Crane Lake Township

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5/10/22 Minutes



May 10, 2022


The May 10, 2022, Board of Supervisors’ Meeting was called to order by Chairman Jerry Pohlman at 7:30PM at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including Jason Chopp of S.E.H. (on Zoom); Supervisors Brandon Anderson, Jim Janssen & Jerry Pohlman; Treasurer Traci Bak; Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman; and seven members of the community – including those attending via Zoom.




Additions to the Agenda:  CLVTB Letter was added to New Business.



Minutes – A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to approve the minutes of the 4/12/22 Board of Supervisors’, 4/14/22 Board of Appeal, and 4/21/22 Reconvened Board of Appeal Meetings.   All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report –The April Cash Balances were read, and the bills were presented as follows: Costin Group – $1,678.40; Lake Country Power – $156.00; Lutefisk Tech. – $33.90; Cook News-Herald – $57.75; CLVTB – $694.69; Johnson, Killen & Seiler – $11,182.00; and Payroll – $1,147.90.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Brandon, 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 and will be placed on file and acted upon as required.




VNP-Visitor Center/Campsite:

Committee Report & Resulting Board Action:  Gretchen Janssen provided the following report:  The Town of Crane Lake was awarded the IRRRB grant in the amount of up to $2707 to help with start-up costs for the campground.  Work is still in progress selecting a name for the campground.  The following names have been suggested, any of which can plug into “Crane Lake _____ Campground“  – Bayside, Bayview, Hillside, Voyageur, Gold Coast.  Camp Crane Lake has also been proposed.  (The committee does not have a formal recommendation at this time, but choosing a name will be the first step in spending these grant dollars, so advice or comments from the board are welcome).  On April 21st an in person public meeting was held, attended by 21 people, to discuss the Visitor Center design plans.  External materials were discussed, and a 50-year wood fiber cement was chosen.  Variations in color were presented and a darker shade with lighter accents was chosen.  (See drawing on the bulletin board).  Roofing materials and pitch were discussed, and the group changed the pitch from a 3/12 to a 4/12.  Flooring material choices were discussed and most of the public areas of the Visitor Center will be concrete.  The vestibule and restrooms will be tile floor.  The office wing will be carpet and the sitting area at the fireplace will be carpet.  Interior walls will be sheetrock.  The architects left samples and detailed plans for the community to review.  Any requests for structural changes should be made at this time, before the project goes out to bid.

On May 4th an onsite committee meeting was held with the engineers to discuss the campground design plans.  Copies of this are also available for the community to review.  There was discussion of roadway materials, location of propane tanks and dumpsters, building materials used in the shower house, placement of exterior outlets and water spigots throughout, and other finishes.  We also visited the site and discussed placement of the building and ways to utilize the current picnic/memorial site components.

The CUP and variance hearing for this project is coming up on May 12th.  Once that is complete (assuming a good outcome), plans will be finalized, and bidding packets will be created.  Our engineers suggest we ask for an 18-month warranty period from our contractors (12 month is standard).  Here is the general timeline: we construct our Visitor Center and campground beginning September 1, 2022, plan to finish in one year, then we can expect to open the Visitor Center in September 2023, and operate the campground (internally) for that one month.  Then we will be ready for a full opening summer 2024 with contractors still on the hook for another winter season (2024/2025).  Any comments on this?

Finances:  Attached please find a spreadsheet of expenses to approve.  The architect (ARI) has billed out $45,000 of their quoted $150,000.  The engineer and project manager (S.E.H) has billed out all of their budgeted preliminary design fees (tasks 1-4), therefore they are submitting a proposal for the next phase of work (tasks 5-8) which will be complete after a bid is awarded.  This amendment was sent to the Town Board for review/approval on May 4.  The committee has no problem with the amendment.

Action items:  approve the expenditures and SEH amendment.  Communicate comments to the committee.  Attend the CUP and variance hearing on May 12th 10 am (arrive at 9:30).



Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – May 10, 2022


Action Items:

  • A motion was made by Jim, supported by Brandon, approving the Committee and Township choices for the Visitor Center building selected at the 4/21/22 Committee Meeting. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
  • A motion was made by Jerry, supported by Jim, to approve the bills presented as follows: E.H. – $1,520.00 & $36,754.00; and ARI – $22,500.00 – Total $60,774.00 All voted in favor and the motion carried.
  • A motion was made by Jim, supported by Brandon, to approve signature of S.E.H. Amendment No. 1 to the Agreement for Professional Services between the Town of Crane Lake and S.E.H., which was effective 9/8/21 for the project described as VNP Visitors Center and RV Campground. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
  • A motion was made by Jerry, supported by Brandon, to approve signature of the grant agreement between the State of MN, acting through the Commissioner of the Dept. of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation and Crane Lake Township in the amount of $2,707.00 for start up costs for the campground. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
  • An email was received from VNP Superintendent Bob DeGross with options on furnishings of spaces in the Visitor Center. A motion was made by Jim, supported by Brandon, to select Option 2 where each entity in the building would be responsible for furnishing their space.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Bayside Drive Upgrade:  Meetings will be set up with Bayside Drive property owners in small groups to discuss the proposed changes to Bayside Drive.  The meetings will be in person and via Zoom.

Jason Chopp, S.E.H. Comments:  Jason said the project would be full speed ahead after the CUP.  The bid procedure will be completed; and if all goes well, construction will begin this fall.


ATV Report:  The Annual Meeting will be at Trails End on Wednesday where officers will be elected.  The spring ride was two weekends ago – It was a great success with many donations and raffles.  The weather was bad but there was still good attendance and participation.  There is a lot of trail repair needed due to frost and spring rain.  The Buyck to Shuster Road project is out for bid.  An ATV landing/overlook and picnic area will be constructed on Winchester Lake.  A vault tank is planned for near the Vermilion River bridge similar to the one at the Voyageur Statue area.


Trails Report:  There was no Report


American Rescue Plan Act Fund:  The expenditure of funds is yet to be determined.  Quarterly reports are being made.


Broadband Committee Report:  Drake Dill provided the following report:  I spent some time with Commissioner McDonald and the issue was discussed at length. There are opportunities for Crane Lake Township but the town is going to have to have skin in the game or find a pot of money.  Feasibility was an issue but now we have learned the network will likely be built out if we come up with the money.

The Questions for discussion are as follows:

Gary Cerkvenik – Do we want to pursue a federal earmark for a portion of the project? This would be in the neighborhood of 10-20% (3MM total cost) of the project cost or around 600K.

Town Board – If Gary does not think a federal earmark is feasible… does the township want to look at a levy? One option would be with St. Louis County – I.e., the town levies half of the 600K and receives an agency, county or state matching money of the remainder.

Unless we receive an earmark – the town will have to get financially involved in the project and we now need to know where we stand on that issue.  Drake will communicate with Gary Cerkvenik.


CIC:  Attorney Roy Christensen continues to work on the possible dissolution of the CIC.  Mr. Christensen is also looking into Jim McKie’s issue with the dock.




Liquor License Renewals:  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Jerry, to grant Handberg Marine’s request for renewal of Off-Sale 3.2 Percent Malt Liquor license. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  A motion was made by Brandon, supported by Jim, to grant Nelson Resort, Inc.’s request for renewal of Combination On/Off-Sate and Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor license.  Brandon & Jim voted in favor, Jerry abstained, and the motion carried.


CLVTB Letter:  A letter was received from the Tourism Bureau asking the Township to contact property owners that have not paid their lodging tax.  The Township will do so.


Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – May 10, 2022


Other New Business:  There was none.


Comments from Officers:  Jerry welcomed Brandon to the Board.  Brandon thanked the Board for appointing him to the Board and said that he was excited to be part of the group.


Public Comments:   Stuart McKie asked what the 3 million for broadband would give us.  Drake responded that internet service would be improve in the Crane Lake area.



Next Meeting:   Board of Supervisors’ Meeting – June 14, 2022 – 7:30PM, Fellowship Hall



There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30PM.






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.