November 14, 2023, Township Board Meeting Minutes

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Chair Kuettel at 7:00 p.m


Town officers Present: Chair Charles Kuettel, Vice-Chair Douglas Dressen, Supervisor Douglas Nelson, Clerk Lita Wallace, Treasurer Carol Nelson

Town officers Absent: Deputy Clerk Shane Stolp, Deputy Treasurer Ed Potter

Guests: Ray Barnes, Bonnie Dressen, Stephen Jones, Jeff Maida, Steve Mueller, Nancy Nilsen, Daryle Olson, Josh Pelovsky, Deb Pomroy, Bill Scalzo, Lynne Scalzo, Ted Wallace, Dale Waldriff, Daryle Waldriff, John Wilson, Sandee Wlson

Clerk’s Report

Copies of the October Minutes were distributed to attendees and they were given time to read it. Kuettel made a correction that “he did talked with a lawyer before the meeting and was told that the board cannot sign a written agreement with the church nor donate land to the church due to the  “separation between church and state.” Motion by Dressen to approve with correction, second by Nelson, motion carried. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson yay.

Treasurer’s Report

October 2023

Total Funds on Hand 10/1/2023 $247,880.37
Plus: Deposits $763.68
—Interest on Accounts 488.68
—Road Permit & fee 275.00
Less: Disbursements $1,443.88
—Payroll 615.33
—United States Treasury 589.20
—Other Expenses 239.35
Total Funds on Hand 10/31/2023 $247,200.17
Checks Written #1942 – #1947

November 2023
Expected Receipts None
Checks Written #1948 – #1953 $1,817.82
No transfer to checking needed

Motion by Dressen to approve the Treasurer’s Report, second by Nelson, motion carried. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson yay.

Old Business 

  • Update on the West Branch Road – – Nelson reported that Sinnot Blacktop finished patching and crack filling on the township portion of the West Branch Road just in time for the first plowing of the season. The bid by Sinnot called for 3,500 lbs of tar but was short so they added 500 more lbs without charge for a total of 4,000 lbs. They used 6 tons for blacktop for $7,000.00 which comes out at $1,160.00 per ton versus $1,400.00 per ton with Dressen’s proposal.Nelson added that (1) at the Annual Meeting in 2024, the township will need to present a budget and levy on the cost sharing between the property owners on West Branch Road and the township; (2) start the process of fund raising now so we can spread the burden over a longer period making it more affordable; (3) invest the funds from the Road account at attractive interest rates currently using CDs; (4) reminder what he said in the past that the current road was done on a 50%/50% split.
  • Follow-up discussion on West Branch Road, residents to create a committee with a purpose of discussing the levy for the road repair.

New Business

  • Vote on the Resolution to support the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) Grant Application which is available for road construction – – Lynne Scalzo explained what the requirements are and that the full cost of road construction (estimated at $877,804.00) for West Branch Road will be covered by the LRIP grant with sponsorship from MNDoT and St. Louis County. The township’s responsibility is the costs for Engineering, Construction  Administration/Inspection, right of way acquisition, private utility work and aesthetic treatments above the standard (estimated at 6% of the construction cost) as well as LRIP-eligible items in excess of the LRIP grant amount. The county will take care of the bidding process. Nelson motion to approve the support of the LRIP grant resolution, second by Dressen, motion carried. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson yay. Resolution #2023-007.
  • Dressen conversation with Minnesota Association of Townships attorney about weights and taxation – – Dressen talked with a lawyer at Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) and was told that every dollar that were put on the road since 1989 was not in compliance. The township should not be paying for the repair of West Branch Road. The residents should be charged for the cost of road repair. Per the lawyer, Dressen quoted Chapter 8, Revenue, Finance and Debt, 8.3D of the Manual on Town Government 2023 which states: “In 1989, the Legislature created gave towns authority to establish subordinate service districts (SSD), An SSD is an area within a town receiving one or more town services, or enhanced services, provided specifically for that area and financed from revenues from the area.Minn Stat. §365A.02. While districts can be created for any service the town is authorized to provide, some common uses are road improvement projects, septic systems, and dust control.” Dressen also added that the township is responsible for snow plowing and grading. Due to the above statement, Dressen motion to rescind the earlier approval of Resolution 2023-007 as there is a conflict of interest for a party voting as he resides in West Branch Road, second by Kuettel, motion carried. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson abstain. In addition, Dressen motion to reinstate to pass the resolution without Nelson voting. second by Kuettel, motion carried. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson abstain.
  • Dressen mentioned that the 7-ton road should only be 5-ton with exceptions for snow plow, emergency vehicles, and garbage trucks. If it is abused, we can call the Sheriff’s Office which can enforce the weight limit.
  • Nelson motion for Kuettel to hire a local lawyer as recommended by MAT to verify questions such as: (1) Can Nelson vote on decisions about any repair to West Branch Road as he lives on that road due to Conflict of Interest?; (2) How to determine assessment of properties for West Branch road property owners? (3) Can the township spend the Road funds levy for the repair of West Branch Road? Dressen second, motion passed. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson yay.
  • Treasurer Nelson reported that she has not received a bill from Sinnot Blacktop, LLC, for the final work at West Branch Road. Suggested to follow-up with them and get the final amount and if the board approves, she can pay them this month. Motion by Dressen, second by Kuettel, motion carried. Kuettel yay, Dressen yay, Nelson abstain.
  • St. Louis County Firewise grant – Community Specific Wildfire Strategic Planning – tabled as Deputy Treasurer Ed Potter was absent
  • Wallace reported the following March 2024 Township Election:
    a) December 19, 2023: Notice of offices to be elected will be published
    b.) One supervisor position is open for election. Kuettel’s term is ending in March 2024.

c.) January 2-16, 2023: Filing period for open supervisor position, clerk’s office open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on January 16, the last day of filing period – contact the clerk at or 218-525-4068 for information on filing candidacy for open position

d.) February 9 – March 11, 2024: Absentee Balloting period for March Township Election – Absentee ballot application information is available at:

e.) March 12, 2024, March Township Election Day

  • March 5, 2024: Presidential Nomination Primary Election
  • Per St. Louis County Elections, townships are no longer required to establish polling locations prior to each new election year if there is no changes due to recent change in legislation – Wallace stated that the township does not need to create a Resolution for Polling Place every year not unless there is a change in location.
  • Nancy Nilsen, County Auditor of St. Louis County, confirmed that the county will pick up the Automark machine and Pequaywan Township will receive an OmniBallot funded by the county for use during elections.
  • Clerk and deputy clerk will be attending the Election training in Duluth conducted by St. Louis County Elections on December 1 for the 2024 Presidential Nomination Primary Election
  • Treasurer Nelson reported that Superior Credit Union will be closing its Hermantown branch with only the Superior, Wisconsin, and Grand Avenue remaining open which will be a challenge and further distance to transact business with them. Kuettel advise to locate another bank.



  • Snowplow bill from St. Louis County Public Works Department in the amount of $1,177.60 for the 1st half of 2023-2024 snow season
  • $275.00 check from Waste Wood Recyclers for overweight permit at West Branch Road.
  • Invoice from Daisy Wallace for October 2023 web maintenance in the amount of $37.50


  • Contract application for 2023-2024 snow plowing to St. Louis County Public Works

Public CommentThe Public Comment section is a courtesy extended to persons wishing to address the Board. If you wish to comment during the Township Meeting, follow the protocol below:

  1. No more than one public comment per citizen.
  2. Submit your comment information to with your full name.
  3. Deadline to submit your request is the first Saturday of the month.
  4. Your presentation will be limited to two minutes.
  5. What you said will be on file, and the board can either address the issue, assign someone to address the issue, or do nothing.

Next Meeting, December 12, 2023, 7:00 p.m., Pequaywan Firehall

Dressen motion to adjourn at 8:21 p.m., second by Nelson, motion carried. Dressen yay, Nelson, yay, Kuettel, yay.

Respectfully submitted by,
Lita Wallace, Clerk