Linwood looks at winter effects

Lack of snow lets workers get to other duties

Alice Pickering
Linwood Reporter

Since there has been little snow to plow thus far this winter, Supervisor Mike Halliday asked at the Jan. 10 Linwood Town Board meeting how township employees were allocating hours between departments. Beside regular stops for picking up trash at parks, workmen have had more time for work on township equipment. There has been time to catch-up on indoor maintenance, painting, and miscellaneous jobs, since there has not been so much snow plowing.

Halliday believes the question is an important one because the supervisors answer questions at the annual meeting and he wants supporting documents. It affects the departmental budget planning for 2013 which is uses information from the previous year as a beginning point. Employees report on timesheets how many hours are allocated for tasks and the funds are charged against departmental budgets.

Halliday and Supervisor Phil Osterhus spoke in favor of a position description for a Lead Maintenance Worker or designation as department head.  Osterhus supports an assignment of the responsibility to one who takes the initiative on the job.  He believes this job needs to be a time-clock position.

Mike Parker, Chair, recognized that costs would be greater with creating a lead position and designating someone to fill it. He is in the process of developing a position description which will be complete for the supervisors to review before the next board meeting.

The board passed a resolution authorizing employment of Supervisor Mike Budde as a township employee.  Wages and salary $24/hr are ìas low as or lower than the price at which the services could be obtained elsewhere.î Action was approved by a vote of 4-0. Budde did not attend the meeting.

Road work is being planned for 227th Lane from Elbe St. to West Martin Lake Drive. However there are some disputes about some of the rights-of-way. Attorney Gerald Randall has suggested that the township has acquired some of these by virtue of having maintained the road for more than six years. The township plans to file an affidavit supporting the claim that because historically the township has maintained the road as it is, it is a township road.

It is mid-winter, but still not a good time to burn brush. Fire Chief Ken Minske told the board that burning restrictions could be put into effect at anytime because there is no snow and fuel is dry.

Three new volunteer fire fighters joined the Linwood Volunteer Fire Department Jan. 1. The department now has 29 members. Training continues for department personnel with Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and First Responder refresher courses are scheduled for February 17-19.

A committee has been formed to begin contacting manufacturers to discuss features and begin putting together a bid package for a new truck. Plans are to begin painting the interior of the fire station in the first quarter of the year.

The department responded to 15 emergency calls in December; 12 were for medical emergencies and two were for fires.

Road and Bridge Committee had a budget workshop Tuesday, Jan. 17.  Tree trimming is continuing through the winter as conditions allow.  At the last Road and Bridge Committee the recommendation was made to continue with tree trimming throughout the winter, contracting with Ramlís Tree Cutting, when the company is available to work in the township.

The committee is to begin identifying roads which need work for 2012.  Bob Beckman, Chair, is pushing for documentation of road rights-of-way throughout the township.

The board approved a licensing agreement with Anoka County which allows Linwood Township to use digital ortho and oblique aerial photographs. With this agreement, the township is authorized to use the digital orthographic photographs, oblique aerial photographs, Pictometry On-Line (POL) website and its information system software which are associated with the images.

The company, Pictometry International Corp., took photos of Anoka County which it is licensed to use and share with local government units. This information is a tool which can be used in planning for infrastructure expansion, development, street planning, and other development. The vote was unanimous.

Once again, a decision about the agreement with Crown Castle was tabled.  The board met early to discuss the Crown Castle proposal for lease extension on the communication tower located in Broadbent Park. However more information is still needed. An independent company is to consult on the terms proposed by Crown Castle to the township.  The vote was 4-0 to table this until the next meeting.

Supervisors passed a resolution authorizing the Kiwi Snowmobile Club to establish a snowmobile trail in Linwood Township along the townshipís road rights-of-way. This is a renewal of a long-standing agreement the club has had with the township.  The vote was 4-0.

In addition, 205th Avenue, which crosses the northern part of Carlos Avery Wildlife Reserve, is designated as an ATV/snowmobile trail. Parker told the board that the concrete barriers across both ends of the trail are to be replaced with metal gates, which allow access to fire fighters. The township is to purchase the gates and Kiwi members will install them.

Supervisors changed their decision about purchasing a new dish washer for the Senior Center instead of repairing the existing unit, because of the high cost for a comparable appliance. Parts have been ordered to make the repair to the existing unit.

The Park Board is sponsoring a skating party on Saturday, Jan. 21 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.  Supervisor Bob Millerbernd is pitching the event as the First Annual Skating Party.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the pleasure rink at Four Seasons Park, behind the Linwood Senior Center. The warming house will be open. Come to skate, enjoy the bonfire; along with hot cocoa and pop corn.

The Linwood Community and School Forest has scheduled its medallion hunt to begin in February. Halliday indicated that a new representative to the committee; school appointment, should be announced at the next meeting.

In other business, the board:

• Unanimously approved payment of the Dec. 20, 2011 end-of-year bills in the amount of $6,747.43.

• By a vote of 4-0, approved payment of the Jan. 10, 2012 bills in the amount of $20,060.45.

• By unanimous vote, approved the audit agreement HLB Tautges Redpath, Ltd. for the 2011 township audit at a cost of $23,500.

• By a 4-0 vote, passed a resolution setting the Park Dedication Fee for residential development in the township at $2000 per lot for 2012.

• Announced a second budget planning workshop, scheduled for 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25.

• Directed staff to determine who, besides township personnel, has a key to the gate to the north entrance to the Linwood Community Park and School Forest. The initial step is contact with the family who donated an additional parcel to expand the park/forest.

• Heard a request from a resident about having an additional satellite in Four Seasons Park during the summer. A long distance to the existing one near the rink and groups of older kids, make the walk a scary one for small children. Halliday will check with Parks Commission about arranging for the service.  Park Commission concerns are about the vandalism.

• Approved the minutes of the meeting, Dec. 27, 2011 by a vote of 4-0.

• Unanimously approved the December 2011 financial statements and the Petty Cash Report.

• Learned that the December building permit report is not yet complete.

Upcoming events

• Fundraisers for Linwood Family Fun Day, Garage Sales; Feb. 24-26 and March 30-April 1.

• Linwood Seniors Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, March 17.

• Spring Recycle Day is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 28.

• Pet Clinics are scheduled for Saturdays on April 14, May 5 and June 2.