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, City engineer Bob Beaver and Mike Larson, Lions Club Representatives Brad Box, Tracy Hendrickson and Steve Jurvelin, State Representative candidate Sandy Layman 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 August 8th, as amended. MCU


V) Bills After discussion motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve bills in the amount of $109,134.62 and inter-fund loans to cover negative fund balances. MCU

VI) Motion by Pat, second by Chris to move the visitors up on the agenda. MCU Sandy Layman spoke first and gave an overview of her experience and how she wants to represent Northern Minnesota. She said if elected she wants to work closely with the cities in her area. Council thanked her for coming.


The Lions Club was present and started by thanking the City for all of their support in the past and they look forward to continuing a good working relationship. Brad Box said with the upcoming construction the next couple of years the Wild Rice Festival set up is going to have to be different. What the Lions Club needs is to be able to keep all of the events centralized. Steve Jurvelin asked if the flea market could be set up on 1st Ave and maybe also use some of 1st street. This is really the only place that they can think of to set up and still keep everything together. In addition to this Steve said they will need to change the parade route. The route would turn down 2nd Ave NE instead of 1st Ave NE. Chris asked the Lions Club to talk with the churches because this was an issue with them in the past. The Council agreed with this plan and does recognize this will be only for the one year. The festival will be held on July 7,8 and 9 in 2017. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to allow the parade and flea market set up to be in different locations in 2017. MCU

VII) City Engineer Bob gave a Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) project update and said the project is moving along at a good pace. The cement has started to be poured and progress should be noticeably seen.


The City has been given preliminary approval on the facility plan amendment. Bob shared that there will be no special legislative session so the bonding bill in dead for this year.


The Hwy 2 project is at 90% design completed and moving forward. Mark has made contact with all of the property owners that are along the detour route and they have given verbal agreements to allowing temporary easements for the detour. The State will provide the written agreements that will need to be signed. Project will be advertised for bids in early winter.


Mike Larson gave an overview of what projects the City has and what funding sources he will use to find grant money for them. Mike said that he will apply to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for $600,000.00 and this money would be used on the Hwy2 and Hwy6 projects. These project are estimated at 700,000.00 so the City would be responsible for 100,000.00.

Mike went on to say that he would then also apply to Rural Development for around 2,000,000.00 for the utility projects that are listed throughout the city. Mike pointed out that the city has a really good chance at being funded because of the high percentage of low to moderate income residents in the city. Mike also said that if the city does receive a portion of grant money from Rural Development, they would also have to take their loan also. The loan rates are low and can be carried out to 40 years if needed. The application process will take about a year to complete, so it would be feasible to have a construction date for the summer of 2018. After some question and discussion from council, motion by Chris, second by Pat to proceed with applying for DEED funding for the Hwy 2 and Hwy 6 projects and to start the application process for the Rural Development funding for the utility projects. MCU Motion by Chris, second by Barb to approve the Engineers report. MCU

VIII) Police Department Tammy reported the department had 194 calls for the month.


Tammy and Andy are still working on the ATV ordinance.


The department has had their tazer training. The Sheriff’s office has instructors and they were able to utilize them. Tammy thanked Blue Berry Bowl for donating the pizza’s the night of the training.


The Deer River Health Care Foundation is holding a fund raiser to raise money to buy the department AED ‘s.


Tammy has served 25 notices to people with unlicensed vehicles in town. Motion by Barb, second by Chris to approve the police report. MCU


IX) Fire Department Steve reported a slow month for the department with only two calls. One was a mutual aid call in Grand Rapids. This fire was large structure and we were on scene for about 7hrs.


The department received a $2500.00 grant from the DNR. This grant will be used to purchase turnout gear.


The Fire Relief Association has voted to increase the retirement benefit to 2,200.00 and are looking for the council’s support. The Relief’s investments are doing well and there are enough funds to support an increase. Council is in support of the increase and asked Mark to bring back in resolution form to the next meeting. Any increase will be effective January1st 2017.


Steve reported a situation that has come up with a fire fighter that had plans to sell his home and build a new home this year. The home sale went through but he is not able to start and complete construction before winter. He has purchased a cabin to live in for the winter but it is outside our response time requirements. Steve said he has every intention of moving back into our response time area when he builds or buys a home next summer. Steve asked how the Council felt about granting him a 1-year variance that would allow him to live outside the response time area. The council felt this was not an unreasonable request. Chris wanted to get legal advice before setting some sort of precedence. Council agreed and this will be addressed at the next Council meeting.


Steve let the Council know that we are going to be reviewing the fire contracts with all of organizations in our fire protection area. Motion by Pat, second by Wade to approve the Fire Department report. MCU

X) Public Works Jason let the Council know that Danny Martin has gone back to school and his summer employment has ended. Jason did say that Danny is an excellent employee and said that he switched his major and is pursuing a utility operator’s license. Jason said that Danny has asked if he would be able to work as an intern next summer. Jason said this would work great for the department, the school pays a portion of the wage and the city would make up the difference. Jason said the city would have a big cost savings on wages. Chris brought up that this is not a decision for Jason to make and he should be requesting this be approved by the Council.


Jason is having a difficult time getting quotes from anyone for the storm water ditches that need to be cleaned out. Jason said that he has decided to do the work internally. He has made arrangements to rent a track hoe and this will save time and money. Chris said he still wanted to see quotes for the project. Jason said he is unable to get anyone to return his phone calls or get him any pricing. Jason said the project is too small for the Caspers and Hammerlund type contractors but is maybe too big for the smaller local contractors. Jason said he is going to start on the 4th Ave ditch this week.


The crew will be doing some taring starting next week. Motion by Wade, second by Pat to approve the public works report. MCU

XI) Administrators Report Mark asked the Council if they would be interested in exchanging playground equipment with the school in exchange for the player’s fees we charge annually. The equipment they have cannot be put back when the new building is done. Council agreed this would be a good exchange and the equipment would be put up at Lundeen Park. Mark will work out the details with the school.


We have received a quote for roof repairs for city hall and the fire department. The city hall roof quote was for $1580.00 and the fire department roof is for $1260.00. Mark did point out that the quote does say to consider replacing the city hall roof within the next couple of years. The roof was put on in 1988.



Mark said the donation policy is ready for approval. Andy advised a couple of changes and they were made. Motion by Pat, second by Chris to Approve the donation policy. MCU Motion by Chris, second by Barb to approve the Administrators report. MCU

XII) Other Chris asked if the Council had thought any more about the Granny Pods. If the City is going to not allow them we would have to decide that at this meeting. The opt out clause ends on September 1st. After discussion the Council did not take the opt out option and the Granny Pods will be allowed in the City.


Motion by Chris, second Barb to close the public meeting for labor negotiation strategies. Public meeting closed at 7:32. Public meeting reopened at 8:14.


XIII) Adjournment   Motion by Chris, second by Barb to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 PM. MCU


Respectfully submitted by Mark Box, City Administrator.


Approved by the City Council at the regular meeting held on September 12th, 2016 and signed by Mayor Geving.




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