Deer River City Council Minutes


    a) Regular Meeting Minutes



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


II. Present Mayor Steve Geving, Council members Pat Richards, Wade Reed, Barb Serfling and Chris Reed. Also, present Administrator Mark Box, Public Works Foreman Jason Lundquist, Police Chief Tammy Perry, Fire Chief Steve Jurvelin, Property owners Joe Gareri and Craig Wilson and reporter Patty Pfeiffer.


III. Pledge


IV. Minutes Motion by Pat, second by Wade to approve the minutes of the October 9th , meeting,
as amended. MCU


V. Bills After discussion, motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the bills in the amount of $52,843.94 and inter-fund loans to cover negative fund balances. MCU


VI. City Attorney Andy was not present. Andy prepared a notice advertising for a public hearing to discuss an annexation petition. Motion by Chris, second by Pat to advertise and set a public hearing for December 11th , at 6:00 PM. MCU


VII. City Engineer Not present

VIII. Fire Department Steve reported on five calls for the month.


The fire department participated in fire prevention week. They had a read with a firefighter night at the fire hall. Steve said it was well attended. There were also some firefighters who spent a half a day with the kids at King School talking about fire safety.

Steve said Tyler Brink will be back in the area and ready to be activated. Motion by
Wade, second by Pat to reactivate Tyler. MCU

Steve asked the Council to hire John Sobolik pending him passing the physical. John has passed all requirement of hire so far. Motion by Wade, second by Pat to hire John Sobolik pending passing the physical. MCU

Steve asked for permission to start looking at a new tanker. The department has a tanker that is approaching 25 years old. After 25 years there is a decrease in reimbursement from the federal forestry if we are working with them and there are a lot of changes that happen in 25 years that could benefit the department. The Council gave Steve the go-ahead to start gathering information. Motion by Wade,
second by Chris to approve the fire report. MCU

IX. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to move Craig Wilson and Joe Gareri up on the agenda. MCU The two were here to further discuss the possibility of the City being a fiscal agent for a cleanup grant administered by DEED. Craig had a new proposal for the City to consider. Craig explained that he and Joe were no longer asking for the City to participate financially and they would come up with the 25 % match if
the city would sponsor the grant. The discussion about what the potential development may be for the property and have they had any potential buyers. This is phase one of the process which will determine if the ground has contamination. After the testing is done, then a plan will be developed. Joe and Craig did ask for a tax abatement district to be set up to enable them to recover some of their money if the property was to be developed. This was not something that had to be decided at this point. Some of the Council was concerned about what may be developed and some were concerned about creating a tax abatement district. Both concerns would have to be addressed prior to phase two, where there will have to be a detailed plan
of how the property is going to be cleaned up and what is going to be developed on the sight.

Mark shared with the group that at this point and time there is no way for the City to allow a motel size user to hook into the system. The city doesn't have the capacity in the sewer ponds to handle the increased flows. Mark said if the council does approve the application and resolutions there will have to be a clause that states the City will not be financially responsible for any part of the process. Motion by Chris, second by Barb to sign the application and resolutions for phase one which is for testing the soils and not be financially responsible any portion of the process. Motioned carried with Wade opposing. Craig will get the grant application amended and return to Mark..

​X. Police Report Tammy reported on 131 calls for the month which is down compared to last year. Council had questions on the number of gas drive-offs that we dealing with.

Chad Latvala will begin patrolling on his own. He will also be testing on all of the weapons that our department has. This year’s D.A.R.E. program has started and is going well. Motion by Barb, second by Wade to approve the Police report. MCU

XI. Public Works Report Jason informed the Council that the first phase of the wellhead protection process has been returned and he and Mark will sit down to review what the next steps are going to be. Mark shared that if there are requirements the City will be financially responsible.

Jason will be working with Rural Water on sludge testing at the sewer ponds. He will also get some help on using the new line locator we purchased. Jason said this is a free service for being members of Rural Water.

Jason met with Itasca County and came up with a new agreement on maintaining the County Aid Road within the city limits. In the past, we have exchanged salt sand keeping the streets plowed. Jason said with this new written agreement the County will give us 26 yards of salt sand and we will have to purchase the remainder needed. In turn, the City will then bill the County for plowing and sweeping at a rate of $700.00 per mile. The County will participate in road maintenance and snow removal if needed.

After discussion, Chris requested that the City come up with a sweeping policy and a street maintenance policy. Motion by Chris, second by Pat to sign the agreement with Itasca County. MCU

Jason had information on a street sweeper for the Council to consider. Jason went through the specifications and explained the difference in price from the used ones. There was a sweeper that they demoed that addressed all of the problems they have with their sweeper now. With the government bid price, a new sweeper is around $60,000 to $80,000 higher but there is warranty and you get the upgraded features. Jason explained that if the Council were to consider this purchase it would need to be approved prior to the end of November. Both the manufacture and the engine companies are going to be increasing their prices which are going to result in about a $16,000 increase. We will not have to take delivery of the unit until spring of 2018. After a lengthy discussion, motion by Chris, second by Wade to enter into an agreement with MacQueen Equipment to purchase a street sweeper for $214,900.50. MCU The Council did ask Jason to check and see there is anyone who would offer more than $1,000 for our old sweeper. Motion by Wade, second by Pat to approve the Public Works report. MCU

XII. Administrators Report  Mark had information on a lobbyist offering his services to the City. Chris asked Mark to contact him and let him know we are under contract with a lobbyist for one more year.

Motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve resolution 2107-34 which recognizes national hunger and homeless awareness month in Itasca County. MCU

Mark received notification from the State of Minnesota on the approval of the sewer main extension and asked the Council if they still wanted to move forward with the design. The consensus was continued with the design.

Mark received a request from SEH to enter into an agreement with Braun Intertec for soil borings at the potential fourth ponds sight. This is something that will have to be done to continue with the design of the pond. Motion by Chris, second by Wade to enter into the agreement for boring and to pay $15,415.00 for the service. MCU

Mark updated the Council on what projects the city will be doing next year and asked for their input. Projects are 4th and 5th Street SE and 6th Ave SE and a portion of 3rd St SE.

Motion by Chris, second by Wade to approve the report. MCU

XIII. Other Pat raised a concern about increasing the pay to the Council on a non-election year. After discussion, the pay structure is changing but there will be no increase in pay. Chris had some concerns about parking on 5th St SE. There are cars parking along the street near the new school addition and there is no room for traffic when they meet. Tammy will talk with the school. Motion by Barb second by Chris to not allow parking on 5th St. SE from the schools Parking lot north to 5th Ave SE. MCU

Chris asked if we could look at the sidewalk near the schools parking lot and see if it is too low. Chris said there was water on it and it didn’t appear to be draining. Jason will check into this.


XIV. Adjournment Motion by Chris second by Wade to adjourn. MCU. Meeting adjourned at 8:41 PM.

Respectfully submitted by, Mark Box City Administrator.


Approved by the City Council at the regular meeting on November 13th , and signed by Mayor Geving.



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Deer River, MN 56636





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