2023 Annual Town Meeting

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:00pm at the Finland Community Center or via Zoom.

Scan with phone to join Meeting via Zoom.

Notice of Annual Meeting

Notice is hereby given to the residents of Crystal Bay Township, County of Lake, State of Minnesota that the Annual Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. The Annual Meeting will commence at 7:00pm to conduct all necessary business prescribed by law. If you have questions please reach out to the Clerk at crystalbaytownship@gmail.com or 218-353-1236. The Annual Meeting will be held at the Clair Nelson Intermodal Transportation Center 6866 Cramer Rd, Finland, MN 55603. 

Town Clerk

Housing Project Coordinator

Crystal Bay Township is hiring an independent contractor as an Housing Project Coordinator who will lead enacting the Township’s goal of having sufficient quality affordable housing that builds community resilience, protects its ecosystems, is just and equitable, and meets the needs of a diverse community. The Township seeks to support the long term continued flourishing of our community. The contract will be for approximately 200 hours at $25/hr with work starting immediately and completing before June 30 2023. Call 218-353-1236 for more info and to apply or show up at the regular Town Board Meeting every 3rd Tuesday at 7pm at the Finland Community Center.

Notice of Crystal Bay Annual Meeting

Notice is hereby given to the residents of Crystal Bay Township, County of Lake, State of Minnesota that the Annual Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2021. The Annual Meeting will commence at 7:00pm to conduct all necessary business prescribed by law. If you have questions please reach out to the Clerk at crystalbaytownship@gmail.com or 218-353-1236. The Annual Meeting will be held at the Clair Nelson Intermodal Transportation Center 6866 Cramer Rd, Finland, MN 55603.

You can also participate via Zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89752336100?pwd=R2ZTaHMrZUtqTmdMSG50K2hDb05VQT09 Meeting ID: 897 5233 6100 Passcode: 827537

Please contact the Clerk to add an item to the prepared Agenda.

Crystal Bay Township is Hiring!

The Crystal Bay Township Cemetery needs a Manager to fulfill the purpose of the cemetery in such a way as to maintain an atmosphere that is a peaceful, respectful, and worry-free environment and to oversee the smooth and accurate operation of all day-to-day maintenance, care, and policies of the cemetery facilities, land, and services to families. This would be a part time as needed position that would work closely with the Town Clerk. Contact the Town for a full Job Description and to express interest in the position, crystalbaytownhip@gmail.com, 218-353-1236.

Mail In Only Voting Review

Town of Crystal Bay

Mail In Voting Review


The reasons for the original decision to change to Mail In Only balloting for Crystal Bay Township continue to be relevant. There are not enough years using Mail In Only balloting to make broad conclusions. That being said, two of the three Mail In Only ballot years have had record breaking voter participation. Direct Financial Cost for the Mail in Only balloting is somewhat less but not massively so, but workforce advantages are significant. 

Original Decision

The Town Board after a community discussion at the 2016 Annual meeting “motioned to pass resolution for Crystal Bay Township to become a mail only ballot precinct for all Federal, State, County and Township elections,” April 19th, 2016 at the regular Town Board meeting. Resolution Authorizing and Adopting Crystal Bay Township as a Mail Ballot Precinct for Federal, State, County & Local Elections (2016-1) is attached to this document and was signed on the 28th of April 2016. 


  • Election costs 2020: $1,274
  • Election costs 2018: $1,095
  • Election costs 2016: $1,307
  • Election costs 2014: $1,889

Clerk Logistics

The biggest challenge was finding people to be judges which involved traveling for training. Judges are needed for the Primary and the General election. Traveling to Two harbors to get the election supplies and setting up the fire hall was a challenge. Machines breaking was problematic. Having to drive the equipment and votes into Two Harbors that night directly after voting closed rain or snow. It is a lot of work for the clerk and the judges. 

Voter Participation

Registered VotersElection Day RegistrationsTotal Voting% Registered Voters Voting
1992 General2884426078%
1994 General290720870%
1996 General2832124080%
1998 General2901923977%
2000 General3194429381%
2002 General3492826570%
2004 General3394031583%
2006 General3513925966%
2008 General3504529675%
2010 General3241021063%
2012 General2984529085%
2014 General3001721568%
2016 General3081124577%
2018 General2771524383%
2020 General3111528587%

Author Notes

This Report was assembled by the Town Clerk, Colby Abazs, in January 2022 for the purpose of reviewing the effects of the change to Mail In Only balloting at the January 18th 2022 regular Town Board Meeting. 


  • https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/election-results/
  • The Township Quickbooks historical financial records in the Election Expense account. 
  • An interview with Debra Johansen, Town Clerk at the time of the change to Mail In Only balloting. 
  • Crystal Bay Township Minutes and Resolution of the Original Decision.

Crystal Bay Land Use and Access Project

Community Values

Goal: Create a process for Crystal Bay Township to use as guidelines for community land access and use that fosters sustainable community development.

Project Outcomes:

  1. an ecological assessment of Crystal Bay Township,
  2. an assessment of current land assets that can be used for community projects as well as
    a priority list for future township land acquisition to support community needs
  3. guidelines for community land use that protect the integrity of the Lake Superior
    Watershed based on the ecological assessment,
  4. guidelines for community land use that legally protect Crystal Bay Township when
    allowing access to township land by community members,
  5. a process in place that allows for fair and equitable access to township-owned land.


  1. Background research: Review current policies in Crystal Bay township; Lake County and the State of MN that support the work that is being done. Review Crystal Bay Township comprehensive plan; Research other governmental bodies that allow public land to be used by private citizens for the good of the community.
  2. Expert Consultation: Identify and connect with local and regional GIS, Wildlife Biologists, Foresters, Sustainable Development, Government Officials that can provide guidance for the project. USFS – GIS, Wildlife biologists, Foresters Lake County – the county administrator, planning and zoning University of MN – Duluth – Community economics; Leadership and Civic Engagement; NE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership MN DNR- GIS, Forestry and Wildlife biologists
  3. Community engagement/Feedback/Public Comment: We will have multiple feedback processes in place. We will host a table at the Finland Farmer’s Market to share about the project and get feedback. There will be a community meeting to allow for public comment.
  4. Develop a plan for sustainable land use and guidelines for community access of township owned lands. This will be an iterative process that is modified with each additional input from experts and the community.
  5. Legal review of the guidelines: We will work with the township legal representative to ensure that the guidelines fully protect the township.
  6. Township board votes to adopt the plan and use it to foster economic development and meet community needs.
Click image to open full document in new tab.
Click image to open full document in new tab.

Getting Started with Solar – Crystal Bay Solar Landing Page

This page contains information about solar energy in Crystal Bay. Crystal Bay is part of the SolSmart program, a national designation program through the Department of Energy recognizing SolSmart is a national recognition program which encourages cities to make it faster, easier, and more affordable to grow solar energy.

About Solar Energy

Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, to provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings.  

Minnesota is a great place for solar energy.  Believe it or not, much of the Midwest has the same solar potential as Tallahassee, FL and Houston, TX! Through a combination of utility rebates and new technology, solar electricity continues to become more affordable and a more common part of our energy system. 

Zoning, Permit and Inspection Process

For solar systems in Crystal Bay, the following permit process is required

  • Electrical permits are granted through the State of MN. To apply for an electrical permit online, click here.
  • Crystal Bay does not enforce the Minnesota State building code, so no building permit is required.
  • A land use permit may be required as specified in the Lake County zoning ordinance, linked here.
  • Inspections occur through a State of Minnesota Inspector, more information can be found on the state webpage
  • Solar PV Inspection Checklist for Minnesota can be found at this link
  • For more information on electrical permitting, contact our state inspectors:
  • Ronald Beldo: 218-290-3742
  • Bruce Bonicatto: 218-780-5014

Interested in your own solar energy system? 
Wondering if a particular site in Minnesota is good for solar energy? The Minnesota Solar Suitability App  can help. This tool displays the solar potential of every spot in the state of Minnesota. With this data, and the services provided through this application, home and business owners can easily identify the solar potential of their property.  

How can I find a solar developer?  
Minnesota is home to many solar companies. The Clean Energy Project Builder is a great place to find an assortment of clean energy businesses including solar installers, community solar garden developers, energy auditors and more state webpage

Special Informational Meeting Thursday August 1st, 7:00p.m.

Crystal Bay Township Special Informational Meeting

Thursday August 1st, 2019, 7:00 p.m. at the Clair Nelson Center

Representatives from Wenck Associates and Lake County will provide information and answer question regarding the upcoming Finland Wastewater Assessment Project. The project will assess residents’ current septic systems and will assess the potential for a community wastewater system.

Affidavits of Candidacy Accepted Now through August 14, 2018

Would you like to join the Crystal Bay Township Board? Here is your first step!

Town Offices to file for:

Supervisor – 4 year term — David Abazs, Incumbent
Supervisor – 4 year term — Paul Hartshorn, Incumbent
Treasurer – 4 year term — Lise Abazs, Incumbent

Filing of Affidavits of Candidacy can be done through the Township Clerk now through August 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. A non-refundable filing fee of $2.00 is required.

Call the Township Clerk, Debbie Johansen, at 218-353-7730 if you are interested in starting the process!

The Town of Crystal Bay’s Township Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018.

Crystal Bay Township is exclusively a mail-in ballot Township. Ballots will be mailed out to all registered voters.

Not sure if you’re registered? Check the Secretary of State’s Election and Voting Portal here: www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/