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



January 4, 2006 – 7:30 P.M.


The meeting was called to order by Chairman Rob Scott at 7:30P.M.


Members present:  Managers Bud Bystrom, Darrell Scott, Rob Scott, and Michael White.

Members absent:  None

Also present: Jim Pucel of RLK-Kuusisto, Kenny Winkler and Jim Pohlman of NTS, Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman, reporters from the Cook News-Herald and the Voyageur Sentinel, and 11 members of the community.




Opening Comments:  Chairman Rob Scott commented on the return to the Fellowship Hall for meetings and the accessibility issues entailed.  Mr. Scott mentioned three critical agenda items, i.e. Board accountability, returning the treatment plant to its previous state of operation prior to the July flooding incidents, and the revision of the financial plan that the District has been using since June of 2004.


Election of Officers:  Chairman Scott stated that the Board needed to elect a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and a Treasurer for 2006.  Upon a request for a nomination for Chairman, Manager M. White suggested that the current Board should remain as it stands until there is a full voting Board.  A motion was made by M. White, supported by B. Bystrom to delay Board election until there is a full voting Board.  Motion carried.


12/7/05 Action Items Review:  Chairman Scott reviewed the action items from the previous meeting – Easement, Survey Pin and Right-of-Way issues; Late Fees, Meeting Location, Advisory Committee notice and Gopher State One Call procedure.  R. Scott said the items would be addressed throughout the Agenda.


A motion was made by D. Scott, supported by M. White, to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of December 7, 2005. Motion carried.


The correspondence was presented to the Board. There were requests for three letters to be read aloud at the meeting.  Chairman Scott stated that he would read the letters along with the Agenda item to which they referred. A motion was made by M. White, supported by B. Bystrom, that the correspondence be approved as requested by the Chair.  Motion carried.


Acting-Treasurer M. White reviewed the December Treasurer’s Report explaining that the reports were labeled preliminary subject to end-of-year work completion, including merging the Project records with the District records,  separating the insurance claim items from actual receipts and disbursements, and other year-end adjustments.  The invoices on hand were presented for payment approval.  A motion was made by D. Scott, supported by B. Bystrom, to approve payment of the following invoices:  Administrative:  Lutefisk Technologies – $32.50; RLK-Kuusisto – $130.00; MN Rural Water Association – $195.00.  Plant Operations: Lake Country Power – $26.97 & $558.61; NTS – $4,258.13; DVS Renewal – $18.50. Flood Related:  NTS – $1,407.00; and RLK-Kuusisto – $1,467.50.  Gold Coast Project:  Cope & Peterson – $70.00.  M. White stated that the Project Fund owed the Administrative Fund $6,052.00.  This payment was previously approved.


RLK/NTS – Treatment Plant Update and Corrective Actions

  • Insurance Claim Status:  The insurance adjuster assured the Clerk on January 3rd  that a payment check would be received within 10 business days for NTS Invoice No. 05-06290 and July, August, & September costs for daily on-site inspections and for RLK flood related charges on invoices 45 and 46.  Other invoices have been submitted to RLK as received to be submitted to the insurance adjuster.  Allied Adjusters has verbally assured the District that all claims will be covered.
  • Work Plan/Project Forecast:  The Work Plan was not reviewed with the Board as changes had not been made.
  • UPS Enhancement:  A letter was sent to the Board requesting that a plant enhancement item be approved to expedite repair of the PLC.  The Board had agreed at a previous meeting to address enhancement items after all outstanding project items had been completed and any unanticipated items were identified.   J. Pucel explained the time line necessity of approving this particular enhancement.  A motion was made by M. White, supported by B. Bystrom to approve the $2,500 UPS enhancement purchase to repair the PLC.  Motion carried.


CLWSD Meeting Minutes 1/4/06


RLK-Kuusisto Project Status Report

  • Hoff Inspection:  An invoice payment of $1,135.25 to RLK was approved at the December meeting for inspection services of the Hoff grinder installation.  Ordinance # 3 states that ‘The I/I inspection fee is a fee payable upon completion of the inspection required of each property owner prior to connection to the Wastewater Treatment Facilities.  Such fee is $100.00’.  J. Pucel explained that the inspection services provided by RLK included inspection of the force main and grinder pump installation in addition to inspection from the grinder to the building, thus the increased cost.  M. White explained that the Board has not set up a connection fee procedure and no procedures have been approved for new connections.  The Board agreed that the inspection fee for the Hoff property should be $100.
  • Wells:  A letter was sent to Gayle Zullick asking for approval to hydro frack the well on her property.  Gayle responded with her approval.  RLK understood that Peterson Well Drilling was at the property on 1/3/06 but has not received a report yet.
  • Capital Asset Plan:  RLK will complete the plan after plant improvements and enhancements are completed.  They will work with Scott Harder of EFG on the plan.
  • Engineer Services Amendment #5:  The decision at the November meeting to address the Amendment upon completion of the Capital Asset Plan still stands.
  • Hilltop Road – Rock Pile/Excavation:  RLK sent a letter to Wagner requesting rock removal.  No response has been received from Wagner within the timeframe given.  A letter was also written to Dave Adams regarding ground elevation changes made above the sanitary force main piping within the right-of-way or easement area.  No response has been received.  A phone conversation with Wagner provided the information that Wagner had contacted Dave Adams regarding the rocks.  The next step will be a letter to the effected parties from Cope and Peterson with copies to the Board.
  • Easements, Survey Pin:  Easement work that needs to be completed will be at no cost to the District.  Survey pin issues are on the Wagner punch list.  Their retention payment will not be awarded until punch list items are completed.


NTS Project Status Report

  • K. Winkler reported that the plant is running well and all standards are being met at the plant.
  • Pipeline Locations:  RLK has provided the necessary drawings to NTS for Gopher State One Call registration.  M.  Appelwick has spoken to Bob Patrick regarding pipeline location work.  Mr. Patrick assured NTS that he could provide the work and there would be a backup service available should he be unavailable when called.  He requested that tracer lines be flagged if he was awarded the work.  As tracer lines were not able to be located at one property, the request was made to RLK that the Board be assured that all tracer line location be added to the Wagner punch list.  Chairman Scott requested that NTS provide their recommendation to the Board for compliance to the Gopher State One Call application requirements.
  • Preventive Annual Maintenance Plan:  M. Appelwick is currently working on Plan completion.
  • Curb Stop Locations:  RLK will provide drawings with curb stop locations to the plant, Jim Pohlman, and the NTS office.
  • Bergemann IPS Replacement:  The IPS has been delivered to Crane Lake.  Wagner is responsible for installation.  J. Pucel understands that they plan to sub-contract the work.  No time was set for completion of the installation.
  • Manhole Insulation:  All manholes have been inspected to insure they are insulated.
  • Grinder Winterizations:  All winterizations are completed for the year and notification letters have been sent.
  • Preventive Annual Maintenance Plan: NTS will complete the plan this month.
  • Replaced recirculation pump No. 2 with new pump.
  • Installation of Effluent Dissolved Oxygen controller and sensor.  Received data retrieval palm in November. Software programming problems are expected.  Completion is anticipated in January


EFG – Report

  • 2006/2007 Forecast & Rate Review & Process Flow Volumes: Chairman Scott explained that the 2006-7 Rate Projection and Schedule received from Scott Harder was being reviewed as an update for the Financial Plan provided by EFG in June of 2004, currently being used as a guide line for rate structure.  The current rate structure includes both fixed and variable charges.  R. Scott further explained that other options are available to the Board, such as variable charges only.  R. Scott asked if the Board required any further rate related information from Scott Harder.
  • R. Scott read letters from Virginia Clifford and Paul Hamblin relevant to the rate structure.


CLWSD Meeting Minutes 1/4/06

EFG – Report, (Cont.)

  • M. White stated Scott Harder’s report was difficult to understand.  M. White provided questions to Scott Harder after review of the 2006-7 Rate Projection and Schedule and was not satisfied with the response. M. White requested explanation of the assumptions used in the report and did not receive that explanation.
  • M. White will provide a report showing each customer’s 2005 usage to arrive at 2006 projections.  His report should be compared to Scott Harder’s.  Information should be provided to the customers.
  • R. Scott read Michael Seigley’s letter regarding the release of Scott Harder, the turnover of the Board of Managers, and allowing the County to take over the sewer project.  A motion was made by M. White, supported by B. Bystrom, that Scott Harder continue with work unrelated to the rate structure at this time.  Motion carried.  As to the Board being turned over, the Board may be changed every year when Board member positions are up for election.  There was no response to the County operating the sewer project.


Eastern Service Area
  • A letter of response will be written to Jim Bonner regarding his planned ISTS replacement within the ESA.  At this time there is not a plan for the ESA, therefore he should abide by St. Louis County directives.
  • ESA Outline:  M. White explained that ESA questions needed to be addressed before moving forward on the ESA plan. Plant capacity and EDU assignments must be agreed upon.  Options discussed for the ESA have been holding tanks and a management plan need to be reviewed. Relationships with the Town Board and the MPCA also need to be reviewed.  A Subordinate District option is being considered by the Town of Kabetogama.  M. White suggested the Board contact Ms. Bridget Chard, who is the consultant for the Kabetogama town board, regarding a Subordinate District consideration for the ESA.  A motion was made by M. White, supported by B. Bystrom, to contact Bridget Chard for a proposal before going forward with previously approved establishment of an Advisory Committee for the ESA.  Motion carried.


Capacity Reservation Fees

  • The District is currently on a first-come-first-serve system for reserving capacity space at the treatment plant.  Using 250 gallons per EDU, the plant is considered at 60% capacity.  By adding the approved reservations to the plant, that number increases to 80% capacity.  That would leave 20% remaining for holding tank consideration for the ESA.
  • R. Scott suggested that a letter be sent to Mary Frances Skala of Fryberger asking for her interpretation of the letters sent to the two properties requesting space at the plant.  Mr. Scott stated that if the letters are interpreted as stating that space has been reserved and is guaranteed, capacity reservation fees should be established.  A motion was made by M. White, supported by B. Bystrom, that a letter be written to the Attorney, without conclusion suggestions, requesting review and interpretation of the letters sent to the two properties.  Motion carried.


Fellowship Hall Accessibility
  • J. Pucel reported that Architectural Resources had reviewed the Fellowship Hall for accessibility.  There are more issues with the Hall then there are with the Groomer Garage, such as, a ramp, parking, the bathrooms, etc.  The Board requested the results of the review by Architectural Resources; then a letter will be written to Roger Clapp of Rural Development asking if he will require a transition plan.


Billing – Open & Log Receipts
  • Deanne Howard has agreed to open and log billing receipt mail.  A motion was made by B. Bystrom, supported by D. Scott, for Deanne Howard to open and log the billing receipt mail under a purchase contract.  Motion carried.


Board Designates – Banks, Attorneys, Accountant, Newspaper
  • M. White suggest that the designates remain the same until there is a full Board to vote.  A quote has been received from the Cook News-Herald. The Voyageur Sentinel and the Timberjay will be contacted for quotes.


Other Business

  • M. White suggested that the Chairman appoint a committee to recognize Deena Congdon’s contribution, dedication, and her length of service.


CLWSD Meeting Minutes 1/4/06





Lawrence Keller questioned the Board’s capacity allocation.  St. Louis County required assurance from the Board that space was available before approving his building plans for a Planned Unit Development.  If there is no guarantee that that space is available, what happens when he builds and the space is gone, when the District requires that he must hook-up to the system?  If hook-up is required, availability must be guaranteed.


Paul Hamblin stated his understanding is that the fact that the letter was sent to the County guarantees plant space availability.


Paul Hamblin referred to the prepaid Special Assessment Fund, stating that he understands that some of the fund is being used for plant improvement and the Special Assessments should only be used for debt servicing.  There will need to be huge rate increases to repay that fund.


Paul Hamblin also stated that he did not feel that Scott Harder has the District’s best interests in mind and that the rate report seemed to be a rehash of  previous information.  He looks forward to seeing M. White’s rate structure information.


Jim Janssen of Voyagaire Lodge stated that he has supported the sewer project from the beginning and understands that the Board has had a difficult time; but he is frustrated with M. White’s suggestions that his property is being subsidized by the rest of the community.  He has paid his bills on time, has agreed to a higher fee for the houseboat waste, and all information requested by the Board has been provided and is correct.  He does not appreciate the comments in the press and how it affects his business.


Jim Janssen also spoke as a Town Supervisor and requested that the Community Action Plan items be reviewed at the next Town Board of Supervisors’ Meeting.



There being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 9:45PM.


J. Pohlman, Clerk




Action Item Summary (Reviewed after the meeting)
  • Easement, Survey Pin, Rocks in Right-of-Way (RLK with Cope & Peterson)
  • Late Fees (M. White & J. Pohlman)
  • Gopher State One Call procedure recommendation (NTS)
  • Service Connection fees (Scott Harder)
  • Project Funds to reimburse Admin Funds (RLK)


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