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Hallock City Council Monday, February 4, 2019

Mayor Dave Treumer called the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 5:33 pm on February 4, 2019. Those Present: Mayor Treumer, Kevin Waller, Naomi Larson, and Jen Peterson
Absent:  Mike Totleben
Also Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom, Fire Chief Kevin Klein, and Police Chief Mike Docken, Cheri Reese
Councilor Peterson moved to approve the agenda with the removal of item 12b Sale of Land. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Councilor Larson moved to approve the Minutes of the Regular Hallock City Council Meeting of January 7, 2018. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Approval of February Bills:
Mayor Treumer and Councilor Totleben reviewed the bills. Motion by Councilor Peterson to authorize payment of City bills in the amount of $568,253.81, General fund, checks #10633 to10680 totaling $526,502.23; which includes a transfer of $36694.68 to the payroll account to cover wages, taxes and benefits. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Treumer and Mike Totleben agreed to review the bills for the March 4, 2019 meeting.
Cheri Reese Mainstreet Communi-cation
Reese reported that the Hallock Mainstreet Committee has applied for the own 501c3. The committee has elected a board:  Director Kevin Waller, Vice-Director Cheri Reese, Secretary Kristin Eggerling, Treasurer Paul Blomquist and Member at Large Jean Cooney. Guy Gustafson has been in charge of the Socials. Other board members are Megan Sugden and Britt Slusar. The committee has been hosting socials for anyone who is interested to attend. The socials are designed to be opportunities for networking after hours. The next one is Tuesday, February 5 at Revelation Ales. Reese is asking the council to support the committee’s efforts with money. They would like to do emails, like a newsletter, through Constant Contact. The cost is $49.00/month. In addition, they would like to do quarterly ads in the Enterprise for 180.00/quarter. Overall, they are asking the council for a funding commitment of $1500 for 2 years. Grafstrom stated that the group is sort of like a chamber or business association. She wondered if they had considered charging membership dues. Councilor Waller stated that it has been discussed. No action was taken by the council.
Reese mentioned the monthly newsletter they are planning will be written by Kristin Eggerling. She confirmed with the council that it is okay for her to write the grant for the windchimes in Centennial Park. Council noted this was approved at the November 2018 meeting. Going forward the committee will write grants with their own tax id number, but they won’t have it before this application is due. Reese also reminded the council they need to complete the website. She reminded them the city has approximately $4600 in grant money to put towards the design. Council discussed various website options and instructed Grafstrom to research the costs. Grafstrom reported she had done this last year, but the numbers will need to be updated. Grafstrom reported she is currently unable to make changes to the existing website through Squarespace. Reese was an administrator on the website and she will see if she can still access through Squarespace.
Fire Department:
Chief Klein reported he had a discussion with Grafstrom about his budget for 2019 and they have reached an understanding. He has also since learned she does not set the budget, it is set by council. He expects he will go over budget in some categories this year. The council understands. Mayor Treumer stated this was the first time the city has had such a detailed budget and it is a learning experience for all. Council noted the 2019 budget process was completed in 2018 and certified to the state, so it cannot be raised at this time. Klein asked to be part of the budget conversation going forward and all agreed that he will be included before the council crunches the final numbers. He understands if he needs something the council will consider it, but he likes to have accurate budget numbers when communicating with his department so they know when they are reaching their limits.
Klein went on to report he has completed Firefighter 1 and 2 with the 8 new recruits. They now need to do some practical training and finish with a burn. Lancaster has a place to burn which has already been inspected. Klein stated there are 4 Lancaster firefighters in the current class. Peterson asked if we should be charging for the class. Klein stated he does it for free because our department works with the other departments in the area.
Klein asked the council to accept Ryan Evenson’s resignation from the fire department.
Councilor Waller moved to accept the resignation of Ryan Evenson from the Hallock Fire Department. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Police Department:
Chief Docken reported he has been on call for gas and everything is going well. There was a gas break near Kittson Auto on Friday. He has had lots of calls. He got new tires for the police squad. His coyote hunt is coming up.
Airport Department:
No report. Councilor Peterson asked if Grafstrom could inform Airport Manager Seng that there are 32 lights out on the runway and ask him to get them replaced.  Grafstrom confirmed she will notify Seng.
Utility/Parks Department:
Kittson Rural Water Price Increase
The city received notice from North Kittson Rural Water that the city’s rates will be increasing 3% for 2019. Council discussed the increase. Council decided they will raise the water usage rate 3% but leave the water base rate, sewer base rate and sewer usage rates the same.
Councilor Waller moved to increase the city’s water usage rate from $4.64/1000 over 2099 to $4.78/1000 over 2099. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Old Business:
Food Truck Ordinance
Council and staff have received complaints and emails from one particular business that they have not been included in the discussion of the Food Truck Ordinance. The mayor noted this business has been notified and was even added to the agenda. He personally had talked to the owner on multiple occasions, but the owners have not shown up for the council meetings.
Council reviewed the updated version of the ordinance, Chapter 6: Other Business Regulation and Licensing as well as the Food Cart Application. Grafstrom noted the drafts they reviewed have been reviewed and amended by City Attorney George Hanson. Council decided to set the date for the public hearing on the ordinance for March 4 at 6 pm. Grafstrom will notify the Kittson County Enterprise to publish the notice of hearing.
2019 Land Lease Prices
Grafstrom reviewed the pricing from NDSU, which is only about North Dakota land, and had the Deputy Clerk check with local farmers/landowners regarding fair market prices for land leases. She shared the findings with council. As commodity prices are down and the land is rented in relatively small and irregular parcels, council decided not to raise the lease price.
Councilor Larson moved to approve the land lease prices on the 2019 contracts at the current rate of $75.00/acre. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously with Mayor Treumer abstaining.
Other Business:
Zoning Permit 2019-01 Last Chance Trading Post LLC
Councilor Peterson moved to approve Zoning Permit 2019-01. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Resolution 2019-01 Accepting Donation from Ottertail Power
Councilor Peterson moved to pass both Resolution 2019-01 Accepting a $1000 donation from Ottertail Power, received in December of 2018, toward rubber mulch at the playground and Resolution 2019-02 Accepting a $500 donation from F.O.E Hallock Eagles #2617 for the Hallock Fire Dept. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
New Phone System
Grafstrom reported the city office needs to upgrade to a phone system to provide better customer service to the community. The office currently has one line with an extension, so if someone is on the phone no one else can call in or out. The librarian has come over to say she is receiving calls for the city office because the line is busy and no one can get through. The office receives emails from people saying they have been trying to call but the line is busy. Grafstrom would like a system with multiple lines so if one is in use, the other can still make and receive calls. She would also like the option of voice mail if both lines are busy instead of having the caller get a busy signal. They would also like to be able to transfer calls to the city shop instead of telling people to call the shop number.
Grafstrom got estimates on 2 phone systems from Wikstrom Telephone Company. One was for a Panasonic system for $6429.49, the other was for a VOIP system. This one would be $1335.00 for the labor and materials with a monthly cost of 122.97.
Council agreed we need a better phone system in the city office. Grafstrom noted there is money allowed in the Administration budget to cover the new system.
Councilor Waller moved to approve the purchase of the VOIP system for a materials/labor cost of $1335.00 with a monthly fee of $122.97. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Council Roundtable:
Mayor Treumer just wanted to mention again how many compliments the utility department has received from the public on snow removal especially on the downtown streets.
Councilor Waller said the city should consider contracting to someone to do all the downtown sidewalks so they are not the patchwork they currently are. Some businesses are never cleaned off. Chief Klein offered the fire department’s help if needed. It was mentioned maybe the city should take bids.  The city could contract and charge the business owners a fee. Grafstrom noted other cities do that.
There being no further business, Councilor Peterson moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council of February 4, 2019.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor
Angela M. Grafstrom,
City Clerk/Administrator
(March 13, 2019)

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