September 11, 2018

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, 09-11-18 at the Pelican Rapids Fire Hall.

Mayor Frazier called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

Roll call was taken by Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Heaton. 

Mayor Brent E. Frazier and four members of the Council were present at roll call: Council Member Steve Strand; Council Member Curt Markgraf; Council Member Kevin Ballard; Council Member Steve Foster. Other city staff present: Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Heaton and City Attorney Greg Larson.

General Attendance: Dawn Finn, Rita Cowie, Teresa Parrish, Norman Bartells, Ariana Zavala, Janet Lindberg, Kirk Lindberg, Elizabeth Wefel, Teresa Parrish, Wayne Runningen, Jamie Stromberg, Ben Sytsma, Andrew Johnson, Austin Leiter and Lou Hoglund from the Pelican Press were also present.

Mayor Frazier welcomed everyone to the Council Meeting and announced upcoming events in the community. 

All present stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to delete No. 10 2018 Legislative Update – Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen and add No. 23 Clerk Job Posting Clarification. Motion passed unanimously. 

Motion by Foster, seconded by Markgraf to approve the following items in the consent agenda:

a) Approval of Minutes – Council Meeting 8/28/18

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Library Report

2. Police Chief Report

3. Street and Park Superintendent Report

Motion passed unanimously.

Rita Cowie from Sanford explained that they have partnered with the Public Library to have a Health Fair during Oktoberfest. She asked for Council approval to hold the Health Fair in Veteran’s Memorial River Park if the weather is nice. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the Sanford Health Fair in Veteran’s Memorial River Park during Oktoberfest. Motion passed unanimously. 

Administrator Solga was provided a calendar with items to be completed for City Hall Project No. 85 that he shared with Council. City Hall should begin moving back downstairs starting the week of October 15, 2018.

Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve Street & Utility Improvement Project No. 87 Pay Request No. 5 to Hough, Inc. of Detroit Lakes for $107,822.35. Motion passed unanimously.

Administrator Solga and Mayor Frazier were invited to meet with some of the Chamber Directors. The Chamber isn’t able to continue to staff the Chamber building according to the agreement it has with the City and still do the Chamber functions. As of now, the doors to the Chamber are closed. The Chamber would still like to utilize the upper level of HCH for their meetings and are willing to pay rent. Some of the City’s options are: hire an employee to staff the facility and answer tourism questions; lease out building or sell the building and move tourist information city to current city hall and current city hall staff can field tourism questions and calls. 

Wayne Runningen told Council that previously a committee was formed to decide what to do with HCH when the City offices moved out. Mr. Runningen volunteered to discuss this further with the Park Board; he is also meeting with someone from the state and will talk to them about the responsibilities of the City as far as being a tourism center. Since the tourism season is winding down, there is no rush so Council could form a committee like it did in the past. He also mentioned that it was very important to have the restrooms available for the public to using the parks. 

Council continued discussion from the previous meeting about the dedicated street at the end of 3rd Street NW. Teresa Parrish is requesting the street be put in so that she may access her backlot. The Lindberg’s own the house at the end of the street. If the alley was put in it would be very close to their house and the trees that provide a buffer between the house and the apartment buildings would have to be removed. Ms. Parrish would like to preserve the development of the back parcel of her property by having the street put in. 

City Attorney Larson clarified that the City isn’t required to put the street in just because it was dedicated to the City. The Apartment building owners (Unique) have been contacted and are receptive to meeting with the city to possibly deed some land back to the City in order for Ms. Parrish to access her property that way. Then the natural buffer would still be left in place for the Lindberg’s property. Council asked Administrator Solga meet with Unique to find out if they are willing to deed land for an alley to the City so Ms. Parrish may access her backlot.

Elizabeth Wefel provided Council with a Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities 2018 Legislative update. 

Council reviewed the draft transient merchant ordinance that City Attorney Larson provided. Council Member Markgraf, Council Member Foster and Administrator Solga Don will continue to work on the transient merchant ordinance and present at the next meeting. 

Council Member Markgraf would like to move forward with opting out of the building code enforcement. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to set a public meeting for November 27, 2018 to hear from the public on this matter. He would like city staff and the planning commission to present all information to Council by the end of October so they may review it before the public meeting. Motion Passed. Aye: Strand, Foster, Frazier. Nay: Markgraf, Ballard. 

Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Foster to introduce Resolution 2018-19 entitled: RESOLUTION NO. 2018-19; A RESOLUTION VACATING A PORTION OF NE 3RD STREET UPON PETITION OF A MAJORITY OF ABUTTING LANDOWNERS. (A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s office.) Motion carried and resolution declared duly adopted.

Administrator Solga provided Council with an update on the Dam Project. Houston Engineering had a drone fly over and get the elevations and the DNR will try and get something together to discuss at a Council meeting in October. 

  Council has been asked by the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association (MMBA) to consider passing a resolution in opposition of allowing wine, beer and spirits being sold in grocery and convenience stores. Council will discuss at next meeting.

Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to introduce Resolution 2018-20 entitled: RESOLUTION NO. 2018-20; A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING RENTAL HOUSING REINSTATEMENT FEE. (A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s office.) Motion carried and resolution declared duly adopted.

Austin Leiter owns land along Maplewood Drive.  He addressed Council to express his concerns about the amount of the special assessment he received for his lot that runs right along Maplewood Drive. Council will address at the next Council meeting. 

The Budget Committee (Mayor Frazier and Council Member Markgraf) met with Administrator Solga and Fire Chief Steeves to discuss the 2019 Proposed Fire Budget. There will not be much of a change to the budget, only the new truck payment. The total proposed 2019 Fire Department Budget is $256,977. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to approve the 2019 Fire Department Budget at $256,977. Motion passed unanimously. 

Administrator Solga reviewed the Proposed 2019 General Budget. Some items that will be increased are professional services for engineering for future development. The city should update the AED’s as they are outdated and it is hard to buy supplies for anymore. The Police Department needs two more portable radios. The Library Board is asking for an increase of $3,725 which would cover a COLA. The Library Board would like the Council to agree to continue to cover the 2018 and 2019 COLA increases. Administrator Solga presented an alternative budget for the HCH if Council decides to staff the building.  

Administrator Solga, Mayor Frazier and Liquor Store Manager Johnson did the Liquor Store Interviews. They are recommending Council hire Martin Baker at Level One which is $13.04 an hour. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Foster to approve the hire of Martin Baker at $13.04 an hour as Full-Time Liquor Store Employee. Motion passed unanimously.  

Council Member Strand asked for clarification on where the City advertised for the City Hall Receptionist Position. It was published in the Pelican Press and on the City’s website. 

Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to adjourn the City Council meeting at 8:43 p.m. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Heaton,