Crane Lake Township

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2/8/22 Minutes



February 8, 2022


The February 8, 2022, Board of Supervisors’ Meeting was called to order by Chairman Jerry Pohlman at 5:35PM at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including VNP Superintendent Bob DeGross (via Zoom); RAMS Executive Director Ida Rukavina; Supervisors Jim Janssen, Kara Knutson, & Jerry Pohlman; Treasurer Traci Bak; Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman; and nine members of the community – including those attending via Zoom.




Additions to the Agenda:  There were none.


Minutes – A motion was made by Jim, supported by Kara, to approve the minutes of the 1/11/22 Board of Supervisors’ Meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report –The January Cash Balances were read, and the bills were presented as follows: Costin Group – $1,250.00; Lake Country Power – $146.56; CLVTB – $1,538.60; SLCATO – $461.16; Backus Community Center – $100.00; and Payroll – $640.68.  A motion was made by Kara, supported by Jim, to approve the Treasurer’s Report as read and the payment of bills.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Fund Transfers:  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Kara, to approve Fund Transfers presented by the Clerk and the Treasurer to bring Funds into balance.   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:  Gretchen Janssen provided the following report:  Summary of Work since January Township meeting:

Jan 19 – LCCMR Grant/Contract officially “fully executed”

Jan 20 – Meeting with Engineer and Architect, see minutes of meeting.  Developing design ideas proposed for the Campground and Visitor Center projects.

Jan 21-25 – Committee reviewed proposals for VC and Campground.  Campground layout approved, with a request for the engineer to consider future growth potential and create a “phase 2” for approval at the upcoming County meeting (to discuss permitting) planned for Jan 26th.  Visitor Center floor plans were sent to the Board and several community members (both business owners and non-business owners) as well as owners of Unit 13 asking for input.  One community member mentioned the idea of adding space for the Post Office, another community member mentioned adding another exterior door on the north end (lakeside).  Beth Pierce at the new Iron Range Community/Tourism Center in Eveleth was also sent the floor plan for comment.  Based on her advice, the Twp clerk and treasurer and CLVTB were consulted regarding use of printers/copiers and need for storage space/privacy.   Feedback and request to add Post Office space and lakeside door were submitted to architect by end of day Jan 25.

Jan 24 – Meeting with County, SEH and Gretchen to discuss invoicing.

Jan 26 – County meeting cancelled and rescheduled for Feb 9.

Jan 28-31 – Revisions to the Visitor Center office wing were made by architects, options A and B were proposed.   Floor plans were again circulated to committee members, Crane Lake citizens, and the Town board for feedback.  The committee preferred option B as it added more privacy for the township and CLVTB office space.  This option also included the opportunity to have a private meeting in the break room.  More discussion followed and feedback was given to the architect by end of day Jan 31.

Feb 3 – Gretchen attended a Zoom training session on approval of invoices, downloaded software.

Feb 3 – Architects presented another floor plan which was printed out and shared for review and comment with the CLVTB at their morning meeting.  Plans were also circulated by email to committee members and the Town board.

Feb 3 – Meeting with Engineer and Architect, see minutes of meeting.  Committee and NPS agreed to reduce the size of the auditorium, but no other changes were requested.  Architects were asked to create elevation views for the Town Board meeting on Tuesday Feb 8.  Engineers hope to have formal approval of the footprint by Feb 8th to proceed with getting permits approved.  Bob DeGross announced he would attend the Township meeting on the 8th to help discuss and get questions answered to facilitate the approval process.

Feb 5-7 – Discussed potential expenses with Town budget committee.

Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – February 8, 2022

VNP-Visitor Center/Campsite:

Committee Report & Resulting Board Action:  (Cont.)

Note:  In addition to the committee, the following people were sent the floor plan for comment (1/21):  Beth Pierce Iron Range VTB, Art & Jody Driggs, Drake Dill, Jeff Miller, Jessa Quam, Serena Swenson, Deb Scott, John Sorteberg, Ty and Jeanne Shuck, Emily Schwanke, Rob Scott. They may have shared with others.

Recommendations/Questions for the Town Board:  1)  Legal fees incurred for this project can be covered by the LCCMR with the approval of a formal amendment to the grant (a process).   It is the belief of all parties involved in this project that we will be over budget in the end.  So we advise the Town Board to pay for legal fees outside of these grant dollars. (The Board agreed.)  2)  We ask that the Town Board grant full authority to Gretchen Janssen in approving invoices specific to these projects.  Gretchen has training and access to the County VPN and Financial software allowing her to approve all bills online.  If Gretchen is not available to approve invoices, please specify who the back up will be and that person can physically sign paper copies of the statements instead.  As our fiscal agent, the County will be receiving the grant funds and paying all the bills for the Campground and Visitor Center projects.  Gretchen and the Town Board should review the bills for accuracy and to make certain services were performed as billed.  These actions should be in the meeting minutes and a copy given to the County. 3)  The committee looks for direction/feedback on the proposed designs for the Visitor Center and Campground.  4)  Next on the list of decisions to be made will be exterior materials used (siding, roofing), preferred heating and cooling systems, choice of contractor, signage as it affects the building.  What are the priorities of the Town Board in these areas? (No priorities were set by the Board)

Board Action:  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to approve the physical dimensions of the Visitor Center building as presented by ARI with the option to make minor changes inside the building.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Kara, to approve the general layout of the Campground as presented with the option to add some pull through sites, if feasible, and to add living quarters above the check-in/shower building.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was made by Jerry, supported by Kara, to grant Deputy-Clerk Gretchen Janssen full authority to approve invoices specific to the Visitor Center and Campground projects.  If Gretchen is not available, Treasurer Traci Bak will have authority to physically sign the paper copies of the statements.  Approval is contingent upon MAT approval of this procedure.  Jerry & Kara voted in favor, Jim abstained, and the motion carried.

Deena Congdon began the discussion on removal of the dock in front of the Shuck property (Unit 13) – the dock, which is privately owned, does not belong to the Township or the Shuck’s.  It was there prior to the Township purchasing the land.  Access to the dock is via Township land.  There was much discussion.  The Board will look into this further.

Deena also mentioned the slow response time from the attorney being consulted on Visitor Center/Campground issues.  A motion was made by Jerry, supported by Jim, to change attorneys for the project.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Bayside Drive:  Property owners on Bayside Drive that would be affected by an upgrade of the road, will be contacted prior to the Township Annual Meeting on March 8th to receive their opinion of the upgrade.  The question of the Township taking over Bayside Drive as a township road will be on the Annual Meeting Agenda.

Pathway or Road between Visitor Center & DNR site:  Tabled

Funding:  Procedure for bill payment was discussed above.


ATV Report:  There was no report


Trails Report:  There was no Report


American Rescue Plan Act Fund:  The expenditure of funds is yet to be determined.


Broadband Committee Report:  A Committee Meeting was held prior to the Township Board of Supervisors’ Meeting.  Those present discussed the feasibility of bringing Broadband services to Crane Lake.  The project would be expensive. Joe Buttweiler of CTC, who was present at the meeting; said if funding could be obtained, they would be interested.  The Committee will look into funding options.


CIC:  The adoption of the resolution approving the final draft of the CIC Amendment was tabled again as there may be further changes to the Amendment.





Tobacco License Approval:  A motion was made by Kara, supported by Jerry, to adopt Resolution #2022-01 approving the issuance of a tobacco products license for Bell Resorts, Inc. d/b/a Voyagaire Lodge and Houseboats for the year ending the 31st day of December, 2022.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – February 8, 2022



Other New Business:  There was none.


Comments from Officers:  Jim thanked everyone for attending the meeting.  Kara advised the Board that she would be resigning from her Supervisor position in five weeks.


Public Comments:   Nancy Ross, attending via Zoom, said that she did not mean to be argumentative, and she did hope that the Board would give considerable thought to the dock issue and the concern of residents crossing private property to get to that dock.



Next Meeting:   Annual Town Meeting – March 8, 2022 – 5:30PM, Fellowship Hall

Board of Supervisors’ Meeting – Immediately Following



There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:00PM.






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.