May 11, 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: There was no representation from the Sheriff's department at the meeting. Mike Ganz read a brief summary of the 2019 Annual Sheriff's report for Palmer Township. Total calls for service for 2019 were 955 as compared to 1056 in 2018 and 1145 in 2017. There has been an increase in criminal damage to property and assaults over the last 3 years, but we are seeing a decline in burglary, narcotics, DUI's and thefts. There were no further questions regarding the annual report.
Road Maintenance/Signs: Chairman Ganz stated that Chris Perkins is requesting permission to install a valley in the ROW to deter water from washing away the road near his driveway. The supervisors will look at the site to determine an appropriate solution for deterring the watershed as to not affect neighboring properties. Chairman Ganz also reported that there is a buckle in the road on 90th Ave that will need to be repaired. Supervisor Demeules recommended getting started on sweeping the streets. Chairman Ganz presented the idea of purchasing a used tar kettle so the Township could patch small potholes on their own as they arise. This will eliminate hiring a contractor and getting on their schedule for repair throughout the summer. Large projects will still need to be contracted out but the smaller holes could be repaired immediately by township employees. Chairman Ganz will research pricing and report at the next meeting. Chairman Ganz reported he spoke with Schendzielos and Son's regarding the scheduling of completing 54th street. He was estimating the middle of May. Chairman Ganz will follow up with the contractor to get a date he will be available to complete the project. Supervisor Demeules will contact Otto and Associates to get the bid on the tar to be installed after 54th street has been repaired.
Fire Department: There was no representation from the fire department at the meeting. Roger Johnson reported that a new controller has been put on Door 4 in the fire hall.
P.E.C: PEC has been postponed and has not yet been determined if it will be rescheduled. Due to the CoVid outbreak the recycling companies are not rescheduling yet and are providing limited service to protect their employees.
Park Report: Pavilion rental has been canceled through the month of May. Upon the Governor's announcement pertaining to the shelter in place order at the end of the week will determine the decision of canceling reservations for the month of June. Paul Hans, President of the Clear Lake Lions submitted a letter to the Township requesting that Palmer Township take over the planning and decisions in building the proposed shelter at the Park for the Lions beer wagon. It was discussed that all three supervisors will need to be involved with decision making as the project develops. Chairman Ganz reported that the light has been installed at the entrance of the park and is up and running. Palmer Ball has been canceled for the 2020 season.
Lake Association: Supervisor Demeules reported that the weed spraying will be done this week after the DNR issues that permit. Approximately 100,000 walleye fry have been added to the chain of lakes this past week. The water level is slightly lower than average this time of year due to the removal of the carp trap.
Legal Comments: Nothing to report
Approval of Minutes: Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve the April minutes as written. Supervisor Larson seconded and the motion carried.
1. Palmer Township Clean-up day: Central Appliance is not currently scheduling for pickup. Score grants have been extended until fall. We will revisit the possibility of rescheduling the Palmer Clean Up day at next month's meeting when more information has developed with the CoVid regulations.
2. 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 will gather information on the current BTU usage along with what will be needed to start the generator in an emergency. He will be working with Xcel to determine if changing over to gas will be cost efficient and if our current set up can handle the BTU's required. He will update new information at the June meeting.
1. Bridge Inspection: Chairman Ganz reported that Sherburne County does annual bridge inspections and provide recommendations on maintenance. Palmer Township currently has 2 bridges that have been inspected. Recommendations on the 42nd Street bridge were to remove vegetation from the north end of the culvert and to replace signs. Vegetation has already been removed and signs will be ordered. Recommendation for the bridge on 90th Ave was to replace spacers between the post and railing. Chairman Ganz will follow up with this recommendation.
2. Annual Reorganization Discussion:
Chairman Ganz reported on the recommendations from the Annual meeting in March. Discussion is as follows:
A. Gopher Bounty - it was recommended that the Gopher Bounty remain at $3.00 per pair. Supervisor Demueles made a motion to approve, Supervisor Larson seconded and the motion carried.
B. Tax Levy - A motion was made at the annual meeting to increase the tax levy 2%. This motion failed as it was not seconded. Another motion was made to increase the tax levy 4% which was seconded. A vote was taken with 11 voters in favor and 2 opposed. The motion to increase the tax levy 4% was approved.
C. Historical Society - It was recommended to donate $500.00 to the Historical Society. Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve the donation of $500.00 to the Historical Society, Supervisor Demeules seconded it and the motion carried.
D. Election Results - Supervisor Larson was reelected as supervisor for another 3-year term for Palmer Township. Supervisor Larson made a motion to continue with Mike Ganz as the Chairman of Palmer Township. Supervisor Demueles seconded and the motion carried.
E. Officers Wages - It was recommended that officer's wages be revisited to keep a consistency with neighboring townships. This will include meeting fees. A survey was done by the Sherburne County Townships in early 2020. Kelly will get the results and report at the June meeting.
3. Vacation of Old Roadway Easement PID - 40-028-1425 and PID 40-028-1430: Chairman Ganz made a motion for a public hearing to be set for June 8th at 7:30 pm for the vacation of a portion of 99th Ave SE. Supervisor Larson seconded and the motion carried. The hearing will be posted at the town hall and on the website.
4. Dedication of a portion of 99th Ave SE: Chairman Ganz made a motion for a public hearing to be set for June 8th at 7:30 pm for the dedication of a portion of 99th Ave SE. Supervisor Demueles seconded and the motion carried. The hearing will be posted at the town hall and on the website.
5. Republic Services Contract: Contract renewal for Republic refuse pick up at the town hall is up in December of 2020. Republic stated they would match a quote from another refuse company which would lower our bill to $49.93 per month from $145.20 per month. The contract would need to be renewed for 1 year from the date of the new contract beginning in June. Chairman Ganz made a motion to renew the contract for one year at the new price. Supervisor Demueles seconded it and the motion carried.
6. Variance Request on PIC 40-028-1420 - 5206 100th Ave SE: Andrew Stowe was represented by Johanna and Randy Spindler to request a 4' variance in setback from the centerline of 52nd St. SE to build a new house with attached garage. They are requesting a second variance 78.9' in lot width for the new home on recreational development lake which is 150'. In reviewing the arial photo of the property, David Meyers asked if they would be willing to dedicate a small portion of the land to clean up the property line off of 99th Ave. Randy stated he would be willing to discuss the option with the home owner. Randy stated the home owners would like to tear down the existing house and all outbuildings and build a handicap accessible home with a walkout basement and attached garage approximately 36 x 54. The house will be built farther away from the lake than it is currently placed. The question arose as to how many trees will be removed and if there will be any additional impervious surface as to what is currently there. Johanna stated that they will be removing mature trees but have a plan to replant 2 trees to every one they remove when the project is complete. There will be no more impervious surface than there currently is today. They plan on using gutters with down spouts along with French drains. Supervisor Demeules stated he will send the following recommendations to Sherburne County pertaining to the variance requests:
1. Recommend with the condition of replacing any trees that are removed
2. Recommend with the condition that there is no additional impervious surface
3. Recommend with the condition that there is no disturbance to the shoreline
4. Recommend with the condition that a portion of 99th Ave be dedicated to the township to clean up property lines.
Chairman Ganz made a motion to approve claims #20103 - 20124, plus payroll, plus Connexus for a total of $12,393.84. Supervisor Demeules seconded it and the motion carried.
Chairman Ganz made a motion to adjourn. Supervisor Demeules seconded and motion was carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.
Kelly McCann, Palmer Township Clerk Approved as reviewed June 8, 2020