2018 February 12 Council minutes


February 12, 2018

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 Suzanne Herstad, Bob Quade, and John Goman; Clerk Joan Jauss, and the attached list of public.



Letter from Pipeline Safety and Awareness; annual education opportunity

Letter from U.S. Department of Transportation acknowledging receipt of our letter of support for the Duluth Airport Authority

Email from Nellie S. inquiring on Work meeting, DAT, and meeting calendar

Email from Judy Weaver on a monument replacement at the cemetery

Email/Letter from MN Department of Public Safety, pipeline safety in reference to emergency notification

Email from Mark Olsen inquiring on a property and it’s future use

Letter from Coalition of Greater Minnesota; Legislative session

General Correspondence – see folder



November 1, 2017 Special meeting minutes

November 15, 2017 Special meeting minutes

December 11, 2018 Special meeting minutes – Closed

January 8, 2018 City Council minutes

January 28, 2018 Everbridge minutes

February 7, 2018 3rd Ave. S. sewer bid opening

Executed Claims:

General fund checks – 12281 – 12332 and 455E

Payroll checks – 1141 – 1173

Fair Housing Authority –  none


Resolution 18- 02-06 Supporting Revisions to Airport Zoning

Record Destruction Report

Woodland Amateur Hockey Association gambling permit

Suzanne made a motion to approve the consent agenda with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Suzanne stated she has nothing at this time

John W. stated he has had developers inquiring about building in the City, Kwik Trip construction is scheduled to start in June with an opening in October 2018

Bob stated he went to the MIC meeting on the I35 interchange, this project will be going on for the next   couple of years.  MIC found out funding will not be coming on some projects due to cuts at the        Federal level.

John G. stated there are still some items on Craigslist for sale.  Utilities have been slow due to time of year.


Financial Report: Council received copies of the Cash Report, Revenue and Expense Summary.

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

Type of Permit Issued       # issued

  • Pole Building                        1
  • Demo                                      1
  • Siding                                     1
  • Plumbing                               1
  • Furnace                                  3
  • Gas Line                                 1         

Total issued                                8

Total valuation of projects:      $    25,950.00

Fines                                       $             0.00

Total fees assessed:               $         630.00

Planning & Zoning report: Teresa Koivula read the following report into record.

  • Complaints: 2
  • Onsite visits: 2
  • Outgoing correspondence: 1
  • Violation compliance: 2
  • Home Occupation: 1 application ongoing review
  • Lot line adjustment Reviews: 1
  • Lot Line adjustment approved: 1
  • Pre-concept development review: 1
  • Planning Commission member vacancy: 1

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

  • Exercised booster station as required.
  • – Assisted Justin with routine maintenance on 5 Ton. Hoses and air leak.
  • – Plowed all city Facilities as required.
  • – Worked recycle shed as required.
  • – Greased loader and removed any excessive grease.
  • – Performed routine maintenance on small sander. Cleaned all contacts, fueled, freed frozen clutch, greased bearings, unthawed ice inside of hopper and operated successfully.
  • – Used loader to push snow back banks at City Hall and the #1 Firehall.
  • – Cleaned throttle body on the F-450 and seafoamed.
  • – Replaced Key mechanism for thermostat box at City Hall.
  • – Scrapped all brass and copper at Simko.
  • – Cleaned Bay 3 drain.
  • – Applied grip tape to lift gate to prevent possible slipping.
  • – Scraped up all ice at #1 Firehall via loader.
  • – Cleared snow banks at water tower by both gates via loader.
  • – Cleared 11 of locates.
  • – Replaced 1 of water meters.
  • Changed out one water meters.

Road and Bridge:  Joan read the following report into record as prepared by Justin Aleshire.

  • Drive the roads each morning to check for adverse road conditions (Drifts, Ice, trees, ditches and culverts).
    • Preventative maintenance on all vehicle such as grease the 5 yard after every snow storm or   when in long use. Pull apart the sander and make sure it is cleaned and working properly.
    • Replaced 40″ hydraulic hose on the 5 yarders wing.
    • Shop maintenance: cleaned floor drains, mop all floors every Friday. Degrease the 5 yard bay.
    • Fuel all vehicles when needed.
    • Refill the sand truck after every snow storm.
    • Fixed leaky air bag on the 5 yard with Justin S.
    • Unlocked gates at the water tower and fire hall for contractors.
    • Washed all vehicles (5 Yard, 1 Ton, and Colorado).
    • Plow and sand all roads
    • Used grader to push back large banks at all the dead end turn around.
    • Used the 1 ton to pick up overgrown brush.
    • Worked on the 1 Tons fuel injection system with Justin S.
    • Changed oil and filter on the 1 ton.
    • Brought 5 yard to the shop after an air bag defect to get fixed.
    • Brought 1 ton to a repair shop to get fuel system fixed.
    • Fixed a bent sign post and the end of W Nelson rd.
    • brought the 5 yard back down to Maney International to get the air tank fixed from the previous time they fixed the air bag.

Fire Department: Chief Niemi read the report into record.

Total Calls:

  • January Total Calls Responded to was 17.
    • 13 Medicals
    • 2 Electrical Fire’s
    • 1 Structure Fire (Mutual Aid in Grand Lake)
    • 1 Car Accident (Mutual Aid in Gnesen)

Total Number of Hours Volunteered by All Members

  • Total hours Volunteered by the membership in January – 610 hours

Sale of 1987 Fire Engine

  • Radio has been removed from the truck and all equipment that won’t remain with the truck has been removed. It is now ready to come up with a plan as how to best sell it.
  • One of our sales reps has offered to put it out there to his customers across northern Minnesota. He said that there are some very small departments that have been looking for a cheap used truck and he thought it might fit their need potentially.
  • Other avenues to approach would be sending out an advertisement via email to the Lakehead and Arrowhead regions to see if anyone would be interested.
  • Would the council be ok to list the truck with an asking price of $17,000.

Mark requested authorization to sell the 1987 fire truck for $17,000 or best offer (BO).  John G. made a motion to authorize Mark to list the 1987 fire truck for $17,000 or BO with a second by Suzanne.  John W. stated he would like John G. to have the final approval on any sale.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Old Extrication Equipment

  • Would like to list this for sale with council permission $3,000

Mark requested authorization to sell the extrication equipment for $3,000 or best offer (BO).  Mark would like to offer the equipment to other departments before putting out on Craigslist.  John G. made a motion to authorize John W. to approve the disposal of the equipment while he is gone.  John W. modified the motion to be for the extrication equipment.  John G. stated revision accepted.  Suzanne second the motion.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

2018 FEMA AFG Grants

  • Grant writer has completed and submitted our grant for the new air compressor fill station.

New Equipment for 2018

  • New extrication equipment has been ordered and received. MP Grant committee will be meeting this month to distribute the funds

John W. asked if there will need to be additional training for the new extrication equipment.  Mark stated everyone has already been trained.  The new equipment is from Hurst Technology as their batteries last much longer than some other companies.  The new equipment will be on the new truck.  Bob asked if they have gotten any new recruits, Mark stated possibly one or two.

Park: None

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

  • Hours worked                          18.05
  • Miles driven                             44
  • License fees collected            $64.00
  • Fines issued                            $0
  • Dogs to kennel                        0
  • Dogs to pound                        0

Utilities: Joan read the following report into record.

  • Monthly meter readings were done
  • 3rd Ave. S. sewer line replacement bids were opened, bids being reviewed by MSA
  • Found out about a new WLSSD grant opportunity
  • Utilities Commission is working on new I&I plan/ordinance as required by WLSSD

Sheriff: none

Sewer and water report: In Council’s packet


Planning and Zoning Commission member: Joan shared a copy of an application from Bill Rosenbush to join the Planning and Zoning Commission.  John G. made a motion to approve Bill being added to the Planning and Zoning Commission with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

 Local Board of Appeal and Equalization: Joan shared a letter she received from St. Louis County stating the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting will be on April 12, 2018 at 6:00 pm.  Joan asked the Council to mark their calendars.

Comfort Systems natural gas inspections: Joan shared a memo from Toni Blomdahl, Building Administrator stating City of Duluth has increased the rate they are charging the City of Rice Lake for natural gas inspections from $58 to $60.  Currently Rice Lake is charging $65.  Joan stated we can leave the fee as is and look at raising in January 2019 when we re-look at the fee schedule or we can increase the rate now.  Suzanne made a motion to leave the fee as is and look at raising in January of 2019 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

St. Louis County 2018 road work maps: Joan shared a copy of the letter and maps from St. Louis County showing what roads St. Louis is planning to work on in 2018.


Minnesota Budget Summary – special assessment: In follow up to the January Council meeting, Joan shared all documentation on how she arrived at $90,000 on the special assessment line of the Minnesota Budget Summary as Council had questions why the large discrepancy of $348,861 in 2017 and $90,000 in 2018.  Joan stated the auditor did review the budget summary as presented to Council.  John W. stated the special assessments are Martin Road for sewer, 3rd Ave. S. for paving, 1ST Ave. S. for sewer, W. Calvary for water and sewer and one delinquent service assessment.  John W. asked if the summary budget is calculated into LGA, Joan stated to the best of her knowledge no.

Duluth Urban Water Shed Advisory Committee (DUWAC)– memorandum of understanding (MOU): Joan clarified with Council this is a draft MOU it is not something the Council should approve or not approve.  DUWAC is asking for feedback on the document, things that should be added or removed.  John W. stated he is nervous as to what the DUWAC may ultimately become, who is going to pay for their initiatives.  The philosophy of this committee is water retention not drainage.  John W. feels we should wait and see.  John G. stated he wants to make sure they have no taxing authority.  Bob stated we are all for clean water but is concerned about over reach also.  Suzanne informed the Council that in Hermantown all of the businesses are going to have to start paying an $89 a month fee for impermeable area, even though all parking lots were built to Hermantown’s specs.  She is not in favor of the DUWAC.  It was agreed to leave as is until the MOU comes back for further discussion from DUWAC.

2018 Legislative Session: Joan asked the Council who is going to the legislative conference on March 21 and 22.  John W. stated he will be going down to advocate for local government aid, city streets, and infrastructure.  John G. and Bob stated they may go also, they will let Joan know for sure.  John W. stated he may also go to the Small Cities Legislative day on March 14th.

Motion for Adjournment: Having nothing further to discuss, John G. made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Mayor Werner adjourned the meeting.