Deer River City Council Minutes


    a) Regular Meeting Minutes



I) Present  Mayor Steve Geving, Council members, Pat Richards, Chris Reed, Wade Reed and Barb Serfling. Also present were City Administrator Mark Box, Public Works Foreman Jason Lundquist, Police Chief Tammy Perry, Fire Chief Steve Jurvelin, Resident David Bartick and reporter Louise McGregor.


II) Call to Order  Meeting called to order at 6:00 PM


III) Pledge


IV) Minutes Motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve the Regular Meeting minutes of July 11th, as amended. MCU


V) Bills After discussion motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve bills in the amount of $79,67921 and inter-fund loans to cover negative fund balances. MCU

VI) Motion by Pat, second by Chris to move Dave Villeneuve up on the agenda. MCU Dave and Jodi Villeneuve were present to ask the Council if they would be interested in selling the property the City has west of 2nd St NW, known as west end park. Dave is asking for the land to be able to clear the trees and erect a sign advertising his motel and restaurant. Dave and Jodi are also exploring the possibility of opening up a miniature golf area near this location. Barb asked if a memorial tree and plaque would be able to stay on the property. Dave said he had no problem with leaving it there. Mayor Geving asked the rest of the Council if they had any opposition to selling this piece of property. There was none. Andy asked if there were any grant monies used to acquire the property and if so there may be stipulations on what the City can do with the property. The Council was in agreement to sell the property for $6,000.00. This is the County’s assessed value for this piece of property. Mark asked Dave if they purchased the property, would they want the pavilion move in a certain amount of time. Dave said he would not. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to sell the property known as the west end park to Dave and Jodi Villeneuve for $6,000.00 pending Andy’s finding on any restriction placed on the property. MCU Dave had also said at some point he may be asking to vacate the west end on 4th Ave NW from 2nd St NW to the plotted 3rd St NW. Dave said there are two reason for closing the street. First the traffic uses it for a drive thru when heading west on Hwy 2. Second would be if they would move forward with the miniature golf the roadway would be used as part of the course. Andy said that if the Council were to vacate the street there would have to be a public meeting. Andy will research to see if this section is still a plotted street and will let the Council know. Motion was made to set and hold a public meeting for August 8 at 6:00 pending Andy’s findings. MCU


VII) City Attorney  Andy has been researching the different types of tower leases and said that the prices are all over the board. Andy asked to be able to talk with the company the City has the lease with currently and see what they would be willing to pay and to see if they would be interested in a shorter lease term than 50 years. Council agreed to let Andy make contact and bring back his findings at a later date.


Andy reported on what he is finding on ATV ordinances. Andy explained there are two State laws in regards to ATV laws. One is administered by the State and one by the State DNR. Andy said the two are written very differently and have very little in common. Andy asked the Council to let him and Tammy work on this and bring it back at a later date.


Andy asked what the Council’s intent is for wanting a construction ordinance. Andy said setting 8:00 PM to 7:00 AM no construction restriction it would encompass all construction activities not just the operations of digging equipment. If it is noise, we are concerned about then we should be looking at that. Andy said this is another type of ordinance that we will have to look at very carefully. Andy asked to be allowed more time to research this and bring back at a later date. After discussion it was decided to have Andy work on this and bring back. Motion to approve Andy’s report by Wade, second by Pat. MCU


VIII) Police Report Police Department had 126 calls for the month. Tammy reported that calls were down compared to last month. She said this may be because we had more officers working. They worked the Wild Rice Festival and they have been working some safe and sober shifts.

Barb asked about a compliant she has received about unlicensed cars and why they are not being notified and ticketed. Tammy said she had talked with the party and he will be working on getting his cars taken out or get current registration on them. Tammy said she cannot just issue a ticket to one person and if Council want her to issue tickets she will have to cover the city and issue tickets to all parties that are in violation. Council agreed with her and asked her to move forward on talking with all residents that are in violation of the ordinance. Motion by Wade, second by Chris to approve the Police report. MCU


IX) Fire Department Report The Department had 9 calls for the month.

Steve gave a storm response update and asked the council if they had any questions about the storm. Council thanked the Fire Department for a job well done.


The Fire Department has received a donation from the Grand Rapids Eagle’s Club for $ 1,147.00. Steve suggested to the Council that this donation be put towards the purchase of a generator system. The fire hall was used for a command center during the latest storm and it would be nice to have a facility with power. By keeping the fire hall operational during emergencies will be a benefit to the whole community. Council agreed and asked Steve to have pricing on a generator system for the upcoming budget. Motion by Pat, second by Wade to approve the Fire Report. MCU


X) Public Works Jason reported that the merry-go-round and cement slab are in place at Lions Park.


Jason asked if the Council would be opposed to having a tree sculptor make something out of the one tree that was snapped off in the last storm. Jason said there may be someone wanting to use the stump for practice or make something for a small fee. Council was not opposed to the idea.


The summer employee that started in the spring has found a full time job with the pipeline. Jason said he has replaced him with Danny Martin and he is doing a great job. Danny will work until the end of August.


Barb had a compliant on weeds and trees not being cleaned up on 4th street SE. Jason and Tammy will look into this and talk with the property owner. Motion to by Wade, second by Barb approve Public Works report. MCU

XI) Administrators Report Motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve resolution 2016-20 approving the 2016 election judges. MCU

Deer Crest Manor is asking for a 15-minute pickup and drop off space off of 10th Ave NE. This is the entrance that has the handicap door and they now have two tenants that need to use this entrance. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to sign a 15-minute pickup and drop off space in front of Deer Crest Manor. MCU


Filing for city council and mayor seats opens on August 2nd and closes on August 16 at 5:00 PM.


Mark asked the Council how they would like to proceed with the capital improvements. We have about 8 million dollars’ worth of projects total. If we were to not incorporate the 4th pond it would cut this figure in half. Mark is meeting with the grant writer this week and is looking for some direction on how much money we are willing to spend. The City has to keep in mind that this will not be 100% grant and there will be additional expenses created if we proceed. Mark said that if the projects were to be constructed in 2017 the first payment would be due in 2018. Council consensus was to work towards funding the entire project list.


Mark has contractors getting bids together for all of the different storm damages repairs needed.


The City has been asked if the council chambers can be used by a CEP job counselor to meet with a client that lives in Deer River. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to allow the CEP Counselor to use city hall. MCU


Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the July bank reconciliation. MCU Motion by Pat, second by Wade to approve the Administrators report. MCU


XII) Other Mayor Geving congratulated Mark on being awarded the designation of Minnesota Municipal Clerk. The award is presented by the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association.

Mayor Geving asked to be able to sign and send a thank you letter to Itasca Green House for their donation of trees to the City. Motion by Wade, second by Chris to allow the Mayor to sign and send the letter. MCU

The Mayor shared a thank you letter from the United Way of 1000 Lakes for the City’s openness and participation in placing the Playbox in Lions Park.

Chris gave a power point presentation on a new Minnesota State Law that allows temporary housing to be placed on residential properties for health care needs. If the City does not want be a part of this new law they have to opt out by the end of August. Chris is in support of the new law and said it addresses how long the person can occupy the house, what size house and the number of people who can occupy the house. The law is very straight forward as to how people can qualify. Chris explained the State of Minnesota is not allowing anymore beds to be added to nursing homes and by the year 2020 there will be more people retired in Minnesota than people in School. Chris asked the Council to think about this and said that they can address it at a later meeting.

XIII) Adjournment  Motion by Chris, second by Barb to adjourn the meeting at 7:59 p.m. MCU




Respectfully submitted by Mark Box City Clerk/Treasurer


Approved by the City Council at the Regular Meeting held on August 8th, 2016 and signed by Mayor Geving




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Deer River, MN 56636





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