The meeting was held on March 10, 2020, at the Field Town Hall. Clerk Pat Chapman called the meeting to order at 8:01 p.m.
There were 20 people in attendance.
The clerk provided a copy of the Notice of Annual Election and Annual Meeting in the Cook News Herald dated February 20, 2020 and the Timberjay dated February 21, 2020. Keith Aho prayed and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The clerk called for nominations from the floor for moderator. Keith Aho nominated Peggy Pearson. Peggy Pearson was elected moderator.
Moderator Pearson asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes? Hearing none, Keith Aho made a motion to accept the March 12, 2019 minutes, seconded by Reino Lahti. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s report (CTAS Schedule 1) for fiscal year 2019 was given by Treasurer Ellie Brunner:
- Beginning Balance: $80,126.18
- Receipts: $69,177.44
- Disbursements: $57,158.72
- Ending Balance: $92,144.90
Moderator Pearson asked if there were any questions concerning the treasurer’s report? Hearing none, Reino Lahti made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report, seconded by Tom Chapman. Motion carried.
Broadband Presentation – Whitney Ridlon (IRRRB Community Development Representative) and Elizabeth Chapman (Art Unlimited) gave a presentation on the need for broadband in the area and the current status. Remote workers, students, businesses would benefit from broadband as well as individuals to conduct business and telemedicine. Property values also increase with broadband access.
Field Township is conducting a survey on line to collect data from residents about their current internet provider, usage, experience etc. Data from 42 surveys has been collected. The next step is to contact internet providers and present the data to show the need and interest in broadband. Another meeting is scheduled for April 7, 2020 about this issue.
City of Cook – Supervisor Fulcher read a letter from the City of Cook requesting a donation of $5 per capita to help meet annual expenses at the Cook Community Center. The residents present were in favor of a donation.
City of Cook Library – Librarian Crystal Phillips thanked the township for their donation in the past. Surrounding townships and organizations provide money to purchase new books, audio books and DVDs. There are currently 92 library card holders from Field Township. The Blandin Broadband Grant funded hotspots for checkout. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine Collection Award purchased over 40 consumer health-related books. A Community Block Development Grant funded a new entrance ramp. The library offers an abundance of programs and outreaches to benefit all ages in the community.
St. Louis County Fair Association – Marvin Pearson thanked the township for their donation. The Fair has a new manager and has hired a new carnival. Two new buildings will be built and used for cattle and chickens during fair time and storage rentals during the winter.
North St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District – Peggy Pearson had tree order forms available. North St. Louis SWCD has a new Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator and a new location in the former Natural Harvest building. The agency is offering community education programs and will be hosting We Are Water MN from April 16-June 15, 2020 at the MN Discovery Center. A grant was received to engage youth and adults in urban agriculture conservation. 4H youth participated in summer gardening and conservation programs. In 2019 nearly 35 watercraft inspectors conducted 20,847 inspections to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
School Forest – Supervisor Aho shared the township has entered an agreement with Scheff Logging to harvest approx. 30 acres of timber by May 2021 from the school forest property. The proceeds will be used for trails on the school forest.
Ambulance – Supervisor Chapman gave the ambulance report. Field’s contribution in 2019 was $5,643.00 Field had 19 calls. 21 people are on the ambulance crew. Some of their training included a mock plane crash and a mock railroad crash.
Fire – Supervisor Chapman gave the fire report. Field Township paid $7,599.00 in 2019. Field had a total of 6 fire runs in 2019. 17 people are on staff.
Roads and Bridges – Supervisor Fulcher reported on activities for roads. $4,982.53 was spent on road related items: brushing, grading, gravel, ice and snow removal. When Supervisor Fulcher is not available Chairman Aho can be contacted about road related issues.
Health and Safety – No Report.
Hospital – Hospital Representative Mike Enzmann shared the 2019 information about the Cook Hospital and Care Center which have an annual payroll and benefits of $7,718,224 for 121 full, part-time and casual staff members. The number of ER visits was 2,310. Dr. Vidor is the medical director of the Care Center. The largest grant received to date was from the Helmsley Trust for $353,204 to upgrade the imaging equipment. A total of $86,777 for the year was donated by the Cook Area Healthcare Auxiliary.
Cemetery – Supervisor Aho noted the new shed was built to house the mower and equipment. Jeff Elliott will continue to survey the cemetery.
Planning and Zoning –Supervisor Aho reported the county had completed their comprehensive land use plan and adopted it.
Hall- Supervisor Fulcher noted the town hall needs improvements – it is hard to heat. It was agreed it would be very expensive and no chance of grant money to build a new one. Options to improve the insulation will be looked into.
Public Comment – None.
Levy – The township board recommends a levy of $49,000 payable in the year 2021 broken down into the following funds:
- General – $22,000
- Fire – $8,000
- Road – $6,000
- Amb. – $7,000
- Hall – $4,000
- Cemetery – $2,000
Motion to accept the levy made by Marvin Pearson, seconded by Reino Lahti. Motion carried.
Election Judge Mike Enzmann gave the results of the 2020 Field Township Annual Election with 20 residents voting:
- Supervisor – Keith Fulcher – 20 votes (Three year term)
- Clerk Pat Chapman – 19 votes (Two year term)
55 folding chairs, 3 folding tables, 1 large wooden table, 1 Formica table, 3 benches, 3 pews, one AutoMark voting machine, one Optic Scan voting machine and one piano with bench were inventoried as township property in the town hall.
- A motion to establish the election hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or otherwise prescribed by law) on Tuesday March 9, 2021 at the Field Townhall with the annual meeting to follow was made by Tom Chapman, seconded by Grace Liljeblom. Motion carried.
- A motion to establish the election hours from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or otherwise established by law) for the August 2020 Primary was made by Mike Enzmann, seconded by Marvin Pearson. Motion carried.
Motion made to adjourn by Marvin Pearson, seconded by Tom Chapman. Motion carried.
Adjournment time 9:36 p.m.
Chairman Keith Aho
Clerk Pat Chapman
Moderator Peggy Pearson