2017 Sept. 11 Council minutes


September 11, 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.

Mayor Werner held a moment of silence for 911 victims and their families.

PUBLIC DISCUSSION: Cindy Endicott asked where are the meetings posted.  She requested that any meeting that is posted be also put on the website.  John W. stated this was a good idea and requested this be done as all meetings are open to the public.  Joan will update the website for all meetings.


Thank you from Sherry Holten for honoring her with a proclamation.

Email from Thomas Constantini stating his home has been effected by the expansion of the cemetery.  He is unhappy about the trees being cut down along the property line.  Joan stated Toni is addressing the issue.  Bob said he talked to a neighbor of this resident who is also being affected by the expansion, he suggested the contractor add a berm. Suzanne stated she does not feel comfortable with the City Government telling homeowners or contractors what they should do with their property lines. Greg stated he feels this is civil matter.

Letter received from Starry Skies Lake Superior “Celebrating the Night Sky”

General Correspondence – in folder



August 28, 2017 City Council minutes

Executed Claims:

General fund checks –  11888 – 11928 and 442E-443E

Payroll checks –  963 – 991

Fair Housing Authority –  none

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


  • Greg stated televising and cleaning will start on the Howard Gnesen Road and repairs will start on 2nd Ave North this month. John W. asked if MSA gave us any updated information on the manhole rehab in Two Harbors.  Joan will follow up on it so we can use it as an example.
  • Suzanne stated she went to investigate the possibility of high speed internet service for City Hall, as of today they have no solutions. She also went and viewed the manhole repair on 2nd N. and appreciates everyone answering her questions.
  • John G. stated the average expense for repairing a manhole is about $5,000, with the equipment the City has purchased; tripod, gas detector, magnet, and 12 units of sealant, repairs should only cost around $600 per manhole. We have spent about $4,500 for the equipment and supplies, and we still need to purchase a hammer drill.  John G. stated, he and the Mayor went to a sewer/water conference in Waconia and there were vendors with equipment and demonstrations on various equipment available.  They found some new commercial meters, with reading equipment we may want to investigate further, sleeves for fixing hydrants, and neoprene caps for water shut offs.
  • Bob stated he drove the City roads checking for washouts, part of 1st S. had some minor washouts, all else was good. MIC is working on truck and bike studies.  Bob said he stopped by the City Hall and they are working on the sheetrock.  There is going to be a seminar on Buckhorn on October 3rd at the park.
  • John W. talked with the Mayor of Duluth about setting up a meeting to discuss the increase in water rates. The City Park was vandalized again and the graffiti was removed. John G. stated we may need to look at getting cameras.


Treasurer: Cash, profit & loss, and expense summary reports were in the Council’s packet.   Holly reviewed funds in checking account which were broken out by general, utility, and the capital improvement bond.  $250,000 for PI City Hall, $50,278.59 utilities, and about $40,000 left for water tower painting.  $508,869.03 remaining for expenditures.

Building Department: Joan read the following report into record for August as prepared by Toni Blomdahl.

Type of Permit Issued         # issued

  • Garage                           3
  • Window                         1
  • Remodel                        2
  • New Home                    4
  • Addition                         1
  • Driveway                        1
  • Addition                         1
  • Deck                                2
  • Furnace                          2
  • Gas Line                         3         

Total issued                             20

Total valuation of projects:      $ 636,871.00

Fines                                       $            0.00

Total fees assessed:               $     4,919.63

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

  • Home Business Application Approved: 1
  • Citizen Complaint: 3
  • Onsite Visits: 14
  • CUP reinspect: 2
  • Outgoing Correspondence: 6
  • Zoning violations:
    • abated: 3
    • progress: 11
  • Automotive repair, Chev. Colorado: 2
  • Temporary office/relocated to Public Works Bldg.

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

  • Assisted John Werner and John Goman with resetting baseball field benches. Returned Caterpillar attachment to Zeigler the following day.
  • Cut back all grass at the hydrants.
  • Installed new battery in 1 ton.
  • Collected remaining 5 water samples for copper/lead testing and sent to Pace Analytical.
  • Scraped metals and aluminum to Simko.
  • Calibrated Gas monitor monthly as required.
  • Assisted MSA with filling water tower.
  • Tightened Cell tower top end bolts.
  • Put water tower back online with permission from MSA and City of Duluth.
  • Greased Booster station pump bearings.
  • Assisted WW Goetch with pulling pump # 2 from Lift station # 3.
  • Used video camera to check Howard Gnesen manhole debris.
  • Cut back weeds at lift station # 2.
  • Greased Loader.
  • Sealed seam on manhole #169 with Aqua Seal.
  • Removed loose pavement from Fayre road potholes.
  • Assisted Bob Quade with patching Fayre road.
  • Cleared # of locates
  • Replaced 1 water meter.

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

Total Calls:

  • July Total Calls Responded to was 13.
    • 10 Medicals
    • 1 Structure Fire
    • 1 Lift Assist
    • 1 Power line down

Water Usage

  • No abnormal water usage last month.

New Engine 1

  • Next visit will be October 11th to review the build process. Truck will be approximately 50% complete at this point.
  • Equipment purchasing will be beginning with quotes being requested from our sales representatives.
  • Our goal is to use our department budget as best as possible before using equipment fund.

Community Engagement

  • Fire Prevention Week is October 8th-14th. “Every Second Counts, Plan 2 Ways Out”
  • Fire department open house will be held Thursday October 12th from 5pm to 8pm with kid games, truck tours, fire hall tours, chili cook off and hotdogs for kids, as well a smoke trailer to practice escape routes.
  • Homecroft 3rd graders will be visiting once again this year in the morning as well.


  • I was successful in acquiring a grant for $10,000 from MN Power to go towards our extrication equipment purchase. However, one of the stipulating terms to the project is that we need to show that we have the other funds to complete the project. The funds we need to show that we have equal $23,075 to receive the $10k from MN Power.  They have given us a deadline of Labor Day 2018.

Mark asked the Council if they would consider paying the remaining $23,075, they stated they will take it under consideration.  Suzanne suggested trying to find a matching grant that they could stack with this one.  He stated if anyone knows of any additional grant programs, he would be very interested in applying.


  • Accepted 1 new member in on a probationary status for 1 year.

Shed/Storage Unit

  • There has been some talk about wanting to have some type of storage unit to free up space inside the fire hall. The funds would be covered 100% by the relief general fund, but what we would like to know is if there are any stipulations on where this could be placed on the south hall property, what it needs to look like, or just if it is allowed in general?

The Council asked the Fire Department to come back with ideas on what type of building they are looking for.  John W. stated the building will need to be behind the existing fire hall.

New Flag

  • Can we get a new flag for the south hall flag pole?

Joan stated she has an extra at City Hall, she will get it to them.

Park: None

Animal control: Joan read the following report into record for August as prepared by Gloria Dallum

  • Hours worked                          31.05
  • Miles driven                             35
  • License fees collected            $22
  • Citations issued                      0
  • Fines issued                            $370
  • Dogs to kennel                        0
  • Dogs to pound                        0

Joan shared that Gloria will be out of the office for most of the remainder of September John W. stated the St Louis County Sheriff is wondering why the animal control officer is telling the public she cannot write citations and that they need to call the Sheriff.  Joan stated she does have the ability to write the citations currently we are not set up with the courts system to do so.  Joan explained a citation is submitted to the St. Louis County Courts for a court case, usually this is a reoccurring offender.  A fine is when the dog is caught i.e. running at large, and the City collect’s the fine.  Joan said we cannot issue citations because it takes special software which also has a cost associated with it.  John G. stated he thought Gloria was completing an investigative form and turning it into Joan.  Joan stated she has not received such paperwork.  Joan recommended a meeting with staff and Councilors to establish procedures and policy.  John W. stated the Human Resource Councilors need to address this issue with staff.

Utilities: Joan read the following report into record for August

  • Monthly meter readings were done
  • Painting of the water tower is complete
  • Calvary water loop working on state bonding money
  • Still waiting on application from PFA for 3rd S. sewer replacement
  • Received our annual I&I report from WLSSD noting we passed

Joan stated we received a letter from WLSSD today noting we had an exceedance in August.  She has not had time to do any research on it.  John G. stated Hydro Klean will be cleaning all manholes when they are cleaning our lines going forward.  Council agreed to hold off on working on any easements for 3rd Ave. S. as it seems the project will not occur this year.

Sheriff: None

Sewer and water report: In Council’s packet


Halloween Carnival donation: Joan shared a letter from the Fire Department Auxiliary requesting a donation for the Halloween Carnival.  John W. made a recommendation we make the same donation as last year.  Joan said it was either $500 or $550.  John G. made a motion to donate the same amount as last year to the annual Halloween Carnival with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


City Hall: The block is not drying so they are having issues trying to paint it but they are painting the restrooms.  The soffits are sheet rocked.  The ceiling grid in the office will need to be replaced as the existing grid is not the same type of grid being used elsewhere in the building.  They are hoping they have found all the leaks in the southwest wall.  John has been communicating with all the contractors.

 Public Works/Utility truck: John W. stated the new truck is at Equipment Rental having the lift tailgate, hoist, and fuel tank, and toolbox installed.  Truck will not be put in use until the light bar has been installed, it has been ordered, it is six weeks out.

Mike Couri visit: Joan reminded Council that Mike Couri will be here on Monday September 25th. She asked Councilors to let her know if they want to meet individually with Mike during the day.  Councilors will let Joan know if they would like to.

Motion for Adjournment: Having nothing further to discuss, Mayor Werner adjourned the meeting.