2017 August 14 Council minutes


August 14, 2017

 The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm by Mayor Werner.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.  Present for the meeting: Mayor John Werner; Councilors Greg Andrews, Suzanne Herstad, Bob Quade, and John Goman, Clerk Joan Jauss, Treasurer Holly Herstad, and the attached list of public.

PUBLIC DISCUSSION: Cindy Endicott asked if the Boy Scout sign project was done yet.  John W. said yes, the signs are up.  Cindy also asked when residents can review the 2018 budget and give their input.  John W. said all meetings are open to the public and residents can come to any of the meetings otherwise there is a truth in taxation meeting at the end of the year for public comment also.

Letter from St. Louis County – St. Louis County is going to hold some workshops to get input for updating their comprehensive land use plan Letter WLSSD – capital budget meeting and solid waste public hearing
Email Holy Butcher – visibility issues at the corner of Jean Duluth and Riley Roads Joan’s response is included.
Email DNR – applications are being taken for coastal grants
Email St. Louis County – Minnesota Zero Towards Death program
Email Renae Prudhomme – requesting to use City Hall for their ATV Club meetings, Joan’s response is included.
Email LMC regional meetings to be held in Virginia in October.  Joan asked which Councilors would like to attend, all noted yes.  Joan asked if she could attend, Council approved.
General Correspondence – see folder

July 24, 2017 City Council minutes
July 25, 2017 WLSSD minutes
August 3, 2017 Budget minutes
Executed Claims:
General fund checks – 11800 and 11852 and 438E thru 441E
Payroll checks –  932 – 962
Fair Housing Authority – none

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


  • Suzanne: none
  • John G: none
  • Greg: Received the Hydro Klean televising report, there are some areas of concern we will need to address.
  • Bob: Neighborhood night out went well and it was nice working with the United Health Care Group who volunteered at the park. He did not attend the MIC meeting.
  • John W: He attended a meeting with St. Louis County to discuss the master plan for Rice Lake Road 1000’ North of Martin to Ridgeview Road, John G. also attended. Louis County continues to push for a roundabout to be installed at the corner of Martin and Rice Lake Roads.

Rice Lake Dam Road still has some ditching to do, some traffic signs to be installed, and CenturyLink still has to move their pads.  Dan from SEH Engineering will be contacting them to find out status as all the work needs to be done before September 1st which is the finish date for the project.


Treasurer: Cash, profit & loss, and expense summary reports were in the Council’s electronic packet.

Building Department: Joan read the following report into record for July as prepared by Toni


Type of Permit Issued          # issued

  • Roof                                         6
  • Garage                                     5
  • Window/Door                       3
  • Siding                                      2
  • Remodel                                 1
  • New Home                             3
  • Addition                                 2
  • Sign                                         1
  • Fill                                           1
  • Demo                                      1         

Total issued                                25

Total valuation of projects:      $  879,259.00
Fines                                       $             0.00
Total fees assessed:               $      8,633.25

Planning & Zoning report: Joan read the following report into record for July as prepared by Teresa Koivula.

  • Conditional Use Inspections: 27
  • Home Business Application: 1
  • Citizen Complaint: 4
  • Onsite Visits: 9
  • Outgoing Correspondence: 55
  • Zoning Compliance reviews: 22
  • Zoning violations abated: 6
  • GTS Education/St. Paul: 1
  • WLSSD Meeting: 1
  • Louis County Traffic Engineer meeting: 1

Public Works/Road & Bridge: Joan read the following report into record for July as prepared by Justin Schendel.

  • Assisted MSA with hydrant flow testing with water tower shut down.
  • Assisted Darrel Johnson Excavating with hydrant #44 fix.
  • Replaced old flag with new at park.
  • Finished copper and lead tests for MDH.
  • Assisted Darrel Johnson with removing beaver dam debris from ditch on town line road.
  • Picked up new D.R. Weed wacker from Denny’s Lawn and Garden.
  • Changed oil in the 3/4-ton work truck.
  • Extended water service key 2 feet.
  • Studied for waste water exam as needed.
  • Drove to Grand Rapids to study for Test.
  • Returned to Grand Rapids to take Waste Water exam.
  • Removed 2 loads of junk with 3/4 ton to dump for Fire Department.
  • Assisted Roger Werner and Bill Rosenbush with assembling 5 tables for park.
  • Assembled 2 new garbage cans for park.
  • Assisted delivering and placement of tables and garbage cans at park.
  • Located water service valve at 3930 for future fix.
  • Assisted Darrel Johnson Excavating with fixing 3930 water service valve.
  • Used loader to open culvert on Town Line road.
  • Replaced three water meters.
  • Cleared 44 Gopher One State locates.

Joan shared that Justin passed his MPCA wastewater test.

Fire Department: Chief Niemi read the July report into record.

Total Calls:

  • July Total Calls Responded to was 25.
    • 13 Storm Response Calls
    • 7 Medical Calls
    • 2 Structure Fires (1 mutual aid)
    • 1 Car Accident
    • 1 Smoke Alarm Install
    • 1 Sheriff Assist

Water Usage

  • No abnormal water usage last month.

Fire Marshal’s Office

  • Department Fire Marshal is working with State Fire Marshal’s Office on an Arson Fire Investigation.

Engine 1 Repair

  • Final bill was received for the repair, total came in at a little bit more than $5,500. Largest cost was labor charges and the new controller.

Community Engagement

  • Completed our Red Run 5k fundraiser, very good year. Thanks to everyone who came out in support.
  • National Night Out was a success. Enjoyed being a part of the community event again.  Thank you to Joan for doing all of the planning for the event and I know that is not an easy task on top of everything else you do.

Pool Fills

  • Check was cut to the city for water usage


  • We received our last disbursement of training reimbursement money from the state. We were reimbursed $14,777.17 to make a total of $20,777.17 for training during the states last fiscal year.
  • Fire Department was successful on the grant request to the MN DNR. This is a 50/50 match and will be used for nozzles and hose to outfit new truck.  Total amount awarded is $2,400.


  • Accepted 1 new member in on a probationary status for 1 year.

Park: Joan read the following report into record for July.

  • All mowing and weed whacking was done as needed.
  • Five new picnic tables and two new garbage cans were received.
  • Two previous toilets had tanks broken and were filled, now using as storage building.
  • United Health Care volunteered two hours to work on clearing trees from the nature trail. They were assisted by John Werner, John Goman, Bill Rosenbush and Justin Schendel.
  • Baseball benches have been dug up, leveled and re-installed.
  • Held the Neighborhood Night Out event, estimated 300 people attended.

Animal control: Joan read the following report into record for July as prepared by Gloria Dallum

  • Hours worked                          32.05
  • Miles driven                             78
  • License fees collected            $28
  • Citations issued                      0
  • Fines issued                            $185
  • Dogs to kennel                        1
  • Dogs to pound                        0

Utilities: Joan read the following report into record for July

  • Monthly meter readings were done
  • Painting of the water tower is on going
  • E. Calvary water loop made the cut for PFA grant funding
  • Started working on a timeline for 3rd Ave. S. sewer line replacement
  • No Utilities meeting was held in July.

Sheriff: April, May, and June 2017 in Council’s packet

Sewer and water report: In Council’s packet


Public service announcement: Suzanne asked that the “Public Notice of Release” published in the Duluth News Tribune and handed out at the St. Louis County meeting on Monday August 7th be published in the next Rice Lake Newspaper.  She wants to make sure all residents in Rice Lake are armed with actual information and a phone number to call if they have questions.  John W. stated he asked Sargent Raush and the Department of Corrections on this also.  Joan shared the comments of Mike Couri, the City’s Attorney, with the Council.  The City’s attorney e-mailed a suggestion that the sheriff should be the one to submit the announcement in paper.  Joan asked Council to approve a response that will be given to residents who call the City Hall if the announcement is published.  John W. stated our response will be to call the sheriff’s phone number that is published on the notice if they have questions.  Discussion was held by the Council on what should be done.  John W. asked for a roll call vote having the sheriff put the announcement in the Rice Lake newspaper: John W. yes, John G. yes, Greg yes, Bob yes, and Suzanne yes.  John W. said he would contact the sheriff and ask if he could submit an announcement in the next City paper.

Soccer fields: Joan shared an e-mail from Dave Geary with the Arrowhead Youth Soccer Association,

requesting a fence on the east end of the soccer field due to soccer balls going down into a woody area with downed trees.  Dave is asking for a temporary fence to help keep soccer balls from going out of the field.  This would be 600’ or more of fencing and the City does not have the funds to do anything now.  John W. also stated that the land they are talking about with hazards is private land and we cannot do anything on private land.  Bob stated there will need to be discussion on adding more fencing to the soccer field in the future.  John W. asked Joan to contact Dave and let him know we won’t be able to do anything this year but will discuss it for next year.

3912 E. Calvary water/sewer: Joan informed the Council about a property at 3912 E. Calvary that was purchased under judicial foreclosure which has unpaid utilities.  Joan stated no title search was done at the time of purchase so the new owners were not informed of the unpaid utilities.  Joan talked with Mike Couri, City Attorney, and he stated that because no search was done, the City can assess the unpaid balance to the property taxes.  After some discussion, the Council agreed to assess the amount of $529 of unpaid utilities to the property taxes.

Fire Department Public Employees Retirement Association(PERA): Joan shared a letter from PERA informing the City we are not required to make any additional contributions in 2018 for the fire department’s PERA.  Greg stated their PERA account is very solvent.

Transfer to investments: Joan shared a memo she received from Holly requesting Council to transfer the portion of the January and July apportionments of the project improvement, road equipment, and fire equipment funds from general checking to investments.  Greg made a motion to support the transfer of funds from checking to investment with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Set aside funds: It was agreed to postpone this discussion until the next Council meeting

Mike Couri visit: Mike Couri will be coming on September 25, 2017 for the day including attending the Council meeting that night.  If anyone wants time with Mike, please let Joan know.


Lobbyist agreement: John W. stated the City Attorney has reviewed the lobbyist agreement and no changes were made except for a typo correction.  Payment will be $1,250 a month starting August 2017 and ending July 2018.  Suzanne made a motion to approve the agreement for professional services for the lobbyist/consultant with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Cindy Endicott asked if there will be a monthly report.  John W. stated we do not require one but that does not mean there will not be reports back to the Council.

Public Works/Utility truck: John W. stated the truck is ready to be picked-up from Benna Ford on Thursday.  John W. stated the truck will not be put into service until we hear if we received any grant money.  An OSHA grant application has been submitted to cover up to 50% of safety equipment needed for the new truck, the maximum we could receive is $10,000.  Joan stated she has not heard anything on the grant yet.  The truck is at United Truck Body as they are going to start installing some of the snowplow equipment.

Fire trust breakdown: Joan gave the Council a copy of the fire trust breakdown showing principal and interest during the life of the fund.  Once the new fire truck has been paid for, the principal of the trust will be spent and the City has fulfilled its obligation set by the courts.  Mark Niemi, Fire Chief, stated he wants to leave as much money as possible in the investment fund for future truck purchases.

Water Tower update: Joan shared with the Council an email from Scandia Consulting with the punch list for the water tower painting.  It is scheduled with the engineers, to start filling on Wednesday and disinfecting so Justin will be busy working on this.

Budget meeting: Joan asked Council to set a date for the next budget meeting.  Council agreed on August 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm at the Fire Hall.

Motion for Adjournment: Having nothing further to discuss, Mayor Werner adjourned the meeting