Deer River City Council Minutes
CITY OF DEER RIVER
a) Regular Meeting Minutes
I. Call to order 6:00 P.M.
II. Present Mayor Steve Geving, council members Barb Serfling, Pat Richards, Wade Reed, and Chris
Reed. Also present, Assistant City Administrator Sarah Nelson, Public Works Foreman Jason
Lundquist, Police Chief Tamara Perry, Fire Chief Steve Jurvelin, Engineer Allie Jurvelin, City
Attorney Andy Shaw, guest Melissa Roberts, and Reporter Patti Pfeifer.
IV. Minutes Motion by Barb, second by Pat to approve the minutes of the October 8 th regular meeting, as
amended. MCU. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the minutes of October 9 th working session,
as amended. MCU
V. Bills After discussion, motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve the bills in the amount of
$426,093.48 and inter-fund loans to cover negative fund balances. MCU
VI. City Attorney Before Andy began, Steve Geving apologized to the city council for supporting a
candidate by endorsing the title of Mayor, not realizing he needed council permission to do so.
Andy stated that he was here to answer any questions regarding what Steve had just alleged. Chris
specified his concern on the matter. Andy went on to inform the council of the proper procedures
for public elected officials. After discussion, the council accepted the apology from Steve.
Andy has been working with Mark on a possible relocation of a sewer line, to satisfy Minnesota
Department of Transportation for the upcoming highway 6 project.
Motion by Barb, second by Chris to accept the city attorney report. MCU
VII. Engineers Report Allie asked the council if they had any questions about the south end project, or the partial pay estimate #5. Barb asked if they are still planning on laying sod. Allie let them know
that they plan on finishing everything within the next couple of weeks.
Barb asked when the assessments were going to be applied to the property taxes. Allie told the
council that the project close out won’t be until spring. The city needs the final numbers before
they can be applied, so the assessments won’t be applied to the property taxes until 2020.
Motion by Chris, second by Barb to accept the engineering report. MCU
VIII. Public Works Report Jason updated the council about the sliding hill repairs voluntarily done by Matt Rajala. The Northern Star Co-op also provided the fuel that was needed to do the repairs. The
council wanted to make sure that a thank you went into the paper for the repairs. Jason informed
the council that Steve Castellano has already planned on making a thank you that he will send to
the paper. Steve is also going to put a post onto the city Facebook page and city website to explain
the situation and thank Matt and the Co-op.
Chris also mentioned that the schools children first program wants to sponsor the winter sliding hill party. Jason told the council that Rajala Company would also like to donate debris for the fire that will be at the sliding hill party. Jason also thanked the council for letting the city start the sliding hill.
Jason congratulated Richard Fieldsend for passing the class d waste water license. Richard is now
a certified waste water operator. Jason will keep sending the public works employees to training to
keep them updated.
Jason will be attending training on Wednesday for servicing the water tower.
The few road patches that had to be repaired before winter are completed. The plowing hazards
have been repaired also.
Sewer main flushing will be finished up this week. The guys will then start the hydrant flushing.
The sewer ponds are at a standstill. As soon as the testing meets the standards, the final discharge
can be completed for 2018. Everything is looking good at the ponds.
Chris would like Jason to bring a copy of the snow plow policy to the working session on October
23rd , so it can be reviewed.
Motion by Wade, second by Pat to accept the public works report. MCU
IX. Fire Report It has been a quiet month for fires.
The fire truck has been ordered. The truck company said they are on schedule for delivery, which will
be the first part of 2020. The first payment for the fire truck chassis will be in 2019, and the final
payment will be at delivery.
There is a house that was donated to the fire department for training. The burn will now be in March
due to having a better turnout. There has already been training in this house, and there will be more
training before the main burn.
There was a good turnout for the open house, along with the read with a fire fighter. There was fire
prevention last week at the King School. Leach Lake head start also came to the fire hall for fire
The fire department has formed a recruitment committee to come up with new ideas for recruiting. The
council asked Steve how many fire fighters were on the fire department. Steve informed the council
that there are 23 fire fighters, which only 19 are available. They have been successful in recruiting over
the years, but there have been more fire fighters that have left/retired than being recruited.
Motion by Wade, second by Barb to accept the fire department report. MCU
X. Police Report Tammy reported that the calls for services in September of 2018 were up 52 calls compared to September of 2017. Tammy noticed that on the new system, the report also shows calls that the Deer River Police department assisted with, even though it might not have happened in the city.
This could be why they are up 52 calls from last year. The council wants Tammy to highlight all
the calls that weren’t in the city from now on.
Tammy called hired hands to see if they could move the can trailer. Hired hands was okay with
that, so it is now located in the parking lot behind the city hall.
Motion by Chris, second by Barb to accept the police report. MCU
XI. Administrators Report Sarah presented resolution 2018-25 to the council, which was to amend the election judges for the 2018 election. Chris asked if the city had a hard time finding election judges, and was wondering why there were city employees as election judges. Sarah let the council know that they did
have a hard time finding judges this year. RaeAnne is the head judge because she is going to be taking
over for Gayle when she retires, and Sarah was asked to be a judge when they couldn’t find enough
judges. After discussion, motion by Chris, second by Pat to approve resolution 2018-25. MCU
Sarah informed the council about the Brownfield grant application. This grant would be for Deer River
Development with the city as a fiscal agent. The monies would be used to see if there is any
contamination on the parcel 89-026-3100 and 89-026-3401. Deer River Development would like to build
on this property, but it needs to be tested for contamination prior to building. The City of Deer River
would have no obligation to clean up the site if it was found to be contaminated. After discussion,
motion by Chris, second by Wade to accept resolution 2018-43, which is to approve the application to be
submitted to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, and resolution 2018-444,
which is to authorize the contract signature. MCU
Mark applied for a grant that will cover the cities cost of the walking trail, being built in 2021. The city
will have a twenty percent requirement of $300,000.
The council appointed Chris to be the management delegate for Arrowhead Procare. Chris accepted.
Motion by Wade, second by Chris to accept the administration report. MCU
XII. Other The personnel committee recommended to the council that Sarah get a one percent increase in
wages, 15.45 hours of vacation, and 5 days of funeral leave per year, starting in January 2019. Motion by
Wade, second by Chris to accept the contract changes. MCU
XIII. Adjournment Motion by Chris, second by Wade to adjourn. MCU. Meeting adjourned at 6:58 PM.
Respectfully submitted by, Sarah Nelson, Assistant City Administrator.
Approved by the City Council at the regular meeting on November 13th, and signed by Mayor Geving.