The Spring Meeting of the Pine County Township Officer’s Association was held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, 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 25 townships present, establishing a quorum.
Motion made and seconded to approve the minutes from the Fall Meeting, Saturday, October 22, 2016.
We had several speakers:
Rick Olseen, Field Representative for Congressman Rick Nolan … he said that Congressman Nolan would like the wolf matters to become a state issue. He mentioned that meals on wheels program are at risk. He also talked about the Veterans Choice Program.
State Representative, District 11B, Jason Rarick is the chair of the Jobs Committee. He talked about many issues including broadband and a tax cut for many Minnesotans.
Stephan Hallan, County Commissioner, District 1 said that the county got funds to do surfacing on many roads. Arrowhead gave 106,00 rides last year. Most of those rides are contracted rides with Phase. However, understand that the bus system is for everyone. He took a survey to see how many of the officers do not have trash service in their area. The county is also putting dumpster on an experimental basis in a few areas, i.e. Willow River. He also talked about recycling and where you can take your used appliances in Beroun, near the exit off of Interstate 35.
Jeff Nelson, Pine County Sheriff – thanked County Attorney Reese for the work he’s doing. 2015 – 2016 there were 2,000 more law enforcement calls and it’s not slowing down. So far this year they have written 38 search warrants which include blood draws and search of homes. He encourages citizen to come along for a ride with other deputies. Just call the office for details. So far this year, the department has recovered over $100,000 in stolen properties (not all of them are from this county). The department also just got their 2nd canine and it’s in a 8 to 9 week training program.
Kelly Schroeder, County Land Services Director passed out solid waste guides and land assessment maps. Land value in the southern part of the county is going down, however it’s staying put or going up in the rest of the county. She’s now the official County Recorder and has such it has become more customer service friendly. Also remember that with all filing papers, signatures must be notarized. She also talked about electronic and garbage recycle programs on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Willow River. It will be $6.00 per garbage bag. They will also have roll offs starting May 1 at the Hinckley VFW and Brook Park. Their Household Hazardous Waste Facility served over 800 households in the county.
Lenny Bonander with NLX brought along Frank Leotterle with the Passenger Rail Office of MN DOT. They are planning for the train to run from Target Field in Minneapolis to the city of Duluth. They are planning on 40 round trips per day. The travel time is expected to be 2 ½ hours each way. They are just finishing up on the Environmental Assessment study and it’s now in D.C. for review. He believes that it will be officially published by the end of June 2017.
Frank Loetterle, NLX Project Manager, MN DOT said that what’s being done so far is preparation work. The cost of the project is about $500 million. Most of the land belongs to BNF. Every crossing must have a gate or an arm. They will not close any crossing unless absolutely necessary – for example Nickerson Township. They will make sure that local people are involve in the decision making process. They are hoping for a maintenance facility in Sandstone and Duluth.
Bob Voss, ECRDC Director updated Economic Strategy for the region. The commission must do it every five years. Broadband needed to be worked on. He mentioned that the ECRBC has a gap funding loan program for local businesses and they have about $126,000 to lend. Currently they have about $400,000 in existing loans. They can only loan up to 49% of money needed to start/run your business.
Penny Simonsen, ECRDC Community Director worked with Wilma Township to get internet service through Blandin Foundation. Other townships, such as Arna are looking to do the same thing.
Ron Osladil of the North Pine Area Hospital District said the District is working hand and hand with Essentia, Thrifty White and Gateway. The new hospital will host a tour May 9, 2017. The hospital will formally open May 17, 2017. They have sold the old hospital to a company called Hill Top. Also the kitchen will be next door in the long-term nursing facility.
Brett Grundmeier, DNR Conservation Officer mentioned that Chronic Wasting Disease is a huge deal. They have had 9 deer tested positive, mostly in SW Minnesota. Hunters cannot bring mount back to Minnesota. They can only bring back clean skulls. He went on to talk about the catch and release program on Mille Lacs Lake and that you can only fish for walleyes with artificial bait. Also after April 1, call if you have a wolf problem and they’ll send out a trapper. His phone number is 320-384-7382.
Lyle Johnson, MAT District 7 Director – Minnesota will have $1.6 billion in surplus over the next 2 years. With six million people, that’s about $150 per person surplus. So, it’s not that much. Good news: MATIT issued a dividend on worker’s compensation. That’s two years in a row.
Other speakers were Alyssa and Olivia Dyksta, spoke about K-5 in Montessori in Sandstone, Mike Swiridow and Larry Helwig.
Bob Ruppe or Couri & Ruppe Law Firm talked about their upcoming free seminar in Rutledge, Saturday, September 16, 2017 and what they have to offer to township.
Motion made and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s report.
Dave Baker, New Dosey Township reelected to a 3 year term on the Executive Board. Glen Williamson, Wilma Township was reelected to a three year term as Secretary/Treasurer.
Motion made, seconded, and approved to adjourn at 11:10 am.
Respectively submitted by
Glen Williamson Sr.
Pine County Township Officers Association