2017 May 8 Council Minutes


May 8, 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.

BUSINESS FROM FLOOR: Don Solem voiced a concern about a collapsed building off the Rice Lake Road, he would like it cleaned up.  John W. stated this is a citizen complaint and asked Don to talk with the Zoning Administrator about this issue.


MRWA workshop Water System Management in Cloquet on May 23, 2017.  Joan asked if there was any interest, Greg said he would let Joan know.

John W. said he received a letter from US Environmental Protection Agency for an open house in Duluth on June 7 from 12-7 pm.  Joan asked for a copy for the record and stated if more than two Councilors want to attend to let her know so she can post.

General Correspondence – see folder


April 24, 2016 City Council minutes


Resolution 17-05-13 Exception to Trunk Connection Fee


Ordinance # 45 Changing the name of a portion of Kingston Road

    >Executed Claims

General fund checks –  11595 -11623 and 427E – 429E

Payroll checks –  820 – 855

Fair Housing Authority –  none

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


  • John G. said he is verifying quotes for a new public works truck and that the information is ready to be discussed at tonight’s meeting.
  • Bob said the last MIC meeting was at the Rice Lake City Hall. He will be attending a noxious weed class this week in St. Louis County Public Works building.  He attended a presentation on mold & keeping it out of the work place at the LMC (League of Minnesota Cities) safety training workshop in Cohasset.
  • John W. stated he attended LMC safety training workshop on personnel issues, contracting, and natural disasters. One of the areas we need to improve on is our contracts with vendors.  John stated there was a lot of good information in the classes.
  • Suzanne said she too went to the LMC safety training and attended a presentation on small cell wireless and the problems cities may have with them, such as causing visual barriers and taking dollars away from the city because no contracts are needed to put them up. She also attended computer hacking, employee retaliation, contracts, and keeping calm during a natural disaster classes.  Suzanne stated the Planning and Zoning Commission is working on Ordinance #22 revisions.
  • Greg said inspections of the manholes and lift stations were done and they found some I&I issues. These lines will need to be cleaned and televised for the I&I to be located.  Greg is concerned there may be sump pumps hooked into the system.


Treasurer: Cash, profit/loss, and expense reports are in the Council packet.

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


Type of Permit Issued                # issued

  • Roof/siding/Windows            3
  • Slab for Modular                      1
  • Fill                                               1
  • Culvert                                       1
  • Water Hookup                         1
  • Demo                                         1         

Total issued                                        8

Total valuation of projects:      $ 15,140.00

Fines                                       $          0.00

Total fees assessed:               $      661.28

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

  • Citizen Complaint: 4
  • Onsite Visits: 15
  • Outgoing Correspondence: 6
  • Junk/salvage yard clean up in progress: 5
  • Agriculture Violation: 1
  • MPCA Investigations: 1
  • Public Hearing – Variance: 1
  • Home Business applications approved: 2
  • Minor subdivision approved: 1
  • CUP Review: 1
  • City Planner meeting: 1
  • Planning Commission work meetings: 2

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

Road and Bridge

  • Sanded all paved roads as needed
  • Plowed all City properties as needed
  • Filled sink hole on 4th S.


  • 21 Gopher One State locates in March
  • Exercised booster pumps weekly
  • Assisted with April 20th manhole inspections
  • Replaced three water meters


  • Assisted Ziegler with snow gear removal from grader and plow truck
  • Worked recycle shed during Bryan’s absence
  • Took metal scrap to Simco
  • Replaced all master locks throughout the City
  • Replaced all grader wing bolts

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

Total Calls:

In April we responded to 19 calls for service.

  • 10 Medicals
  • 3 Car Accidents w/injury
  • 2 Public Assists
  • 1 Chimney Fire (Mutual Aid Gnesen)
  • 1 Gas Odor
  • 1 Automatic Fire Alarm
  • 1 Good Intent

Water Usage:

  • We used approximately 70,000 gallons of water for training this month.
    • We trained on relay pumping and tanker water shuttling


  • The MN Power Foundation grant request was submitted today. My sit down with the foundation’s head chairperson went well and she figures we should be successful to a certain degree. Grant asked for $33,075 for the new extrication equipment.
  • FEMA AFG grants have started their award process and through 2 rounds thus far no award.


  • 2 Retirements – Terri Wick and Vonnie Haugen
  • 1 Resignation – Aaron Marshall (Moved to Wyoming to start a wildland firefighting job)
  • Current Membership is 24 members which includes 2 probationary members

Fire Prevention Efforts

  • We have recently updated our website with some “Fire Safety Fact Sheets” under our fire prevention and safety tab for the public’s information.

Fundraising Efforts

  • The fire department will once again be doing pool fills this summer. We have updated our website to be able to contact the pool filling coordinator.  Captain Mike Conradi will oversee the program this year.

 Community Events

  • A few fire department members in partnership with MN Power’s Yellow Ribbon Committee helped a local Korean War Veteran this past weekend with some small yard work and building a wheel chair ramp that was needed.
  • Healthy Homecroft Festival – The fire department will once again be present at this festival having our trucks on display and membership being available to answer any questions that our community may have.
  • National Night Out – Fire Department will be providing food again.

John W. asked how the smoke detector battery replacement program is doing.  Mark stated it has slowed down, but they are still doing them.  Bob asked if they have had many brush fire calls, Mark stated they have been minimal.  John G. gave special recognition and thanks to the Fire Department Volunteers who took part of their weekend to build a wheel chair ramp and remove a fallen tree for a veteran in the City.  It was way above and beyond the good work normally done and he is proud of the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

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

  • Hours worked                          38.05
  • Miles driven                             112
  • License fees collected            $9
  • Citations issued                      1
  • Fines issued                            $50
  • Dogs to kennel                        0
  • Dogs to pound                        1

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

  • Monthly meter readings done
  • Approved Stavanger Road water/sewer extension
  • Working on updating Ordinance #25 Sewer
  • Updated Ordinance #27 Water was adopted
  • Annual manhole and lift station inspection was done

Sheriff: None

Sewer and water report: In Council’s packet


Re-appointment of Planning & Zoning Commission members:  John W. stated there are three members of the Planning and Zoning Commission up for re-appointment. John G. made a motion based on Zoning Administrator Teresa’s recommendation to reappoint Steve Kossett, John Hegstrom, and Katie Vukelich to another term, with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Eagle Scout Sign Project:  John W. recused himself from this portion of the meeting due to conflict of interest, he turned it over to John G.  John T. Werner, from Boy Scout Troup 106, thanked the Council for talking with him about his Eagle service project during the Agenda meeting and has answers to the questions asked by the Council during that meeting.  John T. Werner said the hardware to hang the signs will be stainless steel, and once ordered, the signs will take about three weeks to deliver.  He showed the Council a sample sign which will be brown with white letters.  Council was in support of the sign.  He also stated due to legal issues, they are unable to hold a fundraiser for the project.  John G. said he thinks all the questions have been answered and thanked John T. Werner for coming back with the information.  It was agreed the approval motion that was made at the Agenda Meeting is still good with the new information that was presented.

New public works truck:  John G. reviewed the four quotes he received:  Midway Ford; 2017 Ford $35,659.06, Benna Ford; 2017 Ford $36,115.70, Kolar; 2017 GMC $37,581.68, and Ranger; 2018 Chevrolet $36,677.68.  John G. said Ranger had to change to a 2018 as the Minnesota State bid has changed.  John G. said Midway and Ranger are state quotes and Kolar and Benna Ford are fleet quotes.  All quotes were for the same specifications: 1 ton extended cab, wiring for plow, hoist, wiring for the warning lights, and tow package.  Midway Ford is the lowest quote.  Suzanne stated she would like to keep the purchase local and Bob agreed.  Greg said by the time we pay for two people to go down and pick up a truck from Midway Ford in Roseville, the cost would be close to the Benna Ford quote.  Suzanne made a motion to purchase the 2017 Ford truck from Benna Ford for $36,115.70 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  John W. mentioned that the funds to purchase the new truck will be split between road and bridge fund and utility funds.  John G. stated he will confirm we can still get a 2017 and if the pricing is still good from Benna Ford the order will be placed.

City Hall Furnace:  Joan followed up with Council that Carlson Duluth will cap off the gas vent in the furnace room, and not remove it from the roof.  John W. stated if we have any roof issues in the future, it can be removed at that time.  John W. stated the estimates are Carlson Duluth $14,950 and AW Kuettel is $17,680 the breakdowns were read.  John G. stated we need to make the improvement and made a motion to replace the furnace with a second by Greg.  Joan stated upon the reading of the estimate for Carlson Duluth, it does not include new thermostats. The discussion was tabled until the we get clarification from the vendor.

City Hall: John W. said the sewer system backed up again over the weekend at City Hall.  Midway Sewer was called to clear and televise the sewer lines.  Joan shared with the Council and public a video showing the cast iron pipes with scaling on the pipes, a wye which is causing the blockage, and a sag in the line where it goes to the septic tank that will need to be repaired.  John W. stated he is going to investigate if there is a way to remove the scaling vs. replacing all of the pipe to try to save some costs.  Don Solem asked if the lines could be lined instead, John W. noted he will investigate. John W. stated there are a lot of repairs needed on the hall including the furnace, roof, windows, well, block replacement, and sewer lines that will need to be addressed.

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