Crane Lake Township

Current Topics

3/12/19 Annual Meeting Minutes



March 12, 2019

The March 12, 2019 Annual Meeting was called to order by Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman at 5:37PM, at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including:  Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman and 10 members of the community. 

Clerk Jo Ann asked for nominations for a Moderator.  Bill Congdon nominated Jeff Sanborn, with a second by Butch Eggen. There being no other nominations, the nominations were closed.  All voted in favor of Jeff Sanborn being nominated as Moderator.

Moderator Jeff stated the order of business by reading the Agenda. 

Additions to the Agenda:  There were none.


Minutes Approval – All attendees of the Annual Meeting received copies of the minutes for approval. Jeff asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes.  There were none. A motion was made by Bill Congdon, supported by Katie Congdon, to approve the minutes of the 3/13/18 Annual Meeting and the 2/12/19 Board of Audit Meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 

Treasurer’s Report – Clerk Jo Ann read the following Treasurer’s Report for fiscal year 2018:

            Opening Balance            $      113,670.71

            Receipts                           +   268,846.17

            Disbursements                   –   260,447.24

            Ending Balance             $       122,069.64

A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Bill Congdon, to approve the Treasurer’s Report as read.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Moderator Jeff asked if there was any other Old Business from the floor.  There was none.


2019 Election Day Times & Location – A motion was made by Bill Congdon, supported by Traci Bak, that the polls would be open from 10AM – 8PM for all elections in 2019 at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

2020 Annual Meeting Date, Time, & Location – A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Debora Scott, to set the 2020 Annual Meeting date and time for March 10, 2020 at 5:30PM at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Annual Summary Reports:

CLVTB: Chairperson Jim Janssen reported that the tourism industry in CL remains strong.  Lodge tax dollars were up in 2018 over 2017.  The Board works diligently to advertise our area to attract new and retain current business. We look forward to another strong year for the resorts and lake home rentals in CL.

CLWSD:  Chairperson Rob Scott reported the following:  The following summary points are submitted to provide an update on the past and current activities going on within the CLWSD:  1. The CLWSD 2018 annual revenues were $285,700 (operating, special assessment, and tax levy funds) and total expenses were $251,300 (operating, administrative, debt service, and depreciation). For 2019 the user rates will remain the same. The 2019 tax levy remains the same as the 2018 levy of $30,000 (down from $40,531 in 2017).  2. We have completed the Handberg Road expansion project. There are no current plans to expand the centralized collection system. The district continues to work on ISTS installations (decentralized collection system) under our Management Program. We have currently over 30 systems operational and plan to install 10-25 ISTS systems in the 2019 construction season. The amount of installations is directly related to receiving additional grant funds. The grant application has been submitted and is currently under review in the current legislative session.

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/12/19 – Page 2

CLWSD Report (Cont.)

3. This summer the district will start the annexation process for Kicker Boulevard. This was tasked to the district by the VNP Clean Water Project Joint Powers Board. We have $30,000 in Legacy funds to cover the administrative process. We estimate that the annexation with be a 1-2 year effort.  4. The winter O&M program for the treatment plant and collection system continues to prevent a reoccurrence of freezing issues. We monitor the collection influent temperatures on a daily basis and all indications are that we should not have an issue this season.

 Voyageur Statue Gateway Visitor Center Project:  Rob Scott provided the following Report:  Work continues on preparations to develop the Voyageur statue area into a gateway visitor center. The concept is to have a parking area, picnic grounds with tables and grills, American and Canadian flags, an information kiosk, canoe monument, and a handicap restroom facility.  The project will be developed in two phases. The first phase will be ground preparations and restroom installation. The second phase will consist of completing the picnic area, installing the kiosk, and erecting the canoe monument. The phased approach is to work within the IRRRB funding guidelines.  We currently have $87,500.00 in IRRRB infrastructure grant funds with no local match requirement. These funds will be used for phase I. I am completing a grant request for an additional $20,000.00 IRRRB Culture and Tourism grant funds for phase II. There is a one-to-one match for these funds.  The final design of the project to be completed in April and then phase I of the project will go out for bid. The work on phase II and required match funds to be determined by the Township and the CLV&TB. Estimate project completion early summer of 2019.

IJC/Water Boards Report:  Jerry Pohlman reported that the new rule curve was adopted, which will not affect our area much.  We will need to watch and see how it goes.

CLVSC:  President Mike Cherrywell reported the following:  The Crane Lake Voyageurs Snowmobile Club did not have a lot to report. The grooming season is coming to an end with the expected weather coming up.  The club is in the process of purchasing a new piston bully for the next season.  We will be keeping our Tucker Sno-Cat and that will help us in the future.

CL Chapel:  Nancy Hazlett provided the following report:   Last year was truly busy at Crane Lake Chapel.  The residing project was a major undertaking, but we are certainly happy with the results.  We found some major structural problems but these were all repaired.  Our Chapel looks beautiful and will be here to serve the community for years to come.  The support from the community to help fund this project was a real blessing.  Vacation Bible School continues to bring children from many communities.  We had the help of The Christian Ministry for National Parks teens who were working in the area to hold up VBS.  Our release time on Wednesday during the school year is still doing well.  It is great to reach out to area children.  Fundraisers keep us busy during the summer and have been a great help in supporting the Chapel.  Overall, we had a good year.  We appreciate the support of the community and hope to continue serving Crane Lake for many years.  Hope to see you in worship on Sunday!

Cook-Orr Healthcare District:  Town Representative Shirley Sanborn reported the following:  The Hospital and Care Center are in good shape monetarily.  I’m sorry I don’t have a brochure as I usually do; but because of more important things going on, one hasn’t been printed yet.  I will get some to you when available.  When the board hired our current administrator, she didn’t want an assistant.  She has changed her mind.  We are now beginning to actively look for an assistant CEO.  The most exciting thing that has happened recently is the completion of the remodeling of the Care Center.  A large area was added and everything else was changed.  Before the remodeling they had openings but since there is a waiting list.  Now there are two sections, each with their own eating and relaxing areas.  Each room has their own bathroom with their own shower, TV and small sitting area.  So, if you are planning on having to live there in the future, get your name on the list!  If your name gets to the top and you’re not ready, you can decline and they will call you when they have another opening.  At the present time, food is prepared in the hospital kitchen; but at the time of the remodeling, a commercial kitchen was included.  If in the future the hospital closes, it could easily be put to use.  The ER is open 24 hours a day with a doctor on call.  That department was also recently remodeled.  I have taken several people there in the last few years and they are ready to care for patients.

CLVFD: Fire Chief Jeff Sanborn reported the following:  2018 was a less eventful year for the department than was 2017.  We responded to 20 calls, of which 4 were related to fire and 16 were ems/rescue.  We are happy to report that there were no structure fires in our community for 2018.  We submitted our budget for 2020 and we are happy to report we were able to drop our annual budget by $10,000.00 due to the payoff of Engine 1 in July of 2019.  Our projects for 2019 include:  Repairs and renovation of the exterior of the fire hall and the establishment of a permanent helicopter landing pad in our community.  Our biggest area of concern continues to be people.  Our department demographic continues to age and we see very little in the way of new members.  This issue will continue to grow going forward due to the lack of younger  

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/12/19 – Page 3

CLVFD report (Cont.)

people in our community. This will eventually affect our ability to respond to certain types of calls. Fire calls will especially be affected as the demographic ages.  Currently our youngest active member is over 50 years of age.  We also have several who are or will be eligible for full retirement now and in the near future.  We need participation.  We are fortunate to always have great support from our community and visitors.  For that we wish to say THANK YOU!  As always feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns or ideas.

 ATV Trails Committee:  Bruce Beste provided the following report:  

            Completed our Master Plan and presented to agencies;

Completed NEPA National Environmental Protection Act reports with US Forest Service on two trail projects;

St Louis County passed resolutions to become our RGU – Regulating Government Unit for trail planning;

St Louis County is now our fiscal sponsor and will own the infrastructure;

Awarded $150,000 Federal RTP – Recreation Trail Program grant;

Awarded $400,000 MN LCCMR – Legislative and Citizen Commission for Minnesota Resources;

Awarded $1,176,400 IRRR grant – Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation;

Awarded $6,500 Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative and $1,000 LCP Lake Country Power grant (from Operation Round-up) grants for Vermilion Falls picnic area;

Awarded $10,000 Polaris grant for costs associated with trail planning and prep work;

Awarded $16,500 local match grants Town of Crane Lake $5,000, Town of Camp Five $1,000,  VTSI $5,000, Crane Lake Snowmobile Club $5,000, Buyck Snowmobile Club $500;

Bid request let for project connecting Elephant Lake to Echo Lake (16 miles) including a bridge over the Vermilion River at the old Verma-grade trestle site;

Bid requests being prepared for trail connecting resort community of Crane Lake to Vermilion Falls (estimated to release in May);

Awarded ATV Minnesota state Fall Ride and Rally for September 20 to 22 – hosted at Voyagaire (estimated 300 to 500 riders);

Plans for ribbon cutting two trail projects at VIP ride on September 20;

Requested $100,000 current legislative session to contract an EAW – Environmental Assessment Worksheet so we can continue to build on our Master Plan;

Requested $500,000 current legislative session to connect core trail system to Holms Logging Roads and on to Cook,MN;

Requested $1M General Obligation bonding from State of Minnesota current legislative session to begin connection of our core trail system to Orr, Ash River, Kabetogama, Little Fork, International Falls;

Requested Voyageur National Park to open Mukooda Portage (safety portage) to ATV travel into Grassy Bay and Dawson Portage;

Requested Voyageur National Park to open visitor centers and picnic sites (for restroom facilities) to ATV travel;

Continues to hold membership above 700 members and largest ATV club in Minnesota;

Review Proposed Revenue & Expenditures – Clerk and Budget Committee member Jo Ann reviewed the proposed 2020 budget revenues and expenditures.  Copies of the 2020 budget were distributed to everyone in attendance prior to the meeting.  Jo Ann reviewed the proposed revenues of $220,556.00 and the proposed Township disbursements of $164,350.00 plus Fire Protection for $55,000.00; totaling $219,350.00. Jo Ann asked if there were any questions.  Bill Congdon made a motion to add $5,000 to the Township portion of the levy request for dock repair and upkeep.  Deena Congdon supported the motion.  Seven voted in favor, four declined to vote and the motion carried.

A motion was made by Deena Congdon, supported by Butch Eggen, to approve the Township portion of the 2020 levy request of $80,000.00.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was make by Butch Eggen, supported by Bill Congdon, to approve the Fire Department portion of the 2020 levy request of $55,000.00.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  Total levy request is $135,000.00.

Moderator Jeff asked if there was any other New Business from the floor.  There was none.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:15PM

Jo Ann Pohlman, Clerk                                                              Jeff Sanborn, Moderator                                         

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.