REGULAR MONTHLY BOARD MEETING December 19, 2006

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, Supervisor Dave Garner, 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.

 

Bob said he would but would mention it when he came to it.

 

Minutes of November 21, 2006 meeting were reviewed.

 

Dave said he had some corrections:

Under the subtitle Annexation, second paragraph, the first 4 sentences referring to Annexation by Ordinance.  We need to add after “under 20 acres per owner per year”  “this was annexation by ordinance”.  After that was Orderly Annexation. 

Under Joe Vandenheuvel subtitle: first major paragraph “the planning commission to recommend to the board “does” not, instead of “did” not.  Correction of tense.

Before “Heather Sharps Letter”: It says “Joe left the meeting…”, it should say “Joe left the meeting and Joyce said Thank You.”

Where it says “Heather asked Betts…” it should say: “Stanton Township Supervisors” not “Supervisor”. 

Betts said she would make the requested changes.

Bob asked for any other changes or additions.

None were heard.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected.

Dave Garner seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Minutes of the New Town Hall On-Site Inspection were reviewed

 

Dave Garner made a motion to accept the minutes of the Final On-Site Inspection

Joyce seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Treasurer’s Report

Ken Ebert reported we had in investments $ 67,474.47 in a CD in Road and Bridge

Receipts for November, $30,113.79, but the $30,000.00 was the transfer from Road and Bridge to the Building fund as per the motion of the last meeting.

Disbursements: $158,684.98.

The budget for the next year needed to be looked at to see the over and under of each subcategory.

Bob asked if there were any corrections or additions.

None were heard.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report.

Dave Garner seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

 

Building Permits

 

1. Dustin Anderson of  7849 Hwy 19 Blvd., Cannon Falls, MN  came forward to request a permit to build a house.  Dustin presented a site plan and building plans to the board.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to approve the building permit for a house.

Dave Garner seconded the motion.

Motion Passed 3/0

 

2. Craig Scott of 12250 Cobblestone Lane, Rosemount, MN., requesting a permit to build a home.  He presented a site plan and building plans.   Mr. Scott would like an outbuilding also.  Mr. Scott estimated cost to be $850,000.00.  The outbuilding would be $200,000.00.  Outbuilding would be 80 x 120 feet.

 

Dave noted the property was zoned residential.  Ordinance stated that only 2,400 sq. feet was allowed.  A variance would be required.

 

It was decided Mr. Scott could get a variance at a future date.

 

Dave Garner made a motion to allow a building permit for a house for Craig Scott.

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion.

Motion passed 2/0

Bob Benson abstained as a conflict of interest.

 

3. Jim and Lisa Dolezal were called forward.

Jim and Lisa Dolezal  were not present at this time.

 

4. Josephine Lind of 32772 County 24 Blvd, Cannon Falls, MN for a variance of 2.5 acres to build a home was called forward.

 

The board reviewed the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting for the Public Hearing of Josephine Lind and findings of fact.

 

Ms. Lind wanted a 2.5 acre variance to build a home for her granddaughter and her husband, both registered nurses, to help her and to live close to her.  She currently lives on 5 acres. 

 

Joyce noted our ordinance only allows 5 acres to build a home in the area where Ms. Lind resides.  She noted the Planning Commission at 3-1 denied the variance.  If we allowed a division of 5 acres it could set a precedent for the future. 

 

Dave Garner made a motion to deny the variance for Ms. Lind

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Ms. Lind asked if she wanted to add on to her house what did she need to do.

 

Ms. Lind was told she needed to come back to the Planning Commission to apply for a building permit if she wanted an addition to her current home.

 

5. John Pernic of 32574 Oxford Mill Road, Cannon Falls, MN came forward.

Requesting a variance of 50 feet for a woodshed.

 

Joyce asked for the cost of the building.

 

Mr. Pernic said about $950.00

 

Dave noted that the ordinance was concerned with the value of the building not necessarily the cost.  The value of the woodshed was over $1,000.00 with the posts.

 

The board reviewed the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting for the Public Hearing of John Pernic and findings of fact.

 

Dave said he had gone to the property and walked around.  He waned to point out that the fall off of the area where Mr. Pernic had his shed actually needed fill to square it off.  Also, there were trees present between the road and his woodshed.  The trees alleviated the safety factor as someone would hit the trees before they hit his posts.  He could not see any other location for the woodshed.  He would have liked Mr. Pernic to have come in before constructing the woodshed, but because the previous shed was down for so long it was not a replaceable building. 

 

Bob Benson made a motion to grant a 50 foot variance to John Pernic for a woodshed

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Dave advised Mr. Pernic he needed to get a building permit starting at the Planning Commission. 

 

The clerk gave Mr. Pernic a permit to fill out.

 

Dean Lindeman – Hospital Board

 

Dean reported on the progress being made regarding the selection of a new site for the Cannon Falls Hospital.  He told of entering with the Mayo Health System since April 1st.  They are very pleased of the relationship with Mayo.  He was the representative for Stanton Township and was also on the Medical Board.  The site selection process was now occurring for a new hospital with an adjoining Assisted Living facility.  The medical center had engaged an outside consulting firm to look at several other sites for building also.  It was about 6 areas, 2 spots on the north side of Highway 19, the site that they already own by Grandpa’s Garage area, a couple of 40 acre sites owned by the Moline family, the Ott’s property down by Filmore Trucking by 52 and the land Heather Sharp owns on Cty. 24.  They were in the middle of this process right now, but expected the Medical Center would meet during the first of 2007 and would pick a site that they prefer.  That was the process. 

 

Dave said he had spoken with Dr. Greg Angstman and  he would contact Stanton and come out to speak after the first of the year.

 

Jack Lucking said he had spoken with Dr. Angstman and he would like to come to Stanton to speak on January 10, 2007 at 7:00 PM.

 

Dave mentioned that this information had to come through the clerk to make it official and do all the postings.  We would be hosting the meeting, it would be Dr. Angstman’s meeting.

 

Joe Vanenheuvel asked how big the hospital district was.

 

Dean stated it covered the city of Cannon Falls, and the townships of Stanton, Leon and Cannon Falls.  Dean also said that the 6 areas that were being looked at were being analyzed as to what would be best for Cannon Falls for the next 40-50 years.  No decisions have been made about where the Medical Center would be placed at this time. 

 

Betts asked if the Hwy 52 project was relevant in the Mayo choice of hospital site.  Are they related or not related.

 

Dean said they were related in the sense that MN-DOT has delayed the selection of the overpass awaiting the hospitals decision of where they would prefer to have the hospital. 

 

Dean left the meeting at this time.

 

Clerk Report

 

Betts reported looking into getting a new attorney for the township.  Betts had sent him a copy of the minutes and he had advised her that he didn’t feel there was any liability in what was said.

It was agreed that Troy Gilchrist would be a good choice as our new attorney. 

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to change attorneys and hire Troy Gilchrist as the township attorney, of Kennedy and Graven, Chartered, 740 U.S. Bank Plaza, 200 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN

Dave Garner seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Dave stated that any contact with the attorney should go through the chairman and that MAT has good legal advice for free .  That was our policy with Tom Scott and it should continue with Troy Gilchrist. 

 

Betts continued, handing out Resolution forms from MAT for return from the supervisors.  MAT would then carry the requests, if any, to the state level from the townships.  Filing date was May 1, 2007. 

 

Betts brought up the subject of November elections for our township, but last summer we had declined.  The decision stood to continue with March Township elections.

 

Betts stated that she had updated the MAT insurance policy for the new Town Hall.  The new town hall was insured currently for $200,000.00.  The contents were for 2,000.00.

 

The board discussed a higher value for contents.  It was decided $15,000.00

Joyce suggested itemizing everything we have and putting a replacement value on it.

 

Road Report

 

Dan and Tom were not present.

 

Bob noted Dan had been cutting trees and brush and burning it.  Dan had helped get the crushed rock done around the front of the town hall and put in posts for the handicapped signs.

 

Joyce noted that it would be a good idea to put a stop sign by the driveway going out on to 40th Avenue Way as a safety concern. 

 

Dave mentioned we had some stop signs and in the spring, when the ground thawed, we could put one in.

 

Town Hall Update

 

Joyce welcomed the audience to the first meeting in the new Town Hall. 

 

Dave said the current PA system was still being tuned up.  He would like to add an amplifier.

He would also like to add two more microphones, along with a podium microphone. 

Dave also wanted to thank Mark Dubbles for his help in putting in all the equipment.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to spend $356.54 for the sound system items Dave bought.

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 2/0 (Dave abstained)

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to purchase two more microphones for the sound system  and a podium microphone at $110.00 each.

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 2/0 (Dave abstained)

 

Dave said he would try to get a better price.

 

Dave added that we needed to post things and felt bulletin boards would be better for the building and the best place to post legal notices. 

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to reimburse Dave $38.22 for 2 bulletin boards.

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 2/0  (Dave abstained)

 

Dave made a motion to accept the new Town Hall at 31186 40th Avenue Way, Cannon Falls, MN 55009 as the official location of the Stanton Township Town Hall.

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Passed 3/0

 

Dave made a motion to make the new town hall at 31186 40th Avenue Way, Cannon Falls, MN 55009  as the official posting place for notices for Stanton Township.

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Dave noted due to the iron in the water at the new town hall he had purchased 2 - 5 micron filters and there was a noticeable difference already in the water.  Total was $71.92. 

 

Mark Dubbles noted this was a good temporary fix for the iron problem, but to keep an eye on it for the future as a water softener might be needed.  The better filter he felt was the most cost effective for now.

 

Betts asked if the board wanted a letter drafted to Glen Weibel and Cannon Falls council.

 

Dave felt it would be best to talk to them sooner than later.  At least to listen and find out their position.  It would best be done after January 1st.

 

Betts read the draft letter to the board.

 

Dave felt the draft letter was acceptable and was OK for them (Cannon Falls) to set a date and we could meet it.  We should be proactive and send them a letter.

 

Dave Garner made a motion to send the letter to Mayor Glenn Weibel.

Bob Benson seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Bob called for any other Old Business

 

None was heard.

 

New Business

 

Jack Lucking came forward.  He wanted to speak to address some questions and issues regarding The Falls LLC.  He was speaking for himself and the following was his opinion. 

 

Jack handed out 3 documents to the board members and clerk.

(Documents marked Exhibit A, B, and C)

Jack was concerned about what would happen to property values in and around The Falls LLC, if it were to go through. 

Other concerns Jack had and felt the township should look at were:

 

Who filled out the Grant request. 

Where was the timeline for Annexation of this property

Who has checked the property for being in a floodplain.  Was it the DNR?

Many published ads and websites listing things that have nothing to do with BioScience

He does not want the township to ignore this proposed industrial park

He would like to go on record and request that the Stanton Township Board members send certified letters to his list of:

 

The Falls LLC, Goodhue County Commissioner, City of Cannon Falls, Daisy Blue Naturals, Cannon Falls Medical Center, MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development, and Great River Energy.

 

This proposed industrial park development does not fit with our comprehensive plan or our township ordinance.  We have no interest in annexation for this project. 

 

Jack continued, if we made no statement about this it could hurt us in the future.  Our failure to act on this could be misconstrued as an approval or our acceptance. 

 

He would like a board member to make a motion to send out letters to all the previously mentioned parties stating that this does not fit in our comprehensive plan, it was not in our township ordinance and we are not interested in annexation for this project. 

Jack said that was all he had to say.

 

Bob said that any resident could send a letter to all these people as concerned citizens and tell them what they think.  Also that this Thursday night, at the new town hall, Cannon Falls Township and Stanton Township are meeting to discuss contesting annexation together.  Anyone could come, it was not a public hearing, but any one could come and listen. 

 

Joyce wanted it known that this board meeting was for the board members to discuss the business of the township.  It wasn’t a public hearing where people could speak any time they wanted.  If we were having a meeting and we had questions and there was someone in the audience that we call on because we want comment we could do that.  But the public cannot just stand up and start talking at the board’s meeting.  This was an open meeting, you could come here and listen.  If we want you to speak we would ask you. 

 

Discussion ensued regarding a petition that was handed in at last years annual meeting.

 

Dave said a petition has never been turned down by the township board.  But it was up to the board as to what they did with it.  As soon as the petition was presented to the township board it became a part of the public record. 

 

Joyce added that the 200 people who signed the petition were certainly against annexation because annexation means that you would have city water, city sewer, all expenses that you wouldn’t have while living in the township.

 

Rosie Schluter spoke about tax charts she had received from the former tax assessor comparing what taxes are now in Stanton Township vs. what they would be if a resident was annexed into the city of Cannon Falls.  There were 3 scenarios.  An average increase was about 40%. 

 

Joyce asked if Rosie would like to submit her documents to the clerk for public record for anyone else who was interested in those figures.

 

Rosie said yes. 

 

Joyce asked Bob if he wanted to accept those figures.

 

Bob said yes

 

Rosie brought the documents to the clerk.

 

Betts said she would make copies and return them to Rosie.

(Documents were marked Exhibit D)

 

Jack Lucking spoke and stated there were cases where a township knows what a person was trying to do.  We allowed her, (Heather Sharp) to do a presentation in the township hall.  She’s done ads in the newspaper.  What she wanted to do was by no means be a secret to anyone in this area.  If we know this was going on and two years from now she were to come to the township board and say she was ready, and she needed a permit and the township told her she couldn’t do it, she could turn around with a good attorney and say the township knew what was going on for three years and the township never acted or told her it was not allowed.  Now she had done all this work, spent all this money and how could the township turn her down.  This has happened and it was Minnesota case law. 

 

Bob added it happened right down in Mineral Springs.

 

Jack added he felt it was the townships job to send out these letters and say they didn’t want any part of  it, it’s not allowed.  All the letters were stating was fact.  Be proactive not reactive.

 

An audience member said it was better to spend some money now because it would cost us a lot more later. 

 

Bob said he agreed.

 

Joyce said she agreed with that too.  She said Cannon Falls had received their grant for $743,000.00 for infrastructure.  She had sent a letter on her own behalf telling them that our township was not zoned commercial and we have no commercial in our land use plan ordinance.  The letter was addressed to Dean Goddard, also that Cannon Falls township had called her and they felt they should be sending some letters. 

 

Mark Dubbles said he would like to see a draft of these letters done tonight.  He would like a motion.

 

Bob Benson made a motion that we send these people (on the list) these letters.

 

Dave said he would like to read a portion of the letter the clerk got today from our attorney  after the announcement of the grant for $750,000.00.  It was his opinion and Dave wanted it entered into the record:

 

 

“Elizabeth,

   As I understand the situation, the town board has no pending applications before it and no other matters waiting on a decision regarding this property.  As such, I do not see that the board needs to take any particular action at this point.” 

 

 

Dave continued, the letter goes on that we should be talking to Cannon Falls about annexation.  This was from Troy Gilchrist, our new attorney.  His letter did not say we couldn’t take any action, it only says we have no need to take any action. 

 

Joyce said she sided with the audience because if we do nothing and just sit here it was going to happen. She felt at this time we needed to do something.

 

Bob added that if the board doesn’t want to send the letters people could do them individually.

 

Dave said everybody has that right.

 

Mark Dubbles stated that citizenry has less of an impact in a letter than the Town Board as a collective unit.  He wanted to see the Town Board make those letters in a motion tonight.

 

Joyce asked Bob if he made a motion.

 

Bob said yes he did.

 

Joyce Moorhouse said she would second Bob’s motion that we as a town board prepare a letter stating our objection to any further development of this plan because it does not meet with our land use plan and our ordinance that all of our citizens are hereby abiding by according to Minnesota Association of Township law. 

 

Bob said the motion has been made and seconded to adopt a letter and send it to these people on this sheet of paper (Jack Lucking’s list) and anyone else it may concern.

 

Dave said he would like to see the body of the letter before he votes.

 

Bob said all in favor say aye.

 

Bob and Joyce voted “aye”

 

Dave said no, not until he saw the body of the letter.

 

Motion carried 2/0

 

Bob said they would have the clerk draw up a letter.

 

Joe Vandenheuvel asked the board if our attorney could look at the grant and how it was filled out.  He felt when someone acquired something monetarily and stood to gain something through false pretenses or knowingly putting down inaccurate or false information that he felt it was fraud.  Could our attorney look at the grant and see if anything was fraudulent there.  He still couldn’t get a answer as to who filled out the Grant. 

 

Dave said he felt the city of Cannon Falls would be the liable party.  We are not a party to that. 

 

Joyce asked if it was true that the little Cannon River ran through this property.  And wasn’t’ the little Cannon River controlled by the DNR.  Aren’t there records of the flood plane on this particular property. 

 

John Krantz said he was looking into that and he had talked to the water shed people and at this point they did not have an answer for him.  He felt it would help if the board helped move in this direction also.

 

Joyce said then we would contact the DNR and ask about that particular property, the development that was planned there and what effect it would have.  We could ask for an environmental study. 

 

John Krantz said yes.  Even though the Little Cannon River was not protected it does run into the big Cannon River and that was a protected river and it was only 3 miles downstream, and as a pollution factor it may be a problem.

 

Jack Lucking referred to page 6 (of the grant) where it asks what was the current estimated market value of the project site.

 

Discussion ensued regarding the grant having accurate information about the original value of the land as stated on the grant. Could overstating net worth be considered fraud? 

 

Dave reiterated that the grant money was not turned over to anyone but the city of Cannon Falls. 

 

 Joe said that he felt the project was all well and good, but not at the present location. The objection he had was annexation for the project.   

 

Bob said annexation was a big project and we would be sending out some letters here.

 

Dave asked what was the body of the letter going to say.

 

Joyce answered just what she had said in her motion, that was it did not meet our ordinance or our land use plan. 

 

Dave said he would like to see the actual letter before it was sent out.

 

Meetings Attended

 

Joyce attended the Highway 52 meeting and the selections were down to 2 sites.  The next meeting was Thursday at 10 AM.  It would be at the Cannon Falls City Hall. 

 

Dave attended 2 meetings with the medical center hospital, regarding what kind of services should be given. 

 

Betts said she attended the final Town Hall inspection.

 

Betts said at the Planning Commission meeting Mark Dubbles wanted the board to address the issue of the Brody Skahen property and some construction taking place without a building permit. 

 

Dave mentioned the truck was not next to the road any more.

 

Bob stated maybe we should take a look at it.

 

Upcoming Meetings

Bob stated this Thursday night with Cannon Falls Township.

 

Dave noted the potential meeting January 10, 2007.  When the meeting was verified our clerk should advertise that to our citizens. 

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to distribute the mail

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Betts went over received mail with the board noting that Goodhue County was now requiring building permits for new roofs due to so much fraud after recent hail storms.

 

Auction information for Public Surplus was available and she had signed up and created a login and password for access. 

 

Dave noted that we now had seating for about 40-50 people. 

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion and asked the clerk to send a thank you note to Cannon Construction, and getting it done on time and doing

 

Bob Benson seconded the motion.

Motion passed 3/0

 

Open House for the new Town Hall would be decided probably in January.

 

Joyce Moorhouse made a motion to pay claims

Bob Benson seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Ken announced we had $5,899.38 for the claims.

 

Claims were paid.

 

Dave Garner made a motion to adjourn

Joyce Moorhouse seconded the motion

Motion passed 3/0

 

Meeting adjourned at 10:12 PM