Crane Lake Township

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7/13/21 Minutes



July 13, 2021



The July 13, 2021, Board of Supervisors’ Meeting was called to order by Chairman Jerry Pohlman at 7:35PM at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including invited guest Whitney Ridlon of the IRRRB, Supervisors Kara Knutson, Jim Janssen, & Jerry Pohlman; Treasurer Traci Bak; Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman; and 4 members of the community.   Gary Cerkvenik of The Costin Group arrived shortly after the meeting began. Bill Colman of the Blandin Foundation joined the meeting via Zoom at 8PM.




Additions to the Agenda:  There were none.


Minutes – A motion was made by Kara, supported by Jerry, to approve the minutes of the 6/8/21 Board of Supervisors’ Meeting.  Kara & Jerry voted in favor; Jim abstained as he did not attend the June meeting; and the motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report –The June Cash Balances were read, and the bills were presented as follows: Costin Group – $1,250.00; Lake Country Power – $146.56; IRS – $401.74; Jeff Truebenbach – $900.00; Border State Bank $4,502.37 & $35,000.00; CLVFD – $27,500.00; Mesabi Sign Co. – $303.45; CLVTB – $8,850.10; and Payroll $867.44.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Kara, 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:  Gretchen Janssen reported that a meeting was held with the County on July1, revisions were made to the workplan.  The campground was discussed with S.E.H. The Committee recommended A.R.I of Hibbing to be approved as the architectural firm for the project.  There has been no further progress with the VNP.  A meeting has been requested by the VNP to review their needs, involvement in the Visitor Center.  The Board began review of requested action presented by the Committee.

  • 1)  Move forward with the purchase of Kristen Scott’s property.  The appraisal will be reviewed to determine remaining value of the parcel following the house burning.  Jim will contact the appraiser.  A letter will then be sent to Kristen Scott with a new purchase price offer and asking if she is still interested in selling.
  • 2)  Make an appointment with the Town’s attorney to discuss the Operations/Maintenance Agreements needed with VNP, CLWSD, and CLVTB for space use of the Visitor Center, and possible discussion of the Kristen Scott property purchase.  Gary Cerkvenik suggested that the Township should present a draft agreement to the VNP, rather than waiting for a draft agreement from the VNP.  The agreement should include Committee and Board input before forwarding to the VNP.  Similar agreements would be drafted for the CLWSD and CLVTB after drafting the VNP agreement.  In the future a fund could be created for maintenance and operations.


Broadband:  At 8:00PM Bill Colman, Community Technology Advisor on behalf of Blandin Foundation joined the meeting via Zoom for his presentation.  Whitney Ridlon of the IRRRB provided handouts to those present at the request of Bill.  Bill explained that Blandin helped communities better their services by providing information on available solutions, including funding options.  He explained that Broadband was not a technical term, but rather a marketing term. Good infrastructure technology can improve download and upload speeds, latency, and reliability.  Affordability needs to be considered as well as mobility.  Technology comparisons were discussed – wired vs wireless.  Crane Lake’s existing technology was discussed, clarification is needed as we did have some updates a few years back.  Whitney will look into current infrastructure.  LTD is currently providing a lot of broadband work in rural areas, as is CTC.  Whitney suggested that the Committee contact LTD, Frontier, CTC, and Paul Bunyan for ballpark figures on cost to improve service in our area.  Then the Township could research grant funding.  A State Border to Border grant is a possibility.  Gary Cerkvenik suggested that Whitney provide a memo to the Board with options and a timeline.  She agreed and will continue to work on the project for Crane Lake. The Board thanked both Whitney and Bill for their presentations to the community.



Town of Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – July 13, 2021



VNP-Visitor Center/Campsite:  Committee Report: (Cont.)  The Board then returned to addressing Committee requests.

  • 3)  Hire S.E.H. to design and build the campground, including all on-site campground structures.  The Board passed a motion in April approving S.E.H. to provide project manager/engineering services for both the Visitor Center and the Campground.  Once the architectural firm is selected and they have accepted, S.E.H. will be contacted to move forward on the project.
  • 4)  Hire Architectural Resources, Inc. (ARI) of Hibbing to design the Visitor Center.  A motion was made by Jerry, supported by Jim, to hire ARI as the architectural firm for the Visitor Center design.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  ARI will be notified.
  • 5) What is Board’s opinion on a separate architect for landscaping or to leave that to S.E.H.?  The Board suggested considering Andrea Wedul as she provided information to the Board earlier. The Committee should request cost estimates from both Andrea and S.E.H. to provide the Board with more information prior to deciding.

The Committee requested the following from The Costin Group.  Gary Cerkvenik was present to comment.

  • 1) What is status of funding for the DNR boat launch property?  A $100,000 commitment has been received from the DNR to upgrade the boat launch property.  In addition, on behalf of the Town, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Ecklund have endorsed the Town’s application for roughly $1.9 million in state general obligation bonds for the project.  The formal application was sent to the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) in mid-June.  The $1.9 million request is to improve the boat ramps, docks, build restroom facilities, improve parking, upgrade the incoming access road, potentially purchase the home between the Visitor Center and the ramp, and provide for the access between the facilities. Costin has asked S.E.H. for a firm dollar amount for creation of the path between the Visitor Center and the DNR site. Bonding language can be changed up to October.  Gary asked that he be notified when the cost of the land purchase is known.
  • 2) Should we be taking action for additional funding through the IRRRB?  Gary did recommend that an application be made to the IRRRB for funds.  A motion was made by Jim, supported by Kara, to apply for IRRRB Funds for the Visitor Center/Campground project.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. The DNR would have funds to upgrade Bayside Drive, which would have to be to their specifications.  On another note, $400,000 of Clean Water Legacy Grant funds have been awarded to the CLWSD for continued ISTS installs and St. Louis County has awarded the CLWSD $200,000 for capital improvements.
  • 3)  At what point do we engage with our financial advisor (Ehlers) to consider a loan.  Not discussed.


Grounds Clean-up:  There was no report.

Docks:  There was no report.


ATV Report:  Bruce was not present to report.  The next meeting is at Nelson’s on Wed., July 14th at 6:30PM.  There is a lot of funding coming in, there will be a Kiosk/Wall of Fame by the new bridge, and  work continues on the road to the bridge.


Trails Report:  There was no report.


Land Use Project:  There was nothing new to report.


Scott’s Seaplane Base:  There was no report.  This item will be removed from the agenda.


Neighborhood Watch Report:  There has nothing new to report.


American Rescue Plan Act Fund:  Application for funds has been made.


Broadband:  See above.





VNP Rate Changes:  The Board had no comment on the changes.


Dill Conditional Use Permit:  The Board had no comments to send to the County.  A letter with Township approval of the improvements planned for Cabins on Crane was sent to the County last month.


Pedestrian Safety – Gold Coast Road:  A letter of concern about pedestrian safety on Gold Coast Road was sent to Victor Lund, St. Louis County, with a copy to the Township by Paul & Sarah Tufte.  Victor Lund responded directly to the Tufte’s.

Town of Crane Lake Meeting Minutes – July 13, 2021



VNP-Fire Restriction – FYI:  A news release received from the VNP stated that they are implementing temporary campfire restrictions effective immediately.  There are fire restrictions in the BWCA also.


Other New Business:  There was none.



Comments from Officers:  Jim thanked Gary Cerkvenik for all he does for the Crane Lake area prior to his departure.  Jerry echoed Jim’s comments.



Public Comments: Nancy Ross requested notification of roadway/walkway planned for the space between the Visitor Center and the DNR Public Access as it will be crossing over her property, feet from her front door.  The Board will inform her.  Gretchen Janssen reminded everyone of the National Night Out on the 1st Tuesday in August each year – this year 8/3/21.  It promotes community and volunteers.  The Crane Lake Chapel will be participating this year.  Any ideas for the celebration are welcome.   Gretchen also asked if there should be an Open Meeting planned to discuss the Visitor Center.  The Board agreed that it is too early, but possibly in the future.



Next Meeting:   Board of Supervisors’ Meeting – August 10, 2021 – 7:30PM, Fellowship Hall



There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15PM.






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.