Crane Lake Township

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3/13/18 Annual Meeting Minutes



March 13, 2018


The March 13, 2018 Annual Meeting was called to order by Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman at 7:30PM, 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 explained the purpose of the Annual Meeting.


Clerk Jo Ann asked for nominations for a Moderator.  Mark Anderson 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 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 Jerry Pohlman, supported by Mark Anderson, to approve the minutes of the 3/14/17 Annual Meeting and the 2/13/18 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 2017:


Opening Balance            $      131,639.25

Receipts                           +1,164,605.19

Disbursements                   -1,182,661.23

Ending Balance             $       113,583.21


A motion was made by Bruce Beste, supported by Butch Eggen, 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.





2018 Election Day Times & Location – A motion was made by Mark Anderson, supported by Jerry Pohlman, that the polls would be open from 10AM – 8PM for all elections in 2018 at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


2019 Annual Meeting Date, Time, & Location – A motion was made by Jerry Pohlman, supported by Lori Sanborn, to set the 2019 Annual Meeting date and time for March 12, 2019 at 5:30PM at the Fellowship Hall.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Annual Summary Reports:


CLVTB: Chairperson Lori Sanborn reported that the Crane Lake Visitor and Tourism Bureau is the local promotional organization that was formed from the Crane Lake Commercial Club. The mission of the CLV&TB is to promote the Crane Lake area as a vacation destination area utilizing a mix of methods including a website ( along with other digital means, TV advertising, printed materials, roadside billboards, and mailing brochures. Some of the specific areas to highlight for 2017 include:  The CLVTB Budget for 2017 was $96,615, this amount is made up from the collection of:  Lodging taxes, Associate memberships, Contributions and Brochure ads. Promotional specific items:  A billboard on Interstate 35 approximately 50 miles south of Hinckley, We had local directional signs made for visitors to Crane Lake after the county removed the green signs – These signs are being developed and updated.  We are partners with the Orr Tourism Information Center and have been for many years.  We have all the local business brochures there.  New this year is a TV monitor with a video loop promoting Crane Lake.  In 2017 we did a new


Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/13/18 – Page 2


CLVTB  (Cont.):

brochure layout to be distributed in 2018.   We are working on a project to improve the Voyageur statue area. Our goal is

to create a visitor area and gateway to Crane Lake.  The project will include a kiosk, U.S. and Canadian flags, a picnic area, and a parking area with a restroom facility.  Progress continues with funding for the Voyageur Statue Project.  We continue work with Explore Minnesota and other tourism organizations that are available to us and align with our interest in marketing Crane Lake.  The CLV&TB continues to look at multimedia marketing opportunities that get the most bang for our dollars.


CLWSD & JPB:  CLWSD:  Chairman Rob Scott submitted the following summary points to provide an update on the past and current activities going on within the CLWSD:  1. The CLWSD 2017 annual revenues were $273,700 (operating, special assessment, and tax levy funds) and total expenses were $238,000 (operating, administrative, debt service, and depreciation). For 2018 the user rates will remain the same. Additionally, the District approved not charging the Chapel, Fire Hall, and Groomer garage user fees. The 2018 tax levy is $30,000 (down from $40,531 in 2017). This is the 7th year that the tax levy has been reduced with a 50% reduction since 2015.  2. We are in the final stages of completing the Handberg Road expansion project. We have two remaining systems to install and need to finish the restoration of the project. The funds utilized were State Bonding, Legacy, and IRRRB funds. We estimate that we will have approximately $700K funds remaining from the original $3.5 million received. These funds are being utilized to purchase a pumper truck, construct a new maintenance facility, and to obtain spare pumps and materials.  3. The District’s Management Program Phase I continues to expand our decentralized sewer treatment program. To date, we have 15 systems installed and estimate an addition 20 systems to be completed in 2018. We are working a set of funding requests ($1.9 million) to cover additional ISTS systems.  4. This summer the District will start the annexation process for Kicker Boulevard. This was tasked to the District by the VNP Clean Water Project Board. We have $30,000 in Legacy funds to cover the administrative process. We estimate that the annexation with be a 2-3 year effort.  5. The winter O&M program for the treatment plant and collection system continues to prevent a reoccurrence of freezing issues.

JPB:  The Joint Powers Board (JPB) was created in 2008 between St. Louis and Koochiching counties to help the local areas of Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Ash River, and Crane Lake in developing an environmentally sensitive and reasonable solution to the problem of waste water within the Voyageurs’ National Park (VNP) watershed. The ongoing efforts to work the issue is outlined in the VNP Clean Water Project Comprehensive Plan. A study was completed to identify to see what the current status was of the wastewater treatment systems. Of the nearly 1000 wastewater generating parcels with onsite treatment systems, it was found that almost 70% were non-compliant.  The JPB is currently executing the Comprehensive Plan. To date nearly $30 million dollars in grant funds have been generated for the outlined areas. Rainy Lake Island View extension project is underway, Kabetogama treatment plant and phase I sewer collection systems are operational, and the Ash river project is in the initial planning stages.  At Crane Lake we are currently finishing up the Handberg Road extension project and continue installing onsite wastewater systems under our management program. These two efforts are using $3.5 million in grant funds. We have an additional $300,000 in grant funds dedicated to the management program.  The Kicker Boulevard annexation process was tasked to the CLWSD by the JPB to increase the area outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. This initiative will start this summer and anticipate it will take 2-3 years to complete. We have $60,000 in grant funds to cover the administrative costs.   The CLWSD is working on getting an additional $1.9 million in grant funding for the management program and will be putting together a grant fund package for the Kicker Boulevard area. Estimate this request to be around $1.0 million.

CLVSC:  President Mike Cherrywell reported that the Crane Lake Voyageurs Snowmobile Club  season started out with a lot of trail clearing from all the melting snow and freezing, also beaver pond removals. Ice came on and then the cold and snow. Grooming went well this year with the addition of 3 new groomers. There was a three mile section of the trail towards Ash River. At this time grooming has come to a halt. We will be looking to upgrade our groomer in the next year or two depending on finding funds or some grants to help us out, as grant in aid is going down.

CL Chapel:  Nancy Hazlett provided the following report: Over the past year Crane Lake Chapel has been busy. Our annual bazaar was a great success and The Ladies of the Lake Luncheon was also a profitable fundraiser for us. We made pasties twice last year, making a total of over 600, and sold out both times within days. We thank all the helpers and everyone in the community that helped make these projects a success.  Vacation Bible School had a wonderful turnout of about 24 children each day. Pastor Barb & Gini Stahnke are involved in a release time program with area children on Wednesday’s after school. We hope to continue to see more children involved with the Chapel.  The front of the building was repainted in early spring and it was determined at that time that we are in need of new siding. New tables for the fellowship hall were donated by the Stanforth family. In the fall new carpeting was installed in the fellowship hall. We hope all of these improvements will make the Chapel a welcoming part of the community for years to come.  All in all, we had a good year and hope to be able to continue serving Crane Lake community for many years to come.   Would love to see you all at worship on Sundays.  Thank you to the community for your support.



Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/13/18 – Page 3




Cook-Orr Healthcare District:  Town Representative Shirley Sanborn reported that the annual report showed a net profit of $1,096,349.00.  Additions and changes to the Nursing Home include single rooms with baths and lifts.  A letter received by the board from a Kabetogama Lake patient stated, “Your beautiful facility is a diamond in the rough. Who would think such a lovely hospital could be found in a town of 576 in the north woods of Minnesota?  We salute you for your dedication to serving sparsely populated areas.”  The hospital bus is in need of repair.  As a result, the Care Center residents are going on a couple of outings a month instead of every week.  The Adult Day Stay has been moved upstairs from the basement.


CLVFD: Fire Chief Jeff Sanborn reported that 2017 was an eventful year for the CLVFD.  We had a lot of activity related to equipment replacement, fund raising and a pretty fair number of calls for our group.  In 2017 we had 3 fire calls, all were mutual aid calls.  Two to Portage Township and one to the City of Orr.  One structure fire, one wood pile/wood shed fire and one vehicle fire.  Additionally we had one automated alarm call which was thankfully not a fire and one call for a water emergency related to a boater who had run aground.  Additionally 2017 was a huge year for the department with the replacement of  our last 1973 Ford with a 2017 Rosenbauer 2000 gal tender with a 1000gpm pump which went into service at the end of June and the replacement of our fire boat which will go into service this spring.  We are thankful of the support and generosity of our community for these projects.  Our taxpayers supported the purchase of the new truck, our community and especially the visitors supported the raffle last summer which made the fire boat replacement a no cost to taxpayer purchase.  Lastly I would thank a few select individuals who have supported the project with just over $20,000.00 in donations.  Without the overall support from everyone we would not be able to make this project happen.  Also in 2017 we updated the connection fittings on the various dry hydrants around the community to be easier to use, standardized to our new trucks and allow for better flow volume when in use.  Our EMR (First Responders) crew had a busy year as well responding to 14 calls for medical assistance.  They continue to train and respond to all manner of medical emergencies.  In early 2018 they accomplished their bi-annual refresher classes for state certification.  We are all lucky to have dedicated individuals like this in our community.  We have a few projects on our radar for 2017 include repairs to the exterior of the fire hall and the purchase of about $8,000.00 of firefighting equipment of which will be used to equip both trucks and the new boat.  The project is funded 50% by a MN DNR grant for rural fire departments.  In closing the department would like to thank the greater Crane Lake community for their support and to encourage participation by the community in our efforts.  We are always looking to new members.  Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns.


IJC/Water Boards: Jerry Pohlman reported that the International Joint Commission (IJC) accepted the Study Board’s recommendation for a supplementary order for Rainy and Namakan Lakes that will result in broad ecological benefits while assisting in reducing flood peaks.  The order gives the Water Levels Committee (WLC) an expanded role, which includes determining high flood-risk years for Rainy Lake, requesting deviations from the Namakan Lake rule curve under certain circumstances, and targeting levels outside of the middle portion of the rule curves for each lake.


ATV Trails Committee:  Bruce Beste provided the following report:   The Voyageur Country ATV club is working hard to build a premier ATV Trails system across our forested region.  Here is a 12 month list of accomplishments and work in progress:  1. Continues to be the largest ATV Club in Minnesota at + 700 members; 2. Produced four quarterly newsletters and maintained a Facebook page, featured or mentioned in Off-Road magazine and ATVAM email blasts; 3. In process to add an ATV page to Visit Crane Lake brochure and more exposure to Visit Crane lake website; 4. Completed mapping and signing +200 miles of ATV corridor routes and trails between Sheep Ranch Road, Orr, Cook, and east to Crane Lake and Echo Trail – printed 5000 maps for distribution; 5. Awarded $150,000 from user fees (ATV Dedicated Account) from MN legislature and with fiscal agent City of Orr, for developing an ATV Trails System Master Plan and design of a bridge over the Vermilion River; 6. Hired Benchmark Engineering for trail review and design, wetlands delineation, and grant application assistance; 7. Hired SEH Engineering for a bridge design, soil borings, and hydrology work at an old trestle site between Elephant Lake and Echo Lake; 8. The Master Plan is 99% complete and a living document that can add trail alignments and priorities as appropriate.  The Master Plan identifies trail alignments from International Fall to Ely and from Kabetogama Lake to Lake Vermilion, looping through northern St Louis County and northeast Koochiching County.  Identifies 6 remote picnic sites to be constructed at feature segments and 3 US Forest picnic sites to access for ATV’s within the system; 9. Wetlands delineation  and engineering completed for 5 ½ miles of trail (enhancing the snowmobile trail) between the resort community at Crane Lake and the US Forest Recreation and Picnic Area at Vermilion Falls; 10. Wetlands delineation and engineering completed for 6 ½ miles of trail leading from US Forest Service 601D Road (Cabin Road) and to the US Forest Service 489 Road (Kabustasa Road); 11. Bridge design completed for 185 foot single span ATV and snowmobile bridge across the Vermilion River at the old trestle site (and #8 above); 12. Began engineering and wetland delineation and engineering on 10 mile section of snowmobile trail between Vermilion River at VRT and the MN Forest Road (Shuster Road / Holmes Logging Roads) in Buyck; 13. Began planning for 1 ½ mile of trail enhancement along the Arrowhead Snowmobile Trail north and east of Myrtle Lake; 14. Requested

Town of Crane Lake Annual Meeting Minutes 3/13/18 – Page 4



ATV Trails Committee (Cont.)

$20,000 in local grant money to be identified as local match for other grant opportunities (Crane Lake Trail Account for $5,000); 15. Applied for Federal RTP (Recreational Trail Program) grant of $150,000; 16. Applied for high priority Regional Designation for GMRPT Commission grant (Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails – Legacy funding)  estimated $200,000 to $400,000 request if accepted; 17. Applied for $1,500 grant from LCP – Lake Country Power for picnic ground enhancement at Vermilion Falls; 18. Applied for $10,000 grant from Polaris Corporation – $3,000 for picnic ground enhancement at Vermilion Falls, and $7,000 for lobbying, PR, and grant writing assistance; 19. Attended hearings at MN Senate and House in support of bills for the bridge over Vermilion River,  Requesting $853,000 in MN bonding and $285,000 from user fees (ATV Dedicated Account) and requesting $28,500 from other user fees to be put into escrow for re-decking the bridge in estimated 20 years; 20. Thank You to our elected officials US District 8 Representative Rick Nolan, MN Senator Tom Bakk, MN Senator David Tomassoni, MN Representative Rob Ecklund, MN Representative Jason Metsa, County Commissioner Tom Rukavina, and IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips.  Thank you to Trails Consultant Ron Potter and Lobbyist Gary Cerkvenik.  And – US Forest Service personnel, MN DNR Forest and Parks and Trails personnel,  St Louis County Land Department personnel, IRRRB personnel, Northern St Louis County Trails Task Force committee, ATVAM – All Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota – Board).  Without all of this support, none of these projects are possible.


Review Proposed Revenue & Expenditures – Clerk and Budget Committee member Jo Ann reviewed the proposed 2019 budget revenues and expenditures.  Copies of the 2019 budget were distributed to everyone in attendance prior to the meeting.  Jo Ann reviewed the proposed revenues of $208,250.00 and the proposed Township disbursements of $149,025.00 plus Fire Protection for $65,000.00; totaling $214,025.00. Jo Ann asked if there were any questions.


A motion was made by Butch Eggen, supported by Deena Congdon, to approve the Township portion of the 2019 levy request of $55,000.00.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was make by Mark Anderson, supported by Butch Eggen, to approve the Fire Department portion of the 2019 levy request of $65,000.00.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


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 8:20PM






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.