At the previous Orrock Town Board meeting, the board discussed, and tabled, a motion to upload video recordings of their meetings. Supervisor Felber pushed hard for the motion, but failed to get a second, and so the motion failed, and the township will not be uploading recordings of the town board meetings. Supervisor Paul Ellinger cited a few reasons as to why he didn’t offer his support, including seeing the poor video quality of similar uploaded videos for municipalities in the area, and not wanting to bother with it during the town hall building construction.
During Open Forum, Gregg Felber (former board member and spouse to current board member Anne Felber) spoke in support of better pay for board members. He noted the amount of work the position requires and believes better pay would encourage others in the community to consider running for the board in the future.
Land Use Plan
Marc Schneider of Sherburne County approached the board seeking input on the county land use plan. County staff was not proposing many changes for Orrock, but still wanted input from the township.
The county staff is considering adding a new district, called a “Shoreline Residential District.” Since so many people live along shorelines in the county, a distinct zone with its own set of ordinances makes sense near sensitive lakes and rivers. This would affect development in Orrock in the future.
Supervisor Felber expressed her concerns over small lot sizes, less than 2.5 acres, as they provided little space for animals’ natural habitat. Schneider noted this.
More information about the land use plan will be presented to the county board sometime in July.
Bahr’s Haunted Acres
Brent Bahr, Orrock resident and owner of “Behr’s Haunted Acres,” approached the board along with Derek Nelson, coach for the Minnesota Jets Cheerleading Team. Last year in October, Bahr opened up his property as a haunted house/haunted trail experience, donating the proceeds to local organizations, including the Minnesota Jets.
There were several complaints made against Bahr last year, with neighbors being frustrated by excessive parking on the road and loud chainsaw noises.
To avoid conflict this year, Bahr and Nelson hoped to get early input from the board on how they can better manage the event this coming fall. They noted that they had plans in place for parking on the property, instead of on the road, and there would be no more chainsaw noises. In addition, the haunted trail will close at 10 p.m. each night, and organizers will make sure there is a direct path for EMS services, in case they are needed.
Supervisor Bob Hassett noted that the board received several complaints last year, but when he tried to contact Bahr about it he was unable to do so, since Bahr, and all the other adults in charge of the event, were busy putting on the production. He requested that a person in charge always be available to address concerns, this year.
Town Hall Building
The board took some time to discuss some of the details of the new town hall building, including making sure there is enough money in the general fund, using space at Zimmerman City Hall for township business, and plans for demolition.
More discussions about ongoing town hall business are being handled by the town hall committee, whose meetings are open to the public. Dates are published at town hall and online.
Supervisor Felber noted that she recently attended a community meeting with the DNR on behalf of Orrock Twp. When she asked for compensation for attending the meeting, she was denied.
There is no clear regulation for which meetings should be compensated and which should not. Felber did not receive a direction from the board to attend the meeting, but she believed that since the DNR specifically coordinated the meeting in order to have a supervisor there that it should count as official township business and should be compensated.
The board approved Felber being compensated, but also decided to hold a policy committee meeting to further consider when supervisors should and should not be compensated.
In Other Business, the Board:
• Heard a report from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office;
• Renewed a contract with Darryl Waltzko for handyman services;
• Set a road tour date;
• Approved sending out a request for proposals for snow removal services;
• Discussed an increase in garbage issues on township roads;
• Discussed township bank accounts and how much money to keep in each.