Minutes: November 9, 2020 Regular Board Meeting

Presented for approval at the December 8, 2020 Board Meeting


November meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Michelle Meis with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Supervisors present included, Branden Mell, Betsy Rising and John Paitl. Clerk Stan Iskierka, Treasurer Mary Dillner and Deputy Clerk Kelli Storck were also present. 

Agenda (Additions or Changes) 

. Add to New Business:

B. Security

C. Laptops

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

 Broadband-Bond Sale

  • Ehlers – Todd Hagen from Ehlers was at the Township meeting to discuss the proposals for the purchase of Tax Abatement Bonds that will be used for the purpose of providing money to CenturyLink for the Townships share of the installation of high-speed internet. Todd distributed to the Board, the “Sale Day Report for Nessel Township.” The report contains bid tabulations results and the summary of the sale results from Northland Securities, Inc., and United Bankers’ Bank. The bonds will be sold and the funds will be drawn as needed to make a payment to CenturyLink. Ehlers will assist the Township with invoicing and processing the bond payments. The bonds will close on December 2, 2020.
  • Discussion – Iskierka stated that he needs approval to change the previously approved 2021 Levy from $125,000 to $114,000.

Motion by Paitl seconded by Rising to approve amending the previously approved levy from $125,000 to $114,000. Approved. 

  • Resolution 18-2020 – Awarding the Sale of $1,400,000 General Obligation Tax Abatement Bonds, Series 2020B – Approval needed for Resolution 18-2020 to adopt the sale of $1,400,000 General Obligation Tax Abatement Bonds, Series 2020B. After this Resolution has been approved, Todd from Ehlers will report this to the two bidders, (Northland Securities Inc. and United Bankers’ Bank), that the Resolution has been approved.

Motion by Paitl seconded by Rising to approve Resolution 18-2020, the award of the sale of the bond. Approved.

Approve Minutes 

Motion by Rising seconded by Paitl to approve October Minutes. Approved.


Treasurer’s Report

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


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

Maintenance Report

  • Installed/Replaced signs 
  • General maintenance
  • Removed rock and sand to unplug a culvert
  • Graded roads and will still be doing a final grade on high traffic roads
  • Cut 17 trees that were hanging over the road
  • Snowplowed
  • FYI: Anchor Avenue has been striped
  • Fish Houses in Turn Around – There is a fish house in the Township’s turn around on Beech Avenue. Sutcliff talked to the owner and asked them to move it. He checked a few days later and the fish house was still there. Storck will send a letter to the resident and ask them to move it.
  • CenturyLink – Sutcliffe has concerns when it comes to plowing the roads in regards to the placement of the trenched Broadband cable lines in the road and is wondering who is overseeing this project. Some Pedestals (on Dogwood and Beech Ave N.) were installed where the snow gets plowed to and is of great concern. Sutcliffe will make a list of these pedestals and give it to Meis.  Mell gave Meis and Paitl a copy of the business card for Mark Galles, who is the Reginal Operations Manager. FYI: Mell stated that per Tom Freeburg from CenturyLink, that contractors showed up at Shorewood and they were asked what they were doing and a representative from Shorewood told them that they cannot install fiber in Shorewood because they are private roads. Mell explained to Dennis Wood from Shorewood that he recommends that Shorewood let CenturyLink in to install the fiber as Shorewood residents will be paying for this installation whether Shorewood has it installed or not. Per Storck, she was told that at the Shorewood meeting, it was determined that CenturyLink can install fiber on Shorewood roads.
  • Abandon Vehicles/Towing – Meis suggested that we look into alternative towing companies in regards to vehicles that have been in the road for an extended amount of time or are in the middle of the road. The current towing service that the Township uses is a little hesitant to towing the vehicles because he knows some of the owners of the vehicles. The Township will consider using Leaf Towing. 
  • Conflict of Interest/Affidavit/Resolution – The Board will review the Resolution “Authorizing Contract with Interested Officer” and the “Affidavit of Official Interest in Claim” and will be presented in January for approval. The Board has some questions/concerns about the language in the Affidavit and the Resolution. They are as follows:

1. How often does the Affidavit need to be completed (Monthly or yearly)? 

2. What positions on the Board can Sutcliff hold while still holding the maintenance contract. 

3. Can we remove from the Resolution (2x) and the Affidavit (1x) “…is as low as, or lower than…”        

4. Do we have to go with the lowest bid? 

5. Can some of the language be changed and/or deleted in the Affidavit and Resolution.

Iskierka will discuss in advance with the attorney the questions/concerns that the Board has. 

Budget Committee

  • Budget/Levy Meeting – The budget/levy meeting will be held at Iskierka’s house on November 27 at 9:00 am. Those attending will be: Meis, Paitl, Dillner, Iskierka and Storck.

Policy Committee

  • Agenda Topics for January Meeting 
  1. Chloride Program
  2. Bid Maintenance Contract?

Old Business

  • Braham Fire Department – After reviewing the 2021 Fire Contract, there were concerns about the rate increase. Mell stated that he likes the idea of a fixed escalation, but that we want to go back to our baseline cost of $11,794.04 and go from there. Mell will respond to Braham Fire Department and let them know that the Board wants them to consider a 1-1/2% rate increase rather than the 3% increase that Braham Fire Department is asking for.
  • Garage Break-in/Theft and Garage Repair – The Township hall was broken into the night of October 31. Some of the contractor’s trailers were also broken into. Iskierka made a report for the theft of the Township truck, electronic parts on the trucks and tools that were taken during the break-in. He will meet with the adjuster next week. Sutcliff repaired the garage door where it was damaged from the break-in, and he added an anchor to the door. The door does not need to be repaired now from the previously caused storm damage, but the roof still needs to be repaired. 
  • Coronavirus Relief Act (CRF) – Storck stated that there is approximately $8,300 left of the CRF funding. The money has to be spent and products received by November 15, 2020. The Board discussed other purchases that could possibly be made with this funding. It was decided that Storck will research purchasing touchless/handicap door opener system and Paitl will research purchasing an intercom system for the Township. 

Motion by Rising seconded by Meis to approve the purchase of touchless/handicap door openers and/or an intercom system if can be purchased by November 15, 2020 and not to exceed the $8,300 CRF budget. Approved.

  • Storage Shed/Clearing Roads – Mell asked if anyone asked Lonsky about repairing the storage shed at the same time as repairing the roof on the pole barn. Rising stated that Lonsky was not notified about it. Paitl stated that the residents voted on the repair on the shed and is wondering what we can tell residents being that the repair did not get completed this year. He was told that the repair was assigned to a board member to handle it and the board member did not follow through. At that point, being that all of the construction businesses are really busy, we were not able to get it completed this year. 
  • Mell asked if the Township has any pure salt? Iskierka stated that we only have salt/sand mix. Mell asked for the board to clarify that the Township does not have any pure salt, so the road committee is not in a position to choose to use pure salt on a blacktop surface. The board stated that it is correct, that we only have salt/sand mix. Sutcliff asked about how do we want to clear the new paved roads as far as getting it down to seeing the black pavement. It was stated that the road committee has the option to increase the amount of clearing on a road if it is needed.

New Business

  • Snowplowing – Approval needed to publish the snowplowing policy in the paper. Because of issues with trash cans in the road, an additional line item will be added to the snowplow policy regarding trash cans in the road. Iskierka will make the change and forward to Storck to update the website with the changes. It was also decided that the snowplow policy should also be in the Annual Newsletter. 

Motion by Rising seconded by Meis to approve publishing the snowplowing policy. Approved.

  • Security – After some discussion regarding security at the Township Hall. It was decided that Storck will order two signs stating that the premises are under video surveillance and will also order a camera (Approximately $60.00), (takes pictures of license plates) to be mounted on the outside of the Township hall.  Sutcliff stated that he will mount a camera above the pole barn.
  • Laptops – Storck explained that with the help from Best Buy, Microsoft Office has been installed on the Township laptop that she will be using. She also stated that after the meeting, laptops will be distributed to the Township Board (Whoever wants to use one). It was suggested that the Treasurer keeps the passwords for each laptop. The goal will be to utilize the laptop for documents (rather than printing all of them) and for teleconferences. Storck will research the Zoom teleconference contracts. If they offer a monthly contract, then we will not sign up for the contract at this point as we are hoping to utilize CRF funding to pay for a year, but if they offer a monthly contract, then we can only use the CRF funds to pay for one month. Paitl will get his laptop set up and will assist the other Board members with setting up their laptops. If the laptop is stolen while in your possession, you may be responsible for replacing the laptop.

Motion by Paitl seconded by Rising to adjourn at 9:30 pm.   Approved.