REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (October 18, 2005)

 

David Garner called the Stanton Town Board meeting to order.  Others present included Supervisors, Robert (Bob) Benson and Heather Sharp, Treasurer Kenneth Ebert and Clerk Colleen Thompson.

 

The Pledge of allegiance was recited.

 

The Chair asked for conflicts of interest.  All stated having none.

 

Clerk Thompson read the minutes of the September 20, 2005 Town Board Meeting submitted by Deputy Clerk, Joyce Moorhouse.  Bob made a motion to accept the minutes with correction.  Heather seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

Ken gave the Treasurer’s Report.  Investments are building fund $162,449.21 and road and bridge fund $126,128.50 for total investments of $288.577.71.  We had receipts for the month of $651.34 and disbursements of $2,745.10.  Bob made a motion to accept the report as read, Heather seconded the motion, motion carried.

 

Frank and Patricia Otto, 5919 325th Street, Cannon Falls, MN 55009 appeared before the Board to request two variances for the purpose of constructing a 25x30 garage.  The request was tabled at the September 20, 2005 meeting due to Mark Dubbels, Planning Commission Secretary, failing to provide the Board with minutes of the Planning Commission meeting and public hearing for Frank and Patti Otto dated September 13, 2005.  The Otto’s stated they are revising their variance request from a 32’ front yard to an 18’ front yard variance, fronting 325th Street.  They will move the placement of their shed 15’ north from their original plan. They also stated they would remove trees for a better site line.  Their request of a 45’ variance off 59th Avenue stayed they same. They checked with the utility company who is OK with them being 14’6” away from the utility.  All Board members stated having made site visits to the Otto residence. 

 

Heather read out loud the minutes of the public hearing and spoke of the numerous meetings the Otto’s have attended.  The Otto’s responded, stating they have attended meeting for the last three months.  Heather stated the township has no jurisdiction concerning utilities and stated the concern of safety was being addressed by removal of trees and by moving the proposed garage north. 

 

Dave stated he visited the Otto’s and does not see a problem with the site line with the revised placement of the shed.

 

Bob stated he also viewed the site and stated the newly proposed placement is a good spot for the shed.

 

Heather also visited the site and spoke about water drainage affecting the placement and the fact that inside storage will make a neater looking place.  She saw no issue with the placement of the garage and stated it would be a fit in the general location.

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (October 18, 2005 cont.)

 

Bob made a motion to grant the variance request with the variance request revision of an 18’ variance from 325th Street and a 45’ variance from 59th Avenue Way.  Heather seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

Frank and Patricia Otto then requested a building permit for a 25’x30’ garage.  Estimated cost is $8,400.00. Dave Garner made a motion, seconded by Heather to grant a zoning permit.  Motion carried.

 

Dan Millard was introduced to the Board by Supervisor Benson.  Bob stated that Tom, because of the time needed in dealing with his own business can not handle road maintenance by himself.  Tom has agreed to stay on with the assistance of Dan, who will grade roads and assist in snowplowing with Tom being our main snowplow operator. 

 

Dave stated his concern for Dan not being able to maintain our roads in a timely manner due to his employment with Waterford Township as their road maintenance operator.

 

Heather asked how long it took to maintain Waterford Township roads.

 

Dan stated approximately 10 hours to grade their roads and snowplowing takes approximately five to six hours unless there is wind or heavy snow, stating it all depends on conditions.

 

Dave stated Dan would need to attend monthly meetings.

 

Bob stated that Dan has submitted all paperwork and had been hired independently to grade our roads last month and has greased and changed oil in the grader.  Bob made a motion to hire Dan Millard part time to work with Tom in road maintenance. Heather seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

Bob stated that we need three new twelve volt batteries for the truck.  Dan was asked to pick up and install the batteries.

 

All supervisors participated in the fall “road trip” on Friday, October 14, 2005.  The Clerk will order street signs for Oxford Mill Road, Stanton Trail and 25th Avenue.

 

Larry Lee appeared before the Board to discuss the possible sale of property (approximately 3 acres) located at the corner of Highway 56 and Sciota Trail E to the township as a site for building a town hall.  Taxes on the property are $2,600 per acre.  The market value was estimated at $4,000.00 per acre. 

 

Heather stated the township has been looking for a site since 1999.  She stated this would be an easy location for constituents to find.

 

All three supervisors were in agreement that the township would pay for a land survey.

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (Oct. 18, 2005 cont.)

 

Mr. Lee stated that he would need to talk to his mother, Loretta Lee, owner of the parcel.

 

Heather stated our need is due to mold and the fact that our town hall building is unhealthy and can not be used.  The current site can not accommodate needed parking space.  It doesn’t have water or sewer and we have a problem with handicap accessibility.

 

Mr. Lee asked if the pending Ordinance change would affect those fifteen acres.

 

Dave responded that fifteen acres is not big enough for a PUD.  If the township bought three, approximately twelve acres would remain.  Currently the parcel is zoned as residential by the township requiring a minimum of a five acre parcel.  Dave stated that the township needs to purchase a parcel that is at least two hundred feet deep.

 

Mr. Lee stated that he would talk to Land Use at County and talk to his mother about the concept.  He asked what the proposed town hall looked like stating he didn’t want a building placed on the parcel that looked like a shed.

 

Dave stated we have plans he could look at and assured Mr. Lee that the building was not going to look like a shed.  Dave asked Bob to obtain an updated copy of the plans and stated his desire to send out a notice for bids for possible spring construction.

 

Bob asked if a public hearing was needed before the Board could purchase land.  The Board decided to research this.  The upcoming MAT Convention was mentioned as a good place to obtain needed information. 

 

Dave stated he would like to hold at the least an informational meeting for constituents.

 

Dave stated the Lorentz’s proposed mini golf course public hearing was pulled from the County Planning Advisory Commission agenda. 

 

Dave stated he also attended the Randolph/Hampton Fire Department meeting. They agreed to use the Randolph school district evaluations in determining township costs for protection if we obtained those numbers from County and that they have agreed to send a representative to the annual meeting to explain the proposed increase in fire protection costs.

 

Bob attended the Cannon Falls Rural Fire Assn. Meeting.  We are currently contracted for one more year at $8,000.00.  Starting in 2007 cost for fire protection by the Cannon Falls Fire Dept. is projected to triple.  Projected cost for 2007 is $24,000.00.

 

Heather stated the increased costs are partially due to higher standards and requirements imposed on fire departments after 9-11 by Federal and State mandates.

 

Heather stated she attended the Industry Recognition Lunch in Cannon Falls.

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (Oct. 18, 2005 cont.)

 

At the request of the Clerk, mileage reimbursement was revisited.  The State authorized an increase in mileage reimbursement. The increase was also approved at the County level and due to the increased cost of gas and because of the amount of driving the clerk and treasurer do for township business, the Board was asked to reconsider and to approve this increase. 

 

Heather stated she would be more than happy to make a motion to raise mileage reimbursement to align with State standards of 48.5 cents per mile effective immediately.  Bob seconded the motion.  Dave – nay.  Motion carried.

 

Discussion of approving minutes as written and the elimination of the Clerk reading monthly minutes at town board meetings was discussed.  Dave stated he personally would like the minutes read during the meeting.  Heather stated that in all other public meetings she has attended the minutes are not read.  Not reading the minutes would help shorten the length of meetings.  Copies of the minutes would be made available at board meetings for people without access to the web page to take for viewing.

 

Bob made a motion to, on a trial basis for the next two months discontinue the Clerk reading the minutes and to approve as written or approve with corrections and then revisit the issue in January.  Heather seconded the motion.  Dave – nay.  Motion carried.

 

The Board reviewed the Planning Commission Operational Guidelines.  Bob stated that in talking with a MAT attorney, his recommendation was to place term limits on planning commission member’s appointments.  Heather stated it sounds reasonable and made a motion to adjust the current operational guidelines for the planning commission to address the issue of term limits using three year staggered term limits.  Discussion:  Dave asked how to determine which member’s term would expire first.  Heather withdrew her motion.

 

Bob made a motion to add to the current planning commission operational guidelines, appointed terms are to be three years.  At the end of a three year term the commission member may or may not be reappointed.  Starting in March of 2006 the two persons on the commission the longest (Paul and Joe) terms will expire.  One term will expire in 2007 (Joyce).  Two will expire in 2008 (Mark and Paul).  Heather seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

The Clerk certified with the County that Stanton Township has 32.32 miles of road.

 

Bob made a motion to remove the portable toilet from the old town hall site.  Dave seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

The Board discussed early registration and attendance of the annual meeting being held November 17, 18 and 19 at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria MN. 

 

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (Oct 18, 2005 cont.)

 

The Clerk asked the Board if she was correct in that the Board had waived the fee for the Syngenta public hearing. 

 

Dave stated yes, the fee is waived and the hearing is for housekeeping purposes only.

 

The Clerk will contact Farrellgas to schedule the fall application of chloride to 2nd Ave. and to Sciota Trail as per our agreement with Hampton Hills Tree Farm.

 

Heather stated that she had resigned the position she held at County due to a conflict of interest.

 

Dave presented language pertaining to PUD Special District he had worked on as a replacement of the cluster development language in the current Ordinance.

 

Heather questioned how we can take new language and put into the existing Ordinance.

 

Dave gave a quick overview and gave possible language and stated it could be put in the new or old Ordinance with a public hearing.

 

The Board reviewed the proposed language.

 

Bob stated having a problem with on sixty acres, requiring forty acres free or open being too much wasted land.

 

Heather stated the need to look at the PUD and how it affects the entire township.  If agricultural land, A-1, have a PUD with not so much open space in that area.

 

Bob stated he would support, in residential district to not have as much open space preserved as in A-1.  He also suggested community septic systems.

 

The Board agreed to propose no building sites in a PUD to be less than one acre with a minimum front setback of 99 feet from the center of the road, side yard setback of fifteen feet and rear yard setback of thirty feet. Minimum lot width of 150’ and that no PUD allowed to be placed in flood land

 

Discussion continued on open space requirements in a PUD and that designated open space should be deemed non-buildable.

 

Heather stated we will get input on November 1, 2005 as far as land use of all of Stanton Township.  We are rural, and to preserve agricultural land, the intent of a PUD is to alleviate pressure on agricultural lands. We need to allow some growth in PUD districts.  We need some growth to address tax issues.

 

Colleen stated that she had signed a gaming permit for the Cannon Falls Sportsman’s

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (October 18, 2005 cont.)

 

Club.

 

On October 3, 2005 the tabulator was serviced per our preventative maintenance agreement.

 

Colleen stated that we need to by resolution or Ordinance change our township elections to November elections by 2007 or 2008 to utilize handicap voting equipment for our township elections as mandated by Federal government.

 

Colleen reported that she had been contacted by Todd Lewis of Indigo Environmental by e-mail asking if there were further developments concerning the old building.

 

Colleen gave Bennett Motor Express a permit for oversized loads on 320th Street for delivery of materials to the Verizon Tower Site.

 

Mail was distributed.

 

Dave made a motion, seconded by Bob to pay the premium to MATIT for planning and zoning coverage endorsement. Motion carried.

 

Bob made a motion, seconded by Dave to pay claims.  Motion carried.

 

Dave made a motion, seconded by Heather to adjourn.