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CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

CITY OF DEER RIVER

Regular Meeting

04/26/2021

 

I. Call to order 6:00 PM.

 

II. Present Mayor Geving, Councilmembers Barb Serfling, Pat Richards, Dan Graf in-person, and Chris
Reed via Zoom Meeting. Also present, City Administrator Mark Box, Police Chief Brian Castellano, Fire
Chief Jordan Osse, and City Engineer Bob Beaver.

 

III. Pledge and Prayer

 

IV. Minutes Pat's motion, second by Barb, to approve the regular meeting minutes of the April 12 as
amended Roll call vote carried unanimously. Motion by Pat, second by Dan to approve the working session
minutes as written. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

 

V. Bills Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the bills for $46,067.25 and allow inter-fund transfers
to cover any negative fund balances. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

VI. Fire Department Jordan reported on eight calls for the month.


The new OHV was used on a grass fire recently. A couple of factories set up problems that were corrected,
and the machine is back in service.


The department has had two of the rookies resign from their positions. There were conflicts with both
firefighters on scheduling and with work. At his time, the department has a roster of 17 active members. Chris
asked if the Council could help in any way. Jordan said he has a recruitment committee, and they are working
on a plan. Once they have their ideas formulated, then he will run it by the Council. Chris motioned to have
Dan and Pat sit on the committee to help with the recruitment process. Roll call vote carried unanimously.


Jordan has been taking the department’s squad car home for quicker response to calls. This is working well
for him and the department. Motion by Pat, second by Dan to approve the department’s report. Roll call vote
carried unanimously.

VII. Police Department Brian reported on 203 calls for the month. This is up from 149 calls in 2020.
The backgrounds are finished to the two part-time officers. They will be getting their physicals and the
psychological evaluations next. Once they have completed these, they will be ready for service and can start
training with our department.


The annual vet clinic was on April 22 and was well attended. They saw approximately 100 pets seen
throughout the day.

Brian wanted to remind people to get their yard cleanup, and if needed, he will be issuing blight citations.
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.


Brian brought up the possibility of not utilizing the bike patrol this summer. In today's climate, anyone who is
wearing a police or security uniform may be a target. Brian will talk to Mike about this and make a discussion.
Chris wanted to find a way to keep the program going if at all possible.


Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the Police report. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

 

VIII. City Engineer Bob updated the Council on the walking trail project. The selected route as part of the
2016 grant application was chosen because it would have been the least disruptive to the property owners. The
route was relatively flat, and there were no utilities to deal with. Over the past year, the City has been working
on securing easements on the proposed route, and two properties were not agreeable to granting an easement.
This primary cause changes to the route and substantially increased the cost of the project. In addition to these
costs, there have been increases in the overall construction materials. The estimated price to build the path
from US Hwy2 to Lundeen fields is $1,300,000. Bob said this is too much for the City to take on at one time
and presented an alternate plan. Mark and Bob met to look at the best section of the route and agreed that the
area along Hwy 6 from 9th Ave NE to 14th Ave N.W. would make a safer route to the Lundeen field and was
approved by the State. The estimated cost for this section is $348,000 for construction. There will be
additional costs for engineering, and the grant doesn't allow engineering costs to be paid. The Forward Health
Foundation has donated money to help cover the engineering costs. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to move
forward with getting the States approval on this section of the trail design and when approved to put the
project out for bids. Roll call vote carried unanimously.


The pond project will start on May 17. SEH will have a full-time engineer on-site well any work is being
done. Mark will have the contact information for him if at any time someone needs to reach him.
The south infrastructure project is moving, and Rural Development has stated they should have their review
completed this week. After reviewing their comments, we will be ready to bid on the project. Bob is hoping to
bid on the walking path and the south project at the same time. Motion by Pat, second by Dan to approve the
engineer's report. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

IV. Administrator's Report The groundbreaking event has been scheduled for Thursday, April
29, at 3:30 PM. The board. The board of Appeal will be on Wednesday, April 28, at 9:30 AM.
The equipment bond required posting is in the paper, and we have been getting excellent bids from the local
banks. This will be a 10-year bond.


Mark asked to be allowed to sign the agreement with Northland Securities. This is an agreement for their
services in the bonding process. Motion by Pat, second by Dan to let Mark sign the agreement with
Northland Securities. Roll call vote carried unanimously.


Mark has met with a potential business that may be coming to Deer River. They have asked if the City
would be interested in setting up a T.I. F. district or as a tax abatement for their property. The Council is
open to discussing any options. There is potential for multiple jobs as well as possible housing. Mark will
have more information once the sales transaction has been completed.


Mark asked for permission to post a job opening for a part-time license bureau clerk. Mark will meet with
Chris and Barb to discuss how to fill Gayle's position. Council agreed to advertise for a part-time license
bureau clerk. We will post both internally and externally and take applications until May 14.


Barb said she had been asked if the City can make the no parking stripe along Hwy 2 at the west end of
Jurvelin Hardware longer. Traffic entering the Hwy from Railroad Street have a hard time seeing oncoming
traffic.


Barb has received a complaint about the mailbox placement on 4th St SE. There is a group of mailboxes in
front of one property, and the owner of the property cannot park in front of their house and receive the mail.
Mark suggested that they talk with the postmaster for help locating a suitable location for the mailboxes.

X. Other  Chris asked how the City plans to confront residents who are not receiving water services but
are using the sewer service. There are cases where the residents carry water in and utilize our sewer to get rid
of it. Mark suggested having Andy Shaw send a letter to inform the parties that they need to stop or be
charged with theft of services. If they don't stop then, it will become a law enforcement issue.

 

XI. Adjournment Motion by Barb, second by Pat to adjourn. MCU. The meeting was adjourned at 7:04 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted by Mark Box, City Administrator.
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Minutes approved at the regular City Council meeting on May 10 h , 2021, and signed by Mayor Geving.
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