ACT Board of Supervisors Meeting

02/07/2022, 7:00pm

Apple Creek Township

Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, February 7, 2022 7 p.m.

In attendance: Mark Springer, Eric Richard, Dusty Hasper, Roy Kuil, Jamie Vetsch, Jerry Kunz

Mark: we're going call the apple Creek township February meeting to order at 7:01pm. First, we need to review the minutes from the last meeting.

Dusty: There's a few little typos is all I see. Roy did you see something, same thing I did. Dusty: So I'll make a motion to approve last month's minutes. Mark Springer: Second.

Floor: Some people don't come over here very often, I don't think I know who any of you are.

Mark: Let’s finish this first and than we'll introduce ourselves. Thank you. That is a good point, because we do have a full house tonight.

Jamie: All in favor? Dusty: yes, Mark: yes, Eric: Yes . Thank you. All right. minutes have passed.

Mark: We're going introduce ourselves then since we do have a full house tonight. And then I want to give a brief point of order so that we can keep the meeting moving along, but also to address some concerns.

I'm Dusty Hasper Supervisor,

Mark Springer chair.

Eric Richard Supervisors.

Jamie Vetsch Treasurer/clerk.

Roy Kuil zoning board/road supervisor.

Jerry Kunz Zoning board

Mark: Do we have Terry or anyone else here?

Jamie: No. Terry's not here.

Mark: Mark Splonkowski? Is Mark here. Not here. I wasn't paying attention people coming. But I don't see him. All right. So I'm guessing a lot of people are here concerned about what happened at our last meeting. And I know, I've emailed a few people that had questions about it. One of the things that I want to make clear, first of all, I mean, we're here for you. But we hold this meeting every month. And this is the most people I've seen here in a long, long time, which is good. I wish we'd see this every month. In fact, that last meeting, I wasn't here in person myself. I was on Zoom, because I was sick. So, I apologize for that. Which didn't help I, I wish I was here in person. The decision to vote as a township on the zoning is something and that's why I had a copy. I think there have township meetings and election rules. That is something that is afforded with zoning procedures with townships. In fact, I look back through our records, and someone can correct me that that was here in 2010. That entire process, from what I could see through our meeting minutes was not put forward to a vote for the regular election with the entire changes to the township.

Member of Township: Say that again Mark.

Mark: The last time that the zoning has been updated was 2010. The planning and zoning regulations were 2010. That's the current one on our webpage.

Floor: there's a couple of us that were on that. So, yep, that's approximate.

Mark: What I'm saying is that was never put to a township vote. From what I could see through the minutes. Unless someone can correct me.

Floor: Well, I guess I'm, however long I've been living out here. Every time we have any major changes. It's always been on the ballot at the annual election.

Mark: But that wasn't on the ballot that I could see through the minutes. Maybe the minutes are wrong for that 2010.

Floor: Didn't we have the five acre limitation are on right now. And the ordinance has been updated since 2010?

Mark: No. Paul Zent was chairman at the time.

Floor: Doesn’t the zoning ordinance say 2011?

Mark: Oh, maybe it's 2011 it was either 2010 or 2011. I know. I did check the minutes.

Floor: We didn't have zoom. Right. So I believe it was 2011. However, the issue there was because there was no major change in the zoning ordinances. You have a lot of people here like this.

Mark: you should still no matter what, if you're updating them, you should have a vote. Now I was under the understanding then that because there was no vote, that meant that. Again, people didn't care people were not concerned.

Floor: People didn't know

Mark: or people didn't know. But this is one of the issues that I want to make sure is clear that we did. We did publish the we were having a special meeting, we did a Facebook post and it was also on our websites. I think that's the point that you're going to make.

Floor: No I am going to make the point I don’t know a lot of people here. My name is Robert Polensky, so if everyone would speak and tell us who they are.

Mark: That's good, too. I think that would be helpful.

Floor: Thank you.

Floor: My name is Rick I am a resident here in Apple Creek Township, my wife Kay, say hello Kay, Hello,

Mark: That was the concern that we have is that, number one, we do have this meeting every month. And this has been my concern, since I started on the board. That we seem to have like an action and then a reaction instead of being involved in the decision making process. And I understand where you're coming from. Because if word of mouth is only way that you're getting to know what's going on, that's not good. But we hold this meeting every first Monday of the month. Unless if it falls on, I think holidays. Yeah. And so because of that, I don't know if we've ever changed that other than on a holiday. I, I've been on here, five or six years. Anyway, point being is that if I see this pattern happen, this isn't you, this is just kind of what happens. I teach this stuff. So I talk about it all the time. They're laughing because they're my students. So they're kind of thinking it's funny, but that people end up reacting to things rather than and I would like to see people actively involved, if you are concerned about stuff to talk to us beforehand, or during the meeting or you know, attend the meeting, or so on and so forth. Because this is this doesn't make the process easier. To be honest, it makes me want to quit tonight. I I've put in a lot of time and effort into what I do here, not because I get paid anything. And not that I don't already have a full time job. But that I think and I think that's why you're here too, is that we're concerned about our township. And so I'm trying to find the best balance for things. And every time that we put things on the ballot in the last five years that have been on the township board, it gets overwhelmingly defeated. In other words, people don't show up, they don't have the information. They vote on it. But people have the opportunity to get that information. I think that's where I see a big problem in this process. Is we need to change either how we do things. Whether it means people can zoom in, or I don't know, I'm you know, I'm kind of at the mercy of I can't force you to show up to a meeting.

Floor: Do we have the ballots and what was on them from the past?

Mark: Yeah, I can go through I can remember two of them, at least we had the one that was sounding. It was like 30 to 18. We didn't have a good turnout that night.

Jamie: But only for that issue only for that issue.

Mark: right. That was the other thing. We had an election. That was the annual meeting, we had an election. More people voted on that issue, but didn't vote for the officers at the meeting. And that was the issue that was concerning how we deal with cleaning up loss or issues surrounding this was a zoning issue, how we deal with cleaning up I can't remember the exact wording, cleaning up debris and other issues with lots in our township. And that was soundly defeated. Now I understand why some people were against it. I'm not here to debate that issue now. But the problem is we're getting pressure from three different directions, the city of Bismarck, the city, Lincoln and the county. I've been yelled at more times that I want to count by the county commission because we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. And so it's either members here, or members that aren't here that are calling the county and saying we're not doing our job. So then I get yelled at as the chair. And then I got to figure out a way to clean it up. So that was the one thing that I thought would put it to a vote. And people could debate the issue and have a discussion on it.

Floor: How many people here know what the Apple Creek Township website is?

Floor: I just found it tonight.

Dusty: AppleCreekTownship.org

Floor: I know but how many people don't know that.

Floor: When I moved here? almost 17 years ago, I just found out tonight that website exists, and that they're held every month.

Floor: There's 40 people here, right? Because nobody knew. Okay, three months ago, I think there's only 120 people registered on Facebook site. Right?

Floor: I don’t have Facebook to find out what's going on in there.

Jamie: I only started the Facebook page for some of the younger families, well for anybody that's out there. But we also had the website. When I started Facebook, I did that to try to reach out to more people. By the way. I'm Facebook illiterate. So what's on there is what you get. But that is why we tried to reach out to more people because we had known there was a problem. So I thought that was a good step in a direction I think it is. But also we're open. I mean, I just got kind of put into this position in July, August. I don't know how we reach out to people. The only reason I know about the township was because I moved in, was asked to be a judge and then kind of got into my position. Otherwise, I never would have known about the township meetings myself. Being a younger person in the township I didn't know about most of these matters either. So the only reason I'm here is because I was invited to one to do a job and then they never really let me leave.

Floor: School board how many people go to the school board.

Roy: School board meetings are posted on the on the website.

Mark: Where would you like this information?

Floor: spend $210 every six months, with 2800 people in our township, you can send a newsletter to every person, $200 A month or every six months.

Floor: Don’t forget to consider there's multiple people in each family.

Mark: That's good. And I want to know that. I think that we can look into that.

Floor: (directed towards School board meetings) Because I'm guessing you guys know your meetings?

Mark: I appreciate that. I think that's actually a great idea. As long as people are in favor of spending that money.

Floor: What's $200?

Dusty: I think it's actually a little more as we did consider doing it.

Lots of discussion back and forth and over talking could not decipher.

Floor: It’s more than $200 to do that.

Dusty: You have to print and you have to pay somebody to print and do all this stuff. Because we've looked into it. We did. It was quite a bit. So, I mean, you guys don't want to come the regular meetings it's the special ones you want to come to. We'd have to be mailing them out for the special ones.

Floor: It’s an option.

Mark: I agree that it’s a option. We probably should look into that for the annual meeting. I know. I appreciate that. Go ahead. Cyndy

Floor: My name is Cyndy Meidinger I used to be the clerk. The annual meeting, technically, the only notice that in township, It's by law, It has to be in the newspaper. That is technically the only notice that has to go out for the annual meeting.

Floor: Muffled talking by multiple people. What if you don’t subscribe, who reads the paper, and other inaudible talk

Floor: Cyndy- ok so there are 30 people here now. Okay, now if everybody goes home and tells their neighbors Apple Creek Township, next meeting would be March whatever, whatever. Then you You'd have 60 people. That's how everybody got here by word of mouth. So why doesn't everybody do word of mouth and say, Okay, let's get together go to a township meeting. The township doesn't have a lot of money. You know, there's more important things. I guess the way I look at it, you know, and if everybody does word of mouth, word of mouth got us this turnout tonight.

Floor: So just one point, I'm a member of this merchant galleries Association. I think the newsletters a great idea, but once or so a month, all they do is send out a little postcard. I can't believe that. I mean, they put a pretty picture on there.

Floor: Muffled talking by multiple people inaudible

Mark: We need to speak in turns. There was another hand up.

Floor: I'm John McLean. I live over 66th Street, is would there be any way to sign up for like an email newsletter? From the website?

Mark: And we could look into that, too. I

Floor: get by without all the costs of just putting up mass email.

Mark: that that's how the city of Lincoln I know, does it the city of Bismarck does that. You know, again, that's..

Floor: As long as your word got out. Something like you've got here, right? Because I mean, yeah, I'd like to come to every meeting, but I forget stuff. And so I just don't make it every time.

Floor: And pretty much everybody has email.

Mark: No, and that's good.

Floor: You've got Facebook, you've got email. Right. And you've got a computer. You got email.

Mark: I like the postcard idea. Yeah, something a newsletter postcard, but again, and I think Cindy pointed this out, one of the issues that we run into is a cost issue. Now I agree that the benefit is probably out ways that cost or at least..

Floor: it would not have to be every month.

Mark: Right? Exactly. And that's what I want to find.

My name is Sheree. Norbeck I live up north of 93rd. One of the things that just has kind of crossed my mind. Is the businesses out there now that send you reminders for things. Is that Is that a thing? That's even remotely feasible? Some months later as a text?

Mark: Oh, as a text or an email we could maybe do? I don't know about a text though.

Jamie: I'm sorry, I have full time job besides here. If Somebody else actually wants to take the position that is open for clerk that has time to do that. Please be kind. If you have a full time job. I am also a mother Plus, I'm the treasurer. Now I'm potentially fully clerk because I have nobody running for the position.

Floor: the numbers can be programmed into some sort program.

Jamie: Also, won’t that have to be done from my own personal cell phone

Roy: There are there are programs that there are businesses that do this you can give them a list of numbers.

Floor: This isn't business against it.

Jamie: I can't do a lot of ACH things we can't do a lot of things normal typical businesses are we have a two pin signature, we're not allowed to do automatic withdrawals, because we have legal guidelines we have to follow when it comes to how our finances are spent. So we do have to keep that in mind as it has to be two signature transaction every time. So that's why most of our transactions have to be check. We don't have any automatic withdrawals, we can't because there's not two signatures to authorize that transaction. Because that is against all checks and balances to make sure that obviously no one's stealing, and that there's a record and check and balance.

Mark: Well, I've got a friendly suggestion but as the chair I can't make a motion. If maybe what we need to do then is set up and have as the chair or clerk sends out the notice by email with the agenda. With that sound acceptable and people could sign up then I'll provide paper at the end of the meeting. That's cheap. Put together listserv and yeah, and I can do that I can put together a listserv on my Gmail account and boom, it's all ready to go people that are here.

Floor: but that only helps the people here

Mark: that's what the what the newsletter thing could be for, for those not here.

Floor talk: Well, it will go out in the I don't know, who has the newspaper. But just to get the word right, just to get the word out. I think that'd be good.

Floor: Give us your email address. And we can. So might be one time. Yeah, even sign up your friends.

Floor: but I'm excited my neighbor.

Mark: Oh, wait. Yeah, we got we got a hand up,

Floor: Terminology means a great deal with the minutes. And just a suggestion. If you put out any notification, with public input? Okay, instead of special meeting, because I'm more apt to attend if I know it's a public input meeting? Because I don't know what especially if it's going to be worth my time showing up.

Mark: Yeah, I know I had, we're probably all out of these, because I only have like 10 copies, but if I can make this available on our webpage, or something, I know that doesn't help out some of you. But again, this is all state law and state record stuff. But basically, any special meeting by state laws is meant for public input, just so you're aware. So, that’s my oversight, and I apologize. That's why it became, in my mind redundant to put the extra language in there. Because otherwise, then people might just call that into question like, why are you putting public meeting when it's a special meeting? We're not going to get into all that. But that was that was part of the reason to why we cancel the special meeting tonight. We were supposed to have a special meeting tonight. And that notice did not go out, I want to I want to be clear, it's not her fault. It's because there's a miscommunication that we need to clear up somehow, because, again, we're all busy. So that's one of the things that we have to improve as a board.

Floor: just have a question. I know. When people move in this township. Does that. Is there information collected there? That would be easily accessible, like emails?

Mark: No, in fact, at the annual meeting, now we are required. And I and we should do that too, with the signup sheet. But every meeting now.

Floor: public records

Mark: I know that you're a lawyer. So, every meeting, we are our lawyer advise us after a few different incidences that we should have a sign in sheet. In that sign in sheet, we should be taking addresses. So, I need to revise that. Just not intended to use that for any other effort. But that would be something that I think would be helpful, too. But we have I think when you were clerk, we had that list of everyone in the township or something like that, or we sent it we send it to someone. I don't remember that far back.

Floor: Cyndy, I don’t think I understand the question When we have the annual meeting, we have a sign in sheet. Sign your name and your address and that is kept as part of the election records.

Mark: That's right with the election. Okay. So, we do have that at the annual meeting. But again, most people like you were saying, don't know that our annual meeting by law is the third Tuesday, third Tuesday of the month of March, sorry, of the month of March, the third Tuesday of March. And so that is in state law. We can't change that. In fact, there's a few years ago, there was like some snowstorm or something and we were talking about, can we change that? And they're like, no. So, since I just lived down the road here, it didn't take me long. So, I was guaranteed to vote but otherwise I mean that, that is one of the issues that we have with the annual election too, because people don't know who the officers are people don't understand what the offices are for the township. All this information, I mean, is public record. But you know, we can spend time talking about that, too. If that would help. Go ahead.

Floor: Cyndy And there's one other thing with the annual meeting. There is no absentee ballots. You have to attend the meeting to be able to vote

Mark: Yeah, that we had to look into last time with COVID because we were trying to figure out can we get people here to vote and how we deal with that. The state said no, that's the rule.

Floor: Terry I live in Sunrise, we've heard mentioned some report turnouts at the annual meetings for voting All these types of things. Just curious. And I'm just looking for information. I'm not trying to be antagonistic here. But was there a reason for having that particular I'll call it a cherry-picked item on the five acres come up at a special meeting? can these things be congealed into one particular meeting? Once notices all get sent out? Sure. You got a nice balance?

Mark: Yep, one of the issues, right? No, yeah, I'll give you some of the process that went into that. So, we've had, over the last few years, we've had several different special meetings. And then they don't go anywhere, because we run out of time, we start at six, because that's when people had time. And then we don't know when we're going to end this meeting to start the special meeting, if that makes sense. So, by law, we conduct our business until we're done. Which some nights can be 9 or 10 o'clock. And so, to hold a special meeting, after that people went, let's not do that, let's do it before. So, then the earliest most people can make it is at six. So, then you have from six to seven. And those of you that have been here at some of those special meetings, if we don't even come to a consensus amongst the 5-10 people that are here for that. So that's, that's where we're running into problems, we said, we need to start moving forward as a as a board, we are elected as a board, we need to start making decisions like and not that we want to leave everyone out of the decision-making process. That's where that public input was supposed to come in, was at the Open Meetings, I can see how it appears from the outside looking in from how some of you were looking at it. That wasn't the intent. I want to be clear about that we want, we need your input. But that was we started looking at this. And like I said, we have three different entities are telling us, you're going run into problems here. We keep losing people to that are in Bismarck's eta that decide that they want to be annexed into that, or Lincoln's eta that decided they want to be annexed into Lincoln. There's only so much that we can take of that before. We're no longer Township. So how do we adapt and change and do what's right by everyone? And I know that, again, that was a big change. That one in particular was something that I honestly did not sleep the night after we made that decision. Part of it was I sick, but part of it was just that decision itself. I, I've agonized over it for years. Now, how do we deal with this? How do we get money for roads? Because that's our number one issue. And so, there's kind of a catch 22 with it. As I said in the last meeting, we either find a way to get more money. Or if you like this, I don't we start raising taxes, which is yeah, I'm glad I got that reaction from some of you, because I That's my feeling on it, too. I went, That's not good, either. So, there's got to be some balance there. And that's where we're trying to come from is how do we make sure and also then to meet with what the city committee or the city, the county commission was telling us that we need to clean up our township? Because they're getting too many complaints at their level. And otherwise, they want to take over. Go ahead,

Floor: Marv -Well, I just had a question like an issue, the zoning thing. Wouldn't that be something that everybody should vote on rather than just the board members? I mean, that's a pretty major issue. That's my opinion.

Mark: like I said, was going back to these other issues. That was the one was the cleaning up the right, yeah. And the other one was another enforcement thing that we were looking at. And I ended up just taking that to the state legislature. And it didn't happen there, either. Because it was the same process. I'm here to answer questions. Nobody asks.

Floor: And you say better communication right.

Mark: Yes. But not only that, but one of the problems that we have now gets you just one second. One of the problems that we have is again, that I call it the game of telephone, because then one person says, you know what I heard at the meeting, and then pretty soon by that gets to the fifth person, it's changed completely. Those SOBs, they want to do this. And I'm like, no, that's not what happened. In fact, that's not what happened at our meeting. I want to be very clear. We're not out to get people or change anything, we wanted the public input. That's why we had the meeting beforehand. I think it ended up being 50/50. I don't know how many people were here at that meeting.

Floor: Marv- I went back to the minutes of December 6, and there was more in favor of the five acres and there wasn't in favor of lesser

Mark: I was on zoom at the time. So, I was keeping track pencil and paper.

Eric: I had a tally going that night and I explained that at the meeting that night I would be. It was close. But there was more that we're in favor of making the smaller lots versus the bigger lots. And we went with what we have.

Roy: Marks point about the other entities that are pushing in on us and wanting us to take actions on us. Right now, out of our 36sq mile township we have already lost over 15sq miles to other ETAs like Lincoln and Bismarck and we are no longer a rural township.

Floor: how do they just take it?

Roy: By annexation

Mark: Eta’s are established so as cities grow outward, they have planning and zoning that works with ours in theory.

Floor: So, if my property extends into my neighbors I can just say I am annexing you.

Mark: No that is not how it is done. They can’t do that.

Floor: If Bismarck can do that why can’t I?

Mark: Bismarck doesn’t do that. What we have been having happen is those annexations is that private land owners want to annex into Bismarck.

Floor: That is government land grab

Mark: No its not the government it is private land owners.

Floor: Back and forth among those in attendance in audience to clarify and understand that it’s not the city taking it, It’s the private owners that are going to the city to request to be annexed in.

Mark: In the case of Bismarck, and we have been notified by every single one of them, usually everything along 52nd set all of that was because they wanted smaller lots.

Floor: Isn’t that what was voted for

Mark: That is part of why, but they wanted one acre lots and we are not doing that.

Jerry from the zoning board: I guess what I have seen is that as soon as you get it developed to 2 acres than they are going to annex it. The sooner the better

Mark: The city process is not going to be in that manner

Jerry: They don’t want it at 5 acres, if you put it down to 2 acres, they are going to gobble it up.

Floor: Do I understand there is no special meeting so we can all go home?

Mark: There is no special meeting tonight it was cancelled. This is actually our regular meeting and I just wanted to address this issue. I wanted to take time out of our regular meeting because I know a lot of people are concerned and wanted discussion, but we do have regular business we do need to get to.

Floor: What about this zoning thing.

Jamie: That special meeting was last month

Floor: We went to the special meeting thinking we were going to learn some information share our opinions whatever and then we left. We didn’t know that you were going to vote on it after we left. That was not clear to us.

Floor: I’m Rick I am here tonight to talk about zoning issue and us not being able to vote on it. I have some prepared testimony that I was going to hand out. I don’t like to hear can we all leave because we are not going to talk about it, especially this lawyer here I want him to stay.

Mark: By state law we need to do a consent agenda. We used to do open floor and we went on way longer than we should have. So, I know when I started that is one of the things that was changed they said it was a consent agenda. So, if you want that on next months agenda we will put that on for next month and have that discussion again.

Jerry: On the printout of the agenda that I have right here it says 6pm zoning meeting why can’t we do it now.

Jamie: That meeting was cancelled. That was never published. Only the regular meeting was published.

Mark: So, we can’t discuss that because that discussion is for that meeting and we are not holding the special meeting tonight.

Floor: So, what is the purpose of this zoning thing? What do you think the law is or?

Mark: Well right now the law is what was passed last meeting.

Floor: Which was what?

Mark: It was a movement from 5 acre lots to 2 acre lots.

Roy: for 40-acre sub development. Bismarck allows 1 ¼

Floor: Rick- I have some issues I want to raise about that and I challenge the validity of that decision

Mark: What we can do is ill give my email address to anyone at the end of meeting

Floor: I wouldn’t do that

Mark: I get tons especially from students every day, I can put that on the agenda for next month. After the meeting I will make sure to write that down so its on the agenda if that is what you want

Floor: Rick- I guess I want that. But what I am saying it that the letter of law was not met in the process there was not due process.

Mark: I understand but according to this state century code Townships and their zoning boards can make decisions when it comes to their zoning. I understand it does not have to be put to vote

Floor: I thought you initially said in 2010 to 2011 it was not put to a vote.

Jamie: Not a public vote it was a decision voted on by the board just like they did last meeting

Floor: Rick- I have the same information you have and you are right clearly under 58-03-07.6 to make bylaws and regulations. (Century Code Powers of Electors 58-03-07.6 To make such bylaws, rules, and regulations as may be deemed necessary to carry into effect granted to the township.) but there are more century codes that says time lines are attached to the notices. Maybe there are a couple of answers here. For instances it is supposed to be published in a paper. Was it posted?

Mark: no, it wasn’t and you are correct. I want to clarify that we haven’t been doing that in the past, I think Cyndy can attest to that, other than the annual meeting.

Cyndy: I can tell you one thing that I learned that technically as I understand it as long as the notices is given to county auditor that there is going to be a meeting that, that is the only notices that has to technically be given.

Floor: There is a new ethics law in North Dakota, I don’t know any factual background of this situation, but did anyone that voted for this 2-acre thing potentially profit from it? If they, do it’s a conflict of ethics

Mark: I don’t

Dusty: I don’t

Roy: I don’t

Eric: no

Floor: respectfully so there is no board member that is a property developer or anything like that.

Mark: NO, none of has any economic gain. We should have made that clear at the meeting as well. That is probably one of the key pieces that should have been addressed your right. Although I can see where an ethical issue by not putting it to the vote by the people. I have my serious qualms about that to, because like I said I teach government I completely agree in democracy. I explained the reason why and I think I did it here again tonight. One of the issues we keep running into we put it on the ballot no one is informed, and there is not the discussion, this is good discussion tonight. I want to be clear this is the kind of discussion that should happen. Every meeting. I miss it, it is so good, but that is one of the issues we have is we don’t get this enough at every meeting.

Floor: I have a question on the residential subdivisions. It talks about subdivisions 40 acres and then it talks about avoiding spot zoning. I don’t’ know what that is can you explain that? Because it says our Apple Creek Township discourages that.

Mark: yes, Spot zoning is complicated. There is actual input to that type of zoning.

Jerry- there is a development but there is acreage around it and all over and you pick this one spot and there is no correlation. What is supposed to happen is you build here and when that is built up now you can build and you continue. Like what’s going to happen when these 2 acres goes in like up on 93rd St.

Floor: Bruce Leavitt: I am new to the township. Who purposed this change to the zoning? Who is the origin of that?

Mark: We have had this discussed for years. I am not even sure when it first came up

Floor: Bruce- well it had to have come up at last meeting

Jerry: It was a discussion on our special meeting.

Mark: the reason that we did that was because we kept having that question over and over again from developers and others. What we have also run into is our taxes and our roads. Our road costs are continuing to go up with the county, we are running into how do we pay for it. We are going to have to pay more money so what we had to look at is raise taxes, which I don’t want to do, or look at ways to disburse costs to more people.

Floor: you put 300 more residents out here on these 2 lane roads that we have, you have to drive that for 3 years before it gets fixed and than spend 2 years waiting on construction. Where are you going to put all those people in schools. Most people on average that move out here have 2.6 kids. You put another 100 people out here how many is that. We are already worried about where our kids are going to go what are you going to do with those kids.

Floor: Question directed to Cyndy to repeat what she said about the notices to the auditor.

Cyndy- any special meeting. Apple creek township has a meeting the first Monday of the month. If they have additional meeting technically the only thing that needs to be is the auditor has to informed. When I was the clerk we always gave 2 weeks notice In the paper

Floor: ND Century code that stands out 58.04.02 special meeting when held. This goes into a question another gentleman has. Transacting other lawful township business whenever the supervisors or township clerk, or any two of them shall file in the office of the township clerk a written statement. Who are those people?

Mark: I notified Jamie we were having a special meeting

Jamie: I published it, on website and facebook, that’s 2 publications plus the county knows about our meetings.

Floor: it requires a 15-day notice before the meeting. And I suggested unless I am wrong there is no way unless you were at the meeting you would not have known there was going to be a meeting. When are they posted?

Jamie: At the end of all the minutes it states when the next meetings will be

Floor: Minutes were not posted until December 20th(?) and the meeting was January 3rd so it did not meet the criteria I didn’t know it was happening.

Floor: That is 14 days

Floor: Is there some way to reverse this?

Floor: Is also in our township ordinances.

Mark: you are right if that is the case, we will have to have revisit at a special meeting next month. What I will propose we reopen this issue at a special meeting next month. As what has been brought up makes the decision invalid from the January meeting. I will be checking with the attorney general on all this just to confirm.

Floor: So why the special meeting on the night of the regular meeting. Why can’t we have it 2 weeks apart, if it’s a special meeting I would show up. Why one hour prior to a meeting

Mark: it makes it easier to plan for the board, we can limit discussion so that we can keep control of the meeting we know people don’t like that but we could be here all night and we do have to keep things moving. Like tonight we still have a regular business that needs to be gotten to. No matter what we should have a special meeting before the meeting March 7th we will hold it at 6pm March 7th.

Floor: You said you appreciated the comments, so how is limiting to 2 minutes how are you going to get through all the people.

Mark: We may not be able to get through all the people, we may need to make it a series of meetings but we would not be able to get it ready for the annual meeting and that is fine. If we need to extend this out to make sure we are doing this properly.

Floor: I have a presentation I was ready to give tonight

Mark: With the consent agenda I need to make sure we are following the process to.

Floor: I am not here to debate the issue of ordinances or size of lots I am here to contest the fact we don’t get a right to vote anymore, I don’t like that, its literally unamerican, we got a lot of people that died so we have that right. We need to stand up for that in our township we have the right to vote.

Mark: it was brought up in the last meeting as well by someone that you did elect us to make decisions for the township. And we have been running into not being able to make decisions it’s a lot of talking and things aren’t getting anywhere

Floor: but in the past the board has had a morale compass when it comes to big decisions to let the people vote. I don’t know how many times a politician has said to me behind closed doors that the public is not informed and they don’t know what’s best for them.

Mark: I can resign right now and you can have my seat.

Floor: Multiple people- Nooo

Mark: Dusty is leaving after his term is up

Floor: Is there any way to get the information out there on how we got to this decision. What the background was to get here

Jamie: I will play devil’s advocate here, this has been brought since I have been in this township in 2018. I knew nothing about this township but what I learn about at every meeting. It has been talked about at every single meeting that I have ever been to even before I was put into any position. These are things that have been in topic, coming to the meetings is how you know about the background and I know a lot of you say you don’t know about it I get that. Had I not been brought in my first meeting and kept coming back I may have not known. But when I saw my first meeting I wanted to know more about the community that I lived in so I sought out the township to learn. I started coming to the meetings because I wanted to know. It has been discussed through every board member that they have ever had long before I was ever on the board, long before these gentlemen were ever on the board. It has been open discussion for years. Mr. Marv has talked about the past and he knows most of the older board members that have been in and out of the Township and so has Mr. jerry has been here with the board and has seen a lot of it. These are ongoing discussions and as long as you’re here, you hear. We have already put the information out there and nobody comes to the information and

Floor: We already told you why that was

Mark: Alright what I think we need to do 3 things. I will check with the Attorney general regarding that information for our township and notifications. We will look into post cards talking about annual meeting and give people the website, and prepare some background in formation for the special meeting.

Floor: Marv- back to this 5 acre thing. It has to in the minutes somewhere that it was established 5 acres or why wasn’t there a vote called for that. If its been 5 acres for us or everyone thinking its been 5 acres why is it not written down somewhere

Floor & Mark: It is

Floor: single family residence not in a residential subdivision minimum size and lot that a building permit shall be issued by the township board for a single-family residence not within a residential subdivision is no less than 5 acres.

Floor: Marv so what’s the date on that

Mark: That is the 2011 ordinances

Marv: I thought you said there was no vote on that

Mark: On that change there was no vote to change to that ordinance. That was the last time they were amended. When I went back in the minutes there was never a vote on that. Now maybe that proceeds that.

Roy: I heard something very important said right there. Not within a residential subdivision.

Floor: I want to make a statement from experience I live out 66th st when we moved that house out there it was nice it was quiet, dead silence, there was no traffic out there at all. Some years later there are storage units and dog kennel coming in, now the repair shop, we don’t have any issues with that. But now the one to the North you know the house is moved clear to the east and everything and then it became a place to dump your grass clippings and everything else. The septic company goes out there and dumps I don’t think they do anymore but pretty soon I am stuck in between 2 gravel pits and when flood came in we had all those trucks driving by we couldn’t keep the dust out of the house. My point is you go to 2 acre lots we are going to loose the country feel. We are going to lose our quality of life. You’re going to end up with businesses next to you, Lincoln comes in and takes that stuff they are going to do what they want believe me I know.

Floor: This lot size also goes on to say that in a subdivision they can be no less than 5 acres

Mark: That is the one like I said that’s the last time and it was not approved by which is where I was basing my information off of. That went forward by the board and signed off on it so since the board did it that time with no issues. If things need to be changed that is fine. We will have a public hearing.

Floor: Rick-I came here tonight to prepared to put on table which is not going to happen tonight to put forth an amendment which gives us back our right to vote.

Mark: you can contact me and we can get that on the agenda and have that discussion at the next meeting. We do need to get to the regular meeting and I wanted to be able to give some time to this discussion but we do need to get to regular business.

Floor: Gaylen- I know you want to get this over with and I understand that but there are a couple of things happening that are different than happened in the township for many years. I was on the board about 40 years ago I have been here for about 50 years. First of all this big difference of regular meeting of township supervisors and special meetings is getting gall confusing in my mind. A Special meeting of the board of supervisors is held when something has to be decided before a regular meeting can be held. That is the purpose of a special meeting. Any other topic coming before the board can be handled at their regular meeting they don’t have to have a special meeting. This being a regular meeting of the board of supervisors you guys can handle any issue that comes before you any citizen of the township has the right to come to a regular meeting bring up a topic and you guys can act on that topic if it is a regular board of supervisors meeting without notice or anything else. You guys have the right to do that, the other thing you guys can vote tonight to resend the vote you made before.

Mark: that is not what the state century code says. That has changed

Floor: Gaylene-I think you need to go back and look

Mark: I have, I have the century code right in front of me and it says consent agenda. Sorry I am not finding the exact wording right now

Floor: Gaylen- But if you are going to have a special meeting you have to give proper notice and all that. But there is no requirement that you have a special meeting on any thing that comes before you. Any citizen of the township can come to the annual meeting which is when you were elected and can suggest a resolution that resolution must be voted on at that meeting. Whether the rest of the township that didn’t come to the annual meeting that knows about it or not. That resolution that is proposed ahs to be coted on that night at that annual meeting. At the upcoming meeting if someone makes a resolution that subdivision lot size remains at 5 that would be decided at that annual meeting. To the guy that was talking about the voting rights that is how a citizen of this township maintains their voting rights by coming to the annual meeting and proposing a resolution that gets voted on by whoever is in attendance. So, if you are living in this township and afraid something might get acted on go to the annual meeting.

Mark: you are right that is why the annual meeting is important as anyone can propose change. To get it on a regular meeting we are required to get it on a consent agenda. I don’t when that changed and I went off the consent agenda tonight because I knew there were a lot of people here tonight and were concerned and wanted to let you have your voice. We will move on to the regular meeting I will stick around if you would like me to.

 

3. Update on Township records- We are completed, we are under budget, we have 2 flash drives. They are a little hard to go through right now. Everything appears scanned and organized because most of our records are hand written. The look up option for records does not work on most items because they are hand written. I have been looking for some documents for a resident and I have been finding it challenging as I am learning how they scanned things in, I am working on figuring it out. Everything is done. Things I need to ask board to think about as we move forward. What do we want to do with all the paper documents? Do we want to bring them back to the school, I have contacted Burleigh County to see what they do with all their records? This will lead into my second thing. They have gone mostly electronic they don’t really keep paper documents anymore. When they issue a permit, my understanding is they scan it in and give the person back their paper documents. I could not find any rules or regulations on what to do with documents. Other than financial there are rules on financial and we have those. As for the rest we are not sure what to do with paper documents. Do we call the historical society, do we offer to people, do we keep them, or do we destroy after we make sure they are all stored electronically? With the County helping us with our building permits we will no longer have the paper records that we issued. We are in charge of our own records the county does not have backups.

4. Area Reports

A. School Board Report – Next school board meeting 02/14/2022 @ 6pm here at the school. We are looking into what our options are for school buildings or expansions. To that end we are hoping to have more information available at the next township meeting.

Mark: Is there still a building committee

Roy: Yes, at this point they are not going to meet again until we have information back from some other parties we asked for information from.

B. Treasurer’s Report-

Checking- $155,613.97

Savings- $134,378.86

66th project- $200,000.75

Check to fireside: $1245 needs to be paid. It is under budget.

Floor: What is 66th st project

Mark: it is to build an overpass on 66th st and eventually a round about at apple creek road. It is the funds we agreed to pay the county for our portion of the bills. We set the money off into a special account. The first payment will be made when the project starts and payments additional payments will be made until project completion.

Motion to pay bills- Dusty 1st Mark 2nd – Vote- unanimous yes

C, Assessor’s Report- Not present

D. Building Inspector’s Report – Burleigh County info. – submitted agreement to have them assist us complete permits started by Greg and issue new ones.

E. Road Supervisor’s Report- been quiet, been driving around and still frozen still so doing well from what I have seen. 119th is still holding up well. We did some special work there that is supposed to increase lifespan of the surface so we have been monitoring it to see if it working. We added more clay to the mix and brought up the road, smoothed it out and packed it down. We did core sampling prior to make sure we were adding the stuff that was needed.

F. Weed Board Report – not present report from floor : not growing

6. Zoning Board

- Update on Terry Hoerer property- Mark: Talked to Mark Splonkowski that special assessment on taxes and liens has to happen. We were under the impression under the court order that lawyer did what we had asked him to and he did not. As I was reading the court order and contacted the lawyer to see why it was not there. Under state law we can request that the county go in and he be charged for services which is what we had discussed as a zoning board and we all agreed. I went back through correspondence that is the exact language we used but the lawyer did not add that to the court order. Do we want to seek out new legal council or go back to them to address this.

Board agrees a motion had been passed in previous minutes and we should look to see what the lawyer can do to fix this.

- Discuss and address results from special meeting- meeting was cancelled no discussion

Adjourn-

next meeting, March 7, 2022 at 7 p.m.,

Special Meeting March 7th 6pm – Zoning and lot sizes

annual meeting/election March 15 at 7 p.m. – open seats, other business

Clerk – position up for vote

1 board seat- position up for vote

Treasurer – position up for vote

1 zoning board seat – position up for vote

Please let Jamie know by March 9th 2022 to have name printed on ballot or you can write in on the ballot at the annual meeting.

Other topics:

Jamie: I had a board member reach out to me concerned about their compensation and that they only got $60+ for quarter 4 this included the regular meetings and the special meetings. They were wondering if there is anything that can be done to compensate for those that don’t turn in extra time for work outside of the meeting. Each meeting Is $20 an hour for the regular meetings, so it makes people to want to be working.

Mark: you can keep track of hours and turn them in. I do not

Jamie: What about zoning and weed. Like Jerry and Terry and Roy I am not sure what there is to do outside of the meetings.

Mark: I will look into other townships and see what they do.

Jamie: I was just thinking you guys don’t turn in minutes. You guys get paid for the work you do at the meetings. I hope you guys here tonight realize that they do not charge for 90% of the work they do. They so not bill out for the calls or emails they take they come to the meetings and get paid for that the rest they do because they want to. We are losing members we are not getting people to want to join. Is there anyway to look into compensation to get people to want to join or want to stay.

Mark: It’s not about the money to me

Jamie: Me either but we don’t get people to want to do the work both Roy and I hold 2 positions because no one wanted the spots. Since we do have such a large audience, I figured now would be a good time to bring it up. There are limitations on what we can earn so we do have to keep that in mind based on Township guidelines.

Jerry: it wouldn’t be so bad but now we get taxes taken out of our checks

Jamie: We are required to take Social security and medicare out of the income earned here as well as any other taxes that would apply. We can no longer do 1099’s that was brought to us when I first started in 2018. I am not looking for a solution but just some thoughts to think about if there are any things that help those members that are concerned. We do have the ability to turn in extra time my main concern is with zoning and weed board since we do a lot with the county are we compensating them enough, how much of their work is billable outside of the meeting.

Jerry: Weed board does a lot of driving they can turn in

Dusty- I didn’t run for this position for the money I did this to try to help make a difference. We spent 3 years trying to deal with issues and ordinances. A bunch of them don’t even make sense and a lot of people just go around us and go to the county to do things and they are going to continue to do this. I tried to make a difference and 3 years of me being on here we have not been able to make a decision every time everyone puts there input in after the decision has been made and we sit in limbo.

Adjourn – 8:52pm gavel down

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