2016 Oct. 24 Council Minutes


October 24, 2016

 The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Werner.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Present for the meeting: Mayor John Werner, Councilors; Bob Quade, John Goman, Greg Andrews, and Suzanne Herstad, Clerk Joan Jauss, Treasurer Holly Herstad, Fire Chief Scott Twining, Asst. Fire Chief Mark Niemi, and Fire Department Truck Liaison Devon Sonnek, and attached list of public attendants.


Steve from Big Water Apparatus stated he is requesting the remaining balance of $7,382.81 for work done on the new brush truck.  Steve handed out a copy of his quote dated May 20, 2016 for $24,253.64 and a final invoice dated September 18, 2016 for $31,636.45. Steve stated when he

gave the fire department the quote he had not visually inspected the truck, as it was still on order.  His quote was based on the information he was given by the fire department.  When the truck was delivered to him, alterations were needed to the bumper, wiring, winch, skid unit, and graphics.  Steve reduced his shop rate and donated more than $18,000 in extra time and materials to put the truck together.  Everything took more time than expected.  He did not cut corners and gave the city a quality job.  Per Steve he discussed the alterations needed with Devon, who is the fire department truck maintenance liaison.  John W. agreed that the truck work is first class.   John W. asked Mark Niemi, Assistant Fire Chief, to address the Council.  Mark stated when the work to the new brush truck was approved Big Water Apparatus was chosen because they had the lowest quote and it was a one stop shop for the skid unit.  Steve did an outstanding job but he quoted 31 hours to do all the work, which was a massive underbid of hours.  The skid unit was Steve’s recommendation and he should have known of the additional work needed to install the unit.  Mark stated the only communications he was aware of was between him, Devon and Scott about how long it was taking to get the truck back.

Mark said the labor overages on the invoice totals $6,000 and should be Steve’s responsibility as he did not get permission for the overages.  The materials used he would ask the Council to approve payment for, which is $1,382.81.  Greg asked Scott, Fire Chief, if Devon ever indicated there were changes to cost which would cause cost overages?  Scott said no, the only thing he and Devon talked about was how long the job was taking.  Greg then read from Big Water Apparatus’s invoice, a paragraph stating if unforeseen problems develop, that may affect the labor and/or supplies, Big Water Apparatus is to contact the fire department to determine the best course of action to correct the situation.  Greg said to Steve that he cannot find when cost changes were discussed or received from him until receipt of the final invoice.  Steve said he communicated the changes with Devon.  The Mayor called a short recess, pending the arrival of Devon.  John W. asked Devon what conversations he had with Steve about the changes to the brush truck.  Devon stated they were on the status of the truck and when they would be getting it back.  He was not aware of any costs changes for the truck.  John G. asked if money was ever discussed, Devon said no.  John G asked if Steve ever called and told him they need to talk about any increase in the costs.  Devon said the only problem he and Steve discussed was the bumper, but cost was never mentioned.  John G asked if Steve had called him, Devon said no, he called Steve.  Suzanne asked Devon what he would have done if Steve said there was going to be a cost change.  Devon responded he would have contacted the Chief. Greg asked Mark and Scott if the whole amount of $7,382.81 is being contested or is there a portion of that amount that should be paid.  Mark stated it is the fire department’s recommendation to pay for the parts only.  Scott said that Steve did a great job but when you give a quote for a job you need to stick to the price or get authorization for overages, Bob agreed.  John W wants to clarify that $6,000 is labor and $1,382.81 is for parts.  Holly responded yes. John W stated there were lots of assumptions on this project, quality is great but there were no authorizations for the overages, Suzanne agreed. John G recommended that Big Water Apparatus be paid $1,382.81 for parts but not labor due to no notification of cost changes.  All voted in favor.  Motion passed.

Old Brush Truck: Suzanne asked about the bid dates on the old brush truck in the city paper.  Joan stated they were wrong, they should have been November not October for when the bids were being accepted.  It was agreed not to accept any bids and to put it in the paper when it comes out again.

Thank you:  John W. read a thank you card from Ms. Vallie Nosan into record, which was attached to a platter of cookies; “Dear Mr. Mayor, I want to thank you and give you these cookies because you made West Tischer Road so awesome, it rocks!”   John W mentioned that West Tischer is a county road, and thanked Ms. Nosan.  The platter of cookies was shared with the Council and public.

Water leak: Joan mentioned there was a leak at 4929 Arnold road that was repaired.  The leak was due to the stand pipe being hit when cabling was being installed in the right of way by one of the communications companies a few years back.


Lake Superior Coastal Grants:  Joan shared an e-mail from Minnesota DNR noting they will be having some webinars on how to complete their grant applications.


October 10, 2016 Council Meeting Minutes

Amendment to Ordinance 41 – Sale of Alcoholic Beverages

Bob made a motion to approve items on the consent agenda with a second by Greg.   All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Council Pay for 2017:  Joan asked the Councilors if they wanted to change their pay rate effective 2017.  Discussion was held and all Councilors felt their compensation is fine at the current rate.  John G. made a motion to keep Councilor’s pay rate the same until the next Council election with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Metropolitan Interstate Council (MIC) Meetings:  John W. stated he attended the MIC meeting and was informed that Rice Lake can now have its own seat on MIC.  John W mentioned that normally the Mayor would fill the seat but recommends appointing Bob to fill the position.  Greg asked if MIC allows alternates on the committee, John W. said yes.  John W. stated that a resolution will need to be done to officially assign Bob as the liaison.  John W. made a motion to appoint Bob to the MIC and John W. will be the alternate, with a second by Greg.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Rice Lake Dam Road engineering contract:  John W. shared a copy of the engineering observation, inspections, boring and material testing contract from SEH in the amount of $54,470 for the Rice Lake Dam Road construction.  This amount includes $10,208 for Braun Intertec’s material testing.  Joan noted that the $54,470 is 7% of the total project cost which normally runs 10%. A motion was made by John G to approve the agreement with SEH for $54,470 with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

 Cell Phone Tower:  Joan shared that Randy from Four Star Construction came to change the lights on the cell tower.  Randy stated there are no lights on the cell tower as it is at 160 feet, FAA and FCC do not require lights on towers under 200 feet.  Randy informed Joan he was unable to climb the tower as six of the twelve bolts anchoring it were loose.  John G. approved the extra $300 to tighten the bolts.  Randy stated the City should check them in a year to be sure they do not come loose again.  If they are loose next year, there could be a problem with the tower.  John G mentioned that the July 2016 storm could have been the cause.  John W. requested staff to obtain the torque specs from Four Star, Joan stated Randy will be submitting a report.

Water Tower: John W. met with Scandia Consulting to review the proposed AT&T antenna installation on the tower.  Scandia Consulting stated he would not approve the proposed spec by AT&T due to safety concerns on the welding of the reinforcements on the railing.  He also suggested the City change the current harness system going up the tower to a cable system.


Holly informed the Council of the balances in the checking accounts after they approve and execute claims. John W. said he has been concerned about the storm costs and recommends staff to check into a bond.  Holly said there has been $400,000 of storm costs to date and more to come. John W. would recommend taking out a $500,000 bond.  Holly asked if the State is reimbursing 75% of costs submitted for the storm.  John W. stated the State is trying for Federal funds and if FEMA declares a disaster, we could get reimbursement of 100%, otherwise it will be the 75%.  Holly then asked Council to approve moving $100,000 from general investment fund to general checking helping cover storm cost.  Greg made a motion to move $100,000 from general investment and to start working on getting a bond with a second by John G.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

October claims:

General fund checks – 11142 – 11163, 409E

Utility fund checks – 751-757, 20E

Payroll checks – none

Fair Housing Authority –  none

A motion to execute above claims was made by Greg with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT: A motion was made by Greg with a second by John G. to adjourn the meeting.  All vote in favor.  Meeting was adjourned.