MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE HALLOCK CITY COUNCIL
5:30 PM – JANUARY 2, 2018
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Dave Treumer called the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 5:33 p.m. on January 2, 2018. Those Present: Mayor Treumer, Kevin Waller, Jen Peterson, Naomi Larson and Mike Totleben
Also Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom, Utility Superintendent Troy Vagle, Fire Chief Kevin Klein, Police Chief Mike Docken, Tali Olson, and KCE representative Margie Holmgren.
Councilor Peterson moved to approve the agenda with the addition of 5i Water Rates and 10h Hepper Olson bid. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben, and carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Councilor Peterson moved to approve the Minutes of the Regular Hallock City Council Meeting of December 4, 2017 as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Approval of December Bills:
Councilors reviewed bills. Motion by Councilor Waller to authorize payment of City bills in the amount of $75647.39, General fund, checks #9726-9780 totaling $19431.42; Gas fund, checks #9352-9359 totaling $7709.45; fire dept fund checks # 3985-3990 totaling $18862.36 and payroll overtime totaling $1114.98. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Councilor Larson and Councilor Totleben agreed to review the bills for the February 5, 2018 meeting.
Approval of 2018 Appointments, Committees, Commissions and Board Members List:
The council reviewed the 2018 appointments and committees list.
2018 Appointments and Committees
Acting Mayor: Jen Peterson
Airport Mike Totleben
Asst. Weed Insp: Mike Docken
City Attorney: Brink, Sobolik, Severson
City Engineer: Moore Engineering
City Forester: Mike Docken
City Hall: Kevin Waller
City Rep to Arena: Jen Peterson
Depositories: United Valley Bank,
Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney,
Emergency Service: Mike Docken
Flood Plain/Zoning: City Clerk/Admin
NWRL Rep: Charlie Lindberg
Officers to Sign Cks: Mayor
Assistant City Clerk/Admin
Kittson County Enterprise
Police: Dave Treumer
Parks: Jennifer Peterson
Streets: Kevin Waller
Water, Sewer, Gas: Mike Totleben
Airport Commission: John Fowler
John Vold Jim Younggren
Jerod Hanson Bill Sugden
Angela Grafstrom City Administrator
Flood Committee: Mike Docken
Dan Money Dan Younggren
Kevin Klein Dale Hanson
Troy Vagle Kerry Costin
Dave Treumer* Angela Grafstrom,
Fire Relief Members: Dave Treumer*
Angela Grafstrom City Administrator
Hallock EDA: Dave Treumer*
Jennifer Peterson* Jim Johnson
Rodney Bakken Dan Younggren
Ex Officio: Angela Grafstrom,
City Board of Health: Mike Docken
Kevin Klein Cindy Urbaniak
Housing and Redevelopment
Authority: Kevin Waller*
City Administrator Derek Holt
The above Committee members were approved but the membership on this board was left open. Waller suggested the members of the Visioning Committee’s housing group should also be included. He will contact Betty Younggren, Bob Jaszczak, George Hanson and Todd Johnson to see if they would be interested as they volunteered for the Visioning Committee Board.
Library Board: Peggy Pearson
Susan Cadieux Kay Rosengren
Shannon Christianson Diana Vagle
Betty Younggren Shirley Rydberg
Sharlene Klegstad Charlie Lindberg
Kristin Eggerling Virginia Johnson
Personnel Committee: Kevin Waller*
Dave Treumer* City Administrator
Mayor Treumer wanted to define the duties of this committee. It was decided by consensus this committee would review the personnel manual, participate in employee reviews, be involved in hiring and interviewing, be the salary committee and act as employee representatives.
Parks and Recreation:
Naomi Larson* Brent Donaldson
Jen Peterson* Emily Kuzel
Mike Docken Mark Johnson
Dan Money Shawna Hennen
Ex Officio: Angela Grafstrom,
Grafstrom suggested that members of the pool committee, maybe Kathy Johnson, should be part of the Parks and Rec Committee.
Planning and Zoning:
City Administrator, Chair
Bonita Hanson Jim Johnson
Joe Nigg Mike Morrison
The council decided to leave this committee open to add members up to 10. Grafstrom suggested committees work best with about 6 members. In addition to the members approved to night, Mayor Treumer will approach 2 other individuals about this committee, so this committee membership was also left open.
*Denotes city council member
Councilor Totleben motioned to approve the 2018 Appointments and Committees as discussed. Councilor Waller seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Approval of Fee Schedule
The council discussed the fee schedule and decided the only change they needed to make from 2017 was to raise the full City Hall weekend rental fee from $200 to $300. This was decided because the Hall needs new tables, chairs and kitchen supplies and the extra funds will be put towards purchasing the needed items.
Motion made by Councilor Larson to approve the fee schedule with the increase of the full hall for a weekend from $200 to $300. Motion seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Schedule Personnel Committee Meeting
It was decided the personnel committee would meet January 18 at 4:30 pm to review the personnel manual for approval at the next city council meeting. It was noted that Grafstrom’s 6 month anniversary is April 16, not March 16 as noted in the agenda.
Approval of Park Rules and Regulations
The council reviewed the rules and regulations at a previous meeting.
Councilor Peterson moved to approve the park rules and regulations with a change of the date on Policy #3 from June 1 to June 15 to match the Fee Schedule. Motion seconded by Totleben and carried unanimously.
Approve the Change in Payroll Pay Periods from 24/ year to 26/year
Grafstrom reported that for better accountability and coordination with submitting direct deposit information she would like to see the pay periods changed from 24, paid semimonthly, to 26, paid biweekly. Peterson noted that it does not change the total pay, it just breaks it up differently. The employees would be paid every two weeks, beginning with a short pay period on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Pay will run from Monday through Sunday for a two week period, with payday the following Wednesday. Department Heads Vagle and Docken confirmed this has been fully discussed with staff for at least 2 months and no one has an issue with the change in pay periods. Grafstrom reported she also spoke with the county, Stephen, Warren and other communities who pay every 2 weeks. She got a copy of the county’s pay schedule and used that as a guide. She also spoke to Brady Martz about changing pay periods and the next item, combining the checking accounts. They said no vote is required, but for best practices it is a good idea.
Motion made by Councilor Waller to change the pay periods from 24 per year to 26 per year. Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried with Councilor Peterson abstaining.
Approve the Reduction from 6 Accounts down to 2 Accounts
The council has been told for several years by the auditors they need to reduce the number of individual bank accounts. In an effort to move the city to true fund accounting, Grafstrom suggested now is the time to reduce the number of accounts from 6 (General, Water, Sewer, Gas, fire dept) and payroll to just 2. All accounts, including the fire department savings, will be closed into the General checkbook with only payroll remaining separate so the city still has an account at each bank in town. Going forward, each fund closed into the general account will still be set up with a fund balance, but they will be coded internally and operate out of one bank account.
Motion made by Peterson to authorize Angela Grafstrom, Roxanne Ogorek, and Dave Treumer to close the gas, water sewer, fire department checking and fire department savings accounts into the General fund bank account. Motion seconded by Waller and carried unanimously.
Grafstrom reported the city received a letter from North Kittson Rural Water stating they were raising the city’s rates by 3%. Grafstrom reported that the last time the council raised the rates to absorb the cost, they raised only the “per thousand” usage from $4.50 to $4.64, they did not raise the set minimum which has not been raised in several years. The council was concerned about raising rates, but the water fund is already losing money so the city needs to at least recoup the increase.
Motion made by Councilor Waller to raise the set minimum water rate by 3% from $28.35 to $29.20 to cover the increase from North Kittson Rural Water. Motion seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Chief Klein reported the fire department had officer elections. Each officer was elected for a 2 year term. He needs council approval of the officers. Officers elected were Kevin Klein, Chief, Tim Soliah and Rod Bakken as Lieutenants, and Troy Vagle as Assistant Chief.
Motion made by Councilor Waller to approve Kevin Klein as Fire Chief, Troy Vagle as Assistant Chief and Tim Soliah and Rod Bakken as Lieutenants for the Fire Department. Motion seconded by Peterson and carried unanimously.
Klein reported he has been communicating with City Administrator Angela Grafstrom on the township contracts. The current contracts expire in 2018. He is looking at the formula suggested by the League of Minnesota Cities Grafstrom sent him and they will work together to get the best rates for the city. 2018 payments come in somewhere between January and March.
He reported on other fire department business: The scholarships are due for the SAFER grant. The emergency manager asked for Hydraulic Equipment inventory. The fire department is getting $1000.00 from the county. He will be attending a chief’s meeting. He discussed training and inventorying/dating the equipment.
Klein stated they need to replace the 1991 Pumper truck. They have been meeting with fire truck manufacturers, looking at what they need or don’t need on a truck. They do want to keep their current ISO rating. Currently the fire department relief has $163000.00 saved for a truck. The truck they want all set-up would be approximately $320000.00. The fire department believes they can cover the difference. Grafstrom requested clarification on “fire department”. Klein clarified he means fire relief would contribute pull tab money and the fire department would use the contract money. With that, the department would be able to make payments on a 5 to 7 year lease. The council noted they may have other expenses and questioned what other large expenses Chief Klein sees the fire department having within the next few years. Klein said they are doing an inventory of all equipment and planning to get a list of when the items would need to be replaced. He mentioned charging for fire calls had been discussed, but all the firemen are not for this. Grafstrom noted that most people have a rider on their homeowners insurance to cover $500 towards a fire call so in most cases, people are already paying for it and it won’t be out-of-pocket. Klein confirmed this, but wanted to option to forgive a charge if someone could not afford it. They also noted some concerns by townships as they have fire contracts why should individuals pay? It was discussed the city needs to recoup the costs of the fire department any way they can. Klein noted they have been called to motor vehicle accidents where none of the parties involved live in the county. No decisions were made at this time.
Mike reported we received funds from FEMA.
Grafstrom shared the Airport Project report from KLJ. She mentioned the city was approved for M/O grant funds up to $24771 and the airport commission has been working on FBO and a manager’s agreement with Jeremy Seng.
a. LED Conversion:
Vagle reported they have already converted some of the lights at the shop. He was wondering if the city was interested in continuing to convert the shop and the city hall. He discussed the benefits of the rebate offered by Ottertail. The council said they may be interested, so they instructed Vagle to get some estimates.
b. Main Street Trees:
Vagle reported a committee has already received permission from the county and plans to proceed with the project. The council was concerned about who would water, maintain the trees. What if the trees damaged city pipes? Who would be responsible if they are damaged or die? The council does not want them to become the responsibility of the City? No action was taken.
John Wynne NWCA: Spec Homes
Grafstrom had contacted Wynne shortly after she was hired. He waited until they hired their new administrator to get back to her. Wynne was unable to attend so Grafstrom read a message from Wynne. NWCA might be interested, but would need to meet with the city on the details. Basically they would ask the city to provide the land and utilities until the home sold. Grafstrom asked if the council wished her to set up the meeting and pursue this and they said yes. Grafstrom will schedule a meeting with Wynne and NWCA.
John Wynne NWCS: Tally Olson Refinance
Grafstrom reported that Wynne thought the city should just subordinate on Olson’s refinance as she is staying in her home and meeting the terms of the agreement. If we wanted her to pay us, she would have to pay 80% of the grant back, where if we allow her to subordinate, she will continue to get the reduction in the pay back.
Motion made by Councilor Waller to subordinate the city’s interest to her refinance. Motion seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Community Center Tables and Chairs
Related to the discussion of the increase in the City Hall rental fee was an estimate Grafstrom provided on getting more table and chairs for the city center. The committee agrees we need to replace bad chairs and old tables, but does not feel we should add to what we have until we know what the hall’s capacity is. They tabled this for the next meeting.
Thief River Falls Glass: City Hall Door Proposal
Grafstrom shared the proposal left by TRF Glass when they repaired the door. Chief Klein noted the change would limit our capacity at city hall. The City Hall door was just repaired, no action taken at this time.
EDA Now Accepting Applications
Grafstrom reported the EDA received a USDA grant with a city match to provide low interest loans to new and existing businesses. There will be an article in the paper and ads for 2 weeks to encourage applicants.
Resolution 2018-01: Donation from Rib Fest and Run, Roll, Ride Committees
Grafstrom met with Loren Younggren to discuss the potential donation to the city to purchase playground equipment. The committee has committed $6285 to specific new playground pieces and a couple of benches for the installation at Gilbert Olson Park.
Motion made by Councilor Peterson to pass Resolution 2018-01 accepting a donation from Ribfest and Run, Roll and Ride in the amount of $6285.00. Motion seconded by Councilor Waller and passed unanimously.
Hepper Olson Bid
Grafstrom shared with the council the bid from Hepper Olson out of Warren to establish the capacity at city Hall. She explained she had looked at the architectural plans, hoping the capacity was listed, but it was not on the original or remodel plans. The original capacity signs were taken down when it was remodeled and have since been misplaced. It was suggested Grafstrom first contact our LMCIT loss control specialist and see if he has the capacity. If not, the council will review the bid at the next meeting. No action taken at this time.
Waller and Larson reported the Pool committee is looking for a commitment from the city before resuming fundraising. The committee at this time has raised approximately $70,000.00, but does not have a solid plan. Grafstrom stated the pool belongs to the city and the city should be part of this discussion. At this time, we do not know what our exact financial position is and she would advise caution in committing dollars at this time. Grafstrom also felt the City’s engineers should be involved in developing with costs/options. The city pays the salaries and maintains the pool so they have already committed. Grafstrom said we need to look at how many people realistically use the pool for the dollars. The League has articles suggesting pools are not as popular as they once were and city’s should explore other recreation options like splash pads and skate parks for example. Grafstrom also suggested the Pool Committee should be part of the city Parks and Recreation committee. Someone will reach out to Kathy Johnson of the pool committee as the city would first need a plan.
Grafstrom noted that Wiktel has started the networking and is near completion. At this time they are within $100.00, actually $60.00 of their bid price, although some changes were made as we got going on the project.
There being no further business, Councilor Waller moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council of January 2, 2018. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor
Angela M. Grafstrom,
(February 14, 2018)