2007 Stanton Township Annual Meeting

31186 40th Avenue Way

Cannon Falls, MN 55009

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Clerk Betts Top at 8:10 PM. (note:  27 persons signed the attendance roster.)

 

Pledge of Allegiance was recited

 

The clerk called for nominations for moderator for the evenings meeting.

 

Dave Garner nominated Mark Dubbels

Bob Benson 2nd the motion

No other nominations were heard

Motion passed for Mark Dubbels as moderator

 

Mark Dubbels read the agenda for the evening

 

Betts Top read the minutes from last years Annual Meeting

 

Dave Garner made a motion to approve the 2006 Annual Meeting minutes

Joyce Moorhouse 2nd the motion

Motion passed

 

Mark Announced the Treasurer’s Report was next

 

Clerk Top read the Treasurer’s Report:

 

Total Dollars by Fund

 

Fund

Total

General

$38,867.00

Road & Bridge

$141,376.74

Fire

$41,121.25

Building

$19,358.78

Total

$240,723.77

 

 

 


2007 Proposed Budget

 

 

Fund

Budget

General

$75,000

Road & Bridge

$100,000

Fire

$30,000

Building

$0,000

Total

$205,000

 

 

The clerk advised if anyone wanted a further breakdown of the funds they could read that in the handouts of the Treasurer’s Report.

 

Dean Johnson wanted to know what day the $240,000.00 was on.

 

The clerk advised December 31st.

 

Mark returned to the podium.

 

Bob Benson made a motion to approve the Treasurers Report

Dave Garner 2nd the motion

Motion passed

 

John Miller asked a question about the levy, what was voted on last spring.

 

Dave Garner said the levy was increased by $22,000.00

 

John Miller asked if the levy wasn’t $135,000.00 before.

 

Betts said she had past levy information in the office, but the levy was coming up later on the agenda.

 

Dave Garner asked the moderator if the subject could wait until we came to the Levy item on the agenda.

 

Mark asked that we hold off until we get to the Agenda item for Levy.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel asked if it was correct that the budget for $205,000.00 was for 2007.

The building fund was empty, was everything all paid for?

 

Bob Benson said yes.

 

Dean Johnson asked if $205,000.00 was what the board proposed to spend from January 1st of this year to December 31st of this year?

 

Betts Top said yes

 

Chuck Rademacher said that was not the fiscal period.  The 2007 proposed budget was passed last year. 

 

Ken Ebert, treasurer, confirmed that $205,000.00 was what was being proposed to spend.

Ken explained that the budget and the Levy were two different things.  The levy being voted on tonight will be for 2008.  He said the supervisors will present the levy figures later in the meeting.

              

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to approve the budget

A second was made (note the clerk could not hear who made it on her recording)

Motion passed.

 

Levy

 

Bob Benson came forward to propose the Levy for 2008

Bob said an increase of $22,000.00 was approved for last year.

 

This year we created a Legal Fund of $20,000.00 as we are redoing our ordinance

 

Road and Bridge Fund increase for the proposed bridge $20,000.00 on 325th St.

 

General Fund increase $10,000.00 

 

Building Fund increase  $25,000.00 

 

Equipment Replacement (start a fund) $10,000.00 

 

Fire Fund increase of $5,000.00 

 

This totals $90,000.00 or about a 40% increase over the 2007 Levy. 

 

Dave Garner told the residents that the $20,000.00 in the bridge fund was a one time thing.

 

John Miller stated the increase was 40% this year and we increased the Levy 35% last year and that’s 75% increase in the levy in 2 years.

 

Dave Garner stated that $22,000.00 increase did not equal 35% increase. 

 

John Miller said the levy was $135,000.00  and we increased it $22,000.00 which should have been but  the county told him our levy was $182,000.00. 

 

Dave Garner said he remembered putting in only a $22,000.00 increase.

 

John Miller said in the September minutes it was approved as having been sent in as $182,000.00.  He felt that it should be cleared up.

 

A question was asked about the Road and Bridge fund possibly having too much money in it. 

 

Bob said last year we spend over $40,000 on crushed rock and over $20,000 on chloride.

 

Dave added we also have the new bridge coming in.

 

Bob said they were just doing a (levy) proposal.

 

Joyce added our parking lot must be done for the handicapped parking spots.  Also, the county is expecting in 2009 the new bridge by Emery’s…and it could go as high as $250,000 and we have to pay a portion of that bridge and apply rock on both ends when it is done.  We would rather not have to borrow money.  She didn’t want to see the Road and Bridge fund get too low.

 

Jack Schlichting asked if the current levy proposal would cover the increase in fire protection.

 

Dave Garner answered yes, it is in there.

 

Jack also asked about equipment and the building.

 

Joyce Moorhouse said we needed to start saving money for the building for our equipment to be brought over by the town hall.

 

Dave said we needed to have a fund for our equipment.

 

Jack Lucking spoke of applying for Grant money for townships to use.  We could use it to take care of disposing the old town hall.  It was out there if we looked for it.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel stated we have always had a good amount of money in all our funds and have gotten used to that.  Joe felt that 75% increase in two years was steep, he agreed with John Miller.  Joe wanted someone to look into what happened last September when $182,000.00 was passed as the levy from being $135,000.00.   He said if there was an error there let’s correct it. 

 

The clerk agreed it could have been an error. She would look into it.

 

Ken Ebert said the Levy does not have to be decided tonight, it can be finished in September.

 

Dave said it is allowed by law, we can recess the meeting and reconvene in September just to set the Levy.  Last year we increased the levy for $22,000 and set it at that meeting. 

Joe wanted to know if that would create a hardship if we requested it to happen.

 

Dave said no.  You just call another meeting.

 

Bob Benson said it should be until we get this straightened out.

 

Mark Dubbels ask that the Levy conversation be tabled until we all had better numbers to discuss.

 

Vince Cockriel made a  motion to continue the meeting in September for the Levy

John Krantz 2nd the motion

 

Discussion:  some felt we needed to meet before the September deadline to sort things out and possibly ask our attorney questions. 

 

Joyce Moorhouse said the board would be looking into the levy and certainly be prepared to answer any questions.  She didn’t feel a need to have a special meeting in August.

 

Motion Passed

 

Dave said the 2nd Tuesday in September to Set the Levy and have it be the only thing on the Agenda. 

 

Joe wanted to know if it was possible to put the proposed levy on the agenda for the August meeting.

 

The clerk said she would.

 

Mark asked for a selection of an official newspaper

 

Joe Vandenheuvel made a motion to have the Cannon Falls Beacon

John Miller seconded the motion

Motion passed

 

Mark asked for an official posting place

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to have the Township Hall as the official posting place

Vince Cockriel seconded the motion.

Motion passed

 

Mark asked for the meeting place of the 2008 Annual Meeting

Dave Garner made a motion to have it the second Tuesday in March 2008 at 8:10 PM at the Township Hall. 

Joe Vandenheuvel seconded the motion

Motion passed

 

Mark called for Election Results

146 Votes were cast.

 

Supervisor  - 3 Year Term

Robert Benson received 58 votes

Vince Cockriel received 88 votes

Write In – 0 votes

 

Supervisor – 1 Year Term

Joyce Moorhouse received 107 votes

Write In – 21 votes

 

Treasurer – 2 Year Term

Kenneth E. Ebert received 132 votes

Write In – 2 votes

 

Joe Vandenheuvel addressed the moderator and said he would like to thank Bob Benson for all the years of service, from the planning commission to the town board. 

 

Old Business

 

Town Hall recap 

Dave Garner came forward.  The expenditure was displayed overhead .


Dave explained. 

 

Building Project Break Down

 

           

Description

Amount

Professional Services (legal)

687.75

Signs/Repairs

17.00

Architects Fees

15,917.57

Engineering Fees

387.00

Building Permit

1,387.55

Public Info Notices

450.05

Electric

250.00

Water

13,897.00

Land

11,835.55

Building & Structures

139,204.00

Building & Structures (Paid in 2007)

15,000.00

Site Preparation / Septic

10,757.00

Furniture & Fixtures

287.50

 

$210,077.97

 

 

Architecture fees.  Our plans went out for bids but then the county decided we needed to have two bathrooms instead of one unisex bathroom.  This caused an increase to redo the plans.  The total was actually the $139,204.00 plus the $15,000 paid in 2007.  Site prep included the septic.  The furniture includes the chairs we are sitting on and things like the projector.  The total was $210,077.97.  We did go over on the budget and he apologized for that but was partly because of the two bathrooms instead of one.  We also had to go through two bidding processes.  Were there any questions?

 

Joe Vandenheuvel asked if we had $160,000.00 in the building fund where did the other money come from.

 

Dave Garner replied from the General Fund. 

 

Mark Dubbels asked if it was true that the interest from the CD off the $160,000.00 was always put into the General Fund.

 

Dave said yes, any interest from any of our CDs went into the General Fund

 

Vince Cockriel asked if we were expecting any more expenses.

 

Dave replied not for the building.  In the spring we plan to expand the parking lot.  We also have to by law pave the handicapped parking spots.  We have to do that by this spring.

 

Cheryle Peters asked if there were any plans to put a sign out on the road pointing to the town hall?

 

Dave said only if the state wants to.

 

A question was asked about the town hall water system. 

 

Dave explained that we had suitable water but that we had special drinking water set up.  It was hard water but it was not worth putting in a high end filtration system for what we use it for.  We have a carbon filter in place and has helped from what it was. 

 

Dave Garner asked for any other questions.

None were heard.

 

Paul Schluter spoke about all the nice furniture Dave Garner had obtained by attending various auctions and saving the township a lot of money.

 

Mark Dubbels commented on the white boards that were put up, all done on Dave’s personal time. 

 

Joe Vandenheuvel asked if we had all the records moved out of the old town hall

 

Mark said he didn’t think so.

 

Dave Garner said we were waiting until spring so we could open up the old town hall and let it air out. 

 

Road Report

 

Bob Benson came forward and an overhead display map of Stanton came on which showed where chloride was applied last summer.

 

Bob explained that about 10 miles of roads had been chlorided.   Using the map Bob showed the roads that were done and explained why.  Also he explained certain roads leading on to major highways were done 200 feet before the stop signs.  He wanted to know the opinion of those who lived on those roads.

 

Some residents said it was great.

A few felt it was a little slicker after a rain.

 

Chuck Rademacher felt purchasing harder rock from the quarry would be better and help the slipperiness some. 

 

Bob asked the audience if they wanted us to run the chloride again.

 

Jack Schlichting wanted to know if our gravel costs lessened.

 

Dave Garner said that we had to gravel the roads first before putting down the chloride.  The savings of money would show up this year.

 

Mark felt that from a safety standpoint on 310th St. it really made a big difference.  It was a big hazard that was removed.

 

Mark asked for any other questions on roads.

 

A member of the audience asked if the road check had been done this year.

 

Dave Garner answered not until Spring.

 

The resident asked who they should call if they had a question.

 

Dave Garner said to call one of the supervisors.

 

Some residents showed concern about recent wash outs from the fast melting snow.

 

Dave Garner said we were going to fix those places as soon as possible.

 

New Business

 

Randolph Historical Society - Bud Gustafson came forward.

 

Bud reviewed the history of the society.  He wanted to thank Stanton because of the 6 Townships that they asked donations from not all contributed.  Bud gave a history of the area in the 1930’s.  Anyone could call and arrange for a tour.  Randolph being a railroad town they had a lot of information and memorabilia about railroads in the area.  He thanked the residents for their consideration.

 

Chuck Rademacher made a motion to donate $500.00 to the Randolph Historical Society.

Vince Cockriel seconded the motion

Motion passed

 

Rosie Schluter asked if the Historical Society was the only place to buy Bud Gustafson’s book.  She stated it was a great book.

 

Pet Adoption of Cannon Valley Donation

Rosie Schluter came forward as spokesperson.  She reported:

185 stray animals had received food, shelter, vaccinations and spay or neuter before being adopted to permanent homes.

 

Lost and Found Pet services
7 dogs and 2 cats were reunited with their owners

 

Feral Cat Population Control

56 feral cats were spayed, neutered, vaccinated and relocated to farm homes.

 

Low-Cost Spay and Neuter services:

19 owned animals were spayed and neutered though their Spay Neuter Assistance Program.

The Pet Adoption of Cannon Valley had been serving the area since 1978.  They were an all volunteer group with 0 % administration costs.  All their funds went directly to animal services in the Cannon Valley area.  In 2006 62 animals were helped from the Stanton area. 

 

Mark asked if there was a motion.

 

Dean Johnson made a motion to donate $500.00 to the Pet Adoption

Wendell Maltby seconded the motion.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel spoke saying he had supported the Pet Adoption in the past but from other sources he had found out that feral cats were the biggest predators on song birds.  If they couldn’t find an owner for a cat they should euthanize them.  Releasing them back into the wild did not bring down the population.  He was against giving money to them from the township.

 

Dean Johnson said that he had learned when you kill off what you have other cats just move right into the same area.  Killing them would not change the number, you just have new pregnant cats and it’s important to have them neutered.

 

Mark asked for a vote on the motion.  All in favor say aye…

A few ayes were heard

Nay…

Majority of the residents voted Nay or No

 

Laura Geissler made a motion to contact Pet Adoption and ask them to come next year for a donation and answer questions about the feral cat problems.  If they wanted money they need to justify it.

Motion was seconded

Motion passed.

 

Ad Hoc Volunteers

 

Mark Dubbels spoke about previous events regarding turning Stanton into a municipality, the petition and it’s process.  Mark explained how he had written a letter to the town board.  In the letter he listed forming a committee for discussion of:

Municipality  - Pros and Cons and any discussion thereof

Contested Annexation – Pros and Cons and discussion thereof

Orderly Annexation - Pros and Cons and discussion thereof

To form a group that was a cross section of the entire township. Residents from R1, R2, Ag. etc. The signup clipboard was in the back of the room and Mark asked anyone interested to please sign up.  Next week at the Board meeting it would be decided who would be on the committee.  It would be an educational process for all of the people on the committee.

 

It was asked who would make the final decision on picking the committee.

 

Mark replied the board made the final decision.

 

Dave Garner said he suspected the members would be taken from the volunteer list.

 

Joyce Moorhouse said from her experience with Ad Hoc committees 20-25 people is common.   Whoever wanted to serve can serve.

 

Jack Schlichting asked was the purpose, research and recommendation?

 

Mark said research and to bring information to the town board….it was educational.

 

Joyce Moorhouse stated that Ad Hoc committees were not paid, they were volunteers.  If anyone wanted to get on the list they should contact the clerk.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel wanted to know the life span of the committee.

 

Mark Dubbels said there was no time frame set at this time.  He just wanted to set up general purpose and scope. 

 

Joe Vandenheuvel said you gather as much information as you can and then give it to the authority.

 

John Krantz felt it was a good idea to turn research into a draft, turn that draft in and see if there were questions and if there was any more information requested …if there was none then it was done.

 

Mark Dubbels also wanted to address the old town hall. 

 

Jack Lucking stated he would like to have the township find a grant to handle it.  We should take care of the problem this year. 

 

A resident asked what would happen to the land (old town hall) after that.

 

Mark Dubbels said he thought it would be sold, but he didn’t really know.

 

It was mentioned the possibility of having a small park built where the town hall was now.

 

Dave Garner said the shop had to be built and moved over from the old town hall.  There was a lot of environmental cleanup that had to occur first.  He would imagine it would be several years down the road.  There were many records still over at the old town hall. 

 

Mark asked if there were any more comments

None were heard.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel made a motion to recess the meeting until September 2007

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed

 

Meeting recessed at 10:10 PM

 

---------

Continuation of Annual Meeting  9-11-07

 

The Meeting was called to order by clerk Betts Top at 7:00 PM

Chair Joyce Moorhouse was also present to run the meeting.

 

There were 10 people present at the meeting.

 

Pledge of Allegiance was recited

 

Betts handed the meeting over to previous moderator Mark Dubbels.

 

Mark stated that the topic for the evening would be the Levy.

 

The topics were to be presented in a PowerPoint slide show from the overhead projector so that everyone could see and understand the issues.  He called Joyce Moorhouse, chairperson, to the podium.

 

(note: handouts of the presentation were available for the public)

 

Joyce announced the meeting was only to discuss the Levy.

 

Levy and Budget were first defined.

 

The first item to be decided was the error from 2007 levy sent to the county in 2006.

 

Joyce explained the new clerk had taken the budget figure instead of the old levy figure and added on the approved increase for 2007.  The clerk sent it in to the county and that became the Levy for 2007.

•2006 Levy was set at $135,000.00

•2007 Levy increase was $22,000.00

•2007 Levy should have been $157,000.00

 

 

Mistake

 

•2006 Budget figure of $160,000.00 was used in error.

•$160,000.00 + $22,000.00 = $182,000.00

•$182,000.00 – $157,000.00 = $25,000.00

This created a $25,000.00 mistake

 

Joyce continued with how to fix the error.  She told how our attorney had advised us to put the money in an escrow account which had been done. She asked the township residents present how they wanted to vote. 

 

Mark interjected some possibilities such as putting the money into a bank account and using it to reduce taxes and reduce the current levy amount, or use the $25,000.00 for something else, such as the removal of the old town hall, paving the parking lot, or repairing a bridge.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel moved that the $25,000.00 (in escrow) be applied toward the 2008 Levy.

 

Heather Sharp seconded the motion.

 

Mark called for further discussion.

 

Ken Ebert stated it would be good to apply it toward the borrowed money for the new town hall from the general fund.

 

Discussion ensued regarding past and current costs in the township.

 

Mark called for a vote.

 

Motion passed (only ayes were heard)

 

Joyce continued with part 2 of the presentation.  She reviewed the $90,000.00 that had been previously brought up at the March 2007 meeting and the breakdown of the money.

 

Joyce stated that the board realized that $90,000.00 was a great deal of money to ask of the taxpayers and so the board discussed revising it.

Possibilities for a $65,000.00 Levy Increase
(below is from Board Levy discussion of 8/21/07)

 

 

 

•Establish a Legal Fund:                                        $ 15,000.00

•Increase Road and Bridge:                                   $ 20,000.00

•Increase General Fund – Equipment              $ 10,000.00

•Put into Building Fund –                                              $   5,000.00

     (for a new equipment shed)

•Equipment Replacement (subfund)                    $ 10,000.00

•Create Fixed Assets Fund-                          $   5,000.00

    (i.e. flagpoles etc.)                                         ----------------

Total Increase                                                      $ 65,000.00

 

• Minus the Escrow Account                                  -25,000.00

•2008 Levy Increase =                                        $ 40,000.00

 

 

Joyce said if approved the 2008 Levy would be broken down as:

 

•General Fund               $  75,000.00

•Road and Bridge                        $112,000.00

•Fire Fund                              $  30,000.00

•Building Fund               $    5,000.00

 

 

For a total of  $222,000.00

 

Discussion ensued regarding each fund and amounts of money for them along with past Levies.

 

Ken stated all Levies begin at zero ($ 0 ) each year.  It’s the township residents that set the new Levy each year.

 

John Miller made a motion to have the 2008 Levy be $90,000.00 for Road and Bridge, $80,000.00 in the General Fund, $8,000.00 in the Fire Fund and $5,000.00 in the Building Fund for a total of $183,000.00. 

 

Joe Vandenheuvel seconded the motion

 

Mark called for discussion.

 

John asked Ken how much was in the Fire Fund right now.

 

Ken answered $37,000.00, and we had not paid this years bills.

 

Mark called for a vote.

 

9 ayes and 3 nays

Motion passed 9/3

 

Dave Garner made a motion to adjourn

Joe Vandenheuvel seconded the motion

Motion passed

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:11 PM