March 18, 2004 at 3:16 p.m.
Parker told the couple hundred residents attending the annual meeting to notify all lawmakers involved in the committees hearing these bills to express support for the measures. He stressed that the entire township should get involved, not only properties adjacent to Chisago City. The outcome of this annexation petition could affect the viability of the whole township, he said.
The House File numbers are 2819 for the moratorium bill and 375 for changes to annexation law. Committees where these bills will begin review are Local Government Operations and Metropolitan Affairs.
Parker said he was informed that those who may wish to testify at the committee hearings will likely only get about one day’s notice, so he couldn’t announce exactly when and where at the capital people might appear personally; but he added that lawmakers are influenced by letters, phone messages and e mails they receive on issues.
Another major item for township citizens to become involved in is the Comprehensive Plan process.
There are public workshops being held to give Wyoming Township residents the chance to voice their vision and concerns about town planning.
These workshops will be -- April 19 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church fellowship hall, and May 24 at the Maranatha Assembly of God, on #30, south of downtown Wyoming.
The Center for Rural Design is facilitating the comp plan development. A draft of the plan is scheduled for review June 4, with changes and additional finalizing being done June 14. Final presentation for the Comprehensive Plan would be around the end of June. Public hearings required by law to adopt the plan will be announced.
In other business before the township-- the general vote approved the 2005 budget and levy as presented. The township will have up to $10,000 to spend on service contracts with non-profits, there will be a $2,000 maximum expenditure for “youth recreation programs” and a gopher bounty of $2 per both front feet was appropriated with a maximum of $1,000 for the year.
The emergency management department has installed six sirens recently and one more is scheduled to be erected in the northwest corner of the township in the next couple of years.
There was a citizen question about slow activation of the sirens during a severe weather episode last summer and residents were informed that the national weather service notifies the county sheriff’s dispatch center and sirens are activated from the center.
County Commissioner Ben Montzka, a Wyoming Township resident, said he’d look into the circumstances of the complaint.
The Chisago County Press and Forest Lake Times are where township legal notices and announcements will be published.
In a special vote the township set aside $160,000 as a line item to pay for legal costs in fighting the contested case annexation. The additional money amounts to $75 or $80 per household in Wyoming Township, Parker reported.
Parker explained that if the legislative bills pass and the annexation process is halted; or if something else develops by way of derailing the contested case petition, the citizens could delete that $160,000 from the town’s budget.
Finalization of the budget then was continued until August 31. The annual meeting will be reconvened at town hall or wherever the Board of Supervisors designates, to act on this.
Wyoming Township’s 2005 annual budget is preliminarily set about $1.2 million. The 2004 budget is at $1,078,664. The 2003 actual budget was $1,035,300.
According to the Board of Audit handout, the township’s general fund, road and bridge fund and fire fund are those that are property tax supported.
Blacktopping, parks, trails, emergency management and library contribution are outside of direct property tax and either are funded in fees, donations or by debt. Wyoming Township had a total balance to carryover at the end of 2003 of $1,354,293.