August 25, 2020

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 4:30 pm, on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 in Council Chambers, City Hall.

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

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, Police Chief Jeff Stadum and City Auditor Dean Birkeland. 

General Attendance: Amanda Hillman, Rick St. Germaine, Dena Johnson and Lou Hoglund from the Pelican Press was also present.

The Mayor welcomed everyone to the Council Meeting and announced upcoming 

All present stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Motion by Ballard, seconded by Markgraf to approve the agenda with the deletion of No. 6 Rotary Turkey BBQ Pit Removal Request by the Park Board – Mark Dokken. Motion passed unanimously. 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the consent agenda.

a) Approval of Minutes – Council Meeting 7/28/2020

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Police Chief Report 

2. Street and Park Report 

3. Liquor Store Report 

4. Utility Report 

5. Financial Report 

Motion passed unanimously.

City Auditor Dean Birkeland reviewed the 2019 City Audit with Council. He explained the unique challenges the City faced with the COVID19 stay at home order. Everything was done through a secure portal. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to accept the 2019 City Audit Report. Motion passed unanimously. 

Council reviewed the proposal for the 2020-2022 audits from CarlsonSV. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the three year Audit Proposal (2020-2022) from CarlsonSV. Motion passed unanimously.

Police Chief Jeff Stadum spoke with Council about Police Personnel. He needs to advertise for a full-time police officer. The previous hire accepted a different position, which left an opening with the Pelican Police Department. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to repost the position. Motion passed unanimously.

Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Harthun, Mayor Frazier and Administrator Solga held Utility Clerk interviews last week. They are recommending Council hire Jannet Sanchez as Utility Clerk at wage step one, which is $14.79 an hour. Motion by Foster, seconded by Markgraf to approve the hire of Jannet Sanchez as Utility Clerk at $14.79 an hour. Motion passed unanimously. 

Council reviewed the 2024 Complete Streets Schedule that MNDOT had shared at the last Advisory Committee meeting. 

Council reviewed pay request No. 3 for Project 89 – Colony Apartment Utilities for $13,001.82. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve Pay Request No. 3 for $13,001.82. Motion passed unanimously. 

Mayor Frazier spoke with Dena Johnson regarding the 2021 Red River Valley Home & Garden Show. She talked to different groups and committees in town and they would like to attend the show again this year. There is a lot of excitement by local committees. Motion by Foster, seconded by Markgraf to approve booth cost of $800 plus an additional $100 for badges if needed. Motion passed unanimously. 

Amanda Hillman, MN DNR, explained the DNR Dam Grant Contract Agreement to Council. The amount of the grant was $1.8 million for dam removal, restoration and engineering. Once all parties sign the contract, the city can hire a consultant. Rick St. Germaine, Houston Engineering, explained to Council the breakdown of the $1.8 million. Construction on the dam will begin fall of 2022 or sooner. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to enter into the agreement with the DNR and allow Administrator Solga to sign the grant agreement. Motion passed unanimously. 

The Library Report was provided in the Council packet.  

Administrator Solga reviewed the Proposed 2021 General Budget. The Liquor Store will transfer $100,000 to the General Fund to help offset the Library Roof expense. Local Government Aid (LGA) is going up in 2021, but it is never a guarantee. The street department needs a new plow truck, and Superintendent Olson would like to begin the process of purchasing a new one for 2021. 

Council discussed the Library Request. The Library requested $5,247.61 to give the Library Board the ability to complete the COLA for 2020 that the rest of the City Employees received. They are also requesting an additional $7,519.35, which would cover the proposed 2021 COLA and the HSA contribution. Administrator Solga explained the concerns the Budget Committee discussed with the Library’s requests. Council can take some time to think about the request and discussed it at the next meeting. 

Administrator Solga provided Council with a Comp Plan update. Sourcewell recommended establishing a Steering Committee to work with the consultant, City staff and other local leaders.  Two Council Members are needed to be a part of the Steering Committee. Mayor Frazier volunteered to be on the steering committee. 

  An application was received by Kim Haugrud for the Planning Commission. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to approve Kim Haugrud as Planning Commission member

Motion passed unanimously. 

The Park Board minutes were provided in the packet for Council.

The Planning Commission minutes were provided in the packet for Council.

The Pool Committee minutes were provided in the packet for Council.

The County set up a program for the Cares Act Funding they received to help businesses in the County. They volunteered to assist cities in distributing the Cares Act funds the city received to businesses and non-profits. The City can earmark any amount they would like to go to businesses and non-profits. Administrator Solga recommended $80,000 for businesses and $20,000 for non-profits.  Guidelines for this process is being established and the city council will have an opportunity to consider guidelines at the next council meeting on September 8, 2020.  Motion by Foster, seconded by Markgraf to approve $80,000 for businesses and $20,000 for non-profits to be administered by Otter Tail County. Motion passed unanimously.

Administrator Solga requested Council approval for the following items to be paid for by the Cares Act Funding for the city: scanning thermometer, three laptop computers and the Zoom virtual meeting monthly expenses. He is also looking into new technology to allow the city to stream live meetings and also dividers for the front office. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to approve the approve the about listed expenses. Motion passed unanimously. 

Administrator Solga reported that since the last city council meeting he has; held a department head meeting; worked with Clerk to set City Council (CC) agenda and prep for regular CC meeting; worked on PFA funding paperwork for Project #90; attended CGMC via Zoom; attended MNDOT 2024 meeting via Skype; held initial comp plan update meeting with Sourcewell; met with Mayor Frazier, Planning Commissioners John Ohman and John McMillen regarding comp plan steering committee; worked on 2021 General budget and met with budgeting committee; attended remote meeting with Otter Tail County Community Development Agency regarding Cares Act funding; attended CSAH 96/100 construction meeting; worked on police department personnel issues and posted a job; spoke with planning commission applicant regarding functions of the commission; prepped for and conducted interviews for City Hall personnel; reviewed DNR contract and discussed with DNR personnel; and spoke with resident and city attorney about city zoning.

Mayor Frazier reported that since the last city council meeting he has; continued to submit weekly mayor’s columns to the Pelican Press, attended two CSAH 96 & 100 Construction Meetings, sign online PFA forms for CSAH 96 & 100 construction project, toured Colony Homes on August 06, attended City of Pelican Rapids 2021 Budget Meeting, attended Comprehensive Plan Meeting with Sourcewell Advisors, attended a meeting to choose categories for interested community members to serve on Comprehensive Planning Steering Committee, attended a 2024 Complete Streets Zoom Meeting, sat in on interview process for Utility Clerk position, attended two Local Foods, Local Places Zoom Meetings and met with Administrator Solga to review the agenda for this evening’s City Council Meeting.

Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to adjourn the City Council meeting at 7:13pm. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Harthun, MCMC