HALLOCK CITY COUNCIL
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Hallock City Council was held on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the city hall.
Members present: Mayor Paul Clay, Alex Gustafson, Keith Klegstad, Laura Reese and Michael Totleben
Members absent: none.
Reese moved to approve the minutes of the August 6, 2012 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Totleben and carried.
Totleben moved to approve the minutes of the August 23, 2012 special meeting. The motion was seconded by Klegstad and carried.
Totleben moved to set the Truth in Taxation hearing for Monday, December 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in the city hall.
Noel commented that Otter Tail Power has offered to reset the S. Birch Ave. street light that was recently removed from the west side of the street. We had discussed locating it on the east side, south of the alley. The city would still be responsible for supplying power to the light, but the structure itself will be done by Otter Tail. Totleben moved to proceed with the street light installation. The motion was seconded by Klegstad and carried.
Noel commented on the Cable T.V. situation. According to Midco, they have no plans to update the equipment from the old analog technology. There have been talks regarding Wiktel’s fiber cable and various options, but it didn’t sound like there’s any serious effort to modernize our antiquated system. The council discussed potential improvements, including encouraging Wiktel to apply for their own cable T.V. franchise.
Noel commented on the sale of some of the office furniture. There are tons of the privacy panels remaining. It was decided that, since the bid process was not very successful, we should set a price on the pieces and advertise again.
Reese moved to approve the delinquent garbage assessment list as presented by Anderson Sanitation. The motion was seconded by Klegstad and carried.
Noel mentioned that the LMC regional meeting will be held in Thief River Falls on September 19th. Clay and Noel committed to going. Anyone else interested should contact the city office in the next two weeks.
The council discussed the idea of a courtesy car at the airport. It’s been suggested that the City would take care of the insurance and Jeremy Seng has agreed to do the routine maintenance. Seng would also drive the car on a regular basis, especially in the winter, to keep it operable. Gustafson expressed concerns about possible hidden liability issues. After brief discussion, Reese moved to accept the donated vehicle to be used as an airport courtesy vehicle. The motion was seconded by Klegstad and carried.
The council opened discussion on hiring a utility superintendent. Noel reported that, among the city crew, only Troy Vagle had applied. After brief discussion, Gustafson moved to appoint Vagle to the position. The motion was seconded by Reese and carried.
Klegstad moved to advertise for a replacement for the city crew position vacated by Vagle. The motion was seconded by Gustafson and carried. Some work will need to be done with job description and the application process since 17 years have passed since the last city crew vacancy.
There was discussion regarding Troy Vagle’s location on the pay scale. Gustafson moved to place him at step 5 of the 7-step system which would be a pay increase of just under $2.00 per hour. The motion was seconded by Reese. Clay commented that Troy’s experience might place him higher, say, at step 6. After further discussion, those voting in favor were: Gustafson, Klegstad, Reese and Totleben. Opposed: Clay.
Salary discussions continued from the August 23rd regular meeting. The employees are asking for a 2% raise and would like the 80/20 health insurance to stay in place, as discussed at the special meeting. Noel read the minutes of that meeting. After brief discussion, Reese moved to approve the 2% salary increase request as discussed at the special meeting. The motion was seconded by Gustafson. Clay commented that inflation, at least from June to June is 1.7% so that figure would take care of cost of living. After brief discussion, the motion carried.
The discussion moved to the 2013 budget which was also continued from the August 23rd regular meeting. The proposed 2013 general levy is $163,500, the same as 2012. The council discussed the history of the levy and pattern of regular annual increases to allow for inflation. There was discussion about the recent sewer rate increase bringing some relief to the general fund and the fact that we didn’t suffer any LGA cut this year. After much discussion, Reese moved to approve a $163,500 levy for 2013. The motion was seconded by Totleben. Voting in favor: Klegstad, Reese and Totleben. Opposed: Clay and Gustafson.
Reese moved to approve payment of the bills. The motion was seconded by Gustafson. Motion carried. The check numbers included in the motion include: General Fund From 7156 to 7164; Water Fund from 8833 to 8844; Sewer Fund from 3861 to 3868; Gas Fund from 8104 to 8115; Fire Fund from 3354 to 3360.
Klegstad reported that the street improvement along 3rd St. S. (CSAH #40) is in the county’s five-year plan. That doesn’t mean that it’s funded yet, but it’s the first step.
Mayor Clay commented that it appears the final decision has been made on the border patrol building being located in Pembina. He also commented on communications with Mattrax regarding airport hangar needs. They will definitely consider Hallock’s airport.
Henry P. Noel
(Sept. 19, 2012)