Hallock City Council Minutes Sept. 4 and 19, 2018 meetings

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE HALLOCK CITY COUNCIL
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2018
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Dave Treumer called the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 5:32 pm on September 4, 2018.  Those Present: Mayor Dave Treumer, Jennifer Peterson, Kevin Waller and Mike Totleben.  Waller left the meeting at 6:30 pm
Those Absent: Naomi Larson
Also Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom, Chief of Police Mike Docken, Fire Chief Kevin Klein, Utility Superintendent Dan Larson, Margie Holmgren of the Kittson County Enterprise, Kristi Hanson of NWRL, County Administrator Eric Christiansen, County Emergency Manager Scot Olson, and City Attorney George Hanson.
APPROVE AGENDA:
Councilor Waller moved to approve the agenda with corrections and additions. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously. Due to the need of 2 councilors to leave before a certain time, the council moved the committee reports to the end of the meeting and addressed the items under Old Business and Other Business first.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the minutes of the regular City Council Meeting of August 6, 2018 with correction to the final check number from 13359 to 10359 under approval of July bills.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Councilor Peterson moved to approve the minutes of the special City Council Meeting of August 21, 2018 as presented.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
FISCAL/ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES:
Approval of September Bills
Councilor Totleben reviewed bills.  Motion by Councilor Totleben to authorize payment of City bills in the amount of $156,772.66, General fund, checks #10360 to #10403 totaling $156,772.66; which includes a transfer of $49,028.10 to the payroll account to cover wages, taxes and benefits.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Treumer and Councilor Peterson will review bills for the October 1, 2018 meeting.
Review and Approve Delinquent Garbage Assessments
Council reviewed the list of delinquent garbage accounts.
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the list of delinquent garbage assessments with the written changes as indicated on the list.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Salary Committee Report:
Mayor Treumer suggested they maybe should consider a 3% cost of living increase for next year.  Grafstrom stated that she had visited with the staff and they were all in agreement that they would like dental insurance next year.  She noted that a 2% increase and dental insurance for all full-time employees would only cost the city about an additional $11,000.  No action taken at this time.
Budget Committee Report
Grafstrom reminded council the city needs to have its Certification to the county by September 30, 2018.  As tonight’s meeting agenda is full, the council agreed to have a special meeting to discuss the budget on September 19 at 5:30 pm.
Federal Procurement Policy
City Attorney George Hanson gave the council a draft of a Federal Procurement Policy to read through. He said the need for such a policy came out of the fire department’s mishandling of the SAFER grant and the auditor’s report to the city.   When a city receives federal dollars, it is important that they have a procurement policy.  He explained sometimes it is hard to avoid conflicts of interest in small cities.  The council will review the document, no action was taken at this time.
EFT Policy
Attorney Hanson stated this also came from the auditor’s report.  This policy just explains that EFT payments will be handled and reported just like check payments.  Again, the council will review the document and no action was taken at this time.
AIRPORT DEPARTMENT:
No report.
FIRE DEPARTMENT:
New Civil Defense Siren
Chief Klein and Chief Docken presented 3 quotes for a new siren.  Peterson asked how many sirens a town our size should have, Docken reported we only need one that can be heard.  They have more research to do on this and County Emergency Manager Scot Olson said he would look into some possible funding options.  The quotes received are all from Federal Signal and the price varies based on the kind of siren.  The quoted prices are 508 Siren at $14930.00 plus options at additional cost, 2001-130 Siren at $14210.00 plus options at additional cost, and the Eclipse8 Omni-Directional Siren at $11,855 with options at an additional cost.  Docken and Klein reported the sirens the city now has are working.  When they quit working both Hallock Electric and Wiktel are usually unsure about what to do to get them going and usually it is just luck that they figure it out each time. Last time a squirrel had chewed through the wire. Some concerns they still have are where to put the siren and they would like the fire department to have control of the siren.  Docken and Klein will do a little more research on this but feel it should be included in the 2019 budget.   No action taken at this time.
Approval of Matching Fund Grant for $5000 Already applied for by the Fire Dept
The Fire Dept has already applied and been awarded the Grant with the city expected to contribute a 50/50 match of $5000. Grafstrom reminded Klein permission for grants, especially requiring City matching funds, need to get pre-approval from the city council.  Klein also noted the grant will be used to purchase new hoses.
Mayor Treumer moved to approve the acceptance of the DNR matching funds grant.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.  Waller was absent at the time of this vote.
Approval of $500 Matching Fund Grant from Greater NW EMS to purchase pagers.
Klein came to the meeting with a request to pursue the $500 matching grant from Greater NW EMS.  They would use this to purchase pagers.  Currently, they use their cell phones, but if a tower is down, they cannot receive the page.  The cell phone option is a good back up, but pagers would be more reliable.
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the pursuit of the Greater NW EMS grant to purchase new pagers.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.  Waller was absent at the time of this vote.
Chief Klein reported Pat McGee retired and they interviewed new candidates.  They recruited Nick Johnson.
Councilor Peterson moved to approve Nick Johnson as a new volunteer fireman.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.  Waller was absent at the time of this vote.
Chief Klein reported the fire department has decided to start billing for fire calls.  They will bill $1000 for structure fires and $500 for MVAs.  The bills would be sent directly to the homeowner’s insurance company. They have learned most fire departments in the area are billing for calls.  The council approved the billing of fire calls by consensus, with Peterson noting this was suggested by the Budget Committee.  Grafstrom noted as per city ordinance, Chief Klein is supposed to be reporting the number of fire calls per month to her office anyway, so now it will be more important to match up and verify the payments with the fire calls.
Chief Klein asked Grafstrom when he should come in to approve fire department bills for payment.  Grafstrom told him the office runs bills just before every council meeting and around the 15th of each month.
Chief Klein reported the fire department will be participating in a TransCanada confined space rescue training.  They were invited by TransCanada.
POLICE/PARKS DEPARTMENT:
Chief Docken reported trees are coming down and junk cars are leaving.  Docken noted the State did get the “no parking” sign up in front of Revelation Ale.
UTILITY/PARKS DEPARTMENT:
Superintendent Dan Larson reported the crew has been out trimming trees to keep them off the equipment.  They put in a couple of gas lines and had a water break.  Caleb Pinnock is now gas certified and did his first on-call weekend over the Labor Day weekend. Larson was asked about the Mark Austin tree and he said it will be trimmed.
Larson stated they still plan to install the new playground equipment in late September.  The do an overall sewer flushing in the fall and this will be getting done soon.  This takes one person 10 days to complete.
OLD BUSINESS
Northwest Regional Library
Kristi Hanson, the Director of Northwest Regional Library stated that this year they are not asking for an increase from any of the regional libraries, but asking that they will maintain the current level of support. They do expect about a $5000 increase in state funds, the expect to see a change in the Enbridge funds and they are also requesting a change in the state formula.  The ramifications from the Enbridge overpayment is going to especially affect Red Lake County and it will hit them harder if they also have to pay back money to Enbridge.  Other counties affected are Pennington and Marshall.  They are hoping the money will even out with the coming of Line 3.  They will have to make cuts next year because of the Enbridge issue.  Hanson emphasized the importance of libraries to small towns as they provide movies, faxing and other services.  The library has just hired a new lobbyist who is putting together a new package for them.  Hanson went on to say, they do have money saved in reserves and are planning to purchase a new second vehicle.  The also did a new roof and are currently installing a voice over IP phone system so they can transfer to branch librarians.  They will no longer have landlines which will be a savings.  The will also have phone service as long as they have internet.
Hanson reported the libraries are busy.  The legacy funds have stayed about the same, they went up a little and this is what directly affects the state funding. She is glad summer reading is over as it has been a very busy summer.  Councilor Waller asked her how lending went at the Hallock library.  Hanson reported Hallock and Karlstad are two of her busiest libraries based on the number of people per hour of operation.
Councilor Peterson suggested we wait until the council reviews the budget to make a decision on the library allocation.
Jeff Langan – Houston Engineering
Jeff Langan of Houston Engineering was not in attendance at the city council meeting. He was just in Hallock last Wednesday, August 29 to discuss the project with community members.
OTHER BUSINESS:
County Administrator Eric Christensen
Christensen attended to discuss a shared City and County project. The sidewalk on the north side of the courthouse needs repair.  Their engineers feel it cannot be fixed properly without redoing the curb as well.  The city road in front of the courthouse is in good shape and the county realizes this is not a priority project for the city as there are other places in town in worse condition.  The county would like to get this done as soon as possible as they are concerned about public safety.  The sidewalk is sloped and cracked.  It has spots where the water pools.  Superintendent Larson reported that there is some pitching there.
Initial estimates from the county engineers are about $40,000.00 and they would want the city to pay half.  Grafstrom noted she would rather see the council set a certain dollar amount they would pay, rather than a percentage of the project because the last estimate on a project we shared with the county was so far off and ended up costing the city more than they had budgeted for the project.
Christensen said he is just asking if the city would consider it before he proceeds. The council feels they need more details about the project and the cost. Christensen will check with the highway department to see if they feel it can be engineered in house.  The ADA requirements are a bit of a concern and could add to the cost.
Grafstrom suggested they contact Options out of Grand Forks who would advise them for free.  The council needs more information and no action was taken at this time.
County Emergency Manager Scot Olson
Olson attended the meeting to introduce himself to the city council.  Mr. Olson stated he moved here after 21 years as the fire captain in St. Cloud, Minnesota to replace Barb O’Hara.  His background is in fire, but he wants to work to do what is best for the county and the cities in the county.  His office is in the courthouse and his door is always open. He stated he has a great relationship with Fire Chief Klein and Police Chief Docken.  He noted he is currently involved in the dam project in Lake Bronson.  Councilor Totleben let him know we have a dam project starting as well.  Councilor Waller asked Mr. Olson what he thought he could do to help the city.  Mr. Olson stated he felt Ms. O’Hara did a super job and left a high bar.  He will be proactive and plan for emergencies before they happen.  He will work on identifying who to call and where to go in case of emergencies.
Ryan Evenson Loan Subordination
Mr. Evenson did not attend the meeting.  City Attorney George Hanson stated he had communicated with Andrew Gag of the USDA to get input on whether or not the city could subordinate.  According to Gag, the loans are typically set up as gap funds and rarely does a city take the lead position.  The revolving loan committee does not have the authority to address the servicing action unless the council grants it to the committee.  It is okay to change the agreement and subordinate, but we should still choose the best collateral available.  Hanson also counselled that before the council subordinate the loan, we should receive a written request from the primary lender.  As Evenson was not present at the meeting, the council took no action at this time.
Approve Zoning Permits:
Ben Urie Permit #18-08
Council reviewed Urie’s request to put up a fence.  After discussion and review of the city ordinances, the council decided they could tentatively approve the permit if the setbacks on 4th Street were 10 feet instead of 4 feet.
Councilor Peterson moved to approve Zoning Permit #18-08 to be issued to Ben Urie if he changed the setbacks on 4th Street from 5 feet to 10 feet.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
David Sorenson Permit #18-09
Council reviewed Sorenson’s request to install a patio.
Councilor Waller moved to approve Zoning Permit #18-09 to be issued to David Sorenson to install a patio. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Art Council Grant
Grafstrom asked if the council would approve the pursuit of an art council grant to get musical instrument play stations for the Gazebo Park.  Grafstrom explained these are standing stations with a small footprint.  By consensus, the council approved pursuing the art council grant as long as the city would not have to provide any matching funds.
Council agreed this did not need a motion to approve as the city would not be contributing any funds.
TransCanada Grant
Grafstrom requested the council’s permission to pursue a TransCanada Grant to replace the pea rock surface at the Gilbert Olson Park with Rubber Mulch.  Councilor Larson suggested she pursue the grant and provided the contact person’s name.  Grafstrom has been in touch.  This would be a full grant for as much as they can afford this year, or the beginning of next year with no matching funds required.
The council approved the pursuit of this grant as well by consensus.  Again, council said since the grant did not require matching funds it did not need to approved by a motion.
COUNCIL ROUNDTABLE
No council roundtable.
ADJOURNMENT:
There being no further business, Councilor Peterson moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council of September 5, 2018.   The motion was seconded by Mayor Treumer and carried unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 7:12 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor                 Angela M. Grafstrom,
City Clerk/Administrator
–––––
MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING
OF THE HALLOCK CITY COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 19, 2018, 5:30 PM
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Dave Treumer called the Special Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 5:34 p.m. on September 19, 2018.
Those Present: Mayor Dave Treumer, Kevin Waller, Jen Peterson, Naomi Larson, and Mike Totleben
Absent:  none
Also Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom
PLEDGE
APPROVE AGENDA:
Councilor Larson moved to approve the agenda with the addition of item #6 Culvert by the Fairgrounds.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
MEETING BUSINESS:
Zoning Permit # 2018-10
Councilor Totleben moved to approve Zoning Permit 2018-10 for American Federal.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Review and Set Budget for 2019
Council conducted a working meeting to review and establish a budget to be certified to the county by September 28, 2018.  Grafstrom presented a general ledger budget of $1,131,984 and suggested a levy of $194,839.  This is up about 5% from last year ($9278).  Grafstrom showed the council that for a homesteaded property valued at $100,000, this would be an increase of $38.00 for the year. Council agreed they do not want fire department expenses to be the reason to raise taxes.  Treumer questioned some items in the budget.  Grafstrom indicated she did include $24,000 for a snow pusher.  She noted the city was getting some funds back to relend in small cities and revolving loan monies.  Grafstrom reminded the council, the city offers a lot of amenities and it costs to keep them operating and maintained.  She also emphasized what a hardworking staff the city has and indicated she included a 3% raise and comprehensive dental insurance for employees in the budget. Insurance costs are going up 2.5% for the employees.  Grafstrom would like to see the council approve a 3% pay raise, which would be a total additional expense for the city of $9162, and provide comprehensive dental insurance.  For the city to provide the employees dental insurance, and cover it 100%, would cost the city a total of $4892 for the year.  The raise and dental for the staff would be an expense to the city of $14054.  Waller said maybe the employees could pay a share and Treumer said dental insurance is a discussion for another time.  Waller suggested they approve the budget as presented and revisit it before we certify to the state at the end of December because we can always go down before we certify to the state.
Councilor Totleben motioned to certify a levy amount of $194,839 to the county as the general government levy. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Culvert by Fairgrounds
Mayor Treumer reported the city sold property and we need to provide access to properties behind what they sold.  They need to install a culvert.  The county will pay up to $1000 and the city will have to pay the balance of approximately $2500.
Councilor Treumer motioned to pay the balance on the installation of a new culvert. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
ADJOURNMENT:
There being no further business, Councilor Peterson moved to adjourn the Special Meeting of the Hallock City Council of September 19, 2018.   The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 7:34 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor                 Angela M. Grafstrom,
City Clerk/Administrator
(October 10, 2018)
––––––––––

Leave a Comment