Mayor Dave Treumer called the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 6 p.m. on December 4, 2017. Those Present: Mayor Treumer, Kevin Waller, Jen Peterson, Naomi Larson and Mike Totleben
Absent: None
Also Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom, Utility Superintendent Troy Vagle, Fire Chief Kevin Klein, Police Chief Mike Docken, Curling Club Representative Ryan Anderson, and intern from Al Franken’s office Finn Blomquist.
Council Larson moved to approve the agenda with the addition of 10e: Resolution 2017-15. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the Minutes of the Regular Hallock City Council Meeting of November 6, 2017 with the correction of Truth in Taxation from 6 pm to 7pm as published. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Approval of November Bills:
Councilors reviewed bills. Motion by Councilor Totleben to authorize payment of City bills in the amount of $135633.25, General fund, checks #9702-9725 totaling $100191.74; Gas fund, checks #8810-8816 totaling $18642.91; sewer fund checks 4298-4303 totaling $304.27; water fund checks #9345-9351 totaling $10152.72; fire dept fund checks # 3976-3984 totaling $6342.61 and payroll overtime totaling $2223.90. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Councilor Waller and Councilor Peterson agreed to review the bills for the January 2, 2018 meeting.
Fire Chief Klein reported he and Vagle had been working on getting a capacity number for city hall for fire codes. He said, we need to consult our architect about capacity because size of exit doors, type of event (sit down or a dance) and many other features play in. Klein instructed Grafstrom to contact Doreen Frost at the state to find out who is a licensed architect. The Fire Dept renewed their contract with the DNR at $2500/year. The county is going to start giving the department $1000/year. He and Grafstrom will be meeting on the SAFER grant.
Klein reported firemen have been attending training. So far it has all been paid for with MBFT money.
Klein and council discussed going forward if the dept should bring large purchases to the council for approval prior to purchasing. Some council felt if it was budgeted, then no, but Grafstrom pointed out that usually purchases over a certain dollar amount are supposed to get council approval. Council instructed Grafstrom to check with League and other cities on this.
Klein mentioned to the council that they currently do not have the capability at the new facility to sound the siren. The siren has been disabled at the former facility. Currently only the Sheriff’s office has the capability. They are missing the hardwiring and need a line run by Frontier. E-dispatch will be up and running tomorrow. The fire dept is putting together a Pumper committee.
Park Rules: The council reviewed the park rules and policies presented by Docken and Grafstrom. They suggested a couple of changes and they will approve at the January 2 meeting.
Docken also reported on some of the calls he has taken. He reported FEMA will be here next week to review the project worksheet.
Grafstrom reported she was contacted by the DOT. The M and O grant was approved, but we sent the wrong resolution with the grant. The resolution for Contract #1028904 was never passed, so the council needs to pass that resolution now to proceed.
Councilor Peterson motioned to pass Resolution 2017-14 authorizing the execution of the Minnesota Dept of Transportation Airport Maintenance and Operation Grant Contract. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
Grafstrom shared that the Airport Commission met and is reviewing contracts with Jeremy Seng. She presented the council with the current airport income and expenditures and grant information that was approved for 2018.
Vagle reported on the Christmas Lights and a need to continuing purchasing lights. Vagle explained that we still need lights for 3rd street and would like to get rid of some of the bigger, heavier lights. Council consensus was to continue budgeting each year for the purchase of a few more Christmas lights. Vagle and council discussed the pile of sand left by the railroad.
Grafstrom stated Ottertail is requesting an easement to put in anchors. Vagle did review and sees no problem.
Councilor Peterson motioned to approve the Ottertail 5 foot wide easement over, under and across the part of the South One-Half (S1/2) of Section Thirteen (13), Township One Hundred Sixty-one (161) North, Range Forty-nine (49) West, Kittson County, Minnesota. (Along Columbus Avenue and City Parcel # 320011450.) Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously
Approval of Liquor Licenses
Grafstrom presented the councilors the liquor licenses ready for approval.
Motion by Councilor Peterson to approve the issuance of liquor licenses to Revelation Ale Works, the Caribou, Shamrock, Eagles and Red Barn Liquor. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Curling Club regarding Liquor License
Ryan Anderson of the Hallock Curling Club reported the club is interested in possibly obtaining a club license instead of continuing with the 3.2 beer license and a set-up license. Grafstrom stated she reviewed this with the attorney’s office. They said we could change the current ordinance from two (2) licenses to three (3) licenses and publish the change after the fact.
Motion made by Councilor Waller to amend the Hallock City Ordinance Chapter 5, Section 5.02, Subsection 2: On-Sale Licenses. Motion was seconded by Peterson and carried unanimously with Totleben abstaining.
Motion made by Councilor Waller to approve a club liquor license for the Curling Club. Motion seconded by Larson and carried unanimously with Totleben abstaining.
Resolution 2017-12 Designating Polling Place
Grafstrom reported the city received a letter from Kittson County stating that changes to MN Statutes 204B.16 requires cities to adopt a resolution every year before December 31 designating their polling place for the following year.
Motion by Councilor Waller to adopt Resolution 2017-12 designating City Hall, located at 163 3rd Street, Hallock, MN, as the city’s official polling place for 2018. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Resolution 2017-13 Accepting a Donation
Grafstrom reported that when donations are received by a city, the council must pass a resolution accepting those donations. LMCIT suggested this be done per incident to make sure all the terms of each donation are met. Grafstrom presented Resolution 2017-13 accepting a $500 donation from the FOE Hallock Eagle’s #2617 for the Hallock Fire Dept.
Motion by Councilor Larson to adopt Resolution 2017-13 accepting a $500.00 donation from the F.O.E. Hallock Eagle’s #2617 for the Hallock Fire Department. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Truth-in-Taxation Public Meeting for 2018 Budget
Mayor Treumer called the Truth-in-Taxation Public Meeting to order at 7:00 pm on December 4, 2017. No city residents were on hand with any concerns.
Motion by Councilor Waller to close the Truth-in-Taxation Public Meeting at 7:04 pm on December 4, 2017. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
Resolution 2017-15 for Golf Course Serving Liquor at a Sunday Wedding
Motion by Councilor Peterson approving Resolution 2017-15 allowing the golf course to serve liquor for a wedding in the community center on Sunday, December 31. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously
Approval to Submit Pay Equity Report
Grafstrom reported the Pay Equity Report must be submitted every three years. We are required to submit the report to avoid penalties, but in order to submit the report which is due January 31, 2017, we have to have council approval.
Motion by Councilor Peterson authorizing Grafstrom to submit the 2017 pay equity report which is due on or before January 31, 2018. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Councilor Waller reminded the counsel that Kathy Johnson will be at the January meeting looking for what the city might want to do as far as funding the pool. The council agreed that they need a plan and a cost to make an informed decision. Some also felt the community has not stepped forward with donation yet as they are waiting to see what the council will do. They need a cost and a plan for who will do the upkeep and maintenance. A committee was formed comprised of Waller and Larson to look into discussing numbers with the pool group between now and the next meeting.
Approval to Hire Wiktel to provide computer networking/updates
The council as a whole, and the special committee, have reviewed all the quotations. Wiktel’s quote came in below the other estimates and seems like it will meet the city’s needs. It was decided Wiktel should be hired to do the computer networking and updating. Grafstrom reported they have been in touch and will start the set up as soon as the equipment arrives. She also mentioned she has tentatively scheduled Banyon to come and do training January 23 and 24, 2018.
Motion by Councilor Totleben approving Wiktel to be hired to update the computer system and install the networking for the city hall and shop. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Truemer received notice for the City to register for the 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses Operation. (LUCA). Grafstrom reported participation is optional, but accurate reporting can help the city with grant, loan and bonding opportunities. The census bureau would send us a list of city addresses. We would review, and add, any that are missing. Grafstrom reported it is not terribly, but time consuming when we have so many more pressing issues to work on at this time. As the State of Minnesota already does a good job of tracking and the Census Bureau would still physically go out and do the counting, the consensus of the council was no to participate at this time.
Administrator FYI
Grafstrom gave the councilors some housing incentive ideas to review as a way to attract people to purchase or build a house in the city of Hallock. Other cities have similar programs. They do not have to cost a lot, many of the ideas are little or no out of pocket cost to the city. She just wants them to consider it and maybe activate the planning and zoning committee to start reviewing ideas like this.
Grafstrom is concerned because the city ordinance book seems out of date and difficult to make changes when ordinances are amended. She spoke with the city attorney’s office. They suggested purchasing model ordinances from American Legal Publishing for $1100.00. They come on a disk, so they can be updated and modified easily. American Legal Publishing also sends updates on changes to the state law so a city can keep up with what is required at the state level. The city of Stephen recently purchased the model ordinances. When Stephen completes the update, they will hold a public hearing and adopt the entire code at one time. The attorney’s office suggested this option because it is far cheaper than using the city attorney’s office to update the ordinances. American Legal Publishing does this as their sole job, so they are able to do it cheaper. The cost of their model ordinances is about 5 ½ hours of legal time with the city attorney. Updating the ordinances and verifying they are in keeping with state law would take a legal team a minimum of one week if they did nothing else. Grafstrom just wanted to mention this as she would like the city to consider doing the same.
Website Update: Grafstrom reported she was briefly able to access the city’s website which is powered by something called Squarespace. Both Treumer and Peterson confirmed they get spam email from Squarespace as well. When Grafstrom went back in to work on the website again, the site blocked her and will not let her go any further without credit card payment. It does not give an amount. Prior to this Grafstrom has never heard of Squarespace and she would like to see the council consider switching to Govoffice.com to power the website. She feels Govoffice sites are user friendly and attractive to visitors. She encouraged the council to go look at other city sites powered by Govoffice. She has worked with Govoffice before, they are reasonably priced and offer many options. You can actually reach someone when you contact them and they get back to you right away via email. They offer various training webinars to help with updating the site. Updates can be done often and easily. Options they offer include campground reservations online and an online payment option. They charge the user a nominal fee for the service, so receiving payments this way would not be a charge to the city. We have had campers and a few utility customers ask to be able to do credit card payments. She reported a good website is a powerful tool in this day and age for attracting visitors and residence alike. It is also a useful tool for posting public notices for city residents.
Grafstrom reported members of the EDA, and herself, had a meeting with USDA Rural Development regarding the business loan grant. At the meeting she asked the representative about housing options. Most are for individuals, but she shared the information she received with the council. She pointed out in the information she passed on, that representatives from USDA would be willing to meet with us to discuss
Council Roundtable
The council briefly discussed the Dam Project. Grafstrom shared a citizen’s suggestion. The group discussed the border hours and the possibility of getting them modified for the summer months. The fire department would like to get some trees or shrubs to plant in front of the hall.
There being no further business, Councilor Larson moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council of December 4, 2017. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor
Angela M. Grafstrom,
City Clerk/Administrator
(January 10, 2018)

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