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CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

CITY OF DEER RIVER

Regular Meeting

03/22/2021

 

I. Call to order 6:00 PM.

 

II. Present Mayor Geving, Councilmembers Barb Serfling, Pat Richards, in-person Chris Reed, and Dan
Graf via Zoom Meeting. Also present, City Administrator Mark Box, Police Chief Brian Castellano, Fire
Chief Jordan Osse, Public Works Foreman Rick Rogich, and Zoom Meeting visitor Anna Johnson director of
Get Fit Itasca.

 

III. Pledge and Prayer

 

IV. Minutes Pat's motion, second by Barb, to approve the regular meeting minutes of the March 8 th as
written. MCU.

 

V. Bills Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the bills for $82,111.87 and allow inter-fund transfers to
cover any negative fund balances. MCU.

VI. Fire Department Jordan reported on six calls for the month.
The department's recruitment night was lightly attended, with just two people showing up. One is showing
interest and is now responding to calls to get a feel for what it will be like to be a firefighter. The department
will have another event soon.
The department received two bids for the garage door project. Jordan said there was about $2,000. The
difference in the bids and asked to move forward with the low bid. Motion by Pat, second by Barb, allows the
department to have the garage door installed in the storage garage. MCU.
There will be a live burn on the 27 th of this month. This will enable our rookies to complete their final
requirement and the rest of the firefighters from another department who need to have their live burn class.
The college will conduct the class with Deer River Fire running the equipment and water supply. Barb’s
motion was second by Pat to approve the Fire Department report. MCU

 

VII. Police Department Brian reported on 142 calls for the month. This is down from 152 calls in 2020.
The background checks are nearly completed for the new part-time officers.
S&S Bottle donated $800.00 to the police department.
Brian reminded residents to take advantage of the nice weather and get their yard cleaned up. Blight notices
will be going out.
Part-time officer Gabe Wood has submitted a letter of resignation. He has excepted a full-time position with
Itasca County.

The annual vet clinic is set for April 22, 2021.
Brian reminded people that there are more kids outside and to use caution when driving. He also gave his
monthly reminder if you value your property, to lock it up. Motion by Barb, second by Pat to approve the
Police report. MCU

VIII. Public Works Rick presented quotes for a skid loader with attachments. This unit is smaller than what
they currently have and will be less weight and fit on the sidewalks better for snow removal. The quote shows
a trade-in value of $23,000 for our loader and $2,500.00 for our snowblower. The quote also shows a new
brush cutter and a new broom. Rick explained that if we purchase a brush cutter, we can save in the long run.
The one we have rented in the past has cost $ 100 per hour without an operator. Last year around $4,000 the
rental. The broom will be used for light snow sweeping and cleaning the sidewalks of in the spring. Rick said
the sidewalk cleaning could then be done by one person instead of the two that it takes now using the firetruck
and spraying them off.


Rick presented a quote for a new dump truck that will be used primarily for snow removal. The department
demoed one of these units and went and looked at the other one. Rick explained that one truck is built and
ready to go. It has a few extras on it, but he said he would have asked to have them included anyway. This
truck is a Western Star, and the body is a J-Craft. The total price $ 209,108.71. The other truck is International
and would have to be built. If we order this truck, it will take a year to deliver. The price for this truck now is
$184,212.00. Rick would want some additional items added. Barb asked if our current truck can make it
another year. Rick said we would have to wait and see. Mark said to give you an idea of the dump truck's
condition; neither dealer is willing to take it in on trade. This truck is in very poor and rusting condition. Pat
asked if there is money in the budget. Mark said that an equipment bond would have to be taken out to make
either or both of these purchases. Barbs motion to table this discussion until the next working session was
second by Pat. MCU.


Rick said that the spring city-wide clean-up days are set for April 24th and 25th from 8:00 to 4:00. Motion by
Barb, second by Pat to approve the Public Works report. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

 

IX. Anna Johnson with Get Fit Itasca was present to present a plan for the community garden. The group
would like to expand the garden to incorporate a food forest. This area will be made up of different herbs,
fruit trees, and shrubs. There will be tables and eventually a pavilion. The idea is to create an inviting park-
like atmosphere. If the plan is approved, Anna will be writing grants and taking donations for space's different
areas. Anna also added that they would like to paint a mural on the warming shack's west wall. After
discussing Barb's motion second by Pat to approve the plan and dedicate the space for the community garden
development. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

X. Administrators The groundbreaking event has been scheduled for Thursday, April
29th at 3:30PM. Retired House of Representative Sandy Layman, Senator Justin Eichorn, and
Representative Spencer Igo have been invited. Chris is going to contact U.S. Representative Pete Stauber
and the local media. Mark will contact IEDC and see who to invite from the Leech Lake Band for their
lobbying efforts for the City.


Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve resolution 2021-10 a resolution excepting a donation from S&S
Bottle Shop for $800.00. MCU

Motion by Barb, second by Pat, approved resolution 2021-11, a resolution excepting donations from various
people for the Fire Departments' boot drive fundraiser for $3,196.00. MCU.


The is a pre-construction meeting on Tuesday at 10:00 AM.


Mark gave an update on the progress of the three projects that are being planned for this year. All are
moving along and awaiting approval from the different agencies. The biggest change is with the
walking/bike trail. Mark said it is now going to turn to the west at the north end of the old railroad grade and
follow 9 th Ave to Division St. Then it will go north to 14th Ave NW ending at the ball fields.


Mark said that Rick Rogich has completed his probationary period and recommended that his probation end
and hire full-time. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to make Rick a full-time employee. Roll call vote carried
unanimously. The Council thanked him for what he has been doing.


Pat said he had been contacted by Beth George from the local public TV and was asked if someone from the
City would do an after-meeting overview of the Council meetings. Pat thought Mark could do this. Chris
said he agreed but said the Mayor should do this. Chris said he would like the meeting recorded for people
to view. Pat would like to discuss this when a full Council is present. Chris motioned for a roll call of the
members present. Chris motioned to open city hall to the public effective Tuesday morning. Died for lack of
a second. Chris motioned to start recording the meetings. The discussion went away from the City
Administrators; items, and the Mayor asked for order and a motion to approve the Administrators report.
Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the Administrator report. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

 

XI. Other  Chris asked for a call for a quorum call. Mayor Geving asked for a roll call of attendance. All
full council was present.

 

XII. Adjournment Motion by Dan, second by Barb to adjourn. MCU. The meeting was adjourned at 7:13 PM.
Respectfully submitted by Mark Box, City Administrator.
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Minutes approved at the regular City Council meeting on April 12th , 2021, and signed by Mayor Geving.
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