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January 9, 2009

Chairperson Clare R. Stromlund called the Regular Solway Town Board Meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. at the Solway Town Hall, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present were Supervisors Ron Gajewski and Scott Welsh, Clerk Regena Merritt, Treasurer Cindy Moe, and nine concerned citizens.


MOTION made by Gajewski, seconded by Stromlund and carried to name Supervisor Gajewski as Chair and Supervisor Welsh as Vice-Chair for the upcoming year.

 MOTION made by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh, and carried to approve the minutes from the December 9, 2008 Town Board Meeting with one correction on page five under New Business section a.  The minutes state the board motioned to move the Regular Town Board Meeting to “Tuesday” and it should read  “Thursday” February 12, 2009. 


MOTION by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh and carried to accept the following Tentative Treasurer’s report dated December 31, 2008.


Checking 11618-11654





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12/12/08  SLC Public Works - Maintenance Striping Program information. No board action

12/15/08  Minnesota Revenue -            Application for 2009 state fire aid to be filled out by Fire Department.  The Clerk forwarded the application to the Fire Chief.

12/17/08  Reliable Insurance - Certificate of Insurance from James Lindquist.

No board action.

12/17/08  MN Assoc of Twsp - Reducing Energy Cost conference. No board action.

12/18/08  MN Sec of State Office -Township ballot instructions.  No board action.

12/22/08  South SLC Soil & Water - Erosion & Sediment control workshop.  No board action.

12/22/08  MN Assoc of Twsp - Calendar/ Reminders. No board action.

12/23/08  Aspen Equipment - Informational brochure. No board action.

12/26/08  SLC Environmental Services - Septic System Ordinance revisions. No board action.

12/26/08  U of MN Extension - Application to apply wood ash at 6718 Morris Thomas Rd-John Saline property. No board action.

12/30/08  Wells Fargo - Information regarding Wells Fargo banking online.  No board action.

1/1/09  Wells Fargo Public Financing-            Public deposit pledged collateral report.  This is for the Clerk’s records.

1/2/09 US Dept of Commerce -            Emergency  transitional shelter questionnaire. The Clerk filled out the questionnaire and returned it to the Commerce Dept.

1/2/09  SLC  Auditor Office - List of tax forfeited properties. No board action.

1/6/09  SLC Public Works - Crushing and Crack Sealing program info.  NO board action.


OUTSTANDING BILLS: The Treasurer has three additional bills as follows:

Shelton Excavating for snowplowing in the amount of $877.50; Solway Fire Department in the amount of $32,166.00 for the 2009 fire protection service contract; Grainger in the amount of $931.50 for a hazard locker at the fire hall.  MOTION by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh, and carried to pay all bills as presented by the Treasurer, and transfer any needed funds from savings to checking to cover these bills. 


CITIZEN REQUESTS/CONCERNS:  a) Jessica Henkel-Johnson and Stephanie Kehoe were at the meeting regarding a proposed change in zoning for property owned by their parents Bill and Sherry Daeda. Supervisor Gajewski explained that there are five other adjoining 40-acre parcels included in this proposed change and at the December Town board meeting the Board decided to send a letter to affected property owners asking for their feedback.  The Town Clerk sent out letters to eight property owners.  Two of the letters went to adjacent property owners Brad, Don and Ron Kolenda, although they will not be affected by the change in lot size, they were at the November Board Meeting and spoke in favor of the re-zoning. The Board received four responses from affected property owners.  These letters are from Paul Fish and Kandise Garrison who are opposed to the zoning change; David T. and Anna H. Davis who have no objection if all violations are corrected and the borrow pit operation is limited to five years maximum; Gregory J. and Brenda L. Tario who are opposed to a zoning change; and Frankie and Norma DeDominces who strongly oppose any change in lot size and property line setbacks. The Clerk was unable to find an address for John Henton who is listed on the SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 25. 


At tonight’s Town Board Meeting, Paul Fish spoke in opposition of the re-zoning stating that a property owner should not be allowed to violate the zoning and get the laws changed afterwards to make the violation in conformance. 


William and Sherry Daeda’s daughter Jessica Henkel-Johnson stated that she is a co-owner of the property on which there is the zoning violation.  Bill & Sherry Daeda’s other daughter Stephanie Kehoe stated that her parents have the papers ready to donate the property to the Fond-Du-Lac Tribe if the zoning does not get changed.  


The Board decided that there is sufficient reason to change the zoning and motioned to adopt Resolution #64 requesting St. Louis County to change the zoning of the six 40-acres parcels in Solway Township.  MOTION by Welsh, seconded by Gajewski and carried to adopt Resolution #64 as follows:



A request to St. Louis County to change zoning


WHEREAS, On November 6, 2008 citizens appeared before the Solway Town Board to request re-zoning of a forty acre parcel of property from FAM-2 to FAM-3, legal description of said property being the SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 24 Township 50 North, Range 16 West (Solway); and,


WHEREAS, After looking into this matter is was determined that five additional 40-acre parcels running north and south were also zoned FMA-2 while surrounding properties are zoned FAM-3 MUNS-4 or RES-4.  Legal description of these other parcels located in Township 50 North, Range 16 West (Solway) being:


  • The NE ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 24
  • The SE ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 24
  • The NE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 25
  • The SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 25
  • The NE ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 25; and,


WHEREAS, After discussions with St. Louis County planning staff it was determined that a change in zoning for these six parcels would make them more in conformity with surrounding properties; and,


WHEREAS, The Solway Town Board decided at the December 9, 2008 Town Board meeting to send a letter to all affected property owners within the six forty-acre parcels, along with maps illustrating the parcels, requesting their feedback on the proposed zoning change; and,


WHEREAS, Three of the seven property owners receiving letter responded negatively to the proposed changes due to their concerns of housing congestions, pollution to rocky run creek which runs through the parcels, or the need for prior correction of zoning violations in the most northern forty-acre parcel before a zoning change would occur; and,



WHEREAS, The topographical features of the land and established building setbacks from a stream would protect from over utilization of the land, or pollution to the creek, and whereby the township has no policing authority over the

 setback violation mentioned above in which the said violation would in fact be corrected by the proposed zoning change.


THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Solway town Board requests the St. Louis County Board to rezone the six forty-acre parcels identified above from FAM-2 to FAM- 3.


Supervisor Welsh moved the adoption of the resolution, seconded by Supervisor Gajewski, and it was declared adopted on the 13th day of January, 2009 upon the following votes:  Yeas – Clare R. Stromlund, Ronald Gajewski, and Scott Welsh.  Nays – none.  Absent – none. 


ROAD: a) Supervisor Gajewski reported that Rick Flesvig fixed the lights in the hall parking lot and the town hall.

b) Supervisor Gajewski has reported to Lake Country Power that the street light on Canosia and Highway #2 needs to be fixed.

c) It has been reported to the town office that the Jeffrey Road street sign at Highway #2 is missing.  The board decided to wait until spring to replace the sign.

d) Jim Lindquist mentioned to the Board that the “Stop” sign on Highway 2 and Canosia Road seems too far west into the right-of-way and does not have good visibility when coming from the north.  The Board will check with St. Louis County and the State of Minnesota to see if there is something that can be done to draw attention to this sign.


FIRE:  a) The board discussed the dollar amount for the Fire Services Contract.  The Treasurer gave a figure of $32,166. This includes budgeted funds for personnel; insurance; fuel; and water and foam that were previously paid by the Township that will now be the responsibility of the Fire Department.   MOTION by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh and carried to pay $32,166.00 to the Solway Fire Department for fire protection service from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009.

b) Chief Suliin reported that the pump certifications for trucks 1, 2, and 6 have not been completed and is afraid that this might become a liability to the Fire Department or Township.  Chief Suliin spoke with Steve Adamski about getting here to complete this work.  Mr. Adamski explained that it would not be a liability because although he did not perform the pump test, the pumps have been checked out mechanically and are in working order.

The town has not paid him the maintenance contract money for 2008.  There is a bill for $4,500 for the 2009 Maintenance contract with Steve Adamski. Town Board have been very satisfied with the repair work Mr. Adamski has done in the past, but is concerned that this work will not be done in a timely manner.   



MOTION by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh and carried to pay Mr. Adamski $3,000 tonight with the remaining $1,500 to be paid upon completion of the pump certifications on fire trucks 1, 2, & 6.

c) The department is flooding the rink in preparation for the Winter Fun Day on January 31.

d) Fire Chief Wayne Suliin reported 91 total calls for 2008.  So far there has been three calls for January with two of the calls being medical calls.

e) Chief Suliin also reported that the department is again applying for FEMA grants.  They are allowed to apply for two grants.  Hopefully one grant will replace #2 truck and the other is for equipment.   The department is also applying for a grant from the Smokeless Tobacco Foundation for an ATV.  There now is a hazard locker at the fire hall that the Township can also use for storage of any hazardous chemicals.  The Clerk will notify Leon Forstrom that this locker is available for Township use.


RECYCLING:  a) New floor mats for the recycling shed are at the town hall


HALL: a) The light on the outside of the hall building has been repaired by Rick Flesvig.

b) Leon Forstrom has purchased hand tools to be kept at the town hall.


PARK: a) Supervisor Gajewski completed a park report that was reviewed by the board.  There is nothing pressing at this time.

b) Jim Johnson picked up the John Deere tractor mower and will be doing the repairs to the mower deck.


CEMETERY:  a) Wayne Saline was buried at the Solway Cemetery on January 5, 2009.


COMMITTEES: a) The Special Events Committee met on January 6, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. to plan the Winter Fun Day which is planned for January 31, 2009. 

b) The Town has received a copy of a Conditional Use Permit from St. Louis County Planning Department.   AT & T Mobility is applying for the permit to place a cell tower at the John & Tami McGregor property at 3821 Munger Shaw Road.  Included in the permit are photo simulations from different places in the township with the tower added.  The tower will be 260-feet tall and will allow space for four providers. The Board noted that there are areas of the township where cell phone service is intermittent or not at all. This was also mentioned by a township resident who cannot get cell phone service at his home.  As Cell Towers are addressed in Solway’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the board feels there is no need for the Solway Planning and Zoning Committee to meet.  MOTION by Welsh, seconded by Stromlund and carried not to call a meeting of the Solway Planning and Zoning Advisory Committee and to have the Clerk send a letter from the Town Board recommending approval of the Conditional Use Permit for a cell tower by A T & T Mobility. 



OLD BUSINESS:  a) The Township lobby day is scheduled for Tuesday February 10th.  MOTION by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh that all Town Board members who wish to attend “Lobby Day” at the state capitol be allowed to do so at Township expense. 

b) The zoning change effected by Resolution #64 was addressed under Citizens Concerns.


NEW BUSINESS: a) The format for the newsletter needs to be updated to conform to Post Office requirements.  Cookie Saline will work on this.


MOTION by Gajewski, seconded by Welsh and carried to adjourn tonight’s meeting after the board completes signing checks.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.



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