REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING July 19, 2005

 

Note:  Meeting held at Phillippo Boy Scout Camp, 30654 32nd Avenue Way.

Board Chair, David Garner called the meeting to order.  Other members present included Supervisors Robert (Bob) Benson and Heather Sharp.  Also present were Treasurer, Kenneth Ebert and Clerk, Colleen Thompson.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Disclosures of interest were asked for.  All Supervisors stated having none.

Colleen read the minutes of the June 21, 2005 meeting.  Bob made a motion, seconded by Heather to approve the June 21, 2005 board minutes with corrections.  Motion carried.

Ken read the Treasurer’s Report.  Investments:  Building Fund $162,449.21; Road and Bridge Fund $126,128.50; giving total investments of $288,577.71.  Receipts for the month totaled $3,835.50 and disbursements totaled $7,848.75.  Bob made a motion, seconded by Heather to accept the report as read.  Motion carried.

Michelle Emery, 884 Highway 19 Boulevard, Stanton, MN 55018 appeared before the Board to request a building permit for a 30x32 garage.  Estimated cost is $12,000.00.  All setbacks will be met.  Dave made a motion, seconded by Bob to grant a permit.  Motion carried.

Rich Elias, 33509 42nd Avenue, Cannon Falls, MN 55009 in Section 35 appeared before the Board and stated that he was moving his building site because the County deemed his original site was in wetland.  Mr. Elias showed a revised site plan that showed all setbacks would be met.  Dave made a motion seconded by Bob to have the Clerk sign County paperwork stating we are aware of Mr. Elias’s changed building site.  Motion carried.

Alan King appeared before the Board to check on proper procedure to follow for front yard setback variances on five platted lots he purchased from Mr. Pederson.  Mr. King stated housing across the road in the Davis plat are built closer to the road than the sixty (60) feet required in the current Ordinance and would like to do the same on his five (5) lots in keeping with the neighborhood. He stated this would also free up space for back yards without the need to cut down mature trees.  Heather asked if Mr. King knew the setbacks used on the Davis property.  Mr. King did not.  Dave stated Mr. King could not ask for a blanket variance on all lots stating the need to see a site plan for each house and to deal with each individually. Heather would like to know setbacks of houses in the surrounding area.  Mr. King stated he felt a forty to forty five foot setback would bring the houses in line with neighbors.  Mr. King then stated that Dustin Anderson was one party buying a lot and for lender needs would like assurance it is a build-able site.  Dave Garner stated it is platted therefore a build-able site.

Rob Tate, 4325 County 24 Boulevard, Cannon Falls, MN 55009 appeared before the Board asking for the Board’s approval to do dirt work for the placement of a grain bin. He stated he would be putting in another approach.  Dave Garner stated it is an agricultural building requiring a new approach and that he saw no reason why it would not be permitted.  Rob will attend the next Planning Commission meeting to go through

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the proper procedure needed to obtain a building permit.  Mr. Tate will go ahead with dirt work.

Frank Otto, 5919 325th Street, Cannon Falls, MN appeared before the Board to inquire about setbacks required in the placement of a proposed garage.  The Board discussed with Mr. Otto various possibilities.  Heather advised Mr. Otto he has the option to apply for a permit with his original site plan and to ask for a Public Hearing for a variance due to a hardship.  Mr. Otto will attend the next Planning Commission meeting.

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

Ken reported on the research he had done on township owned property utilizing deeds found in the township’s safe deposit box.  Ken stated it looked like the township owned approximately one (1) acre of property on which the salt shed is located.  He also found paperwork on a small parcel in Cascade and a survey of the property the town hall currently is located on.  Heather suggested paying a title company to research exactly what is ours and also to determine if we have clear title to these properties. 

Ken left the meeting at this time to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary.

Colleen will run an ad, using the same wording as previously in the Cannon Falls Beacon for a two week period to advertise for a part time road maintenance person. Discussion was had as to the hourly pay.  Heather and Colleen both stated the need to pay more than what we currently are paying.  It was decided to ask surrounding township what their pay scale is for road maintenance.

Bob made a motion, seconded by Heather to have Dick Daniels check the blade edge and if needed have the Clerk order one.  Motion carried.

Dave reported that he had attended the joint Randolph Fire Department and township’s meeting.  The fire department presented a budget.  Dave stated they all understand our complaint.  They stated having a hard time getting a print out of township’s property assessments listing property value. They will form a budget and discuss fair and equitable representation and a fair way of billing each township for fire protection.  It was stated that the Randolph Fire District in the township very closely follows the Randolph School District boundary.  There will be monthly meetings that Dave will continue to attend.

Bob stated he attended the County Board of Adjustment meeting in which the Dibble and Stanton United Methodist Church variance requests were heard.  Bob stated that the County’s notice for the Dibble variance was incorrect and that they in fact received a 34 foot variance.  He stated the Stanton United Methodist Church also received the variance they were requesting.

Bob stated that he had attended short courses in Rochester.  He attended classes on contracts, covering the anatomy of contracts and also a course on the top 10 reasons townships get sued and lose. He also attended the Goodhue County Planning Commission Board Meeting and the hearing on the rezone to residential of properties located within the Lake Byllesby West Plat.  He stated quite a few residents from the area attended. 

Bob stated that comments heard at the meeting were that the township’s roads were

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terrible, dust being a big problem.  He stated other townships put chloride on all their gravel roads and what they put down on chloride saves on rock the next year.  Bob felt we should look into the advantages of putting chloride on all gravel roads. 

Heather stated it would please the people and stated we should pursue finding studies that back up the concept.

Colleen stated she remembered reading about this in a university publication and suggested we contact the University of Minnesota LTAP (local technical assistance program).   

Heather reported on her attendance of the Goodhue County Planning Commission Meeting and stated comments were made that if the rezone to residential were to take place they would also want sewer and cable service.  The question of higher taxes and road improvements were brought up.  Resident, Stan Webb asked if the zoning change affected the Rauvola property.  The answer was no.  Heather stated the Commission voted to recommend approval of the change of zone and this could possibly open up at the county level building sites in the affected sections.

Dave Garner stated the change of zone does not affect us as to issuing building permits stating the township already had the area zoned as residential and persons could always obtain township building permits with five acres.

Heather stated that Randy who sits on the commission wanted to add recommendations to the county that they (the commission) are against further growth in the area.  Knowing that the town board at our previous meeting hired Dean Johnson and having prior knowledge of potential projects in the area, Heather stated she abstained from the vote.  Heather stated the County’s Planning Commission is not at all interested in separate or community septic systems and recommends city sewer only.

Heather also reported on attending short courses.  She attended the class on the top 10 reasons townships are sued given by Township Attorney, Troy Gilchrist.  High on the list of reasons are trees, roads and Planning Commission actions.  It was stated at the meeting that the Planning Commission is an extension of us and the more documentation they have the better.  It was also stated that Planning and Zoning must have excellent minutes, full and complete records, justified rational, and all finding of facts recorded.  Also stated was the need to spend the money to have an attorney help in decision making and the mistake of prematurely adopting ordinances without the expertise of planners and your attorney.  Also the need to look beyond one parcel and being prompt and consistent were recommended.  When dealing with annexation, the need to work out by agreement was stressed.  No township has ever won a lawsuit over annexation.  It was stated that if we don’t have an annexation agreement, they will walk all over us.

Heather also attended the City of Cannon Falls “visioning meeting”.  Approximately 40 participants attended with EDAW Planning Firm facilitating the meeting.  The intension is to preserve and protect the downtown core.  It was stated to have Hwy. #19 by-pass the downtown is a bad idea and the city of Cannon Falls now wants Hwy. #19 to go thru the city with vehicle weight restrictions.  The comp. plan of Cannon Falls with old wording

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stating some natural beauty and bluffs will be sacrificed is slated to change to new wording of we will preserve lakes, streams, rivers, bluffs, and development will accommodate these. The main concentration is on downtown, currently suffering economically with empty store fronts.

Colleen attended short courses in Rochester and attended the morning session on contracts.  The afternoon session she attended was for 3 credit hours towards election administration.  Colleen also met with Goodhue County Public Health Department to verify the proposed location of a new township holding tank would meet County requirements.

Colleen had a copy of the findings made by Indigo Environmental.  Dave stated due to time we should look at the report and the updated building plans from Planco and address these matters at a later time.  Colleen was asked to try to set up a special meeting date that the Board, Todd Lewis of Indigo Environmental and Mark Dubbels would be able to attend.  Note:  Due to limited dates available, no special meeting was held and the report will be addressed at the August 16, 2005 town board meeting. 

Heather stated we should approach the question of township owned property by researching what is recorded at County Records and then doing a title search and bringing that information back to the next meeting. Colleen will pursue the matter.

Bob stated if township owned land doesn’t pan out, the property west of town hall to Hwy. 19 owned by Bill Nelson should be considered for purchase.  We could offer him the appraised price for the property and if he disagrees to sell, we could condemn the property and obtain for the appraised price.  Both Dave and Heather strongly disagreed with this process.

Dave asked if there was an election this fall. 

Colleen explained the new election mandates and the election process we need to follow to get a ballot question for a new town hall on the township election ballot next March.

The need for P.R., meetings, and letters sent to township residents stating no new taxes would be needed for a new town hall building was stressed.

Colleen reported the timeline given to her by Joanne Wood to pursue the planned development of Burroak Acres.  They are currently planning on attending the August Planning Commission Meeting and asking for a Public Hearing for September. 

Dave asked if they would be asking for an amendment to the Ordinance or for a rezone.

Colleen stated she has not yet seen a formal request and could not answer his question.

Colleen is in the process of researching back records concerning Syngenta and stated that due to back records not being filed but instead dumped into boxes, the process is very time consuming.

Bob stated that Northfield, Warsaw and Stanton townships bought a reclaimer together.  Warsaw is currently looking to see if they have it and if not we can assume Northfield has it.

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Bob stated he disagrees with the need to have disclosure of conflict of interest as an agenda item.  He stated the board members have always stated any conflict at the time of discussion and abstained from voting on the issue and he would like to keep it that way.

Heather stated justified or not, she would like to keep it on the agenda.  It was requested by constituents of the township and because it was requested felt we should continue to do so.

Dave made a motion we continue to have discloser of interests on the agenda of every meeting.  Heather seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  Bob voting nay.

Dave reported that he disposed of our old computers.  He is still looking for a place to dispose of the monitors and the T.V.

Colleen reported that Arlene Hernke has requested sweeping of the street in front of her home.  Dave will make a site visit.

Colleen stated that Marty Benson had requested chloride for Summit Golf Club and she had inadvertently omitted them from the chloride list.  She will contact Mr. Benson with an apology.

Colleen stated she was contacted by Bill Nelson who was concerned about annuals cut just before blooming when the township mowed ditches.

Dave made a motion, seconded by Heather to distribute mail.  Motion carried.

The Board received a letter from Goodhue County Soil and Water stating they had updated their water management plan and adopted it to be in effect until 2010. They asked us to submit existing water quality, land resource plans and official controls and comments by September 21, 2005. Colleen was told to respond stating we have no plan.  Discussion was held on the County wanting all septic services tied into city sewer.

Bob made a motion, seconded by Heather to adjourn.