CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

September 14th, 2020

Monday

6:00 pm

I. Call to order

Mayor Geving called to order the meeting of Deer River City Council at 6.:00 PM

VI.Present Mayor Geving, Council members, Barb Serfling, Dan Graf, and Pat Richards. Chris Reed via Zoom meeting. Also, present City Administrator Mark Box, Public Works Foreman Rick Rotich, and Sarah Carling via Zoom meeting.

II.Pledge and Prayer

III.Approval of Minutes

 

Motion by Dan, second by Barb, to approve the August 24th regular minutes as amended. Roll call MCU. Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to approve the August 25th working session minutes as amended. Roll call carried unanimously.

IV.Approval of Bills

 

Motion by Pat, second by Barb, to approve the bills for the amount of $77,521.91 and allow inter-fund transfers to cover any negative fund balances. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

  1. New business Mark introduced Rick Rogich, the City's new Public Works Foreman, to the Council. Rick started today and will be getting acquainted with the position.

Mark gave a Hwy 6 project update saying the project is nearing completion with just some minor punch list items to finish up.

The 2021 south project has still not been submitted for review to Rural Development. SEH is working with Burlington Northern on issues they have with the City working within their right-of-way. Regardless the plans will be submitted on the 21st of this month.

The City has received the permit for the pond expansion project, and Mark will sign once SEH has answered some questions Mark has about the contract.

The 2021 trial project is something that is being worked on. SEH is doing the required study to see if there are any endangered plants or wildlife along the planned route. Bob will be submitting a design agreement soon for the Council to consider approving.

  1. Administrators report Sarah Carling introduced resolution 2020-22 a resolution, which would list the City of Deer River as a telecommuter city if approved. Sarah said this is another way for the City to advertise and draw people to the City. More people are working remotely, and the City has such a vital internet service, could become a draw when people are trying to decide where they are going to relocate. Chris brought up that under the current conditions, this may also be the time to explore what can be done with the Moose Lake property. Chris asked if the Mayor would appoint a committee to meet with Sarah to explore the Moose Lake property's potential opportunities and the other City lots. After a lengthy discussion, the Mayor appointed Chris and Pat to meet with Sarah to explore the options.

Motion by Dan, second by Barb, to approve resolution 2020-23. A resolution excepting a donation from Winiford Olson for $50.00 to the police department for safety vests or uniforms. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Motion by Chris, second by Pat, to table the Grace House request indefinitely. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

The DNR vehicle purchase is in process and will need to be picked up in St Paul soon.

Mark presented a CARES Act expense plan for the Council to consider. The plan's primary focus is to give the City the ability to work remotely and to have a remote meeting to provide the public with a means of staying informed of the issues while staying safe. Mark explained that other areas included deep cleaning City Hall before opening back up, PPE supplies, and cleaning items. Mark has asked contractors for bids on new furnaces, which are sealed units. Mark has turned in his time, and Brian’s time for meeting and planning, the licenses bureau counter barrier expense, wages related to covid-19. Mayor Geving asked if a generator would be an allowable expense. Mark will look into that. After discussion motion by Chris, Barb approved the CARES funding expense plan and moved forward with the purchasing items that will prepare the City for Covid-19 related issues. Roll call vote unanimously.

Motion by Barb, second by Dan, to approve resolution 2020-24. A resolution excepting a donation of $1000.00 for the Fire Department for the purchase of an OHV. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Mark asked for approval to sign the annual liability coverage wager for the City's insurance. Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to allow Mark to sign a waiver. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Mark contacted Senator Eichorn and Representative Layman about the 2020 bonding bill. Senator Eichorn said that the party leaders are working on it together, and September 21st is the soonest a statement could be introduced. This is because the state has a bond sale currently in process.

There are two city lots listed on the upcoming tax forfeit sale. Both lots are vacant.

Mark asked for guidance on how to deal with our delinquent utility bills. Because the Council has elected not to shut off the water during the emergency order period. Mark explained that we have a handful of residents that are now not making any effort to pay their bills, and their accounts are adding up some are over $500.00. Chris wanted to come up with an agreement that would allow the customer one year to pay their current bill as long as they agree to keep their current account up to date. This would need to be a signed agreement, and if they are unwilling to sign the agreement, then their water would be shut off. Dan also wanted to reinstate the policy that if a customer gets two months behind, they will be shut off. After a lengthy discussion, Mayor Geving asked Mark to write something up for the Council to consider adopting at the Tuesday's working session.

Barb said she would start looking into collecting donations for getting power to the flag pole a the intersection of Hwy 2 and Hwy 6.

Mark asked if the Council still wants to update the ordinance book before we submit it to be converted to the web page. After the discussion, Dan and Barb will look the book over; Mark will email everyone a copy and get their suggestions to either Dan or Barb. Motion by Dan, second by Pat, to approve the Administrators report. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

  1. Other Chris asked if the Council was open to inviting the candidates for the upcoming state elections to a meeting. Council agreed, and Chris will make the arrangements.

V.Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Barb, second by Dan.

Mayor Geving adjourned the meeting at 7:36 PM.

Minutes submitted by: City Administrator Mark Box ___________________________

Minutes approved by City Council on September 28th, 2020, and signed by Mayor Geving.

___________________________________________

August 24th, 2020

Monday

6:00 pm

I.Call to order

Mayor Geving called to order the meeting of Deer River City Council at 6.:00 PM

VI.Present Mayor Geving, Council members, Barb Serfling, Dan Graf, and Pat Richards. Absent Chris Reed. Also, present City Administrator Mark Box, Police Chief Brian Castellano, and 1st Assistant Fire Chief Brandon Berndt, Fire Relief Association, and President Richard Fieldsend. The meeting was offered in the Zoom format, with no one attending.

II.Pledge and Prayer

III.Approval of Minutes

 

Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to approve the August 8th, regular minutes. MCU. Motion by Pat, second by Barb, to approve the August 19th, working session minutes as amended. MCU.

IV.Approval of Bills

 

Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to approve the bills for the amount of $68,390.17 and allow inter-fund transfers to cover any negative fund balances. Roll call vote MCU.

  1. New business The fire department reported nine calls for the month. Their year to date total is 69 calls, which is higher than the 2019 total calls.

The department is continuing its recruiting efforts. They will be sending out a mass mailing to all of the 56636 zip code with the hopes of sparking some interest.

The department continues to receive donations to help with the purchase of an OHV.

Pumper 212 needed a new turbo installed. The cost was over $6,100. Motion to approve the fire report by Dan, second by Barb. MCU

  1. The fire relief has voted to amend their by-laws and is requesting approval from the City Council. The first change is amending the attendance requirements. All members must attend at least 50% of the relief meeting to earn a year of service credit. Motion by Barb, second by Pat, to amend the by-laws attendance requirements. After discussion, the motion was carried.

Richard also asked the Council to approve the current per year of service payout from $3000.00 to $3,300.00 effective January 1st, 2021. The annual audit report shows that there would be no need for a municipal contribution at this level. Motion by Barb, second by Pat, to amend the by-laws and approve the per year of service credit to $3,300.00 effective January 1st, 2021. MCU

There is one more change to the by-laws, which will address the election process. Richard will have information for the Council to look at for Tuesday's working session. Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to approve the Fire Relief report. MCU

  1. Police Department. Brian reported on 234 calls for the month. This is up from 217 last year at this time. Brian shared that officer Meyer is still submitting grant applications to go towards the purchase of a new squad. The department is waiting to hear back on four grants that have been submitted.

There has been a sizable theft reported last week, and Brian wanted to remind people that if they're going to protect their property to keep it secure. Lock your homes, car, and other property.

Mark has been looking at a DNR surplus vehicle that the police department can use as a second squad. The new squad is just over a year old and already has over 45,000 miles. It is running 24 hours a day, which is proving to be too much. Mark said that if we move some money around in our budget, we can make this purchase and not exceed the budgeted expenses. Motion by Barb, second by Pat to transfer funds from the capital outlay of Council ($3000.), Streets ($3000.), and Administration ($1,000.) to the police department capital outlay and to move forward with the purchase of the DNR vehicle. MCU Motion to approve the Police report by Dan, second by Barb. MCU

  1. Administrators report The VFW has applied for a gambling license to hold a raffle.

The Hwy 6 project is moving along and will be wrapping up in the next couple of weeks.

We have a working session scheduled for Tuesday the 25th to work on the budget.

Mark said there were interviews held for the public works foreman position last week. The employment committee has recommended a candidate for the job. The candidate asked to start with two weeks of vacation and a portion of the difference between his current wage and the wage the contract states. Mark said the union members are the ones that have to approve this because their contract is not opened. The members have agreed to the request. The candidate is coming to the City with over 24 years of experience in the water and wastewater field. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to hire. After discussion, the motion was carried. Mark will contact the candidate and confirm that he will accept the position. Motion by Dan, second by Barb, to approve the Administrators report. MCU

  1. Other Mayor Geving asked if anyone has been writing grass blight warnings or regular blight warnings. Mark will address the grass, and Brian will address the blight.

V.Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Dan, second by Barb.

Mayor Geving adjourned the meeting at 6:45 PM.

Minutes submitted by: City Administrator Mark Box ___________________________

Minutes approved by City Council on August 10th, 2020, and signed by Mayor Geving.

___________________________________________

Past Council Minutes

By Request

The City Council Minutes page will only have the past month's meeting minutes posted. If you wish to see previous meetings, please contact City Hall. Thank you.

City of Deer River

60 2nd Street SE

PO Box 70

Deer River, MN 56636

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