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Hallock City Council Minute August 5, 2019

Mayor Dave Treumer called the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 5:34 p.m. on August 5, 2019. Those Present: Mayor Dave Treumer, Naomi Larson, Jennifer Peterson, and Mike Totleben.
Absent: Kevin Waller
Also, Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom, Utility Superintendent Dan Larson, Anna Jauhola of the Kittson County Enterprise, Jim Trojanowski from Northwest Regional Library, Jeff Langan of Houston Engineering, City employees Kendra Johnson and Robert Bridges
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the Minutes of the Regular Hallock City Council Meeting of July 1, 2019 as written. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Approval of Bills:
Mayor Treumer and Councilor Totleben reviewed bills.
Motion by Councilor Totleben to authorize payment of City bills in the amount of $379,689.10, General fund, checks #10952 to 11018, ACH and EFT transactions totaling $379689.10; which includes a transfer of $49207.70  to the payroll account to cover wages, taxes and benefits. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Treumer and Councilor Totleben agreed to review the bills for the September 9, 2019 meeting.
Appoint Budget Committee:
Mayor Treumer appointed Councilor Peterson and Mayor Treumer to the budget committee with a consensus from the council.
Personnel Committee Recommendations:
The personnel committee met with Kendra Johnson and Caleb Pinnock. Pinnock has been with the city for one year and Johnson has been with the city for 6 months. The Personnel Committee recommends Caleb Pinnock receive a raise of one full step from his current rate of $21.32/hour to $22.29/hour. The committee also recommends Kendra Johnson receive a raise of .50 per hour bringing her pay from 17.82/hour to $18.32/hour. As Robert was present, council discussed reclassifying his position again. Council advised Grafstrom to schedule another personnel committee meeting to address the reclassification. It was suggested Dan Larson be present as he is the supervisor.
Motion by Councilor Totleben to approve the raises for Caleb Pinnock from 21.32 to 22.29 and Kendra Johnson from 17.82 to 18.32 as recommended by the Personnel Committee.   Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
No report
Motion by Councilor Peterson to approve Resolution 2019-11 Accepting Donations from Fireman’s Relief.   Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
No report
Totleben brought up the engineer’s concerns about the steel used on the hangar project. He had been visiting with Administrator Grafstrom who told him the engineers are having trouble getting the steel certifications proving it is US Steel. This is a requirement for federal projects. If it is China steel, we may have some issues to deal with. Grafstrom also reported the hangar project is behind schedule.
Superintendent Dan Larson reported they are in the middle of completing gas surveys. Staff have been on vacation. The pool went down as well.
KLM Contract to Service the Water Tower:
This discussion was tabled from the July meeting so Utility Superintendent Dan Larson could address. Larson stated a lot of other towns in the area are using KLM and he thinks it is nice to stick with a provider that services the area. He also liked that we can get out of the contract easily if we are not satisfied. Council commented on the contract date and Larson said he was supposed to address this months ago, but was too busy. Council does not approve the full contract as written, but would like to do ROV inspection full report scheduled before December 31, 2019.
Motion by Councilor Totleben to approve ordering the ROV inspection with the full report for $3400 and go from there after we see that report. Motion seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Garbage Cans Downtown
Superintendent Larson asked who came up with this. Totleben stated there were concerns that people would start throwing cigarette butts into the planters. Superintendent Larson noted that cigarettes cannot be thrown in the trash. Peterson stated they would need the cigarette disposals. Superintendent Larson stated many people already feel the sidewalks are cluttered with the trees, planters, tables and chairs, it would just add to the clutter. Grafstrom noted the garbage cans would not make things look cleaner, but dirtier as now you would have smelly garbage sitting around waiting to be picked up. Superintendent Larson said he called Anderson Sanitation and they have not returned his call. He noted that the downtown garbage we have by the library is often filled with food bags from people’s cars. He is concerned they will become receptacles for people’s personal garbage. Council agreed to forget the idea for now.
Stormwater Entering Sanitary Sewer
This has been an ongoing issue in some locations around the city. People run downspouts and sump pumps into the city sewer. Stormwater into the sanitary sewers is a violation of city ordinance and letters need to be sent out. In some cases, this is causing sewer back up for the neighbors. Mayor Treumer has talked to the city attorney about addressing this. He also noted there are fines for this, but he mostly just wants to get it corrected. Larson asked if he could sample. Treumer said he could. Dan Larson said he could dump dye down to trail if they are not sure if stormwater is running into the sewer. Treumer read the ordinance. Superintendent Larson stated that an average daily flow is around 80,000 gallons, but with a rain, that goes up to 350,000.
Pool Filter
Larson said the pool filter had been welded in the past. Treumer noted there is the possibility we can get reimbursed, at least partially by insurance. Peterson said if that is the case, ask if we can pay the lifeguards lost wages. The current filter is not repairable as it has been repaired in the past and the rust in the filter sand will discolor the pool water.  A new weld may hold, but the tank has other weak spots that may blow. Larson said to save the weld and put it toward a new filter. Currently, to replace the filter with a blank, no valves is $15500, a cast iron filter with valves is $20100, and a PVC with valves is $20500. The pool is closed for the season as a new filter will take 6 weeks to get. He will explore options over the winter. Peterson stated she thought the council had previously decided to put a cap on pool repairs. She thought they would no longer repair the pool when repairs reached $25,000. Grafstrom and Treumer both stated this must have been before they started as neither remembers this. Grafstrom will look in the old minutes and see what she can find. Superintendent Larson noted the current heater gets us by, but may also need to be replaces. The previous superintendent said the filter was going to blow, and sure enough, it did. Larson added, before the filter explosion, the pool was running good. No action taken at this time.
Jim Trojanowksi – Northwest Regional Library
Trojanowski stated he is here on behalf of the Northwest Region Library to make a request for funding. He gave a sheet stating the city funded the library at the rate of 17,905 last year. Grafstrom, Peterson and Larson noted that this was last year’s request, but the city had only funded at $15,000 as they are trying to get more in line with how Warren funds NWRL. Warren was at around $10,000 last year. Currently NWRL is operating at a deficit and using reserve funds to bridge the gap. Trojanowski would like the city to consider a 3% increase over the $17,905 they requested last year. He is new to the position. Grafstrom stated that last year they were told the library was getting more funding from another source. Trojanowski stated they had hoped they were getting more funding from the state, but they did not get the additional funding they were expecting. Grafstrom asked if NWRL considers the funds “Friends” groups contribute to the local library when setting the regional budget because the Hallock Library friends have an account with a balance around $61,000. Trojanowski said these funds are not considered in budgeting as they are above and beyond for use by the local branch for the extras NWRL does not, or cannot provide. The only Friends group with funds that are included in the NWRL budget is the Thief River Falls group. Grafstrom stated having the funds in the city coffers artificially inflates the city’s available funds because the money is included in the city’s cash balances, but is really not city money to spend. She would like to see the Friends manage the funds themselves. She believes the fund was created when they had a surplus in the building fund. Peterson stated she did not know there was a surplus in the building fund. Trojanowski said he was unaware of the funds and would discuss it with the Hallock Librarian Peggy Pierson. Grafstrom stated the library is an important part of the community. Council stated they are not making a decision today, but would take the request under consideration.
Zoning Permit 2019-13 Pat Krenzel
Councilor Larson motioned to approve Zoning Permit 2019-13 for Pat Krenzel to extend the size of the steps to his house. Seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Resolution 2019-10 Closing Birch Ave for Ribfest
Councilor Totleben motioned to approve Resolution 2019-10 to close Birch Ave from 2nd Street to 3rd Street on August 24, 2019 for Ribfest. Motion seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Recognition of Betty Emerson
Grafstrom just wanted to note that Betty Emerson had stopped in and volunteered to weed the pollinator garden. She has done a great job and the garden looks much better.
Mayor Treumer stated the City Council of the City of Hallock recognizes Betty Emerson for doing a wonderful job weeding the Pollinator Garden. It looks great.
Set Special Meeting Regarding Bakken Road
The Housing and Redevelopment Authority met July 22, 2019. The group met with developers Robert Carr and Rod Bakken to discuss each of the projects they are working on. The committee is hosting a public meeting on housing options at the High School Auditorium on August 12 at 5:30 pm. They recommended the council hold a special meeting to discuss the option of putting in a city street on the old school property Rod Bakken proposes to develop. Council noted many people have commented on Bakken Project Road and do not want, as taxpayers, to pay for this road when the city has many roads in need of repair. Grafstrom said instead of abatement, the council should consider establishing a TIF district. Housing TIF districts can run for up to 24 years. This way Bakken would pay for the project up front himself and get reimbursed through a tax refund. Council directed Grafstrom to get more details on a TIF district. Council wants the public to have a chance to weigh in on the discussion. Grafstrom will include the road designs, abatement and TIF information in the council packets for the meeting.
Councilor Peterson motioned to set a Special Meeting of the City Council for August 15 at 5:30 pm at City Hall. Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Meeting set for August 15 at 5:30 pm.
Deductible on the Worker’s Comp Policy
Grafstrom met with Sjostrand and reported the current deductible is set at $1000. Sjostrand suggested the city set it to zero. Grafstrom included a rate sheet in the packet for the council to review. She needs to let Sjostrand know on August 6, 2019. Council reviewed and discussed.
Councilor Totleben motioned to set the deductible on the Worker’s Comp insurance policy at zero (the Regular Premium Option) as recommended by the Sjostrand Agency. Seconded by Councilor Peterson. Motion carried with Mayor Treumer voting against.
Resolution 2019-12 Accepting a Donation for the Pool
Councilor Larson motioned to approve a donations of Adirondack chairs and footstools for the pool from Tami Boychuk. Motion seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Vigorous Living EDA Deferred Loan
The EDA met on 7-30-19 to review an application for a deferred loan from Jordan Vig, owner of Vigorous Living LLC. Vig is a certified personal trainer and is adding a custom spray tanning business into the Xperience Center. The EDA voted to recommend the city council approve a 5-year deferred loan for Vig in the amount of $3500. Treumer noted it was one of the most detailed business plans he had seen. Peterson noted the EDA board had never asked for one from previous applicants, but just recently changed their rules for lending deferred funds.
Mayor Treumer motioned to approve a 5-year deferred loan to Vigorous Living LLC in the amount of $3500.00. Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried with Councilor Peterson abstaining.
Credit Card Processing
Grafstrom reported the city now accepts credit and debit cards with a nominal convenience fee charged to the user. Cards can be used through the website, via phone or by stopping in the office. Council asked what is the convenience fee. Grafstrom reported it is a small fee charged to the user instead of to the taxpayers for offering the service. For example, a 20.00 charge is assessed a 1.00 fee. The user pays for the convenience of using the card. Council asked what can be paid with credit or debit. Grafstrom stated any fees charged by the city including camping fees, utility bills, etc. She stated both her and Kendra have already processed transactions.
Jeff Langan, Houston Engineering
Langan reported on the progress of the Dam Project. Bids are coming in high and he would like to delay the bridge until 2020. This would not affect the operations of the golf course. He would like to see them use the winter months to begin hauling in rock etc. The next steps are to obtain the DNR permits. One step in the DNR process is the arch/history report. Grafstrom stated the person compiling this met with her today and went to the county as well. Langan will be at the next council meeting to request advertising for bids, then open bids in October. He is going to speak with Erick Jones in his office as well and see if they can get more funding like Clean Water Money.
Council Roundtable
Council reviewed the note about 2 city mailboxes. They are paying 76.00 a year for a city mailbox and the fire department brought in a request for the city to pay for their mailbox at 120.00/year. Council agreed all city mail, including the fire department should come to the city mailbox. If the fire relief wants their own box, then fire relief should pay for it. Grafstrom will let them know. Peterson said they should also check on why their box is so much more. If they have a bigger box, do they really need it?
Larson asked if the brush pile at the Renville house is getting cleaned up. Treumer and Grafstrom stated they had talked with Chief Docken and he is working on getting it cleaned up. It is a hazard and may attract vermin.
Peterson asked about the 6 or 8 dead trees downtown. Grafstrom stated she had heard from Darrell Lindgren. He is working on it and she believes he has been in touch with Chris Burgess. She does not know their time frame.
There being no further business, Councilor Larson moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council of August 5, 2019.  The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor
Angela M. Grafstrom,
City Clerk/Administrator
(August 21, 2019)

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