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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Township still seeking broadband project grants

Jodi Summit
Posted 9/21/22

GREENWOOD TWP- For the first time since the resignation of the elected clerk and treasurer, the Greenwood Town Board at their Sept. 13 meeting was able to approve their treasurer’s report, …

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Township still seeking broadband project grants


GREENWOOD TWP- For the first time since the resignation of the elected clerk and treasurer, the Greenwood Town Board at their Sept. 13 meeting was able to approve their treasurer’s report, which included the bank reconciliation through the end of August. The vote to approve it was 4-1, with Supervisor Mike Ralston voting against. August claims were approved without the need for any discussion.
Treasurer Jeff Maus reported he had finally found the key to a metal lock box in the clerk’s office, and when he opened it up, found several checks that had been made out last spring and never mailed.
Supervisors are still working on securing funding for a broadband project, and are pursuing a couple of different grant opportunities and working with CTC, a broadband provider.
“We were told to apply for as many grants, concurrently, as possible,” Chairman Sue Drobac said, noting that in case two applications were successful, they would only need to accept one of them.
The township signed the paperwork for an IRRR grant which will cover half the cost, up to $50,000, for the ambulance study the township commissioned from McGrath Consulting.
McGrath was scheduled to be in the area the week of Sept. 19.
Ralston noted there had been “quite a bit of pushback” at the amount of data that McGrath had requested the departments compile.
“They have reduced the scope of questions they are asking,” Ralston said.
The board discussed the town hall kitchen and whether to permit commercial use of the kitchen. They set a fee structure of $25 per use with a deposit to cover any cleaning costs. Anyone using the kitchen would be expected to leave it in clean condition and remove any trash.
But later in the meeting, they also discussed the issue of the kitchen range, which is currently not working due to the pilot light not igniting. Supervisor Rick Stoehr said the stove, which runs on propane, needs a new ignition system, but it is not available for a stove of that age. He also said it would be difficult to find anyone in the area willing to service the stove. No action was taken.
The board gave approval for quarterly water testing at the town hall’s public drinking water supply. Supervisor Barb Lofquist noted the most recent testing showed the arsenic level creeping up to 12.6, and that some repairs would be made to the water treatment system.
“It is still well below where it was,” she said, “when it was 104. But it should be below 10.”
The board once again discussed maintenance on Birch Point Extension. Resident Lee Peterson again told the board that residents should be assessed for any improvements, since residents on private roads in the township need to pay for such costs themselves.
“No one on that road is suffering from poverty,” Peterson said.
Lofquist noted that this road was a township road, and the township was responsible for certain maintenance costs. She also told the board that St. Louis County was no longer willing to do blacktop patching or pothole repairs, as they had done in the past.
Ralston said the township was under no obligation to maintain the blacktop, even though it was a township road. Estimates to repave the road came in around $400,000.
The road needs to have brush removed from the edges, supervisors noted. In past years the township has hired Calgaro Tree Service to do that work, but supervisors were not sure if they would be willing to do the job again.
“The road is too narrow for two cars to pass,” noted Lofquist, “and it needs to be wide enough for the fire trucks.”
Lofquist said the town board needed to consider starting a road fund, to put aside money each year for such work.
Resident Mark Drobac said that they should look into the process of abandoning the road. He also said the township would need to delineate the actual road right-of-way before doing any brushing.
In other business, the board passed a motion 3-2, with Ralston and Skubic voting against, to limit public input at meetings to three minutes per person.
“If they have more to say,” said Lofquist, “they can put it in writing and it would be part of the meeting packet.”