CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
CITY OF DEER RIVER
I. Call to order 6:00 PM.
II. Present Mayor Geving, Councilmembers Dan Graf, Barb Serfling, and Pat Richards, and Chris Reed.
Also present, City Administrator Mark Box, Police Chief Brian Castellano, Fire Chief Jordan Osse, CEDA
representative Sarah Carling, and Zoom Meeting visitor Tim Frits. Chris attended via Zoom Meeting.
III. Pledge and Prayer
IV. Bills Motion by Pat, second by Dan to approve the bills for $68,808.58 and allow inter-fund transfers to
cover any negative fund balances. Roll call vote carried.
V. Minutes Pat's motion, second by Dan, to approve the regular meeting minutes of the February 8 as
amended. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
VI. Fire Department Jordan reported on five calls for the month.
The department has taken delivery of the side-by-side- and trailer. The rescue insert has been installed, and
the firefighters have trained with the vehicle.
Jordan asked for permission to get quotes to have another overhead door put in on the storage garage. Council
consented to get quotes.
Several firefighters have received their Covid -19 vaccinations.
Firefighter physicals will be this week. Motion by Dan, second by Barb to approve the fire department report.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.
VII. Police Report Brian reported on 196 calls for the month. This is up from 160 calls in 2020.
The department received four applications for the part-time patrol officer. Two met the posted hiring
requirements. Interviews were on February 19, and the background checks are beginning.
The community garden will be erecting fences to protect the fruit trees and shrubs.
Brian asked for our Use of Force policy to be updated to what the Minnesota Statue requires. The Use of
Deadly Force line 4 was amended to read “in cases where deadly force is authorized; less than lethal measures
must be considered first by the officer”. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to amend the Use of Force and
Deadly Force policy to conform to the State Statute as described. Rollcall vote carried unanimously.
VIII. Administrators Report The northern lights Nordic Ski Club has asked for a donation to help
with Maintenance at the Robin Baker Cross Country Ski area. Motion by Pat is second by Chris to authorize
$1,500.00 to be taken from the forestry fund and sent to the ski club. Dan explained that, in principle, this is
a great thing, but he can't support donations when the city has to rely on the taxpayer to fund such
contributions. If the city had the cash flow, this would be different. After discussion, a roll call vote was
taken. Motion passed 3 for one against.
Mark asked for authorization for the mayor and himself to sign the pond project construction agreement.
Motion by Chris, second by Barb to authorize the signing of the agreement. Roll call vote Carried
Maplewood assisted living has asked to be able to make direct deposit utility payments. Motion by Pat,
second by Chris to allow direct deposit payments for Maplewoods Assisted Living. Roll call vote carried
Northland Portables submitted a contract for 2021. Mark said the prices are the same for the units, but there
is a new fee for the winterization. Chris asked if there is anyone else in the area to get quotes from. There is
Portable John who is out of Hibbing, and they have always come in higher. In the future, we can get their
quotes. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to accept the Northland Portables contract for 2021. Roll call vote
First Call 211 has submitted a request for a donation. Mark shared that for the last two years, we have
donated $471.00 or .50 per resident. Motion by Chris, second by Pat to approve resolution 2021-09 donating
$500.00 to First Call 211. Roll call vote passed 3 for one against.
The local Board of Appeals is set for April 28, 2021, at 9:30.
Mark asked to open a fund account for the upcoming walking trail. Motion by Dan, second by Pat to open a
new fund for the city’s accounting system. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Mark and Sarah will be gone the second week in March, and Gayle will cover the regular meeting. Mark
asked if the Council wanted to move up the working session. After discussion, the Council said to cancel the
working session for March 11. Mark will post it canceled.
Itasca County has a meeting to review its five-year road construction plan. This will be held at the County
board room on March 2, beginning at 2:30.
Mark shared that both furnaces malfunctioned at the White Oak building. Mark spent most of the day there
on Sunday getting the furnaces going, and there is some damage from freezing. The whole extent of the
damage is not yet known. An insurance claim has been opened, and Mark will get more information when
it's available. Motion by Dan, second by Barb to approve the Administrator's report. Roll call vote carried
IX. Other Sarah Carling gave an update on a meeting she and Mark attended. This meeting was with the
Forward Health Foundation to talk about community development. Housing and community engagement were
two areas of discussion.
The Avenue of the Pines group has started to meet again and the person working on the website is out taking
picture of the area.
Chis has received some complaints of residents letting garbage collect in back yards. Our ordinance requires
garbage to be disposed of weekly. Chris asked Brian to call him and he can share this information.
X. Adjournment Motion by Dan, second by Barb to adjourn. MCU. The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Mark Box, City Administrator.
Minutes approved at the regular City Council meeting on March 8 th , 2021, and signed by Mayor Geving.