2023 Annual Meeting Minutes

Date | time 3/14/2023 | Meeting called to order by Mary Hellman

In Attendance

(I do not have the sign in list for all the attendees)

Pledge of Allegiance

Attendees

Moderator

Motion for Rod Saline to moderate Meeting; Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Approval of Previous Year 2022 Meeting Minutes

Motion to waive the reading of the previous year meeting minutes; Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Motion approved

March 8th 2022

2023 Review of meeting minutes will commence March 12th 2024

Election Results

15 Votes Gary Mantay

4 Votes Bill Bailey

Gary Mantay winner

Reading & Approval of Board of Audit Report

Supervisors completed audit of Treasurer and Clerk Books for 2022. End of year figures are on cash control statement for year end 2022.

General Fund              $47,973.03

Road and Bridge         $17,441.66

Fire EMS                     $27,351.84

Fire Donations            $3,909.66        

Building                      $8,355.84

Recycling                    $2,779.13

ARPA Funds               $21,200.00                   

Total                            $129,011.91

Questions? None

Motion to Approve Audit; Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Motion Approved

2024 Proposed Budget Review

Budget consisted of 2022 Actual, 2023 Budget and 2024 Proposed Budget for upcoming year.

Question: How was 2022 in comparison to the budget.

Answer: We overspent. Budget was reviewed and updated based on calculations of past budgeted amounts to better fit where the actual expenses are. This was done to fit the expense and fund that it came from. Example is Communications WIFI. It was moved from” building” to “general” fund.

Comment: Comparatively speaking budget looks good in terms of other years that have been created.

Question: Can anyone answer what happens when we overspend? Where does that money come from?

Answer: We have monies in reserve. We are not overspending in term of dollars. We are overspending based on budgeted numbers. Funding does cover those expenses.

Question: It looks like the budget from 2022 to the proposed budget of 2024 has increased by about 10K. Is that correct?

Answer: Yes

Question: Is there any areas that are significantly increased?

Answer: Most of the increases are coming from the clerk and treasurer salary. It has taken more hours to complete the work. Raises were also given. More elections are also coming up in 2024. This equates to more funds required for those elections. Increase in budget from propane cost, snow plowing and building maintenance.

Question: Looks like not all receipts are not property tax. How much of the receipts of the 109K is from real-estate taxes?

Answer: 21,200 is ARPA (Covid Funds), Recycling$ 4889.31 was a grant from WLSSD. $63,993.00 is the funding by taxes.

Motion to Approve 2024 Budget; Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Motion Passed

Road Report

More gravel work will be done this year. 2 culverts on east side will need to be replaced. County has asked to do more brushing. Pretty standard maintenance this year.

Questions? None

Fire Report

12 Calls over the last year

1 Fire Call

Working on purchasing some new turn out gear and replacing other items that are worn. CPR training will be coming up in the spring and pancake breakfast is in the works. We are also looking for members especially on the fire side.

Questions? None

Items of Concern

Short Term Rentals

  • Committee to address issues with STR’s
  • Denise Anderson, Ryan, Mike and Carolyn
  • Talked with other townships to determine what can be done
    • Number of rentals
    • Quiet Hours
    • Max Guest Count
    • Event Hosting
    • Watercraft
    • Parking
    • RV
    • Garbage
    • Campers
    • EMS, Fire call bills
    • Evocation of Permit
    • Length of Permit
    • Fishing
    • Owner response time
    • Invasive species
    • Burning
    • Pets
    • Fireworks
    • ATV
    • Private property
    • Enforcement
    • Insurance
      • County requires applicants name county as additional insured. Covers county in case of legal issue. Should liability insurance also have the name of township?

Question: How can we enforce our rules?

Answer: This is still being worked out. There is a moratorium in place for 1 year starting in January. 1 Property does have a permit on Barrs Lake. Property owner is required to follow county and township rules if the township has them. Our township rules can be stricter than the county.

Question: Is there a timeline on decision making and reporting back?

Answer: We would like to have this completed sooner rather than later. Our rules will need to be followed when they are created.

Question: Should we have townspeople vote on the committee policy in regards to STR?

Answer: That is the general consensus that it would be voted on by the township.

There are other townships that are going though the same issues in regard to how to put together policies and procedures for Short Term Rentals (STR’s)

Motion: To support the STR Committee to move forward; Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Motion Passed

Communication

            Please sign up for email communication from our website.

Broadband

  • No fiberoptic yet
    • ROI is not there yet
    • Broadband grants are in process
    • Looking for individuals to assist in efforts to get this service.

CLP Annual Meeting

  • April 19th
  • 6:00 PM
  • Two Harbors High School

Motion: Set meeting for March 12th 2024 for next annual Meeting; Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Motion Passed

Motion to Adjourn

Dick, Aye; Jan, Aye; Gary, Aye

Meeting Minutes completed: Jenae Pitoscia 3/16/2023

Town of North Star Audit Meeting

January 29, 2023

In Attendance – Supervisor Gary Mantay, Supervisor Jan Keough, Supervisor Dick Dillon, Treasurer Donna
Elsbury
Supervisor Jan Keough called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
All present recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
The attending supervisors received the 2023 Financial Books from the Treasurer and the Clerk. 3 sets of
Disbursements, Receipts and Bank Statement were compared from each set of books.
The supervisors completed the audit of the treasurer and clerk books for 2023 and the attached 2023
Board of Audit Report shows the verified receipts and disbursements and the verified bank statements
and clerk/treasurer balances. The attached 2023 Cash Control Statement verifies the ending balance of
all fund accounts.
CHECKBOOK TOTAL December 31, 2023: $127,958.21
Dick Dillon made a motion to approve the 2023 books. Gary Mantay seconded the motion, vote to
approve the audit of the township books. Vote – Dick Dillon: aye, Gary Mantay: aye, Jan Keough: aye.
Motion carried.
Gary Mantay made a motion to adjourn, Dick Dillon seconded the motion. Vote- Jan Keough: aye, Dick
Dillon: aye, Gary Mantay: aye. Meeting adjourned at 7:17 pm

2024 January Board Meeting 1/16/2024

TOWN OF NORTH STAR      

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Gary            6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Dick Dillon: Supervisor, Gary Mantay: Supervisor, Jenae Pitoscia: Clerk, Mary Hellman: Deputy Clerk, Ray Barnes: Deputy Treasurer, Donna Elsbury: Treasurer, Rory Blazevic: Fire Chief

December 2023 MINUTES – Dick made motion to approve December meeting minutes. Gary 2nd. Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Donna

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $6018.95 Check numbers 9024-9039. PERA EFT $54.00 IRS $888.99. Dick made motion accept transfer of funds. Gary 2nd. Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Voided expense for payment to MATIT for workers comp. Report from MATIT stated the premium was incorrect and overpaid. Revised premium was sent and reissued check with reduced premium.

Request to township to add software for Adobe Acrobat. $19.99 per month is the cost of the new software.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae:

Auto mark was returned

Supervisor submissions were completed with 1 applicant

Election training is in process

Annual Meeting scheduled for March 12th at 6:30 PM Back up date March 19th

Guest: Todd Abernathy

Todd is joining us representing the NorthStar, Pequaywan, and Alt townships. Crime numbers and types of calls are shared as below:

January 2022-Current

28 calls total

  1. Fraud
  2. Predator Offender
  3. Property damage
  4. Theft
  5. Call back message
  6. Order Violation
  7. Burglary
  8. Welfare Check
  9. Suspicions Activity
  10. Runaway Reports
  11. Threats
  12. Suicide Threats
  13. Computer Crime
  14. Physical Domestic
  15. Garbage
  16. Juvenile Offense
  17. Property Damage
  18. Overdose
  19. Animal Bite

Todd will be joining each township over the year to check in and keep communications open to township residents. Reports can be requested without addresses and private personal information. Always call 911 if there are any issues in the community. This will assign you a case number for your records.

RECYCLING: Jan: NA

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: NA

FIRE – Rory/Gary: Responded to 1 medical call. We continue to work on training.

MAINTENACE: Dick: Furnace is the hall has been repaired. A new motor for the generator has been ordered (previous was under warranty) and is on the way. The floor drain in the hall needs repair as it is plugged and needs to be unclogged. This repair would be fixed in the spring

ROADS- Gary: No updated

OLD BUSINESS – NA

NEW BUSINESS- Donna/Jan: Ray is reviewing the Omni ballot machine to set it up.

REVIEW OF DUTIES-

UPCOMING EVENTS –

Audit Meeting scheduled for January 29th at 6:30 PM

Budget Meeting scheduled for February 13th at 6:30 PM

Annual Meeting scheduled for March 12th at 8:00 PM Back up date March 19th

ADJOURNMENT:  Dick made motion to adjourn 7:10 PM Gary. 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

2024 December Board Meeting 12/19/2023

TOWN OF NORTH STAR       

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan    6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Supervisors: Jan Keough: Supervisor, Dick Dillon: Supervisor, Gary Mantay: Supervisor, Jenae Pitoscia: Clerk, Mary Hellman: Deputy Clerk, Ray Barnes: Deputy Treasurer, Donna Elsbury: Treasurer, Rory Blazevic: Fire Chief

November 2023 MINUTES – Dick made motion to approve October meeting minutes with amendments. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Donna

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $19,060.75 Check numbers 9009-9022. PERA EFT $54.00. Gary made motion accept transfer of funds. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Banking Update: Credit union accounts are closed. Now banking at National Bank of Commerce. There is a checking account as well as money market account. New credit cards have been given out to Gary, Rory and Jenae. Old credit cards are no longer able to be used. Would the board like to have a portion of funds from money market to buy a CD? Balance of previous money market account was at $130,000. Past CD was 56,000. Dick made motion to have the same amount from old CD ($59,000) to be put in new CD at National Bank of Commerce for 10 months. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae:

Opioid Training completed. Still in training for elections. Shared Drive in process.

Audit Meeting scheduled for January 29th at 6:30 PM

Budget Meeting scheduled for February 13th at 6:30 PM

Annual Meeting scheduled or March 12th at 6:30 PM Back up date March 19th

RECYCLING: Jan: Grant communication should start coming in around January.

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: Enews election communication will be posted on the website as well as posted bulletin board communication. Broadband information will also be updated on Enews. Jan asked if STR survey results should be posted on Enews. This has been tabled until March. Broadband survey results are in. This is an information gathering tools to see how community members are feeling about the internet options that they currently have. This information will also be shared in Enews.

FIRE – Rory/Gary: Elections were completed and Rory Blazevic will remain the fire chief. Assistant Fire Chief is Mike Siers. Snowmobile accident training will be completed. There was 1 medical call and 1 welfare check completed. There is a wild fire defense grant meeting January 6th 2024. This is an informal meeting. Recommendation is to stop burning. There is no ban however our fire danger is high. Awarded a MN Board of Firefighter Training Education $4180.00 July 1st 2023- June 30th 2024 for any training.

Gary made motion to renew contract with IAMresopnding for another year. Dick 2nd Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Reminder from Gary that the open supervisor position will need to be posted on bulletin boards.

MAINTENACE: Dick: Furnace in garage was fixed. Generator is still not fixed however Dick has been making calls to find a person to get it fixed.Met with Brady Grey on plowing. He will be putting bills in the mailbox.

ROADS- Gary: NA

OLD BUSINESS – NA

NEW BUSINESS- Donna/Jan NA

REVIEW OF DUTIES- Dick will continue to work on furnace, Jenae will send contract to Dick for plowing, Jan will update Enews.

UPCOMING EVENTS –

Next Board Meeting:January 16th 2024

Audit Meeting scheduled for January 29th at 6:30 PM

Budget Meeting scheduled for February 13th at 6:30 PM

Annual Meeting scheduled for March 12th at 6:30 PM Back up date March 19th

ADJOURNMENT:  Dick made motion to adjourn 7:05 PM Gary. 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

2023 November Board Meeting 11/21/2023

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan            6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Supervisors: Jan Keough: Supervisor, Dick Dillon: Supervisor, Gary Mantay: Supervisor, Jenae Pitoscia: Clerk, Mary Hellman: Deputy Clerk, Ray Barnes: Deputy Treasurer, Donna Elsbury: Treasurer, Rory Blazevic: Fire Chief

Guest: Natalie Zeleznikar

October 2023 MINUTES – Dick made motion to approve October meeting minutes. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Donna

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $16,986.39 Check numbers 8644-8658. PERA EFT $54.00. Gary made motion accept transfer of funds. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Banking Update: In process. We have applied online with NCCU for new credit cards. Need motion to borrow for the new cards. Jenae, Rory and Gary will all have cards. Dick made motion to pass the new credit cards. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae:

Weed inspection form signed and sent to MN Department of Agriculture

Wild Fire Defense Grant open

Rice Lake Rd Resolution 2304. Resolution to put in round about system. Rice Lake looking for support from surrounding township. Gary made motion to approve resolution. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

St Louis County requested letter of support from Northstar Township supporting improvement of HWY 44. Plan is for 2026. Letter was sent in support

RECYCLING: Jan:

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: Nothing to report other than updating information as necessary.

FIRE – Rory/Gary: 4 calls since last meeting all medical related. Helicopter landing zone training November 1st. Rory to try and attend the Wildfire Defense Grant meeting. We have been denied in the past but will continue to apply for future funds.

MAINTENACE: Dick: Generator was fixed but then went down again. It is the same problem and Hunt has been called to look at it again. We are also looking for other companies to look at generator. Furnace in garage bay is out. We need a new board for it. Potential fix is next week or early the following week. Brady Grey will be in charge of plowing this year. Dick to meet with him and show him exactly what the township is looking for. Rates will be the same as 2022/2023. We will need a contract in place. Gary made motion to hire. Dick 2nd. Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

ROADS- Gary: Regraded road last weekend.

OLD BUSINESS –Broadband survey was sent out to residents. 218 surveys were sent. Cost was $253.86. Will see what the return is and provide update when we get back competed surveys. Potential to utilize grant funds from Inflation Reduction act of 652M for broadband. State is planning how to spend those funds. Jan and Rod met with State Representatives to potentially find resources to provide broadband in this area.

Survey Monkey could be a potential future use with surveys.

Data from STR Survey: 138 were returned. 62% of residents responding. We will post on website and Enews. Board is not making any decisions as of yet on the details. Still looking at other townships and data before any decisions will be made. Any decisions will be on hold as it was tabled until March.

GUEST: Natalie Zeleznikar: Community brought up issues of concern with Representative Zeleznikar. Those items consisted of:

  • Broadband
  • Roads and Bridges
  • EMS in rural areas
  • STR’s
  • Community Engagement

Representative Zeleznikar provided her cell number 218-409-6822 to communicate any ideas on these issues. Representative Zeleznikar is doing more research into STR’s and the rules and regulations that the county are in charge of. Representative Zeleznikar is also going to meet with the commissioner to dig more into the issues. Representative Zeleznikar is currently appointed to workforce committees such as, children and family, disability, and assisted living. Representative Zeleznikar is also working on corrections, especially for the youth.

NEW BUSINESS- Donna/Jan

Pickle Ball: Concern on if pickle ball should be played during recycling hours from 9AM-12PM. It has been a source of community engagement and community members are really enjoying this activity in the area. Is there another area to move the pickle ball court so it is not an issue while recycling is happening? This might be a good topic to bring to the annual meeting for community discussion. Concern on liability and if we need waivers signed to play. Community is encouraged to bring in alternative ideas on how community can gather. Women’s auxiliary was brought up as an idea to bring activities and engagement to the community.

REVIEW OF DUTIES- NA

UPCOMING EVENTS –

Next Board Meeting:December 19th 2023

ADJOURNMENT: Dick made motion to adjourn 7:31 PM Gary. 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

2023 October Board Meeting 10/17/2023

TOWN OF NORTH STAR       

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan    6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Supervisors: Jan Keough: Supervisor, Dick Dillon: Supervisor, Gary Mantay: Supervisor, Jenae Pitoscia: Clerk, Mary Hellman: Deputy Clerk, Ray Barnes: Deputy Treasurer, Donna Elsbury: Treasurer

September 2023 MINUTES – Dick made motion to approve September meeting minutes. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Donna

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $2000.00 out of SCCU to open National Bank of Commerce Accounts. Deposited $1000.00 into checking account and $1000.00 into money market account. Check number 8626. That check number was not included on the claims list from last month. Transfer of $4517.16 Check numbers 8627-8643. PERA EFT $54.00. IRS Quarterly Taxes $750.81. Gary made motion accept transfer of funds totaling $5321.97. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

VOTR: Township is entitled to $13.32 for voting operations technology and election resources. St Louis County would like to hold those funds due to administrating absentee ballots and not charging the township for this service. Dick made motion to allow for funds to stay with St Louis County. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Town Levy Form: Donna submitted and verified that the form was on time and completed.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae:

Election: Voting ballots and supplies were scheduled to be picked up by Mary.

Election Judges:Ray Barnes, head election judge, Sue Forbrage, Bill Taft, Bob Anderson. Mary will serve as back up. Dick made motion to accept election judges. 2nd Gary. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

RECYCLING: Jan: Dumpsters were put back in original place.

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: Nothing to report other than updating information as necessary.

FIRE – Rory/Gary: 2 individuals are going to firefighter 1&2. They should be completed around mid-November.

MAINTENACE: Dick: Replaced thermostat. Locks and keys have been replaced. In communication with Hunt Electric for service on the generator. No date is yet determined on when they will be able to come out.

ROADS- Gary: No updates at this time.

NEW BUSINESS- Donna/Jan

Sick Leave will be provided to employees that work over 80 hours every year. This was determined by a law passed by the State of Minnesota. Will review hours and determine which employees this would apply to. This starts in January 2024.

Broadband: Meeting with Natalie Zaleznikar in regards to broadband in low density areas and determine if grants are available. Board would like to send out a survey to community members and see if there is a want or need to continue pursuing broadband. This would go to only community members with structures on the properties. Dick made motion to put together the broadband survey. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

OLD BUSINESS –

STR Questionnaires were sent out to 222 community members. 128 have been returned. The results will be entered into a spreadsheet so it can be sorted and data can be easily gathered.

REVIEW OF DUTIES- NA

UPCOMING EVENTS – November 7th Election

Next Board Meeting:November 21st

ADJOURNMENT: Jan made motion to adjourn 7:10 PM Gary. 2nd . Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

2023 SEPTEMBER BOARD MEETING

TOWN OF NORTH STAR

9/19/2023

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. All attending recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Attending:  Supervisors Jan Keough, Dick Dillon, Gary Mantay; Treasurer Donna Elsbury, Deputy Treasurer Ray Barnes, Fire chief Rory Blazevic, Deputy Clerk Mary Hellman acting for Clerk Jenae Pitoscia. Guests Denise Anderson, Carolyn Haney, and Mike Siers.

AUGUST 2023 MINUTES APPROVAL – Dick made a MOTION to accept the AUGUST 2023 Minutes, Gary seconded. All in favor, all ayes.Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – DONNA

REVIEW AND APPROVE PAYROLL AND CLAIMS – After review,Dick made MOTION to approve to approve the August payroll and claims, Jan seconded.  Dick, aye: Jan, aye; Gary, aye. Motion approved.

TRANSFER – Total amount of checks:  Amount -$984.60, EFT $54.00, Checks – #8617 -8625.

TRANSFER FUNDS FROM PREVIOUS BANK TO NEW BANK – Dick made a MOTION to transfer the funds, Gary seconded. Vote: Dick: aye, Gary: aye, Jan; aye. Motion approved.

TREASURER COMMENTS – DONNA

  • North Star Township has officially changed to National Bank of Commerce in Hermantown and funds will be transferred from previous Credit Union.
  • Email addresses are being updated for the new clerk, Jenae, to receive all township clerk communication in the email system and a “general g-mails address” will be created for the clerk’s position.
  • The snow plow application for the township road is complete and has been submitted to St. Louis County.
  • Ken Rovenko will be an employee of the township to mow the lawn and weed whip rather than being contracted (as he will use the township equipment).
  • The DNR has sent out an invitation to North Star to provide a well water test at the hall at no cost.  The board approved this.  Contact person will be Gary.

CLERK COMMENTS – MARY

ELECTION UPDATE – Mary reported North Star Precinct will be participating in the November 7, 2023 School District 709 General Elections. Voting will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm at the Hall. North Star will also be hosting the Unorganized Precinct 23. Election Judges will be assigned and voted on at the next township meeting.

REQUEST TO VACATE ROAD

  • Resident Rory Blazevic requested Vacating 575 feet of Matson Rd at the end of East

Briar Lake Road; 33 feet on either side.

  • Resident and his wife, Kate, are the property owners on all points that contact this road.

This variance request would not interfere with any access requirements.

  • Certificate of Survey was completed:

Boundary Survey or Lots 24 through 29, Lots 44 through 46, and Lot 49 in the plat of

BRIAR LAKE SHORES THIRD ADDITION In Government Lot 2, Section 15, T. 53 N.

R. 13 W. North Star Township, St. Louis County, Minnesota.

  • Dick made a MOTION to approve the request to vacate 575 feet of Matson Road including 33 feet on either side, Gary seconded. All ayes. Request approved.

FIRE DEPARTMENT – Rory stated that they applied for a grant for $5000 to provide turn out gear and firefighting training for new members. All paperwork is complete.  The FD had pumper training and review for the last FD meeting.

MAINTENANCE – Dick reported that there are some keys still out for the hall to previous members.  It is time to change the locks and keys. Gary made a MOTION to have the hall locks and keys changed and Dick seconded the motion.  All ayes. Motion approved.  Dick will call and make an appointment. 

Also, the Generac Generator needs repair.  The Generac repair man comes from Elk River, so Dick will look to find someone closer.

RECYCLING REPORT – Jan reported the dumpsters still have not been moved back off the grass onto the tarred area.  Two locks have been noted missing, so WLSSD has preplaced them.

ROADS – Gary reported Rory graded the township road after Labor Day.  Future road improvements needed are replacing 2 culverts and another project of guard rail poles.  Estimated cost would be $5000, and gravel for the project would be $1000. Gary made a MOTION to have this road work done, seconded by Dick; vote Gary – aye, Dick – aye, Jan – aye. Motion approved.

WEBPAGE REPORT Jan stated the Webpage is up to date and doing well.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Short Term Rentals – The Township has created a survey regarding North Star Township resident’s ideas regarding STRs.  It would be sent to residents and seasonal cabin owners in the township and include a self-addressed stamped envelope for them to return at no cost to them.  The cost for the township is estimated at $430-440.  Denise suggested placing random numbers on the surveys to ensure that only one survey is returned per owner.  Dick made a MOTION to cover expenses up to $450 to send out the surveys, Gary seconds. Dick – aye, Jan – aye, Gary – aye. Motion approved. Surveys are to be returned by October 15th.

REVIEW OF DUTIES- Dick will call regarding fixing the generator, and change locks and keys at hall. Jan will be sending out STR surveys. Mary will arrange for Election judges for the Nov. 7th School District election.

UPCOMING EVENTS – School Board Elections on November 7, 2023 from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm at town hall.

NEXT BOARD MEETING – October 17th at 6:30 pm at the town hall.

ADJOURNMENT – Dick made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:10 pm, Gary second.  All ayes.

Respectively submitted,

Mary Hellman, Deputy Clerk,

(standing for Jenae Pitoscia, Clerk)

2023 August Board Meeting

TOWN OF NORTH STAR      

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan            6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Supervisors: Jan Keough: Supervisor, Dick Dillon: Supervisor, Gary Mantay: Supervisor, Jenae Pitoscia: Clerk, Mary Hellman: Deputy Clerk, Ray Barnes: Deputy Clerk

Guests: Leianne Knoll Krajewski, Ryan Krajewski, Bill Taft, Jim Taft, Junal Josephson, Alan Josephson, Jeanne Severin, Kent Hoffman, Susan Forbragd, Joseph Lupler, Lea Bourn, Jennifer Werner, Will Werner, William Bailey, Kari Norman, Tyler Norman, Matt Wallner, Mike Siers

            *Please note that there was an additional guest in attendance, however the clerk was not able to determine the name based on sign-up sheet.

JULY 2023 MINUTES – Dick made motion to approve July meeting minutes. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Ray

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $3116.83. This transfer amount includes potential fine from state for not reporting unemployment wages quarterly. Donna to determine if this could be waived. If she can get fee waived then transfer of $2866.83 would be needed. Check numbers 8603-8616. PERA EFT $54.00. Gary made motion accept transfer of funds totaling $3116.83. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae: N/A

RECYCLING: Jan: Township received the 2023 recycling grant from WLSSD grant for $4974.36. That will take care of township for the 12 months. Those grant funds have been deposited. February is when we do the grant requests. WLSSD requires that we have detailed reporting on payouts of recycling. Jan will provide documentation to Jenae to assist with this reporting.

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: Please sign up for ENEWS letter for communications about the township. We will continue to ask people to sign up.

FIRE – Rory/Gary: Pump training the last 2 weeks and will continue through 8/16. Township has new members that are working out well. Township is still looking for volunteers if any community members would like to join.

MAINTENACE: Dick: A contractor has been hired to seal coat the driveway. There is no date set yet. Once a date has been set, Jan will attempt to get the recycling dumpsters moved by WLSSD and Waste Management.

ROADS- Gary: Potential for fall grading if necessary

NEW BUSINESS- Gary/Jan:

  • There will be a new voter registration system. This will be an electronic system called. PollPad. Ray and Sue had attended training.
  • Township will need to have Automark replaced. Omniballet will be replaced by the county free of charge to township. There will be training to come.
  • Pros and Cons will be sent from Ray to Jenae on how this could affect township.
  • Our township will most likely need 2 Pollpad units to accommodate our needs

OLD BUSINESS –

            MN Department of Agriculture: Ray Barnes reported that a question came to him and Deb Pomroy from MN Department of Agriculture about ensuring our weed reporting is accurate for the township. Latest weed report shows that some weeds are located at a point rather than a polygon. The township has not received this communication from MNDOA.        

            Short Term Rentals (STR’s): The township hosted a public meeting on August 8th on STR to get public feedback on a proposed ordinance. Approximately 30 people were in attendance. No decisions were made this was strictly to get public opinion. No township officials were paid for this meeting. The areas of concern from the public consisted of the following:

  • Cost
  • Staff
  • Legal cost
  • Limiting future options for community members
  • If STR owners should live in township
  • Legal Council
  • Cost of administration
  • Restrictions of boats and dogs
  • Administration in general
  • Transparency in communications

There are some ideas on how we can better communicate with more people in the area. Some ideas include mail surveys with taxpayers in the area. There is a possible meeting with county commissioner about the man power of the county to address concerns regarding STR’s in the area. There is a potential to have a meeting alongside of Eagles Nest township with county commissioner in regards to STR’s.

Comments and Questions from today’s meeting attendees in regards to STR’s and the creation of the proposed ordinance were as follows:

  • Can everyone in the township vote on this potential ordnance?
    • Referendum could be a potential
  • What is the background of why this ordnance and committee set up?
    • Last fall some community members expressed some concerns on how the county was handling STR’s. There was not a concern on existing STR’s. The concern was with noise, septic’s and having to many STR’s on the lake. Denise Anderson was designated as a chair leader to go out and gain some information about STR’s with other members of the community. That led to a proposed ordinance that was the topic of the August 8th meeting.
  • Rules of the proposed ordinance were based on neighboring townships and current county rules and regulations. Items were removed that did not apply to our area
  • Concern was if the community would rather be proactive with community action or let the county continue to regulate STR’s on their own.
  • Main issues from community members on the committee were noise, possible future number of STR’s and respect to the community as a whole.
  • Would there be an issue with property values?
  • Would there be an issue with property taxes?
  • What is the potential for lawsuits for the township?
  • Community would like to have discussion with the county commissioner to listen to concerns.
  • Items on proposed draft ordinance were meant to be discussed with the public and get feedback from all community members.
  • Committee members reached out to others in the area on feedback before August 8th meeting and were not able to get any feedback.
  • County established regulations on STR’s in 2020, but the COVID pandemic delayed implementation.
  • Committee asked for public forum to ensure that public feedback was received.
  • If we do have an ordinance for STR’s does that make zoning and planning totally on the township’s responsibility?
    • The board does not want to take over all zoning and planning
  • Some citizens were not aware of the August 8th meeting
    • Was posted on the door and on website however the board would like to make improvements on communications on meetings for the future.
  • What are actual complains from the township on STR’s?
    • No complaints have been documented as of yet
  • Barrs Lake is zoned as multi-use on one side of the lake and residential on the other. Is there a potential to get this section rezoned?
  • Most of cost would come from attorneys.
  • MAT attorneys will only provide advice. Township would need to hire out an attorney on its own
  • Can a Lake Association be of assistance?
  • Is the Website up to date?
    • Does not state upcoming meetings. This is something that will need to be updated by the board.
  • Community members would like letter written or meeting set up to county in regards to STR’s and have community members ask questions.
  • Request was made to have board provide regular updates on STR ordinance progress
  • Committee’s in the future should have an unbiased group that accounts for all opinions and locations from the community members.
  • There are too many unanswered questions in regards to STR’s at this time from the board perspective to move forward and would like to see this tabled until further information, meetings and public feedback could be obtained.
  • Please send comments to board members at any time.
  • Please review Webpage at northstarmn.net

Dick made a motion to table this ordinance for 6 months. The board would like to have more information from the county before moving forward at all. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Insurance: Ray Barnes reported that the township has received documentation on our MATIT insurance policy including cost. There is a copy of the old policy and the new policy to review.

REVIEW OF DUTIES- N/A

UPCOMING EVENTS – Next Board Meeting:September 19th, 2023

ADJOURNMENT: Dick made motion to adjourn 7:20 PM Gary. 2nd . Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

2023 July Board Meeting

TOWN OF NORTH STAR       07/18/2023

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan            6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Supervisors: Jan Keough: Supervisor, Dick Dillon: Supervisor, Gary Mantay: Supervisor, Donna Elsbury: Treasurer, Jenae Pitoscia: Clerk, Mary Hellman: Deputy Clerk, Mike and Caroline Siers.

JUNE 2023 MINUTES – Updates required in RECYCLING and WEBPAGE/COMMUNICATIONS areas. Updated meeting minutes posted to webpage. Clerk needs to ensure that all meeting minutes are posted to the webpage after board approval. Dick made motion to accept June 2023 meeting minutes. 2nd Gary. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Donna

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $6680.29. Check numbers 8591-8602. PERA EFT $90.00. PERA was a bit higher this month due to extra supervisor meeting attended.  Dick made motion accept transfer of funds. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

TRESURER COMMENTS: Donna:

  1. Board has submitted letter to WLSSD for grant. Should be coming soon.
  • Jan signed Employee forms required by the State of MN Department of Labor and Industry. These are required for all new or updates in employee status. These were completed for Jenae Pitoscia and Mary Hellman. Dick had question if this form will be needed for promotional changes. Answer is yes, any employee changes will require the form to be submitted.
  • CLC coverage from MATIT will show a slight increase of about $77.00 in premiums. Recycling shed is included in the premiums and was as of last year as well. Question if Isuzu truck should still be covered on the insurance. This can be removed. Donna will ensure that is removed from the coverage. “Contractors Equipment” coverage is stated to cover up to $20K on the policy. Question about what would be covered under this area. This will be clarified by Donna. Need clarification on fire truck that is on a lease to own contract. Not sure where this would fall in insurance. Need definition. It is a covered vehicle currently. Donna will get clarification. Board wants to ensure fire trucks are covered fully. There are 2 trucks currently a 2019 and a 2007. As stated in policy, “Comprehensive Coverage” is actual cash value or cost of repairs whichever is less and “Collision Coverage” is actual cash value or cost of repairs. No limit is stated in coverage. There is a copy of last years coverage vs this year’s coverage. Donna will be reviewing this closer.
  • Resolution for Emergency Services. This template form will be put in place for circumstances where a supervisor will need to complete work on behalf of the township. This will be to be put on file. An invoice will also be needed in this circumstance. Question from Jan on if we need this form filled out for every type of emergency service that should arise. This cannot be a blanket statement resolution. It needs to be specific to the job. An example of when this form would be used would be for emergency snow removal from the roof.
  • Still waiting on answer from MAT on monthly earning statements. There is an area in CTAS were we can provide this information.
  • Board would like to transfer responsibilities of Deputy Clerk to Mary Hellman and Clerk to Jenae Pitoscia.  Dick made motion to add Jenae as Clerk and Mary as Deputy Clerk as of July 18th. 2nd Gary Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.
  • Motion to add Jenae Pitoscia as a signer to the Board checking account and Credit card. Jan made motion to add Jenae to banking. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.
  1. Jenae and Donna will complete this process with the bank.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae:

Board would like to thank Mary Hellman for her work as Clerk over the last 2 years. She has been instrumental in participating in the town board and has navigated many obstacles. She is stepping down from the Clerk position to the Deputy Clerk position as of July 18th. Board would like to thank Jenae for stepping in as Clerk. This news will be added to the board website.

SHORT TERM RENTAL PROPERTY:

  • A public meeting is scheduled for August 8th to discuss STR’s Notice will be in Enews and a notice will be posted on bulletin board as well.
  • Committee has put together a draft ordinance
  • There was an informational gathering with the County Planning director on June 23rd. In attendance were individuals from Pequaywan township and Eagles Nest township.
  • Many questions are still outstanding.
    • Is the county going to back any ordnance that the township puts in place?
    • Is the county going to continue to permit STR’s if we have an ordnance of our own that limits the amount of STR’s the board would like in the area?
    • Will the board need to take on additional duties on such as planning and zoning?
    • How will new ordnance be enforced?
    • Is there a potential for lawsuits against the township?
  • If an ordinance is in place the township will be required to manage it. That includes forms, review and decision making.
  • Board is requesting attorney review any ordnance put in place.
  • The committee has put the draft together based on the county’s regulation as well as limitations such as quiet times and fireworks. This is an ongoing draft and suggestions from the board and public and still needed.
  • Board agrees that limitations to the number of STR’s is needed.
  • There is an area on the County Planning webpage and see the permits that are currently in place for the area. It lists permit actions and dates.
  • Committee’s intention is to document rules and regulations for a base if issues arise from an STR.
  • Main enforcement would be to potentially pull a license if the regulations are not followed.
  • There is a county complaint form available to log issues with STR’s.
  • Mortarium is still in place with the county for STR’s, however there has been one issued while moratorium has been in place.
  • Jan would like committee to revise ordnance that would have county regulations added to our proposed ordnance with additional items added like limitations, quiet hours and fireworks. It needs to be comprehensive so we get the most feedback as possible from the public.
  • Proposed ordnance will be provided before the August 8th meeting for the public to review before and after meeting. This will be on the website and sent out with ENews. Feedback will be taken by the board up until August 15th. Comments should come to town board via email or at the August 8th meeting.
  • Jan to set up meeting with Paul McDonald.
  • If the township does have an ordnance for STR’s there would be cost involved. This could be a capped cost if needed.
  • Could extend moratorium on STR’s if needed

RECYCLING: Jan: Grant is in progress

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: ENews update is in progress.

Updates Include:

  • There will be notice of August 8th meeting.
  • A reminder on land use enforcement.
  • Recycling.
  • Should be put notice in regards to brush pile? Dick stated that ENews needs to state that we still have a brush pile.  Individuals need to contact Gary Mantay in regards to brush pile.
  • New Clerk and New Deputy Clerk

FIRE – Rory/Gary: Fire department has 2-3 new members. Fire training is coming up for those new members. Pump training on July 19th. 1 call came in from logging equipment fire. Fire was contained to the equipment only.

MAINTENACE: Dick: Seal cost for parking lot has 1 quote for $5100.00. This cost includes cracks and sealing. Would need to contact WLSSD to move dumpsters so sealing can be completed. Pickle ball lines would cost additional $400. That is not needed as members of the community will complete after the sealing is completed. There is another quote coming in soon from Duluth Asphalt. Question from Dick is due to scheduling can he determine the best course of action. Gary made motion to allow Dick to determine who to hire based on another quote not to exceed $5500.00. 2nd Jan. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

ROADS- Gary: Road was graded week before last. Potential for fall grading if necessary

NEW BUSINESS- Gary/Jan:  NA

OLD BUSINESS – NA

REVIEW OF DUTIES-

  • Donna to set up banking with Jenae
  • Jan to work on STR announcement and ENEWS
  • Dick to get seal coating done

UPCOMING EVENTS – August 8th public forum

August 15th is next board meeting

ADJOURNMENT: Dick made motion to adjourn 7:40 PM Gary. 2nd Gary. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

2023 June Board Meeting

TOWN OF NORTH STAR       06/20/2023

CALL TO ORDER, WELCOME, and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Jan            6:30PM

ATTENDANCE: Supervisors: Jan Keough, Dick Dillon Gary Mantay. Treasurer Donna Elsbury, Clerk Jenae Pitoscia, Deputy Clerk Mary Hellman, Deputy Treasurer Ray Barnes, Mike and Caroline Siers.

MAY 2023 MINUTES – Updates made per feedback. Updated minutes provided. Dick: Motion to approve May minutes based on corrections. 2nd: Gary. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

FINANCIAL REPORT – Donna

TRANSFER –Transfer amount $6241.65. Check numbers 8575-8590. PERA $54.00. 2nd Quarter IRS $796.88 Gary made motion accept transfer of funds. Dick 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

June 2023 Payroll Claims:  Dick made motion to accept. Gary 2nd. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

TRESURER COMMENTS: Donna: Check from DNR should be deposited to fire EMS. Check was for fire in gravel pit.

Certificate of Appointment for Deputy Town Clerk: Donna filled out form and Mary will need to sign off on.

The Board and Treasurer discussed the employee notices of employee pay rate to be given to employees once a year or whenever the pay rate changes.  This is required for staff, but not for elected officials (Board Members).  Treasurer would fill out a form for each employee (see guidance from MAT).  Treasurer Donna will contact MAT to find out if monthly earnings statements to staff are required as well.

Dick questioned process of determining how township will determine fair pay for supervisors in emergency situation. In emergency (very short notice) situations, the supervisors must quickly determine the cost of each service and estimate the cost and timeliness of bringing in an outside service provider.  Supervisors would be paid at or below standard contracted person per MAT (Minnesota Association of Townships). Annual resolution will allow for supervisors to step in, in these emergency situations.  Donna will develop the annual resolution and will develop a generic invoice form that can be used for multiple types of emergency services.

Final Town Levy: Forms reviewed and submitted in the past by Linda Britton. Clerk should be sending this in to county. County has not sent this form as of yet. No request from county that we need to send in. Donna to contact county on what is required for this process.

Payment for Jim Taft (plowing service) was covered from 11/2022 to April 2023. Need to have invoices sent monthly for plowing service to avoid issues in the future. Form will be provided.

Recycling Building has been added to insurance.

CLERK COMMENTS / CORRESPONDANCE- Mary/Jenae: Mary created a contract for lawn mowing services. This will be filed and saved for future use. These contacts will also be utilized for plowing, mowing grading etc. and kept on file.

SHORT TERM RENTAL PROPERTY: An information exchange forum has been set up with county Interim Director of Planning on Friday June 23rd 2023. This is informational only. Denise will be in attendance. Mary will take minutes. This will be an opportunity to learn about how the county permits, manages and enforces short term rentals, and discuss how a possible township ordinance on STRs would interact with county programs.

Updated document on STR (Short Term Rental) has been sent by Denise to Township Board. Committee requested to know if there are any further questions in regard to updated document. Does an STR (Short Term Rental) get classified as a homestead? Answer: No. Policy in regards to residential zoning areas. Has this been reviewed? This needs to be further researched.

Public forum on STR (Short Term Rental) will be scheduled after county meeting. This will also be available online for comments as well. 1-year moratorium is in effect in township in relation to STR’s (Short Term Rental). This will be put on ENews. informational postings and on website to share information with the public.

The Clerk was asked to contact MAT and our MATIT insurance agent to determine with MAT (Minnesota Association of Townships) if township insurance policy cover denial of a STR (Short Term Rental) permit. This will also be brought to county meeting as well.

RECYCLING: Jan: Grant has not yet been received as of yet. Recycling event went well. WLSSD individuals were at the town hall last Saturday to collect electronics and information on recycling plastic.

WEBPAGE/COMMUNIATIONS REPORT: Jan: Daisey Wallace has fixed the website issues. Cost was $50.

FIRE – Rory/Gary: 2 calls since last meeting. Brush fire in gravel pit on Pequaywan Lake Rd. DNR on site. Burned for several days but was contained. Another call on Barrs Lake Rd.

PERA retirement to be potentially increased without additional cost to township. Safe amount per person would be $800.00. Leaves township at 112% funded. Require a board approval for that amount. Will be sharing information with board members to see change. Would not take effect until first of the year. This would not be retroactive. This does not impact levy. Motion by Dick to accept the $800.00 increase to PERA. 2nd Jan. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.

Turn out gear has been ordered. 3 sets total

Pancake breakfast made $1325.00 profit. 122 people in attendance

MAINTENACE: Dick: Still working on estimates for sealing of blacktop as well as crack filler by door.

ROADS: Gary: Midsummer grading on first section of road is a potential depending on how road holds up

NEW BUSINESS- Gary/Jan:  NA

OLD BUSINESS – NA

REVIEW OF DUTIES: Mary to contact MAT on insurance. Public forum to be scheduled by Jan. Donna to contact county on levy documentation. Donna to prepare employee payroll documents.

UPCOMING EVENTS –

JULY 18th next meeting

ADJOURNMENT: Motion to adjourn 7:31 PM Dick. 2nd Gary. Jan: Aye, Gary: Aye, Dick: Aye. Motion approved.