2017 February 13 Council Minutes


February 13, 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, Councilors Greg Andrews, Suzanne Herstad, Bob Quade, and John Goman, Clerk Joan Jauss, Treasurer Holly Herstad, and attached list of public.



Thank you from Boy Scouts Troup 7 for hall rental

DTA Stakeholder workshop for their comprehensive plan

Email from David Mattson on natural gas line installation with email response from Joan back to Mr. Mattson. John W stated he will get in touch with Comfort System as to where they intend to put new lines this year.

Email from LMC regarding legislation on small wireless deployment.  LMC is in opposition to this legislation.  Joan asked if Council would like to respond.  John W said to bring to the next Council meeting for discussion.

LMC legislative conference brochure

MN Dept. Ag. Emerald Ash Borer workshops

MN Power rate review hearing in reference to rate increase

General Correspondence – see folder


  1. Minutes

January 23, 2016 City Council minutes

  1. Executed Claims

General fund checks – 11372 – 11418 and 418E-419E

Utility fund checks – 812 – 826

Payroll checks – 720-757

Fair Housing Authority –  none

  1. Record Destruction Report

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



Treasurer: Cash report and expenses were in the Council packet.   

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


Type of Permit Issued              # issued

  • Remodel                                        1
  • Re-roof/Siding                            1
  • Plumbing                                      1         

Total issued                                       3

Total valuation of projects:      $ 15,186

Fines                                       $  0.00

Total fees assessed:               $ 355.35

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

  • Citizen Complaint: 4
  • Agriculture Inquiries: 5
  • Outgoing Correspondence: 6
  • Commercial Parking review: 1
  • Junk/salvage yard violations: 4
  • Junk/salvage yard clean up in progress: 5
  • Ongoing MPCA investigations: 1
  • Planned Unit Development pre-application meeting: 1
  • Applications: 5
  • Approved Public Hearings: 3
  • Joint Airport Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting: 1
  • Meeting with City Attorney: 1
  • Meeting with City Planner: 2

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

Road and Bridge

  • Sanded all paved roads as needed
  • Plowed all City properties as needed
  • Louis County steamed open 3 culverts


  • 11 Gopher One State locates in January
  • Exercised booster pumps as needed
  • Replaced one water meter


  • Worked the recycle shed for Bryan
  • Assisted Quality Garage Door with repair to public works door #3 as well as electric gate
  • Changed oil in ¾ ton truck with synthetic oil at 160,000 miles
  • Installed posting box at Billy’s Bar on Jean Duluth Road
  • Removed ice buildup on fire hall and city hall with loader

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

In January we responded to 13 calls for service.

  • 7 Medical
  • 3 Car Accidents (2 involved extrication of patients)
  • 2 Structure Fire’s (1 was Mutual Aid to Gnesen)
  • 1 Lift Assist

Water Usage:

  • No abnormal water usage for the month.

Public Fire Education:

  • We are partnering with the Red Cross and doing a smoke alarm campaign. They will provide us with the smoke alarms (10-year lithium ion battery) and our part is going to citizen’s homes and installing them in the proper places.
  • Eligibility will be subject to within Rice Lake City Limits, anyone with a smoke alarm greater than 5 years old, anyone that needs more smoke alarms based on the layout of their homes.
  • Plan will be to place information on our website, as well as sending out a postcard on how to participate.


  • One member submitted his letter of resignation stating he didn’t have the time to commit any further.
  • We had 2 members complete their 1-year probation and are now full members.
  • We swore in 2 new members on a probationary status for 1-year.
  • We were able to repurpose parts of previous memberships turnout gear for these individuals, but will need to order boots for one and turnout pants for another.
  • We also received a retirement date from one member of March 31st, 2017.
  • Currently at 27 members.

Liquor License Inspections:

  • The fire department won’t be doing these inspections going forward anymore.
    • Lack of training and licensure
    • No teeth to enforce repairs
    • Inquired with the state fire marshal’s office and they were shocked we had been doing these.
    • Would recommend whomever does the building inspections to take over this role.


  • We would like to update the lighting in the bathrooms at the south hall.
    • We will do the install of the lighting.
    • Would be 4 – 4’ LED lights, 2 – 2’ lights for shower areas, and then one light for the corner by the ice machine/under stairs storage area.
    • Looking for approval
  • Are there any hall improvements that are looking to be completed this year, with the capital money that is set aside for buildings?


  • Should start seeing first award distributions around March 1st.
  • Rumor of mid-year for next grant process June-August
  • Assistant Chief Zapp is submitting a grant for a set or two of turnout gear through private company.

Mark stated they are not going to do the building inspections for the liquor license renewals this year as they do not feel they are qualified. The State Fire Marshall told Mark the building official should be able to do the inspections.  Joan will research.

Mark asked if any work is being done to the South Fire Hall this year.  John W. stated he is hoping to paint the back rooms and/or main hall.  Mark stated he would like to replace the light fixtures, they would install them.  John W. asked Mark to get an estimate and they have to use a licensed electrician.

Mark mentioned grant award announcements should start sometime in March.  Greg said the article put in the city paper by the fire department was very good.

Animal Control: Joan read the following report into record for January as submitted by Gloria Dallum.

  • Hours worked                          35.05
  • Miles driven                             88
  • License fees collected            $346
  • Citations issued                      0
  • Fines issued                            $ 110
  • Dogs to kennel                        0
  • Dogs to pound                        1

Utilities: Joan read the following report into record for January.

  • Monthly meter readings done
  • Continue to work on Ordinance #44 Establishment of Sewer and Water Trunk Areas and Fees
  • Worked on annual I&I report for WLSSD

Park Department: none

Sheriff: October, November, and December 2016 reports in Council’s packet

Sewer and water report: In Council’s packet


Public hearing date for utility easement vacation:  Joan asked Council for a date to hold a public hearing to vacate two utility easements.  John W. said the vacations pertain to his brother’s and his property, thus he is recusing himself and deferred to John G.  John G. said March 9th, 2017 at 6:00 and 6:20.  Joan will schedule.


Combining General and Utility checking accounts: Joan asked the Council to approve combining general and utility checking accounts into one. Greg made a motion to combine the two checking accounts with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Ordinance #44 – Establishment of Sewer and Water Trunk Areas and Fees: Joan gave the Council a copy of Ordinance #44 for their review before the next Council meeting. 

Air Fiber: Joan said that Air Fiber would like to attend a meeting to inform the Councilor’s on what services they offer.  Joan stated Air Fiber was not willing to pay the current tower rental fee, as they do not have the customer base the major cell carriers have.  John G. said if they cannot pay $1,000 monthly rental then we would be shorting the taxpayers and our obligation is to the taxpayers, but he would like to hear what they have to say.  Joan will see if they can attend the next agenda meeting.

MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT: Suzanne made a motion to adjourn the meeting with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Meeting was adjourned.