TOWN OF BLAINE
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Chairman Vern Drake called the February 16, 2021 monthly board meeting to order at 7 PM
Present were Chairman Vern Drake, Supervisor Jessica Estridge (via telephone), Supervisor Josh Fornengo, Clerk Charla Zaccardi, Treasurer Mona Velebir, Jason Towne, Ron Gallagher, Ron and Sharon Proffit, Klaus Nieder, Brandie Fornengo, Daniel Sear, Kent Klausing, Bryan Holter, Matt Holter, Bill Fish, Dori Willett, Bonnie Young, Steve Lundeen, Cole Fornengo, Nick Gramer,Tony Fornengo, Chase Fornengo, Courtney Fornengo, Josh Proffit, Merle and Marilyn Meyer, and Dana Olson.
Pledge of Allegiance
Chairman Drake started the meeting with a review of the Agenda and noted that he invited Jason Towne, Burnett County Land Services Director.
Clerk’s Report: Supervisor Fornengo motioned to approve the January 19, 2021 meeting minutes. Supervisor Estridge seconded. Motion approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Mona Velebir reported.
Expenses: Supervisor Estridge made a motion to approve payment of expenditures as submitted. Supervisor Fornengo seconded. Motion approved.
Chairman’s Report: Chairman Drake mentioned we receive compensation from the Northwest Regional Planning Commission for the recycling attendant hours.
Supervisor Estridge reported that ambulance response times were in range of the contract with North Memorial Hospital. The review of the Dairyland Fire contract will be tabled until further notice.
Road Equipment Update: Ron Gallagher reported that all road equipment is in good working order.
Road Condition Report: Ron Gallagher reported that all roads are plowed and sanded.
Northland Community Center: It was reported there is an ongoing plumbing issue with the drains backing up. Note: Since the board meeting the plumbing issue has been resolved.
Waste & Recycle Transfer Station: None.
The purpose of the first agenda item was to better understand zoning and to only discuss the pros and cons of adopting county zoning and be able to ask questions of Jason Towne from the Burnett County Zoning Division. Also, for the town board to receive input from attendees to determine if there was enough interest to bring the subject up for vote at the April 20, 2021 April Electors Meeting. There was a lively informal discussion, and it was obvious the subject remains controversial. Jason Towne explained that if county zoning is adopted there is a procedure to follow where basically property owners determine what zone is appropriate for their situation, and there is a rezoning process as well.
The related subject of “campgrounds” also came up. These “campgrounds” are where permanent structures, i.e., trailers, smaller modular, or prefabricated units, are placed close together, sometimes several hundred units within a relatively small acreage. A concern was expressed that this would result in substantial increase in people and demand for town services, with little corresponding real-estate taxes coming to the town. The Chairman of Oakland is looking into this issue, and Chairman Drake will contact Oakland to find out what they have learned.
Since the intent of the agenda item was not to vote, but to listen, understand, and receive input, the discussion ended with the board taking the comments under advisement.
The dates for Open Book and Board of Review were established as follows: Open Book: Tuesday, May 11th, from 9 to 11a.m. and BOR: Tuesday, May 18th, from 9 to 11 a.m.
The 3rd agenda item was to discuss the need for a survey of Blaine residents regarding ATV use of town roads. Another informal discussion took place with the pros and cons expressed. Some in attendance were in favor of keeping town roads open to ATV traffic, and others pointed out their concerns of safety; the negative impact on quality of life; and the damage created by ATV on our town roads with no compensation. To better understand taxpayer’s position on this subject, it was suggested that a survey be taken. Supervisor Estridge made a motion to send out a survey to residents. Supervisor Fornengo seconded the motion. Motion approved.
Supervisor Estridge has arranged for an informational meeting on March 11, 2021 at the NCC at 7 PM for business owners, ATV clubs, and other stakeholders to discuss finding a solution.
Supervisor Fornengo made a motion to adjourn at 8:30 p.m. Supervisor Estridge seconded. Motion passed. Meeting was adjourned.
Charla Zaccardi, Clerk
Signed and dated this 16th day of February, 2021
Vern Drake, Chairman