2017 May Agenda Minutes

Agenda Meeting Minutes

May 1, 2017

The meeting was called to order by Mayor John Werner at 6:00 p.m.  Present for the meeting; Mayor John Werner; Councilors John Goman, Greg Andrews, Suzanne Herstad, and Bob Quade; Treasurer Holly Herstad; Clerk Joan Jauss; and attached guest list.

John G. made a motion to approve the March 6, 2017 Agenda Meeting Minutes with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Eagle Scout project: Mayor Werner stated John Werner, his grandson, has an Eagle Scout project he would like to discuss with the City.  Due to Mayor Werner’s relationship, he recused himself from running the meeting during this discussion, John G. moderated.  John G. asked John T. Werner to tell the Council about his Eagle project.  John said his project is to replace ten historical signs located throughout Rice Lake with new 14”x21” aluminum signs on steel U-posts.  He is hoping to start the project in May/June.  John G. asked about the post hardware and noted it should be stainless so it doesn’t rust.  John said his project will have five phases: approval, landowner permission to install signs, order the signs, schedule the installation, and install the signs, including disposing of the old signs.  John asked the City to pay for the cost of the signs, posts, and hardware for $725.00.  If the actual costs come in less the Boy Scouts will reimburse the City.  Holly said instead of advancing the month, they could submit the actual invoices for the signs, posts, and hardware and the City could make payment directly to the vendor.  Suzanne made a motion to go forward with the project and the City will reimburse as receipts are submitted to the City, with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Fire truck pre-engineering meeting: Joan stated Gib from MacQueen Equipment is going to reserve and pay for a room in Appleton, WI for the pre-engineering meeting to discuss the new fire truck on May 22.

 South fire hall painting: John W. and Mark Neimi met with Gary Lundberg Painting to get an estimate to paint the small rooms on the lower part and the front vestibule/garage area of the South Fire Hall.  Joan received an estimate for $9,600.  Holly stated there is $11,939 set aside in investments for repairs/improvements to the fire hall building.  Suzanne asked if this is the only improvement left to be done, John W. stated there is still floor sealing and lighting.  John G. made a motion to approve the painting of the fire hall as stated in the estimate, with a second by Greg.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

 Stavanger Road utility extension connection fee: Joan shared a copy of a paragraph from Ordinance #44 which states the Council may, by resolution, choose to exempt the sanitary sewer and municipal water trunk access fee of a project if the project meets the criteria stated in the ordinance.  The Stavanger Road utility extension meets the criteria, as the developer is incurring the costs associated with the installation of the extension.  John G. made a motion to wave the connection fee with a second by Greg.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Cindy Endicott stated Ordnance #44 was created to ensure the fees being charged to help cover the repair and maintenance of the water and sewer lines, thus she feels there should have been a trunk access charge.  Darrell stated for the record, he was not aware this issue was going to be discussed and did not ask to have the trunk fee waived.

West Calvary assessment on tax forfeit land: Joan said a parcel of land on Rice Lake Road is up for tax forfeiture sale, it has an assessment of approximately $30,520 which includes the original assessment and accrued interest to date.  According to St. Louis County, when a parcel goes into tax forfeit the assessments are taken off.  John W. said the City should get the full amount of the assessment.  Joan stated once the sale of the property is complete the City will need to do a resolution, public hearing and then the assessment will be put back on the property.  Suzanne made a motion to assess the property the full amount of the assessment and interest of around $30,000 with a second by John G.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Joan will verify the actual amount due for assessment and interest prior to the public hearing.

City Hall Furnace: John W. stated there are a lot of major repair issues needed on the hall including the furnace, roof, windows, and wall block replacement that need to be addressed.  Holly stated we currently have approximately $26,000 set aside for building repairs.  John W. stated there are two valves not working, gas smell in the building, pipes and thermostats are obsolete, he supports replacing the existing furnace.  John G. said he is tired of doing patch jobs to the heating system.  Attached are two estimates to replace the furnace, valves, and thermostats at City Hall.  A.W. Kuettel estimate for $17,680 plus $500 to patch roof when the exhaust vents are removed, Carlson Duluth’s estimate is for $14,950.  John W. said there is also the option of repairing the furnace by replacing two actuator valves and a by-pass for $3,390.  A.W. Kuettel did not give a repair estimate, so we have no comparison for repair costs.  Suzanne asked about the roof repair not being included in the Carlson Duluth estimate.  Council asked Joan to clarify with Carlson Duluth if they will seal the roof after removing the exhaust pipe.  It was agreed to table until there is clarification on the exhaust fan.

City Hall:

            Leaking walls: John W. asked Joan to get an estimate to fix the leaking block wall by replacing the top block and core filling, this is on the addition on the west side of the building.      

            Energy conservation bonds: Joan talked to George Eilertson from Northland Securities about the energy conservation bonds.  He is still researching what the benefits are if any, he has calls into the state and is waiting to hear back.  Potentially the bond could cover cost to replace furnace, install a drop ceiling, including new lighting and windows at City Hall and maybe lighting at the S. Fire Hall.

New Utility/Public Works Truck: John G. has four estimates for a new one ton truck, they were from Midway Ford; 2017 Ford for $35,659.06, Benna Ford; 2017 Ford $36,115.70, Kolar; 2017 GMC $37,581.68, and Ranger 2018 Chev $36,677.68, an approximate $500 difference on the two lowest estimates.  Ranger can no longer offer the 2017 trucks as the state contract has changed to the 2018 models.  There will need to be some accessories added to the truck once the truck is received.  John W. mentioned that he and Joan reviewed the budgets to pay for the truck, half will come from the road and bridge budget and the other half from utilities.  Joan mentioned the new brush truck the fire department purchased was from Midway Ford, this truck is similar.  John G. will find out if Midway has to change to the 2018 models for the state contract.  It was agreed to table any further discussion until the Council meeting.  John W. mentioned there is a state safety fund grant that we can file for, which could help pay for some of the accessories if we qualify.  We will be removing the hoist from the old truck and reinstalling it in the new truck.

Big Water claim: Joan shared with Council a copy of the affidavit of filings.  The City hired Eric Johnson at Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith and Frederick to represent us on this claim, they are licensed to practice in Wisconsin.  Eric wrote up an affidavit of filing and a request for change of venue.  The estimated cost is $1,500.  John W. said if the judge does not dismiss the claim then the Council will have to determine how they want to proceed.

Joan said Mark Niemi is asking Council if the attorney costs for this claim can be charged to the general fund instead of fire department fund since they have a limited budget.  Suzanne said she can see both sides of the issue, her first thought is to charge the fire department not the general fund.  Holly stated she can create a “project” to track the expenses.  Greg recommends charging to the general fund. Council agreed to have the attorney fees covered under the general fund and track the expenses.


            Locks for LS #10 and Public Works: John W. said Lift Station #10 and the lift station at Public Works Building do not have locks on them.  He asked Ted Spencer to give him an estimate to add brackets to the doors so they can be locked.  Joan had Justin replace the locks on all of the lift stations and found these lift stations without locks.  Suzanne made a motion to make the repairs to Lift Station #10 and at Public Works with a second by John G.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

            Repair List: Joan recommended repairing manhole #150 on 3rd Avenue S. first as it has some I&I issues.  Joan received an estimate for $3,300, but the contractor noted it is too wet to dig right now.  The next priority is to add a shut off valve at the corner of Martin and Hedberg Roads.  We will also need to replace the valve at one of the cemeteries before fall.  John W. recommended fixing the manhole on Homecroft Lane and 2nd Ave. as it is sticking up and the grader catches it.  John W. said we are still waiting on the Legislature to find out if PFA received funding, if so, hopefully we will receive some money to replace the sewer line on 3rd Avenue S.  Joan is to get an estimate to add a valve on Martin and Hedberg.  Joan is to bring Manhole #150 repair to the June agenda for discussion again.

            Televising: Greg said there was some I&I on 2nd Avenue N.  He suspects it is from sump pumps going into the sewer lines.  Greg asked Joan to get an estimate from Hydro-Klean to clean and televise 2nd Ave. N. and E. Calvary from Lift Station #1 to Lift Station #2.

            Water consumption: Joan stated water consumption was up in March and if it continues in April we may have a leak in the water line somewhere.

 Road construction estimates: John W. reviewed the roads he is going to work on this year.  Kunst Construction will be working on Willard Road replacing culverts and ditching for $22,000.  Viele Contracting will be working on the west end of the Gothenberg Road replacing culverts on the south side, rip rap, and gravel for $23,775.  Johnson Excavating will be working on 1st Ave. S. rebuilding approximately 300’ of the road for $23,150.  Asphalt of Duluth will be doing the pavement replacement on 1st Avenue South after Johnson Excavating is done for $17,362.  Work will not start until mid-late June.

Ordinance 45 – Changing the name of a portion of Kingston Road: John W. said he would like to change the paper road portion of Kingston Road to Werner Road.  The road only exists on the Edgar Haugen Addition plat between him and his brother and is not an actual road.  This paper road does not line up with the existing Kingston Road.  Suzanne asked who covers the cost, John W. said the landowner will cover the costs.  This was moved to Council for consideration.

St. Louis County and Reclassification of land: Joan said she received a letter from St. Louis County about reclassifying state tax forfeited properties for auction.  Council reviewed the parcels, John W. mentioned they are mostly low lands.  Council had no objections to the classifications.


            Commission: Joan shared an email from Brett Ballavance giving his resignation from the Park Commission.  He would be willing to continue doing the playground inspections for the City.  John W. mentioned that Justin is doing most of the maintenance work at the park and we are receiving limited public participation at the park meetings.  John W. would support dissolving the Park Committee, Council agreed the Committee is no longer needed.  Greg stated he found the cover off the electrical panel on the outside of the fence.  He put it back on, but we need to check into further.  Joan will investigate if it is the City’s panel or Minnesota Power’s to maintain.

            Name: John W. stated he read an article in the last issue of the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) Magazine about changing the name of city parks to Veteran’s Memorial Park.  Greg mentioned the park is for multiple users not just one group and there is already a Veteran’s Memorial at the South Fire Hall.  John W. suggested Councilors read the article and then there can be more discussion.  John G. said it would be a good idea to have resident’s input at the next Neighborhood Night Out in August.

Arrowhead transit informational meeting: Joan said Arrowhead Transit would like to have an informational meeting at City Hall to get resident’s thoughts about where pick-ups should be and how many times a week.  Joan recommends scheduling after the paper goes out so an article could be put in the paper.  Council set the meeting for June 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

 Having nothing further to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Suzanne with a second by Greg.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.