October 25, 2022

The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 4:30 pm, on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 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 three 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 – absent

Other city staff present: Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Harthun, Accounting Clerk Onnalee Miller Krump, Street and Parks Superintendent Brian Olson, Police Chief Jeff Stadum.

General Attendance: Cris Gastner, Tom Pace, Judy Tabbut, Van Holmgren, Lana Grefsrud, John Waller III, Maggie Driscoll, Pat Tollerud, Brad Tollerud, Harold Holt, Justin Fure, Joe Clauson, Judith Engebretson, Kathy Sundby, Bob Lindstrom, Andrew Johnson, Greg Stang, Tom Marty, Rudy Butennas 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. 

Council Member Steve Foster arrived at 4:32 pm. 

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve the agenda with the deletion of No. 7 MN House of Representatives – Jeff Backer and No. 10 Police Personnel. Motion passed unanimously. 

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

a) Approval of Council Minutes – October 11, 2022

b) Approval of Accounts Payable Listing

c) Staff Reports

1. Utilities Report

2. Liquor Store Report

d) Certify To Property Taxes

    Property: 20 SE 4th Ave

    Administrative Penalty Amount $50.00

Motion passed unanimously. 

Cris Gastner from CEDA (Community and Economic Development Association) gave a brief history of the company. Rural communities are their specialty. If hired, the first step would be to compile a list of action items that the City would like worked on. 

At 5:11 pm, Mayor Frazier called the Public Hearing on the potential sale of the Senior Citizen Building to order. NSI provided Council with a letter stating they can still make meals in the building with Hillbilly Laser taking ownership and running her business out of there. Judith Engebretson read the Park Board letter to Council regarding keeping ownership and finding a public use for the building. Personally, she would like a new business in town, just not in a city building. A letter from Clay-Otter Tail-Wilken Counties Public Health was provided to Council saying a commercial kitchen may be in the same location, just not at the same time. Lana Grefsrud addressed Council and the public with her plans for the space. Maggie Driscoll from Oakes explained why the building has not been used the last few years. COVID-19 and the City taking ownership and it not meeting building codes is the reason. She talked about the events that Oakes held in the Senior Citizen building. Kathy Sundby wants to make sure the Meals on Wheels program stays in Pelican Rapids. Judy Tabbut, Local Foods, Local Places said she is very frustrated and would like a commercial kitchen in the building. John Waller III read the findings that the Planning Commission came up with at the Planning Commission meeting. The Planning Commission said that is in line with the Comprehensive Plan and as a citizen he spoke of the high costs of renovating the building for the City. Bob Lindstrom stated the senior’s needs some place. The public hearing was ended and council was allowed to comment. Council Member Ballard spoke of his original intentions for the Senior Citizen building but there are many expensive repairs that need to be done to the Senior Citizen building and it is not financially feasible for the City. Motion by Foster, seconded by Ballard to sell the Senior Citizen building to Lana Grefsrud. Strand, Ballard, Markgraf, Foster: AYE, Frazier: NAY. 

Council set a Work Session with Lana Grefsrud on November 3 at 5:00 pm. to discuss price. 

Tom Pace from MnDOT reported that the trees are starting to come down for the upcoming project. The trees are coming out to allow room for sidewalks. He is asking Council to make a decision on the ADA doorways in some of the downtown businesses. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Foster to make everything ADA as a good faith effort. The City will pay to have the stoops and doorways made ADA compliant. Motion passed unanimously. 

Superintendent Brian Olson reviewed the Winter Maintenance Agreement. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Ballard to introduce Resolution 2022-19 entitled; WINTER MAINTENANCE 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. 

Police Chief Jeff Stadum reviewed Resolution 2022-20 with Council. It is a resolution that the City renews every five years allowing the Prosecuting Attorney to access information from the BCA. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Markgraf to introduce Resolution 2022-20 entitled; RESOLUTION APPROVING STATE OF MINNESOTA JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF PELICAN RAPIDS ON BEHALF OF ITS CITY ATTORNEY AND POLICE DEPARTMENT. (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.

 Council reviewed the new contract with PeopleService. Administrator Solga explained the new language regarding the annual adjustment of CPI-U plus one percent will not exceed seven percent nor shall it be less than three percent. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the Mayor and Clerk signing the agreement. Motion passed unanimously.

 Council considered an MOU between the City and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to monitor Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are little plastic particles and the MPCA wants to know what how many PFAS industrial users are contributing to wastewater treatment facilities. The City has to do two tests that cost $3,000 for each test. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to sign the MPCA MOU. Motion passed unanimously.

 Clerk-Treasurer Danielle Harthun reviewed the Audit Engagement Letter from CarlsonSV for the 2022 audit. She reviewed the services they are going to provide for next year’s audit. Motion by Strand, seconded by Foster to approve the signing of the Audit Engagement Letter for the 2022 audit. Motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Frazier was approached by a couple people that are interested in being on the Library Board. He is recommending Judy Tabbut be appointed to the Library Board. Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to appoint Judy Tabbut to the Library Board. Motion passed unanimously.

 MinKo Construction, Inc. submitted Pay Request No. 9 for City Hall upgrades (Project 85) for $32,864.00 and Pay Request No. 10 for City Hall upgrades (Project 85) for $38,610.00. This is the final pay request. Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to approve MinKo Construction, Inc. Pay Requests No. 9 & 10. Motion passed unanimously.

Administrator Solga reviewed the Dam Bridge Grant Agreement with the State for the walking bridge. The bridge grant is for $260,000 with the city matching $260,000 with liquor store funds. Motion by Markgraf, seconded by Strand to approve the signing of the grant. Motion passed unanimously.

Planning Commission minutes were included in the Council Packet.

Park Board minutes were included in the Council Packet.

Administrator Solga reported that since the last meeting he has; worked with the Clerk to set city council agenda and prepped for the city council meeting; attended various virtual meeting with MnDOT regarding the 2024 project, monthly PMT, staging and traffic control, and bridge railing; met with downtown commercial building owner to discuss building plans; attended quarterly safety committee meeting; attended Otter Tail County Complete street policy workshop; held telephone conversations with CEDA in prep for city council meeting; held 2023 utility budget and rates meeting with Clerk and budget committee; met with Mayor and Street Superintendent to discuss skating warming house; had various meetings with Houston Engineering, Street Superintendent, and MnDOT to review and discuss dam plans and coordination with the 2024 project storm drain system; attended city’s annual loss control visit with the LMC; met with Bob Schlieman (APEX) to discuss status of various city project; and attended the 4th quarter community collaborative meeting hosted by Ottertail Lakes Country Association.

Mayor Frazier reported that since the last meeting he has; continued to visit with area businesses, communicated with Pelican Rapids residents of interest to serve on the Pelican Rapids Public Library Board of Directors, attended a 2024 Pelican Rapids Complete Streets Steering Committee Meeting on October 13 at City Hall with Administrator Solga, Streets and Parks Superintendent Olson and MnDOT personnel joining by Microsoft Teams, talked by phone on October 18 with Tracy Ellenbaum of Nutrition Services, Inc. regarding the ‘Meals on Wheels’ program in the former Senior Citizen Center building along with private enterprise, partook in a ‘Safe Routes to School Survey’ on October 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 am with other volunteers in our community, met on October 18 with Sue Monson of Head Start and Meagan Hernandez of MAHUBE-OTWA regarding the need for day care managers in Pelican Rapids, met with Pelican Rapids Schools Superintendent Brian Korf and Otter Tail County Commissioner Wayne Johnson on October 19 to discuss the proposed multi-purpose building at Chauncey Martin Field, met on October 20 with Councilman Foster and Administrator Solga to begin to review the 2023 Water and Sewer Budgets, met on October 20 with Superintendent Olson and Administrator Solga regarding a skating rink warming house at the proposed multi-purpose building at Chauncey Martin Field, met on October 20 with Superintendent Olson and Administrator Solga regarding the future bridge and its’ amenities which will suspend over the proposed rock rapids in E. L. Peterson Park, met on October 23 with Pelican Rapids High School Students and supervisors to discuss the lack of a meeting place in the city for students to gather after school hours, attended an Otter Tail Lake Country Association Community Collaborative Zoom Meeting with Administrator Solga on October 24 at City Hall and met on October 24 with Administrator Solga to review the agenda for this afternoon’s Pelican Rapids City Council Meeting.  

Motion by Strand, seconded by Ballard to adjourn the City Council meeting at 6:59 pm. Motion passed unanimously.

Danielle Harthun,