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Minutes

Minutes, Fall Meeting, October 23, 2021

The Fall Meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association was held on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at the Hinckley Community Center, in Hinckley, MN. The meeting was called to order by Chair Katy Overtoom at 9:00 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chair Katie Overtoom. The Invocation was provided by Katy Overtoom. 

Roll call was taken with 15 townships present, establishing a quorum.

Motion made and seconded to approve the minutes from the Spring Meeting, Saturday, March 23, 2021.

We had several speakers:

State Rep. Nathan, 11B  talked about Chronic Waste Disease (CWD) and how they can test live deer.  They don’t need to be dead.  The state has approved $70 million for Broadband.  SCI is having difficulties getting junction boxes for Broadband.  The supply chain is a problem.

Steve Hallan, District 1 Commissioner, said Matt Ludwig’s wife has leukemia and she has been in Rochester for about 100 days.  Broadband is a top priority.  The more people who engage; the more the carrier will move in the area.  MINCO is putting in fiber near Rock Creek.  If you shoot a deer, get it tested.  Deer hunting is a huge economic thing in this county.   Because of Covid, about 70 employees are working from home.  And productivity has gone up with a savings of almost $3 million.  According to the recent census, they have lost 800 people from 10 years ago.  ECE is working on a partnership to bring broadband to us.  He urges that citizens get more involved in Broadband participation by attending meetings.

Kelly Schroeder, County Auditor said they are working on Truth and Taxation Statements, and it should be going out about a week earlier.  She and Leslie are available if you need help.  20/21 high school graduates can go to Pine Tech free.  Also if they are taking law programs at Fond Du Lac College.  Her office is reaching out to townships to what their voting needs are.  The county commissioners are responsible for redistricting.  3500 acres are a part of the Memorial Forest Ordinance this summer. The county got a grant to build a Household Hazardous Building in the north area.  Hopefully construction will start Spring 2022.

County Attorney Reese Frederickson said they just moved to a new home in a township.  This year his office has been very busy and are backlogged. If your township needs help, give him a call. He talked about a child abuse case in which the father was abusing his son and daughter.  However more victims from this father are coming forth from those living in different states now.  This father, after the first day of trial, ending up shooting and killing himself, rather than stand trial.  This predator operated under the radar for about 30 years.    

Scott Grice, Chief Deputy, Sheriff Department:  They have started a drone program and are used an ankle GPS to track a suspect.  They used a drone to track this suspect who had a rifle and they heard wanted “suicide by cop”.  They are having a hard time find law enforcement candidates.  However, they found four good candidates who are currently in training.

Lenny Bonander, Hospital Board and NLX: It took about 10 years, but with community support, they were able to build a new hospital.  It’s taken about 15 years to get the railroad maters to where it is now.   He read a proposed City of Sandstone resolution to have politicians support NLX.  It was adopted 7/21/21.  It will cost between $350 to $500 million to get train services in this area.  The majority of the money is to straighten out intersections on the railroad lines.

Mindy Sandell, Veterans Services said they are 2326 veterans in Pine County.  They are bringing roughly $29 million in services to these veterans. 

Michael Miller, District 7 Director, Minnesota Association of Townships:  Spoke about MAT and it’s work that it’s doing for the townships at the Capital.  If townships need any help, to contact him.

Motion made and seconded to adjourn at 10:15am.

Respectively submitted by

Glen Williamson Sr.

Secretary/Treasurer

Pine County Township Officers’ Association

Date Approved:______________________

Chairman___________________________

Categories
Meetings

Pine County Township Officers’ Meeting, Saturday, March 26, 2022

There will be a meeting of the Pine County Township Officers’ Association, Saturday, March 26, 2022 at the Hinckley Community Center, 198 Dunn Ave N #100 in Hinckley.  The meeting will start at 9:00a.m.  Please pass this information on to your Township Officers, other local government officials and encourage them to attend. 

We will pencil you in as attending. If you are UNABLE to attend, please send email me to PctaTreasurer@gmail.com to let us know.

Please respect others by maintaining a 6’, physical distance while inside the center.  Sanitizers will be provided, and we will have some face masks on hand.  However, you are encouraged to bring your own.

Our association’s website is up and running.  If you haven’t done so already and you’re the Clerk of your township, PLEASE go to PineCountyTownships.com, under Login, click on Register, fill out the information and submit.  This will give us the ability to send you this information, plus notices via email.  Also, please pass on this information to all your township officers. If you have any questions about this process, please send email to PctaTreasurer@gmail.com.  Please be sure to include your name, title and government agency (i.e. township) when responding.

Sincerely,

Glen Williamson

Secretary/Treasurer

Pine County Township Officers’ Association

Executive Board Members

Katy Overtoom – Chengwatana Township – Chairperson

Susan Grill – Kettle River Township

Paul Raymond – Wilma Township

Dan O’Flanagan – Dell Grove Township

Robert Sunstrom – Ogema Township

Glen Williamson – Wilma Township – Secretary/Treasurer

Categories
Meetings

PCTOA Meeting, Saturday, October 23, 2021, 9 a.m. Hinckley Community Center

There will be a meeting of the Pine County Township Officers’ Association, Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the Hinckley Community Center, 198 Dunn Ave N #100 in Hinckley.  The meeting will start at 9:00a.m.  Please pass this information on to your Township Officers and encourage them to attend. 

We will pencil you in as attending. If you are UNABLE to attend, please call us at 320-245-6803 or email me at PctaTreasurer@gmail.com to let us know.

Please respect others by maintaining a 6’ physical distance and wear a face mask while inside the center.  Sanitizers will be provided, but we will have some face masks on hand.  However, you are encouraged to bring your own.

Our association’s website is up and running.  If you haven’t done so already, please go to PineCountyTownships.com, under Login, click on Register, fill out the information and submit.  This will give us the ability to send you updates via email.  Please pass on this information to all your township officers. If you have any questions about this process, please send email to PctaTreasurer@gmail.com.  Please be sure to include your name, title and government agency (i.e. township) when responding.

Sincerely,

Glen Williamson
Secretary/Treasurer

Pine County Township Officers’ Association Executive Board Members

Katy Overtoom – Chengwatana Township – Chairperson

Susan Grill – Kettle River Township

Paul Raymond – Wilma Township

Dan O’Flanagan – Dell Grove Township

Robert Sunstrom – Ogema Township

Glen Williamson – Wilma Township – Secretary/Treasurer

Categories
Minutes

PINE COUNTY TOWNSHIP OFFICERS’ MEETING HINCKLEY COMMUNITY CENTER, March 27, 2021

The Spring Meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association was held on Saturday, March 27, 2021, at the Hinckley Community Center, in Hinckley, MN. The meeting was called to order by Secretary/Treasurer Glen Williamson at 9:00 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Secretary/Treasurer Glen Williamson. The Invocation was provided by Paul Raymond. The Chair Katy Overtoom later came in and took over the meeting.

Roll call was taken with 18 townships present, establishing a quorum.

Motion made and seconded to approve the minutes from the Fall Meeting, Saturday, October 27, 2020.

We had several speakers:

Jason Rarick, State Senator 11 said the state is back to a surplus. Gas tax is not the long range solution. He believes this country will be going to electric cars in 25 to 30 years.

State Rep. Nathan, 11B said there will be a special session if they agree on the budget by June 30. He mentioned that the governor has a lot of discretion on funding. Chronic Waste Disease (CWD) is a topic and what to do with the carcasses. Kanabec landfill didn’t want them. About 600 samples were taken, but don’t believe there is a big problem with CWD. There is a lot of funding for broadband, however there is a discrepancy on how to allocate it.

Steve Hallan, District 1 Commissioner, said he and Commissioner Terry Lovgren will speak for the County Commissioners. There is a plan on broadband around Hinckley and Rock Creek this summer. The county is getting money from the American Rescue Plan Act and they have until 2024 to spend it. As townships get money they will get guidance on what to do with it. CWD is a big deal in Pine County because a lot of lives revolve around hunting. Economic impact of deer hunting in this county adds up.

Terry Lovgren, Commissioner District 3 said she went to the National County Meeting via Zoom. She has a list of how much money the townships will get directly from the American Rescue Plan. Townships will be getting 10% less on tax forfeited land this year.

Kelly Schroeder, County Auditor said election last fall took incredible effort. She thanked the clerks and election judges a fantastic job. Tax statement will be mailed on Monday. Vacant land value went way down. With houses will go up. Property is selling higher than usual. She’s concerned because this will drive value up. A lot of baby boomers are moving to the area.

County Attorney Reese Frederickson said there is now a Veterans Court Initiative with Chisago County. The court will be having two graduates soon. Zoom court has been interesting. Overall, it’s doing great. People are still being held accountable. Meth is still a problem in the county with lots of overdoses. Burglary is related to the addiction problem. They have put a lot of drug dealers in prison. Drug dealers like to snitch on each other.

Caleb Anderson, Planning and Zoning said the county adopted a county wide zoning ordinance January 2020. It’s an opt in program. They use Beacon to see wetlands in the county. There isn’t any fee for informal reviews of what you can do near wetlands. The constituents care a lot about recycling. There is recylcing three days a week in three different areas of Pine County.

Jordan Zeller with East Central Regional Development Commission/ECRDC doing housing familiar tours. If you have housing property for sale or development, let him know. Also doing it for commercial and industrial land. Has funds for small business development. Can do COVID loans for 0%.

Brett Grundmeier from the DNR said hunting has the highest economic impact in this county for the state. A lot of money is spent here. No CWD has been found in the wild. This year it’s a requirement to get deer tested for CWD. The goal is to test at least 1,000 deer. You still cannot feed deer, but you can still do salt blocks. There are two wolf zones in the states and you can remove wolves if they are a threat to you and your cattle. North of Highway 48/18 is more lenient. South of that line they must be a threat …i.e. stalking cattle, but you need to call them.

Mindy Sandell, Veterans Services said roughly 2500 veterans came into her office. They have COVID relief grants and gave out 50% of them. There is a van ride program available for veterans to go to the VA, etc. They are averaging about 60 phone calls per week. The office is now open at North Pine Government Center.

Katy Overtoom and Paul Raymond were re-elected to the PCTOA Executive Board to serve until March 2024.

Motion made and seconded to adjourn at 11:00 am.

Respectively submitted by

Glen Williamson Sr.

Secretary/Treasurer

Pine County Township Officers’ Association

Date Approved:______________________

Chairman___________________________

Categories
Meetings

PINE COUNTY TOWNSHIP OFFICERS’ MEETING HINCKLEY COMMUNITY CENTER, OCTOBER 24› 2020

The Fall Meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association was held on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at the Hinckley Community Center, in Hinckley, MN. The meeting was called to order by Chair Katy Overtoom at 9:00 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led Chair Katy Overtoom. The Invocation was provided by Katy Overtoom.

Because of Covid-19, this meeting was moved from the Hinckley VFW because the Community Center was more spacious and allowed for six foot spacing.

Roll call was taken with 18 townships present, establishing a quorum.

Motion made and seconded to approve the minutes from the Fall Spring Meeting, Saturday, October 27, 2020.

We had several speakers:

State Rep. Nathan, 11B spoke of the value of township government. Twenty-one precincts have mail-only balloting now. five new towns signed up. In some cases, the voters are not notified. Even though families being forced to stay home has brought families together, some without internet cannot do virtual learning. He said broadband availability is a priority, as important as roads. If Pine County had good broadband more people could work remotely from home and would bring more taxes to the county.

Jack Frechette, running for State House 11B, said he’s from Mission Creek township.  Said Nathan is doing a good job but has a problem with his party. The bonding bill was delayed due to politics, he said, and COVID is being politicized. He said, “Follow the science.”

Steve Hallan, District 1 Commissioner, said 6,500 people have voted already out of 16,000 registered voters. The county got waivers from HHS to streamline the county COVID response. Thirty job positions will never return to the county offices; some can work from home just as well. Supervisors can supervise remotely. He says this is a win for taxpayers. He expressed gratitude to Nathan Nelson for helping to pass the bonding bill after 5 sessions of debate. Bridge bonding cannot wait for the legislative session. Pine Technical College has grown for three years and needs more space.

The funding will allow Willow River to continue for now. Trail money to extend the trails in southern Pine County was allocated. There is a 1/2 cent sales tax in the county that goes to the county (including from Amazon and eBay) and revenues have increased during the pandemic. Gas tax money is way down. He worries about the state legislature and the future for counties and townships may not be so rosy. Jail population is down but staffing must stay the same by law.

Michelle Lee, Senate District 11 Candidate said some farmers have to pay $4000 for health insurance. Some people cannot go to the doctor. Her son’s whole paycheck goes to health insurance. The state is $7 billion in debt. Environmental needs must be prioritized. She said she supports the state police and sheriff’s officers. She said COVID is increasing in our county but still no deaths.

Terry Lovgren, District 3 Candidate for Commissioner, spoke and said she loves working with people and has served on many committees for the county as well as serving on her town board.  She promised to keep close contact with township needs and officials.

Terry spoke for the county Auditor’s office, saying the county assessing program is going well and more towns are turning their assessing over to the county. There are still some bad assessors out there and they cost their citizens tax money by faulty assessments. The costs to towns have been reduced. On elections, she said 4,000 absentee and 2,000 mail-ballots have been returned already.  Five towns switched to all mail balloting. They must accept ballots for 10 days if postmarked by November, so we won’t see final county results until then.

Jason Waldhalm candidate for Commissioner District 4 is running because he wants to be more involved. As a liquor store owner, he meets a lot of people. He strongly supports law enforcement, and says the county needs to watch overhead and spending.

County Attorney Reese Frederickson said other counties have released prisoners and stopped prosecuting due to COVID but not his office. They had a plan from the beginning to keep the staff and inmates safe. He is charging the same number of offenders this year as last. He commended Sheriff Jeff Nelson for a great job.

Sheriff Jeff Nelson said COVID has given them challenges. They had the death of a canine officer and got another one. They got body cams and patrol squad cameras and all deputies have them and use them. ATV traffic has increased and water and land use are up greatly during COVID. They have a new officer for waters and trail use, working with the DNR to keep trails safe. They are getting new encrypted radios with CARES Act funding; some channels will be private to protect personal information, but fire departments and ambulances will still be able to communicate. He said they may be able to donate their old radios to fire departments.

Bob Voss. ECRDC.Director. They got federal money for the Highway 23 scenic highway program. They are working on safe route to school program for Finlayson. They are helping with buses and transportation with volunteer drivers, for medical appointments. They still support local broadband with so many needing it for school and work. He said ECRDC has a Facebook page and a webpage. They sponsor an Entrepreneur’s Club to help small businesses and startups get good financing at low rates. They have monthly meetings for technical resources. They got two CARES grants for a resiliency coordinator and $500,000 in loans in the five-county area for new businesses at o% interest.

Brett Grundmeier from the DNR said they have150officers in the DNR. Some had to go to the cities during the riots to help local law enforcement. He said Iraq veterans said Minneapolis was like a war zone. Wolf depredation is steady and there is still state money to reimburse for losses, but it takes a long time to get paid. He said wolves may be delisted to allow hunting them.  Deer numbers are up and wolves are also up.  CWD may affect hunting.  So far not one case in the wild deer population in Pine county.  If it were not for COVID there would be mandatory testing, but they are providing barrels all over the county to deposit deer heads for testing.  The testing requires part of the spinal cord.  The heads can be returned for mounting.  Their goal is 1,000 tests and results take one week.  Deer with CWD are confused, skinny and unafraid of people.  The meat may still be safe. All deer feeding is prohibited.  Ever bird feeders less than 6’ feet should be used.  Salt and attractants are still legal.

Mindy Sandell, Veterans Services said they served 2,300 veterans.  They got a Covid grand of $1,000 per vet, plus Covid disaster relief to get computers for their children for distance learning. They got gift cards to Daggett’s and Chris’ for them to buy food for their families. They have a van program to transport vets to the VA and are opening up to do blood draws.  They do many visits every week.  Pine County Veterans also has a Facebook page and website.

Dan O’Flanagan and Glen Williamson were re-elected to the PCTOA Executive Board to serve until March 2023.

Motion made and seconded to adjourn at 10:30 am.

Respectively submitted by

Glen Williamson Sr.

Secretary/Treasurer

Pine County Township Officers Association

Date Approved:______________________

Chairman___________________________

Categories
Meetings

Fall, Pine County Township Officers Association Meeting, October 24, Hinckley Community Center

Dear Government Official:

There will be a meeting of the Pine County Township Officers’ Association, Saturday, October 24, 2020 at the Hinckley Community Center, 198 Dunn Ave N #100 in Hinckley.  The meeting will start at 9:00a.m.  Please pass this information on to your Township Officers and encourage them to attend. 

We will count on you in as attending. If you have any questions, please call us at 320-245-6803 or email me at PctaTreasurer@gmail.com.

Minnesota Governor’s order mandates face coverings/a mask inside of a public building.  Please respect others by maintaining a 6’, physical distance while inside the center.  Sanitizers will be provided, and we’ll have some face masks on hand.  However, you are encouraged to bring your own.

Our association’s website is up and running.  If you haven’t done so already, please go to PineCountyTownships.com, under Login, click on Register, fill out the information and submit.  This will give us the ability to send you updates via email.  Please pass on this information to all your township officers. If you have any questions about this process, please send email to PctaTreasurer@gmail.com.  Please be sure to include your name, title and government agency (i.e. township) when responding.

Sincerely,

Glen Williamson
Secretary/Treasurer
Pine County Township Officers’ Association

Executive Board Members

Katy Overtoom – Chengwatana Township – Chairperson
Susan Grill – Kettle River Township
Paul Raymond – Wilma Township
Dan O’Flanagan – Dell Grove Township
Robert Sunstrom – Ogema Township
Glen Williamson – Wilma Township – Secretary/Treasurer

Categories
Meetings

CoVID-19/Coronavirus Response – PCTOA March 28 Meeting has been cancelled

COVID-19/Coronavirus Response

The Executive Board of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association places the safety of it’s officers, the residents of Pine County and the public at large as a top priority.

For this reason and with the recommendation of the MN Health Department, we are cancelling the Pine County Township Officer’s Association Spring Meeting which was to be held, March 28, 2020.

Because this is an extra-ordinary time, which requires bold decisions, all current officer’s positions that’s due for election in March, will be extended until the Fall Meeting.

Please check our website PineCountyTownships.com  for updated information.

We look forward to seeing everyone in October for the Fall Meeting.
The Board hopes you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy throughout these challenging days.

Sincerely,

Glen Williamson
Secretary/Treasurer
Phone: 320-245-6803
Pine County Township Officer’s Association

Executive Board Members

Katy Overtoom – Chengwatana.- Chair
Paul Raymond – Wilma Township
Susan Grill – Kettle River Township
Robert Sunstrom – Ogema Township
Daniel O’Flanagan – Dell Grove Township
Glen Williamson – Wilma Township – Secretary/Treasurer

Categories
Uncategorized

This meeting has been canceled -Pine County Township Officer’s Association Meeting, Saturday, March 28

For safety and the recommendations of the MN Department of Health, this Spring Meeting, Saturday, March 28 has been canceled.

See you in October

Dear Government Official/Interested Party:

There will be a meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association, Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the American Legion Hall, 306 Lawler Avenue in Hinckley.  The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m.  Please pass this information on to your officers/government officials and encourage them to attend. 

There isn’t any need to make a reservation, just show up.

If you would like to be put on the agenda, please call us at 320-245-6803 or email me at Treasurer@gmail.com to let us know.

Sincerely,

Glen Williamson
Secretary/Treasurer
Pine County Township Officer’s Association

Executive Board Members

Katy Overtoom – Chengwatana Township – Chairperson
Susan Grill – Kettle River Township
Paul Raymond – Wilma Township
Dan O’Flanagan – Dell Grove Township
Robert Sunstrom – Ogema Township
Glen Williamson – Wilma Township – Secretary/Treasurer

Categories
Meetings

Fall Pine County Township Officer’s Association Meeting, Saturday, October 26, 2019

September 30, 2019

Dear Fellow Officers:

There will be a meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association, Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the American Legion Hall, 306 Lawler Avenue in Hinckley.  The meeting will start at 9:00a.m.  Please pass this information on to your Township Officers and encourage them to attend. 

We will pencil you in as attending. If you are UNABLE to attend, please call us at 320-245-6803 or email me at PctaTreasurer@gmail.com to let us know.

The Executive Board will be offering a stipend of up to $200 per officer/township (maximum of $1000/five officers/townships) towards attending MAT Educational Conference and Annual Meeting, November 22 – 23, 2019 in Mankato.  If interested, please send email to PctaTreasurer@gmail.com.    

Our association’s website is up and running.  If you haven’t done so already, please go to PineCountyTownships.com, under Login, click on Register, fill out the information and submit.  This will give us the ability to send you updates via email.  Please pass on this information to all your township officers. If you have any questions about this process, please send email to PctaTreasurer@gmail.com.  Please be sure to include your name, title and government agency (i.e. township) when responding.

Sincerely,

Glen Williamson

Secretary/Treasurer
Pine County Township Officer’s Association

Executive Board Members

Katy Overtoom – Chengwatana Township – Chairperson
Susan Grill – Kettle River Township
Paul Raymond – Wilma Township
Dan O’Flanagan – Dell Grove Township
Robert Sunstrom – Ogema Township

Categories
Minutes

PINE COUNTY TOWNSHIP OFFICER’S ASSOCIATION MEETING SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019

PINE COUNTY TOWNSHIP OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION MEETING SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019

The Spring Meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association was held on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Hinckley American Legion Hall. The meeting was called to order by Chair Katy Overtoom at 9:00 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led Chair Katy Overtoom. The Invocation was provided by Katy Overtoom.

Roll call was taken with 26 townships present, establishing a quorum.

Motion made and seconded to approve the minutes from the Spring Meeting, Saturday, October 28, 2018 read by Secretary/Treasurer Glen Williamson.

Jason Rarick, State Senator MN District 11. There were problems and concerns with the extraordinary special primaries and elections for Tony Lourey’s Senate seat and Jason’s house seat when he was elected Senator. Some mail-in ballots didn’t get to the courthouse on time with the short window. He is asking for more money for township broadband internet and cell-phone service beyond the one-time grants to include bonding like with road and bridge and transportation bonding. He’s working with the Rural Transportation Bill to increase the share small cities and townships get; now we get only 5% of the gas tax although we have 40% of the roads in the state. He said there is more talk about the NXL Railroad funding but the legislators can’t control the outcome once money is designated to an agency. He opposes the $.20 gas tax increase since it adversely affects rural drivers with longer distances and older vehicles. It’s supposed to go into the transportation fund but can be diverted to transit. He supports a designated sales tax for transportation. Powerball funds can’t be used for roads or other purposes than what it’s designated for. One idea is tracking drivers with GPS and charging by miles driven.

Steve Hallan, District 1 commissioner. Asked for prayers for those suffering in the Nebraska/Iowa floods. Said the commissioners are also focused on bringing broadband to townships. He supports a gas-tax increase and wants more to go to townships. New county building in Sandstone is coming along and the next County/township commissioners meeting might be there. County is understaffed and have to do more with less. There are six openings for jailers, a good paying job with a retirement program that only requires a high-school diploma. Out-of-home placements are hurting the budget with over 100 kids in placements, and it’s also a social problem. Kids have to have somewhere to go. Road projects include redoing the highway 70 overpass and bridge and also the Walmart exit and road to re-engineer the roads for better visibility of oncoming cars. Want to replace the big box culverts in Willow River but hung up with permits to work in the river bed. Some towns want to give the county some of their roads; they can’t take any more except with a swap.

Josh Mohr, District 2 Commissioner and county chair. The special primaries and elections hit towns and the county pretty hard. It cost the county $18,000; $12,000 for ballots alone plus overtime and it cost many towns $1,000 per election. He wants the state to come up with a better way to handle these special elections, perhaps with mail ballots. Mohr testified at the capitol for Rarick’s bill for a fairer share of the casino taxes. Rarick wants the county’s share doubled.

Jeff Nelson, County Sheriff: Drug use is still a big concern in the county, mostly with meth, but also heroin and opioids. This affects all county agencies; they want to steer people in the right direction. The jail program tries to rehab and redirect offenders.

Kelly Schroeder, New County Auditor/Treasurer. The 2020 elections are only a year away. One big change will be a state-wide March Presidential primary election, as well as the August primary. The legislative language is unclear about primaries; they now require up to four separate ballots, for each party instead of putting all offices on one ballot. There’s a bill to allow one ballot and to make the Presidential Primary a mail ballot election. The 16,000 mail ballots would still be cheaper than polling places. She talked about how tax for land and timber sales trickles down to townships. The County Forester is doing an inventory of county land for a plan for the timber harvest. Property tax assessments are going out this week; township levies are going down but county levies are going up. Big push for recycling programs with 11 sites for recycling sheds run by PHASE, and they found a site for the Willow River transfer station north of Willow River that will take garbage and tires and mattresses and recyclables 3 days a week. They want to make this a pilot project in General Andrews Station for garbage and recyclables, since half of the people in the county do not have any garbage service so they burn it or dump their garbage.

County-wide Zoning: Still only opt-in but they are almost ready to release it and there will be big public meetings when it is released.

Lorri Houtsma, New County Assessor. Boards of Appeal start April 8. She distributed land values schedules for 2020. Most people will have an uptick in values, mostly in high-ground tillable land. There is online assessor training in July for Supervisors. Open-book boards of appeal give people more time to appeal their assessments, up until June.

Jordan Zeller, ECRDC said economic development creates jobs and grows the local tax base. They’ve started an inventors and entrepreneurs club to help inventors get patents and create more businesses to hire more people. Check the ecmnbusiness.com website for updates. They will meet monthly in Braham. ECRDC has a small business revolving loan fund to buy equipment and start businesses. If someone can’t get full funding they will loan $30,000 and take the second position to the bank. Four loans are out now at good interest rates. They support the MN Rural Broadband Coalition for internet and have a day on the Hill on April 3rd.

Katie Draper, Director of Govt. Affairs for Mille Lacs Band Ojibwe: The band has 16,000 acres with 4,700 members, 609 in Pine County. There are six Minnesota Chippewa tribes. They have 750 full time employees in 30 businesses and operate public works, clinics, schools, and entertainment events. District 3 is east of Hinckley in Pine County. They have a new community center by the casino with a gym and track open to the public. The tribe pays $125,000 in property taxes on 50 million in assets.

Miranda Janssen, Rep for 8th District Congressman Pete Stauber: Need to get the federal mileage rate or a fair parity rate for volunteer drivers. Stauber is working on the transportation bill and the Rural Broadband Coalition.

Ben Weiner, Veterans Services: The VA is the second largest bureaucracy in government. They bring millions to veterans services for education and services.

Business Meeting

Motion made and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report by Secretary/Treasurer, Glen Williamson, Sr.

Election of Two Replacement Board Members: Two Executive Board members, Susan Grill (Kettle River Township) and Robert Sunstrom (Ogema Township) were re-elected by unanimous ballot for three-year terms. Next county township officers meeting October 26, 2019, 4th Saturday at the American Legion in Hinckley.

Motion made, seconded, and approved to adjourn at 10:25 am.

Respectively submitted by

Glen Williamson Sr.
Secretary/Treasurer
Pine County Township Officer’s Association

Date Approved:______________________

Chair___________________________

Photographs by Paul Raymond, Clerk, Wilma Township