SCHROEDER TOWNSHIP Minutes of the Annual Meeting of March 10, 2015
The Annual Town Meeting was called to order at 8:08 PM by Clerk Doug Schwecke
Clerk led over 70 people in attendance in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
67 qualified voting residents signed in plus a few guests.
Clerk asked for nominations for a Moderator. Peter Borson and Kevin Johnson were nominated. Linda Lamb moved to close nominations. Tina McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Show of hands gave Peter Borson 42 and Kevin Johnson 13. Moderator Peter Borson took over the meeting.
Dennis Rysdahl moved to approve the agenda as presented. Roger McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Ginny Storlie introduced herself as our newly elected Commissioner. Urged everyone to contact her with concerns and also to attend the monthly Township meetings as she will try to attend them as well. She reported on a long meeting earlier today regarding proposed Armer towers. This is an ongoing process with no decisions yet. The 3 sites under discussion are Lima Mt., Cascade, and Seagull. The purpose of the towers is to improve communication abilities for Sheriff, Fire and Rescue, and EMT units within the county and is tied into a state wide system. Concerns included environmental and conflicts with the county’s land use plan. Mentioned concerns about maintenance issues on Onion River Rd. Also the updating of the County’s Land Use Plan has been tabled for 6 wks. to allow discussion among east end residents.
Greg Miron moved to waive the reading of and to approve the minutes of the Annual Meeting of March 11, 2014, and the continuation of Aug.11, 2014. Llyod Geillinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Alicia Kangas presented the annual Treasurer’s Report showing a beginning balance of $155,351.65, receipts of $140,887.29, disbursements of $122,437.47, leaving an ending balance of $173,801.47.
Alicia then presented the IRRRB Storefront Loan Program showing a bank balance of $68,137.06, one outstanding loan of $22,760.91, for a total of $90,897.97. Discussion on changing the name and purpose of this acct. Suggested trying to promote its use more with a pamphlet or on the Township’s website. Motion by Phyliss Miron to change the name to Schroeder Business Development Fund. Second by Rick Anderson. Motion carried with 2 nays. After further discussion to improve usage and scope of this fund Scott Waterhouse moved to change the name to Schroeder Community Development Fund. Roger McKeever seconded. Motion carried with 1 nay.
Voter authorization is needed for the Board to set up a new capital reserve fund. Our fire dept. recently received ownership of the Armer radios and are responsible for maintenance and updates. As the cost is about $2,500 each the Supervisors would like to have money available. Bruce Martinson moved to authorize the Board to establish a Radio Replacement Fund. Alicia Kangas seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Election results showed for Treasurer; Alicia Kangas 62 of 66 , for Supervisor; Deb Johnson-31 and Bruce Martinson-40.
Supervisor Roger McKeever presented the Road Report. All roads appear to be in good shape at present, but we’ll see what the spring thaw brings. Several culverts might need attention.
Deb Johnson reported that everything was pretty quiet at the cemetery. Updating the plots on computer and trimming some trees are planned for this year.
Tina McKeever reported that the softball field saw some use last year. Port-a-lets would again be rented for the summer for the ball field and Harbor Park and the dock would be put in at Dyer’s Lake.
Tina McKeever and Greg Miron reported that the initial design work was completed last year for updates at Harbor Park. The first priority would be shoreline erosion control. Discussed other concerns such as adding ADA accessible toilet and improved signage. Steve Schug moved to authorize the Board to pursue grants that address erosion and environmental concerns. Mary VanDoren seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Fire Chief Phil Bonin reported the Fire Dept. is now down to 8 members and they need to stay above ten. Last year there were 9 calls; 1 chimney fire, 5 vehicle accidents, 1 coal fire at Mn Power, 1 carbon monoxide call, and 1 cancelled call, so a pretty quiet year.
Phil Bonin also presented the Rescue Squad report. Last year there were 48 calls, with about half from Schroeder. A round of applause was given in appreciation of all that Phil and the other Fire and Rescue members do for us. Need voter authorization to renew contract with Tofte. Mary VanDorn moved to authorize the Board to renew the Rescue Squad contract with Tofte. Carol Tveekrem seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Linda Lamb moved to designate the Cook County News Herald to be the Newspaper of Record. Tina McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
The Township now has a website at www.schroedertownship.com. Spread the word and if you have any suggestions for it contact the Board. Surveyed audience about need for a township newsletter. Most felt it was not necessary.
Linda Lamb moved to set the time for the next Annual Meeting to be 8:01PM March 8, 2016 at the Schroeder Town Hall. Tina McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Tina McKeever moved to set the Annual Election Poll hours at 5-8 PM for 2016. Skip Lamb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Nominations from the floor for Citizen of the Year were Bruce & Grace Palmer and Phil Bonin. Phil Bonin was declared Citizen of the Year after a show of hands.
The 2015 Budget, which was approved by the Supervisors at the Feb. 10, 2015 Board meeting, was presented by the clerk. General-$35,000, Road & Bridge-$35,000, Cemetery- $2,000, Recreation- $6,000, Fire Dept.- $19,000, Rescue Squad- $10,800, Fire Relief- $8,000, Radio Replacement- $1,000 TOTAL- $116,800 (plus donations to be approved by the voters)
Requests for Support– A worksheet was provided showing the requirements to allow the Township to provide monetary support to organizations asking for it. Final authority rested with the Board of Supervisors and that they were not bound by any actions taken tonight. The legal issues would have to be sorted out before they could give final approval on any. That said, the organizations were asked to present their requests before any discussion.
Tofte Township– A letter was read requesting $1,500 to help defray the costs for the 4th of July celebration and fireworks.
Timberwolves Sportsman’s Club– requesting $1,000 in the form of a service contract to brush out Schroeder Tote Rd. up to 600 Rd. to be used as an ATV, snowmobile, and hiking trail.
Schroeder Area Historical Society is asking for $9,000, the same as last year, to supplement fundraising, memberships, donations from individuals and organizations, and gift shop revenues to help maintain the building and promote community involvement and programs. They were presently asking to table their request until the legal issues were resolved.
Birch Grove Foundation is asking for $12,500. $10,000 under a service contract for youth and senior recreational programs and $2,500 for development and implementation of a senior citizens center.
Birch Grove Community School is asking for $20,000 for 5 years to cover a budget shortfall due to low enrollment. It’s important to the community to keep the school operating because it provides local employment, day care, is a top rated VOA school, and is well supported by area businesses.
After a short explanation of the requirements of each request, motions of authorization and recommendation were asked for.
Rick Anderson moved to authorize $1,500 to Tofte for the area 4th of July celebration. Alicia Kangas seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Bruce Martinson moved to authorize a service contract with Timberwolves Sportsman’s Club for trail work in the amount of $1,000. Kathy Buckman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Dennis Rysdahl moved to recommend approval of $9,000 to Schroeder Area Historical Society pending resolution of the legal issues. Linda Lamb seconded. Motion was made and seconded to vote by ballot. Carried. After discussion Dennis Rysdahl amended his motion to recommend approval of $9,000 to Schroeder Area Historical Society provided it not be under a service contract and pending resolution of legal issues. Linda Lamb seconded the amended motion. Motion carried with a 38 yes to 26 no ballot vote.
Jenny Lamb moved to authorize a service contract with Birch Grove Foundation for youth and recreation programs in the amount of $10,000. Cathy Johnson seconded. Motion was made and seconded to vote by ballot. Carried. Motion failed with a 31 yes to 34 no vote by ballot.
Mary VanDoren moved to authorize $2,500 to Birch Grove Foundation for development and implementation of a senior citizens center. Charles Lamb seconded. Motion was made and seconded to vote by ballot. Carried. Motion carried with a 38 yes and 26 no vote by ballot.
Skip Lamb moved that the citizens of Schroeder Township support Birch Grove Community School, District #4145, in the amount of $20,000 to provide services for public purpose and would ask that this support continue in this amount for the term of 5 years, to be re-assessed at that time. Kathy Buckman seconded. Motion was made and seconded to vote by ballot. Carried. Motion carried with a 40 yes and 19 no vote by ballot.
Tina McKeever moved to table setting the levy until Aug 12, 2015. Llyod Geillinger seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Citizen Concerns: We are again planning a community clean-up day for the Welcome Walls. Concern was expressed about a newsletter titled Schroeder Township Newsletter. Told the matter was resolved the evening before at the March Board meeting. The Board is asking for volunteers to serve on the 5 year road maintenance plan committee. Rick Anderson volunteered. Concern was expressed over the dilapidated condition of the old gas station and wondered if anything can be done about it.
Bruce Martinson moved to continue the Annual Meeting to Aug. 12, 2015, 7 PM at the Schroeder Town Hall. Skip Lamb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting was recessed at 10:29 PM.
Doug Schwecke, Clerk
Peter Borson, Moderator
Minutes of the continuation of the 2015 Annual Meeting
The meeting was called to order by Moderator Peter Borson at 7 PM on August 12, 2015.
Moderator Borson led about 40 people reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Tina McKeever moved to accept the agenda. Second by Gale Ring. Motion carried.
Treasurer Alicia Kangas gave an update on Township finances. With receipts and disbursements to date plus an estimate for the rest of the year, show we should end up with a balance of about $225,000, provided no major road projects are done this year. This would be about a $50,000 increase. The reason for this is that we have not paid out any donations as of now, ($22,000 in 2014), plus disbursements for Road & Bridge (snowplowing), Recreation and Fire have all been much lower this year.
Bruce Martinson gave a report on information about Schroeder Community Development Fund (old Storefront Loan program). After checking with IRRRB about what this money can be used for, it must be used for economic development. Proposed changing the name to reflect this at the next Annual Town meeting.
Tina McKeever reported that there would be a public hearing at 6:30 PM on Sept. 14 at the Community Center in Grand Marais on the proposed changes to the Cook County Land Use Plan. She has been our representative on this committee for the past year and asked for any input from residents. Also the Schroeder Land Use Plan is 10 years old and should also be looked at. There are links to both of these on our website www.schroedertownship.com .
Discussion then turned to the proposed 2016 budget. Estimated receipts, without a tax levy, and estimated disbursements, without any donations figured in, showed about a $22,000 shortfall, but with a beginning balance of $225,000. Ideas brought up included whether or not any donations should be included, whether our fund balances were adequate to cover emergencies, whether our fund balances were growing too large because we were overtaxing ourselves, and the need to spend more on the maintenance of our roads.
Greg Miron moved that the 2016 Tax Levy should be set with the assumption that $25,000 would be given as donations, and if not used for donations would then be used to increase the Road & Bridge Fund. Second by Greg Koschinska. After discussion the motion was called, 17 ayes and 9 nays. Motion carried.
Bob Kangas moved to set the 2016 Tax Levy at $0. Second by Charlie Muggley. After discussion the motion was called, 7 ayes and 21 nays. Motion failed.
Greg Koschinska moved to set the 2016 Tax Levy at $48,000. Second by William Christ. After discussion, Greg Koschinska amended his motion to set the 2016 Tax Levy at $38,000. William Christ agreed to second the amended motion. After further discussion, the motion was called, 19 ayes and 6 nays. Motion carried.
Bruce Martinson mentioned the need to update our cemetery regulations, especially concerning allowing more than one urn on a plot. Asked that everyone think about this and that it will be brought up at the next annual meeting.
Skip Lamb moved to adjourn. Second by Greg Miron. Motion carried.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:27 PM.
Doug Schwecke, Clerk
Peter Borson, Moderator