Crane Lake Township

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3/11/14 Annual Meeting Minutes



March 11, 2014


The March 11, 2014 Annual Meeting was called to order by Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman at 7:35PM, at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including:  VNP Superintendent Mike Ward and Betsy, Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman and 11 members of the community. 


Clerk Jo Ann explained the purpose of the Annual Meeting and reminded everyone that it is a public meeting, anyone may attend, but only eligible voters of the Town may act at the meeting.  Voting was to be done by voice.


Clerk Jo Ann asked for nominations for a Moderator.  Bill Congdon nominated Jeff Sanborn, with a second by Jim Janssen.  Jo Ann asked for any other nominations three times.  There being no other nominations, the nominations were closed.  All voted in favor with Jeff Sanborn being nominated as Moderator.


Moderator Jeff read the Agenda.


Jeff asked for any additions to the Agenda: Hiring a consultant for the Town was added to New Business.  A motion was made by Bill Congdon, supported by Sandy Bodkin, to approve the agenda as presented.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Jeff introduced guest speaker, VNP Superintendent Mike Ward to everyone.  Mr. Ward stated that he was looking for comments after his presentation at the February meeting and said he would like to continue on the path of exploring options for a drive-in campground/visitor center in Crane Lake.  His handouts included four options with pros and cons attributed to each.  Option 1 – Continue to work with the State to determine what can be done on the property they purchased for parking and a ramp.   Option 2 – Purchase land from a willing seller and develop a center and campsite.  The VNP has been contacted by four interested parties already and there may be others.  Option 3 – Same as Option 2 but in a partnership with a landowner.   There would be a private/public agreement to operate the NPS campground on private land. Option 4 – The Park Service would build campsites but contract with a business in Crane Lake.  Opposite of Option 3 but with the same benefits and negatives with less outlay by the operator.  There would be more paperwork for the operator.  Mr. Ward would like to move ahead on Crane Lake leaving all options open.  Feel free to contact Mr. Ward at the VNP International Falls Headquarters with any ideas or suggestions.




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 Bill Congdon, to approve the minutes of the 3/12/13 Annual Meeting, the 6/24/13 Special Town Meeting and the 2/11/14 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 2013:


            Opening Balance            $   139,601.92

            Receipts                           +167,042.74

            Disbursements                   -186,880.56

            Ending Balance             $    119,764.10


A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Ruth Carlson, 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.





2014 Election Day Times & Location – A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Sandy Bodkin, that the polls would be open from 10AM – 8PM for all elections in 2014 at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/11/2014 – Page 2



2015 Annual Meeting Date, Time, & Location – A motion was made by Bill Congdon, supported by Jim Janssen, to set the 2015 Annual Meeting date and time for March 10, 2015 at 7:30PM at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


CLVTB Annual Summary Report: Crane Lake Visitor & Tourism Bureau Chairman Butch Eggen reported that the mission statement of the CLVTB is to generate economic growth through tourism in the Crane Lake area. 

·         We have a 9 member volunteer board of directors and are a private non-profit MN. Corporation.  Our board members are Cathy Erickson, Lori Sanborn, Darrell Scott, Rob Scott, Mark Anderson, Dave Beckman, Jim Janssen, Jerry Pohlman and myself.  Dee Kuder who has worked for the bureau since at least 1997 has resigned as our Administrative Secretary.

·         Currently the bureau is advertising the administrative position.  We have received 6 applications to date and interviews are taking place this week.  A target date of April 1 is when a new person will take over the duties of Administrative Secretary.

·         Our annual budget is approximately $80,000.00

·         About 80% of revenue is generated thru CL Town ordinance calling for a 3% tax on lodging. The remaining funding comes from donations and Grants.

·         A 5% administrative fee is retained by the Town. This money (about $3000.00) is dedicated to the towns fireworks fund.

·         Approximately 16 businesses in our taxing area, 4 businesses outside our area, and 20 associate businesses are on our membership rolls.

·         The CLVTB hosts Website, a facebook page and prints an area Brochure.  We buy advertising in a number of tourism interest publications, have the sign down at Orr and maintain the Voyageur Statue.  We participate in regional and state programs; for example, the MN. Arrowhead Association, Destinations Voyageurs National Park, and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

·         Our website is our primary lead generator for our members.  The website has about 600 M page views annually.  We snail mail about 5,000 brochures and forward to our members about 5,000 direct inquiries that come from our website.

·         In 2012 we expanded the Bureau’s presence in social media via facebook, twitter and You Tube.  Midwest Captions who hosts the website worked with Dee to set this up. We had the help of a grant from the IRRRB to develop this project.  Dee has done an excellent job of keeping these media fresh.

·         On the up side, we have seen approximately 1 to 2% increase in lodging tax receipts in the last year.   We continue to explore marketing opportunities and new venues for our members. 

·         We reviewed and renewed our strategic plan in October of 2011 and continue to use this plan to guide our adverting and marketing program. A copy of that plan is on file with Town Clerk Jo Ann.

·         A special “Thank You” goes out to Dee for her good work and leadership over the years.  Thank you also to Jim and Gretchen Jansen, Cathy Erickson and Dee for taking the reins in the search for a new Administrative Secretary.

·         Stay Tuned and visit Crane Lake!

CLWSD Annual Summary Report:  Clerk Jo Ann read the Crane Lake Water & Sanitary District Chairman Rob Scott’s report.

  • The treatment plant processed over 2.3 million gallons of sewage while maintaining all standards. The plant is approaching 10 years of operation and as would be expected, there have had to be upgrades and component replacements.
  • The collection system needs to be upgraded to handle the winter freezing issues that we have faced since going operational. This will be a costly and challenging endeavor.
  • We continue to expand the sewer system within the Eastern Service Area. The expansion on CSAH 24 is closed out. Our expansion efforts are currently focused on the Handberg Road and Bear Island subareas of the Eastern Service Area.
  • The review of our expansion options includes a sewer management program. We held a public meeting with the chairman of the Ottertail sewer managed district. He provided a brief on their program. Also, we are working with the University of Minnesota Extension Service that facilitates these types of programs.

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/11/2014 – Page 3



  • The funding for the expansion project has multiple fronts. The sources include IRRRB, State Bonding, and State Legacy funds. We are reviewing the different levels of expansion that can be completed predicated on funds available. The range of potential funds is $700,000 to $3.0 million.
  • We have settled the mediation between CLWSD vs. RLK. The settlement was $107,500.00.


VNP Clean Water Project Annual Report:  Clerk Jo Ann read the report submitted by Rob Scott providing a background and update on the VNP Clean Water Project.

  • The Joint Powers Board (JPB) continues to work the 2010 Comprehensive Plan. The four areas of focus include the Crane Lake Water and Sanitary District (CLWSD), the Puck’s Point Subordinate Service District (Kabetogama), the Ash River Unorganized area, and the Rainy Lake Island View sewer area.
  • The JPB is comprised of four county commissioners (St. Louis – Commissioners Nelson and Forsman, Koochiching  – Commissioners Pavleck and McBride). There is an advisory group made up of representatives of the four project areas, both county staffs, DNR, VNP, and MPCA. S.E.H. is the project engineer and Gary Cerkvenik is the project lobbyist.
  • The external funding for the project is IRRRB, State Bonding, Public Facilities Agency, Army Corps, State Legacy, USDA-RD, and at the Federal level Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) grants. These efforts are being spearheaded by Gary Cerkvenik.
  • The CLWSD continues to work the Eastern Service Area with a focus on the Handberg Road and Bear Island subareas. Expansion efforts with be driven by funding availability.
  • The Puck’s Point Project at Kabetogama is nearing the final stages of planning. The project includes a treatment plant and collection system.
  • The Ash River unorganized area is at the initial stages with St. Louis County and the DNR working a land exchange. The land is needed to develop a treatment facility.
  • The Island View project is an expansion of an existing collection system. The goal is to be able to provide sewer to the entire length of the peninsula. The project is ready to go and awaiting approval of State Bonding funds.


IJC/Water Board Report:  Clerk Jo Ann read International Joint Commission/Water Board Representative Rob Scott’s report.

  • There have been no major changes to the IJC guidance. The current rule curve appears to be acceptable by all interested parties. There seems to be an increased interest in water quality. Water quantity has historically been the focus of the Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake and Namakan basins. The Rainy River group has always been concerned with both. Now all areas seem to be working on the same page.
  • The water levels within the Namakan basin were maintained within the rule curve for 2013. The only exception was Crane Lake at ice out, which is caused by the natural restriction of water outflow in the Crane Lake Narrows. The current level is at the rule curve midpoint. On April 1st the seasonal increase in water quantity begins and I will continue to monitor how the basin level increases. Given the ice thickness and snow cover, spring run offs could be sporty.
  • It looks like the economic down turn has had at least one positive impact to the Namakan River. The hydroelectric project that includes the potential building of dams at High Falls and Hay Rapids may be delayed indefinitely. The feasibility study is on hold pending an ongoing financial review of the project. Sturgeon 1 – Chant Corporation 0.


CLVSC Annual Summary Report:  Jeff Sanborn reported that business is as usual and is winding down considering the time of year.  A new grooming tractor was purchased in mid-February.


CL Chapel Annual Summary Report:  Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Shirley Sanborn reported the following:

  • The Chapel continues to gather for Worship services every Sunday at 11:30 a.m.  All are welcome.
  • We did miss a few Sundays this winter due to the weather.  Our financial situation is stable at the present time, thanks to the help of some very generous summer residents.  They help directly and with lots of help at the events we have in the summer.
  • Next on the church calendar and at the Chapel is Good Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Easter Sunday at 7:00 a.m.
  • The Book and Bake Sale is on Saturday, May 24th. In June, July and August we have coffee every Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. before the service.  Vacation Bible School is on Wed., Thurs., and Fri. –  July 8, 9, and 10.  The theme this year is “Blast Off”.  Tell all your young friends.  The Bazaar is on July 16th.
  • The Ladies Luncheon is in August at Nelson’s Resort.  On Labor Day weekend during Voyageur Days we will have a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning.

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/11/2014 – Page 4



  • It’s a busy summer at the Chapel but fall is coming and it’s pretty quiet until Advent.
  • Lots of these events take time and labor but we also have a lot of fellowship at the same time.  A couple of years ago one fellow told me he had never met so many people as he had since we started having coffee before the service.  He meant it as a good thing.

Cook-Orr Healthcare District Annual Report:  Town Representative Shirley Sanborn handed out the 2013 Annual Report and reported:  

  • The addition to the Hospital is completed with a newly constructed emergency room, a completely renovated outpatient specialty procedure and exam department, a new environmentally-stable and contained ambulance entry and patient arrival port, an upgraded space in medical imaging, a relocation of the inpatient pharmacy department and a relocated heliport for emergency transfers.
  • There is talk of a remodeling project or possible closure of the nursing home.
  • There are many new services at the Hospital and Clinic for tests, etc. that can be done closer to home.
  • Please review the Annual Report for further information.


CLVFD Annual Summary Report:  Crane Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeff Sanborn reported:

  • The Department had four fire runs and 14 EMS calls in 2013.
  • The EMS calls ranged from boat accidents to bee stings.
  • There is currently a leak in the fire hall; the building needs roof and siding work.
  • ½ of the fire truck payments will be completed by July.
  • The fire department is always looking for volunteers. Call Jeff Sanborn to sign up.


Review Proposed Revenue & Expenditures – Clerk and Budget Committee member Jo Ann reviewed the proposed 2015 budget revenues and expenditures.  Copies of the 2015 budget were distributed to everyone in attendance prior to the meeting.  Jo Ann reviewed the proposed revenues of $157,650.00 and the proposed Township disbursements of $109,125.00 plus Fire Protection for $50,000.00; totaling $159,125.00. Jo Ann asked if there were any questions.  There were none.


Town Consultant – Bill Congdon suggested hiring a consultant to help the Township acquire funds for future projects such as trail systems to connect Crane Lake to other communities.  There was discussion of the need to increase the budget to cover consultant expenses.  A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Deena Congdon, to increase the Town portion of the levy request from $40,000 to $50,000 to hire a professional consultant for future community projects.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


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


Moderator Jeff asked for a motion to either approve the 2014 levy request or recess the meeting.  A motion was made by Jerry Pohlman, supported by Bill Congdon, to approve the 2015 levy request that evening.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was made by Shirley Sanborn, supported by Bill Congdon, to approve the increased Township portion of the 2015 levy request of $50,000.00.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was made by Ruth Carlson, supported by Jim Janssen, to approve the Fire Department portion of the 2015 levy request of $50,000.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM







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.