2018 June 11 Council minutes


June 11, 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, Greg Andrews, and John Goman; Clerk/Treasurer Toni Blomdahl and Deputy Clerk Joan Jauss; and the attached list of public.




CORRESPONDENCE:  John W. read the list into record:

Letter from St. Louis County in reference to their comprehensive land use plan

Email from WLSSD – recycle shed attendant meeting on June 18, they are going to talking about plastic bags, food scrap collection, and dumpster changes. John G. stated he and Bryan will go to the meeting. Greg stated he is opposed to the food scrap collection.  Joan stated she did not think we would get this as we had objected previously.

Email from DeErricka Green wondering if the City had lodging tax, Joan responded noting we did not.

Letter from Minnesota State Demographic Center 2017 population; it notes the population of the City went up by 9 and the households dropped by 11.  John W. talked about the importance of the Census to the City and that there will be a kick off meeting in September with a Citizen’s Committee which Jayme Heim has agreed to Chair.

Memo from Duluth Urban Watershed Advisory Committee (DUWAC) stated there will be a stormwater tour on June 19th for those interested.  John W. and Toni are going to attend

General Correspondence – see folder




May 29, 2018 Council minutes

May 29, 2018 MS4 public hearing minutes


Executed Claims:

General fund checks – 12548 thru 12588 and 460E

Payroll checks – 1271 thru 1303

Fair Housing Authority –  none



Resolution 18-06-13 for PFA pledge of funds


Liquor License Renewals


Greg stated on the MS4 minutes he and the Mayor was not listed. Greg made a motion to approve the consent agenda with the corrections noted, Suzanne second the motion. All vote in favor.  Motion passed.



John G. stated the Safety Committee will be meeting on June 20th.  John G. asked Brandon if anyone from the fire department is going to be attending.  Brandon stated someone will, he was unsure who.  Suzanne and Justin A. are the chairpersons of the committee.  Need to still fix two burp boxes on W. Calvary Road, need to fine tune the City’s confined space procedures first.

Suzanne stated on June 5th the Board of Adjustment heard a variance request for the rear garage setback.  It was approved with a condition the garage cannot exceed 17’ in height.

Greg stated there is an I&I meeting on June 28th to discuss changes to the ordinance.

John W. stated the roads department has been working on replacing signs and following up on complaints for Rice Lake Road and Chicago Avenue. More “no parking signs” have been added to both roads due to resident complaints.



Financial Report: Council received copies of the Financial Report and Revenue and Expense Summary.  Joan stated there is $217,730.60 in general checking.


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

Type of Permit Issued          # issued

  • Commercial                            1
  • Fill                                            2
  • Gas/Furnace                           2
  • Garage                                    1
  • Plumbing                                 1
  • Siding/Roofing/Windows         6

Total issued                                       13


Total valuation of projects:     $   876,726.00

Fines                                       $              0.00

Total fees assessed:               $        7581.68


John W. asked where does the building valuation number come from?  Toni stated this is based off the contractor/owner valuation.  The reasons this month is so high is that it includes Kwik Trip’s permit.


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

  • Complaints: 3
  • Onsite visits: 11
  • Zoning Violations abated: 2
  • Land Use Violations: 4
  • Public Hearings: 3
  1. Variance: Kwik Trip Dynamic Signs – Board of Adjustment approved
  2. Cup: Kwik Trip Dynamic Signs – recommended approval to City Council
  3. Rezone: Adam Jenson – recommended approval to City Council
  • Applications received: 2
    1. Lot Line Adjustment:
      • 1 approved
      • 1 under review
    2. Minor Subdivision: 2 under review
    3. Variance: 1 pending public hearing
  • Conditional Use Permit Revocation: 1
  • Outgoing correspondence: 26
  • Safety Committee meeting: 1


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

  • Assisted with painting city hall conference room.
  • Exercised Booster station pumps.
  • Assisted Justin A. With loading grader wing into dump truck for delivery.
  • Cleaned plow tailings at Public works and Firehall.
  • Assisted with moving 5-ton plow and wing onto concrete pad.
  • Setup Duluth Lawn Care for bulk water on Mather road.
  • Assisted Justin A. With the installation of culverts and ditching on Porter road.
  • Assisted with removal of loose asphalt from paved roads.
  • Removed trash from park as required.
  • Put Hydrant # 52 back into service. Flushed, oiled and greased.
  • Attended safety committee meeting.
  • Picked up boards for 5 ton.
  • Assisted Bill Rosenbush with replacing blades, oil, and air filters on both mowers.
  • Completed Park playground inspection form.
  • Pushed back fill on Gothenberg via loader.
  • Recalibrated gas monitor.
  • Cleared High Temp alarm on L.S. # 10. Cleaned both external filters and turned on internal fan.
  • Assisted Justin A. with filling pot holes with 3 tons of asphalt.
  • Cleared 43 of locates.


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

  • Daily Driving Duties checking all roads and ditches along with public works maintenance.
  • Final detailed painting at City Hall.
  • Started the removal of the beaver dams on Town Line and Cooper Rd.
  • Picked up Grader wing and parts for maintenance.
  • Picked up and replaced sod damage from winter plowing.
  • Took off the 5-yard winter parts and added the summer gear.
  • Picked up a couple loads of brush that people left on the side of the road.
  • Removed old duct work in the City Hall storage room.
  • Replaced fallen over fire number sign and post for a resident.
  • Ditched on Porter Road and replaced old culverts along with adding new driveways.
  • Opened up the City Park for the start of the summer.
  • Boarded up the abandoned “white” house on Rice Lake Rd.
  • Hauled 45 yards of gravel from the Northland stock pile.
  • Patched all paved road potholes with blacktop.
  • Cut and removed 6 downed trees in the roadway from the wind and rain storm.


Fire Department: Assistant Chief Zapp read the following report into record.

Total Calls:

  • April Total Calls Responded to was 29.
    • 13 Medicals
    • 4 Grass/Brush Fires
    • 3 Structure Fires
    • 3 Powerline Hazard Calls
    • 2 Car Accidents w/injury
    • 2 Smoke Investigation calls
    • 1 Public Assist/Smoke Alarm Install
    • 1 Lift Assist

Water Usage

  • 6,000 gallons above normal consumption

Total Number of Hours Volunteered by All Members

  • Will have a 2-month report for both May and June during the July council meeting

Individual Portable Radios

  • Currently the fire department has 8 members without individual portable radios. The main reason we haven’t issued a radio to each individual once sworn in is due to the cost. Buying a new radio with a lapel mic, battery, and programming typically costs around $2,800 per.
  • We obviously don’t have that ability within our budget, however Itasca County has some used radios that still work without issues that they are selling since they upgraded.
  • They will sell us the radios all ready to go at a cost of $350 per radio and we are asking to purchase 10 of these from Itasca County for a total cost of $3,500 with council approval to be used from our budget.
  • As of the end of May statement we still have $48,000 remaining in our budget.


Tahoe Update

  • The Tahoe has been in service off and on since we have had it. We are already seeing a drastic improvement in response times when this vehicle has been used.  We are still working the analytics out with the State Fire Marshal Office’s computer software used to track all the information for run response to get exact time improvements, but we are certainly cutting down 3-5 minutes of response time.
  • Vehicle still needs to be brought to Kolar to have a full service done on it. Radio installation took a little longer than anticipated since we did it on our own to save that cost, but it is now in and works well. Our maintenance officer will be scheduling the Kolar servicing as it fits into his schedule and then it will be set to go after that.

Brandon requested from Council permission to purchase ten used radios from Itasca County for $350 each.  Greg asked if the radios are necessary, Brandon stated without the radios you can cannot hear what is going on. The pagers only alert you of the call but does not follow up.  Suzanne asked what the life expectancy is of the radios, Brandon stated the same as our existing radios, Motorola, so there are no compatibility issues. Greg made a motion to approve purchasing ten radios for $3,500 using the fire department’s budgeted funds. John G. second the motion. All vote in favor. Motion passed. Brandon stated they have seen a reduction in the call times with the new Tahoe.  All has been repaired on the vehicle except the trip to Kolar for the repairs to be done there. John W. asked when the Rice Lake logo was going to be put on the Tahoe, Brandon stated they were not planning on putting it on.  John W. John G. and Greg all want the normal size graphics on the vehicle. Suzanne agreed we should be transparent with the vehicle. Greg stated if there are complaints the public can call City Hall.


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

  • Hours worked                         31
  • Miles driven                             89
  • License fees collected            $12
  • Fines issued                            $0
  • Dogs to kennel                        0
  • Dogs to pound                        0

Greg asked if we had found a replacement for animal control officer.  John G. stated that Gloria has submitted her resignation effective July 31, 2018.  Rice Lake HR Supervisors is working on finding a replacement.


Utilities Commission report:  Joan read into record.

  • Working on the 3rd S. financing with PFA
  • Received additional State bonding money, $359,000 and extension (until 2020) of 2014 bonding money for E. Calvary water loop
  • Water meters were ordered for Kwik Trip
  • Utility map is being updated to add missing residents on Kolstad Ave.
  • Discussion was had on April sewer exceedance, appears to be an issue from 3rd S.


Sewer and water report: In Council’s packet



Park baseball field: Joan stated she received an inquiry from Duluth fast pitch softball asking if they could use the baseball field at the Rice Lake Park twice a week for practices. There would not be any games, just practices for a couple of hours. Council agreed to allow the practices for no charge as long as they maintain the fields. Bill Rosenbush shared that people have been riding their horses in the park making holes which is a safety hazard.  John W. and Bill are going to meet at the park to look over where there are tracks. John W. stated we may need to put chain closures on to keep them out.


Transfer of funds: Joan requested from Council to transfer $75,000 from the general investment fund to general checking until we received our apportionment in July.  Suzanne made a motion to approve moving $75,000 from the general investment fund to general checking.  John G. second the motion.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  Joan stated the funds will be replaced once they received the July apportionment.


Other Place special event permit: Joan shared an application from the Other Place requesting to serve liquor outside their fenced area and to allow outside music until midnight. Last year the Council allowed to pay until 11:00 pm. Greg stated he has a concern on the music being so late, he would ask that the Other Place survey the neighbors within ¼ mile and see what the consensus is.  John W. stated he has received complaints about the music and garbage, he understands what they want, but is concerned about the neighborhood.  he is ok with the liquor area being temporarily expanded but is not in favor of extending the hours past 11:00 pm.  John G. asked if they expand the serving area as shown on the diagram where are people going to park.  John W. stated Chicago will be a no parking area.  The public can park on both sides of East Calvary Road.  Toni stated in Gnesen the business owner is required to have security/traffic control.  Toni is going to talk with St. Louis County to see what they have for parking regulations on East Calvary.  It was agreed to table this discussion until the June 25th Council meeting and Toni is to invite Marty from the Other Place to come to that meeting.



MS4/TMDL: Joan shared a draft report from Randy Neprash with Stantec on concerns about the proposed Duluth Urban Water Shed TMDL. MNDOT, St. Louis County, City of Duluth, City of Hermantown, and ourselves have joined forces on this issue. Joan stated the City will need to send a letter to the MPCA by June 18th which is the close of the public comment period, stating our comments and filing a contested case hearing. Would it be ok for the Mayor to sign the letter and email a copy of the letter and the final report to the Council once complete? John W. stated he has some concerns on the comments. John G. stated he feels we should go forward with the other municipalities, Suzanne agreed. Suzanne made a motion for the Mayor to sign the letter to the MPCA. John G. second the motion. All vote in favor. Motion passed.


PUBLIC COMMENT: Cindy Endicott asked if a building permit has been taken out for the property west of the Fall Inn. Toni noted she was unsure but will investigate. Cindy also stated Minnesota Power is getting rid of all of its leases, letters have been sent out. There may be some calls from residents.


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