Agendas and Minutes

June 30, 2020 Board Meeting

Royalton Township Regular Board Meeting Minutes
6052 Royalton Road, Braham, MN 55006
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30 June 2020

7:36 p.m., 30 June 2020, Chair Wayne Olson called the Royalton Township regular board meeting to order, with Supervisors Marshall Pearson and Jeff Schlaeger, Treasurer Wendy Tchida, and Clerk Duane Swanson present.  Zoning Administrator John Kemen, Road Superintendent Dan Saumer, Septic Inspector Amy Thompson, and Deputy Clerk Priscilla Schneider also attended, along with members of the planning commission and the public.  The pledge of allegiance was recited.

Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Supervisor Pearson seconded, to approve the agenda as presented with the addition of CARES Act, Beacon, 15191 Brunswick, and 5300 Royal River Road.  Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Supervisor Pearson seconded, to approve the agenda as presented with four additions.  The motion carried unanimously.

Supervisor Pearson moved, Supervisor Schlaeger seconded, to approve the minutes of the regular board meeting of 26 May 2020 as presented.  The motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer Tchida gave her report, noting that the township has a balance of $362,247.44 in the treasury.  Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Chair Olson seconded, to approve the report.  The motion carried unanimously.

Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Chair Olson seconded, to approve payment of checks #9605-9654 (with checks 9608-9613, 9627-9632 and 9653-9654 being void) in the amount of $59,464.16.  Chair Olson asked about the number of voided checks and was told that occurred because the new printer automatically defaulted to two-sided mode.  The motion carried unanimously with Chair Olson, Supervisor Pearson, and Supervisor Schlaeger voting "aye".

Public Forum was offered.  Les Orvis noted that he had driven on Royal River Road and a new camper appeared to have been installed.

Planning Commission recommendations:

No activity had occurred on the Saumer land subdivision proposal or on the solar energy ordinance, policies or levy/equipment funds.

The board discussed the boundary issue between Kevin McFerrin and Karen Gross.  Both parties were present to address the board and expressed willingness to continue to work out a solution.  By consensus, the board noted that it would support a boundary line adjustment/quit claim deed/easement arrangement if both parties agreed to one.

The 9453 Riverbed variance request to Pine County required no action by the board.

Old Business:

Supervisor Pearson noted that the parking lot had been seal coated and striped, with the second quote being substantially lower than the first.

Clerk Swanson and Septic Inspector Thompson reported that counsel had sent a letter to 7995 Bluebell requiring septic upgrades.  A permit has been received and a rock bed inspection is scheduled.

The conflicting septic inspections at 9003 Wildflower Road (PID 290112000) have not been resolved.  A letter declaring the system noncompliant had been sent to the property owner with no response.  Chair Olson moved, Supervisor Schlaeger seconded, to authorize counsel to send a letter requiring compliance.  The motion carried unanimously.

The owners of Royal River Run, lot 8, block 3 (PID 295141000) responded to the second point of sale letter certifying that no septic system existed on the property.  This issue will be removed from the agenda.

In response to the township's letter of 8 June, the owners of 12254 Farming Road (PID 290382001) have been in touch with Septic Inspector Thompson, have submitted a pumping certificate as required, and an abandonment process is in the works.

In other septic activity, Clerk Swanson and Inspector Thompson reported that permits have been received for 11604 Harvest Road and 2654 Pokegama Lake Road; that a positive compliance inspection had been received for 7859 Clint Road; that an agreement to abandon the existing system at 8330 Clint Road is in place; and that a new system has been installed at 10278 Bear Claw Drive.  The owner of 1720 Brunswick is moving forward with the installation of a new system.  Non-compliant inspections have been received for 4873 Woodland and 2010 Pokegama Lake Road.

Regarding the excess vehicles at 4843 Brunswick Road, counsel has received no response to her stipulation and order for cleanup.  She is prepared to file a default motion with the court, for which she requires photographs or an affidavit outlining the condition on the property.  After discussion, the board tabled this issue until its July meeting so that supervisors could review the condition of the property.  Clerk Swanson will report this decision to counsel.

Supervisor Pearson reported that he had heard nothing new regarding 1255 Royal Heights Lane.  Road Superintendent Saumer reported that some personal property appeared to have been removed (boat trailer, etc.) but that the garbage remained.

Chair Olson moved, Supervisor Schlaeger seconded, to authorize counsel to send a letter to 5536 Pokegama Lake Road regarding the need for a septic compliance inspection, with a deadline of 25 July.  No further response has been received since the owner asked for a list of inspectors.  The motion carried unanimously.

The issue of campers at 1605 Royal Heights Lane was tabled until the July meeting; a second letter will be sent.

One camper has been removed from 10696 Pine Bough Road as promised by the owner; the second camper remains.  By consensus, the board authorized the sending of a second letter (certified) requiring removal of the second camper by 25 July or legal action will be taken.

No apparent action has been taken regarding the removal of logs from the right-of-way by owners of 4985 Hummingbird Road.  By consensus, the board authorized Road Superintendent Saumer to remove them.

The board acknowledged an e-mail response from the owners of 9435 Apple Road regarding excess vehicles.  Although board members disagreed with the statements in the communication, the board noted that the vehicles had been removed and that this issue could be removed from the agenda.

Lacking any response from 10278 Bear Claw Drive about excess vehicles, Chair Olson moved, Supervisor Pearson seconded, to send a second letter (certified) requesting a response by 25 July.  The motion carried unanimously.

The excess vehicles at 5017 Canary Road have been removed, and this issue will be removed from the agenda.

Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Chair Olson seconded, to send second letters (certified) regarding excess vehicles to 3493 Pokegama Lake Road, 4673 Canary Road, and 4670 Canary Road, requiring a response to the board by 25 July 2020.  The motion carried unanimously.

The owner of 5639 Red Oak Road have been in communication with Clerk Swanson and Zoning Administrator Kemen about excess vehicles.  This issue, by consensus, was tabled until the July meeting.

Clerk Swanson presented a draft of a letter to 764 Greeley Road regarding plastic structures.  Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Chair Olson seconded, to approve the draft with the change of "may" to "will".  The motion carried unanimously.

The board considered counsel's request for direction regarding the fence in ditch at 3316 Raspberry Road.  Counsel has requested its removal by 8 July.  Chair Olson moved, Supervisor Pearson seconded, that if the fence is not removed by the deadline, counsel is authorized to send a second letter notifying the owners that the township will remove the fence on Tuesday, 21 July, as authorized by statute.  The motion further states that, based on past history with this property, the board requests counsel approve the calling of sheriff's deputies to accompany the township personnel during the removal, and further requests, if any further obstruction of the right-of-way occurs, removal costs will be charged to the property.  The motion carried unanimously.

Deputy Clerk Schneider and Clerk Swanson requested board direction regarding the purchase of two additional fireproof cabinets (already approved), and two bistro tables and chairs for election workers.  By consensus, the board authorized Deputy Clerk Schneider and Les Orvis to select items that would be appropriate and work with Dan Saumer to arrange for hauling any purchases.

Chair Olson reported that the security upgrade was complete.  Road Superintendent Saumer reported on continuing issues with the loss of power in the shed, presumably due to water infiltrating the cable between the shed and the hall.  He is expecting a quote to address the issue.  No action was taken.

Chair Olson will talk with Kent Bombard about the website upgrade.

Supervisor Pearson recommended that the town hall carpeting issue be removed from the agenda because his re-gluing of tiles seems to have resolved the issue.

Supervisor Pearson met with neighbors who complained about a barking dog, noting the need to resolve those issues between themselves.  The specific issue seems to have been resolved.

Les Orvis reported on his discussions with owners of 6051 Royalton Road (PID 290172000) and 430 Greeley Road (PID 290374005) about excess vehicles.  Discussions are ongoing.

New Business:

Chair Olson moved, Supervisor Schlaeger seconded, to approve Resolution 2020-4 appointing election judges for the 11 August 2020 primary election.  The motion carried unanimously.  A copy will accompany these minutes.

After discussion, the board referred Michael Murphy's request to abandon part of Riverbed Road to the planning commission for recommendation.

Supervisor Pearson reported on his meetings with Building Inspector Marshall Lind and County Planning Director Caleb Anderson.  If the township informs Building Inspector Lind of properties with unpermitted buildings, he will write initial letters to them.  If no response is received, the township will be responsible for further follow-up.  Inspector Lind will also e-mail the township when a permit is issued.  Supervisor Pearson reported that Caleb Anderson recognized that properties in the Shorelands District will have site permits issued by the county but that building permits must still be received from the township.  He notes that each permit for Royalton contains a sticker reminding owners that township permits must be received.  He also will remind his staff that town permits are also required.

Clerk Swanson reported that Inspector Lind had sent six letters at the request of the township and that one additional property remains in discussion.

Chair Olson noted that his certification and that of Supervisor Schlaeger for the local board of appeal and equalization have expired.  Online certification is open as of 1 July.

Road Superintendent Saumer reported on his and Supervisor Schlaeger's discussion with County Engineer Mark LeBrun regarding Raspberry Road South.  Mr. LeBrun recommends adding four feet of compressed gravel to the low spot, waiting a year, then removing it and adding geo-grid squares, which seems to have worked elsewhere.  The squares cost $1.00 per square foot; it is estimated that the project would require between 1,600 and 3,000 square feet.  No decisions were made.

The board discussed potential tree cutting, based on the road inspection.  By consensus, the board authorized Road Superintendent Saumer to talk with Tom Lundeen about timing and cost for the following roads:  Royalton Road North, Bear Claw Drive, Timber Drive, Acorn Drive, Raspberry Road South, and Clover Lane.  The board also authorized the office to send letters to property owners along those roads (noting that the owners along Acorn Drive and the east side of Royalton Road North had already given verbal permission).

The office has received a rental request for use of the sound system and requested direction.  The board noted that the sound system is functioning but lacks password protection and decided that it would not be available for rentals.  The office also requested direction on who, and when,

damage deposits from renters should be retained.  One recent renter left the hall in condition that required extra cleaning.  After discussion, the board requested the office to review the rental agreement, bolding lines about cleaning and stating that not following the agreement will result in forfeiture of the damage deposit.  The board also noted that pictures of damage or excess cleaning will have to accompany a request to withhold return of the damage deposit.

Clerk Swanson reported that according to the CARES Act monies released by Governor Walz, Royalton is entitled to $28,275.  These monies must be requested by 15 September and must relate to non-budgeted expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Several ideas were discussed, including modifications for the elections.

Clerk Swanson reported that the Pine County Beacon land site has three entries for the "Town of Royalton", all of which are noted "%Roberta Folkestad".  He has asked County Auditor-Treasurer to remove the "in care of" and she has done so.  The three properties are the town hall, the gravel pit, and a road north off Cabin Drive.

Supervisor Pearson reported on counsel's options concerning 5300 Royal River Road.  After discussion, Supervisor Schlaeger moved, Supervisor Pearson seconded, to authorize counsel to proceed with a hazardous property abatement service.  Since the owners are deceased and there has been no probate of either estate, the order would have to be published for four consecutive weeks, after which a motion to the district court would be filed.  The motion carried unanimously.


Chair Olson reported that Dan Sqyures' appointment as town assessor had been forwarded to Pine County and that the State Demographer had determined that Royalton's population, as of 2 April 2019, was 1136 individuals in 410 households.

The next town board meeting is 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, 28 July 2020 at the town hall.

At 9:06 p.m., Supervisor Pearson moved, Supervisor Schlaeger seconded, to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Duane P. Swanson, Clerk

Wayne Olson, Chair/Supervisor

Marshall Pearson, Vice Chair/Supervisor

Jeff Schlaeger, Supervisor