June 8, 2020
The regular meeting of the Palmer Township Board was called to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Palmer Township Hall, with Supervisors Ganz, Demeules and Larson present. Also present was Kelly McCann, Township Clerk, Roger Johnson, Treasurer and David Meyers, Township Attorney. The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Treasurer’s Report: Roger Johnson read the balances from the Treasurer's report. Supervisor Demeules made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report. Supervisor Larson seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
Sheriff’s Report: Captain Bob Stangler read the Statistic report for May 2020 in Palmer Township. There were 84 calls for service compared to 84 in 2019 and 93 in 2018. There were 8 traffic stops and 7 offenses charged by citation. No burglaries or theft were reported. There were 3 crashes with injury, one involving a DUI and 3 crashes with property damage. There was one citation issued for a boating violation and one damaged mailbox reported. Captain Stangler reported that due to CoVid they have seen traffic down about 60%. There were no further questions.
Road Maintenance/Signs: Chairman Ganz reported he inspected 90th Street where he was informed it was in need of patching. John Herbst has removed the old tar. He stated that it is in need of repair and recommended that due to tractor traffic we should consider changing the approach on 90th into gravel for 300ft or so to minimize the damage done to the tar prior to patching that area. Chairman Ganz will discuss with John Herbst. Supervisor Larson reported he has been in search of a used tar kettle and has contacted a seller but is waiting to hear back on a price quote. Chairman Ganz made a motion to spend up to $3000.00 on a tar kettle when one is located. Supervisor Larson seconded the motion and the motion carried. John Herbst has graded minimum maintenance roads 113th Ave on the North end and the Dwenger road. Chairman Ganz will contact him to grade 113th Ave on the South end along with ditch mowing, one 8 foot pass, to be done one week prior to the 4th of July.
54th Street repair has begun by Todd Schendzelios. Craig Hart requested that the road be angled towards the woods and moved 4 to 5 feet as discussed last fall. Chairman Ganz reported that the plans have remained the same with the contractor. Otto and Associates are soliciting bids for base layer and wear course for tar on 54th Street. Chairman Ganz made a motion to accept 54th Street SE and 114th Ave SE road right of way dedicated in the Sleepy Oaks Plat as a Palmer Township Road. In accepting this portion of the road Palmer Township is not including accepting ownership or responsibility for any drainage or drainage easements in the Sleepy Oaks Plat. Sleepy Oaks will continue to assume all responsibility for any water shed/drainage issues in the future. David Meyers recommended getting a retainer of 110% from Schmeising Family Partnership for final expenses to complete 54th Street and all other road work associated with the plat. Any remaining funds will be returned to the Partnership when job is complete. Supervisor Demeules seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Fire Department: Ron Koren reported that the Clear Lake Fire Department had 28 calls from May 1st through June 8th. Ten of those calls were for Palmer Township, 8 being medical, 1 auto accident and 1 gas leak. The advisory meeting will be held on July 8th. There were no other questions for the fire department at this time.
At 7:30 pm Chairman Ganz made a motion to suspend the regular meeting for a Public Hearing on the extinguishment of a town road. Supervisor Demeules seconded the motion and the regular meeting was suspended.
David Meyers presented and requested the adoption of Resolution 2020-3 to extinguish a portion of the town right of way located on PID No. 40-028-1425 and PID No. 40-028-1430. This road was reserved by the town in a 1950's deed. It has not been used or maintained by the town for over 25 years. Owners of both properties have signed the Consent to Extinguish the Road Right-of-Way and Waiver of Notice of Hearing. There was no opposition to the extinguishment.
The Palmer Township regular meeting was reopened at 7:33 pm. - The Board adopted resolution 2020-3 to extinguish this road.
David Meyers presented and requested the adoption of Resolution 2020-2 Acceptance of Roadway of 99th Ave SE signed by property owners of Stowe Living Trust and Chris and Donna Byron. The resolution dedicates any land owned that lies within the existing, platted right-of-way to Palmer Township. There was no opposition stated at the meeting. Chairman Ganz made a motion accept the resolutions. Supervisor Demeules seconded and the motion carried. Chairman Ganz made a motion to adjourn the Public Hearing. Supervisor Demeules seconded the motion and the motion carried.
P.E.C: Nothing to report - (see old business - Clean-up day)
Park Report: Pavilion rental has been canceled through the month of June. As the Governor announces Stay Safe orders, the supervisors will determine the decision of canceling reservations for upcoming events. Roger Johnson has measured the tennis courts and has determined that two pickle ball courts can be added the way it currently stands by lowering the nets to regulation height. This will allow for both pickle ball and tennis games to be played. There is enough room to make 4 pickle ball courts if new nets are bought and placed separately. Chairman Ganz recommended starting with the 2 courts to determine usage prior to buying new nets.
Lake Association: Supervisor Demeules reported that the next event scheduled is the 4th of July fireworks which will not be canceled.
Legal Comments: Chairman Ganz raised the question if the township is liable for a resident who voluntarily mows the ditch outside of his own property line. David Meyers stated that a resident can mow up to the road on his/her own property without liability issues. Anything beyond the owners property should only be mowed by an insured employee or contracted business hired by Palmer Township.
Approval of Minutes: Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve the May minutes as written. Supervisor Larson seconded and the motion carried.
1. Supervisors wages: At the annual reorganization discussion it was recommended to revisit the officers wages to keep a consistency with neighboring townships. A survey was done within the townships of Sherburne County. The supervisors are currently receiving $15.00 per hour with a meeting fee of $75.00. In reviewing the survey, Supervisor Demeules recommended that the supervisor's wages be increased to $22.00 per hour based on an average from the survey. He also recommended that the Chairman's meeting fee be increased to $120.00 per meeting and the supervisors meeting fee be increased to $100.00 per meeting. His recommendation was based on the fact that the Chairman has more responsibilities to address following a meeting. Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve the recommended increase in wage and meeting fees. Supervisor Larson seconded the motion and the motion carried. This will go into effect July 1, 2020.
2. Palmer Township Clean-up day: There has been no change with recycling company's CoVid regulations at this time. The possibility of rescheduling Clean-up day will be revisited closer to the fall.
3. Boiler Update: Roger reported he has been in contact with Xcel energy in regards to changing the boiler system at the fire hall from electric to gas. Roger has determined the current BTU usage along with what will be needed to start the generator in an emergency. Our current meter has a max capacity of one million BTU's. We would need to replace the existing meter if changing over to gas to increase the BTU capacity to 3.1 million BTU's. After discussion it was decided that we should get 3 quotes to replace all 9 elements and two leaky valves. In receiving the quotes we should also have the current boiler inspected to make sure there are no other underlying issues that may require maintenance.
1. Tobacco License renewal: Briggs Lake General Store is requesting the renewal of their tobacco license for June 2020 - June 2021. There were no issues noted with the application. Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve the tobacco license renewal application. Supervisor Demeules seconded the motion and the motion carried.
2. Eric Falk - Variance Request - 10494 55th St - PID 40-027-3300: Mr. Falk is requesting a 75' setback from the OHWL for an addition to his existing home. The addition will not be any closer to the lake. There will be no changes to the lakeside and no trees will be removed. Septic system is currently being inspected. Supervisor Demeules will send favorable comment to Sherburne County with the following recommendations:
a) No disturbance of the hill going into the lake
b) Runoff mitigation on property.
3. Chris Byron - Variance Request 86' in lot width. 5161 99th Ave SE PID - 40-028-1425: Mr. Byron stated he is planning on removing existing home and rebuilding walkout retirement home. He would like to move the new home closer to the lake to save existing trees. His current plan will require taking down approximately 6 existing trees. Location of new home was based on site line. Impervious surface will be 18%. There are no changes planned for the shoreline. Supervisor Demeules will send the following recommendations for consideration to Sherburne County:
a) With Briggs Lake being an impaired water, the new house should not be any closer to the lake
then the existing home.
b) 6-7 trees are being cut down to accommodate new home. A good tree canopy is important to
a healthy lake. These should be replaced.
c) With the size of the hill, there should be runoff mitigation.
d) It is important not to disturb the shoreline.
Palmer Day Discussion: - There have been inquiries as to whether or not Palmer Day will be canceled for 2020 due to CoVid. Palmer Day is run by a Palmer Day Committee and therefore all decisions will be made through them. Once a decision is made, an announcement will be made on the Palmer Day website and in the Becker Citizen.
Little Libraries: Meghan Swanson of the girl scouts sent a thank you and an update on the little library that her troop had placed in the park last summer. She stated that after 1 year of installing the library it is still standing and has been very successful. They have put over 200 books into the library.
Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve claims #20126 - 20148, plus payroll, plus Connexus for a total of $14,401.77. Supervisor Demeules seconded it and the motion carried. Roger Johnson reported that the second half of the fire contract will be held until July.
Chairman Ganz made a motion to adjourn. Supervisor Demeules seconded and motion was carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:38pm.
Kelly McCann, Palmer Township Clerk Approved as reviewed July 13, 2020