May 11, 2021

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 4:30 p.m., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 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 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, Superintendent Brian Olson, Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Harthun and Police Chief Jeff Stadum. 

General Attendance: Katie Ricke, Georgia Jacobson, Rudy Martinez, John Peter, Brian Korf, Roger Schleske, John Ohman, and Lou Hoglund from the Pelican Press were 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 as presented with the deletion of Director Vacation Discussion under Library Report. Motion passed unanimously. 

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

a) Approval of Minutes – Council Meeting 04/27/21, LBAE Meeting 4/22/21

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Certify Unpaid Utility Bill for 401 SE 2nd Ave. , 520 N. Broadway, 604 S. Broadway, and 409 NW 3rd St.

d) Staff Reports

1. Police Chief Report 

2. Financial Report 

Motion passed unanimously. 

The City was contacted by Katie Ricke and Georgia Jacobson about opening a Deputy Registrar Office in Pelican Rapids. Between the two of them, they have over 20 years’ experience working in a Motor Vehicle Office. They are requesting a letter of support from the City to send to the State with their application. They would like to have their office open by August. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the letter of support from the City for a Deputy Registrar Office in Pelican Rapids. Motion passed unanimously. 

Rudy Martinez of PRUSA spoke to Council about the Brown Soccer Field Facility upgrades they would like to happen in the future. They received notice that the Red Horse Ranch is liquidating the bleachers and lights from their arena. PRUSA and the School collaborated to buy the bleachers and may purchase the lights in the future. In the future, they would like to add dugouts and other amenities to Brown Soccer Field. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to proceed with the facility upgrades at Brown Field. Motion passed unanimously.

PRUSA, the City and the school will revise the current agreement and present it to Council. 

Superintendent Brian Olson provided Council with a Street and Parks report. Street sweeping is complete and they will begin striping soon. The final layer of asphalt for CSAH 96 and 100 should be done this week. Campground is opening this weekend. He is still looking for a Pool Manager and Lifeguards. The playground equipment will be installed by May 24. The street and parks departments will begin summer hours of Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm and Friday will be 7:30 to 11:30 am. Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve the streets and parks report. Motion passed unanimously.

Superintendent Olson recommended Council hire Isaac Olson and McHale Korf as returning Park Maintenance workers. The rate of pay for that position is $11.58 an hour. He would also like to hire Rachel Lynnes as the returning Park Mower at $16.23 an hour. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the hire of Isaac Olson, McHale Korf and Rachel Lynnes. Motion passed unanimously. 

Roger Schleske requested an Administrative Hearing for the public nuisance violation administrative penalty he received for 10 NW 1st Street. He said the wooden spools were left on his property by the Jaycees. He will clean them up, but would like the fine of $50.00 waived. Schleske received the first notice regarding the property in February 2021. Motion by Strand, seconded by Frazier leave the $50.00 administrative penalty in place. Motion passed unanimously. 

The Planning Commission had received a request to change the ordinance to allow for an accessory building in a residential zone. The planning commissioners revised the ordinance and recommended Council approve the ordinance. The city attorney has reviewed it and his comments were included for Council discussion. Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to support the proposal with the city attorney’s recommendations and add are permitted to letter B. Motion passed unanimously. The final ordinance will be voted on by Council after posting for public comment for ten days.

Planning Commissioner John Ohman asked on behalf of the Planning Commission for Council to reorganize the Economic Development Authority (EDA). Currently, the Council acts as an EDA and he suggested maybe business owners should be included. Administrator Solga recommended hiring an EDA director to help with economic development in Pelican Rapids. 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve Library report. Motion passed unanimously.

Administrator Solga reviewed the 5-year agreement with Nutrition Services Incorporated (NSI) Lease Agreement to provide meals for seniors. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the agreement with NSI. Motion passed unanimously. 

Administrator Solga provided Council with an update on the Senior Citizen Center Building. The building is not ADA compliant. New entrances, steps, bathrooms, HVAC system and roof are a few items that need to be replaced. As it is, it cannot be used as a community center. The City will need to hire an architect to figure out everything that needs to be done.   

Clerk-Treasurer Harthun informed Council the City will have to hold another Local Board of Appeal and Equalization Meeting. An error was discovered on the valuation notice of 12 parcels from Pelican Rapids. The meeting is set for May 25, 2021 at 4:15 pm.

The Fire Department would like to hire Jorge Villalobos as a Fireman. He will start at $11.47 an hour. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to approve the hire of Jorge Villalobos as a Fireman. Motion passed unanimously. 

The Park Board minutes were included in the Council packet.

Administrator Solga told Council that they should have received an email regarding employee duty disability from the labor attorney. 

City Hall Summer Hours discussion. Clerk-Treasurer Harthun proposed City Hall start summer after Memorial Day to coincide with the Street Department summer hours. She proposed City Hall be open Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and Friday 7:30 am to 11:30 am. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve trying the summer hours for the year. Motion passed unanimously. 

Administrator Solga reported that since the last city council meeting he has; worked with Clerk to set City Council (CC) agenda and prep for regular CC meeting; attended an affordable housing roundtable discussion; attended the last MNDOT Value Engineering virtual meeting; met with building official and did a walkthrough of the senior center building; met with Jake Huesch of Sourcewell regarding the comp plan status; met with the Mayor, Otter Tail County, Lake Region Electric Coop, Park Board member, and Street Super Brian Olson to discuss trailheads; worked on legal services RFP and met with Council Member Strand to discuss; attended monthly virtual meeting with Otter Tail County Community Development Authority; reviewed labor attorney’s police department personnel issue update to city council; and updated city website with housing information.

Mayor Frazier reported that since the last city council meeting he has; continued to submit weekly mayor’s columns to the Pelican Press for publication, continued to visit with area businesses, conducted a ‘Conversations with the Mayor’ session at Historic City Hall on April 28, had a noon lunch meeting with Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson on April 29, had a breakfast meeting with United Way of Otter tail & Wadena Counties staff, attended an April 30 Pelican Rapids Senior Citizen Board Meeting to approve the minutes of the previous board meeting, thus making the transfer of the Senior Citizen’s  properties in the near future to the City of Pelican Rapids, on April 30 I attended an Arbor Day tree planting at the Viking Elementary School with teacher Jon Moe and 6th grade students, located the daughter of Jerald Grahn whereas her family has removed the piano at the Senior Citizen’s Center (which he had donated to the organization several years ago), had a photo taken on May 6 with Viking Elementary School 4th grade student Lilyann Laferriere who was the local winning entrant in the Minnesota Rural Water “Water Week Poster Contest,” sent a letter to 10 more State Representatives and State  Senators asking for the  support of the current funding to Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) which has provided services for our local Foods Local Places project, on May 7 I attended a virtual meeting regarding the proposed Trail Head for the Pelican Rapids to Perham Bike Trail, met with Administrator Solga to review the agenda for this afternoon’s Pelican Rapids City Council Meeting and today I met with Mike McFeely of the Fargo Forum relating to the impact of the Minnesota Fishing Opener on Pelican Rapids and projects that our city will be witnessing in the future.   

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to adjourn the City Council meeting a 6:32 p.m. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Harthun, MCMC