2018 Feb. 26 Council minutes


February 26, 2018

The Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Werner.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.  Present for the meeting: Mayor John Werner; City Councilors Suzanne Herstad and Bob Quade; Deputy Clerk Toni Blomdahl; Zoning Administrator Teresa Koivula; and attached list of public.



  • Letter from St. Louis County, 2019 road projects meeting on March 1 at 6:00 pm. John W. went over the letter and the proposed County work in 2019.
  • Email from Todd Hoadley regarding annexation question. John W. went over the email and noted the City of Moose Lake is trying to annex the Town of Moose Lake.
  • Letter from CenturyLink 2018 Construction season.
  • Safe Digging Event for pipelines workshop.


Minutes: February 12, 2018 Council minutes

Ordinance #48 Combining the offices of the Clerk and Treasurer in the City of Rice Lake.

Executed Claims:

General fund checks – 12333 thru 12361

Fair Housing Authority –  none

Suzanne asked about the term for the Clerk-Treasurer position.  Toni stated Joan checked with Mike Couri City Attorney, and he said the person appointed to the position is there until they resign or are terminated, it is not an annual appointment.  Suzanne made a motion to approve the consent agenda with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Zoning Violation: Suzanne stated the Planning Commission is recommending to Council permission for Mike Couri, to draft a letter to two property owners to get them into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.  Suzanne stated Mike Couri will be here March 12th to meet with Council to help draft an ordinance which may help with enforcement.  John W. stated in the past, the Planning Commission came to the Town Board to ask to expend funds.  John W. doesn’t have an issue with Teresa calling Mike Couri to get his input or if she wants she can wait until Mike is here on the 12th.  Bob stated it is a slippery slope when you zero in on properties when there are more properties with issues out there, but we have to start somewhere.  Suzanne stated if Mike Couri says we shouldn’t proceed, then we won’t.  John W. and Bob agreed we should seek legal advice and move forward with his guidance.  Suzanne made a motion to give Teresa permission to seek legal council on what to do with these two properties and bring back to Council for final approval with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  John W. clarified that only himself and the Clerk have permission to contact the attorney, other Councilors can ask himself or the Clerk to talk to Mike, but this helps keep our legal costs down.

 Sheriff Report for October, November, and December: John W. stated the sheriff’s reports are in the packet.


Auto Extrication Equipment Additional Costs: John W. read an email from Mark Niemi, Fire Chief, noting he ordered the wrong Auto Extrication Equipment and the correct equipment is $1,400 more than the original quote.  Bob stated he gave Mark the okay to order the correct equipment as they can’t do a proper job without the correct equipment.  Council agreed.

Public Works Lighting Update: Council looked over the estimate from Duluth Electrical Contracting to replace the lights at the Public Works Building with LED lights.  Suzanne asked if we would still have the LED rebate option.  John W. stated yes.  Suzanne asked if this is the only contractor who does this type of work.  John W. stated the estimate is under $25,000 so we only need one estimate, and this is the same contractor who did the lights at City Hall and they do good work.  Bob stated his son-in-law works for this company, so he would abstain from voting.  John W. stated we will table this matter until the next Council Meeting as we don’t have a quorum to vote on it tonight.

Conference Room Estimate: Council looked over the estimate from Donald Holm Construction for constructing a conference room at City Hall.  John W. stated this is just an estimate as he is planning on using community volunteer labor to do the bulk of the work to reduce our costs.  John W. stated we will still need to hire someone to do the electrical and sheetrock and some other things but most of it will be accomplished by volunteers.

March Calendar: Council looked over the March calendar and noted it will be a busy month.  John W. stated he is meeting with the legislature on March 13th – 15th which is not on the calendar.  Council questioned the I&I meeting scheduled for March 13th.  Toni stated she believes it is just for the Utility Commission.  John W. asked Toni to check with Joe from MSA to find out what the I&I meeting is for and if Council needs to attend.  Toni will email Council once she finds out.


  • Suzanne stated we have a new Planning Commission member, so we have a full Commission again.
  • Bob stated he attended a MIC meeting and they are struggling to get Federal Funding. Bob stated there is another roundabout to be constructed at Snively and Jean Duluth Rd.  Bob stated the Duluth Urban Watershed (DUWAC) meeting he attended was about ordinances and codes and noted they are taking a softer approach in dealing with surrounding communities.
  • John W. stated he had a meeting with the County to coordinate our utility line installation and their road project on E. Calvary Rd. John stated the County is putting their project off until the fall to coincide with our project.

Having nothing further to discuss, Suzanne made a motion to adjourn the meeting with a second by Bob.  Mayor Werner adjourned the meeting.