September 14, 2021

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 4:30 p.m., on Tuesday, September 14, 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 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 Solga, Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson and Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Harthun.

General Attendance: Dan Egge, Steve Egge, Everett Ballard, Gene Zsedeny, Matt Strand, Elizabeth Wefel, Tom Pace, Samantha Van Wechel-Meyer 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 Ballard to approve the agenda as presented. Motion passed unanimously.

  Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Foster to approve the consent agenda except 4b.

a) Approval of Minutes – Council Meeting 08/31/2021

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Police Chief Report

2. Financial Report

d) Certify Unpaid Utility Bill for 115 SE 1st Street

Motion passed unanimously.

  Council Member Ballard asked if the Library Roof bill was going to be paid.  The Library Board tabled the item. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to approve the Accounts Payable Listing. Motion passed unanimously.

  Superintendent Olson provided Council with a Street and Parks report. They have been working on lots of maintenance issues. Annual jetting has started and hydrant flushing is scheduled for October. The Parks and Campground has been very busy this year. The Pool had a good year. There were two sessions of swimming lessons with 80 participants. The pool averaged 44 swimmers a day while open. Motion by Strand, seconded by Markgraf to approve the street and park report. Motion passed unanimously.

Attorney/Lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) gave a 2021 legislative session update to Council. The CGMC has 109 members. Their top goals for 2021 were LGA, infrastructure bonding bills, childcare funding and city street funding.  

  Tom Pace from MNDOT shared information on the upcoming public input meeting. He then responded to the petition presented to Council at the last meeting. There is misinformation he would like to correct. Six parking spots will be lost on Highway 59. Moving the bike lane next to traffic is not an option as it is not safe. The mini roundabouts are the only option that MNDOT is considering now because all the other options are inferior. The duration of the project will take two years because of the city infrastructure that needs to be replaced. The downtown areas should be done in two months but that is also dependent on the weather. The first year will be Highway 59 and the second year will be Highway 108 East and Highway 108 West.

  Tom Pace asked Council about the trees along Highway 59 in front of the high school and in front of West Central Turkeys. MNDOT was trying to save the trees but they are ash trees that are getting older and may only live another five-ten years, in part due to emerald ash borer. He asked Council to let him know soon what the decision is so the tree plan can be completed.

  A West Central Initiative update was provided to Council by Samantha Van Wechel-Meyer.

  Council reviewed the Pelican Rapids Dam Environmental Assessment Worksheet. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Markgraf to approve Pelican Rapids Dam Environmental Assessment Worksheet. Motion passed unanimously.

  Council discussed the 2022 Proposed General Budget. The big items driving the increase were the Economic Development Director, Community Center and the new pool. The $20,000.00 to fund a potential architect was removed from the Community Center, as there are funds in savings that can be used to hire an architect. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the 2022 General Fund budget with a General Levy of $851,820 and Special Levy of $282,692. Council Member Foster said there ought to be a work session before final approval of the budget to discuss the budget before final approval on December 14, 2021. Motion passed unanimously.

  The Liquor Store position is still available.

  The library report was provided by Council Member Curt Markgraf. Due to some funding that came through, the Library Board opted to give a 3% increase in wages for 2021. The roof pay request was tabled until they received a few more answers. Motion by Foster, seconded by Strand to approve the Library Report. Motion passed unanimously.

  Administrator Solga reported since the last meeting he attended he has; worked with Clerk to set City Council (CC) agenda and prep for regular CC meeting; still working on WWTF power loss claim; attended MNDOT 2024 project Staging and monthly virtual meetings; performed annual CDL Clearing House checks; coordinated mailing of annexation notices in prep Oct 12 Public Hearing; researched bridge info to provide House Investment committee on Sept 22; worked on liquor store phone issues; submitted the airport stormwater quarterly sample report; attended Sept 13 swimming pool committee meeting; attended virtual meeting with OTC CDA; and continued work on personnel issues.                       

  Mayor Frazier reported that since the last city council meeting he has; continued the mayor’s duties as follows; submitted weekly mayor’s columns to the Pelican Press for publication, continued to visit area businesses, attended a 2024 Pelican Rapids Complete Streets Meeting on September 2 via Microsoft Teams, attended a 2024 Pelican Rapids Complete Streets Steering Committee Meeting on September 9 via Microsoft Teams, as requested he presented the Welcome Introduction for the Sod House Theater actors at Milt’s Barn in conjunction with the “Deep Roots Festival” on September 11 and on September 13 he met with Administrator Solga to review the agenda for this afternoon’s Pelican Rapids City Council Meeting.

  Motion by Strand, seconded by Markgraf to adjourn the City Council meeting at 6:51 pm. Motion passed unanimously

Danielle Harthun, MCMC