Minutes: January 12, 2021 Regular Board Meeting
Presented for approval at the February 9, 2021 Board Meeting
January meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Michelle Meis with the Pledge of Allegiance. Supervisors present: Branden Mell, John Paitl, Betsy Rising – (via Teleconference-left meeting at 8:00 pm) and Stan Iskierka – Appointed 1/12/21. Also present: Clerk Kelli Storck; and Treasurer Mary Dillner.
Agenda (Additions or Changes)
- Move Clerk duties to New Business
Motion by Paitl seconded by Mell to approve Agenda. Approved.
Elected Supervisor Seat-C
- Decline or Accept Oath – Per legal advice, John Sutcliffe submitted a letter declining to accept Board Supervisor Seat-C. (See December 2020 Minutes). His letter was accepted and a vacancy was declared for Board Supervisor Seat-C.
Motion by Paitl seconded by Mell to accept John Sutcliffe’s letter declining Supervisor Seat-C and to declare a Supervisor Seat vacancy. Approved.
- Open Board Seat – The Board discussed how to fill the vacancy i.e., nominate residents to interview for the Seat or appoint a resident to the Seat (two names were brought to the meeting as potential candidates to interview for the vacancy). After some discussion, Iskierka was nominated to fill the vacancy. A vote was taken to appoint Stan Iskierka to the open Supervisor Seat-C. Note: The only time that the clerk can participate in voting, is when appointing someone to a supervisor vacancy.
Motion by Meis seconded by Paitl to appoint Stan Iskierka to Supervisor Seat-C. Vote: Meis-Aye, Paitl-Aye, Rising-Aye, Mell-Nay and Storck-Aye. The vote had 4-Ayes and 1-Nay. Approved.
- Oath – Iskierka took his Oath of Office to fill Supervisor Seat-C.
Motion by Paitl seconded by Mell to approve December Minutes. Approved.
Motion by Paitl seconded by Mell to approve Treasurer’s Report. Approved.
Motion by Rising seconded by Paitl to approve paying bills. Approved.
- Chisago County Sheriff’s Office – Sheriff Thyen was at the meeting to give an update on what has been happening in the Township and the Sheriff’s Office. Some information provided by the Sheriff was as follows: Due to COVID-19 the Communications Center, Patrol and the Jail have had to make some adjustments as to how they operate. They have deputies working as security at the vaccine clinics. They have 2-drones that they use for search and rescue duties which was funded with private donations. The jail offers chemical dependency, through Canvas Health, to the inmates, which they can continue participating in after they are released from jail. This is funded by grant dollars. They are currently working on getting more grant funds to be able to offer a mental health program. A fulltime recreation deputy was added to the office. This position works water patrol and snowmobile trails. A second position was also added which is allocated to two areas that include the recreation area and the County Environmental Services assisting with zoning. He stated that due to COVID-19, the department had seen more activity on the lakes than they had ever experienced before. Body cameras are now being worn by patrol deputies. He stated that the Township should continue to reach out to the Sheriff’s Office in regards to speeders and to address side-by-sides or ATV’s that are destroying gravel roads. The Sheriff’s Office does not set speed limits. You would have to contact the State to have a speed study completed if you want to change the speed limit on a road. The Township can have a vehicle towed if we have signs posted or if the vehicle is in the way of snowplowing. We can also contact the Sheriff’s Office to have the vehicle towed. If we want parking tickets written by the Sheriff’s Office, the Township would have to have an ordinance approved by the County Attorney’s Office and the Courts before the Sheriff’s Office could issue parking tickets on behalf of the Township.
- Graded roads
- Plowed roads
- Applied salt and sand to roads
- Working on clearing slush from roads
- Cleaned up brush
- Budget – Raise the “Blacktop Projects and Asphalt Sealing” by $80,000, for a total of $99,678 for the 2022 budget. This will be approved at the February meeting.
- Knife River Invoice – Mell will follow-up with Knife River in regards to why we have not received an invoice for Anchor Avenue.
- Road Maintenance Contract – The Board discussed contract options, and then decided that this will be discussed further at the Special Board Meeting to be held on January 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm at Nessel Township Hall.
- Board Committee Structure – Mell will update the Policy as follows: Meis – Board Chairperson, Vice Chairperson Budget, and Vice Chairperson Road; Iskierka – Road Committee Chairperson; Paitl – Budget Committee Chairperson; Mell – Board Vice Chairperson, and Contracts/Policy Committee Chairperson; Rising – Chairperson.
Motion by Mell seconded by Paitl to set the Board roles and responsibilities as listed above. Approved.
- Roof Repair Status – A bid was recently received from Mattson Construction for the roof repair. Being that the Board previously had a bid from Lonsky Construction, Meis will follow-up with him as to the status of him repairing the pole barn roof.
- Vehicle Claim/Purchase – The Township received insurance funds for the replacement of the Township’s pick-up truck. At this time, it was decided to table the discussion of purchasing a vehicle for the Township until the April meeting.
- Road Maintenance Plan/Projects – Meis presented the Board with documents outlining a schedule that included the year and cost of road repairs. The repairs for Belle Isle, Section 2 and Alpine Avenue are under contract so the residents in that contract have to pay for the repairs for the first 10-years. The options as to how to collect for Belle Isle and Alpine Avenue are: The Township can pay for the repairs and then levy those residents the following year so that we then have the exact cost of the repairs or levy the residents in advance and then if it cost more than what was levied, then they would be levied for the difference the following year. (The Board favored the latter for collecting the funds from the residents). Mell asked Dillner if she could put a spreadsheet together that contains the information that was in the documents that were provided by Meis.
- Approve Budget – See above under budget Committee.
- Broadband Follow-up – Meis sent an email to CenturyLink containing a list of pedestals and right-of-way’s that need attention. Meis will forward the email to Mell and he will follow-up with CenturyLink. Storck distributed an email from Katie from CenturyLink that answers some of the questions that the Board had previously asked.
- Update Boxwood Avenue – Meis updated the Board regarding the summons received regarding the Township’s road right-of-way on Boxwood Avenue. An order was filed and a judgement was entered agreeing that the Township’s road does belong to the Township. If the County ever wants to vacate the easement, it will then go to the Township.
- Board of Appeals/Equalization– Storck gave an update as to when the Boards training certificates expire.
- Approve Voting Place Resolution – Approval needed to approve Resolution 01-2021.
Motion by Paitl seconded by Mell to approve Resolution 01-2021 Declaring Nessel Township Hall as a Voting Place. Approved.
- Email Addresses/Zoom – Meis and Paitl said to leave the email that is currently listed on the Township’s website as is. Storck will have Mell’s email on the website changed. Dillner will utilize Zoom to attend the February meeting. One of MN Association of Township’s suggestions for teleconferences is GoToMeetings. At the February meeting, the Board will discuss if any changes need to be made in conducting the Annual Meeting.
- Chloride Program – This will be discussed at a Special Board Meeting on January 26, 2021 at 7:00 pm at Nessel Township Hall.
- 482nd/ Minimum Maintenance Road – A resident has adjoining land to the property that the resident purchased. The resident would like to separate the property that was purchased and then sell off 5-acres and the house portion of the property. To do that, the County requires that the property with the house on it, has to have at least 300-feet of road frontage. This property is abutting right up against the freeway so the owners want to make the driveway into a road. The County said it would have to be a dedicated public road. The Board verbally agreed that they do not want to create a new road for any reason.
- Annual Newsletter – Storck distributed to the Board, a draft copy of the Annual Newsletter for review. She will email the draft copy to the Board and they will email her suggested changes. The Board will make suggestions and it will be approved at the February meeting.
- Road Improvement Funding (LRIP) – Mell will research this grant and draft up an application. Mell will ask Fish Lake if they are planning on applying for this grant.
- Right-of-Way Ordinance – The Township’s Attorney provided a Right-of-Way Ordinance to the Township. No action taken at this time. This will be filed for possible future use.
- Clerk Duties – Storck presented to the Board the Clerk Basic Duties list that was previously written. This list contained edits that were discussed and approved at this time. Possible changes could be made in the future.
Motion by Paitl seconded by Mell to adjourn at 10:15 pm. Approved.