CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

March 23rd, 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

II. Present - Mayor Geving asked for a roll call for attendance. Mayor Geving, Council members, Pat Richards, Dan Graff, Barb Serfling, and Chris Reed by phone. Also, present City Administrator Mark Box, Police Officer Brian Castellano, Police Chief Tammy Perry, Public Works Foreman Jason Lundquist, and Fire Chief Jordan Osse.

III. Pledge and Prayer

IV. Approval of Minutes - Motion by Pat, second by Barb to approve the March 9th, minutes as amended. MCU Motion by Chris, second by Barb, to support the Working Session meeting as amended. MCU

V. Approval of Bills - Motion by Chris, second by Pat, to approve the bills for the amount of $38,900.85 and allow inter-fund transfers to cover any negative fund balances.MCU

VI. New business

A. Fire Dept - Fire Chief Jordan Osse presented the fire report showing seven calls for the month.

Jordan shared that the department would like to proceed with the replacement of the water main inside the hall. The new system will allow the fire trucks to be filled from the ground rather than standing on top of the trucks. There will be a wheel valve instead of ball valves, and the system will have a backflow preventer installed. To have two runs replaced, it will cost $16,250.00. If a third run is added, it would cost an additional $4,460.00. Jordan would like to do all three drops at this time, with a total expenditure of 20,710.00. Motion by Dan, second by Pat, to approve the water system replacement in the fire hall. After discussion, motion passed unanimously.

Jordan shared that the Fire Department has developed and implemented a response plan to deal with the Covid-19 virus.

The department has ordered a new gas leak detector to replace one that has failed. The new tanker arrived and will be put into service when the firefighters have been trained to operate it. Motion by Dan, second by Pat, to approve the Fire Department report. MCU

 

B. Police Dept  - Tammy reported on 162 calls for February. This is up from 135 calls in February 2019.

Officers Johnson and Wood have started their FTO shifts as of last week.

The remembrance wall is complete in the police department. Tammy thanked Mark Box, Dixie Perry, and Samantha Perry for their help.

The new squad continues to have small problems. The dealership has a water pump on order, and it will be replaced under warranty when it arrives. Motion by Barb, second by Dan, to approve the Police Report. MCU

C. Public Works Report - Jason reported that well house #4 had been serviced, and overall, it is in good shape. A check valve did need replacing. Jason showed a short video clip that shows the amount of water flowing through the artisan well. Jason also pointed out that there is a great need to expand the size of the well house.

Jason said that the water tower telemetry system failed over the weekend, and the base of the water tower filled to nearly four feet deep. The overflow drain pipe froze, and the water then came down inside the tower. Much of the electrical parts and systems were flooded and will need to be replaced. Jason has the people coming to give estimated costs for all of the repairs. Mark will be filing an insurance claim for this event. Jason had videos showing some of the damage and the amount of water coming out of the service door.

The sewer main cleaning started today to get ready to line the main form 8th Ave NW to Co Rd 128. This is part of the State Hwy 6 project that will take place starting in June.

The Public Works Department has started to stagger shifts to keep the employees apart, so if we have an exposure to the virus, not everyone will be affected. Motion by Dan, second by Pat, to approve the Public Works Department. MCU

D. Administrator's Report -  SEH has submitted a written update on all of the projects they are working on. Mark met with Bob and Karin Grandia from Itasca County about the 2021 trail project last week.

Mark let the Council know that there may not be any Curb on 2nd St Se due to the elevation of the street. If there is a curb, it will be lower than usual.

The City has received a request to vacate a plotted alley located south of the railroad tracks on 2nd St Se. After the discussion, Mark was directed to talk with the person about the process and bring back to the Council at a later date.

The 2020 Hwy 6 agreement has arrived. Mark shared that the City will need to make a draw on the Rural Development loan for $1,865,823.10. Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to allow Mark to make a claim to draw on the loan. MCU

Mark gave an update on the changes, events, and policies that have been happening because of the Covid-19 virus. As part of the fire department response plan discussion, Mark has contacted our insurance company regarding work-related exposure issues. There is no work loss reimbursement if an employee is required to go into a 14-day quarantine. An exposure resulting as positive for having the virus, then the insurance company will determine if the exposure is work-related.

Mark asked for the ability of our employees to go into a negative sick leave balance if needed because of the virus. Motion by Pat, second by Barb to allow the employees to go into a negative sick leave balance if needed. MCU

Mark said if we get a confirmed case in Itasca County, he would like to go to separating the city offices from the Licenses Bureau office to minimize exposure between the employees who are cross-trained. Mayor Geving said we would take it a step farther and close the City Office to the public and set the License Bureau office up to have no contact with the public. Mark will talk with the employees to see what this would look like.

Mark asked for the ability to send people home if needed. Council agreed if the people should be here because of not feeling well then, they should be sent home.

There have been some additions to the FMLA policy to help with the Covid-19 virus outbreak. Employees with children under 18 who need to provide childcare can have up to 10 weeks of paid time off. At this time, it is not a reimbursable expense to the City. The Nation League of Cities has petitioned the Federal Government to change this policy.

The State has implemented a sick leave policy that will allow an employee two weeks paid time off because of the Covid-19 virus. This will be for full and part-time employees. Motion by Pat second by Chris to make this effective immediately. MCU

There is no waiting week for unemployment, so our employees should not have an interruption in pay.

We are limiting entry to the building to one at a time, and that is into the entryway only. There is no access to the city building.

Residents are asked to make their payments using the dropbox outside the city hall's main door.

The board of appeal and equalization meeting will still have to take place. We do have the option of doing it remotely. Chris said that we should do it remotely and not give up our ability to host the meetings in our City. Mark will research the options for having remote meetings. Chris also mentioned that moving forward, the City Council meeting should be held the same way. The Council agreed.

Mayor Geving declared declaration2020-08 an emergency declaration and Declares, under Minnesota Statutes, Section 13D.021, that in-person meetings are not practical due to the Covid-19 virus. As part of this declaration, a city emergency was also declared. Motion by Dan, second by Pat, to set the length of time of the emergency until the State declares the emergency for the covid-19 virus over. MCU Motion to approve the Administrators report by Dan, second by Barb. MCU

 

VII .Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Dan, second by Pat.

Mayor Geving adjourned the meeting at 7:15 PM.

Minutes submitted by: City Administrator Mark Box

Minutes approved by: City Council on April 13th, 2020 and signed by Mayor Geving.

March 9th, 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

II. Present - Mayor Geving, Council members Barb Serfling, Dan Graff, Pat Richards, and Chris Reed. Also, present City Administrator Mark Box, Police Officer Brian Castellano, and Public Works Foreman Jason Lundquist.

III. Pledge and Prayer

IV. Approval of Minutes - Motion by Pat, second by Chris to approve the February 24th, minutes as amended. MCU Motion by Pat, second by Chris, to approve the February 25th work session meeting minutes as amended. MCU

V. Approval of Bills - Motion by Pat, second by Dan, to approve the bills for the amount of $211,917.89 and allow inter-fund transfers to cover any negative fund balances. MCU

VI. New business

A. Public Works - Jason said with the help of Cohasset public works crew and boom truck, the decorations are down, and the banners are up for the season.

Jason attended week-long water and wastewater training in St Cloud last week. Out of this, he will be setting up maintenance plans for the sewer system for this summer.

Street sweeping will start this week. Jason will be setting up the annual spring dumpster days for the last week in April or the first week in May.

Barb asked about pothole patching. Jason said they would use cold mix until the hot mix plant opens in May. Motion to approve the Public Works report by Dan, second by Chris. MCU

 

B. Administrators Report -  Mark brought back the request form First Call 211 and reported that he City donated in 2018 of $471.00 and did not donate in 2019. Motion by Pat, second by Chris, to give $471.00 to First Call with money coming from the Forestry fund. After discussion, motion passed with one vote against.

The City of Zemple has asked for its 2020 police protection contract. Council agreed to keep the rate for service the same. Motion by Pat, second by Chris, to enter into an agreement with the City of Zemple for police protection for 2020 with the fee for services remaining at $2,000.00. MCU

Mark presented a mutual aid agreement with the City of Cohasset. City Attorney John Licke drafted the contract for both Cities. Motion by Chris, second by Pat, to allow the Mayor and Administrator to sign the agreement. MCU

The March 24th work session will be a tour of the high school to look at the changes they are looking at doing. Mark will post the meeting location change.

The new website will go live next Monday.

Mark will be attending a legislative conference on March 18th & 19th in St Paul and will be attending a loss control workshop on March 25th in Bemidji.

Marks asked if the employee committee would set a time to meet with Brian to work on a contract for the Police Chiefs position. Motion to approve the Administrators report by Chris, second by Pat. MCU

C. Police Report - Brian let the Council know the City has forfeited a vehicle on a drug possession charge.

The City’s vet clinic will be on April 16th at the fire hall. Brian will post notices and have them added to the website.

 

VII .Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Dan, second by Chis.

Mayor Geving adjourned the meeting at 6:27 PM.

Minutes submitted by: City Administrator Mark Box

Minutes approved by: City Council on March 23rd, 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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