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Paynesville Press - March 17, 2004

Township approves police contract, holds annual meeting

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors took the following actions at their meeting on Monday, March 8.

*The board approved a police contract for 2004 at a cost of $35,661, up $1,800 from 2003. This represents a five percent increase, compared to four percent for 2003.

Paynesville Police Chief Kent Kortlever told the board that the larger increase was due mostly to extra expenses incurred due to the retirement of former chief Tony Schmitt. Advertising, hiring, and training of new police officers was needed, and a part-time secretary was hired to handle the increase in paperwork in the department. This new position allows officers to be out in the community more, rather than doing paperwork in the office.

*The board voted to recommend a $10,000 levy increase to the township voters at the annual meeting. Increased valuation in the township due to new construction meant the township could raise its tax levy by $11,500 without increasing the tax rate to property owners in the township.

*The board approved the aquatic park joint powers agreement with the city of Paynesville. City and township residents will vote on Tuesday, April 20, to authorize borrowing to build an aquatic park. The city and township have agreed to split the construction costs at $775,000 for the city and $475,000 for the township, totaling $1.25 million. Once constructed, the city would own the aquatic park and would be solely responsible for its operation and maintenance.

*The board denied a request for lowering the speed limit on Old Lake Road, keeping the speed limit at 40 miles per hour.

*The board approved advertising the township burning policy in the Paynesville Press, in an effort to educate township residents on the need to get fire permits and to call before burning.

Supervisors are concerned because fire calls in the township increased in 2003, and an increase in fire calls means an increase in costs to the township, since the expenses of the fire department are divided on the basis of fire calls.

The township wants to stress the need for a burning permit, allowable burning times, and the charges for burning without a permit or for not calling dispatch before burning. If someone burns brush without calling, the dispatcher will send the fire department if anyone reports the fire. The township then is charged for a fire call, even if the fire department did not actually have to put out a fire.

Supervisors are hopeful that providing information to township residents will help to eliminate unnecessary fire calls and charges.

*The board approved an on-sale liquor license for the Koronis Hills Golf Club for 2004.

Paynesville Township held its annual meeting on Tuesday, March 9, attended by three dozen residents, who chose Jeff Ampe as moderator.

*Residents approved the annual treasurer's report, which showed the township having total fund accounts of $524,224. In the revenue fund, the township had revenues of $153,675 and expenditures of $151,102, for a net increase of $2,573 giving a year-end balance of $111,222. The road and bridge fund had revenues of $235,189 and expenditures of $364,757, for a net decrease of ($129,568) giving a year-end balance of 336,884. (The township completed a $314,000 road project along Breezewood, Crestridge, and NW Koronis roads, which was finished under its budget of $347,000.)

The snow fund had revenues of $23,719 and expenditures of $11,035, for a net increase of $12,684 giving a year-end balance of $57,834. The fire fund had revenues of $25,220 and expenditures of $29,413, for a net decrease of ($4,193) giving a year-end balance of ($16,091).

The cable fund had revenues of $4,026 and expenditures of $5,784, for a net decrease of ($1,758) giving a year-end balance of $12,681.The trail fund had revenues of $952 and expenditures of $2,475, for a net decrease of ($1,523) giving a year-end balance of $2,369. The arena wages fund had revenues of $10,000 and expenditures of $12,236, for a net decrease of ($2,236) giving a year-end balance of $12,661.

The township has positive balances of $1,353 in its maintenance garage fund and $7,159 in its arena escrow fund and a deficit of ($1,849) in its oil depot fund.

*Residents approved increasing the township's levy for 2004 by $10,000, as recommended by the township board. The 2004 levy includes $165,000 for the revenue fund, $180,000 for the road and bridge fund, $30,000 for snow removal, and $25,000 for fire protection. Both the revenue and the road and bridge levy were increased by $5,000 from 2003.

*Residents heard informational reports from Paynesville Police Chief Kent Kortlever about police service in the township, from arena manager Otto Naujokas about the Koronis Civic Arena, from director Inez Jones about the Paynesville Area Center, from township supervisor Pat Meagher about the Lake Koronis Recreational Trail, and from Chief Financial Officer Kirk Johnson about the Paynesville Area Health Care System.

*Residents approved posting notices for emergency board meetings at the Paynesville Township Hall, at the Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union, at Community First National Bank, and at Farmers and Merchants State Bank.

*Residents authorized a $1,500 donation to the Paynesville Community Club for Fourth of July fireworks on Lake Koronis. *Residents authorized the board of supervisors to set fees and rates for 2004.

*Residents set the 2005 annual meeting for Tuesday, March 8, 2005, at 8:15 p.m. at the township hall. In case of bad weather, the meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 15.

The Paynesville Township Board of Supervisors held their annual organizational meeting on Thursday, March 11.

*Don Pietsch was sworn in to another three-year term as supervisor and then re-elected board chair. Pietsch was re-elected as supervisor by a margin of 331-132 over David Kidd at the annual election last week.

*The board voted to keep its committee assignments the same as 2003:
EDAP: Pat Flanders, Don Pietsch, and Don Wiese
Environmental: Pat Meagher, Harry Thielen, and Wiese
Weed Inspector: Meagher
Cable TV: Thielen
Road Maintenance: Meagher, Pietsch, and Thielen
Site Permits: Mike Jensen
Park and Arena: Pietsch and Thielen
Trail: Meagher

*The board approved its 2004 rate schedule. It kept these payment rates the same: $13 per hour for laborers, $9 per hour for election judges, $13 per hour for supervisors, $50 per meeting. The board raised the monthly stipend for the clerk from $150 to $200, plus meeting per diems. The board raised the payment rate for its maintenance man by one step and also raised their salary scale by a 2.1 percent cost-of-living increase. (It was incorrectly stated at the annual meeting that their maintenance man has reached the top of the payment schedule. He is now in the sixth step, for six years of experience, and would reach the seventh, and last step, in 2005.)

The board changed the monthly stipend for the treasurer, raising it from $125 per month to $250 per month, with no stipend for meetings. They also changed the treasurer's job description. Instead of attending all board meetings, the treasurer will just be expected to come to the first board meeting each month to give the monthly treasurer's report.

*The board approved the following charitable contributions: $2,750 for the Paynesville Area Center (up 10 percent); $1,100 for the R.O.S.E. Center (up 10 percent); $1,500 for fireworks (as approved at the annual meeting); and $100 for the after-prom party. The board also approved contributions of $5,500 to Community Education for summer recreation programs (up from $5,000); $5,000 for the hockey association for open skating; and $4,000 to the city for Veteran's Memorial Park.

*The board set its annual road inspection for Saturday, April 24, starting at 8 a.m.

*The board noted that its annual equalization hearing - for residents who want to talk with a representative from the county auditor's office - will be held in the afternoon on Thursday, April 22, starting at 2:30 p.m. Supervisor Harry Thielen will be at the township hall on the morning of Thursday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. He will take appointments, in 15-minute intervals, for the afternoon hearing. Residents can call 320-243-7500 to make an appointment for the hearing.

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