SCHROEDER TOWNSHIP Minutes of the Annual Meeting of March 10, 2020
The Annual Town Meeting was called to order at 8:01 PM by Clerk Doug Schwecke
Clerk led about 20 people in attendance in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Clerk asked for nominations for a Moderator. Phil Bonin was nominated. Gregg Westigard moved to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Phil Bonin. Carla Menssen seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Moderator Phil Bonin took over the meeting.
Tina McKeever moved to approve the agenda as presented. Steve Schug seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Ginny Storlie reported on the ongoing dispute over PILT payments. Cook County currently receives about $2,000,000 a year in PILT payments. The federal government is trying to reduce those payments. They have agreed to have new appraisals done for the land within the BWCA. If the appraisals come in lower than the current values, they might have to pay some money back, so they are putting it into escrow and not using it on the budget. They are still looking for Census workers. Accurate census numbers are important because federal and state programs and payments are based on them. They are working on an emergency plan to be implemented if coronavirus becomes widespread locally.
The minutes of the 2019 annual meetings were presented.
Treasurer Carla Menssen presented the annual Treasurer’s Report for 2019. It showed a beginning balance of $149,658.86, receipts of $152,198.71, disbursements of $103,089.08, leaving an ending balance of $198,768.49. The Schroeder Business Development Revolving Loan Program showing a balance of $92,412.70, with no outstanding loans. The lodging taxes collected in Schroeder in 2019 totaled $34,637.83.
Election results were announced showing Rick Anderson received 20 votes out of 20 votes for Supervisor. Anna Green received 17 out of 17 write-in votes cast for Clerk. Thank you to our election judges, Jan Dillon, LaVonne Anderson and Doug Schwecke.
Rick Anderson presented the Road Report. There were no major projects in 2019, just regular maintenance. 5 culverts were purchased with the intent to replace a couple each year over the next few years.
Bruce Martinson reported on the cemetery. Currently there are 306 lots, with 255 sold and 125 of those being occupied. A project for this year will be to install a water line. Also, will be developing a protocol to address the issue of large equipment collapsing old graves.
Recreation- Tina McKeever reported that no new projects are scheduled for this year. If anyone has any ideas for a Great Place grant, to please let her know.
Townhall remodeling projects: Rick Anderson reported that the townhall is now 40 years old and needs a few fixes. We received $6,100 from the TSSSD detachment and will use that money for updates and repairs. First there have been some pesky leaks in the roof peak that need to be fixed before they cause major damage. Secondly, the kitchen could be enlarged and the electrical updated to code. If time and money permit this year, the gutters are leaking and need to be replaced and the back deck should be replaced and maybe enlarged. Bruce Martinson also reported that the restrooms are not ADA compliant and steps are being taken to remedy that also.
Fire Chief Phil Bonin reported the Fire Dept. is now at 10 members. Last year there were 16 calls, a steady increase over the last few years. Will be replacing about $20,000 of outdated personal protection equipment this year. Also will need to replace the 1979 tanker one of the next years.
Phil Bonin also presented the Rescue Squad report. Last year there were 55 calls, 16 in Schroeder. They also have a search and rescue team of 5 members based out of Tofte and they are making good use of the rescue sled that we helped purchase a couple years ago.
Gregg Westigard moved to set the time for the next Annual Meeting to be 8:01 PM March 9, 2021 at the Schroeder Town Hall. Tina McKeever seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Tina McKeever moved to set the Annual Election Poll hours at 5PM-8 PM for 2021. Bruce Martinson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Doug Schwecke was nominated as Citizen of the Year. Carla Menssen moved nominations cease and unanimous ballot be cast for Doug Schwecke. Gregg Westigard seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Rick Anderson moved to approve allowing the Township to spend up to $200 on awards in 2020. Carla Menssen seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
The 2020 Budget, which was approved by the Supervisors at the Feb. 11, 2020 Board meeting, was presented by the clerk. General-$67,000 (includes $20,000 remodeling cost & $7,000 of requests for support), Road & Bridge-$35,000, Cemetery- $2,500, Recreation- $7,500, Fire Dept.- $26,500 (includes $4,000 loan payment, Fire Relief-$0, Rescue Squad- $11,000, TOTAL- $149,500. Estimated receipts for 2020 are $133,500.
Requests for Support for 2021–
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. Tina McKeever moved to approve $1,500 to Tofte for the 4th of July celebration. Rick Anderson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Steve Schug spoke on behalf of SAHS asking to please consider monetary support of up to $5,000. No action taken.
After discussion, Bruce Martinson moved to set the 2021 Levy for Schroeder Township at $50,000. Greg Westigard seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
There has been a growing consensus to have the Post Office open in the morning rather than the afternoon. The mail arrives at 8:30 AM but is not available to boxholders until the afternoon. Conversely, the outgoing mail leaves at 1:00 PM and the office doesn’t open until 12:30 leaving only ½ hour to get packages mailed the same day. Bruce Martinson moved to authorize a letter of support for changing the hours of operation for the Schroeder Post Office to morning rather than afternoon. Gregg Westigard seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Citizen Concerns: Rick Anderson urged everyone to contact Commissioner Storlie if they were as concerned as he is about some of the Commissioner’s decisions. Deidre Larock-Muggley asked about the proper protocol to voice opposition to support for SAHS. Any motion at this meeting, in opposition or support, would be an advisory position only, as sole authority rests with the 3 Supervisors. So, the most effective lobbying would be one on one with the Supervisors. Gregg Westigard spoke about what he sees as the great potential for using the Cross River Historical Center as an outreach to tourist, to get them to stop and stay in the area. Steve Schug gave an update on SAHS activities. The CRHC building was repainted last summer. They have been working to re-establish a better working relationship with the Township Board. Their main exhibit this year will be an exhibit from Iron World about how mining has influenced our community. They can always use more volunteers. They are trying to expand on John Schroeder Days. It was once a three day event but is now down to one day.
Bruce Martinson moved to adjourn the meeting. Rick Anderson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting was adjourned at 9:21 PM.
Doug Schwecke, Clerk
Phil Bonin, Moderator