The meeting was called to order by CLWSD Chairman
Rob Scott at 4:07P.M.
CLWSD Members present: Managers Mark Anderson, Bruce Beste, Bonnie
Caughey and Rob Scott.
CLWSD Members absent: Manager Darrell Scott.
CL Township Members present: Jim Janssen (via Zoom), Kara Knutson and
Also present: St. Louis County Commissioner Paul
McDonald, CLWSD Legal Counsel Mia Thibodeau, CLWSD Clerk/Treasurer &
Township Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman, 15 members of the community and numerous
community members attending via ZOOM.
Chairman Rob Scott opened the Hearing by asking
everyone in the room to introduce themselves. Rob reviewed the history of the
District from its inception and explained the VNP Clean Water Project Joint
Powers Board (JPB) and Crane Lake’s involvement with that Board. Rob pointed out that the CLWSD began the
Kicker Blvd. Annexation process at the request of the JPB. Funding for the annexation process was
provided by the MPCA Legacy Funds. Rob
asked Comm. Paul McDonald to speak.
Comm. McDonald stated that the JPB has been very
successful in obtaining funding for the project within the area of Kabetogama,
Ash River, Island View and Crane Lake to improve the water quality of the
area. Two Counties, St. Louis and
Koochiching, are involved. The Board is
composed of commissioners from both counties.
Representatives from each of the areas attend the meetings to provide
input, without voting privileges. Comm.
McDonald indicated that the CLWSD septic system program is considered a
successful model that is being used as a model for other districts all over the
It was explained that both the CLWSD and the
Township Boards would pass resolutions following the meeting to be sent to the
Office of Administrative Hearings for the annexation to be considered.
The meeting was opened up to comments and questions
from the public present and those on ZOOM.
Some of the topics of interest were:
Have all parcels in Crane Lake been evaluated? – District
cannot do so by St. Louis County rule.
Are there funds available? – Yes, there are grant
If the property owner pays $7,500 to have a new
system, who pays the rest? -The grant
If a property has no existing system, must one be
put in upon transfer of title? – Question
should be directed to County.
Disagreement with St. Louis County’s process for
determining the amount of administrative levy assessed to properties. – Again,
a County issue.
If a property owner decides to participate in the
District’s program, what does the $7,500 cover? – The $7,500 is considered a buy-in to the District. The cost of an ISTS installation is covered
by the grant (additional owner costs include electrical or plumbing to building
or in the building).
Why try to annex all of Kicker Blvd.? Why not just those that wish to participate? –
Cost prohibitive to do individually.
Is there a copy of the Environmental Impact Study
precipitating the decision to annex Kicker Blvd.? – There is no study.
The process to determine the administrative levy on
properties is not equitable. – It is a St. Louis County process.
How many variances are there in the District? – Currently
Why is this happening? What is driving this? – The VNP Clean Water
Project Comprehensive Plan – Kicker Blvd. is densely populated.
When was testing done to determine water quality in
the proposed annexation area? – Unknown.
If the annexation goes through, can the District
require participation? – No.
Was there a survey of Kicker Blvd. to determine how
many properties are compliant/non-compliant? – The JPB and County have
evaluated several areas within the comprehensive plan. See Exhibit A (link
below) for the current Kicker Blvd. survey.
Comm. McDonald indicated he will request an updated survey ASAP.
Will we ever have Special Assessments or other
expenses added in addition to the Administrative Levy? – Not planned.
Is there a way for the property owners on Kicker
Blvd. to avoid annexation? – Property Owners who wish to prevent annexation
were directed to seek outside counsel.
Kicker Blvd. Annexation Hearing
September 2, 2020
Does the District have the option to stop the
annexation process as it appears most property owners are against it? – Yes,
the resolution to annex Kicker Blvd could be dropped.
If you know of anyone with a faulty system, you can
alert St. Louis County; they are then required to look into.
If you crunch the numbers, it becomes a very
expensive system over time. – It is a personal decision whether or not to
utilize the District programs. Many decisions are involved, without annexation;
property owners foot the entire bill, upfront, on their own.
It was noted that per Ordinance 61, it is illegal to
put gray water on the ground or in the lake. The link to the County website
that explains Ordinance 61 to property owners was mentioned as a great starting
resource. Additionally, the County has a
grant program to help low and moderate income people install systems. See the
Is the meeting being recorded. – Yes, via ZOOM
Who is the administrative law judge and where are
they located? – The OAH judge will be located in St. Paul, the specific judge
will be determined later.
A survey is a good idea.
A letter provided by a property owner was read to
the people present.
Notes provided by a Zoom participant:
It was not clear how residents might vote.
Only the County can inspect for compliance.
If a resident wishes to object, they are entitled to
Kicker Blvd. may be part of the tax levy, even if
nobody participates. If annexed, they are
taxed regardless of participation.
Generally, see land value increases as result of
Changes in property may require an update according
to MN guidelines.
There is a $7,500 buy in and an $80 monthly fee.
Is running water a trigger for a septic system? It has to do with waste water. Waste water must be dealt with. County Ordinance 61 determines what is
needed. The District does not regulate
this. If annexation goes ahead, you may
ask them to maintain and own your system.
Levy is for administrative costs.
All people benefit from cleaner water.
Recommend a spokesperson from Kicker Blvd. to
present to the JPB.
CLWSD Chairman Rob Scott said that the District
would table the resolution calling for the annexation until all information can
be reviewed by the JPB. He also
recommended that the Kicker Blvd. residents form a group and select a
spokesperson to represent them to the CLWSD.
Go to the Map page of the Website to view Kicker
Blvd. area maps.
The hearing was adjourned at 5:30PM
Jo Ann Pohlman, Clerk
This draft of the CLWSD & Township Minutes has been posted solely for preliminary informational purposes. Minutes are unofficial and subject to change until they have been approved by the Boards.