The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, 01-08-19 in Council Chambers, City Hall.

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

Mayor Brent E. Frazier and Council Member Steve Strand took their oaths of office.

Roll call was taken by Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Heaton. 

Mayor Brent E. Frazier and three members of the Council were present at roll call: 

Council Member Steve Strand Council Member Curt Markgraf – absent

Council Member Kevin Ballard Council Member Steve Foster 

Other city staff present: Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Heaton, Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson, Police Chief Jeff Stadum, City Attorney Greg Larson. 

General Attendance: Chris McConn, County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, Alene Kenny, and Lou Hoglund from the Pelican Press were also present.

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

All present stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the agenda with the additions of No.4 q) Appoint City Attorneys: Krekelberg Law Firm and Larson Law Firm PC. Motion passed unanimously. 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve the consent agenda with the removal of the minutes.

• Approval of Council Minutes of 12/11/18

• Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

• Appoint Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Heaton

• Designate Official Newspaper: Pelican Rapids Press

• Designate Official Depositories: Wells Fargo, Minnesota National Bank, Wells Fargo Investments and Bell Bank

• Approve Expenses to Fire, Police, Liquor Store, Clerks’, Mayors’ Regional Meetings and Trainings

• Approve Payment of Administrator and Clerk-Treasurer Bonds

• Approve Payment of Liquor Store Bond

• Lakes Country Service Cooperative Annual Membership Renewal

• Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Membership Renewal

• Minnesota Council of Airports Membership Renewal

• Otter Tail Lakes Country Association Community Collaborative Annual Membership

• Household Hazardous Waste Day 8/7/19 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. Public Works Facility

• Pelican River Pheasants Forever Raffle at VFW 02/09/2019

• 2019 Mileage – $.58

• Staff Reports

• Library Report

• Police Chief Report

• Financial Report

• Property/Casualty LMCIT 2018 Dividend $4,316.00

Motion passed unanimously.

Council Member Foster would like more detail put into the minutes including the Administrator’s report. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the 12/11/18 minutes. Motion passed unanimously.

Chris McConn from Otter Tail County Redemption Center notified Council that the Otter tail County Board has made the decision to close the redemption center in Pelican Rapids. The last date open will be March 2, 2019. The recycle bins will continue to be available to the public. The County is open to more discussions with the City. There is no rush.  

Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to continue with the credit card policy. Motion passed unanimously.

Alene Kenny received a letter in August about a vehicle they own. After the first letter was received, the flat tire was fixed and the vehicle was moved a few feet. The vehicle is insured and has a collector plate on it. They received a second letter charging them a $50 fine and they requested an administrative hearing in front of City Council. Administrator Solga and Police Chief Stadum will review with the officer that wrote the property up as a public nuisance and notify Ms. Kenny of the outcome.  

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to nominate Steve Foster as Acting Mayor. Motion passed unanimously.

Three Applications were received for the open positions on the Planning Commission. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to appoint John Waller, III. and Patrick Patterson to the open terms and John Ohman to fill the vacant term on the Planning Commission. Motion passed unanimously. 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve the 2019 Appointments to Boards and Authorities. Motion passed unanimously.

Added to the fee schedule this year, was the zoning/construction permit fee of $20.00. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the 2019 City Fee Schedule. Motion passed unanimously.

Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to set the Council meetings for 2019 for the second Tuesday and last Tuesday, at 4:30 p.m. Motion passed unanimously.

The LMC Workshop for Council is scheduled for January 24, 2019 at 3 p.m., in City Hall Council Chambers.

The DNR Dam Public Informational Meeting is scheduled for January 30, 2019 at LREC at 7 p.m.

Council was given the Minnesota Department of Health Sanitary Survey Report.

Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson provided Council with his report. The Skating rink is open and averaging thirteen people per day. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the Superintendents report. Motion passed unanimously.

The City received a letter signed by downtown business owners regarding snow removal. The letter stated, the business owners had concerns about the safety of their customers and would rather city staff remove snow during the day than waiting longer to do it after business hours. Superintendent Olson said that he will try in the future to have staff come in early morning (5:00 a.m.) and start clearing snow from the downtown business area first. He is hoping this schedule will work for most. If there is a lot of snow that  must be moved and the City needs to hire someone, it will still be done in the evenings. Council Member Strand felt that the process needs to change. He said “there are people that would have done it on New Year’s Day; there are farm tractors and grain haulers so I do not agree with this whatsoever.”

Administrator Solga reported that since the last city council meeting he has; held discussions with architect BHH regarding the city hall project, discussed the potential land transfer with West Central Turkey, had final meeting with building official, worked on zoning/construction permitting, drafted and submitted support letter for Pelican Rapids to Perham Trail for Tap application, coordinated and confirmed DNR meeting at LREC, had on-going discussions with attorney regarding Gridor legal issue, filed Wetland Conversation Act annual report, filed WWTF Pretreatment Annual report, discussed housing with OTC Community Development Authority and HRA, completed liquor store annual inventory check with Auditor, started working on 2019 pay equity report, attended legislators public information meeting, and attended historic city hall meeting.  

Council adjourned to the EDA meeting.

Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to approve the Economic Development Authority’s actions including election of officers, approval of the 01-09-18 EDA minutes, and approval of the 2019 membership to the Greater MN Partnership. Motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Frazier read the following statement:

“When balancing the purposes of the attorney-client privilege with regard to the City Council openly discussing the strategies involved with regard to the disputes involving Gridor Construction, Inc. and/or the impact of said disputes, and the responses and actions to be taken by the City in relation to said disputes,  as they relate to the Wastewater Treatment Facility Project worked on by Gridor Construction, Inc., such open discussions of the City Council outweigh the purpose of the open meeting law, and, therefore, demonstrates the need for absolute confidentiality.”

“The Council must actually communicate with its attorney at the closed meeting.”

“The meeting will now be closed so that the City Council of the City of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, and its attorney, may discuss matters related to its disputes and claims with regard to the Wastewater Treatment Facility Project involving Contractor Gridor Construction, Inc. and the grounds permitting said closed meeting are based on the attorney-client privilege contemplated in Minnesota Statutes section 13D.05, subd. 3(b). I will now entertain a motion to close this portion of the meeting.”

Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to close the meeting. Motion passed unanimously.

“The time is 6:20 p.m.  The City Council will now go into a closed session.”

“Only the City Council and authorized City representatives may be in attendance at any portion of the closed session.”

“Following a closed meeting, the City Council meeting is now open. The time is 7:29 p.m.” 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to adjourn the City Council meeting at 7:29 p.m. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Heaton