2017 August 28 Council minutes


August 28, 2017

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



  • Letter from Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities – Joan asked Council if they wanted to become members. There was no support since City is already a member of the LMC.
  • Email from Mark Gilbertson about where the historical Howard’s Sawmill Sign is now located. Joan responded it was moved to the Riley Road.
  • Township Legal Seminar October 7, 2017 in Cotton – All Councilors would like to attend.
  • Email from Jake H. street lighting on Rehbein Road – Joan forwarded the email to St. Louis County Public Works as these are county roads. Louis County responded stating they did a risk based analysis to determine which intersections are most at risk and should have lights.  The roads in question did not have any risk factors identified.  John W. stated he also drove the road both in daylight and at night and did not find a problem with the intersections.
  • Email Collin Zimmerman requesting meeting dates – Joan responded back with where the meetings are posted and also a copy of the meeting calendar.
  • Letter from City of Duluth – Public Hearing on the proposed water rate increase of 4.7% will be held on September 19, 2017 at 5:15. John W. asked Joan to find out if Hermantown or Proctor will be attending as he will be attending and speaking on Rice Lakes behalf.



August 14, 2017 Budget minutes

August 14, 2017 Council minutes

August 22, 2017 Budget minutes

    Executed Claim

General fund checks – 11852 – 11887

Fair Housing Authority –  none

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


St. Louis County tax forfeited land: Joan stated the property in the 4000 block of Lismore Rd is going up for tax forfeit auction in October 2017, information is in Council’s packet.

Couri & Ruppe, PLLP rate increase: Joan stated the 2018 general rate will be increased by $5 to $180 per hour and development work to $195.

Sheriff rates: Joan shared a proposal she received from the St. Louis County Sheriff’s office for a full-time deputy.  John W. stated the amount for one full time deputy would be $83,535.04 per year including benefits.  A squad car would need to be purchased at $44,790.34 and replaced every three years.  Total cost in 2018 would be $128,325.38.  Council discussed and had additional questions.  Joan is to get more information from the Sherriff’s office.  Bob noted this is a lot of money for one shift. John W. stated if the City decides to hire the Sheriff full time, the funds would come from the City’s LGA money.  Further discussion was postponed until the agenda meeting.


Proposed 2018 Levy: Joan reviewed the revised proposed budget with Council and the proposed levy increase would be 5.4%.  Suzanne clarified this is the proposed levy not the final 2018 levy, Joan said yes. John W. said the Local Government Aid (LGA) of $429,000 is going to be used to fix utility issues, purchase gravel, purchase new equipment for the Fire Department and Public Works, and pay for the storm debt.  LGA will not be used to reduce the levy as it is unknown if we will receive LGA funds after 2019.  John G. made a motion to approve the budget as adjusted for a 5.4% increase for 2018 with a second by Greg.  All voted in favor.  Motion passed. Suzanne stated the proposed levy is not final until after the Truth in Taxation meeting in Dec. at which time the levy can be decreased but not increased.

OSHA safety grant: Joan shared we were approved for an OSHA safety grant for $6,500.  The grant money will be used for a lift, safety lights, hydrant opener, and manhole cover lift.

Final water tower inspection report: Joan gave the Council a copy of the final water tower inspection report from Scandia Consulting, it noted the punch list has been completed. John W. stated the cost to paint the water tower came from money the City has been paid from the cell tower rentals.

City Hall update: John W. said the contractors have started the ceiling soffits, they will be 18”x18” soffits with 2’x2’ ceiling tiles.  The contractors are still investigating the leaking wall issue, they are going to pull up the roof cap to see if it is leaking. The bathroom partitions and toilets have been removed and new PVC piping has been installed. The old sewer lines have been left and abandoned.  The restroom partitions are going to be reconfigured so there will be a handicap restroom in both the woman’s and the men’s. There will be new vanities in each restroom also. The old furnace is out, the new installation has not started yet.  The electricians have started working on installing new LED lighting.  Vents have been installed in all doors for better air circulation.  John W. stated the contractors are concerned about the air quality in City Hall and have suggested an air exchanger with ductwork be installed.  A.W. Kuettel submitted an estimate for a 10-ton roof top air exchanger/air conditioning unit for $55,000.  Joan stated two estimates are needed as the cost is over $25,000.  John W. suggested approving the duct work portion for $23,800.  This would prevent the ceiling installation not being held up, and then get two estimates for the air exchanger/air conditioner.  Greg made a motion to approve the duct work estimate for $23,800 with a second by Suzanne.  All voted in favor.  Motion passed.

Lobbyist:  Gary Cerkvenik emailed stating he is working with our Legislators on getting support for the East Calvary State Bonding money we are seeking.

CliftonLarsonAllen visit: Joan reminded Council that Mary from CliftonLarsonAllen will be here on the 28th to explain the annual audit packet.

September Calendar: in Council’s packet.


  • Greg stated he went to the WLSSD meeting which had a discussion on the Scanlon interceptor. The line that was installed used the wrong resins, so it needs to be replaced. The cost to replace this to WLSSD will be $2 million this year and $4 million next year. This will increase our rates between 1.9% and 2.5% in 2018.
  • Bob stated MIC is doing a truck study and more bicycle studies on safe routes to school. There will be a buckthorn seminar on Oct. 3 at the City Park at 7:00 pm for anyone interested.
  • John G. stated the City is making progress on the new Public Works truck. United Truck Body is installing the snowplow hitches.  Equipment Rental is going to install the lift gate.  Next year the City is looking to purchase a 550 truck to replace the 1-ton truck.
  • Suzanne – none
  • John W. stated the Rice Lake Dam road still needs to have some signs installed and the overlay has been installed. The costs for the extra’s should be covered in the DNR grant we received.  Schultz Road is paved and looks nice.  Louis County is putting together a vision of the Rice Lake Corridor which they will present to the City in the fall, in reference to future road development.

 Having nothing further to discuss, Mayor Werner adjourned the meeting.