CRANE LAKE WATER & SANITARY DISTRICT (CLWSD)
ESA COMMITTEE MEETING
October 18, 2013 – 9:00AM
CRANE LAKE CHAPEL FELLOWSHIP HALL
The informal meeting began at 9:00AM. The attendees were: ESA Representatives Brent Bystrom, John Pace, and Feno Rainaldi; CLWSD Managers Rob Scott and Darrell Scott; and CLWSD Clerk/ Treasurer Jo Ann Pohlman.
Brent Bystrom provided an agenda and a CLWSD Expansion Costs graph.
Brent reviewed some of the CLWSD history and his involvement with the District’s consideration of discharge to Baylis Bay and the Citizen’s Committee. Brent stated his concern of the separation between the community and the District.
Brent mentioned that the District’s website home page seemed to be out of date. The use of the term failing systems by the Timberjay in an article of their October 11th paper and by the District engineers was discussed. The District Ordinances, the County and the State currently use the terms compliant and existing. The content of the Timberjay article was discussed with concern of action that may be taken by Bear Island residents. More public input at District Board meetings would be helpful for communications.
Brent’s graph comparing the average cost of an ISTS to the cost per property in each considered expansion area was reviewed. The cost per property would exceed the cost of an ISTS in each instance. The concern was why would the District consider such high costs?
Brent was not aware of any monitoring of water clarity being done by the District. He suggested that the District use available grant funds for water quality monitoring, plant improvement and a comprehensive study of the District rather than expansion.
The VNP Comprehensive Plan was viewed as incomplete by Brent and in need of more data. He felt the JPB relied on the District to provide the necessary information for their work.
Rob reviewed the separation of the District and the Township in relation to when each was formed. He further explained that the District was overseen by USDA-Rural Development and the MPCA. The District has been providing monthly reports at the Township meetings and an annual report at the Township Annual Meeting in March to inform the public of the District’s actions in addition to the minutes being posted on the website. Rob agreed that the District Board could review the current meeting procedures.
Rob felt the CLWSD Expansion Costs graph needed to clarify that Project Costs were still in the review stage.
Rob stated that the Board is waiting for a response on a question presented to the County on individuals in both the WSA and the ESA deciding not to hook-up to the system and using a different County approved system. The Board is also waiting for a detailed report from Mr. Bartel’s review of the Bear Island systems. Another question is, was the MPCA’s expectations of the District to complete the WSA only and not the whole District?
Rob agreed that the VNP Comprehensive Plan was a starting point and not a finished product. A question to the JPB would be, can expenses to study districts within the Namakan Basin be supported by grant funds?
Rob stressed that the Board is volunteer and months go by with no attendance by community members and that no decisions have been made for future expansion.
ESA Committee Meeting – October 18, 2013
Some options that the Board has before it are: A fixed rate could be charged to everyone within the District, not just the WSA. A flat fee could be charged to those currently on the system, rather than a measured use system. A management system for the entire District is being considered. The District is communicating with Ottertail County and the University of MN on management systems. A December public meeting is being considered with attendance by a representative from each to explain management systems to the community and the Board.
The division of administrative and operating expenses was discussed as well as the approachability of the Board Chair.
Rob suggested that a representative and alternate be appointed from the ESA to attend both CLWSD meetings and JPB meetings as a communication avenue.
The meeting ended at 11AM.
Jo Ann.Pohlman, Clerk