HALLOCK CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
May 7, 2018
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Dave Treumer called the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council to order at 5:32 pm on May 7, 2018. Those Present: Mayor Dave Treumer, Naomi Larson, Kevin Waller, Jennifer Peterson, and Mike Totleben.
Also Present: City Administrator Angela Grafstrom, Chief of Police Mike Docken, Margie Holmgren of the Kittson County Enterprise, and Dan Larson of the City Utility Dept.
Councilor Larson moved to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the Minutes of the Regular Hallock City Council Meeting of April 2, 2018 as presented. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Approval of EDA Loans
The Hallock EDA had approved a $5000 deferred loan to MT Trailers and Bean and Brush, the council just needed to give their approval. The EDA determined to give 2 loans of $5000 per year, so the funds are depleted for the year.
Councilor Totleben moved to approve the EDA loans of $5000.00 each to Bean and Brush and MT Trailers. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Additional Funds to the EDA
Air BNB had made a request for an EDA $5000 deferred loan. Grafstrom reported she informed them the funds had already been spent for the year. EDA President Jim Johnson had talked to her and asked if the council would consider the additional $5000 then advertised to the public the funds were used for the year. Making this know in the minutes and in the article the Kittson County Enterprise writes should cover this. Due to lack of funding, the council did not feel they could approve the additional funds for this year. Waller would like the council to consider increasing the EDA funds in the future.
Councilor Peterson moved to not approve any additional funds to the EDA at this time. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried with Waller abstaining.
Approval of April Bills
Councilors Larson and Treumer reviewed bills. Motion by Councilor Larson to authorize payment of City bills in the amount of $261,688.47, General fund, checks #10151 to #10208 totaling $261,688.47; which includes a transfer of $42546.93 to the payroll account to cover wages, taxes and benefits, and check #10154 to transfer $100597.07 in investments from Morgan Stanley to United Valley Bank as authorized at the previous council meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Grafstrom drew the council’s attention to check #10197 to MT Trailers for $6423.13. She informed the council this was a new trailer purchased by the fire department. Fire Relief donated a check to the city for $6423.13 for the purchase, but, she wanted the council to be aware that a purchase this large should be approved in advance by the council whether they get a donation or not. Peterson mentioned she thought there was a dollar amount for council approval, Grafstrom said she believed it was anything over $1000. Treumer thought this had been mentioned to Fire Chief Klein before. Going forward it was agreed the fire department needs to get council preapproval on purchases over $1000 as this is taxpayer money.
Councilor Totleben and Councilor Peterson agreed to review the bills for the June 4, 2018 meeting.
Clarify Baseball Fee
Grafstrom requested the council clarify the baseball fee as it was approved at $35.00 but Ogorek told her this should be $25.00 with a $10.00 t shirt fee. Peterson confirmed this is correct. She asked the council to approve updating the fee schedule to $25.00.
Councilor Waller moved to update the Baseball fee from $35.00 to $25.00. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Ameripride Rug Service
Airport Manager Jeremy Seng had requested that Grafstrom ask the council if they would add the airport to the Ameripride Rug Service. The council said Ameripride rug service is expensive. Currently the utility department just washes the rugs they have at the shop. Waller suggested they purchase rugs and do the same at the airport. Grafstrom informed the council they already have four (4) rugs. Council agreed the airport should also just wash the rugs they have. No action taken.
Designated Reserve for Commercial Apron Extension
Grafstrom reported the airport commission would like the city to designate a reserve fund for the commercial apron expansion project at the airport. They suggested depositing the aerial applicator rental fees into this account to build the reserve. Totleben reported this project is on the Airport Capital Improvement Plan beginning in 2024. Grafstrom agrees with the commission’s recommendations.
Councilor Totleben moved to create a reserve fund for the commercial apron expansion using the rents received from the aerial applicator agreements. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Chief Klein was unavailable, no report.
Deer Hunt Update
Chief Docken reported the In-town archery hunt had been approved by the council via email as 5/7/18 was the deadline. The paperwork had been submitted and he intends to issue 15 licenses in designated areas, running 5 at a time for about 1 month each beginning in September and running to December.
Chief Docken reported he ordered the 10 new fire rings at $50.00 each for the campground. He told the council Grafstrom had gotten the name of another sign company used by the City of Argyle that may be cheaper than the one we used in the past for ordering street signs. He reported Peterson, Larson, Grafstrom and himself had gone out and marked the camp sites with paint and the utility department got them graveled last Friday. He said we still need more power for the daily campsites. Gary Koop did put some in last year at a higher amperage, but we still need a few more. Council instructed Utility Department Larson to get a quote from Koop for more power in Gilbert Olson.
New Computer System for the Police Department
Grafstrom presented the council with estimates of $1083.71 and $1369.51 for a new computer for the police dept. She had originally given Chief Docken one of the computers removed from the office, but we have since learned this does not work as he has to have a “clean” computer for security reasons when accessing county and BCA records. Waller asked if we could get the same deal as the county. Docken added the quotes are exactly what the county got.
Councilor Waller moved to approve the estimate of $1369.51 to purchase a new computer system for the police department. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Chief Docken finished by reporting on tickets issued.
Celebrate Hallock Committee Request
Grafstrom reported the Celebrate Hallock Committee asked if the city crew could do the ground preparation for the Hockey sign on the edge of town. Grafstrom expressed concern that the city should not be in the business of taking money away from local contractors as the committee informed her they did already make a deal with one of the local contractors to do the work for $3800. They are just wanting the city to do it for “free”. Grafstrom reminded the council the city does not work for “free” and the taxpayers would still be paying our wages. Utility Department Larson added that the city does not have the equipment to do the job anyway and we would have to rent it from the same local contractor. Waller said the committee does a lot for the city and we should not just say we can’t do it, but offer help in the future if needed. Grafstrom said she would contact the committee and explain.
Employee Resignation and Retirement
Mayor Treumer thanked Troy Vagle on behalf of the City Council and recognized him for his 23 years of service to the city.
Councilor Totleben moved to accept the resignation of Utility Superintendent Troy Vagle as of May 7. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Treumer said we will miss Tom Klegstad and thanked him for his years of service to the city as well. He said both Vagle and Klegstad said they would be available to the utility crew if they have any questions. Mayor Treumer went on to say Klegstad took pride in the work he did. He wished him well in his retirement.
Councilor Peterson moved to accept the retirement of Utility Maintenance Personnel Tom Klegstad as of May 16 with him using his vacation to stay on the payroll until it was used up in about August. The motion was seconded by Councilor Larson and carried unanimously.
Additional Years Gas Purchase
Grafstrom reported her and Dan Larson had attended the annual Constellation Viking Gas meeting last week in Mahnomen. We again earned first place for our purchase price of gas. Our basis price from June of 2018 to May of 2019 is at $-.05. She reported for the first time ever, we can secure a gas price for 1/3 of our purchases through 2028. She presented the options offered. We can secure a purchase price of $3.04 for 1/3 extending our current price from 2021 to 2023. Or, the city can lock in a price of $3.28 for 1/3 until 2028. Both are lower than the historic high of $4.50. She is seeking council approval to lock in at one of the rates. The gas company has steps to go through at their end, and it is a lengthy process. They will not start it for the 2028 plan unless the council approves the purchase. Waller and Treumer stated they did not feel comfortable locking in for the longer term. They were concerned about the need to raise gas prices. Grafstrom explained our price should be set high enough that we don’t need to change it every time the price slightly fluctuates. We purchase in Dekatherms. This means a .10 increase in our price equals about $10/year for the average residential household. They asked what others at the meeting thought. Larson and Grafstrom reported that some of the other cities were considering it.
Councilor Totleben moved to approve locking in 1/3 of our gas purchases at $3.04 until the year 2023. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Robert Carr Deed/Check
Grafstrom reported her and the city attorney’s office are wondering if the council feels Robert Carr is in a place to complete the deed transaction and return his check. They have moved ground out there and Carr has applied for an EDA revolving loan. She is looking for a consensus as we need to wrap it up and also complete the EDA loan. She could give the check back when he comes in to sign the paperwork for the EDA loan if they approve. Council discussed and felt Carr would complete the project.
Councilor Peterson moved to complete the sale of land to Robert Carr and return his check. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Approve new City Hall Rental Agreement
The attorney’s office has not completed the update of the City Hall Rental Agreement at the time of the meeting, so this was tabled until a later date.
Dan Sjostrand Agency
Grafstrom received email notification from LMCIT it is approaching time to renew our property and casualty policy. At the November 6, 2017 meeting the council said they would like to open the insurance agency of record up for bid as they had received a letter from another agency at that time who wanted to bid. Grafstrom informed the council the city is not required to take bids on the insurance and suggested they reaffirm the Sjostrand agency as our agent of record. After much discussion the council by consensus agreed they would keep the insurance with the Sjostrand Agency and not take bids.
Approve the Temporary Liquor License for Kittson County Ag Society
Councilor Peterson moved to approve the temporary liquor license for the Kittson County Ag Society to host a beer gardens and dance hall at the county fair. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Resolution 2018-03 Golf Course to Serve Liquor at Dive In
Grafstrom reported we had Liquor Liability certificates from Far North Spirits and Revelation Ale naming the city as additional insured as they will be pouring under the Golf Course License. The city attorney advised we get these. We needed the liability insurance to be provided just like when someone rents city hall.
Councilor Waller moved to approve Resolution 2018-03 to allow the Golf Course to serve liquor at the public park for the “Dive In”. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
Approve City Hall Floor Waxing
The city office staff thought it would be nice to have the floors waxed in the lower level auditorium as they are starting to look bad and should be maintained. They received an estimate of $700.00 from Victor Camacho to do the work. The council discussed and thought it would be nice for the upcoming June events.
Councilor Larson moved to approve hiring Victor Camacho for $700.00 to wax the floors in the lower auditorium. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
Approve Zoning Permit 2018-03
Jolene Froese submitted plans and a request for a zoning permit to add an 8 x 12 vinyl storage shed with gravel parking to her property. The plan met all the city’s required setbacks.
Councilor Peterson moved to approve Zoning Permit 2018-03. The motion was seconded by Councilor Totleben and carried unanimously.
Set Pay Rate for Summer Baseball
Grafstrom reported we had received two (2) applications for the position and at the recommendation of the Parks and Rec Board as well as the former coach, she would like to be able to hire two (2) coaches. She had interviews set for May 17. Last year they had 60-65 kids in baseball and T-ball. She said the council had budgeted $6000.00 for summer baseball and she would like them to leave at least $4000 for the coaches. Last year’s bus driving came to $326.00 and it was around $700.00 the year before. She does not know how to explain the difference. Peterson thought maybe there had been more carpooling last year. Peterson suggested they be paid $11.16 an hour, that is close to what we pay the other summer help. Grafstrom agreed this was a good idea. Waller asked what we paid the other first year summer help and Peterson said it was $11.20. They all agreed we should just make it the same and pay the coaches hourly instead of as a salary.
Councilor Larson moved to approve hiring two (2) summer baseball coaches at a rate of $11.20/hour each. The motion was seconded by Councilor Waller and carried unanimously.
The main topic of discussion for the council roundtable was hiring of city employees to replace the two (2) we lost this month. Treumer mentioned we are down two (2) people and overtime will be okayed, but eventually the two (2) guys we have are going to want time off. Treumer suggested we hire a full-time temporary employee. We already have summer help started. Both Grafstrom and Peterson expressed concern about the amount of time spent on training a temporary worker, plus it won’t help with weekend rotations as they need to be certified in gas. Treumer and Waller are not sure we really need four (4) full time employees, but we need a least three (3) and one needs to be the supervisor. The council asked Dan Larson when the utility department is the busiest. Larson said the Spring and Fall. Treumer talked to Docken about reading meters. Peterson said we definitely need four (4) full-time utility workers and Grafstrom agreed. Waller said we need to better track how the employees are spending their time. Grafstrom said we do on the time sheets. Waller wants more detail. Peterson asked how he wants that done and how much time a day should the employees spend tracking what they do as opposed to doing their job. Peterson said we all need to work on being better advocates for the employees and standing up for them instead of jumping on the complaint bandwagon. Grafstrom agreed that morale among city employees is very low right now and the council needs to show more support for the city staff and defend them. We have a good, hard-working staff who should be supported. Grafstrom reported we have zero (0) applicants so far with ads on MMUA, Rural Water and the LMCIT websites, in the Kittson County Enterprise, INDEED website, Facebook and in the Grand Forks Herald and the Herald jobs board. Peterson said she did receive one application on the city Facebook page but she was unable to retrieve it. Peterson noted how many employees our neighboring cities have and our reducing staff could set a precedent putting others out of work. Waller said we are not concerned about other cities and have to decide what is best for Hallock. Peterson suggested we advertise for a maintenance worker and not just a supervisor. Treumer feels we could offer the worker job to applicants who are not hired as the supervisor. The council decided to hold a special meeting on May 21 at 5:30 pm to discuss the hiring.
The pool opening was discussed. Grafstrom reported it was planned for June 4 and currently we have only three (3) confirmed returning lifeguards. T. Davis had called and said she was returning but since then, has not been in touch and we have heard she took other employment. Peterson said she would contact her directly. Peterson also said her daughter planned to apply. We have one new lifeguard application right now. Peterson said to advertise. If I forward her the ad, she will put it on our Facebook page. It was suggested we advertise in the Northstar News and the TRF Watch and contact Hallock, Karlstad, Lancaster, Drayton and Pembina Schools to put it in their bulletin.
The grates for the trees: The council said the city will not do the work and Vagle offered to do it on his own time. Grafstrom noted she went to UMC to view the student presentations on the pollinator gardens. Council asked Dan Larson about the playground equipment. The pieces are assembled and can quickly be bolted together but he suggested the city hire the designers to place the 58 poles that need to be cemented into the ground in precise locations. No decision was made.
There being no further business, Councilor Waller moved to adjourn the Regular Meeting of the Hallock City Council of May 7, 2018. The motion was seconded by Councilor Peterson and carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
Dave Treumer, Mayor
Angela M. Grafstrom,
Minutes prepared by Angela M. Grafstrom
(June 13, 2018)