Linwood sets proposed budget

Alice Pickering
Linwood Reporter

Linwood supervisors on Feb. 11 approved the proposed township budget for 2015 in the amount of $1,756,860. Officials will meet with an auditor Feb. 25 and this amount will be presented to residents at the annual meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11. Once budget reserves are determined, a 2015 levy proposal will be set, with the goal to keep the levy at $1.5 million.

Ordinance changes

The responsibility for inspection of septic systems has shifted from Anoka County to Linwood officials. Attorney Mike Haag reviewed the ordinance, which was recently approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The Town Board also approved it, meaning the township’s building inspector assumes the responsibility for inspecting septic systems within township boundaries and enforcing violations.

Supervisor Ed Kramer explained that eventually a rotation will be set up so that about one-third of the systems are inspected each year. Kramer stressed that the ordinance relates to inspections, not necessarily pumping requirements. The purpose is to ensure systems are working properly. Details about implementing the ordinance must be finalized.

Haag also reviewed some changes in language related to an adult entertainment ordinance. Rather that making changes in zoning, the township will handle requests based on conditional use permits. These require an annual inspection and review, and the board handles them on a case-by-case basis.

A recommended $3,000 licensing fee for such businesses is defensible, but not prohibitive, according to Haag. Areas of the township where such businesses could be located must be three-quarters of a mile from schools, churches and bus stops within the township. Haag will present the final form of the ordinance at the next board meeting for approval.

Official newspaper

There have been requests from the board that the Forest Lake Times be delivered to all Linwood residents. Copies are delivered to Town Hall each week. Supervisor Ed Kramer wondered if it would be possible to deliver the paper to residents of the school district.

ECM North Regional General Manager Jeff Andres, in attendance, explained that deliveries are determined by zip code. As an alternative, Andres offered to have 25 copies of the paper placed at both Dolphy Automotive and the Country Store. The Forest Lake Times remains the official newspaper for Linwood Township.

Pay increases

For the first time in three years, cost of living increases were awarded to employees. This amounts to a 1.5 percent increase for all employees except supervisors, the town clerk, custodian and senior center coordinator. The recently hired accountant/secretary and building inspector are not yet eligible.

Longevity pay increases were approved for the two township maintenance workers. Mike Budde received a 0.25 percent increase as Maintenance Worker 1. Chris Herring was awarded a 1 percent increase as a Maintenance Worker 2. These increases are built into their contracts.

Other business

Linwood’s third-annual skating party was a success, according to Supervisor Mike Halliday. He estimated about 50 to 60 skaters hit the ice at Four Seasons Park on Feb. 8.

Supervisors accepted a letter of resignation from Alan Hurtley, who leaves his position on the Linwood Community and School Forest Committee. They approved the appointment of Mary Tenjack to the committee to fill the vacancy as a township resident.

Ed Kramer continues as liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission. This was omitted from the assignments last week.