, Virginia Rogers and those on the attached public roster.


The clerk called the meeting to order and the pledge to the flag was recited.


Nominations were taken for moderator. Mark Platta nominated Richard (George) Burton and Richard Burton nominated Dave Schultz. A vote was taken 16-3 with Richard Burton elected as moderator.


Agendas were distributed and no one wished to make any additions.


Richard read the minutes from the 2009 Annual Meeting. Mark Platta made a motion to approve the minutes as read. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and carried by unanimous vote.


Richard called for the election results, which were as follows:

Supervisor - Greg Smith - 43 votes, Clerk - Virginia Rogers - 42 votes


The clerk read the financial report for the year 2009.


Justin Barnhart gave an update on behalf of the Lakes Area BMX Association and answered questions.


Dave Schultz handed out a road report and took questions from those present. Wendy DeBusk and Marla Dillion asked about having the roads scraped down better and more salt sand applied. Discussion followed. Dave explained that, while the roads could be scraped down better by using a grader every time, that would cost considerably more than we have been spending. Steve Hagen asked what the criteria is for snowplowing is. Dave said that the township plows whenever the countydoes. Greg asked that residents call one of the supervisors if particular roads need attention. Dave shared other road information. Brad Arnold stated that he feels the township and contractor do a good job overall of maintaining the roads and that concerns and needs are responded to consistently. Al Kraft asked about the five-year road plan which was included in the written report. Dave said that it is a tentative plan and can be amended. Mark Platta talked about various roads and how it has been ten years since we paved 13- miles of road. When these roads require overlay, the cost of this project could be as much as $1,000,000. Al Kraft asked whether or not chip sealing and other projects should be staggered throughout the five-year plan. Mark noted that when we paved the 13 miles, we got the bid for approximately one-third of the price

that paving one mile per year would have cost. Jim Goodew said that given the current economic situation, he is thankful to be part of a township that has funds set aside and attributes that to good management on the part of the Town Board.                                                                          

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Brad Arnold gave the Planning and Zoning report. He noted that we have just completed the third year of administration at the township level. He shared several statistics about number of permits, income and expenditures and said that the goal is to be self-sustaining budget-wise, but that the current economic situation makes that harder to achieve. With this in mind, the Planning Commission is working on finding ways to do more at a lower cost. He cited violations as being a force to be reckoned with budget-wise. Brad added that there will be a vacancy on the Planning Commission in April for a four-year term. He reviewed the requirements of the position and encouraged anyone interested in being considered for this position to contact him or a Town Board member. Steve Hagen asked how Community Growth Institute is paid and Brad reviewed that. He also stated that the Town Board is monitoring Planning and Zoning expenses on a monthly basis now, rather than an annual basis. Al Kraft asked if CGI holds a monopoly on services in this area. Brad said that they do not, but they are one of the premiere providers for this area. Further discussion followed about land use violations and Dennis Bock asked if the Town Board has considered allowing administration to go back to the county. Brad said all options have been considered and invited anyone who wants to have input to attend the monthly meetings. Mark Platta added that one of the main reason we are administering this ourselves is that several plats in the township were approved by the county with insufficient funding set aside to complete roads that the developers then left unfinished. This put the residents and the Town Board in the position of having to figure out how to pay for these costs. Mark Strobel stated that the ordinance currently allows outdoor wood boilers to be placed near property lines and talked about the excessive amount of smoke, ash and particulate matter they produce. He suggested the Town Board consider writing an ordinance to control placement of the boilers in regard to property lines. Richard Burton asked Brad if the Planning Commission is dealing with this issue. Brad gave a brief summary of what is being done and said that such an ordinance is being considered.


Greg Smith gave a report on the recycling program and reviewed the types of materials accepted. He thanked the voters on behalf of himself and the clerk for their votes. He also mentioned an email received from County Commissioner Phil Trusty about the proposed ATV trail. Anyone wishing to receive it can ask the clerk to forward it.                                                                                            

Susie Goodew added that the recycling program is paid for with the SCORE funds received from the county not funded by the township.


Greg also shared information on dog control. The county has rescinded their dog ordinance. He suggested that we rescind ours so that we are free to move forward with other options. Licensing is one option. The board would consider requiring the license at little or no cost to the owner to simplify the process of locating the owner. Bob LaFlex was present and has indicated an interest in helping with dog catching services. Discussion followed. It was decided that a survey should be put on the website about the situation.  Marla Dillon made a motion to rescind the existing dog ordinance. The motion was seconded by Wendy DeBusk and carried by unanimous vote.


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Greg gave the park report. He asked for comments on whether or not to complete the baseball field. Al Kraft asked if there are baseball teams in the township and that the money it would cost may not be justified. Wendy DeBusk stated that a lot of kids in the township need something to do. Steve Hagen noted that he does not see the field being used and that he believes most kids who play are involved in leagues that play in other parks. Dennis Bock said that he is in favor of the park and would like to see the ball field completed. He noted the success of the St. Mathias ball field and added that places for kids to go and things for them to do are vital to a community. Mark Strobel suggested that we give some of the park fund money to the BMX track. Discussion followed. Steve Hagen suggested getting a group of parents with interested children involved in this project. Brad noted that he has seen the park used quite a bit, even though it’s not at the level of use that it could be. He said that putting in some turf would go a long way in making the park more appealing. Richard suggested putting the park on an upcoming agenda where those interested can discuss it further. Mark suggested that we get a working committee together for the park.


Mark Platta gave the cemetery report. He reviewed the expenses that the cemetery incurs and the prices charged for burial sites.


Mark then reviewed the supervisors proposed levy. The proposed levy of $278,9000 is $97,000 lower than the 2010 levy. Wendy DeBusk asked if the proposed road and bridge amount is not a little too low. Mark noted some accumulated funds that can be used if necessary. Steve Hagen asked what the board has decided about where to get fire service. Mark said that going with Little Falls would raise property insurance premiums so much that it would not be feasible, so service will continue through Brainerd.


Carol Wermter made a motion to approve the proposed levy as follows with dog control and donation amounts to be added:

General Fund - 80,000                                    Road and Bridge Fund - 152,000

Fire Fund -  46,000                                         Park Fund – 0

Total: $278,000


The motion was seconded by Brad Arnold. Greg suggested leaving the levy as proposed and using existing funds to cover donations and dog control. Carol made this amendment to her motion and Brad approved. The motion carried by unanimous vote.


Dave Schultz made a motion to designate the official posting place as the town hall with courtesy posting at Wild Rice Depot. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and carried by unanimous vote.


Wendy DeBusk made a motion to set the gopher bounty at $1.50 per pair. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and carried by unanimous vote.


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Barb Wisneski shared information on behalf of the First Responders. She thanked the township for supporting them for the past seven years and offered statistics from the organization. Wendy DeBusk made a motion to recommend a donation amount of $1500.

The motion was seconded by Mark Platta. Discussion followed. Dave Schultz suggested that we keep in mind that we have cut the levy by 25%. The motion carried with two opposed.


Dan from New Pathways was present to request a donation for their program which works to help needy people who have children and are also clean of drugs find housing and employment. The program, which partners with area churches, has had a high success rate due to the criteria for the participants. They are only asking for donations from townships from which families have been helped by the program. Al Kraft made a motion to recommend a donation amount of $1000. The motion was seconded by Mark Platta and carried with one opposed.


The County Fair Association requested a donation. Greg noted that they have not attended our meetings. He made a motion to donate nothing this year. The motion was seconded by Al Kraft and carried with three opposed.


LAPS – Wendy DeBusk made a motion to recommend a donation amount of $300.

The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and carried with one opposed.


Legionville Camp - Steve Hagen made a motion to donate $100.

The motion was seconded by Greg Smith and carried with three opposed.             


Crow Wing County Historical Society - Dave made a motion not to donate this year. The motion was seconded by Jim Goodew. Carol Wermter said that the society is facing a reduced budget and she would not want to see them cut out completely. Discussion followed. The motion was voted down with six in favor and eight opposed. Marla Dillon made a motion to donate $250. The motion was seconded by Wendy DeBusk and carried with eight for and seven opposed.


Crisis Line and Referral Service. Brad Arnold made a motion to donate $100. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and carried by unanimous vote.


Mark Strobel shared information about the memorial flag volunteer organization. Brad Arnold made a motion to recommend a donation amount of $50. The motion was seconded by Dale Dillon and carried by unanimous vote.


Steve Hagen had created a handout of township disbursements and balances for the last six years. He stated that he believes the township is carrying too much money over from year to year. Mark Platta noted that we have dropped the levy for 2011 by nearly $100,000 so the balance will likely be lowered by the end of 2011. Richard Burton stated that he likes to

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see taxes cut as much as possible, but realizes that the township needs to carry a balance because building that up again would be a formidable task. Greg Smith added that he does see that the ending balances have increased over the years. He suggested that the board should set an amount that should be kept in reserve and continue to lower the levy if funds remain over that amount. Richard noted that the board is moving in the right direction by proposing a reduced levy. Steve asked where the money is invested and if it is covered by the FDIC. Susie Goodew shared that it is in CDs and a savings account and that it is all either insured or covered by pledge. Mark Strobel noted that the State has been and will be cutting monies and said he feels it is wise to carry a balance due in part to that fact. Jim Goodew stated that we have responsible money management at the township level in a culture that doesn’t understand it and added that we could have some huge expenses that could cut into this amount.


Brad Arnold made a motion to set the 2011 Township Election on March 8, 2011 with the polls open from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m., the Canvass meeting at 8:15 p.m. and the Annual Meeting at 8:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by Linda Schuety and carried by unanimous vote.


The meeting adjourned by general consent at 11:35 p.m.                                                                 

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