ORROCK TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS (from the left), are Michael Eisinger, Shane Berg, Chair Jeff Jones, Mike Meier and Ron Dolly. Discussion over paying supervisors for work performed by them for the township is a frequent cause of contention at their meetings. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Orrock pay claims still bothersome

Staff Writer
Jennifer Edwards
A short agenda turned into another contentious two-hour meeting at Orrock Town Hall when supervisors met Wednesday.
At issue again was the thorny subject of payment to supervisors for unauthorized work for the township. In this instance, it seems Sup. Shane Berg had performed some tasks for the township related to removal of sand on the highway and emergency erosion prevention.
The list of pay claims included claims from Sup. Berg and Sup. Ron Dolly. As road authority, Dolly is permitted to perform emergency tasks to keep the roads clear.
Sup. Michael Eisinger opposed a resolution to make the payments as claimed. Sup. Jones approved the payment. Sup. Berg and Dolly voted to approve the motion. Sup. Mike Meier abstained.
“It was on the landowners property, he should have been billed for it,” said Eisinger.
“The damage was done by ATVs,” said Sup. Dolly. “It was our responsibility.”
Street, Fire Signs
There was a discussion about the installation of a number of street signs, no dumping signs and about six fire number signs which need to be installed in the township.
“We have talked about supervisors pay,” said Jones. “What wasn’t defined and what needs to be done is what they are getting paid for.”
Quotes for installation came back at  $90 per sign, Jones said. A supervisor could install three or four signs in an hour for a cost of $15 per hour.
“That’s a smoking deal,” he said.
Chair Jeff Jones asked all the supervisors to read a memo from Township Attorney Bob Ruppe, which offered guidelines on regulations for supervisors on when payment is and is not appropriate.
There was some discussion of what work needs to be done to maintain the town hall and whether tasks should be designated. Some supervisors request payment for work done for the township, while others don’t.
Other Business
Chair Jones reported on  a discussion he had with Zimmerman Fire Chief Ryan Maloney.
“He said they had been working on their budget and rates for service will remain the same next year,” said Jones. 
“He also said because of their charitable gambling they had some money to fund the purchase of a defibrillator and they plan to donate it to the township at our next meeting,” Jones said. “We will have to have a demonstration so everyone will know how to use it.”
Jones also said the township had to pay an additional $219 to Ericksons because their invoice was pulled from last months pay claims because of a question raised at the meeting.
“If we could get this information a week prior to the meeting, we could get these questions answered before we sit down to vote,” he said. “Then we wouldn’t have to pay for late fees.”
Eisinger suggested negotiating a 45-day payment period with vendors.
There was some discussion on what to do about escrow accounts still held by the township.
“Some will be returned to the builders,” said Jones. “Some will not. Some of the money will go into the general fund.”
Road Projects
Township Engineer Mike Nielsen of WSB proposed two road projects. The first included 2,050 feet of road at 231st Avenue and 168th Street where the bituminous surface has deteriorated.
The second involves the unpaved portion of 245th Avenue and includes getting the old road back onto the right-of-way, rebuild
ing the ditches and installation of two culverts. 
The board voted to ask for bids for the two projects and will debate whether to do them both based on costs in the spring.
There was some discussion on the issue of snow removal and the amount of salt-sand product used. Sup. Dolly produced a spreadsheet. To date almost $5,000 worth of salt/sand mixture has been deposited on township roads.
Resident Andy Hopko presented a photo of snow on the road in front of his father’s house in a cul-de-sac in Palomino Acres which he said was not cleared until six days after the event.
“He called me six days later and we got it taken care of,” said Sup. Dolly.
At the request of Township Resident Bob Hassett, the board of supervisors has posted information, including a map, of township roads and work which needs to be done to keep them in good repair.
“Residents can look at it and see what work needs to be done before we have to set a budget at the annual meeting,” said Hassett, who has volunteered hours of time to the project.


(From left) Lexi Freund (Big Lake), Betsey Cornelius and Ben Cornelius (Nowthen), Gunner Dorweiler and Colton Dorweiler (Princeton), Ben Manning (Zimmerman), Bailey Dorweiller (Princeton) and Salene Krueger (Big Lake.) The county fair runs from July 16-19. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Dr. Lola Sutherland is retiring from clinical practice after 33 years in the Big Lake community. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards.)

SMITTY’S AMATEUR FIDDLERS CONTEST drew 22 musicians to compete in Big Lake this year. They were accompanied by Gilmore Lee.

LEE GERHARDSON, 47, from New London, was found dead in Big Lake near the swimming beach in 10 feet of water Monday. Cause of death is unknown at this time but foul play is not suspected.

Adopt-a-Road participants volunteer for Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and work to clean roadsides that border and bisect refuge land. This spring, from April to June, approximately six individuals, three families, and seven groups, such as boy and girl scouts and 4-H groups, volunteered to clean countless miles of roads. (Submitted photo.)