Townships have own set of challengesPublished 8:22am Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tumuli Township, which includes the town of Dalton, and Tordenskjold Township to the northeast, which includes Stalker Lake, have issues all to their own. That’s the case even though the townships are close to one another.
“In Tordenskjold we have a lot of water issues,” said Township Clerk Sylvan Lien. “That’s not the case very much in Tumuli Township.”
Lien was at the same coffee table Friday morning in Dalton, with Tumuli Supervisors Larry Sonmor and Lyle Skinnemoen. The three were at the coffee table for just some social conversation, keeping up with local happenings and sharing a few laughs.
At other tables, Tumuli constituents brought up the issue of blacktopping, overlay issues and the costs associated with running township government.
Each township has to closely monitor its budget, said Lien.
In Tumuli Township Skinnemoen and Sonmor work well with the other township supervisor and chairman, Charlie Swensrud. Herb Sorbel is Tumuli Township clerk and Otto Hanson is township treasurer.
Lien, as Tordenskjold Township clerk, works with township supervisors John Schauff (chairman), Gene Ide and Lance Wendland in addition to Treasurer Harriet Fronning.
On the subject of road overlay, it costs approximately $150,000 to blacktop or retrofit one mile of roadway.
If property owners along a stretch of roadway in Tumuli Township approve the work, the township will pay for 25 percent of the costs and the owners will each be assessed for 75 percent of the project’s cost. Fortunately, the people in Tumuli Township don’t need very much of road blacktopping.
Tumuli and Tordenskjold Townships belong to the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT). The organization represents 1,785 townships and nearly 9,000 elected township officers from across the state. Over 901,000 people reside in Minnesota townships and many others own property in the townships.
The association provides education, training and technical services to township officers and represents townships before the state legislature and state agencies. MAT is the founder of Minnesota Center for Small Communities and provides insurance to the townships through the MAT Insurance Agency.