February 13th 2023
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, Amy Bragelman Township Clerk. Roger Johnson Treasurer, was present via phone. 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. The motion carried unanimously.
Sheriff’s Report: Ben Zawacki read the annual Sheriff’s report some key points are as followed. Total calls for service in 2020 were 798, in 2021 there were 1151, and in 2022 there were 1146. Zawacki spoke about serious criminal activity in 2022. The highest being theft at 8 and Criminal Damage to Property at 11. Zawacki stated that this is pretty good for serious crime in a township. Thefts were down from the previous years while CDP was up. There is a new K-9 Deputy Bronco who joined the Sheriff’s Office in February of 2022. The Sheriff’s Department offered 2 youth safety classes ATV and Firearms Safety classes. Sergeant Austin Turner received a DWI hat trick from MN Department of Public Safety for 3 DWI in one shift. A traffic task force was created and will be ongoing. Wellpath became the new jail clinic provider. Ben Zawacki then read the Sheriff’s report for the month of January in Palmer Township. There were 98 calls for service as compared to 79 in 2022. There were 22 traffic stops and 28 security checks. 8 accidents a few of those were with injuries and 1 theft involving a motor vehicle. Zawacki stated that deputies are doing much more security checks than they did in previous years. Ganz noted that there were only 3 snowmobile complaints and that education with young riders is key.
Road Maintenance/Signs: Chairman Ganz stated that it has been a relatively slow month. The roads will be in rough shape come spring. The freezing and throwing of the roads cause cracking and separating. Chairman Ganz went over the protocol of who is responsible if a mailbox is knocked over. If a mailbox is moved by the snow, it is the homeowners who are responsible for the mailbox. If a mailbox is to code and it is struck by a plow it is Herbst who is responsible. If the mailbox is not to code via the County specs it is the homeowner who is responsible. Salt and sand went down this weekend. Supervisor Richard and 4 Seasons Contracting trimmed trees around the East side of Julia. Chairman Ganz mentioned that we will start biding 109th and 42nd street. 109th will be raised about 2 feet and an oak tree will be removed. 42nd will also be raised that Civil Engineering will contact 5 local contractors. Demeules stated that we are looking at roads that would benefit from an overlay of reclaim. Demeules will go into a more in-depth conversation at the March 14th annual meeting.
Fire Department: Chief Koren gave the monthly call report for the period of 1/09/23-2/13/23
for Palmer Township. There was a total of 19 calls for the Clear Lake Fire Department. 6 of those calls were for Palmer Township, 4 being medical, 0 fires, and 2 auto accidents. Chief Koren reported that they have 4 new Firefighters and 2 retired.
P.E.C: Chairman Ganz spoke with Midway Iron. They said they would work directly with us. Ganz mentioned that Veit Disposal may be an option for dumpsters. Ganz said he would call Jim’s Mille Lac Disposal in Milaca for hauling. Amy will call LRS the dumpster is full-on Briggs from the weekend. Last month there was mention of the dumpsters on the access being full. Chairman Ganz explained that when we suspended service for the park the whole contract was suspended, but we are back on track now.
Park Report: Chairman Ganz stated that people are using the ski trails at the park. Chairman Ganz put up no snowmobiling sign, as there was one in the park. Supervisor Demeules reported that the County has formed a committee for Big Elk Lake Park. Demeules will be representing the Township. They had their first meeting on February 9th. Gina Hugo is facilitating the committee, 3 people will represent the Native Americans as it has historical value. The grant states that the park has to be up and running within a year. The closing date was the 3rd week in December. It will be a major undertaking, 23 buildings will need to be cleared, and a dumpsite and roads and paths will need to be constructed. Names have been in discussion with reference to Native American heritage and a reference to Howard. Demeules stated that they will be as environmentally friendly as possible when removing buildings. Prairie grasses and other indigenous plants will be brought in taking special care that the land isn’t disturbed due to the historical significance. There will be no park development on the lake. The next meeting will not be held until after our next meeting but Supervisor Demeules will keep us informed as he receives information. Chairman Ganz mention that they are looking for history in regard to the land. Gina Hugo is looking at doing some Cultural Specialists Training that may be held at the Town Hall. Charlene Langowski asked what will happen to the house. Supervisor Demeules stated that it will be taken down. The cottages down by the lake will be saved. Shelly Alger – Peyton said that the BLCA has put the link for the Sherburne County Park survey on their web page.
Lake Association: Chairman Ganz Mentioned that Ice Day was a success. Walt Munsterman gave a report on the water testing data for the Lake Chain. He thanked the board for their continued support and the members of the community that do the testing. Walt reported that the changes in the lakes are moving in a deteriorating direction. Walt mentioned that more studies will be needed to better assess the health of our lakes. Some factors that may be causing the lakes to decline may be bigger water crafts, the use of aqua thrusters, and any fertilizers that get washed into the lakes. Something residents can do to combat the descent of the lakes is to educate residents, about shoreline restoration, rain gardens, upgrading septic systems, and the use of fertilizer. To acquire a full report please see clerk Amy Bragelman during Normal business hours.
Legal Comments: Chairman Ganz mentioned that we will be revising our rental policy, for the park and the hall.
Approval of Minutes: Supervisor Larson made a motion to approve the January minutes as written. Supervisor Demeules seconded it and the motion carried.
ARPA FUND: Chairman Ganz stated that the office remodel is almost complete. We are still looking into flooring options. Demeules and Ganz got some bids on toilets. Looking at replacing one in the men’s and three in the woman’s bathroom. Demeules made a motion to replace the toilets Larson seconded and the motion was carried.
1.Driver Feedback Signs Supervisor Larson has been looking into getting driver feedback signs for the safety of the kid getting on and off the bus and pedestrians walking a crossed the roads. The County will install them. Supervisor Larson made a motion for 12,000 for 2 signs coming out of ARPA fund. One before the park and the other before the Firehall. Steve Demeules Second and the motion was carried unanimously.
1.IUP Home Business Christenia Nelson she is looking to operate a boutique on Briggs, three days a month. Ms. Nelson is aware that parking was an issue. She believes that she has solved that problem with the addition of no parking signs on the street. There are three designated parking spots by the building any overflow would be able to park in the driveway. Supervisor Demeules stated that parking is an issue and that is a busy intersection. Demeules stated that he would send comment to the county stating that parking would be her responsibility she would have to enforce no parking on the street.
COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: Chairman Ganz reported that have removed 2 old fireproof cabinets from the office that we are no longer in need of. If you are interested in purchasing said cabinets, we will be accepting sealed bids from now until February 28th at 4 pm. Everything that was in them has been saved and will get new cabinets. Chairman Ganz noted that we don’t yet know what and where exactly Great River Energy’s new power lines will be going, but we are aware that it could be a problem for farmers in the area. They probably won’t go where the old poles are currently, but it hasn’t been passed as of yet. Demeules mentioned that there is a survey for watershed plans and he suggested that as many people as possible take that survey as it deals with flooding. https://www.millelacsswcd.org/1w1p/mississippi-river-st-cloud-watershed-plan
Supervisor Demeules made a motion to approve claims #23016- #23036, plus payroll, and Conexus for a total of 103,876.54
Supervisor Demeules made a motion to adjourn. Supervisor Larson seconded and the motion was carried. The meeting adjourned at 8:23 p.m.
Amy Bragelman, Palmer Township ClerkApproved as reviewed March 13th, 2023