Crane Lake Township

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4/9/19 Minutes



April 9, 2019

The April 9, 2019 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: Supervisors Katie Congdon, Jim Janssen & Jerry Pohlman; Treasurer Traci Bak; Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman; and 4 members of the community. 


Additions to the Agenda:  Mitigation Survey was added to New Business

Minutes – A motion was made by Jim, supported by Katie, to approve the minutes of the 3/12/19 Board of Supervisors’ Meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report –The March Cash Balances were read and the bills were presented as follows: Katie Congdon – $522.48; IRS – $418.64; Timberjay – $27.00; Lutefisk Tech. – $3,353.70; Jeff Sanborn – $50.00; Costin Group – $1,274.00; Jo Ann Pohlman – $491.73; Ladouceur Architecture & Design – $5,774.54; Lake Country Power – $146.56; CLVTB – $1,887.23; and Payroll – $807.59.  A motion was made by Katie, supported by Jim, to approve the Treasurer’s Report as read and the payment of bills.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 

The Clerk presented the correspondence.  The correspondence was received as read and will be placed on file and acted upon as required.


Costin Group Report:  An email from Gary Cerkvenik stated the following:  We have multiple bills where we are trying to get money for the Town to build the Visitor Center.  They focus on these areas:

1.         $1.2 million for the DNR boat ramp area improvements.

2.         $1 million to prepare the visitor center and campground site—site preparation.

3.         Money for the construction of the campground.

What I’ve been focusing on is to try to get the overall concept of the boat ramp, visitor center, and campground before the Legislature.  Frankly, I don’t think we will be successful getting money this year, as there is not a lot of new money this session and it looks like there will not be a big bonding bill.  If there is a bonding bill, it will most likely focus in on “emergency” spending and larger issues like the U of M, MNSCU, and state departments.  Therefore, we submitted a LCCMR request for the campground recently.  It will be our focus this summer and fall to get money to construct the campground approved by LCCMR and to prepare for the 2020 bonding bill.  In addition, Jeff Anderson—who is working with me—was in Washington, DC, to discuss our Visitor Center with Congressman Stauber and US Senators Smith and Klobuchar staff.  We also met with the chief of staff for Congresswoman McCollum, as she is the Chair of the Interior Subcommittee of Appropriations, which has jurisdiction for the Park Service.  On other notes of importance to the Town, we still have $600,000 in the Clean Water Legacy bill in both the House and Senate to help fund expansion of the CLWSD.  In the House bonding bill, it includes $1 million for the VCATV system.  In the House, the Environment Finance bill includes $600,000 for VCATV, and the LCCMR bill in both bodies includes $400,000 for VCATV.  The Senate does not include the $600,000 for VCATV.  Please let me know if you have questions.  It is a long and complicated process, but we will stay focused on getting more resources for Crane Lake.

VNP-Visitor Center/Campsite:   Committee Report: There was no report from the Committee.  Katie attended one of the hearings in St. Paul and felt the Chairperson was interested in where the money came from in the past and what we were looking for in the future; details were not important.  Lori Sanborn also attended one of the hearings in St. Paul and related that it was very low key.  Jim reported the same from the hearing he attended.  Janis LaDouceur and Andrea Wudel would like to present their designs to the community this spring.  The Board felt a Public Meeting prior to the June Board of Supervisors’ Meeting would be possible.  Gretchen Janssen said that Christina Hausman-Rhode with the VNPA also expressed interest in attending a meeting to discuss the Mukooda Trail.  The Board felt a Public Meeting prior to the May Board of Supervisors’ Meeting would be possible. The draft of the LCCMR grant application was sent to Jim with the final draft coming soon.

Grounds Clean-up:  No Report

Docks:  The docks need repair and a Hold Harmless Agreement is being considered for dock use. 

Town of Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – April 9, 2019

VNP-Visitor Center/Campsite: (Cont.)

CIC Covenants/Unit 13:  The covenants need to be reviewed.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to form a committee to review the covenants.  The Committee will consist of Jerry and two community members.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

ATV Use:  Gretchen Janssen reported that things are moving in the right direction for funding as outlined in Gary Cerkvenik’s report above.  The elevated boardwalk connecting the Gold Coast Road resort community to the Vermilion Falls picnic site is in the works.  In the last month, soil borings were completed and design plans are being finalized.  The bid was awarded to George Bougalis and Sons for the Vermilion River bridge work.  The City of Ely volunteered to be the fiscal agent for the funding.  There will be a presentation by the bridge contractor at the ATV meeting at the Cook Muni on Wednesday.

Trails Report:  Deena Congdon emailed an update.  She spoke with Tim Engrave about trails and he has discussed more signage for the gorge trail so people will find it easier.  There was no update on moving the trail as it is not high on their list of priorities. 

Land Use Project:  Because the community is so involved in developing the Visitor Center/Campground area, the development of the Land Exchange area will be addressed later on.

IRRRB Voyageur Statue Work:  Invoices have been submitted for reimbursement. 

Scott’s Seaplane Base:  The Board discussed the resolution and grant agreement sent to the Township for signature with concerns on the wording.  The following motion was made.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to adopt the resolution with Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition with the option to rescind the adoption, if necessary, after clarification of the wording as it applies to the Feasibility Study.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

New Computers:  The new computers have been received and are in operation.

2019 Spring Short Course:  Katie attend the courses for new officers.  One of the topics that she learned was the need to explain in the minutes why a decision or motion is being made.  Other topics covered meeting procedures, open meeting laws, and contracting rules.


Credit Card for Township:  The Board discussed the concept of a credit card for the Township for use when payments are needed between meetings.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Katie, to fill out the bank’s application form for a credit card.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  Credit card policies will be instated after the application is submitted for approval by the bank.

Early Tax Distribution:  The Board did not wish to receive early tax distribution.

Special Assessments:  There are CLWSD Special Assessments attached to the property purchased from Mr. Braaten for the Visitor Center/Campground.  The Township will approach the CLWSD about possible forgiveness of the Special Assessments.  The Township will pay the $1,762.67 due in May and will continue discussion.

Board of Appeal Reconvene Date:  The valuations on Crane Lake properties have increased by 18% and the County Assessor is concerned that the Board of Appeal Meeting scheduled for 4/17/19 at 10AM will need to be extended beyond the time allowed.  Therefore, the Board selected Thursday, April 25th as the date to reconvene the meeting, should it become necessary.

Mitigation Survey:  The Township was requested to complete the St. Louis County 2019 Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan Update received for the Sheriff’s Office for the next 5-year planning cycle.  The Board completed the survey received from St. Louis County. 

Other New Business: Special Joint Meeting:  The Township may be requested to participate in a special joint meeting of the CLWSD and the Township to discuss the annexation of Kicker Boulevard prior to the August JPB meeting, should it take place in Crane Lake.  There will be more to follow.

Town of Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – April 9, 2019

Comments from Officers:  Jerry thanked Jim, Katie, and Lori Sanborn for testifying at the hearings related to the Visitor Center funding held in St. Paul.  Jo Ann reminded everyone that April is the time for community members to pick up trash along the road sides.

Public Comments:  There were none.

Next Meeting:   Board of Appeal & Equalization Meeting – April 17, 2019 – 10:00AM, Fellowship Hall

                        Board of Supervisors’ Meeting – May 14, 2019 – 7:30PM, Fellowship Hall

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:40PM.

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.