Crane Lake, Minnesota Water & Sanitary District  
Crane Lake, Minnesota Water & Sanitary District - Menu



April 2, 2003 – 7:30 PM




Study Session:  7:00 – 7:30PM


There was no Study Session


Regular Meeting


The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman Darrell Scott at 7:30PM.


Members present:  Managers Darrell Scott, Mike White, Jim Sanborn, and Deena Congdon.

Members absent:   None


Also present:  John Jamnick, Jim Pucel and Stu Dye of RLK-Kuusisto Ltd., Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman, a reporter from the Cook News-Herald, three reporters from the Voyageur Sentinel and 26 members of the community.





Motion by M. White, supported by D. Congdon to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of March 5 and the Special Meeting of March 26, 2003.  Motion carried.


Motion by D. Congdon, supported by J. Sanborn to approve the March Treasurer’s Report and payment of bills as follows:  Frontier – $57.64; Midwest Captions – $120.00; MPCA – $505.00; and VTSI – $499.62.  Motion carried.  Treasurer M. White stated that the Border State Bank note expired on 3/31/03.  A motion was made by D. Congdon, supported by J. Sanborn for M. White to contact the bank to renew the loan for a length of time determined after discussion with the engineers and the attorney as to when funding will be available to repay the loan.  Motion carried


Agenda Amendment – A motion was made by M. White, supported by D. Congdon to address Item No. 11 – Bid Related Issues – as Item No. 1.  Motion carried.


Bid Related Issues

  • A motion was made by M. White, supported by J. Sanborn to award the bids to the low bidders as recommended by our Engineer, RLK-Kuusisto with Wagner Construction, Inc for the Wastewater Collection System at $1,734,104.00 and Rice Lake Construction Group for the Wastewater Treatment System at $909,097.00.  Motion carried.



  • The correspondence was presented to the Board.
  • A motion was made by M. White, supported by D. Congdon to place the correspondence on file and act upon as required.  Motion carried.


RLK-Kuusisto Progress Report

  • Spoke to Ruth Hubbard of the Minnesota Rural Water Finance Authority regarding interim financing.  Jim Pucel will arrange the financing through attorney Mary Frances Skala of Fryberger Buchanan.
  • Spoke with Dean Haglin, St. Louis County Public Works Department regarding the status of the permit application for installation of utilities on County right-of-way.  This should be in the mail soon.
  • Spoke with Mary Frances Skala regarding status of the revised draft ordinance.  A working copy was received 4/2/03.


RLK-Kuusisto Progress Report (Cont.)

  • Spoke with Rolland Hamborg, US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the status of the project and grant funding for the functional project.
  • Spoke with Becky Sabie, Public Facilities Authority regarding the status of the project.  She then spoke with Roger Clapp of Rural Development.
  • Spoke with Alicia Cope of Cope & Peterson regarding outstanding easement issues.
  • Spoke with Steve Nelson, St. Louis County CDBG program regarding status of the project.
  • Sent copies of the ESA Report to St. Louis County Health Department, MPCA and Rural Development for their review and comment.
  • J. Jamnick made the comment that he had talked to the City of Orr regarding Biosolids Disposal.  The City Council did not actually vote on the issue.  Other options will be considered.


Easements Status Report

  • Jim Pucel reviewed Cope & Peterson’s Easement Status Report with the Board.
  • M. White explained that two firms are providing the District with legal services. Cope & Peterson for land related issues and Fryberger Buchanan for other issues.


Right-of-Way Issues

  • Alicia Cope of Cope & Peterson is communicating with Township attorney Michael Kearney regarding right-of-way issues in the WSA and on Bear Island.


Eastern Service Area Plan

  • M. White clarified that the CLWSD, as such, does not have a plan for the ESA.  The Preliminary Engineering Report – Sewer Study for the Eastern Service Area, created by the engineers, has not been approved by the Board.  The Plan has been sent to regulating agencies for their review and comment.  After their responses have been received, the Board will meet with the engineers to discuss options for the areas affected.  After that the Board would act on the Plan.


Ordinance Plan & Rate Schedule

  • A working ordinance was received from attorney Mary Frances Skala of Fryberger Buchanan today.
  • The Board had asked the engineers and Mary Frances to give their recommendations.
  • The Board will need time to review the working ordinance.
  • The Ordinance will include or refer to the rate schedule.
  • The EDU’s presently used to calculate rates are the only numbers available.  These numbers need to be reviewed.
  • M. White suggested hiring someone knowledgeable in developing rate schedules to assist the Board with this task and said he could have a recommendation for the Board by the 3rd week of April.
  • A motion was made by D. Congdon, supported by J. Sanborn for M. White to find someone to assist the Board with a rate schedule and report at a Special Meeting on April 23, 2003 at the Crane Lake Fellowship Hall at 7:30PM.  Motion carried.


Vacancy/Board of Managers

  • M. White explained the status of CLWSD Board Manager appointments with the County, the MPCA and the Town of Crane Lake.  It will require resolutions being approved by all three and will take at least another month.


Board 2003 Officer Elections

  • The election of officers will be tabled until there is a full Board of Managers.



Board Designates – Accountant, Attorney, Bank & Newspaper

  • The Board designates will be tabled until there is a full Board of Managers.





The next meeting will be a Special Board Meeting on April 23, 2003 at 7:30PM at the Crane Lake Chapel Fellowship Hall with a Study Session at 7:00PM prior to the meeting.  Agenda items will include the Ordinance, Rate Schedules and the Board vacancy.





Some of the public comments were as follows:


Does anyone on the Board have a conflict of interest?  Board members answered no.


Has metering been considered?  What would it cost?


It should be understood that the Board would be fair in their rate schedule plan.


Can the landowners come before the Board if they feel their EDU’s are not correct?


Are there advantages to community members getting together to get funding?  The County should replace the culverts, which are currently in disrepair.  No one is pleased with the expense of the sewer project.


Could the plant be moved closer to the WSA and the discharge site changed to near the County Dock to reduce costs?  Response:  Rural Development has stated that moving the plant would set everything back to square one.  Also, there may be an odor issue.


As the community grows and more EDU’s are added, would there be a rebate to current users?  Response:  Yes.  Additions to the system would pay a hookup fee, which would allow adjustment to current users.


Has there been communication with other communities with metering systems?  Response:  Yes, most have city water also, which is easier to meter.


Paul Hamblin requested that the following be placed in the record:

  • Since the original inception of the project, the Board has stated that the rate structure and classification of users will be fair and equal, and would not subsidize any one group as it relates to the cost and servicing of the project.  This statement can be found in the first public meeting held at the Crane Lake Fire Hall in about 1995.  It is also restated in the June 6, 2002 Newsletter and in the August 21, 2002 Minutes and at several other meetings.  It is felt that the current rate structure and debt servicing, as presented by the Board as of April 2, 2003, shows that the rate structure is skewed in such a manner as to benefit certain classifications of users, particularly commercial users.  See Correspondence No. 1 dated 4-02-2003.  Let the record show that the Board was asked to consider Items 1 through 7 on Correspondence No. 1.
  • Normally, property owners are responsible for all costs incurred to connect their homes to the trunk line, which is usually placed in the center of the street or utility corridor.  The CLWSD Board has elected to place all of the owner connection costs to the trunk line into the cost of the WSA project, this represents an unfair and unequal and subsidizing procedure and results in an inequitable debt servicing structure.
  • Please add Correspondence No. 2 to Public Comments.


Vice-Chairman D. Scott asked if there were any other comments.   There were none.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:35PM



J. Pohlman


Crane Lake Water & Sanitary District
P.O. Box 306 · Crane Lake, Minnesota 55725
© 2001 CLWSD