Regular Meeting



I. Call to order 6:00 PM.


II. Present Mayor Steve Geving, council members Pat Richards, Barb Serfling, and Dan Graf. Chris Reed via zoom meeting. Also present, Assistant City Administrator Sarah Nelson, Public Works Foreman Richard Rogich, and Police Chief Brian Castellano. City Administrator Mark Box, Fire Chief Jordan Osse and guest Austin Miller via zoom meeting.


III. Pledge and Prayer


IV. Minutes After discussion, motion by Pat, second by Dan to approve the regular meeting minutes as amended. MCU. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the working session meeting minutes as amended. MCU


V. Bills After discussion, motion by Pat, second by Dan to approve the bills in the amount of $53,685.63 and inter-fund loans to cover negative fund balances. MCU

VI. Fire Department  Jordan mentioned that the fire department calls have been quiet; there were only four calls this month. The 2020 call volume was up from previous years with the year 2020 having 92 calls and the previous 2 years having 68 and 69 calls.


The new side by side has been picked up along with the new trailer. It will be put into service on Wednesday when the rescue/fire insert arrives.


Recruiting will be the number one focus in the 1st quarter of 2021. There are currently 17 active members while four of them are new with training still needed. Recruiting has been a nationwide difficulty. How to increase recruitment was discussed.


Covid measures to do with trainings were discussed. Everyone on the fire department is healthy, but if there were to be training absences due to Covid, it wouldn’t count against their quota. All quotas were met in 2020.


Motion by Dan, second by Pat to approve the fire department report. A roll call vote was taken, MCU

VII. Police   Brian started with the December calls for services, which were at 175 in 2020 compared to 152 in 2019; fourteen of the calls in 2020 were assists. The year-end total calls for service in 2020 was 2,343, which is an increase by 576 calls compared to 2017. The year-end calls for service numbers have increased about 200 calls per year since 2017.


The PA-1 form was submitted, which is for the police department state aid. The yearly MN POST Board forms were also submitted.


The new Tahoe will be road ready after being at Rogers 2 Way on January 29th and again on Febuary 8th if needed.


Brian also wanted to remind the residents that the 2021 city dog and cat licenses are due. Citations will be issued after February 1st. There have also been some issues with people not moving their vehicles when parking on the streets. Vehicles should be moved every eight hours when parked on the streets so the public works department can plow snow.


Three officers attended the EVOC driving school in St. Cloud, which is mandated by the state to complete every 5 years. Eight officers attended the Firearms Tactics and Training in Grand Rapids.


Brian also reminded the council and residents to lock up your property because there have been some thefts in the area.


Chris asked Brian if there was still going to be a vet clinic in the spring. Brian told him that he will put that on his to do list.


Motion by Dan, second by Barb to accept the police report. A roll call vote was taken, MCU

VIII. Administration Sarah presented resolution 2021-05 which was a donation of $5,000 from Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation to the Deer River Fire Department to be used for the purchase for an ATV, trailer, and equipment. Motion by Pat, second by Dan to accept the resolution. A roll call vote was taken, MCU


Sarah asked for the council to approve the language addition of ordnance 6.209 Subd. 2., which would add ‘in the absence of a permit issued by the City allowing such consumption’. Motion by Barb, second by Pat to approve the change of ordnance 6.209 Subd. 2. A roll call vote was taken, MCU


Sarah updated the council on the community garden. Mark met with Leah Oslin from the forward foundation and Anna from get fit Itasca. They talked about planting fruit trees and shrubbery around the outside of the garden fence. In the future there might be a pavilion or shade shelter added. There were concerns about the deer eating the trees. Brian was going to talk to Leah about that situation.


Mayor Geving recessed the meeting at 6:40pm because of technical difficulties.


Mayor Geving brought the meeting back to order at 6:45pm.


Sarah presented the tabulation of bids for the Wastewater Stabilization Pond Expansion project that SEH provided. The low bid was submitted by Ulland Brothers, Inc, of Cloquet, MN in the amount of $2,404,400.00, and SEH sees no reason why the project shouldn’t be awarded to the low bidder. There was a discussion with some concern about a previous project Ulland Brothers did for the city. Mark stated that this project is completely different from what Ulland did for the city before; dirt work is what they primarily do. Mark wouldn’t be hesitant in awarding the bid to Ulland. After discussion, Motion by Chris, second by Dan to award the bid to Ulland Brothers, Inc, with the expectation of having a pre-meeting with them. A roll call vote was taken, MCU


Motion by Barb, second by Dan to accept the administrative report. A roll call vote was taken, MCU

IX. Other Barb mentioned that residents are asking when the license bureau is going to open the doors to the public and not having to stand outside. After discussion, it was explained that the wait time would be longer if they were to open the doors to the public due to Covid safety measures. The customers can also wait in their cars and the license bureau employees will call them when there transaction is completed.



X. Adjournment Motion by Dan, second by Pat to adjourn. A roll call vote was taken, MCU. Meeting adjourned at 7:07 PM.


Respectfully submitted by, Sarah Nelson, Assistant City Administrator.





Approved by the City Council at the regular meeting on February 8th, and signed by Mayor Geving.