2018 May Work Minutes

May Work Meeting Minutes

May 7, 2018


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


John G. made a motion to approve the April 2, 2018 Work Meeting Minutes with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Correspondence: Email from Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture on ash tree management.  Joan stated they are offering tree grants which are due on May 11.  This was discussed at a previous meeting.  Bob stated these grants are more for Cities with boulevard trees.  It was agreed not to apply at this time.


Transfer of funds: Joan asked the Council permission to transfer funds from the fire department equipment investment fund to general checking to reimburse for the new Tahoe, $12,500 and extraction equipment, $5,000.  Greg made a motion to approve the transfer of funds with a second by John G.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


Credit card payments: Toni gave the Council two companies she had started researching.  She explained we get a lot of requests to be able to accept credit cards for payments.  PayGov is one of the programs and PSN is the other, which works with Banyon the accounting program the City currently uses, both programs offer options for the customer to pay the transaction fees.  There are monthly and start up fees the City will have to pay with PSN.  John W. stated he is in favor of the transaction fees being paid by the customer not the City.    Joan stated the PSN system would work with our current system, so we would not have to do any additional data entry, just download the information.  John G. asked what the fees are the customer would have to pay, one program would be 3% and the other 2.75%.  Toni stated with PSN there is a module we would have to pay for with Banyon, similar to what we are doing now, for $795 annually.  PSN offers various options on how the fees would be charged, customer or City.  PSN is less expensive for the customer but the City would have to pay roughly a $25 fee monthly.  Greg asked about auto payments, Toni stated she will research further.  There was some discussion on if customers would be willing to pay the fee and most agree they would.  It was agreed to postpone this discussion until Toni can do more research.

Clerk’s orientation conference: Toni requested permission to attend the Clerk’s orientation conference put on by the League of Minnesota Cities in June.  Council agreed this would be good for Toni to attend.



5028 Rice Lake Road property: John W. explained we have run into some issues with Minnesota Power turning off the power at this location.  Joan is working with Wells Fargo on getting a copy of the deed to prove ownership of the property.  Minnesota Power will not turn the power off without it.  Chief Mark Neimi explained to use this building for live fire training will cost $1,500 for the instructors and there will need to be an asbestos inspection done for $700.  Mark recommended using the building for non-fire training.  There will need to be some additional supports installed in the basement and stairs.  Mark feels with these additions the building would be safe for non-fire training and does not recommend live fire training due to costs and safety.  Mark asked when they can start using the building; Joan stated she will keep him updated when we have a copy of the deed.  John W. shared an estimate he received from Darrel Johnson Excavating to demo the building once the training is done for $5,725.  The estimate includes closing the well and septic, haul away debris, haul in dirt as needed, and seeding. The demo estimate approval was postponed until we get closer to the time of demolition.


Pod for fire training: Mark asked the Council about purchasing a pod for fire training.  He explained the pod is a shipping container that would be used for live fires and it is contained within the pod. To do a live burn at Lake Superior College costs around $3,000.  It would cost approximately $2,000 if we purchased our own pod.  Mark requested it be set behind the S. Fire Hall so it would be close to municipal water.  John W. stated he has concerns on how close it is to the neighbors.  John G. recommended Mark poll the neighbors and then come back to Council.  Further discussion was postponed until Mark comes back.


3rd Ave. S. sewer project update: Joan shared an email from MSA, the City Engineer, who is working with the MPCA to send the certification letter to the PFA to finalize our funding.  Joan also shared that A Plus has agreed to extend their bid for another 30 days until we get the financing finalized.


Monopole/cell tower ladder: Joan shared an email from last fall from Meyer Consulting to replace the ladder on the cell tower for $52,000.  This would be a different style ladder vs. the steps that are currently there.  After some discussion it was agreed Joan should check if SEH Engineering does this type of work. Joan is to get a second opinion on the safety of the existing ladder, the style of the replacement ladder, and a competitive cost.


Ordinance #46 Right of way obstruction summary: Joan shared a copy of the summary for Ordinance #46 Right of Way Obstruction with Council.  John G. made a motion to approve the summary with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion passed.


July apportionment: Joan shared an overview of where the July apportionment monies are committed once we receive them and the remaining balance once all funds have been distributed. This does not include the LGA money we will receive, but it had been agreed not to use this money for budgeting as it is to be used for things we otherwise would not be able to do, such as pay down debt.  After some discussion, John W. suggested everyone review the document, so we can discuss further at the next meeting.


City hall roof: Joan reminded the Council bids will be opened on May 17th at 2:00 pm at City Hall. Contractors have been coming to look at the roof.  This is being paid for with the LGA funds.


City hall conference room: John W. stated we are waiting on counter tops and we will, at some time, have to purchase a computer.


Personnel update: Joan shared that Deputy Clerk Toni Blomdahl is now working full time and we have posted on the website and posting locations for another Deputy Clerk.


Proposed Sheriff contract: Joan shared with Council an email she received from City Attorney Mike Couri on the proposed Sheriff contract.  John W. stated St. Louis County is unwilling to change their stand on the insurance coverage for the officers.  John G. stated we cannot indemnify St. Louis County.   John W. agrees, he stated he is going to talk with Mike Couri when he is here on May 14th and then he may go to the County Commissioners.


Administrative Ordinance #47: The purpose of this ordinance is to be able to impose administrative fines; this would be for zoning, utility, road, etc. if the violation is not resolved.  This ordinance consists of two parts, the ordinance itself and then a resolution with the fees.  Toni read the draft ordinance into record; there were no concerns on the ordinance verbiage.  Upon recommendation of Mike Couri, it was agreed to lump the fees into two categories, major and minor.  It was agreed the penalties would be a blanket penalty versus listing each type of penalty separately.  The major offense would be $200 for utilities, road, and zoning.  Minor would be $100 which would be animal control and signs. It was agreed to hold off on nuisance violations until we pass that ordinance.  Joan will work on the resolution and bring to the second Council meeting of the month for approval.


Fire Department Tahoe: John W. asked Mark when the Tahoe will be ready for use.  Mark stated there are some minor issues that need to be taken care of such as the wheels, cruise, and some maintenance.  Mark asked permission to take the vehicle to Kolar as they are a Chevy Dealer to ensure the repairs needed are done correctly, Council approved. Mark is working on outfitting the vehicle; he stated he feels it should be about a month to get up and running. Mark reiterated this vehicle is so the Fire Department can answer calls faster.  John W. reiterated only fire department personnel should be in the vehicle, no family members. They are allowed to go outside of Rice Lake, but they must stay in close proximately.




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