The joint meeting held between Bridgewater Township and the City of Dundas showed signs of improvement as the two parties made efforts to settle disagreements.
To begin the meeting, Bridgewater supervisor Gary Ebling read an email that was sent to the Bridgewater supervisors. According to the letter, the City of Dundas approved a payment of $43,475.04 for the 2013 tax rebate at their July 14 council meeting. The payment was approved following a closed session where the council discussed a letter they received from the township’s attorney.
The City of Dundas withheld $249.01 from their payment to the township because of the cost of staff time to perform an audit on an incorrect invoice.
In February, Dundas received an invoice from Bridgewater of $48,840.82, which according to Dundas City Administrator John McCarthy was an incorrect amount. After Bridgewater was made aware of the error, they re-sent to Dundas a correct invoice.
Following the discussion of the tax rebate payment, Kathleen Doran-Norton, chair of the Bridgewater Township supervisors, introduced the issues the township has which highlighted the maintenance of roads.
“We feel we have done normal road maintenance to township roads,” she said.
Per the annexation agreement, the township maintains the roads adjacent or within the annexation agreement and Dundas uses the difference in property tax to help with the cost. However, Grant Modory, a Dundas City Council member, said there is a big issue with the definition of “normal maintenance.”
Both parties acknowledged that not everything can be settled in a single meeting, and so to make the meeting as beneficial as possible they decided to begin highlighting specific disagreements that could be further discussed in future joint meetings.
Glenn Switzer, mayor of Dundas, said they need to start growing together in a smart way.
“We need to plan for the future so we don’t waste our resources and tax dollars,” he said.
Doran-Norton agreed, saying the future Dundas Planning Commission meetings could include township representatives to continue discussing issues related to the annexation agreement.
“If we can do this at the next joint planning commission meeting, that is terrific,” she said.
According to Doran-Norton, there are three relatively broad issues that will need to be discussed:
— Dundas’ declaration of 115th Street as a minimum maintenance road;
— questions in regards to the joint planning commission;
— and road policy, which includes 115th Street, Decker Avenue and 100th Street.
The next planning commission meeting for the City of Dundas is scheduled for Aug. 21.
Brad Phenow covers Rice County government, townships and arts & entertainment. Reach him in Faribault at 333-3135 and in Northfield at 645-1122.