2017 November Agenda minutes

November Agenda Meeting Minutes

November 6, 2017

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

Greg made a motion to approve the October 2, 2017 Agenda Meeting Minutes with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Sunset Bar and Grill water: Kathy Strand, a consultant for the owners, and Justine Bailey general manager of Sunset Bar and Grill shared with the Council a letter they have received from the Minnesota Department of Health stating the well at the Sunset Bar and Grill is failing and has had issues with ground water contamination.  They have been doing additional testing of the well. The Minnesota Department of Health has given them three options, drill a new well, add a new filtration system, or hookup to the municipal water system.  Kathy shared a copy of an agreement they have entered into which show they are testing and maintaining the existing filtration system.  They would like to hook into the municipal water and sewer system.

Kathy shared a copy of an estimate to hook up to the municipal water and sewer.  Kathy explained Sunset Bar and Grill is requesting an exception to the City’s ordinance which states the municipal water and sewer main must be extended to the end of their property lines.  John W. stated this is something everyone else has had to do.  Kathy stated due to the urgency they are asking to be able to extend partially and then extend the remaining footage when there is a request from another property owner to extend.  Greg stated there will be no decision made on this as it needs to go to the Utilities Commission first.  John W. stated everyone has to be treated the same and agreed this will need to go to the Utilities Commission for a recommendation.  Suzanne asked how many water tests have been bad, Justine stated only one.  They are currently having the water tested monthly and internal testing more frequently.  The well was drilled in 2004. Greg stated the cost would be more to extend the mains in intervals versus doing it all at once.   Darrel Johnson, who gave the Sunset Bar and Grill the estimate, stated he is working with Tom at Northland Consulting on plans for the project.  Kathy requested a copy of the ordinance that states the lines need to go to the end of the property line, Joan will email to Kathy.

ARDC email on physical activity grants: Joan shared a copy of an email she received from ARDC stating there are grants available for adult physical activity or safe routes to school.  Council stated these grants would not apply to Rice Lake at this time.

General checking balance: Joan shared a rough estimate of the balance we have in general checking until we receive our apportionment from St. Louis County in Dec.  She is requesting permission to transfer up to $100,000 from general investment into general checking if needed to maintain a positive balance until we receive our payment.  Suzanne asked if there is that much cash available in general investment, Joan stated she will verify there is.  If not, she will not make the transfer.  Suzanne made a motion to transfer up to $100,000 from general investment to general checking if needed.  Greg second the motion.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Cell tower ladder: Joan shared that she has been working with AT&T on relocating their antennas on the cell tower.  One of the recommendations Scandia Consulting has made is to install a new ladder system for climbing the tower as the existing peg system should be replaced due to safety concerns.  Joan explained she has been negotiating with AT&T to install the ladder as we have not increased the rent with the upgrade of their equipment.  AT&T feels they should not have to install the ladder, they feel this is the City’s responsibility.  Joan is asking Council how they would like to handle this.  Greg stated if it is a maintenance item it should be the City.  Bob asked how often the ladder would be used, Joan stated frequently.  Suzanne stated she feels we should install the ladder and renegotiate the lease.  John W. stated there is value in the new location we are giving them on the tower.  Council agreed Joan is to get an estimate to fabricate and install the ladder and bring back to Council for further discussion.

Deputy Treasurer pay: Joan asked Council how they would like to pay the Deputy Treasurer for her duties and the rate of pay.  After some discussion, Greg made a motion to pay a flat monthly rate of $100 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

City of Proctor resolution of support: Joan shared a copy of a letter from City of Proctor with a request for a resolution of support for a new playground.  Joan will bring to the next Council meeting for action.

 City Hall cleaning estimate: John W. stated we received an estimate from McGarry Construction Cleanup to clean city hall for $72 per time.  John W. stated he and John G. feel staff should not be cleaning as this is not what they were hired to do.  Staff would still be required to do minimal daily and emergency cleaning as necessary.  The estimate is for a one-man cleaning crew and we would start with once a week cleaning and modify as needed.  Waxing floors and windows would be done quarterly.  Suzanne made a motion to approve McGarry Construction Cleanup once a week hall cleaning with quarterly window cleaning and floor waxing with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Bob will call McGarry to set up.

Resolution 17-11-25 Application for a PFA loan: Joan shared a copy of the resolution in support of the City applying for a PFA loan for the sewer line on 3rd Ave. S.  In looking at the estimate received by MSA it appears he engineering costs are not included.  Joan is to follow up with MSA to ensure this is included and is to email Council the updated estimate.  Joan will bring to the next Council meeting for action.


New fire truck update: Joan shared an email in which it was stated the last inspection of the truck is on November 20th with anticipated delivery at the end of November.  Joan requested Council’s permission to transfer $240,034 from the fire equipment fund to general checking.  Greg made a motion to move $240,034 from the fire equipment fund to general checking with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Joan also stated to transfer money from investments, two signatures are needed.  It was agreed going forward John Werner is to be the second signature.

City Hall updates: Joan shared an updated cost sheet with Council.  The three-phase electrical still needs to be completed.  The estimate for the electrician to install the three phase is $6,500.  The City has paid out $207,403.81 and excluding the $6,500 estimate there is still $41, 903.38 in outstanding invoices.

 Mike Couri open meeting law workshop: Joan asked Council what time they would like to have this workshop when Mr. Couri comes on Dec. 11th.  Joan currently has four meetings set up for that date.  It was agreed to hold off on the workshop for a different date.

 Sheriff agreement update: Joan shared that she talked with Mr. Couri, City Attorney, to find out what the status of the Sheriff’s agreement is.  Mr. Couri stated there is some concern on the indemnification language.  As written the City would indemnify the Sheriff’s office, Mr. Couri stated if the City was ever sued on the “1983 Claim” there is no tort limit.  Currently we have insurance limits of $1.5 million, but the 1983 Claim has no limits. The City may have to investigate if we can get additional insurance coverage from the League of Minnesota Cities.   Mr. Couri will keep us informed on the progress of the agreement.

 Charter Communications expansion: Joan shared an email from Charter Communications in which they are going to be expanding their service area.  Joan is working on trying to get a Charter representative to come to a meeting to discuss their future plans.

 Hydro Klean estimate: Joan gave the Council a copy of an estimate from Hydo Klean to repair the manholes on Howard Gnesen Road.  Greg stated he feels this is a high priority project due to the I&I, everyone agreed.  Due to financial constraints, we will need to look at it next year.  Suzanne asked if we ever received any photos of the Ryan road rehabilitation project they did. Joan stated not yet, she will follow up with Joe at MSA.  Joan also gave Council a list of all the manholes and hydrants that need repair.  Joan stated, per Council request from a previous meeting, the balance in the communication fund after the tower painting is $343,000


Having nothing further to discuss Greg made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  John W. adjourned the meeting.