Crane Lake Township

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10/12/21 Minutes



October 12, 2021



The October 12, 2021, Board of Supervisors’ Meeting was called to order by Chairman Jerry Pohlman at 7:30PM at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including Supervisors Jim Janssen & Jerry Pohlman; Treasurer Traci Bak; Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman; and seven members of the community.  Four community members attended via Zoom.  Supervisor Kara Knutson was absent.




Additions to the Agenda:  Statue Area Restroom was added to Old Business and Fireworks Payment was added to New Business.


Minutes – A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to approve the minutes of the 9/14/21 Board of Supervisors’ Meeting and the 10/8/21 Special Board of Supervisors’ Meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report –The September Cash Balances were read, and the bills were presented as follows: Costin Group – $1,250.00; Lake Country Power – $146.56; IRS – $427.34; CLVTB – $20,392.86; Couri & Ruppe – $110.00; and Payroll – $636.57.  A motion was made by Jerry, supported by Jim, to approve the Treasurer’s Report as read and the payment of bills.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


The Clerk presented the correspondence.  The correspondence was received and will be placed on file and acted upon as required.





VNP-Visitor Center/Campsite:

Committee Report & Resulting Board Action:  Deena Congdon reported that there had not been a lot of activity in September and that the Kick-Off Meeting was rescheduled for October 21, 2021 at 2PM.  Jim added that he had spoken to Bob Bratten, former owner of the Township property, about the existing infrastructure on the property.  Mr. Bratten suggested that Benchmark Engineering be contacted for further information.  Mark Anderson will communicate with Jason Chopp of S.E.H. about the existing infrastructure at the site.

Bayside Drive Upgrade:  There was nothing new to report.

Pathway/Road between the DNR Public Water Access and the Visitor Center:  Kristen Scott emailed that she did not have a new purchase price offer for her property and that she did not have any easements.  The Board felt there was a need to confirm the presence or absence of easements on both Kristen’s property and the Township property.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to research easements on Kristen Scott’s property.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  Jerry will contact Mr Neff of Trenti Law Firm about easements on the Visitor Center property.

Conflict of Interest:  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to adopt the Conflict of Interest Policy provided by the Costin Group as required by St. Louis County as part of the funding process.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Letters of Concern:  Letters of concern addressing the pathway/road connecting the DNR Public Water Access to the Visitor Center have been received as well as verbal communications from community members to Board members. The option of eminent domain was presented to the Board at the September meeting. The Board did not discuss that option.  Jerry stated that he would not support that option.  Jim stated that there were other directions to pursue before eminent domain and there was no reason for the Board to discuss at this time.

Agreements:  The NPS Agreement was forwarded to the Township attorney, Bob Ruppe, for review.  He responded that it was a boiler plate agreement at this point and would review again when Township and NPS input relevant to the project was presented.  The ARI and S.E.H. agreements were both forwarded to Mr. Ruppe for review.  Both ARI and S.E.H. agreements were signed and will be forwarded to both.

Funding:  The Township continues to wait for the approved LCCMR grant money.


ATV Report:  Mark Anderson reported that work continues with culvert placement, shelters, and picnic tables.  There is a contract for the Crane Lake to Vermilion Falls bridge.  Some work is being shut down for the winter season.  Road grading has been done.  Bidding for the trail between the VRT and Shuster Road will be done this winter to begin construction in March and April.  The ATV ride this past weekend to the Sheep Ranch Road was successful.  There will be a meeting tomorrow at Melgeorge’s.  The Club has received approval from the County to put in a vault toilet by the bridge that will be installed through the CLWSD Management Program.


Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – October 12, 2021



Trails Report:  There was no report.


Land Use Project:  Kara emailed the following report on 9/28/21:  The committee got together last Monday evening and wanted to get together again before the town meeting, but not sure we will get a chance to.  Everyone is going to sketch up ideas on what they think would be best for the land.  Everyone has different ideas, Bruce and Ed think we should just sell it for as much as we can, to anyone at larger lot sizes (20-30 acres).  Serena, Lori, and I think it should be split multi use – commercial, residential and workforce.

The Town has an option (per our attorney) to sell smaller lots on a contract for deed to workers in the Crane Lake area, with the agreement to purchase and homestead it for more than 5 years, etc. before selling. (just an example); and the Town could sell some lots for commercial use (to get more businesses in town); and the rest to single family, larger lots (5 acres?).  Also, there was discussion about using some of the land for workforce housing and the rest of it could be used for trails, some type of community center, pickle ball court, etc.  Rather than sell off all of it, keep some (maybe half) for use by the community/recreation.  The Board recommended that the Committee go forward exploring all options and not rush into any decisions.  Mark Anderson reminded the Board and Committee that an area for ATV’s could also be considered.  There are State organizations to assist townships with land development.


Broadband Committee Report:  Drake Dill reported that the project seems to be in a holding pattern.  Whitney Ridlon, IRRRB, is waiting for build-out costs from CTC.


Statue Area Restrooms:  A motion was passed at the August meeting to share the fee for restroom cleaning with the CLVTB.  The CLVTB asked if the Town wanted to begin paying their share from August going forward or from the beginning of 2021.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to pay from the beginning of the year.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





JPB Comprehensive Plan Comments:  The Board members did not receive the email sending the Comprehensive Plan.  The email will be resent.


Fireworks Payment: Premier Pyrotechnics is again offering an early pay option to increase product adding to the display.   A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to again go with Option 1 to pay in full by December 1, 2021, to receive an additional 15% product.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Other New Business:  There was none.


Comments from Officers:  There were none.


Public Comments:   Mary McKie asked what JPB stood for and what area it encompassed.  The Board responded that the Joint Powers Board included the Rainy Lake Basin area and the voting members were County Commissioners from St. Louis and Koochiching Counties.  She also asked who was on the Land Use Committee:  Kara Knutson, Bruce Beste, Ed Thornton, Serena Swenson and Lori Sanborn.  Nancy Ross thanked the Board for providing the Zoom option for the meeting and asked for confirmation that the Kristen Scott property was still at the original purchase price and that Kristen felt there were no easements.


Next Meeting:   Board of Supervisors’ Meeting – November 9, 2021 – 5:30PM, Fellowship Hall


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30PM.






Jo Ann Pohlman, Clerk                                                  Jerry Pohlman, Chairman



This draft of the Crane Lake Township minutes has been posted solely for preliminary informational purposes.  Minutes are unofficial and subject to change until they have been approved by the Crane Lake Board of Supervisors.