3/7/17 Special Meeting Minutes
TOWN OF CRANE LAKE
SPECIAL BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ MEETING
March 7, 2017
The March 7, 2017 Special Board of Supervisors’ Meeting was called to order by Chairman Jim Janssen at 5:35PM at Voyagaire Lodge with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those in attendance including: VNP Representatives – Supervisor Bob DeGross, Bill Carlson and Mary Graves; DNR Representative – Scott Kelling; RTCA Representatives – Holly Larson and Tom Holmes; Supervisors Butch Eggen, Jim Janssen, and Jerry Pohlman; Clerk Jo Ann Pohlman; and 7 members of the community.
Chairman Jim Janssen explained that the purpose of the Special Board of Supervisors’ Meeting was to discuss the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program and how it may be advantageous for the Township to use their services. He also stated that Gary Cerkvenik would be calling in to join the meeting.
VNP Superintendent Bob DeGross began the discussion by explaining that RTCA works with communities to take planning efforts to the next step. He introduced Outdoor Recreation Planner Holly Larson to further explain RTCA. The RTCA is the community assistance arm of the National Park Service. They provide technical assistance to community groups; city, county, and tribal governments; and non-profits. They help plan and design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to natural areas; protect special places; and create recreation opportunities. The program would help define vision, goals and objectives; analyze issues and opportunities; and develop strategic action plans and time lines for projects. They can help identify and secure sources of funding and assist with grant writing. They are currently working with Cook and Tower on the Lake Vermilion Trail.
Gary Cerkvenik joined the meeting via telephone at about 5:50PM. He explained that Crane Lake had applied for a grant to purchase the Braaten property for $950,000. The request was approved at the committee level in the Senate and will soon go to the floor. Gary is confident that the grant will be awarded to Crane Lake. He asked for clarification of a GSA letter that was received by the Township to procure a new lease on behalf of the NPS. It was explained as a renewal of the lease on the Park Ranger residence. It was suggested that modification of the lease for a shorter term be considered in the event that a new building on the property to be purchased was constructed. Inclusion of the Post Office and Homeland Security was discussed. Bob DeGross said that the VNP would need to have a discussion with GSA on any changes to the lease. Gary also stressed that the park had been in the area for 4 decades with no presence in Crane Lake. He also stated that the Park needs to decide what they want. If the grant is awarded, it would be by July 1. Crane Lake would need to know the Park’s decision to accept the grant.
Scott Kelling of the DNR stated that the DNR wants to work with the community and the Park, especially if the land acquisition goes through. The DNR public water access at the end of Bayside Drive has not been developed to date.
The importance to the community of a visitor center and a park presence in Crane Lake was expressed. Bob DeGross responded that he would need to show his supervisors that there would be no additional costs to the park and a cost benefit, like a camp ground would be better. He also stated that the DNR, the Park, and Crane Lake would need to delineate responsibilities and financing of each. He also stated that the RTCA could help the project move forward and clear the path for the next steps.
A non-binding letter of intent describing a plan of action among the four parties was suggested.
Scott Kelling explained that the dollars spent to acquire the Public Water Access at the end of Bayside Drive in 2011 require that the property be used as a public water access; it does not have to be used for parking.
Town of Crane Lake Special Board Meeting Minutes – March 7, 2017
A motion was made by Butch, supported by Jerry, to engage in dialogue and apply to the RTCA for assistance in furthering the process of realizing the vision of a VNP visitor center in Crane Lake. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Bob DeGross will contact the USFS to see if they have interest in a presence in the visitor center. Bob also stated that it would take a couple of years to acquire any necessary funding after the VNP has identified what they want to do in Crane Lake.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:05PM.
Jo Ann Pohlman, Clerk Jim Janssen, Chairman
This draft of the Crane Lake Township minutes has been posted solely for preliminary informational purposes. Minutes are unofficial and subject to change until they have been approved by the Crane Lake Board of Supervisors.