Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of April 1, 2019
A regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of Alexandria Township was held on the 1st day of April, 2019 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.
ROLL CALL: Supervisors present were Jeff Oberg, Joel Dahlheimer, Rod Eldevik, Dennis Butz and Jerry Wright. Also present were Gregg Raisanen, Clerk, and Mona Billmark, Treasurer. As said members formed a quorum and the meeting was called to order by Clerk Raisanen at 6:00 p.m.
Clerk Raisanen called for nominations for chairman. Wright nominated Rod Eldevik as chair. Nominations ceased and a unanimous ballot was cast for Eldevik as chair. The meeting was turned over to Chairman Eldevik.
Chairman Eldevik recessed the meeting to open a public hearing on the S. Crestwood Drive road improvements.
Township Attorney Marc Sugden reported that the Affidavits of Posting, Publication and Mailing were received. The Notice was published in the Echo Press on March 20 and 27, 2019. Attorney Sugden requested Township Engineer Jeff Kuhn to provide background information on the project. Engineer Kuhn stated the project will comprise bituminous surfacing for the existing road and minor road improvements, including Class 5, 3-1/2” of bituminous and some widening of the road surface. He emphasized that the project will not include a total reconstruction of the existing road. The origin of the project is correlated to the Crestwood Drive overlay road improvement. Due to the proximity of S. Crestwood Drive to Crestwood Drive, the town board decided to send out a letter to the S. Crestwood Drive landowners to gauge interest in blacktopping the road. As a result, a blacktop petition was circulated and received by the town board. It was determined that over 50 percent of the landowners were in favor of the project and thus it could move forward to a public hearing.
Engineer Kuhn reiterated that this is a preliminary assessment hearing. If favorably received, and if the town board chose to move the project forward, there would be construction this summer and then a final assessment hearing later this fall. The township’s current assessment policy is as follows: the township covers 50 percent of construction costs; the other half of construction costs plus administrative, legal and engineering expenses would be borne by the landowners. The estimated project total is $66,000 – $67,000. Half of that amount (plus the engineering, administrative and legal expenses) was used to base the assessable amount of $42,752. Engineer Kuhn emphasized that this projection is on the upper end of the scale and in all likelihood would be reduced. Whole lots would receive one assessment and partials one-half assessment. The criteria for determining a whole and a half assessment is dependent upon access to the road. The estimated number of lots to be assessed has been determined at 13 – 14.5 lots. Each assessment would be approximately $2,950 – $3,300. A projected timeline would be as follows: a) construction to begin in 2019; b) plans and specs (already completed in February 2019); c) bid opening (was in March 2019); d) construction to commence June – August 2019, dependent upon the contractor’s schedule; e) construction completion anticipated August – September 2019; and f) final assessment hearing in October 2019. Once a tentative date has been set for construction to begin, a notice will be sent to the landowners apprising them of the next sequence of events. The actual surfacing for S. Crestwood Drive will be approximately a week’s duration. Landowners should have access on a daily basis – the only exception will be when the paving is done directly in front of their driveway.
Attorney Sugden opened the meeting to the public for comment.
Jerry Prettyman, 2916 S. Crestwood Drive, inquired if Crestwood Drive is a township or a county road. Clerk Raisanen responded that previously it was a county road. A few years ago there was a road swap between the county and the township and, as a result, the township acquired Crestwood Drive in the swap. Therefore, Crestwood Drive is currently a township road, which is why the township is doing the overlay improvement. S. Crestwood Drive has always been a township road.
Rocky Burgau, 2828 S. Crestwood Drive, asked which parcels would be considered half an assessment and which would be considered a whole assessment. He also asked how many parcels abut South Crestwood Drive. Engineer Kuhn depicted on an overhead map the parcels identified as having whole and half assessments and provided an explanation for each. Again, he stated the number of assessment(s) was dependent upon access points. He said three parcels have been identified as having a half assessment. Clerk Raisanen stated the only time there would be 1.5 assessments is in the case of a project consisting of two roads being improved (where the property abuts two different roads; i.e. corner lots). He said this will be addressed at the final assessment hearing.
Rocky Burgau asked about a paved portion of land on his and a neighboring property and how that would be handled. Engineer Kuhn said that the paving was done when Crestwood Drive was a county road. A determination would need to be made as to whether the paving was paid by the county or through a private landowner.
Jerry Prettyman asked for clarification on lot lines.
Barb Dolezal, 2826 S. Crestwood Drive, asked about the difference between assessments for sewer and for roads. She said when the sewer was installed, it was assessed by running foot on the road side. She inquired if the road assessment would be handled differently and if it would be by parcel versus the running foot. Clerk Raisanen stated the township can assess based on frontage foot or by per parcel. Over the years, in a lot/block subdivision such as S. Crestwood Drive, the township has deemed it was more equitable to assess by per parcel instead of by frontage foot. The exception is when we have had an improvement (on Geneva) with a long stretch of land that is later subdivided after the project and was turned into home sites. That particular project was done on a frontage foot basis because one property owner owned a significant amount of frontage foot and they could later benefit from improvements. When the town does an assessment on any parcel of land, the town must be able to document that the cost of the improvement is going to be equal to or greater than the enhanced value of the individual property. When a project has properties similar in width, the town elects to assess by per parcel as opposed to frontage foot.
Barb Dolezal expressed concern that currently traffic from the north appears to slow down when they see gravel, which is a benefit for those with small children. If the road is paved, however, traffic may not slow down. She also wondered what traffic regulations will be in place. Clerk Raisanen responded that the town will need to provide signage indicating the road is not a thru street. Engineer Kuhn stated that the current rate of speed is 30 mph and does not anticipate vehicles traveling at a higher rate of speed due to the bituminous. He said the town has ordered signs to help alleviate some of these concerns.
Andrew Gunderson, 2809 S. Crestwood, stated that when people come from the north, they tend to miss the turn and then do a u-turn through his yard. He says this happens on a pretty consistent basis, especially during the summer months. He would like to see a speed bump and perhaps some type of signage indicating the road continues back out to Crestwood Drive. While not ideal, by the time they get to his yard, they’ve discovered they are not on Crestwood Drive and thus the u-turn. It is at this juncture signage would be helpful.
Jerry Prettyman asked how the assessments are paid. Attorney Sugden said it would be determined at the final assessment hearing and that there are options for payment. Clerk Raisanen stated the assessment can be paid in full within “x” number of days after the hearing or be put on property taxes – the township has done assessments by equal installments over five years. He said in the past the town has charged 8% interest. State law is not definitive in what interest rate the town can charge; therefore, the board has contemplated a 6% assessment if residents elect to put it on their property taxes. It would be over a span of five years with 6% annual interest added to those installment payments.
Rocky Burgau asked if the assessments are based off of access alone. Attorney Sugden said it is based off of policy. Maren Burgau asked what the $10,000 estimate for legal fees includes. Attorney Sugden said the amount is just an estimate and will likely be much less. It consists of preparing notices, letters to landowners, affidavits for publication and posting, for mailing, essentially all the administrative work to prepare for this type of project. That cost will also be finalized at the assessment hearing.
Dave Anderson, 2830 S. Crestwood Drive, asked if the township is paying for half of the cost. Attorney Sugden clarified the township will pay for half of the construction costs. Mr. Anderson also asked if the width of the road was going to be widened to two rods. Engineer Kuhn responded that it would be between 20 – 22 feet total.
Andy Gunderson asked if the S. Crestwood Drive project would be piggybacked off the Crestwood Drive improvement, using the same contractor, or were there separate bids. Engineer Kuhn replied that there was 1 bid, 2 separate schedules. It was done this way so one schedule could be pulled if needed. He noted that if bid separately, the S. Crestwood Drive project would cost more exponentially.
Patty Peterson, 2807 S. Crestwood, asked why their parcel might be assessed 1.5 since their letter stated their assessment would be 1. Engineer Kuhn stated that a corner property consists of a front yard and a side yard. It could be construed that the road abuts two sides of their property; hence, 1.5 assessments. Clerk Raisanen stated that corner lots have 1.5 assessments since they typically encompass two separate roads. Ms. Peterson’s lot is an anomaly in that it encompasses one continuous road.
Rocky Burgau asked how the contractor will abut the road surface to the current driveways. Engineer Kuhn said the contractor will try to work with the individual property owners for the best outcome.
Chairman Eldevik closed the public hearing and reconvened the regular meeting.
Clerk Raisanen presented Resolution 19-02, a resolution for hearing on proposed assessment for the South Crestwood Drive Overlay Project. Dahlheimer, seconded by Wright, made a motion to adopt Resolution 19-02. Roll: Wright, Oberg, Dahlheimer, Butz, Eldevik – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Wright, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to adopt the agenda with the addition of the short course and drainage as Item No. 18 under New Business. Motion carried unanimously.
Oberg, seconded by Wright, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 3/18/2019 regular board meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Dahlheimer, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to authorize payment of claims 19054 – 19063 in the amount of $24,183.03, net payroll $4,000.71, totaling $28,183.74 with no transfer of funds. Motion carried unanimously.
CITIZEN’S CONCERNS: none
PLANNING AND ZONING: none
ENGINEER’S REPORT: Engineer Kuhn reported the town had received four bids for the Crestwood Drive road improvements, said bid to include an alternate deduct for the S. Crestwood Drive project. The four bidding contractors were Mark Lee Asphalt and Paving, Ferguson Bros., Central Specialties and Riley Bros. The bids ranged from $196,993.18- $220,289.54. Dahlheimer, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to award the bid contract to Mark Lee Asphalt and Paving in the amount of $196,993.18. Motion carried unanimously.
OLD BUSINESS: none
- Clerk Raisanen reported the town had published an RFP twice for solicitation of proposals for summer road maintenance. The town received one quote, from Alden Just Road Maintenance. The proposal includes all the requested information. The contracted amounts listed per the fee schedule are as follows: grading of roads with motor grader, $90/hr.; packing of gravel, $62/hr.; mowing road ditches, $69/hr.; spraying weeds, $64/hr.; sweeping roads, $68/hr.; sign installation and other maintenance, $37/hr/worker and base fuel prices of $2.562 /gal. for off-road fuel and $2.992/gal. for highway fuel with 12-cent increments @ $1/hr. fuel adjustment for $0.12/gal. increase in fuel prices. Wright, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to accept the quote provided by Alden Just Road Maintenance per the fee schedule listed above for summer road maintenance. Motion carried unanimously.
- Chairman Eldevik called for nominations for Vice-Chairman. Oberg nominated Joel Dahlheimer as vice-chairman. Nominations ceased and a unanimous ballot for Joel Dahlheimer was cast as vice-chair.
- Board Appointments:
- LAR – Supervisor Oberg and Chairman Eldevik
- AAEDC – Vice-chairman Dahlheimer
- Roads – Vice-chairman Dahlheimer and Chairman Eldevik
4.Planning Commission Appointments – Oberg, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to appoint Larry Steidl and Mary Hacker to 3-year terms expiring March 2022. Motion carried unanimously.
5.Per Diem Rate – Chairman Eldevik called for additional clarification on per diem rates. Clerk Raisanen stated that the definition of per diem is “per day”. In the past, the board has stipulated that a per diem could be claimed for any official meetings where minutes are taken. He added that if a supervisor was acting on behalf of the town board (as opposed to personal enrichment) the supervisor would be eligible to claim a per diem for that meeting. Oberg, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to a) retain the same rate as last year of $80/meeting; and b) to clarify that if two meetings are attended in a day, if the meeting(s) last for over an hour each, then a per diem may be claimed for two meetings. For: Dahlheimer, Oberg, Wright, Butz. Against: Eldevik. Motion carried.
6.Inspection Rate – Chairman Eldevik clarified that an inspection fee could be claimed if a person is attending an inspection because of a viewing or if a person is called to conduct an inspection. Oberg, seconded by Butz, made a motion to leave the inspection rate at $40/inspection. Motion carried unanimously.
7.Incidental labor rate – Clerk Raisanen stated this is an hourly rate for non-staff employees. Oberg, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to leave the incidental labor rate at $18/hr. Motion carried unanimously.
8.Administrative Assistant Salary – Clerk Raisanen stated the current salary is set at $21/hr. Oberg, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to increase the administrative assistant salary by 2.5 percent. Motion carried unanimously.
9.Treasurer’s and Clerk’s Salary – Dahlheimer, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to have the treasurer and clerk’s salaries remain at the current rate of $750/month. Motion carried unanimously.
10.Mileage Rate – Oberg, seconded by Wright, made a motion to adopt the IRS mileage reimbursement rate. Motion carried unanimously.
11.Official Publication for Notices – Wright, seconded by Butz, made a motion to designate the Echo Press and the township’s website as the township’s official site for legal notifications. Motion carried unanimously.
12.Township Bank – Dahlheimer, seconded by Wright, made a motion to designate Bremer Bank as our depositor of funds. It was noted that the CD will be addressed at a later time. Motion carried unanimously.
13.Township Attorney – Eldevik, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to designate the Pemberton Law Firm as legal counsel, with Marc Sugden serving as the township attorney for all current and future general township matters. Attorney Paul Johnson will finish all legal matters that he is currently working on. Motion carried unanimously.
14.Weed Inspector – Oberg, seconded by Eldevik, made a motion to designate all town supervisors as weed inspectors, with Vice-chair Dahlheimer as chief weed inspector. Motion carried unanimously.
15.Group Life Insurance – Clerk Raisanen stated the town has designated and paid for a group life insurance policy for all board members. Since the Administrative Assistant is now considered half time, that position would be eligible as well. Wright, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to retain coverage at the silver level. Motion carried unanimously.
16.Short course – Vice-chair Dahlheimer stated the course he attended provided a history of drainage and the appropriate actions for townships to pursue. He indicated the town currently follows the rules outlined in the course.
Being no further business, Oberg, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.
Gregg Raisanen, Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ________, 2019
Rod Eldevik, Chairman