2017 May 22 Council Minutes


May 22, 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, Suzanne Herstad, and Bob Quade, Clerk Joan Jauss, and Treasurer Holly Herstad.  Public attendance list attached.  Absent were Councilors John Goman and Greg Andrews.

BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR: Seth and Amber Marsolek, 3930 Martin Road, would like to add a water line to the building they have converted into a school house.  Seth said he has been working with the Zoning Department to get the property zoned and permitted and tapping into the existing water line is now holding up construction.  He was told by Joan that the secondary tap into the water line would cost about $30,000.  John W. said the amount is based on the incorrect trunk fee and it is closer to $10,000.  Seth stated he should not have to pay any fee to access to the water line as the house he purchased was already assessed for that improvement.  Seth is asking the Council to approve a fee more like Duluth’s fee.  Andrew Knutson, 4736 Rice Lake Road asked for all information, documentation, and ordinances pertaining to how the trunk line fees were established.  John W. stated to ask the City Clerk and she will be happy to provide the documentation.  John W. read into record the correct breakdown of the fees to hook up to the municipal water system which total $9,953.28 and of this $7,811.28 is the trunk fee.  John W. said the water pipes need to be maintained.  The trunk connection fee was set-up, by the Engineer, City Attorney, Utility Commission, and Council, to help cover the repair and maintenance costs.  John W. said he was just at a City of Duluth meeting and the City of Duluth is raising water rates over the next six years to help cover their repair costs, this increase does not help Rice Lake.  Mike Rogella 3930 Martin Road asked why the Marsolek’s cannot wye off their existing water line and then set another meter at the building.  John W. said that would be a violation of Rice Lake’s ordnance # 27 which states water cannot go to another structure on the property from the main residence.  Bob stated to compare it to the cost of drilling a well, and the system must be paid for.  Residents in the whole city are supporting the utility lines even if they do not have utilities.  Suzanne said she understands their issues, she is paying for the breaks and doesn’t get municipal water or sewer.  She stated she is not interested in giving any breaks as what we do for one, we have to do for all.  The City of Rice Lake has less users than Duluth and so we have fewer people paying for the repairs.  Suzanne made a motion to deny the request to reduce the hookup/trunk fees with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.



May 8, 2017 Council minutes

    Executed Claim

General fund checks – 11624 thru 11651 and 430E

Fair Housing Authority –  none

      Ordinance # 25 Sewer Ordinance

Hermantown Ducks Unlimited exempt gambling permit

Liquor License renewals

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


April 24, 2017 minute correction: Joan stated we need to make a correction to the April 24, 2017 minutes.  The check numbers are listed as 11500 – 11528 and should have been 11563 thru 11589.  Bob made a motion to approve the correction to the April 24, 2017 minutes with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Playground equipment inspection report: Joan shared a copy of the playground inspection report done on May 3, 2017 by Brett Ballavance and Nolon Huska.  There are two areas on the stairs with the rubber coating ripped, that needs to be repaired and a connection is loose which needs tightening.  It was also recommended to get more wood chips.  Joan asked how many wood chips should be ordered, John W. stated ten-yards.  John W. recommended Joan send a thank you to Brett and Nolon for completing the inspection report.  John W. mentioned purchasing another table for the park, Joan stated she will have table, fencing, and more garbage cans for discussion at the June agenda meeting.

Chloride for roads: Joan shared copies of estimates from Dust Doctors and St. Louis County.   Dust Doctors price is the same as last year, at $1.00 per gallon.  Suzanne made a motion to approve Dust Doctors estimate for $33,100 to calcium chloride the roads with a second by Bob.  John W. mentioned that Dust Doctors have the smaller trucks and can get down the City roads easier.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Water flow testing: Joan shared an email from Joe at MSA with an estimate to complete a water flow test on Rice Lake Road for $2,500, this will enable us to know if we will have enough water pressure for future growth.  Joan mentioned this information will also be used for the ISO fire rating.  John W. stated his concerns to the fire chief about other fire departments opening and closing our hydrants and getting deadhead pressure, that will break a hydrant.  Suzanne made a motion to approve the flow testing by MSA for $2,500 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

 Televising: Joan received an estimate from Hydro-Klean to clean and televise 4,140’ of sewer line on 1St Ave. N. and E. Calvary for $8,600.60.  Joan asked if another quote should be obtained, she stated she has had issues getting other companies to respond.  John W. stated this should be done soon.  John W. stated we were unimpressed with the service we received last year.  Suzanne recommended a one year contract with Hydro-Klean for 5000 lineal yards for $8600.60 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

City hall air quality: John W. said he requested an air quality test be completed at City Hall due to the moisture issues.  When he was at the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) training, they suggested having an industrial hygienist test the air.  John W. asked Joan to read the mold investigation report.  Joan said Twin Ports Testing took three samples: one in the hall, the lobby, and the back hall.  The results of the air samples were good, no issues.  John W. requested the report be kept on file.


Mark from Congressman Nolan Visit: John W. stated Mark Privatsky from Congressman Nolan’s office will be here on May 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm, public is welcome.

 June Calendar: Joan said Arrowhead Transit will be here on June 6 at 6:00 pm and would like public feedback on bus service in the area, pick-up and drop-off areas.  They received a two-year grant to provide this service for the City of Rice Lake.  Bob stated Arrowhead Transit will also have a representative at the next Plus 55 meeting on June 14th.  He has also heard the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) may be interested in doing a feasibility study to extend their lines into Rice Lake.  Joan stated there will be a public hearing to update ordinance #22 Zoning Ordinance on June 13th at 6:00 pm.  John W. said we just had our annual audit completed, the auditors will be coming back on June 22nd to give a briefing of the results.

Big Water Apparatus: John W. said he was in Ashland, WI today for small claims court brought against us by Big Water Apparatus in reference to the fire department brush truck costs.  The judge ruled in favor of Rice Lake and dismissed the claim on a legality.  Big Water Apparatus can re-file in Minnesota or appeal to a higher court in WI.

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