2018 March 26 Council minutes


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



  • Email from St. Louis County about prepaid property taxes – notifying $18,344 was prepaid property taxes collected for Rice Lake
  • Email from Luke Jezierski inquiring on an Eagle Scout project – there was discussion on cleaning the trails, filling in some holes, and or adding another hiking loop at the park
  • Email from Abbie Kennedy about sewer extension on Luzerne – John W. stated he talked with Ms. Kennedy too.
  • Email from MN Emergency Medical Services on application – this is a notice of a 30-day comment period. The City has no comments.



March 12, 2018 Council minutes

March 12, 2018 Administrative and Nuisance ordinance minutes

Ordinance – none

Executed Claims

General fund checks – 12391 thru 12418

Fair Housing Authority –  none

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


WLSSD letter of support request for generators: Joan shared a copy of an email from WLSSD requesting a letter of support for generators.  John W. stated this has no cost for the City and recommends supporting.  Bob stated this is to run the methane bio plant.  John G. made a motion to approve the support letter with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  John W. will sign the letter.

 Wells Fargo email – Rice Lake Road property: Joan shared an email from Wells Fargo inquiring if the City would be interested in the property at 5028 Rice Lake Road.  Wells Fargo would donate the property to the City and donate $8,000. The building on the property will need to be rehabbed or demolished. The City will have to pay any demolition costs to remove the existing home.  John W. stated to his knowledge there is no toxic waste concerns.  The letter does not state a time limit on when the demolition has to be done. The property is on the Rice Lake Road between Martin and W. Tischer and there is some low lands in the back of the property.  Suzanne made a motion to accept the Wells Fargo offer with a second by John G.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

Bulk water rate for 2018: Joan stated when the Utilities Commission was reviewing the 2018 prices for water and sewer, bulk water was not reviewed.  At the last Utility meeting, the Commission recommended increasing the bulk water rate from $16.54 to $17.37, the last time this rate was increased was 2016.  Bulk water is pulled from the hydrant.  Suzanne made a motion to support the Utilities Commission recommendation to increase the bulk water rate to $17.37 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


3rd Ave. S. sewer project engineering amendment #2: Joan shared a copy of the second amendment to the MSA Professional agreement for $4,585 to increase engineering.  John W. stated this is for additional oversite.  John G. stated he feels this is money well spent.  Bob and Suzanne agreed with John G.  John G. made a motion to approve the second amendment to the MSA agreement for $4,585 with a second by Suzanne.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.

E-1 grinder stations for 3rd Ave. S: Joan shared a quote from Minnesota Pump Works for ten E-1 grinder stations and three extension cords in the amount of $50,469.60, these will be used on the 3rd Ave. S. sewer replacement project.  This allows for one extra unit.  Suzanne made a motion to approve the E-1 grinder quote from Minnesota Pump Works for $50,469.60 with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.  John G. requested that we create a list, to turn into Minnesota Pump Works, once all units are installed, so the residents get the full warranty on the units.  Joan also shared that she is still missing one construction easement, Bob will follow up on it.

April calendar: Joan shared a copy of the April calendar. She noted some of the Councilors will be attending a League of Minnesota training at the DECC on April 4th and the Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting is April 12, 2018 at 6:00 pm


  • Suzanne stated at the Planning Commission (PC) meeting they are discussing buffers in Ordinance #22. There was a home business, Sawtooth Shuttle, approved for a grocery delivery and shuttle service, with a stipulation of only two shuttle vehicles.  The PC is looking at adding performance standards for home business, so they are no longer going to approve site plans for home business.  Suzanne stated she went to the Legislative Conference with Bob and John G.  They met with Senator Bakk and talked about the City’s bonding project as well as attended various workshops.  The hot topic was taking power away from local government and giving it to the State in the hopes is to make Cities more uniform.  There was also some discussion on the tax conformity between State and Federal governments.
  • Bob stated he also went to the Legislative Conference. He toured the Capital building and found the renovations amazing.  He has been touring the City roads and they are starting to get rough.  People will have to be patient, as the grader cannot go out on the roads yet.
  • John G. stated he felt the emphasis was on State control over Cities and Towns at the Legislative Conference. Their discussion with Senator Bakk on the bond issues was good.
  • John W. stated the roads need to dry out before they can send out the grader. Justin A. is clearing brush and trees.  John stated he went to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Legislative Conference.  He also talked with Senator Bakk and Representative Murphy on our bonding issues.  John stated he went to Mt. Iron to a State Demographer workshop in preparation for the 2020 Census.  This fall the Council will need to put together a citizens committee for the 10% hard to find citizens.  If all Rice Lake citizens are not counted it will affect our LGA and other State and Federal funding.  John W. asked what the status is of selling the 1986 fire truck.  John G. stated Mark lowered the price to $12,000.  Joan shared that she had one inquiry on the engine, they stated they would call back if interested.


  • Nellie S. recommended a Boy Scout project could be to remove buckthorn at the City Park or on roadways. Nellie asked if the fire truck we are trying to sell is functional, John W. stated yes, the truck is functional, but the pumps would not pass.  Joan stated it is advertised on Craigslist and on a website for firefighters in the area.

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