SCHROEDER TOWNSHIP Minutes of the Annual Meeting of March 8, 2016
The Annual Town Meeting was called to order at 8:04 PM by Clerk Doug Schwecke
Clerk led over 45 people in attendance in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
40 qualified voting residents signed in plus a few guests.
Clerk asked for nominations for a Moderator. Peter Borson was nominated. Linda Lamb moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Peter Borson. Roger McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Moderator Peter Borson took over the meeting.
Steve Schug moved to approve the agenda as presented. Gale Ring seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Ginny Storlie was not able to attend but County Administrator Jeff Cadwell was in attendance to answer any questions. None were asked.
Marion McKeever moved to waive the reading of and to approve the minutes of the Annual Meeting of March 10, 2015, and the continuation of Aug.12, 2015. Skip Lamb seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Alicia Kangas presented the annual Treasurer’s Report showing a beginning balance of $173,801.47, receipts of $132,301.78, disbursements of $85,649.08, leaving an ending balance of $220,454.17.
Alicia then presented the IRRRB Storefront Loan Program showing a bank balance of $78,761.43, one outstanding loan of $12,836.45, for a total of $91,597.88.
Caroline Wood, Birch Grove Community School Director, thanked the Township for past support and urged continued support to keep the school open. Currently there are 28 children in K-5 and another 14 in pre-school and day-care programs. They employ 13 people.
Bruce Martinson reported that the Township is working on changes to the IRRRB Storefront Loan program. The Supervisors need to approve the changes, which include name, purpose, eligibility, and application procedures. IRRRB would then need to approve these changes before they can take effect.
Roger McKeever presented the Road Report. The roads appear to be in good shape for this time of year. The budget for Road & Bridge was increased to provide the necessary funds to take care of some bigger projects in the next 5 years. Bruce Martinson reported for the road committee, which also included Rick Anderson and Charlie Muggley. The township roads and culverts were toured and evaluated by the committee and the county highway engineer and head of maintenance. Recommended that the asphalt roads receive a mill and overlay, replacing about half of our culverts, and increase the gravel base on the gravel roads within the next 5 years. A grant has been applied for to help cover the cost of the mill and overlay project, which will be the most expensive.
Bruce Martinson spoke on some proposed changes to the cemetery rules and asked for input from the audience. The most notable being to allow up to 4 urns to be buried on any single lot, and allowing one headstone and up to four footstones/lot.
Tina McKeever reported that there were no major changes planned for the recreation fund. One project might be to make a few changes around the town hall playground and ball field to make them more inviting and increase usage.
Fire Chief Phil Bonin reported the Fire Dept. is now up to 12 members. Last year there were 5 calls; 1 chimney fire and a couple of vehicle accidents, so a pretty quiet year. They will need to get some new gear to outfit the new members.
Phil Bonin also presented the Rescue Squad report. Last year there were 51 calls, with just over half being for Tofte. The crew of volunteers is well trained and very responsive to calls. They plan on replacing their vehicle this year and selling the old one to Grand Marais.
The election judges presented the results of the Annual Election. For Supervisor; Tina McKeever-28, Charles Muggley-4, Lloyd Gellinger-2, Rick Anderson-2. For Clerk; Doug Schwecke-34, Alicia Kangas-1.
Tina McKeever reported that the Schroeder Township Land Use Plan is over ten years old and should be updated. Any comments or suggestions should be turned into the Board by May 6.
Alicia Kangas moved to set the time for the next Annual Meeting to be 8:01 PM March 14, 2017 at the Schroeder Town Hall. Charlie Muggley seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Steve Schug moved to set the Annual Election Poll hours at 5-8 PM for 2017. Mary VanDoren seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Linda Lamb moved to approve Tina McKeever as Citizen of the Year. Carol Tveekrem seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Congratulations Tina!
The 2016 Budget, which was approved by the Supervisors at the Feb. 9, 2016 Board meeting, was presented by the clerk. General-$59,000 (includes $24,000 of approved requests for support), Road & Bridge-$45,000, Cemetery- $2,000, Recreation- $4,000, Fire Dept.- $19,000, Rescue Squad- $13,000, Radio Replacement- $1,000 TOTAL- $143,000. Estimated receipts for 2016 are $118,000. The big question with the receipts is the unknown amount of Taconite Production monies that we will receive. The difference would be made up with carry-over from the 2015 ending balance. A question was asked about what the approved requests for support were. They were; Tofte 4th of July-$1,500, Birch Grove Foundation-$2,500, and Birch Grove School-$20,000, all payable in 2016. The Board is waiting for clarification from the State Auditor’s Office on the legality of these requests.
Requests for Support– The Clerk explained that any action tonight by the voters in regards to these requests are purely advisory in nature, as the final decision rests solely with the Supervisors, within legal restrictions imposed by state statutes.
Tofte Township– is requesting $1,500 to help defray the costs for the 4th of July celebration and fireworks. This is the only request requiring approval by the voters, to set a maximum amount to be given.
Schroeder Area Historical Society is asking for $9,000 to supplement fundraising, memberships, donations from individuals and organizations, and gift shop revenues to help maintain the building and promote community involvement and programs. This is not currently legal without a change in state statutes.
Birch Grove Foundation is asking for $11,000 to continue programs at the community center.
Birch Grove Community School is asking for $20,000 to cover a budget shortfall.
It was requested that these four motions be voted on by secret ballot.
Mary VanDoren moved that the Township authorize a funding allocation to Birch Grove Community School for one year in the amount of $20,000. Skip Lamb seconded. Motion carries with a vote of 29 yes and 11 no.
Skip Lamb moved to authorize $1,500 to Tofte for the area 4th of July celebration. Cathy Johnson seconded. Motion carries with a vote of 39 yes and 1 no.
Linda Lamb moved to recommend approval of $9,000 to Schroeder Area Historical Society, subject to getting Mn Statute 138.053 changed. Skip Lamb seconded. Motion carried with a vote of 24 yes and 16 no.
Mary VanDoren moved that the Township appropriate $11,000 to W.E.CONNECT (Birch Grove Foundation) for 2017. Skip Lamb seconded. Motion failed with a vote of 16 yes and 22 no.
Citizen Concerns: Steve Schug urged the Supervisors to support these non-profits for all the good they do for the community. Alicia Kangas reminded everyone that the Supervisors are bound by state statutes and cannot just do as they like. Charlie Muggley stated that the support of these organizations should be up to individuals and not government entities. Linda Lamb brought up the value of all the volunteer hours provided by residents for these organizations.
Skip Lamb moved that we set the 2017 tax levy tonight. Mary VanDoren seconded. The Board recommended that we wait until August so we would have a better idea of receipts and expenditures. After further discussion the motion was called and carried with 22 yes and 12 no.
Skip Lamb moved to set the 2017 Township Tax Levy at $50,000 to the General Fund. Mary VanDoren seconded. After discussion a vote by secret ballot was requested. The motion carried with a vote of 28 yes and 10 no.
Don McKeever moved to adjourn. Tina McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:38 PM.
Doug Schwecke, Clerk
Peter Borson, Moderator