Minutes: August 13, 2019 Regular Board Meeting

Presented for approval at the September 10, 2019 Board Meeting


August meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Michelle Meis with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Supervisors present included, Brandon Mell, John Paitl and Betsy Rising.  Also present was Clerk Stan Iskierka, Treasurer Mary Dillner and Deputy Clerk Kelli Storck. Supervisors not present was Jared Landon.

Agenda (Additions or Changes)

  • Additions to Old Business:

Clean-up Date

Motion by Rising seconded by Paitl to approve Agenda.  Approved.

Approve Minutes

Motion by Mell seconded by Rising to approve July Minutes. Approved.


Treasurer’s Report

Motion by Mell seconded by Paitl to approve Treasurer’s Report. Approved.


Motion by Mell seconded by Rising to approve paying bills.  Approved.

  • CenturyLink/Broadband/Fiber Optics – Kirstin Sersland (Director) and Mark Galles (Supervisor) with CenturyLink were at the meeting to discuss grant money towards the cost of installation of fiber optics in Nessel Township. Kirstin gave an overview on how to apply for, and also how to obtain a grant for the installation of fiber optics. The following is an overview:
  • $20 million was appropriated for each of the next two years
  • The grants can provide up to 50% of a project’s infrastructure costs
  • The maximum grant amount is $5 million
  • The 2019 application period for 2019 is July 3, 2019 to September 13, 2019
  • Applicants will be reviewed and evaluated by a team composed of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
  • The awarding of grants will be based on points/scoring criteria (See chart and application information at the following link: https://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/grant-program/
  • Kirstin stated that they are ready to award the 2019 grant, but it depends on how fast the Township can get the application process completed.
  • The total cost of the project for Nessel Township is 4,852,257. Fish Lake’s cost was $4,584,310. Per Kirstin, Nessel Township has 1,133 households. The grant program requests each township to contribute 25% towards the cost of the project, which would be $1,213,64. Connect America Funds (See Below) will pay the balance after DEED and the residents portion of the cost are paid.
  • The DEED grant is available for 2019 and 2020. Per Kirstin, CenturyLink has a program called Connect America Funds (CAF) and they have funds allocated for 2019 and cannot guarantee that CenturyLink (CAF) will have the funds available next year. This money goes towards unserved and underserved communities.
  • The cost per household to drop a fiber optic line and a tech install would be approximately $1,200 per household. Although, depending on the length of the drops (length from road to residence to drop fiber optic lines), this may not be included in the cost. Kirstin will look further into this to verify that the residents will not have to pay for any unforeseen installation issues or for their drops no matter how long the length of the drop is.
  • There is currently a promotional rate for internet service of $65.00 per month and includes 1GB. More information can be found on the CenturyLink website.
  • A resident asked if this program includes Belle Isle. Kirstin will double check on this. The resident also inquired about cost to seasonal homes and if this cost would be per household of tax value of each home. This is something that would have to be discussed in further detail. Fish Lake worked with Ehlers on the Broadband grant, so we could check with them on different ways of assessing residents. The resident also asked how does the Township go about getting the $1,213,64 for the 25% down payment. It was explained that the township borrows the money and then it is levied against the residence property taxes. This would have to be voted on by the residents at the annual meeting. Fish Lake had a special meeting to vote on this rather than at the annual meeting.
  • Kirstin is our public liaison to answer questions.

Meis was at a District 7 meeting recently and while at that meeting, Meis stated that Senator Kiffmeyer was there and stated that she was at a conference in Denver in regards to National Broadband. Meis said that Senator Kiffmeyer stated that she did not know a lot about Broadband and does not understand a lot of what they are talking about, but, the bottom line is that she said “Don’t let any one company come in and force you to hurry up to get Broadband.” Meis said that Senator Kiffmeyer mentioned that down the pike, that there is service coming, that is faster and cheaper than what we can get right now, so to please consider that if you are looking at Broadband in your Township. Meis does not have any more information than this.

It was decided that a special meeting for the Board will be held on August 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm to further discuss the logistics of Broadband.


  • Shaun Fielder (Berry Street) – Requesting a variance to build a home with a 62’ setback from the lake and also requesting a variance to install a Type III septic system rather than a Type I.

Motion by Mell seconded by Rising to approve the variance. Approved.

Open Forum

  • Road Signs – A resident inquired about the missing signs on Acacia and would like for new “Curve Ahead” and “Speed Limit” signs to be re-installed. Rising said that we will install new signs (Someone keeps removing the signs).
  • North Rush Shores Development (Duane) – Requesting Board signatures for three official plats for the North Rush Shores Development (County Road 1/Belle Isle Drive). The Board signed off on the official plats.

Maintenance Report

  • Blue 911 signs – Installed 160 posts. Still have to install post in Shorewood and on County Road 1
  • Graded and graveled roads
  • General maintenance of roads and clean-up of trees in road-right-of-way
  • Will work on getting Elmcrest done
  • Will touch up the curve on Clover Trail
  • Will mow in September

Road Committee

  • Roads Priority listRising completed a to-do list for roads, but the storms have caused a delay.
  • Berry Avenue – Landon was to get quotes for the black-topping on Berry Avenue and the Township parking lot. Rising has not heard anything, so she will contact Prefer Paving to get quotes.
  • Concrete and debris – There’s concrete and debris in the road from Acacia from a new home that is being built. Rising will contact the owner and alert them of this concern.

Policy Committee

  • New Policy Manual – An updated policy manual was distributed to the Board.

   Old Business

Blue Heron Joint Powers — Fish Lake Township sent a letter in June to terminate Joint Power Agreement that provided maintenance on Blue Heron Trail/482nd. They also sent a new agreement for road maintenance, Nessel Township did not agree on different items in the new agreement.

Nessel Township wrote up a new maintenance agreement with Fish Lake Township and presented the agreement to Fish Lake Board at the July 10,2019 Joint Power meeting along with two quotes to repair the asphalt on 482nd/Blue Heron Trail.

It was agreed by both townships that the current Joint Power Agreement would be in effect to repair the road that the quotes stated and the cost share would be 68% Fish lake township 32% Nessel Township.

Both townships have already cracked sealed their own portion of the road.

There was the discussion about the new road maintenance agreement. Fish Lake Township wants to manage the mowing, snowplowing, salt/sand and complaints regarding Blue Heron Trail. After some discussion with Fish Lake Township, both townships agreed that Blue Heron is not a town line road, so town line road statutes would not apply. Being that Blue Heron is a high priority road for Fish Lake Township and a low priority road for Nessel Township, Fish Lake was willing to take on 100% of the general maintenance cost. The proposed agreement broke down the maintenance into three categories/costs; General Maintenance/Fish Lake 100% and Nessel 0%; Routine Maintenance/Fish Lake 50% and Nessel 50%; and Major Repairs/Fish Lake 50% and Nessel 50%. See agreement for what each category covers as well as definitive

Motion by Mell seconded by Paitl to sign the new agreement for the division of maintenance on 482nd and Blue Heron Trail. Approved. Rising opposed.

  • Tree Removal 482nd – Under the existing agreement with Fish Lake, it was agreed upon that Nessel will take care of removing the tree on 482nd. Rising will notify Trevor at Haaven Stump Removal and ask them to proceed with removing the tree.

Motion by Mell seconded by Rising to approve the proposal from Haaven Stump Removal to remove the tree on 482nd Street. Approved.

  • Anchor Avenue – Nessel Township hired Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. to draft a rough plan to repair Anchor Ave. SEH had two estimates for the repairing of Anchor Ave.

The first estimate is to reclaim existing bituminous material, regrade the base and install two 1.5’’ lifts of bituminous pavement, at a cost estimate of $567,747. The second estimate is to have a 2’’ bituminous overlay over the project area at a cost estimate of $451,279.

Meis asked if there were any residents that would create a subordinate service district for this project. Mell stated that the path we were headed down, was to get the design done, and then get bids and give the bids to the residents who wanted a subordinate service district and let them take it from there.

Mell suggested that we have the engineer put this out for bids with the completed date being next summer. We will then present this to a resident on Anchor, to get the SSD started.

The Board will need to make a determination as to how much the Township will pay towards this cost of this project. Iskierka stated that there are 26 parcels on this road that are within Nessel Township. Mell will proceed in asking SEH to put this out for bid.

  • Internet-Verizon for the Township – Mell stated that the Township qualifies for a government rate structure. The Mi-Fi device would be free, and for 2GB the cost would be $30.00 a month or for unlimited it would be $40.00 a month. We just have to let them know that we want to proceed with this. Paitl inquired about whether this is something we need at Town Hall as he is concerned that the residents will wonder why we need it at the hall. Mell stated that we should have this available to the clerk so that the clerk is not required to do internet work for the Township at home. It was discussed that once we get the internet in place, that we will then look into dropping the phone line at the town hall.

Motion by Mell seconded by Rising that we proceed with purchasing wireless internet service for Nessel Town Hall utilizing a Verizon Mi-Fi for unlimited service at the cost of $40.00 per month. Approved.

  • Cleanup Day – Meis asked for approval to print the flyers and have them mailed. Iskierka reminded the Board that cleanup day is Saturday, August 24 from 8:00-12:00.

Motion by Rising seconded by Paitl to approve Meis to print and mail the flyers. Approved.

New Business

  • Royalton/540th Street – Iskierka presented a letter from Royalton Township in regards to graveling 540th Street. Royalton Township stated in the letter that they have expended all of their road funds for the year 2019. (It was Royalton Township’s year to gravel the road). Royalton suggested that both Township Boards get together to discuss the needs of 540th for the year 2020. Sutcliff stated that there are frost boils that need to be addressed on this road. It was suggested that Nessel Township pay for the road this year and then have Royalton pay us back next year. Sutcliff suggested that he can possibly gravel 540th with some of the gravel allocated for Elmcrest. Iskierka will set up a meeting with Royalton Township to discuss how we want to go about paying for the graveling of 540th. Sutcliff, Meis and Rising will attend this meeting with Iskierka.
  • Propane – Approval is needed for Iskierka to purchase 2100 gallons of propane from Pioneer Propane Gas, at the cost of $1.299 per gallon for a total of $2,727,90.

Motion by Paitl seconded by Rising to approve paying $2,727.90 for propane. Approved.

Motion by Rising seconded by Mell to adjourn at 9:40 pm. Approved.