Wacouta Town Board Meeting
November 12, 2013
Present: Sue Betcher, Mickey Payne, Kyle Mehrkens
Others: Gary Thomforde, Wendy Thomforde, Suzanne Simonson, Becky Plaas, Fred Plaas, Dick Johnson, Goodhue County Sheriff Deputies (Jeff & Mike).
Sue called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sue motions to approve the agenda with the addition of;
- The 1 mile mining setback from river beds per the County Planning and Zoning Commission and Bruce Ause.
- Present Dick Johnson?s letter regarding the road that runs past Mr. Johnson?s home to the board and file with the clerk.
- Reminder that the December 9th regular board meeting has been moved to December 2nd, per October 15th meeting.
- Repairing the water leak in the township bathroom.
- Move Ray Bronson?s email to the township to the top of the list.
- Add footprint to old business.
Mickey Seconds. Motion carries.
October 15th Minutes
Sue motions to accept October 15th minutes as written with the following corrections;
- Changes to Ray?s options.
- Changes to Sand Moratorium ? MSC did not take a position regarding prohibiting or limiting mining within the 1000 foot setback.
- Changes to planning/zoning section ? add ?Lot? in front of setbacks to eliminate confusion between sand moratorium and township planning and zoning setbacks.
Mickey seconds. Motion carries.
Declaration of Conflicts
Ray requested leave of absence by sending a note to Township Clerk.
Sue reads the procedure for filling a leave of absence on the board.
Sue motions to recognize Ray will be out of the township for a time period exceeding 90 days. Mickey Seconds. Motion carries.
Sue Motions to nominate Gary Thomforde. Sue asks if there are any other nominations. There were none. Mickey Seconds. Motions carries.
Tree Trimming Upper Wacouta
Mickey was given the task to find a company to cut trees in Sevastopol with a quick turn-around. Mickey found Clean Cut Tree Service and completed the Sevastopol job 1.5 to 2 weeks ago. Tree work on Lakeview Avenue may or may not get finished this year.
Fred says that Clean Cut left some logs there and it may cause a problem for lawn mowing next year, but the Sevastopol neighborhood is happy with the work done by Clean Cut.
Mickey to check with Tracy or Jon about the logs left over in Sevastopol.
Board of Equalization Training
Sue looks over and reads certification notice and explains the board of equalization to Gary.
Kyle to sign and send in the certification notice by December 1st.
Frac Sand Mining
Sue says today, 11/12/13, the Goodhue County Staff came out with the report that will be talked about on Monday, 11/18 at the Goodhue County government center meeting at 6:00pm, and Sue describes the proposed ordinance changes in the mining subcommittee report. A copy of the report is available at the County Landuse department.
Sue says one section of the report is proposing two options;
1) Prohibit mining within the waterway as described in the report.
2) Or have a higher oversight in this area as described in the report.
Sue asks if the board would like to make a resolution on supporting or not supporting the higher level of restriction at the next county public hearing on the sand mining ordinance. No motion is made.
Sue reads this section of the report.
Sheriffs enter at 7:30pm.
Dick Johnson adds the planning commission has more options hand these two. He suggests the township should consider voicing a no mining at all stance in Goodhue County.
Gary asks without a resolution, if we would only be voicing a personal opinion rather than a township resolution. Sue and Mickey confirm that is true.
Dick adds whatever route is chosen, it should be based on scientific data coming from the state.
The board decides to not take a resolution. No resolution is taken.
Lower Wacouta Tree Trimming
Fred says there are trees that are hitting mirrors of bigger vehicles. Fred says there shouldn?t be any trees within 12 feet from the road. Gary will find a service for trimming the trees in lower Wacouta and will work with Fred on which trees need attention. Gary will get quotes for trimming the trees in concern, which Fred will point out. Suzanne and Becky say they like the trees hanging over the road.
Mickey motions to spend up to $5,000 to trim and clean the trees in concern. Sue seconds. Motion carries.
Sheriff Deputies Jeff and Mike
Mike says the area has been quiet, only accidents on hwy 61 recently.
Mike says if anyone is going on vacation, they can call and the sheriff will add their residence to a home check list and come down to do checks for the residents while they are away. It is part of a home check program. Kyle will put a program link on the. Brock Newman is the one who handles the home check program. Mike says if anyone suspicious in a car is around the neighborhood or is not a familiar car, get the plate and let them know so they can check it out.
Jeff says county has a facebook page that they put recent information on and it is a value resource for the residents.
For smaller personal items, Jeff states to take note of serial numbers of the personal belongings after acquiring them to have them on record in case they do get stolen. If they get stolen, give the numbers to the sheriff when reporting a stolen item. Jeff says they put them in their nationwide database and get an alert when it pops up at a pawn shop, for example.
Dick suggests the turn-off onto wacouta road should have a blinking light. Sue informs Dick the turn-off will be changed into having a turn-off lane in 2015.
Mike reiterates, if we ever need anything, do not hesitate to contact them.
Sheriff?s leave 7:53pm.
Wacouta Trail Fixes
Sue explained the fixes and that the trail has been fixed by Flueger Construction.
Red Wing, Lake City, Wabasha Bike Trial Developments
Andru Peters is chairing a Lake City to RW bike trail and one option is going through Wacouta. Sue says she gets emails on their developments and the board likes to be kept informed with what is going on with the developments.
Sue says Gary can decide if he wants to go to any sessions, such as the spring session.
Dick Johnson?s letter
Sue says Kyle has a letter he will file it. Sue will file the letter with the maps and road descriptions Wacouta has.
Mickey describes the use of existing footprint issue of the planning and zoning committee. Mickey says the committee was not sure if it is a county or a township issue. They want to make sure the new structures are put on good footings. Jon Schueller checked with the county and their response wa to make sure good engineering practice is used. Mickey voices a summary that any construction requiring review by the planning and zoning committee that will be using existing structure footprints for rebuilding or remodeling should use good engineering practices and the committee may approve or require changes to footing at its discretion.
Dick?s letter regarding building permits and variances and the Musty property
Sue stated she spoke with Mike Wozniak from Goodhue County landuse. He indicated the county had no issue with siting of the dwelling. He indicated that the county did not require a variance as the new dwelling would be further back from the bluff line than the existing dwelling. Additionally Mike Wozniak indicated a portion of the dwelling was left and that the county felt there was not an erosion danger.
Sue also spoke with Gary Iocco who is on the Wacouta Planning and Zoning commission. He indicated that since the new dwelling was not more nonconforming, a township variance was not required.
Sue reported that she toured the construction site with Fred Plaas. Mickey indicated he toured the site on his own.
Dicks says a variance should have been applied for before starting construction on the Musty property.
Fred says the same procedure has been used on other developments for the last 10 to 12 years that had the footprint within the 30 foot bank setback and that he also has been following what Gary also taught him since Fred took the role over for Gary.
Dick stated that the current township procedure is not supported by the ordinance. He requested the township to agree with his position that the law is not being followed. The board declined and discussion and comments followed.
There was no motion to review the Musty permit. Sue made a motion to ask the Planning and Zoning commission to review the permit/variance issue. Mickey seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Dick leaves 8:22.
2014 MBA Scholarship Program
Kyle shares a notice given in the mail about MBA scholarships available to public employees.
BAS 2014 Suspension Information 32704967486
Sue motions to table this until the December meeting. Mickey seconds. Motions carries.
Townhall bathroom water leak
Sue motions to have Fred fix leak in bathroom at town hall. Mickey seconds. Motion carries.
December Board Meeting Reminder
Sue motions to change meeting from December 9th to December 2nd. Mickey seconds, motion carries.
Motion was made by Sue and seconded by Mickey to approve paying bills and payroll on November 12th, 2013 in the amount of $7,517.44 as presented. The motion carries.
Sue, Mickey and Gary reviewed reconciliation and check detail reports.
Sue motions to adjourn the meeting at 8:55pm. Gary seconds. Motion carries.
Noteworthy Web Sites
- Wacouta Township: http://www.wacoutatownship.org
- Jerry Barth Water Level Site: (Suggestion to select <at Lake City> & <Stage/Forecast Graph> ) http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/glance.php?wfo=mpx&gage=stpm5&riverid=203833&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1&toggles=10,7,8,2,9,15,6
- Goodhue County: http://www.co.goodhue.mn.us
- Minnesota Association of Townships: http://www.mntownships.org