PELICAN RAPIDS 

CITY COUNCIL 

MEETING MINUTES

July 28, 2020

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 4:30 p.m., on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Council Chambers, City Hall.

Mayor Frazier called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm.

Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Harthun took roll call. 

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 Harthun, Fire Chief Trevor Steeves and Police Chief Jeff Stadum. 

General Attendance: Pete Hart, Deb Hart, Kate Martinez and Lou Hoglund from the Pelican Press was 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 Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the agenda with the addition of No. 14 Lot Split Consideration and No. 15 Office Hiring Ad Discussion. Motion passed unanimously. 

Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to approve the consent agenda.

a) Approval of Council Minutes – 7/14/2020

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Liquor Store Report (In Packet)

2. Utilities Report (In Packet)

Motion passed unanimously.

Pete and Deb Hart attended the Planning Commission Meeting on July 27 and requested a lot split. They were granted a lot split in 2014, but they never went through with it. They want to change the layout of the previous lot split. The Planning Commission recommended Council reverse the 2014 lot split and approve the new lot split. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to nullify the 2014 lot split and approve the new lot split. Motion passed unanimously.

Administrator Solga, Fire Chief Steeves and the Budget Committee (Mayor Frazier and Council Member Foster) met to discuss the 2021 Proposed Fire Department Budget. There are increases in the budget in professional services, repair and maintenance services, fees and insurance. Over the last few years, those expenses have risen slightly. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Strand to approve the 2021 Fire Department Budget as presented. Motion passed unanimously.

Fire Chief Steeves provided Council with the 2019 Annual Report. The Fire Relief Association received a grant to purchase a Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) through the Fire relief. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the purchase of a Utility Task Vehicle. Motion passed unanimously. 

Fire Chief Steeves reported there were two people that retired in 2019 and so far one in 2020. They are looking for people to fill those positions now.

Kate Martinez spoke to Council on behalf of the Park Board. The Park Board is recommending the Council approve 108 Midway (Parcels 76000990499000 and 76000990500000) as a Trailhead. They felt that was the most appropriate due to its access to the river, safety, parking, space and proximity to the downtown businesses. In time, restrooms, benches and signage would be added. Council Member Ballard asked if they considered the senior citizen center as trailhead.  It might not be an option, but he figured it was worth looking into. Council discussed designating the land owned by the City on both sides of the river as a trailhead. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to approve 108 Midway and City owned parcels 76000990495000 and 76000990454000, lying east of the walking bridge, as the trailhead. Motion passed unanimously.

Pool Committee minutes were provided in the packet. 

Police Chief Stadum reported that job interviews are complete and he recommended Council hire Jacob Engst as full-time Police Officer. He would start at level one for wages. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the hire of Jacob Engst at wage level 1 contingent on the background check. Motion passed unanimously.

Council Member Strand asked about the job duties of the Utility Billing position. 

Administrator Solga reviewed the Minnesota Public Finance Authority resolutions regarding funding for Project 90 CSAH 100 and CSAH 96 underground utility improvements.

Motion by Ballard, seconded by Markgraf to introduce Resolution 2020-17 entitled; RESOLUTION NO. 2020-17; RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE OFFER OF THE MINNESOTA PUBLIC FACILITIES AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE A $688,147 GENERAL OBLIGATION WATER REVENUE NOTE OF 2020, PROVIDING FOR ITS ISSUANCE, AND APPROVING EXECUTION OF A PROJECT LOAN AGREEMENT. (A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s office.) Motion passed and resolution declared duly adopted.

Motion by Ballard, seconded by Markgraf to introduce Resolution 2020-18 entitled; RESOLUTION NO. 2020-18; RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE OFFER OF THE MINNESOTA PUBLIC FACILITIES AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE A $531,676 GENERAL OBLIGATION SEWER REVENUE NOTE OF 2020, PROVIDING FOR ITS ISSUANCE, AND APPROVING EXECUTION OF A PROJECT LOAN AGREEMENT. (A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s office.) Motion passed and resolution declared duly adopted.

Administrator Solga reported that since the last city council meeting he has; worked with the Clerk to set City Council (CC) agenda and prep for regular CC meeting; worked on 2021 Fire Department Budget and met with budgeting committee and Fire Chief Steeves; attended remote meeting with Otter Tail County Community Development Agency; attended CSAH 96/100 construction meeting; worked on a potential economic development project; prepped for and conducted additional police interview and also worked on police department personnel issue; worked on RaveAlert/Smart911 configuration; worked on revising City Hall, and Pool Preparedness plans to include required face masks and requested and received a revised plan from the liquor store; and spent time on city computer backup configurations.

Mayor Frazier reported that since the last city council meeting he has;  continued to have communication with Jenny-O regarding their current operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, continued to submit weekly mayor’s columns to the Pelican Rapids Press, attended a CSAH 96 & 100 construction meeting and several visits to the work site, visited by phone with OTC Commissioner Lee Rogness and also State Rep. Bud Nornes regarding the 2020 Legislative Bonding Bill, attended a Pelican Rapids Area Fire Department Budget Meeting, attended a Pelican Rapids Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Zoom Meeting, visited by phone with Jenny-O Public Relations Department regarding the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census and met with Administrator Solga to review the agenda for this evening’s City Council Meeting.

Council Member Foster asked to be notified when the next 2024 Highway Project meeting is scheduled.

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to adjourn the City Council meeting at 5:42 p.m. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Harthun

Clerk-Treasurer