Annual Meeting Minutes 2011


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Annual Meeting 

                                                                                                March 8, 2011


Crow Wing Township held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 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. Greg Smith nominated Duane Line. No other nominations were made and Duane accepted the position.


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


The minutes from the 2010 Annual Meeting were read. Dave Schultz made a motion to approve the minutes as read. The motion was seconded by Carol Wermter and carried by unanimous vote.


Barb Wisneski spoke on behalf of Fort Ripley/St. Matthias First Responders. She gave an update and informed us that the new radios and pagers that they need will be partially paid for through the county. With this in mind, they may not need funding from the township and asked that we consider approving funds that they can request only if they actually need them.


The election results were as follows:

Supervisor – Dave Schultz -24 votes, Al Kraft – 1 vote    Clerk – Susie Goodew- 25 votes


The clerk read the financial report for the year 2010.


Dave Schultz gave the road report, including projects completed this year, a review of the five year road plan and budget items to be considered for the future. Richard Buerksken who lives on 50th Avenue mentioned that the road is often icy and asked if more sand could be used. He also stated that he felt that our new roads are deteriorating quickly and asked if an engineer is called in to do compaction tests. Dave stated that we do not build to MN DOT standards and doing so would cost about three times as much. Richard’s other concern was that people drive very fast on his road and he asked if a speed limit sign could be installed. Dave stated that the state recommends not putting up speed limit signs unless the limit is less than 55 m.p.h. which is the automatic limit on all township roads that are not posted. The homes are not close enough together to allow for a lower limit. Richard noted that he has not seen any results after repeated reports to the Sheriff’s Dept. Carol Wermter added that many cars speed on Barrows Avenue at an excessive rate even though it is posted at 30 m.p.h. Greg made a motion to send a letter of complaint to the Sheriff’s Dept. The motion was seconded by Richard Buersken and carried with 19 in favor. Lisa Gerhardt asked about the problem of children playing in the roads in Barrows and not moving for drivers. She was advised to continue reporting to the Sheriff’s Department. Brad Arnold agreed that speeding is definitely problem on 50th Ave and also expressed his appreciation for the good job the board has done of maintaining the township roads. Dave explained the lighting that the county wants to install at the intersection of St. Mathias Road and Business Highway 371 with the county paying for the installation and the township covering the electrical costs thereafter. Linda Schuety asked if the township has to accept this light and Dave stated that we do not. Tom Mertens  made a motion to recommend installing the light. The motion was seconded by Mark Platta. Greg Smith stated that it’s a tough decision, but the request is based on traffic count and not on accidents, of which there have been very few. Brad Arnold added that Brainerd Overhead Door has outdoor lighting that has helped illuminate the intersection, but that it is dark there on rainy or snowy days. He also agreed that it didn’t seem right to ask the township to pay the electrical costs indefinitely and suggested that maybe a regular security light would be a less costly alternative. The motion passed with 16 approving.


Brad Arnold gave the Planning and Zoning report. He gave a review of the townships reasons for assuming planning and zoning administration. He stated that we were just getting started when the economy severely dropped the revenue from permitting. He noted the difficulty in balancing the budget for these services in the current economic condition. He added that the cost to taxpayers this past year has been about $11 per household. $4 of these costs would still be needed for the Planning Commission if administration were turned back to the county. He reviewed possible changes that would save money in this area, potentially saving 40% or more of costs. He stated that he feels that the township has done a good job of reducing the deficit in the fund and that permits do seem to be on the increase, which helps in this area. Brad gave an update on what the county is doing with their ordinance. He stated that he feels the township gets a strong representation in maintaining a rural setting by handling administration at this level. He asked for input from the people about this topic. Richard Buersken asked how Community Growth Institute is paid. Brad reviewed the rates and the services that we receive from them. Justin Burslie provided additional information and noted that a lot of our costs arise from residents contacting CGI. Discussion followed concerning costs and other aspects of planning and zoning. Greg Smith noted that the county seems to be improving their p&z department. Brad added that he has been contacted about Baxter wanting to put building codes in force in our township with their city as the authority over this. He stated that he feels we are in a better position to deal with this if we continue administering things at this level. Carol Wermter stated that the township has done an excellent job and that the county has made some positive changes, but they are not evident at this time and would not want to see the township rush into turning it back to the county until we are sure that it would work. Linda Schuety agreed, adding that the township has cleaned up most of the violations the county had done little or nothing about for years. Cliff Carlson noted that the people of the township asked the board to pursue p&z administration and that we have proven that we can be successful at making these decisions and that it is well worth the money that has been spent. Zack Rogers added that there have been otber ideas for reducing costs, one of which is redirecting calls to the township rather than CGI. Mark stated that sometimes residents and developers call too many times and ask CGI to contact the county or get information that they could be getting themselves. Some expenses could be less if the county was more cooperative. A show of hands was called for supporting continuing administration and 19 people raised their hands.



Greg Smith gave a report on the recycling program and reviewed the types of materials accepted. Linda said that she has seen a significant increase in use, often overflowing the roll off container. She suggested adding an additional date or being open every Saturday. This will be discussed at the next board meeting. Greg also shared some ideas for cleanup events. He asked if the people supported pursuing these events and if so, how much should be spent on them. Brad Arnold suggested looking further into tire recycling and how to try to reduce the number of tires in the township. Richard Buersken offered a tandem dump trailer for use at these events and an enclosed trailer. Jim Wacker asked about adopting an ordinance that can stop outside storage issues before they get out of control. He stated that Anthony’s junkyard has been a problem for many years and trash blows from there onto neighboring properties on windy days. Brad Arnold said that they have a junk license that they keep active. Jim suggested adopting a junk ordinance to deal with these issues. Greg stated that it will be discussed at the next meeting and we will look into the license status with the state.


Greg shared information on dog control. We no longer have a dog ordinance and the cost of enforcing one would be high. Dangerous dogs must be taken care of by the Sheriff’s Department. There were no comments from the people.


Greg also gave the park report including the addition of playground equipment and horseshoe pits. The park is now in maintenance mode, with $4000 in the fund, which should be enough to keep it up for some time.


Mark Platta gave the cemetery report. He stated that we hope to get the map of the cemetery onto the township website.


Mark then reviewed the supervisors proposed levy. The proposed levy of $250,000 is $28,000 lower than the 2011 levy.


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

General Fund - 80,000                                  Road and Bridge Fund - 130,000

Fire Fund - 40,000                                         Park Fund – 0

Total: $250,000 

(General Fund was changed to 82,000 with donations added for a total of $252,000 – see below),


The motion was seconded by John Schommer and carried by unanimous vote.  


Mark Platta 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.


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


After reviewing donation requests, Dave Schultz made a motion to donate $400 to the County Fair Association, $300 to Lakes Area Pregnancy Services, $800 to the First Responders to be sent only if they indicate a need during the year, $100 to the Legionville Camp, $250 to the County Historical Society, $100 to Crisis Line and $50 to the Memorial Flag Committee for a total of $2000. The motion was seconded by Mark Platta and carried by unanimous vote.


Brad Arnold made a motion to set the 2012 Township Election on March 13, 2012 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 Mark Platta and carried by unanimous vote.


The meeting adjourned by general consent at 11:10 p.m.                                                               

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