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Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Hallock City Council was held on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the city hall.
Members present: Mayor Paul Clay, Alex Gustafson, Keith Klegstad and Michael Totleben
Members absent: Laura Reese.
Totleben moved to approve the minutes of the September 4, 2012 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Klegstad and carried.
Noel mentioned that a request for proposals has been sent to Hallock Electric and Gatheridge Electric for flourescent light replacement in the city hall and city shop. The deadline is October 16th. The bid form states specific quantities and allows a deduct alternate for installation of a T8 retro kit. Troy Vagle mentioned a possible need at the pool building. Noel commented that the bid form allows for a specific quantity that could be adjusted to allow for additional fixtures. Klegstad suggested sending the proposal form to Todd's Electric.
Noel presented health insurance quotes which have been received with the help of A T Group. The quotes from three companies were very favorable, with Medica coming in the lowest. Noel reminded the council that the city is currently funding the equivalent of 80% of our old $300 deductible BC/BS policy. All employees are using the $3,000 single deductible/$6,000 family policy which is less expensive and allows the city to contribute some to the HSA. A T Group has suggested that we restate the benefit for simplicity and state the employee benefit in terms of the current policy. Noel commented that the simpler language with almost identical city exposer would be 80/20 of the less expensive policy plus 50% of the deductible contributed to the employee's HSA (50% of $3,000 single or 50% of $6,000 family). With the Medica quote, the city's monthly input per family would go from $1,245 to $881.14. The single goes from $729 to $521.84. The total annual savings amounts to $21,712.82. Totleben suggested a need for A T Group to meet with the employees to answer questions they might have. After discussion, Totleben moved to change the employee benefit language as folllows, should the city go with the Medica proposal, the city will pay 80% of the premium plus 50% of $3,000 for single plans and 50% of $6,000 for family into a Health Savings Account (HSA).  The motion was seconded by Gustafson and carried.  
Ryan Anderson was present representing the fire department. He reported that the fire department is interested in pursuing the purchase of a new pumper. It looks like the price tag for a new truck is roughly $225,000.  Anderson reminded the council of past 50/50 purchases. Gustafson commented that the city's general fund has taken Local Government Aid (LGA) cuts that have made it hard to balance budgets.Noel commented that the city's general fund has grown slower than inflation (about 1% annually since 2002),  in large part because of LGA cuts. At this time, a fire truck is not in the five year plan. The council decided to evaluate possibilities so that the fire department can have a better idea of the city's level of potential involvement.  
Vagle reported on some trouble at the east lift station. R & R Waste Systems was called in on the weekend to solve a blockage issue.  The problem was solved, but there will be some unplanned costs involved.  
Klegstad moved to approve the list of tax forfeited properties as presented by Kittson County. The motion was seconded by Totleben and carried.
Noel mentioned that Wenzel & Associates, the company who handles our ING deferred compensation plan, has shown some employees a product from Prudential. We would need to enter into an agreement with Prudential to allow employees to participate. After some discussion, Klegstad moved, seconded by Totleben, to enter into a Resolution Approving Deferred Compensation Plan Vendor (Res. #2012-06).
Noel mentioned that he and Totleben had been discussing rules regarding notice of special meetings. The law requires one-day mailed notice to the council and there is a required three-day posting on the city's bulletin board. Either the mayor or two council members may call a special meeting. Noel commented on using e-mail on Monday and Tuesday to pin down a date and time for a meeting called at the August regular meeting.  The subsequent mailed notice arrived on the day of the meeting. As stated in the handout, notice requirements will be considered to have been satisfied if all members are present, which was the case in this instance. The council agreed that mailed notice needs to be done at least one day before the meeting as required by statute.  
Mayor Clay reported on the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) regional meeting in Thief River Falls. He mentioned listening to a panel of our legislators. The evening session was well-received.  
Mayor Clay appointed Totleben, Noel, Vagle and himself as a committee to review applications for city wastewater operator.
Totleben moved to approve payment of the bills. The motion was seconded by Klegstad.  Motion carried. The check numbers included in the motion include: General Fund From 7165 to 7200; Water Fund from 8845 to 8854; Sewer Fund from 3869 to 3875; Gas Fund from 8115 to 8124; Fire Fund from 3361 to 3363.
Totleben suggested that the city should actively pursue bids on the gas regulator station. Noel commented that he and Troy have discussed the idea of receiving bids in March, 2013 with completion in the summer. Totleben suggested not lowering the gas rate until we know what this project will cost. Noel suggested that we've been planning for this expenditure for more than five years and have a fairly substantial fund balance. Also, after looking at the 2012 gas costs, we could easily justify a $1.00 per MCF reduction in the gas rates. Our goal has been to mark up natural gas by about $3.50 per MCF. Our gas costs for the first 8 months is 1.29/MCF lower than the same period last year. There’s no locked-in guarantee for the next three months, but in recent years, the 12-month average has been very close to the first eight months. After some further discussion, Gustafson moved to reduce the natural gas rates by $1.00 as follows: residential rate from $9.00 to $8.00 and commercial rate from $8.50 to $7.50. The motion was seconded by Klegstad and carried. Noel was instructed to proceed with the bid process as quickly as possible.  
Meeting adjourned.
Henry P. Noel, City Clerk
(Oct. 10, 2012)

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