News Categories: General News

16 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

Upcoming LTAP Classes Announced for Seal-Coat Operators and Gravel Road Maintenance

This workshop will provide attendees with an overview of current best practices for seal-coat operations in Minnesota, including how to design and implement a seal-coat operation. It will also review micro/slurry, including what micro/slurry surfacing is, the differences between the two products, and how and where to use each one. Project selection, development of specifications, and construction details will also be discussed in detail. Following the workshop, attendees will have gained the basic knowledge to properly select a candidate project and build it.

Date and Location

This workshop is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m.) at the specified location on each of the dates listed below.

  • March 25, 2020—MnDOT District 7 Office, 2151 Bassett Drive, Mankato, MN 56001
  • April 1, 2020—Hennepin County Public Works Facility, 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina, MN 55340
  • April 9, 2020—Alexandria Technical and Community College, 1601 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, MN 56308

MORE INFO and REGISTRATION HERE–>

This one-day workshop helps supervisory personnel and operators better understand the materials, techniques, equipment needed for maintaining gravel roads, and review new techniques and ideas in gravel road maintenance. Slides, videos, and group discussions will help attendees learn from real-world examples and benefit from the exchange of information with instructors and other attendees.

Date & Location

This workshop is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.) at the specified locations on the dates listed below:

  • April 14, 2020—University of Minnesota Crookston, Sargeant Student Center, 2900 University Avenue, Crookston, MN 56716
  • April 21, 2020—MnDOT District 6A, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901
  • April 28, 2020—Crow Wing County Land Services Building, 322 Laurel Street, Brainerd, MN 56401

MORE INFO and REGISTRATION HERE–>

Read More
15 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

State Auditor Julie Blaha “State of Main Street Listening Tour”

St. Paul, MN – State Auditor Julie Blaha will begin the “State of Main Street Listening Tour” in Thief River Falls on Wednesday, January 15. These 90-minute listening sessions across Minnesota will include a review of statewide financial trends found in the State Auditor’s most recent city, county, and township reports.  The financial trends to be discussed are revenue, expenditures, reserves, and debt. Following the review, panels comprised of local leaders will be providing the regional realities for the these trends, as well as responding to any questions from audience members. Panelists will include, but are not limited to, mayors, county administrators, township officials, and other local government leaders and financial officers.

“The expertise and perspective that local government leaders bring to the table, along with our data, will help everyone make decisions that lead to strong communities,” said Auditor Blaha.

The statewide trends, as well as an invitation to the events, can be found at: http://www.auditor.state.mn.us/

Details of the remaining listening sessions are listed below:

St. Cloud
Thursday, January 16, 2020
1:30-3:00pm
St. Cloud City Hall – Council Chambers
400 2nd Street S, St. Cloud, MN 56301

 

Duluth
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
10:00-11:30am
Duluth City Hall – Council Chambers
411 West First Street, Duluth, MN 55802

 

Twin Cities/Metro
Friday, January 24, 2020
10:00 – 11:30am
St. Paul City Hall & Ramsey County Courthouse – Room 41
15 Kellogg Boulevard W, St. Paul, MN  55102

 

Marshall
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
11:00am-12:30pm
Marshall-Lyon County Library
201 C Street, Marshall, MN 56258

 

Albert Lea
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
4:00-5:30pm
Albert Lea City Hall
Council Chambers, 221 E Clark Street, Albert Lea, MN 56007

Read More
06 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

IRS 2020 Federal mileage rates

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rates (PDF) used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use, down one half of a cent from the rate for 2019,
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down three cents from the rate for 2019, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate decreased one half of a cent for business travel driven and three cents for medical and certain moving expense from the rates for 2019. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

It is important to note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Taxpayers also cannot claim a deduction for moving expenses, except members of the Armed Forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station. For more details, see Rev. Proc. 2019-46 (PDF).

The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than five vehicles used simultaneously. These and other limitations are described in section 4.05 of Rev. Proc. 2019-46 (PDF).

Notice 2020-05 (PDF), posted today on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan. In addition, for employer-provided vehicles, the Notice provides the maximum fair market value of automobiles first made available to employees for personal use in calendar year 2020 for which employers may use the fleet-average valuation rule in § 1.61-21(d)(5)(v) or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule in § 1.61-21(e).

Read More
19 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

Vance Bachmann elected as new District 9 Director

Vance Bachmann, Supervisor from Corliss Township in Otter Tail County, was elected as the new District 9 Director of the Minnesota Association of Townships on December 18 at a special meeting of township officers from Becker, Clay, Douglas, Otter Tail, and Wilkin counties at Sverdrup Township Town Hall in Otter Tail County.

The meeting was held specifically to elect a new District 9 Director to serve on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT). The meeting was necessary because of the recent passing of Jim Adamietz, of Girard Township in Otter Tail County, who was formerly elected this fall to the District 9 Director position to replace retiring Director Loren Ingebretsen.

There are 171 townships in MAT District 9. The Minnesota Association of Townships is guided by a 13-member Board of Directors representing 13 state districts. Each Director serves a three-year term.

“Townships are unique because they are ‘grassroots government’ and I’m proud and honored to serve my township and my district with the Minnesota Association of Townships,” said Bachmann.

Read More
13 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

Certified Stormwater Inspector Training MN – Early Registration Discount

The National Stormwater Center is offering Certified Stormwater Inspector (municipal) training in the following locations:

  • Online CSI on January 23-24, 2020 (see website for more Online CSI training dates)
  • St. Paul, MN on February 24-25, 2020

 We are now offering a discount for early registration. You will receive a discount of $50.00 for registration forms submitted 30 days or more prior to the training date.

Payment is not due at the time of registration.

Please download the Announcement/Registration Form with course details and registration information. Graduates of the Certified Stormwater Inspector course receive certification for 5 years and continuing education units, and ongoing, unlimited support of the National Stormwater Center.

How to Register:

  • Call Kathleen at 1-888-397-9414
  • Visit our website at www.npdes.com – Registration is available on our website for all classes
  • Email to info@npdes.com
  • Fax form to 410-638-2092

Designed specifically for municipal personnel our course offers training and certification to demonstrate, for the record, that inspectors are qualified.

Inspectors who take our course learn:

– how to inspect construction, commercial, and industrial, and municipal activities

– what to inspect

– the limits of their authority

– appropriate demeanor

– appropriate discretion

They also learn about the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the six Minimum Control Measures, and how to better implement and support their MS4 stormwater program. All of our instructors have stormwater enforcement experience at the Federal or State level. You can read more about the instructor on the attached announcement.

Read More
26 Nov
By: MAT Staff 0

Media Coverage of the MAT Annual Conference

Governor Tim Walz spoke before lunch at the MAT Educational Conference & Annual Meeting at the Mankato Civic Center.  His appearance garnered attention from the local media and here are the media coverage clips about our Annual Conference:

Pre-event coverage:

Governor Walz to be in Mankato for Minnesota Township Conference: This year’s theme will be the census, an important process especially for those in rural areas.
KEYC (TV), November 22
https://www.keyc.com/2019/11/22/governor-walz-be-mankato-minnesota-township-conference/

Governor Walz To Be In Mankato Saturday
KTOE (Radio), November 22
http://ktoe.com/2019/11/22/governor-walz-to-be-in-mankato-saturday/

 

Event coverage:

Townships focus on census for future
Mankato Free Press, November 23
https://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/local_news/townships-focus-on-census-for-future/article_eaa42812-0e28-11ea-92b9-3b030ef9b0b3.html

Gov. Tim Walz meets township officials at Annual Educational Conference
KEYV (TV) November 23
https://www.keyc.com/2019/11/24/gov-tim-walz-meets-township-officials-annual-educational-conference/

Read More
30 May
By: MAT Staff 0

Disaster Declaration Request for 51 Counties; Money Available for Road Damages

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is seeking a presidential disaster declaration for spring storms that caused nearly $40 million in damage to infrastructure across Minnesota.

Walz requested the federal aid in a letter Tuesday to President Donald Trump. In the letter, the governor wrote that “The transition from winter to spring in Minnesota was exceptionally difficult this year,” and that the state needs federal help “to recover from this major natural disaster.”

Walz requested the declaration for 51 Minnesota counties and four tribal governments. (FEMA Request)

Officials say flooding, blizzards and strong winds from mid-March to late April caused damage totaling $39 million — well above the $8 million threshold required for a federal declaration. Severe flooding was reported along the state’s major rivers, including the Mississippi, Minnesota, St. Croix and Red rivers. (Dates for damage event are March 12 to April 28.)

The governor wrote that St. Paul shut down eight major roads because of Mississippi River flooding, including some streets that had up to seven feet of water over them. He also said a portable floodwall was installed to protect the St. Paul Downtown Airport.
Ramsey County communities spent nearly $1.2 million on emergency protections, he said. Statewide, that figure rose to $4 million.

Roads and bridges accounted for 39 percent of the state’s verifiable damages, totaling more than $15 million, Walz said. Most of that damage was to township gravel roads that are critical to agricultural, forestry and tourism industries in the affected areas.
And about $14 million is for damage to utilities suffered during the April 10-12 winter storm that toppled about 3,000 power poles and knocked out electric service to 100,000 people. Some Minnesotans were without power for a week. (See summary of eligible public assistance by county.)

If granted by Trump, the declaration would reimburse communities for removing debris as well as repairing and replacing damaged infrastructure. The President is expected to act on the request in the next few weeks.

For Townships: If the President makes a declaration, each township needs to stay in touch with their County Emergency Manager. (Find your County Emergency Manager.) Once the President acts on the Declaration Request, the County Emergency Manager will have a meeting that applicants must attend. Because of the nature of the spring event and the damages involved, FEMA money will be available for township roads damaged by flooding and frost boils.

A majority of this article appeared in the Twins Cities Pioneer Press, May 29, 2019.

Disaster Declaration of Assurance

Disaster Applicants Guide (Guide is from previous Disaster Declaration, but will not change significantly from this one.  There will be a new designation number.)

 

Read More
06 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

Township Day

Minnesota’s townships to hold annual town meetings on Township Day, Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mark your calendar for democracy in action

(St. Michael, Minn.) – Minnesota’s 1,781 townships will each hold their annual town meeting on Tuesday, March 12. Known as Township Day, these annual meetings are held every year on the second Tuesday in March. Residents of the townships will meet to voice their opinions about local issues with other township residents and also vote directly on their annual tax levy; direct democracy in action. The meetings also often tackle other local issues.

In addition, many of the state’s townships will also hold their elections on Tuesday for township officers.

“The annual meeting on Township Day is what really sets townships apart from other forms of local government. At this meeting, residents have a direct voice in how the township will be run and will vote on a variety of matters, including the amount they will pay in taxes the following year,” said Minnesota Association of Townships Executive Director David Hann.

“Township Day’s annual meeting is a great place to talk about the future of your community and work with other residents in deciding how to meet those needs. Please plan on participating in grassroots government on Tuesday, March 12,” continued Hann.

“The Minnesota Association of Townships urges every township resident to attend their annual meeting. Township residents can find the location and time of their annual meeting by checking their local newspaper for the published notice or by contacting their township clerk,” concluded Hann.

Information Minnesota’s townships: There are approximately 914,174 township residents in 1,781 townships in Minnesota. Townships exist in every area of the state, including the metropolitan area. Some, with populations of more than 1,000, function in much the same way as a small city. While many townships remain rural agricultural centers, other host a variety of residential, light commercial, and industrial development.

The tradition of Township Day: The tradition of a town meeting has roots in colonial America. New England town meetings gave citizens a way to exercise local authority. Those meetings were especially important in the development of democracy because it emphasized problem-solving through group efforts.

Background on townships: Townships were the original form of local government in Minnesota, established in the 1800s when Congress ordered a survey that divided the Minnesota territory into 36 square mile tracts of land. Today, the term “township” generally refers to public corporations governed by a local board of supervisors and created to provide services to residents.

###

The Minnesota Association of Townships is a non-profit corporation representing Minnesota townships. Its goals are educational and charitable, promoting an understanding of the history of townships and being a voice for its roughly 9,000 officers. It regularly conducts research and educational programs designed to foster efficient and economical town governmental services and acts as a liaison between township officers and other local government officials to encourage sustained cooperation.

Read More
09 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

An Echo Press Editorial: Eye-opening facts about townships

Posted on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:21 a.m.  Link to story.

Township boards throughout the state handle revenues totaling more than $325 million.

They make decisions regarding roads, bridges, sewer projects, tax levies and more.

They’re considered the oldest form of government in Minnesota and represent grassroots government at its purest level.

Yet a lot of people don’t know what they do or understand the scope of their importance or even their populations size.

LaGrand Township here in Douglas County has a population of 4,223 — the third largest non-metro township in the state (or 11th if you add in the townships from the Twin Cities metro area). Alexandria Township’s population of 2,832 ranks as the 14th largest township away from the metro area.

Of the 20 townships in Douglas County, the five biggest — LaGrand, Alexandria, Carlos, Ida and Lake Mary — have a combined population of 11,569, which is nearly as large as the city of Alexandria.

A new report issued by State Auditor Rebecca Otto last week offers insights into townships. It analyzed town financial operations for the calendar year ended December 31, 2017.

Some highlights:

  • In 2017, there were 1,781 townships, compared to 853 cities and 87 counties. The 2017 population estimates from the state demographer show that 914,174 individuals live in townships representing about 16.4 percent of the state population. Township populations range from 10,951 in the Town of White Bear to 5 in the Town of Hangaard. About 53 percent of townships have a population of 300 or less.
  • In 2017, Minnesota townships reported total revenues of $325.3 million. This amount represents a 2.6 percent increase over the total revenues reported in 2016. From 2013 to 2017, total township revenues increased 16.3 percent.
  • Minnesota townships reported total expenditures of $306.4 million in 2017. This amount represents a decrease of 1.4 percent from the amount reported in 2016. Over the five-year period of 2013 to 2017, town total expenditures increased 14.7 percent.
  • Debt service expenditures are the principal and interest payments on outstanding indebtedness. Townships had debt service expenditures of $13.3 million in 2017. This amount represents an increase of 18.5 percent from 2016. Over the five-year period of 2013 to 2017, debt service expenditures increased 3.8 percent.
  • Outstanding indebtedness totaled $56 million in 2017. This represents a decrease of 2.4 percent from 2016. Outstanding bonded indebtedness totaled $34.9 million in 2017, which represents a decrease of 1.7 percent from the $35.5 million outstanding in 2016.
  • Between 2008 and 2017, total township revenues in actual dollars increased 29.5 percent. In constant, or inflation-adjusted, dollars, total township revenues increased 9.8 percent over this 10-year period.
  • In the west central region of the state, which includes Douglas County, 222 townships reported total revenues in 2017 that increased 1.6 percent and totaled $37.6 million, accounting for 11.6 percent of total town revenues. Total expenditures in this region decreased 7 percent and totaled $35.8 million, accounting for 11.7 percent of total town expenditures. Debt service in the region increased 25.0 percent and totaled $2.2 million, accounting for 16.7 percent of total town debt service.

The bottom line: Many townships have significant populations and manage their budgets efficiently. All of them make important decisions with taxpayer dollars. And townships have clout. A total of 10,559 township residents in Douglas County voted in the Nov. 6 election, representing 58 percent of the turnout. That’s something that Legislature should consider while making decisions that impact rural Minnesota.

Reprinted with permission from November 14, 2018, Echo Press, Alexandria, MN.

Read More
14 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

MNDNR Parks and Trails Applications

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota. Applications are now being accepted for the following grant programs: outdoor recreation, regional trail, local trail connections and federal recreational trails.

These grants help local governments throughout the state create partnerships with the DNR to fund projects ranging from local parks, regional trails to trail connections. Eligibility requirements, deadlines, and other details can be found on the DNR Web site at mndnr.gov or on the following program links:

Outdoor Recreation Grant Program
 (Updated for 2019)
Federal Recreational Trail Program (Updated for 2019)
Regional Trail Grant Program (Updated for 2019)
Local Trail Connections Grant Program (Updated for 2019)

 

Read More
Website Design Developed By AE2S Communications