Board Chair, Robert Benson called the meeting to order.  Other members present included Supervisors David W. McKeag and David Garner, Clerk, Colleen Thompson and Treasurer, Ken Ebert.


The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Colleen read the minutes of the November 18, 2003 Regular Board Meeting.  Dave Garner made a motion to accept the minutes with the correction of the CD total to read $227,658.36.  Dave McKeag seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Colleen read the minutes of the Special Meeting held on December 01, 2003.  Bob made a motion to accept the minutes as read, seconded by Dave McKeag.  Motion carried.


Ken gave the Treasurer Report.  As of November 30, 2003 there is a total of $142.251.16 in savings and checking.  CD’s are unchanged at $227.658.36 for total assets of $369.909.52.  We had income of $439.095 and expenses for the month of $7,388.12.  Dave McKeag made a motion to accept the report as read, seconded by Dave Garner.  Motion Carried.


Lester Lee residing at 33244 57th Ave., Cannon Falls, MN, and his son Troy Lee appeared before the Board to request a front yard variance of 28 feet so that they can finish their partially built shed. Troy Lee stated that they had by error, measured from the middle of the road instead of measuring from the road right-of-way.  The shed was placed 32 feet from the road right-of-way line instead of 60 feet required by Township Ordinance.


Dave Garner stated the shed wasn’t build according to the site plan.  Dave was as the County meeting in which Mr. Lee requested and received an 8-foot variance needed to meet the 40-foot setback required by County Ordinance.  It was stated that the drain field is 36 feet from the back of the shed.  Mr. Garner stated he appreciated the Lee’s putting a stop to their building until the matter was resolved.  He also stated it was an honest mistake.  Due to bad weather the night of the Planning Commission meeting, Mr. Garner suggested we ask for comments tonight.


Joe Vandenheuvel, Planning Commission Chair stated there was no audiotape made of the public hearing.  He felt there was no deception and it wasn’t done on purpose.  Joe stated it would be a great expense for the Lee’s to take out footings and alter the shed.  Joe also stated there was no opposition or objections made at the Public Hearing.  The Planning Commission recommended approval of a variance by a 2-1 vote.  He stated the County approved an 8-foot variance to meet their 40-foot set back requirement contingent on the Township’s approval of a variance.


Bob made a motion to grant a variance of 28-feet.  Dave McKeag seconded the motion.  Carried.


Heather Sharp (and Jack Schlichting), 32209 County 24 Blvd., Cannon Falls, MN did not appear.


Joe Vandenheuvel stated their plan is to make four-five acre lots on Oxford Mill Road. It was stated that Joanne Wood had said four sites were O.K.  Joe stated a lack of communication

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (December 16, 2003 cont.)


because Joanne denied the statement but did say we need to rezone as was done by the Shiell’s.  To rezone would cause leap-frogging.  According to our ordinance this property is buildable.  This would make our Ordinance less restrictive.  Joe stated the need to change our zoning map.  He also stated that according to Joanne Wood, because of the flood plain and Little Cannon River, these lots are not buildable unless rezoned.


Carl and Carol Slifka, 31182 55th Ave. Way, Cannon Falls, MN appeared before the Board to discuss their desire to build on Lot 1 in Woodland Heights and also to ask to put the driveway off of the end of the Township road onto Lot 1.


Dave Garner stated it would be recognized as a private road, a private drive and there would be no maintenance of the road from the Township.


Dave Garner made a motion to allow Carl and Carol Slifka to use the proposed road right-of-way for a driveway with the understanding that the township may build a Township road in the future and that there will be no Township maintenance of the private drive.  Dave McKeag seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Bob asked the Clerk to report on what she found out about the cost per month to upgrade the Township’s cell phone plan.  Adam interrupted by stating he was never told the amount of minutes allowed on the current plan, he has made other plans for a personal cell phone and he no longer needed or wanted to use our phone for his personal use.


Adam brought up the issue of his not grading “all” roads before freeze-up.  Bob stated that  “all” roads may not have needed grading but because of the dry weather, a once over doesn’t take out all bumps.  Bob stated the blade needs to be lowered and the bumps graded out especially right before winter.  He also stated “if we say so, you need to do”. 


Adam stated it didn’t make sense. 325th was graded when raining/snowing.  Bob stated what he is trying to get across was the need due to the lack of grading due to dry weather through out the summer.


In regards to the statement of not taking direction well, Adam admitted to bucking the request and asked for another instance.


Dave Garner stated the need to get rid of potholes before winter.


Adam stated the roads were neglected the two weeks it took to clean up ditches on Sciota, 20th Ave., and 23rd Ave.


The issue of Adam’s timesheet and the “jumping” from one area to another was responded to.  Adam stated the reason was due to complaints and his responding to them.



REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (December 16, 2003 cont.)


Dave Garner stated that when grading township roads, he suggested working one end to the other.  “It only makes sense”. 


Dave McKeag stated the same should be done when sanding the roads.


In addressing the issue of his boys being in the grader.  Adam stated, “It won’t happen again”.


Bob told Adam, if stuck with the plow truck, he should call Dave, Bob or Colleen.  Adam stated he called Siewert’s Towing, Inc., of Red Wing, MN because of the bad area and being so close to Hwy. 19.


Adam agreed there has been a lack of communications.  He also reported that he ran over Howard Stafford’s mailbox.  Dave Garner stated he would fix the mailbox.


Colleen asked the Board to review and address several issues she encountered when reviewing the proposed snow plow policy. 


The issue of emergency calls and how we would cover them with Adam being at work during the night and early morning and Dick having a part time job with hours in the morning was discussed.


Joe Vandenheuvel stated he would be willing to help out if we get in a bind.


It was decided to make a list of drivers and telephone numbers in the order that they should be called in case of an emergency.


Dave Garner made a motion to adopt the changes made to the Snow Plow Policy.  Bob seconded the motion.  Carried.


Joe Vandenheuvel reported on Planning Commission activity.  He first took offence to the statements made at the November Board Meeting by the Clerk pertaining to the lack of time the Commission spends at their regularly scheduled meetings and that the Special Planning Commission Meeting was not needed.  He stated he had instructed the Commission members to proof read the proposed Ordinance changes on their own time. Joe stated it took himself over 3 hours to proofread the Ordinance at home.  He stated it was evident all had done their “homework” and they were able to get through with the update at the Special Meeting.


Joe met with the Clerk with final changes and feels we should then have an attorney look at the proposed Ordinance, after that a Public Hearing needs to be held and then again to our attorney.

Joe stated a matter of contention is that we made an error in not changing our zoning map at the same time and he stated it is his recommendation to do so.


Joe reported he has received calls about a business being run out of the Spring Garden Nursery and the need for a permit.

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING (December 16, 2003 cont.)


Bob brought to the floor the matter of the requirement placed on the Planning Commission by the Board to rotate the Planning Commission Chair position yearly.


Dave Garner stated that so as not to micromanage the Planning Commission he moves that the Planning Commission may elect to rotate their Chair as they see fit.  Bob seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Bob, Dave Garner and Ken attended the MAT Convention held in Duluth and reported on activities they attended.  All agreed that Friday was very well spent.  Bob stated that the convention was very educational and the speakers were well organized.  All agreed they could have done without the speeches by various politicians but that the speaker at the banquet was very good.  It was reported that the State has 3 million in funds for the replacement of township bridges.


The replacement of our bridge on 330th was discussed and how the water is eroding and changing the current water flow.  It was decided it would be best to get the DNR and County Engineer to view the situation.


It was noted that Dave Garner and Bob had both attended the County Board of Adjustment Meeting pertaining to the Lee variance request.


The reallocation of township monies into funds was discussed.  Recommended were $150,000.00 into a Road and Bridge fund and $160,000.00 (that had previously been allocated) into the Building Fund. It was decided it would be best to go light in the General Fund and to make the Road and Bridge Fund “fat”. Discussion was held in deciding if we needed a separate Fire Fund. 


Old Business. 

The Clerk will bill PQT Co. for the chloride applied in November to Sciota Trail and 2nd Ave.  Colleen reported she has not yet responded to the Davis letter as she is still reviewing past minutes.  A copy of the Wheeling Township town hall floor plan has been received.  It was decided to table the matter of a town hall building until sometime next year. Orderly annexation was tabled.


New Business.

The annual weed inspection report was finalized for submission.  Consideration of HAVA was tabled due to the submittal date of March 31, 2004, giving us ample time for completion of the report and the application for grant money.  The Board set a Special Meeting date of January 5, 2004 for the review of the Ordinance draft copy.


Mail was distributed.

A motion was made by Dave Garner and seconded by Dave McKeag to pay claims.  Carried.

A motion was made by Dave McKeag and seconded by Bob to adjourn.  Motion carried.