Deer River City Council Minutes


    a) Regular Meeting Minutes


I. Call to order 6:00 P.M.


II. Present Mayor Geving, Council members Chris Reed, Pat Richards, Barb Serfling and Wade Reed. Also, present Administrator Mark Box, Public Works Foreman Jason Lundquist, Public Works employee Steve Castellano, Police Chief Tammy Perry, Fire Chief Steve Jurvelin, reporter Louise McGregor.


III. Pledge


IV. Minutes Motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve the minutes of December 12th, meeting as amended. MCU


V. Bills After discussion, motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve bills in the amount of $90,506.71 and inter-fund loans to cover negative fund balances. MCU


VI. City Attorney Not Present


VII. Fire Chief Steve reported on six calls since his last report. The department is at 85 calls year to date and last year ended with 92 calls.


The new washing machine will be installed soon. This is being purchased with grant monies that will cover around 90% of the machine and installation.


Ryan Fox will be taking a medical leave effective January 1st.


Fire schooling for the new hires will start in February and the department will be testing the latest recruit and if testing is successful, Steve will try to have him hired by February.


The heating system at the hall has seen its useful life and Deer River Plumbing and heating is working up a quote for a new system.


The new officers for the fire department are Chad Evans, Assistant Chief, Jordan Osse, 1st Assistant Chief, Bill Brink, 2nd Assistant Chief and Brandon Berant, training officer. Motion by Wade, second by Barb to approve the fire department report. MCU

VIII. Police Tammy reported on 123 call for the month compared to 114 for the same month last year.


Trainings for the last month consisted of, cold weather/ low light shooting, Zuercher reporting system training, de-escalation training which is to help with the mentally ill type calls.


The department will be back to full strength January 1st.


Wade asked how many unlicensed cars are still being dealt with. Tammy said she is down to just a few. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to approve the police report. MCU


IX. Public Works Jason reported the sliding hill has been a big hit and there are many people using it.

Department has been busy with snow removal and equipment repairs. When they are not moving snow, they are busy doing their daily tasks.


The ice rink is almost ready for skating. The late start on making ice is due to the storm damage repairs that were needed on the warming shack building.


The part time snow plowing employee will be done at the end of this month. Jason asked if he could use Eric Hutchins who is already an employee of the City. Eric has expressed interest and can work the street department for snow falls and still work as the police liaison other days. With the second liaison, around more in the winter months, the scheduling should work out. Council said that the liaison position must take priority over snow plowing. Jason said that he agreed and if needed, they have the agreement with the union to use Mark for snow plowing. Motion by Chris, second by Barb to allow Eric to move into the tempory snow plowing position. Motion carried with Pat abstaining.


Chris brought up a resident that is upset about the way the snow is being plowed and how it is building up in the driveway approach. Mark explained that he had talked with this resident and there are two issues, first the slope of the driveway approach as a result of the safe route to school project. Mark has contacted the engineer and they are going to work out a resolution on this issue. The second issue is that with the buildup of snow on the approach her vehicle is hitting when it goes up into the driveway and she has asked if the city will clean out the approach so it doesn’t hit. Mark told her that he cannot make this decision to send the plow to clean out a resident’s approach but would bring it to the council. The council felt that this would just lead to more people wanting their driveways plowed out and they would not allow it.


A Snow removal policy was presented by Barb. Jason said for the most part the policy looks good but he would like the time restriction removed. There are two different restriction in this policy. First is the hours of operations in the residential areas that states no operating between the hours of midnight and five A.M in residential areas. The second is hours of consecutive operations says the crews will not be able to work more than 16 hours. Jason expressed his point and the council gave their reason for wanting these restrictions in the policy. After discussion, there was one change to the policy which deals with complaints from the public. Jason asked to create a form that the public will have to fill out and turn in. Council liked the idea and asked Jason to carry these forms in the truck and to make it available on the web page. Motion by Chris, second by Barb to adopt the snow removal policy with the change to the complaint section. MCU Motion by Wade, second by Chris to approve the Public Works report. MCU


X. Administrator Mark asked for permission to carry over all of his hours that he has not been able to use in 2016. Mark said the council agreed to this in the new contract but said we should have it in the 2016 minutes. Motion by Pat, second by Chris to allow Mark to carry over all of his unused accrued hours. MCU


Discussion was had on the upcoming Hwy 2 project. Mark met with Sandy Lyman and she is saying from everything she is hearing, there is not going to be a bonding bill passed in 2017. If this hold true we will have to be ready by June to ask to be added to the 2018 bonding bill. In the meantime, we will have to have a plan on funding and how we are going to set up repayment of the funds for the project. Mark has been working with Mike Larson from SEH on grants and he is saying the grant portion is looking less for the City’s with no health and safety needs. Mark said if the Council chooses to use assessments for repayment we will need to start this process sooner than later. Mark will work with Bob Beaver and see when we would have to start the assessment process if this is what the Council wants to do. Mike Larson has calls into DEED and Rural Development to see if they can give any indication if and when the city would know if their project is fundable. Mark said the State is asking the City to have the money in hand when the project starts because they will not cover any of the City’s expenses on the project.


The City of Zemple contract for police services is up for renewal. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to change the agreement to state that the City of Zemple would pay $100.00 per month and would agree to cover the cost of any expense associated with any incident our department response to in the City of Zemple. MCU Mark will make the changes to the agreement and forward it to Zemple.


Mark asked if the Council wanted to extend the reality agreement with Century 21 on the Aspenwood lots and the Moose Lake property. Motion by Pat, second by Chris to extend the agreement one year. MCU


Mark asked for a signature on the Auditor agreement for the upcoming audit. Motion by Pat, second by Chris to allow the Mayor to sign. MCU


Mark asked for a motion to set the 2017 meeting dates. Motion by Pat, second by Wade to set the regular council meeting dates for the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month unless otherwise listed. MCU


American Disposal has a new three-year agreement for the council to consider. The rate would increase from $16.64 to 17.01. Motion by Wade, second by Chris to enter into a new three-year agreement with American Disposal at the proposed rate of 17.01 per month and 1.75 for extra bags. MCU


Mark said the new tower lease agreement payment has arrived. Mark said that the tower lease has always gone into the forest fund and Mark asked to move the $50,000.00 from the forest fund to the general fund. Motion by Chis, second by Pat to move $50,000.00 from the forest fund to the general fund. MCU


Chris said he would like to move additional money from the forest fund to cover the negative general fund balance. After discussion Mark said he would get a balance on the general fund after he runs the last checks for the year and contact Bonnie and ask if this has to be done by the end of the year or if it can be backed in at the time of the audit. Motion by Chris second by Pat to transfer money from the forest fund to the general fund to cover a negative general fund balance if needed. MCU


Motion by Chris, second by Barb to approve the Administrators report. MCU


XI. Other Wade asked if the Council could set up some guidelines for the way the meetings are run. He said he doesn’t want another meeting like the one last month. Mark had sent out information to each council member on what they can do and how they can control meetings from getting out of their control. Council agreed that they don’t want the meetings to get out of hand, but they do want to keep it open to allowing the public a chance to be heard. Mark shared that the council will need to share with the police department what they are going to allow and what they are not going to allow.

All of them were in agreement that they want the meeting to remain civil.


Chris pointed out that the water fund is in the negative and reminded and suggested that the rate should be adjusted. Chris said this fund needs to cover its expenses. After discussion. Motion by Chris, second by Pat to increase the water minimum rate to $18.00 effective January 1st and to leave all other rate the same. MCU


XII. Adjournment Motion by Chris, second by Wader to adjourn. MCU Meeting adjourned at 8:31 PM



Respectfully submitted by Mark Box, City Administrator.




Approved by the City Council at the regular meeting on January 9th , 2017 and signed by Mayor Geving.




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