By Ryan Gueningsman
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN Franklin Township Board received a visit from Scott Deckert of Wright County Planning and Zoning to discuss updates to the county’s long-term land-use plans.
The county has completed revisions to the plan for the northwest and northeast quadrants of the county, and is now looking to finish the plan by reviewing the southern quadrant (the Highway 12 corridor).
Once the southern portion is done, Deckert said the county will then make one master land-use plan from the documents.
The areas affected by this portion of the update stretch from Franklin Township west to Woodland, Marysville, Victor, Middleville, Stockholm, and Cokato townships.
Deckert outlined the typical process of how the last two updates went. He said there will be open houses set in the next few months that will offer the public the opportunity to see maps, fill out surveys, and ask questions.
Following the open houses, the county will then prepare a document showing the results of the surveys. A second set of open houses will then take place, followed by a final hearing at the courthouse in Buffalo.
This is estimated to be a six-to 12-month process, Deckert added.
Board Chairman Bill McMullen told Deckert that Franklin Township completed its own land-use plan in 2004, and asked how the county’s plan may change the township’s plan. Deckert said that is mainly up to the township.
The township board agreed it is important to get the public’s feedback before making any determinations.
Deckert asked for the township’s opinion in three areas, including aggregate resource areas, resource lands, and transition areas. It was noted that Franklin Township does not have an orderly annexation agreement with any city.
“I think we do the city a favor by keeping them boxed in they have to develop their own land better,” McMullen commented. He added that back in 2003-04, those who worked on the land-use plan for the township spent a lot of time on it.
“I think any changes should be done very carefully,” he added. Deckert asked the board if it had been looking at any changes to the township plan, and the board said if he hadn’t come to the meeting, the issue wouldn’t have come up.
“We just did the plan recently,” said Board Member John Czanstkowski Sr. “I’d say leave it the same.”
“I don’t see the need to change it,” McMullen agreed, adding that he is looking forward to the open houses.
Resident John Motzko, who was in attendance at the meeting, suggested the board bring the issue up at the annual township meeting in March.
Board discusses building entitlement question from resident
Motzko was on the agenda for the board meeting with questions relating to the number of building entitlements he has on his property.
Wright County is claiming Motzko has one less entitlement than he believes he has. It was noted Motzko was not seeking a variance, but rather an entitlement determination.
The board stated if Wright County ruled in his favor, the township would not be opposed, and that the board does not foresee having any objection to the county board making the determination.
“It comes down to memory and honesty that’s what makes it hard,” Motzko said.
Official newspaper named by board
The township solicited for and reviewed quotes for the official publication of the township for its legal notices for 2010.
Two bids were received one from the Delano Herald Journal and one from the Delano Eagle. The board reviewed the bids, which showed a $1 difference.
The board reviewed circulation of the two publications, which documentation showed for the 55328 ZIP code, the Herald Journal having 1,056 paid subscribers, and the Eagle having 349 paid subscribers.
Nine times out of 10, the board selects the lowest quote, commented McMullen, adding that taking into account the quotes are very close and that the Delano Herald Journal reaches three times as many subscribers, he felt the designation should remain with the Delano Herald Journal.
The township also reviewed quotes received on printing the township’s 2010 recycling calendar.
The Delano Eagle/Sun Press bid $275, and the Delano Herald Journal bid $343. The job was awarded to the low bidder.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• appointed Denise Olson, Renata Russek, John Czanstkowski, Stephanie Russek, Geri Hagelin, Al Steinbach, Bill Hornemann, Janice Nester, and Deb Hagen as election judges for the uncontested Tuesday, March 9 township election.
Czanstkowski abstained, as he was appointed as a judge.
• tabled a request from Xcel Energy regarding a right-of-way utility easement until its March meeting.
• heard that Wright County is being mandated by the state to update its rules to mirror the state’s rules on septic tanks. Following discussion, the board approved a response to Wright County to recommend approval of the request because it is required.
• agreed to solicit for the 2010 recycling contract, with the board wanting quotes for both a one-year contract and a two-year contract.
• agreed to solicit for 2010 granite hauling bids, with the board seeking two bids one for belly dumps and one for end dumps to see the cost difference.
• agreed to solicit for 2010 dust control bids.