Minutes for Regular Board Meeting of Jan. 12, 2016
Present: Supervisors, Tina McKeever, Roger McKeever, Bruce Martinson; Clerk, Doug Schwecke; Treasurer, Alicia Kangas; Fire Chief, Phil Bonin; Asst. Clerk Gale Ring, Commissioner Ginny Storlie, and residents of Schroeder.
The meeting was called to order by T. McKeever at 7:00 PM.
R. McKeever moved to approve the agenda with the addition of Schroeder Twp. Land Use Plan under Other Business. B. Martinson seconded. Motion carried.
B. Martinson moved to approve the minutes of Dec. 8, 2015. R. McKeever seconded. Minutes approved as presented.
Treasurer’s Report: Receipts for Dec. totaled $19,358.53, which included the 2nd period property taxes. Disbursements totaled $3,959.10. The ending checkbook balance as of Dec. 31, 2015 was $76,444.07. B. Martinson moved to approve the treasurer’s report. R. McKeever seconded. Treasurer’s Report was approved.
B. Martinson moved to approve checks #3692-3712 in the amount of $8,515.65. R. McKeever seconded. Motion passed.
Lodging tax debit slip for Oct. in the amount of $2460.71 was approved and signed.
Commissioner Storlie: Ginny Storlie reported that committee assignments for 2016 remained pretty much the same, with the addition of a Highway committee, which will meet periodically to discuss concerns and plans for county roads. The Sawbill Trail will be resurfaced this summer. On Jan 26 the Commissioners will again consider adopting a new draft of the county land use plan, with a few changes having been made. The snowmobile and ski trails are in poor shape due to a heavy wet snow and wind storm. Clubs are working to reopen and groom the trails but there is no County or DNR money available for this although they received $5,000 from IRRRB. They completed a 6 month review for the new county administrator. He is working out well.
Dave Rannetsberger from Mn. Power informed us of what is happening at Taconite Harbor. The plant will continue to operate normally until Sept. of this year, when the last 2 units will be idled. The coal supply is good and they will receive 3 more boats this summer. They have been working on lay-up plans, including installing new lighting, cameras and sensors to monitor for fire and vandals, environmental compliance work, general maintenance and inspections, coal supply protocols (one boatload of coal will be shaped, compacted and sealed to be used if the plant reopens), and equipment laydown. When asked about the possibility of reopening, he responded that the main reasons the plant is shutting down are the cost of coal transportation is rising, the current cheap cost of natural gas, and Allette’s commitment to move to more wind and solar. Another group in Duluth is looking at repurposing options. While he is not able to comment on current discussions, if our involvement would help he will contact us. Lots above Hwy 61 will still be for sale, but those around the plant will not as they could affect repurposing efforts. Of the 39 employees, 18 have already accepted other positions within Mn Power, 6 plan on retiring when the plant closes and the rest are still considering their options. When asked if our Fire Dept. can still obtain water once the plant is shut down, he said it depends on whether or not the site will be manned or just remotely monitored. He said he would return in May/June to give us another update.
Fire and Rescue: Phil reported that at their meeting last night they discussed changing the fire relief benefits from $800 to $1,300 and the vestment from 10 years to 5. They would get paperwork to the clerk on how this would affect the township financially. Kelly Schliep is a new member. Shower remodel is progressing.
Road and Bridge: Skip Lamb presented his trucking report for 2015. Rick Anderson’s investigation into the status of the double 5’ culverts on Sugarlof Rd showed they should not be classified as a bridge since they spanned less than 20’. This is according to MnDOT standards. The road committee will meet to provide 5 yr cost estimates for the budget.
Maintenance: The outside lighting is still being worked on. Clerk was asked to inquire about a remote for the Fire Dept keypad. The old piano in the Town Hall will be offered for free to anyone interested at the annual meeting.
Other Business: A comment sheet asking for suggestions for any changes to the Schroeder Township Land Use Plan will be distributed at the annual meeting and will also ask for volunteers to make these changes. Filing for Township offices is now closed, with Tina McKeever filing for Supervisor and Doug Schwecke for Clerk. B. Martinson moved to approve Lavonne Anderson, Jan Dillon, Judy Gregg and Carol Tveekrem as election judges and Absentee Ballot Board, with Gale Ring and Alicia Kangas as alternates. T. McKeever seconded. Motion carried. T. McKeever moved to approve the meeting schedule with one change. B. Martinson seconded. Motion carried. The new schedule will be posted. A budget worksheet was passed out. 2016 budget will be set next month. Board of Audit for 2015 will be next month following the regular Board meeting.
Correspondence: Sent– various year-end reports
Received- FD certification, RAMS, BGS newsletter
B. Martinson moved to adjourn. R. McKeever seconded. Motion carried. Adjourned at 9:18 PM.
Doug Schwecke, Clerk