Crane Lake Township

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3/9/21 Annual Meeting Minutes



March 9, 2021


The March 9, 2021 Annual Meeting was called to order by Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman at 5:35PM, at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including:  Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman and 11 members of the community.


Clerk Jo Ann asked for nominations for a Moderator.  Butch Eggen nominated Jeff Sanborn, with a second by Deena Congdon. 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.  A motion was made by Mark Anderson, supported by Bruce Beste, to accept the Agenda as read.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





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 Jerry Pohlman, supported by Traci Bak, to approve the 3/10/20 Annual Meeting Minutes and the 2/9/21 Board of Audit Meeting Minutes.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report – Clerk Jo Ann read the following Treasurer’s Report for fiscal year 2020:


Opening Balance            $      136,375.18

Receipts                           +   288,338.57

Disbursements                  –   240,936.23

Ending Balance             $       183,777.52


A motion was made by Bruce Beste, supported by Mark Anderson, 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.




2021 & 2022 Election Day Times & Location – A motion was made by Kara Knutson, supported by Butch Eggen, that the polls would be open from 10AM – 8PM for all elections in 2021 and 2022 at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


2022 Annual Meeting Date, Time, & Location – A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Gretchen Janssen, to set the 2022 Annual Meeting date and time for March 8, 2022 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, like most resort communities in N MN, remains strong through turbulent times.  The Canadian Border being closed helped all in our industry here in N MN.   Lodge tax collections remained very high and many resorts saw record years.  Our anticipation is that this year will be another record year.  The Boarder looks to remain closed and those fearing the Rona, view our area as a prime destination.

On a personal note I want to thank the town for supporting Voyagaire during our tenure.  The support from other businesses never wavered and we are happy to call Crane Lake our home.


CLWSD:  Chairman Rob Scott reported:  The following summary points are submitted to provide an update on the past and current activities going on within the CLWSD:  1.The CLWSD 2020 annual revenues were $291,600 (operating, special assessment, and tax levy funds) and total expenses were $318,861 (operating, administrative, and debt service). The net loss reflects in the board reducing the tax levy fund and minimizing the amount of the 2020 tax levy. The 5-year budget forecast and projections estimate approximately a $30,000 net gain each year. These funds will be used to build up our reserve accounts and start a building fund. For 2021 the user rates will remain the same.

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/9/21 – Page 2



CLWSD: (Report cont.)

2.The collection system and treatment system had no major issues during the past year including no freezing within the collection system. The treatment plant is in the process of a major upgrade. The Plant went operational in 2004 and some of the components utilized in treating the sewage are approaching their usable service life. Additionally, we need to work on the sand filtering system. Part of the upgrade will include the installation of larger clarification tanks to better handle the large variations in the volume of sewage that is treated at any one time. This is caused by the seasonal usage along with the summer weekend affect. I now have to carry a big stick to keep the plant operator in line. So far so good.

  1. The CLWSD has completed one annexation (East Bay) to the sewer district and two expansions to the original collection system (CSAH 24 project and Handberg Road project). We are in the process of our second annexation (Kicker Boulevard) and do not anticipate another expansion project.
  2. The District continues to work on ISTS installations (decentralized collection systems) under our Management Program. We currently have 41 systems operational and plan to install 3-4 ISTS systems during the 2021 construction season. The restroom facility at the Voyageur Statue has been completed.
  3. We currently have a balance of around $175,000 in Legacy grant funds available for around 6 ISTS installations. During the current Legislative session, we are working on obtaining $600,000 in Legacy funds for an additional 20 ISTS installations.  Also, we are seeking $1.2 million in debt relief funds at the State and Federal levels. The District has been approved for a $1.1 million loan under the MPCA Clean Water Partnership loan program. It is a zero percent loan and the funds will be utilized to pay our grant matches and ISTS installations. The loan is a four-year line of credit and not all of the funds available have to be utilized.
  4. Here is a little think piece for the Township board. State statute requires that sewer districts have 5 board managers. They must be full time residents. Over the last few years, it has been challenging to get volunteers to become a board manager. We have had to cancel the last two monthly meetings due to a lack of a quorum. If the CLWSD cannot meet the board membership requirements there are two possible alternatives. Change the sewer district to a sub-ordinate sewer district. Then it would fall under Township oversight. If it remains a sewer district, then it goes to St Louis County for management and oversite. Either option would be costly to the users and bring up a whole bag of challenges. With 20 years working on the board on the horizon I am approaching sunset on my time on the board.


IJC/Water Boards Report: Jerry Pohlman reported that there is not flooding anticipated this spring; therefore, the water level system currently in place will continue.


CLVSC:  Jeff Sanborn reported that it was a short grooming season due to lack of snow.  There are no new projects or funding requests.


CL Chapel:  Nancy Hazlett provided the following report: The last year was a year to really hold on to our faith. We cancelled worship many times and cancelled most of our fundraisers due to Covid.  Our way of doing things had to be changed, just like everyone else, but we made it and look forward to a better year ahead. We had one successful fundraiser that was a sign of the times, masks were sold at local businesses with all the profits going to the Chapel.  That was very helpful in taking the place of our usual fundraisers. We appreciate the support of everyone that stepped up to help us through this year.  The coming year will be brighter and we all need to keep the faith that God will help us through.


Cook-Orr Healthcare District:  Town Representative Shirley Sanborn reported that it had been a very different year for the board with meetings being held by phone and Zoom.  There was no Heim Benefit in 2020.  Vaccinations for Covid-19 are in process with Cook outperforming larger local clinics in number of inoculations.  The 2020 Annual Report was provided to those present.


CLVFD: Fire Chief Jeff Sanborn reported the following:  2020 was a busy year for the Crane Lake Volunteer Fire Department (CLVFD).  As in most years the EMS side was far more active than the Fire side of things.  EMS ran about 19 calls and Fire ran 13 calls.  Many of the fire calls were mutual aid call outs with Orr VFD.  They had a number of false alarms through the heating season related to the wood fired boilers at the old Orr School.  Our big project that finally made significate headway this year was the construction of a permanent helicopter pad for air medical operations.  The site was prepped and concrete was poured in the fall making it operational for the winter season.  Some final marking, signage and landscaping remain for this spring and summer.  The project was made possible by generous donations from the area.  Specifically, the estate of the late Sandy Bodkin.  Plans are in the works for a dedication event this spring. The fire boat project moved another step with the installation of a Sonar, GPS and radar system this year.  We now have greatly enhanced navigation abilities.  2020 brought 2 new Fire Fighters to the ranks and I am happy to report that we have added another 2 in early 2021.  Of these 4 new people we gain 3 in fire and 3 in EMS.  Hoping for a couple more in 2021.  This is great to see as our core membership continues to age.  We are always looking to bring new members on board.  I wish to thank the community for their continued support.  I would also like to thank the members for the countless hours spent training and responding.  It is a service we are lucky to have.

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/9/21 – Page 3



ATV Report:  Bruce Beste provided the following report:  New construction of $600,000 trail between Crane lake and Vermilion Falls including 256’ wood bridge;   Application process to secure $100,000 IRRR to complete/finesse same trail; SEH $100,000 for contracted EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheet) to continue to build out vision connecting Cook, Orr, Ash River, Kabetogama plus two destination features – Winchester Lake overlook and Vermilion Dam fire tower overlook (waiting for Record of Decision – this week?); Plan, design, engineering, and delineation completed for $570,000 project Buyck to Shuster Road (held up for 2021 due to land sale Potlatch to Conservation Fund appraisal); Awarded $950,000 in Minnesota State bonds in October.  Completed work plan and budget and submitted to MN DNR for 6 projects totaling $1.9M; Application of $950,000 from ATV Dedicated Account working through current legislative session; Application for $40,000 IRRR to finish trail work on St Louis County land north of Hwy 23 east of Myrtle Lake, $10,000 IRRR for work on USFS 601 east of Elephant Lake.

Review Proposed Revenue & Expenditures – Clerk and Budget Committee member Jo Ann reviewed the proposed 2022 budget revenues and expenditures.  Copies of the 2022 budget were distributed to everyone in attendance prior to the meeting.  Jo Ann reviewed the proposed revenues of $232,406.00 and the proposed Township disbursements of $180,680.00 plus Fire Protection for $55,000.00; totaling $235,680.00. Jo Ann asked if there were any questions.  Kara Knutson asked for the balance of the Community Property Project Fund.  The balance is $65,534.00.


A motion was made by Bruce Beste, supported by Deena Congdon, to approve the Township portion of the 2022 levy request as follows:   General Fund – $40,000; Community Property Project Fund – $5,900; Bond for Community Property Project Fund – $9,100; and Visitor Center Fund – $15,000 for a total of $70,000. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Traci Bak, to approve the Fire Department portion of the 2022 levy request of $55,000.00.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  Total levy request is $125,000.00.


Moderator Jeff asked if there was any other New Business from the floor.  Butch Eggen suggested that a report on the progress of the Visitor Center/Campground project be provided at the 2022 Annual Meeting.  A report on the progress of the Community Property Project will also be provided as that project is now active.


A motion was made by Jerry Pohlman, supported by Kara Knutson, to adjourn the meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


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.