September 8, 2020

Mayor Frazier called the meeting to order at 5:00 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, Superintendent Brian Olson, Utility Clerk Jannet Sanchez and Fire Chief Trevor Steeves. 

General Attendance: Amy Baldwin, Rick St. Germain and Lou Hoglund from the Pelican Press was also present.

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

All present stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Motion by Foster, seconded by Ballard to approve the agenda as written.  Motion passed unanimously. 

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

a) Approval of Minutes – Council Meeting 8/25/2020

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Police Chief Report 

2. Street and Park Report 

3. Financial Report 

Motion passed unanimously.

Rick St. Germain, Houston Engineering, presented Council with a Scope of Services for the Pelican Rapids Dam. The dates on the Services Agreement were updated to coincide with the grant dates. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Markgraf to accept the documents with the corrected termination date and to allow Mayor Frazier to sign the Service Agreement. Motion passed unanimously. 

Amy Baldwin, Community Development Director for Otter Tail County, explained grant applications that Otter Tail County is using for Cares Acts funds. The grants are available for small businesses and non-profits. Council had concerns about the amount of businesses that could be assisted if the grant amount was $10,000. Ms. Baldwin said the County could help supplement the grants in the City with the Cares Funds they had received. If funds run out, the grant amount would be proportionately reduced. Applications will be accepted until September 30 and funds would be disbursed in October. The County will handle all the grant administration. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Foster to use the County’s grant program for local business and non-profits with maximum grant awards up to $10,000. Motion passed unanimously. 

Mayor Frazier asked Council if they would like to consider refunding Liquor/Beer/Wine License for 2020. Council will discuss further at the next meeting.

Fire Chief Trevor Steeves presented Council with a list of COVID-19 expenses that he would like to purchase with CARES funds. Each item was reviewed and justification was provided. These items are used by multiple people where germs could be easily spread from person to person. Administrator Solga will present these items to the City Auditor to get their approval before any purchases are made. Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve Fire Chief Steeves CARES ACT funding items. Motion passed unanimously. 

Administrator Solga requested Council approval to purchase a smart screen to use for Council meetings with the CARES ACT funding. It will be presented to the City Auditor for approval before the purchase is made.  He has also been tracking his hours that were spent doing COVID-19 related items for reimbursement. Motion by Foster, seconded by Markgraf to approve the wages and smart screen purchase with CARES Funds. Motion passed unanimously.

Administrator Solga is in the process of contacting community members to be on the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. One Council member was needed. Council Member Ballard volunteered.

Council considered the Jurisdictional Determination letter. If this is approved, the library would be set up as a separate jurisdiction and the library would report their own wages for pay equity. This separation frees each governing board from worrying about how it will affect pay equity. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve Mayor Frazier signing the Jurisdictional Determination and it being sent to the Pay Equity Coordinator. Motion passed unanimously. 

Council discussed the Proposed 2021 General Fund Budget. Administrator Solga reviewed the general budget. There is a slight increase without any more changes to the budget. The Library has been under budget in the wage categories for the last couple of years and projections suggest that 2020 wage categories will also end under budget. Council Member Markgraf would like Council to approve the budget with the additional funds requested by the Library Board for 2021 and ask for more clarification on how the increase was calculated. In December, if Council does not agree with the explanation, the amount can be decreased. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to adopt the 2021 General Fund Budget as presented, setting the General Levy at $733,738 and the Special Levy at $222,930 with the final 2021 budget hearing on December 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Motion passed. Opposed: Markgraf.

The Library Report was provided in the Council packet. Council Member Markgraf reported that there has been significant water damage inside the library due to the roofing construction. The contractors are waiting on the steel, which should arrive soon. 

Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to direct the Library Chair to request the City Attorney review the library contract documents regarding the water damage. 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;  worked on police department personnel issues; worked on Bicycle Friendly Community application for Partnership for Health; worked on Comp Plan steering committee establishment; attended August 31 planning commission meeting; attended webinar with LMC regarding Cares Act funds; reviewed and spoke with Houston Engineering regarding their Dam Proposal; reviewed and spoke with Otter Tail County Community Development Agency regarding Cares Act funding for small business and non-profits; started work on 2021 water and sewer budgets.

Mayor Frazier reported that since the last city council meeting he has; continued to submit weekly mayor’s columns to the Pelican Press, attended a CSAH 96 & 100 Construction Meeting, continued to visit the CSAH 96 & 100 construction sites, attended a City of Pelican Rapids Lagoon Meeting with Administrator Solga, Street Superintendent Brian Olson and PeopleService employees and met with Administrator Solga to review the agenda for this evening’s City Council Meeting.

Motion by Strand, seconded by Markgraf to adjourn the City Council meeting at 6:36 p.m. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Harthun-MCMC