2018 April Work minutes

April Work Meeting Minutes

April 2, 2018

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

John G. made a motion to approve the March 5, 2018 Work meeting minutes with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Email from Brian Fredrickson on impaired streams: The MPCA is holding meetings on the impaired water streams in the area at Midway Town Hall on April 4th and at Chester Bowl on April 5th.  John W. stated we have quite a few streams in our City and need to be aware of what is going on.  John W. and Suzanne are going to attend the Midway meeting and Bob and Greg are going to attend the Chester Bowl meeting.

Email from Duluth Urban Water Advisory Committee (DUWAC) looking for local citizens that would be interested in doing a storm water management project.

Email from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) workshop outside at Park Point on April 4, 5, or 6.  John W. suggested Bob attend.  Greg stated the objective is to slow down the EAB.  John G. stated there is no stopping them.


Confined Space Entry: Joan shared a sample manual/policy from the League of Minnesota Cities.  John W. stated this is something we need to get done and it is something HR should handle.  John G.  stated they are going to be meeting with Toni Blomdahl, Deputy Clerk, on another issue, they will discuss this at the same time.  John G. asked to be reminded again in a month if nothing is done.  Darrel Johnson stated he would be willing to share his manual for a sample, he stated we should have a general safety manual in the trucks also.  The HR supervisors will work on.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities: Joan shared some information with the Council.  John W. recommends we consider becoming a member of this organization, he found them to be very informative.  Joan is to find out what the dues would be to join and bring to the Council meeting for further consideration.  Suzanne stated maybe they can assist us with the streams issues.


Transfer to general checking: Joan stated she is going to ask the Council to transfer $145,000 out of investments into general checking, at the next Council meeting, to cover expenses until we receive the first apportionment money in July.  Joan shared there is cash available in the project investment and general fund investment accounts.  Joan also stated in the future the Council may want to consider setting aside $175,000 from the July apportionment to assist with the January W. Calvary bond payment.  The January payment is approximately $325,000 as this is a principle and interest payment.  The second payment is an interest only payment, which is part of the reason we are short each year in the first half of the year.  Council will take this under consideration.

Fire Department budget: Joan shared that after making all the yearend adjustments for 2017, the Fire Department was $10,847 over budget due to outfitting the new fire truck.  Joan stated Chief Niemi has no issues with transferring the money from the fire equipment investment fund to balance their budget.  Joan is requesting permission to move this amount from the fire equipment investment fund into general checking.  John W. stated when the truck was purchased they knew there would be extra expenses to outfit the truck.  Since Council approved the transfer of money at that time, no motion is needed.

Everbridge: Joan shared an email she received from Dewey Johnson at St. Louis County Emergency Management, which stated there are no costs for adding “groups” to the Everbridge system.  A group could be created for the City’s water and sewer customers, in which they could be notified via text when there are system issues.  The residents would need to sign up for the service.  This is not the same as the emergency notifications.  The Council agreed they would like to participate as there is not any fee to do so.  Joan will pursue the next steps.

DUWAC Memorandum of Understanding: Joan shared an email from DUWAC requesting to set up a meeting to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding and to discuss any other concerns.   John G. stated this group wants to reduce the amount of water flowing out by reducing culvert sizes.  Bob stated we have a lot of streams, he feels one size does not fit all for this program.  John W. stated we do not want to pollute any streams, but ultimately this will cost the City and we cannot afford it.  The Council noted they would be available on April 24th @ 6:00 pm.  Joan will contact DUWAC and confirm this date will work.  Joan also shared with Council the March minutes from the last DUWAC meeting and John W. noted at the end of the minutes, they are also asking what the future of the group is.  There was some discussion in the minutes to tie DUWAC with Board of Water and Soils Resources (BWSR) for one watershed.

Sheriff contract: John W. stated St. Louis County is still saying we need to insure their officers, which makes no sense.  Mike Couri, the City’s Attorney, is still pursuing this with St. Louis County’s attorneys. Joan shared an email with Council from LMCIT, the City’s insurance company, in reference to insuring the officers and they strongly suggest not doing it.  Joan shared that she sent to St. Louis County Sheriff’s office the annual letter requesting additional patrols and we did increase the request for additional patrols from 16 hours a month to 20 hours a month.

Right of Way Obstruction ordinance: John W. stated there are three ordinances we need to work on, Right of Way Obstruction, Administrative, and Nuisance.  John W. suggests we try to tackle one ordinance tonight.  Joan shared a draft copy of the Right of Way Obstruction ordinance with Council.   This ordinance would regulate obstructions in the right of way, including addressing plowing across the roadways; it does not address parking on the sides of the roads.  John W. read the draft ordinance into record for discussion.  There was some discussion as to what an obstruction is and where they are located.  It was agreed there has to be some logic applied when considering if something is an obstruction.  There was also discussion on plowing across the roads and the safety issues it creates. Greg asked about parking on the roadways, it was noted unless a vehicle is obstructing the roadway, especially for emergency vehicles, it is allowed.  John W. polled the Councilors and all agreed to proceed with posting a draft copy per Minnesota State Statue.

Conference room at City Hall:  John W. stated it is coming along.  They are working on taping the sheet rock and hoping to start painting next week.  John W. reiterated all his time has been volunteered.

City hall roof: Joan shared with Council an email on the roof warranty; John W. read the email into record.  John W. stated he talked with Bob Fern, Architect and the finish is warrantied for 20 years, the integrity for 35 years, and weather tightness is 20 years.  The City can purchase an enhanced extended warranty for an additional $2,459.60 for 25 years or $2,627.30 for 30 years.  The steel would have to be a 22 gauge versus the standard 24 and a factory certified installer would need to be used.  The Firestone metal representative recommended the 20-year warranty.  The architect is working on the drawings with the engineer and hopes to put out for bid on April 23 in hopes to install the new roof late summer or early fall.  This clarified that the roof life is 50 years, but the warranty is 20 years.  Suzanne recommends we purchase the extended 30-year warranty.  John G. asked if we go to the heavier steel will we still get the same metal, or would it be zinc or copper.  He also asked if the additional cost includes all labor and material.  Joan will research and bring back to the Council meeting for further discussion.

AYSA soccer agreement for park fields: Joan stated she received an inquiry from the AYSA if they could rent the soccer fields again this year.  Joan asked Council if it’s ok to rent and is the annual rental amount of $1,900 still good.  John G. made a motion to increase the park field rental to $1,950 with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Bob also made the recommendation to reduce the fertilizations to three applications a year.  Joan will make a note for 2019 as the contract for 2018 fertilization is already signed.

Ditch 14: Joan shared an email from Brian Boder at St. Louis County Public Works giving two estimates to do a feasibility study for Ditch 14.  One estimate is for $30,000 which would include the feasibility study, and permitting estimate, the other estimate is for $11,070 which would be for the feasibility study only.  John G. asked if we have the funds to proceed with this project, John W. stated we can delay the project study until July, but the funds are available in the road budget.  In Brian’s email, he is requesting a meeting to discuss the estimates in more detail, John W. will set this up.  Suzanne asked if the City pays for the work would a public hearing still need to be held.  John W. stated we only need to have a public hearing if we are going to assess the residents.  Greg asked if the City is going to pay for the feasibility study, John W. stated yes.  Suzanne when do we get the engineering costs, John W. stated after the feasibility study is done.  Suzanne made a motion to proceed with the feasibility study for $11,000 with a second by Greg.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Jayme stated she is in support of setting aside funds for the W. Calvary bond payment as per Joan’s suggestion.

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