August 13, 2019

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:00 p.m., on Tuesday, 08-13-19 in Council Chambers, City 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.

City staff present: Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Heaton, Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson, Police Chief Jeff Stadum, City Engineer Bob Schlieman and Fire Chief Trevor Steeves. 

General Attendance: Tammy Omdal, Andrew and Skip Duchesneau, Gerri Langseth, Beth Barlow 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 Ballard, seconded by Foster to approve the agenda with the addition of No. 13 Administrator’s Report and No. 14 Flow of Information. Motion passed unanimously. 

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

a) Approval of Council Minutes – 7/30/19

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Library

2. Police Chief Report

3. Financial Report

Motion passed unanimously.

Street and Parks Superintendent Brian Olson provided an update to Council. The air conditioner at the Waste Water Treatment Facility quit working about two weeks ago.  The City received three proposals for the installation of a new one. The high bid was $8,000 including electric and the low bid was $5,930 without electric. Council Member Ballard suggested using the air conditioner left from upper City Hall. Motion by Foster, seconded by Ballard to accept the lowest proposal of $5,930 if one from upper City Hall will not work. Motion passed unanimously.

Olson reported the Fly-In on August 10 was a big success. He spoke to Tom Pace at MNDOT about changing the light on the south stoplights and he replied that it would be evaluated in September. Olson is also working with MNDOT on the crosswalk signs. The Parks are doing well. The pool is scheduled to close the 28th of August because there will not be enough staff to keep it open. Motion by Strand, seconded by Markgraf to approve the street and parks report. Motion passed unanimously.

Fire Chief Trevor Steeves reported to Council that the Fire Relief Association will begin paying the audit and bond expense. That expense has been previously paid by the City. He asked Council to consider using the savings as capital to start replacing the some of the smaller Fire Department vehicles. This will not increase the budget; it will just be reallocating the $4,500 from auditing to capital. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Strand to approve the reallocation of the $4,500 auditing funds to capital in the Fire Department Budget. Motion passed unanimously.

The Fire Department applied for and received a 2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance Matching Grant. The grant is a 50/50 match and the Fire Department received $3,350 for water movement items which includes hose and nozzles for the new truck. Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve the 2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance Matching Grant. Motion passed unanimously.

Barney, ND Fire Department would like to purchase the 1990 Tanker II for $12,000 and take will pick it up the second week of September. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Strand to approve the sale of the 1990 Tanker II for $12,000. Motion passed unanimously.

The $12,000 proceeds from the sale of the 1990 tanker truck will be used to purchase equipment on the new fire truck. Motion by Strand, seconded by Markgraf to approve the use of the sale proceeds for new equipment on the new truck. Motion passed unanimously.

Steeves asked for approval to purchase a new air bus for the Fire Department. The current one is a 1997 and is not big enough for the department. Capital funds would be used to replace the air bus for approximately $5,000. Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve the purchase of a replacement air bus for the fire department. Motion passed unanimously.

The new fire truck will be picked up on August 21. 

Tammy Omdal from Northland Services explained tax abatement how it works since she is unable to attend the public hearing scheduled for the August 27 public hearing. The property owner will have to pay their property taxes. 

Skip Duchesneau with Colony Housing was available to answer all of Council’s questions and a timeline was provided to Council.

Engineer Bob Schlieman spoke to Council about the Colony Housing Project Bid Award.  He asked for Council approval to ask Hough, Inc. to extent the bid until the September 10, 2019 Council Meeting. At that time, the City will have an answer on the additional funds that were requested. Because of the delay, the substantial completion day will have to be extended. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the request for a hold extension on the project. Motion passed unanimously.

Council discussed the West Central Initiative Support request from $2,000 a year for the next three years, to $2,250 this year and $2,500 in 2020 and 2021. Council requested the budget committee review the request. 

Administrator Solga reviewed the rental inspection proposals. He spoke to three companies, and two proposals were received. One company, from Staples, MN, would charge $62.50 an hour. The other company, from Fergus Falls, MN, proposed $40 per unit/per inspection. Re-inspections would be $25 per unit and no shows would be $40 per unit. Both companies would use City staff to do the billing and scheduling. To cover administrative costs, Administrator Solga recommended changing the application fee to $20 per rental property.  Recommended to approve Stonehenge to do rental inspections. Council Member Markgraf would like to review the contract before making a decision. Motion by Foster, seconded by Frazier to approve the contract with Stonehenge Enterprise at the following rates: $40 per unit/per inspection, re-inspections $25 per unit and no shows would be $40 per unit. Motion passed. Opposed: Markgraf, Aye: Strand, Ballard, Frazier, Foster. 

Council raised questions regarding the flow of information.

Mayor Frazier reported that since the last meeting he held Conversations with the Mayor, attended Pool Committee meeting, interviewed by a group from the U of M in Morris, and attended tax abatement hearing at the County regarding the Colony Housing project.  

Administrator Solga reported that since the last meeting he attended he has been working on the following: the Gidor lawsuit, attended school board meeting regarding tax abatement, met with Ballard, Markgraf and Runningen regarding Library roof, attended meeting with LCSC regarding Health and Safety contract. He requested budget requests from city departments to start putting a preliminary budget together. 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Markgraf to adjourn the Council meeting at 7:10 p.m. Motion passed unanimously. 

Danielle Heaton, MCMC, Clerk-Treasurer