REGULAR MONTHLY BOARD MEETING February 20, 2007

Stanton Town Hall

31186 40th Avenue Way, Cannon Falls, MN 55009

 

Board Chair, Bob Benson, called the meeting to order.  Others present included Vice Chair Joyce Moorhouse, Clerk Betts Top and Treasurer Kenneth Ebert.

 

Meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M.

 

Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

 

Bob called to reveal any conflict of interest. 

 

January 16, 2007 minutes were reviewed.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to approve the January minutes as written

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 2/0

 

Treasurer’s Report

Ken Ebert reported current investments as $67,474.47 under Road and Bridge fund.  This investment comes due 5/26/07. 

 

Ken reported we could not close out the year until state approval, and we had not received the forms from the state yet.  After he does he can produce an ending balanced for the funds.  In January $8,065.31 was spent.  A budget had not been established yet.  Receipts were $112.17.

 

Bob said we will do the budget later in the meeting.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 2/0

 

Building Permits

 

  1. Boy Scout Camp requested a permit for a new roof on their dining hall.  Estimated cost $68,700.00.  The permit could be picked up from the clerk later in the week when she had received a check from Phillippo Scout Reservation..

 

Ken said the permit would be $59.00

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to grant a permit to roof the dining hall building at the Boy Scout Camp at 30654 32nd Ave. Way, Cannon Falls.

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 2/0

 

  1. Craig Scott of 12250 Cobblestone Lane, Rosemount, MN, requesting a Public Hearing for an 8,400 sq. foot variance off the allowed 2,400 sq feet in our ordinance.

Craig Scott was not present but had previously attended the Planning Commission meeting to start the Public Hearing process, including giving the clerk a check for the Public Hearing fee of $150.00.  Estimated cost of the building was $250,00.00.  The size was 90 ft by 120 ft.  The variance 8,400 sq ft.

 

The board members referred to the minutes of the previous Planning Commission meeting. 

 

At 7:07 Dave Garner arrived. 

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to hold a public hearing for Craig Scott at the next Planning Commission meeting at 7:30 PM for a variance of 8,400 sq ft. on March 12. 2007.

Dave Garner seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

  1. Brody Skahen was called forward.

 

Mr. Skahen was not present.

 

The clerk said she had send Mr. Skahen a letter the previous Wednesday asking him to attend the Board Meeting. 

 

Bob called for any other building permits

 

None were heard.

 

Dave requested to go back and revisit the minutes of the January meeting.

He asked if any corrections had been made to the minutes.

 

Joyce replied there were none.

 

Dave said he would like to make some corrections

Dave said on page 4 it should be inserted that “Dave and Joyce attended the Cannon Falls City Board meeting on 2-4-07.”

 

Next, page 5 Dave requested that on fire extinguisher location, it should be added “left” for which side of the door.

 

     Next, page 7, New Business

     Where it says “by Stanton residents” it should say “by some Stanton residents”

 

Page 10, where it says “Joyce noted…” it should say “Joyce and Dave noted…”

 

Page 11, under the sentence “Jack said the residents…” should be the sentence “Dave said residents should attend the meeting and learn what we’re talking about.”

 

Dave Garner made a motion to amend the minutes as corrected.

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

Vince Cockeriel To Speak

 

Vince read to the board:

 

“Mr. Chairman, it was the intent of a number of the petitioners to suspend the petition for incorporation at this time.  The sole purpose of this action was to get a citizen advisory committee a chance to explore the positive as well as the possible negative effects that incorporation may have on the township residents. It should be noted that we are pulling the petition with a good faith agreement that a citizen advisory committee will be formed and given a chance to wholly explore the township options, which was by the townships attorney’s advice.  It should also be noted that at any time during the exploratory process that the advisory committee was hindered from doing it’s job the petitioners reserve the right to reinstate the afore-said petition or one of similar nature.  I would ask that you enter this request into the minutes at this time.”

 

“Respectfully submitted Vince Cockeriel ”

 

Bob commented that it was going to come up tonight from the planning commission.  They had a motion for us to work on.

 

Vince said the township attorney did mention the Town Meeting coming up in March would be an opportune time to solicit people who want to volunteer for the committee. It was important to get a wide cross section of people, from different interests to different parts of the township to different occupations.  Also that anyone could be on the committee. They did not have to live in the township or be land owners, they could be from anywhere and legally could sign the list for committee member.

 

Clerk Report

 

Betts reported the signatures on the Petition for Incorporation had gone down to 98.

 

Next she reported the Daylight Savings time change would be March 11 and November 4th.

 

She had called Minnesota Department of Transportation in regards to the vehicles on the side of Hwy 52 and was awaiting a return call.

 

Next was a problem of passing information on construction of the new Town Hall.

AJ electric never got the update #7, or any updates from the first round of bids.  When they gave their bid to Cannon Construction they were not aware that the water heating system was all electric and not gas until after the Cannon Construction bid had been accepted by us.  A bill was presented to Stanton but the clerk felt it was not something that would be approved.  But later Cannon Construction told AJ Electric the additional amount of money was up to Stanton to pay.  Betts had told AJ Electric she would bring the bill before the board and let them decide.

 

Dave said we had a contract with Cannon Construction and AJ Electric should be dealing with Cannon Construction.  It was their job to take care of the subcontractors not ours. 

 

The bill was for 545 dollars. 

 

It was decided it was not the townships responsibility to pay the bill.

 

Notice of the Annual Meeting and Change of Date for the Planning Commission did go in to the Beacon for Legal Publishing.

 

Lastly, she had picked up the ballots from the Beacon because the county had never called her back answering her question about whether she could print the ballots herself.

 

Dave told Betts she didn’t have to take the ballots to a professional printer.

 

Betts told the board that next year she would save the township some money and do the ballots herself.  Also, the Absentee Ballots were all addressed and ready to go as soon as she picked up the ballots from the Beacon, which would be tomorrow.

 

Road Report

 

Dan came forward.

Dan reported it had been a slow month.  If it got warmer he might do more tree trimming.

 

Bob asked about 315th Street being on the agenda.

 

Betts replied a developer owning land over in that area called her and wanted to know if 315th street was maintained by the township.

 

The board consulted a map.

 

It was decided that 315th street was a private road and was maintained by the residents living near it.

 

Brad Skahen came forward on behalf of Brody Skahen who was not present due to illness.  His address was 8135 280th St West, Farmington, MN 55024

 

The board consulted the Planning Commission minutes to update themselves on the Skahen property.

 

Bob said Brody was called to our meeting to explain some additions to the house and shed.

 

Brad said there were no additions on to the house.

 

Bob said a small building was being built behind the house. 

 

Brad said it was a lean for storing wood under it, but then one thing went to another and it got changed. 

 

Bob added there was an addition to a shed too.

 

Brad explained the sudden increase of  items on and around the property was due to a divorce, and that his things will be removed soon.  The addition on to the barn was so the barn wouldn’t tip over and in the process restoring the barn back to the way it originally was.  They had pictures of how the barn originally was. 

 

Bob explained to Brad that a permit was needed to put up an addition.

 

Brad said  he was there before the board to find out what Brody needed to do.

 

Bob answered; bring in drawings of what he’s done and what he plans on doing.

 

Joyce added he needed to then come back to the planning commission with those plans, along with the estimated costs, and then get a permit for what ever it was being done with the barn. 

 

Brad said OK.

 

Joyce advised the plan needed to show the distances from the property, sides and back, that Brody had to meet setbacks. 

 

Brad asked what the setbacks were.

 

Brad was advised the setbacks were side 50 feet and front was 50 feet.

 

Brad was told if something new was being put up then they would have to meet the 50 foot setbacks.  Also he needed to get the permit approved by the county.

 

Bob told Brad to have an approximate cost based on if he built new, such as Mennards, because the county wants the value shown that way.  They will put their own value on it if Brad or Brody didn’t.

 

Brad left the meeting at this time.

 

Meetings Attended

 

Joyce said she had attended a Hwy 52 meeting on Jan 25th.  On march 1st from 5:30 to 7:00 PM would be a public meeting of the project officers.  They were still looking at a few sites, but more on County 24 and Hwy 52 intersection.  Now different concepts were going on for a couple of sites.  They will then compare costs of the sites.  The next meeting was
Thursday February 22nd. 

 

Dave replied they had attended the Special Board Meeting that was attended on the 12th.

 

Joyce also reported she had taken the clerk to Red Wing on March 8, 2007 to get election supplies because the clerk didn’t have a vehicle.

 

Mayor Glenn Weibel was in the audience and Bob asked him to come forward.

 

Glenn said his visit was strictly as a social call.  He said he wanted to rebuild the cooperation between the city (Cannon Falls) and the surrounding townships. 

     He brought up the topic of the possibility of a Pandemic and how it would be handled.  A letter would be sent to the Chairman inviting him to a meeting on that topic on March 19th to review the plan and it’s application.  Then on April 30th there would be a desktop exercise on how to handle potential problems.  We needed a disaster plan for other things too, not just a pandemic. 

     He would hope to build a trust bridge between one another.  He felt in another 15-20 years annexation would be a topic, but that the only way to handle annexation was to have orderly annexation.  This required all the parties to sit down together each having a blank sheet of paper, adding a goal and then everybody figuring out how to reach that goal. 

 

Mayor Weibel had to attend another meeting and left at this time.

 

Dave spoke to the board about notice for Special Meetings. This information came from MAT website.  He printed out information for the clerk showing only 3 days and 1 notice was required.  He also handed out information to the clerk regarding preparing for the annual meeting, highlighting some things for the clerk and treasurer which had to be done including some mandatory deadlines coming up. 

 

Oxford Mill Planning Commission Recommends.  The clerk explained that information regarding this topic was in the Planning Commission minutes.

 

The board reviewed the Planning Commission minutes from 2-13-07.

 

Dave asked if anyone from the board had been down to look at the fence yet.

 

Bob said he was down there.  The fence sits off the road about 5-6 feet.

 

Dave wanted to know if it was hazardous to traffic through there.  Was the fence a hazard to traffic.

 

Bob said he felt it was back far enough.

 

Joyce felt it should be put on the Road Inspection list for spring of 2007.

She felt a possible posting of that area of the road could warn people to drive slow. 

 

Next topic: Incorporation Petition & Resolution

 

Betts brought out the petition for incorporation.  She read a resolution which was presented by the townships attorney:

 

STANTON TOWNSHIP

GOODHUE COUNTY, MINNESOTA

RESOLUTION NO. 07-___

 

RESOLUTION FINDING INCORPORATION PETITION INSUFFICIENT

 

WHEREAS, the Stanton Town Board was presented a petition at its January 16, 2007 meeting calling for the incorporation of Stanton Township into a city;

 

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statute Section 414.02, subdivision 1 requires petitions for incorporation to be singed by at least 100 property owners, state the proposed name of the city, state the names of all the parties entitled to notice under Minnesota Statute Section 414.09, set out the reason for requesting incorporation, and include a proposed corporate boundary map;

 

WHEREAS, the petition presented to the Town Board did not contain all of the items required by Minnesota Statute Section 414.02;

 

WHEREAS, the petition, as presented, contained 149 signatures that appeared to be valid upon initial inspection;

 

WHEREAS, upon reviewing the petition forms themselves and further verifying the eligibility of those that signed the petition, the number of signatures on the petition was reduced to 133;

 

WHEREAS, after a public information meeting on incorporation held at the Town Hall on February 12, 2007, a number of petitioners expressed a desire to withdraw their names from the petition;

 

WHEREAS, the Town Board received written requests to withdraw their names from the petition from 35 of those who had signed the original petition; and

 

WHEREAS, after removing the names of those who signed a withdrawal request are removed from the petition, the number of remaining petitioners was less than 100 property owners;

 

WHEREAS, the Town Board needs to determine the sufficiency of incorporation petitions in order to determine its duty to provide notice under the statute;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Stanton Township Town Board hereby finds and determines the incorporation petition was not sufficient because it does not contain all of the information required by Minnesota Statute Section 414.02, subdivision 1 and no longer contains the signatures of at least 100 property owners; and

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the Town Board will return the petition to the petitioners and will not provide notice to the surrounding local government clerks of the intent to incorporate.

 

Adopted this 20th day of February, 2007.

 

                                                                                                BY THE TOWN BOARD

 

                                                                                                ______________________________

                                                                                                Town Chairperson

 

Attest:_______________________________

            Town Clerk

 

Dave Garner made a motion to adopt the resolution

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

At this time Chairman Bob Benson signed the resolution along with Clerk Elizabeth Top.

 

Betts said she needed to return the original petition to one of the presenters.

 

Vince Cockriel came forward to take back the Incorporation Petition.

 

New Business

 

Focus Group Recommendation – Mark Dubbles Letter

 

Bob read from the Planning Commission minutes:

 

“Mark Dubbels made a motion to recommend to the town board to form a focus group with the sole purpose of exploring the following 3 areas:

1.      Forming municipality with all the Pros and Cons

2.      Contested Annexation - Pros and Cons and any other discussion

3.      Orderly Annexation - Pros and Cons and any other discussion

The group must consist of citizens located/situated in all recognized land use zones in Stanton Township.”

 

 

The clerk presented a letter of recommendation to the board.  She said Mark had asked the letter to be read at the next board meeting.

 

Betts read:

“As per the meeting on February 12, 2007 regarding information Town Hall meeting on municipalities a request by board members were made of me, Mark Dubbels, as per the acting chairman, officially vice chair of the Planning Commission, to put purpose and scope together for a focus group  looking into 3 main areas;

One forming a municipality and looking at the pros and cons in any discussion thereof.  Number 2 the pros and cons of Contested Annexation and discussion thereof and

Number 3, Orderly Annexation pros and cons and discussion regarding that.  

 

This would be a way of looking at the entire process last night as it came to be on February 12th, and with that it is my recommendation to the town board that they form this focus group per their discretion based on it must consist of citizens located or situated in all recognized land uses zoned within Stanton Township. 

 

For instance it might be 3 members in residential, 3 members in rural residential,  and 3 members in agricultural, as long as the numbers are all equally represented with the same voice.  This would ensure cross demographic or equal representation by all groups involved across Stanton Township. 

 

Moreover the scope is looked at as the town board would have overall jurisdiction of this group and steering this group as they see fit.  This group is to not cause the town board expenditures unless they come first to the town board asking for specific permission on expenditures in specific areas. 

 

This group I see also as reporting to the town board on a monthly basis at the town board monthly meetings as an agenda item on those evenings.  This focus group as directed by the town board can themselves meet 1 or more times a month at the location of Stanton Town Hall utilizing the resources already within the town hall for their specific action. 

This is an exploratory or fact-finding group only at this point in time until the town board chooses to move them down a different road.

 

That’s some history,  and my purpose and scope is to come up with equal voices across all demographics within Stanton Township.  This is to ensure no specific group or group of citizenry with specific goals or agendas in mind would have over-ruling power in this focus group, either for or against any one of these three areas.  This is my recommendation to the town board giving a little history and a little background. 

 

Thank You,

 

Mark Dubbels”

 

Dave spoke saying he concurred with Mark’s sentiment.  We should put out requests to seek volunteers to be on this Ad Hoc group and then try to pick a cross reference from there. We could also solicit at the annual meeting .  At next months meeting we could actually form the group. We needed time to form the group and make sure we had a cross reference represented so we could get a fair representation.

 

Joyce asked the clerk to start a list that people could sign where they would sign their name, section they live in and phone number. 

 

It was decided forming the committee would be put on March agenda for the regular board meeting.

 

Dave felt there should be no expenditures, except maybe copying costs or things like that.  They should not go out and hire a consultant, lawyer, etc.  Those expenditures should be up to the boards discretion. The board agreed.

 

Joyce felt the Ad Hoc committee, a volunteer position, should be able to get a lot of information from the Internet.  The committee could be up to as many as 20 people because sometimes not everyone can come to a meeting.

 

Colleen Meyer from the audience volunteered to have her name listed on the Ad Hoc committee sheet.

 

The clerk took the information but the audience was requested to do further signup after the meeting, or via phone and email.

 

Dave said he would do some researching on Ad Hoc committee, questions like if they were open to the public, if the meetings were posted, etc. He would find out which rules would apply. 

 

Bob called for any other new business

None was heard.

 

Upcoming Meetings

 

MAT Spring Short Course

            The clerk reported it was at a new location by the airport in Rochester this year.  There was no preregistration.  March 20, 2007 was the date. 

Betts handed out meeting information sheets to the supervisors.  The meeting cost $35.00 for each attending.

 

It was reviewed that swearing in of newly elected candidates could be done 7 days or 1 full week after elections but not before the following Wednesday, or March 21st.

 

The clerk was advised she could swear people in at the town hall and did not need a witness except herself.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion for Ken to write a check for 5 people to attend the MAT spring meeting.

Dave Garner seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Distribute Mail

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to distribute the mail

Dave Garner seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

The clerk reviewed the mail with the board. 

The clerk read a letter from Randolph Fire Department.  March 1, 2007 at the Randolph Fire Hall they would be holding a meeting including dinner for the township board to attend. 

 

The supervisors said they would probably all attend.  The clerk said she would post the meeting with supervisors attending.

 

Betts said she had received a letter from Jennifer Ritzman complimenting the board and wanted it to go on record with the minutes.

 

Questions came up as to whether it was our discretion or not as to whether we would share a petition with the public in the future.

 

Dave said he remembered it was at the discretion of the board as to when it could be released to the public. 

 

Dave Garner made a motion to do the Board of Audit

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0


Board of Audit

 

Ken passed out a multi-page document of his work over the last year to each of the board members. 

The budget for General Fund for 2006 was $54,500.00 that was receipts, the actual was
$57, 413.00.  The disbursements for the General Fund : budgeted $54,500.00,  disbursements

$67,592.00. (this fund would go up to $75,000.00)

The Road and Bridge budgeted $85,000, actual income was $85,126.00, but we spent $15,000.00 more.  Disbursements were $100,127.00. 

The Fire budgeted at $25,000.00, and received $22,441.00.  This meant we received $2,558.00 less and spent $496.00 more.  $25,496.00 was spent in total.

 

Dave Garner made a motion to accept the Budget for $205,000.00

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Discussion ensued about the levy for 2009.

The levy for 2008 increased about $22,000.00 which was done last year. 

The levy had to be set by September 2007.

 

Dave read off the final amounts:

 

Create a Legal Fund of $20,000.00

 

Road and Bridge Fund increase for the proposed bridge $20,000.00

 

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 2008 Levy.

 

Bob Benson made a motion to propose a Levy increase of $90,000.00 at the Annual Meeting.

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Dave asked the board if they wanted to set the Budget at the 2009 Annual Meeting or carry that option.

 

Bob said we would carry that option for the next year.

 

Dave said we have to have it done by September 15th.  For the levy only.  We have that option.  We could propose it.  Then carry it on till September. 

 

No decision was made at this time.

 

Township Hall Rental

 

The board reviewed a sample rental contract Ken had presented.

 

Bob felt it was the people’s Town Hall and they shouldn’t have to rent it.

 

Joyce said we should hold the rental fee, such as $250.00, and if the hall was clean after they used it then they would get their check back.  We wouldn’t cash that check, we would just hold it. 

 

Ken stated that was explained at the bottom of the sample contract. 

 

Dave felt paying an attendant during the rental time was not necessary.

 

Joyce felt it should be restricted to only the township people.

 

Bob felt our insurance liability should be checked, it might go up.

 

Even for free there could be liability issues.

 

Joyce felt our insurance would cover it because we have public in the town hall all the time.

Maybe we could just have a flat fee of $50.00 for rental.

 

Discussion of hours of rental ensued.

 

Dave felt we needed to have about 3 different categories. First a public entity, such as someone outside of our area.  Second category would be a nonprofit such as scouts or church groups. Things could be handled on a case by case basis. Third category, a group that wants to meet here, for example a dance class.   

 

Joyce said she thought a flat fee of $50.00 should be charged, and a $100.00 damage/cleaning deposit.  Treat everyone the same. 

 

Bob agreed, treat everyone the same.  Then there would be no discrimination.

 

The contract stated the rental request should come before the board to be approved.

 

Joyce felt one person should be in charge and the clerk should be that person.  If the clerk had any questions they could contact the chairman. 

 

Betts said she would like to see an entry about “approved at the clerks discretion” incase she would see something not appropriate. 

 

Dave said it would have to be at the Board’s discretion.  They would have to come before the board anyway. 

 

Betts said this was not going to be a call Saturday morning and then come Saturday afternoon type thing.

 

Number 2 on the sample contract read that the renter had to ask the board at a meeting.

 

Betts said to rent then they have to come to the board a month ahead of time.  She asked if it would be required to be alcohol free.

 

Joyce asked Betts if she would revise the contract for changes.

 

Dave said he was not comfortable with leaving it at the discretion of the clerk.  People should come before the board. 

 

Bob said he would like to know who’s going to rent.

 

It was agreed the renter would have to come before the board to get permission.

 

Betts said she would do some revisions and put it on next months agenda.

 

Bob talked about having an open house for a few hours inviting the public and Cannon Construction and subcontractors, sometime after spring.

 

Bob Benson made a motion to pay claims

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Claims were paid.

 

Dave Garner made a motion to adjourn

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Meeting adjourned at 10:58  PM