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|Paynesville Press - February 22, 2006|
Township board holds meeting for February
The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following action at their meeting on Monday, Feb. 13.|
*The board reviewed a 2006 township levy proposal, which would need to be approved by township voters at the annual meeting on Tuesday, March 13.
In 2005, the township levied $407,000 ($182,000 for roads and bridges; $170,000 for general revenue; $30,000 for snow removal; and $25,000 for fire protection).
In 2006, the initial township levy proposal calls for a total levy of $423,500, an increase of $16,500 or 4.1 percent. This proposed levy includes: $188,500 for roads and bridges (an increase of $6,500); $177,000 for general revenue (an increase of $7,000); $32,000 for snow removal (an increase of $2,000); and $26,000 for fire protection (an increase of $1,000).
The township (as of Dec. 31, 2005) has a balance of $323,000 in the road and bridge fund (including a CD); a balance of $60,000 in the revenue fund; and a balance of $77,000 in the snow fund (including a CD), while the fire fund had a deficit of $1,200.
Board chair Don Pietsch called these proposed levy increases a minimum, lest the township starting falling behind in its fund balances. "We want to keep (our fund balances) that way," he said.
It would not be wise, agreed supervisor Pat Meagher, to operate with less.
Township levies have a year delay as the township will not receive these funds until 2007.
The board agreed to have clerk Don Wiese check with the county auditor on the amount that the township tax base has grown in the past year, to compute how much the township could raise its levy before tax rates are actually raised.
The board will make a final decision on its levy proposal at its meeting on Monday, March 13, when supervisor Harry Thielen is also expected to be in attendance, before the annual meeting on Tuesday, March 14.
*The board reviewed its proposed 2006 police contract with police chief Kent Kortlever. The township contracts for 1,200 hours of police protection per year, under a contract that runs from April 11, 2006, to April 10, 2007, for 2006.
Those 1,200 hours represent 14 percent of the total police coverage. With a police budget of $275,791 (with certain credits already deducted from gross budget), the township's 14-percent share for 2006 will be $38,611.
The township board also asked about the police department's plan to add a fifth officer in July 2006. This cost will appear as a half-year cost on the township bill in 2007 and as a full-year cost in 2008. The half-year cost to the township for the fifth officer is estimated at $3,000, and the full-year cost at $6,000, said Kortlever. A fifth officer will allow the department to provide nearly 24-hour police coverage.
*The board approved two trail-related resolutions. The first supports the inclusion of $1 million in the state bonding bill to improve the Glacial Lakes State Trail from Willmar to Cold Spring. The second calls for the township to apply for a $100,000 matching grant from the DNR under the local trail connections grant program.
*The board authorized advertising for its committee appointments prior to making its annual appointments at its meeting on Thursday, March 16. The township currently appoints Pat Flanders to the Economic Development Authority of Paynesville (EDAP) and township maintenance worker Mike Jensen to the joint trails board.
Jensen has told the township board that his regular work makes it difficult to attend the noon meetings of the joint trails board.
Pietsch reported, after hearing conflict-of-interest concerns about Flanders serving on the EDAP board, that he had checked with the township attorney who said it was fine to have Flanders serve on that board since the EDAP board serves merely an advisory capacity.
Any township resident wishing to serve on a committee should write a letter of interest to the board.
*The board approved a variance for the Crow River Heights Plat, owned by Dennis Spaulding and Earl Stang, for lot sizes less than two acres in size, which is the minimum required by the township. The 120-acre, 12-lot plat (in sections 7 and 18) includes five lots along the river that will range in size from 1.3 to 1.7 acres. These lots will use a common septic system on a two-acre outlot.
The board approved the variance as long as the community septic system is in place. The township will need to serve as the administrator for the community drainfield.
*The board also approved a preliminary plat for Crow River Heights Plat. The 120-acre, 12-lot plat (in sections 7 and 18) includes six lots on the Crow River, four on the other side of the road, two large lots (one 50 acres in size and another 30 acres in size), and two outlots (one for the community septic system and another for a park).
*The board also discussed paving part of Roseville Road with Dan Binsfeld, representing Spaulding and Stang for the Crow River Heights Plat. "It's very important to our development that we have a tar road," Binsfeld told the board.
Roseville Road actually is a Roseville Township road, though Paynesville Township shares maintenance costs on a 50-50 basis. Pietsch said that Paynesville Township proposed paving all of Roseville Road a couple years ago but got a negative response from Roseville Township.
Both the board members and Binsfeld had gotten negative responses to inquiries about Roseville Township participation now, especially since the benefitting plat is in Paynesville Township.
The shortest tar link to the new development would be from Cemetery Road approximately 1,400 feet to the new plat. Binsfeld said the developers would be interested in a cost-share with the township in order to have a tarred road. Meagher told him that it would be easy for the township to justify half of this cost, since it would pay half if Roseville Township were willing.
Binsfeld also asked if the proposed park in the development could exempt it from the township's parkland dedication fee. Pietsch expressed doubt on this point, noting that the park would be private; but Binsfeld responded that it could be a public park.
*The board approved accepting oversight for a holding pond to be constructed in the Peterson-Kocka Addition in Section 21.
*The board approved a conditional-use permit for Mike Guenther to build an accessory building before a primary structure on property in Section 27. Guenther told the board that he might not need the conditional-use permit as he now plans to build his house and shed at the same time. The board told him that if he built both at the same time, he just would not need to use the conditional-use permit.
*The board approved a variance for Guenther to build an unattached accessory building up to 1,800 sq. ft. in size and with 14-foot sidewalls. The township zoning ordinance would ordinarily limit Guenther to a 1,200 sq. ft. building with 12-foot sidewalls.
Guenther had asked for a variance to build an accessory building 3,600 sq. ft. in size. He had support from his neighboring land owners and said he needed the space for a work shop and to store his classic cars, calling himself an avid collector. He planned to have a 40' by 50' shop and a 40' by 40' storage area.
With an 1,800 sq. ft. building, Guenther would be limited to a 40' by 45' shed.
Both Meagher and Pietsch called a variance to triple the allowable size of an accessory building - to 3,600 sq. ft. - as "excessive."
Supervisor Harry Thielen, in written comments to the board since he was not in attendance, said he was fine with the 14-foot sidewalls but wanted to stay within the existing ordinance of 1,200 sq. ft.
*The board approved a variance for Pam McCrea to build a residence within 40 feet of the centerline of Pelican Court Road in the Alldon Heights Addition. Pietsch explained that there is a bluff setback requirement which forces the house to be built towards the back of the lot. The original proposal called for the house to be within 11 feet of the centerline, but the plan has been reworked to get it 40 feet away, said Pietsch.
The variance was needed because the house will still be 23 feet closer to the road right-of-way than the 63 feet required by the township ordinance.
*The board set its annual equalization meeting - with a representative of the county auditor's office on hand to discuss property valuations - for Thursday, April 20, at 2:30 p.m.
*The board approved exempting Jeff Frieler from the parkland dedication fee. Frieler is purchasing additional acreage in order to qualify for the Green Acres Program. Consistent with county procedures, the township will not apply the parkland dedication fee for plats that do not involve building sites. *The board set a public hearing for accepting Brittany Oaks Circle in the Lordon Pond Addition for Monday, March 13, at 8:15 p.m. The township has received a petition to accept the road, which was paved to township standards with an adequate turnaround last summer. *The board approved a purchase agreement with the city of Paynesville to buy a 2006 Vermeer brush chipper, with an estimated cost to the township of $11,250. The township currently rents the city chipper but has agreed to purchase a new one in partnership with the city. The city council had tabled this agreement at its last meeting in order to include a few wording changes on the insurance requirements for each entity. These changes were included in the agreement passed by the township.
*The board approved an on-sale liquor license for the Koronis Hills Golf Club for 2006.
*The board agreed to bill the city $1,000 for the oil depot for 2005 and to tabulate the fees from J & M Consulting (Jeff and Marlene Bertram for the trail project) and bill the city half the cost.
*The board received a copy of the new contract between the city of Paynesville and the St. Joseph-Cold Spring-Paynesville Veterinary Clinics. The city, and the township, have their pounds at the Paynesville Veterinary Clinic. The city also reduced the number of days it will keep stray pets from ten to five, as a cost-saving measure.
The board could act on the contract, revised slightly for the township, at its next meeting in March.
*The board directed Pietsch to meet with Dale Klein and Dave Voss of D&D Snowplowing in order to discuss the township's snowplowing contract.
*The board was reminded of its upcoming meeting schedule: regular meeting on Monday, March 13, at 8 p.m.; annual meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at 8 p.m.; and regular and business meeting on Thursday, March 16.
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