City of Pelican Rapids 



October 8, 2009



Monday, October 12, 2009                     5:30 p.m.         Council Chambers, 315 N. Broadway

1.                  Call to Order

2.                  Agenda Additions or Deletions

3.                  Approval of Minutes

4.                  Approval of Accounts Payable Listing          

5.                  Project Pay Request

·         WWTF Improvement Pay Request No. 12 – Gridor Construction - $33,400.57

·         WWTF Improvement Pay Request No. 8 – Interstate Engineering - $19,510.76

·         WWTF Improvement Pay Request No. 4 – Engineering America, Inc.-$37,672.24

6.                  Preliminary Engineering Report 5th Ave. NE

7.                  Library Report

8.                  Police Chief Report

9.                  Street/Park Superintendent Report

10.              Utility Superintendent Report

·         Lagoon Presentation

·         Water Tower Inspection Proposal

·         Interstate Engineering Contract

11.              Financial Report

12.              Planning Commission Report

13.              Veterans’ Memorial River Park Presentation – David Gottenborg

14.              Travel Policy






The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, 10-12-09, in Council Chambers, City Hall.  Mayor Ben Woessner, Council Members Richard Peterson, Steve Foster, Kevin Ballard and John E. Waller, III were present.  No one was absent.  Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Police Chief Jeff Stadum, Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier, Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson, Jon Olson of Ulteig Engineers, City Employee and Translator Cristina Saavedra, Park Board Member David Gottenborg, Planning Commissioner Mel Zierke, Chet Nettestad, Gloria Rosiles and Kelley Gorman of the Pelican Rapids Press were also present.


Mayor Woessner called meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.  All present stood, addressed the flag and said the pledge of allegiance.


Certify Unpaid Utility Bill to Otter Tail County was added to the Agenda.  Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to accept the agenda as amended.  Motion passed unanimously.


Motion by Foster, seconded by Waller to approve the minutes of 09-29-09 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council considered Accounts Payable List of 10-12-09.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Peterson to approve the Accounts Payable Listing of 10-12-09 as presented for the City in the amount of $52,633.29, for the Library in the amount of $4,873.53 and for the Liquor Store in the amount of $76,317.20.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Woessner reviewed the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Improvements for P-Management, Improvement Project No. 75, requests for payment.  Motion by Peterson, seconded by Foster to approve Pay Request No. 12 to contractor Gridor Construction, Inc., in the amount of $33,400.57, and Pay Request No. 4-Final to Engineering America, Inc., in the amount of $37,672.24 as recommended by Engineer Alex Schwarzhoff and Administrator Don Solga. Motion also approves payment to Interstate Engineering, Inc., in the amount of $19,510.76, as recommended by Administrator Don Solga.  Motion passed unanimously.


Jon Olson of Ulteig Engineers, Inc., presented a Preliminary Engineering Report on Utility and Street Improvements on 5th Ave. NE.  There are utilities at 1st St. NE, but the depth of the sanitary sewer is insufficient to provide gravity service to the properties on 5th Ave. NE.  Water and sanitary sewer is available at 2nd St. NE and 3rd Ave. NE.  They propose looping water at 1st St. NE and 3rd St. NE.  The report includes an urban section of street improvements for 5th Ave. NE.


Project Costs would be $373,900 for 5th Ave. NE, including urban street improvements.

The easement area from 2nd St. NE to 5th Ave. NE would be $44,200 and water main looping would be $8,800.  One property owner has requested the service.  However, the City has had notice that other septic systems on 5th Ave. NE are failing.  Motion by Peterson, seconded by Waller to introduce the following written resolution, entitled: RESOLUTION RECEIVING REPORT AND CALLING HEARING ON IMPROVEMENT PROJECT NO. 76 – 5TH AVE. NE.  (A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s Office.)  Motion passed unanimously.


Property owner Gloria Rosiles said it’s a project that needs to get down sometime. Mayor Woessner said the Council understands that but the neighboring property owners need to be convinced to do the project now.


Motion by Peterson, seconded by Ballard to set the public hearing for Improvement Project No. 76-5th Ave. NE on 11-09-09 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall. Motion passed unanimously. 


Park Board Member David Gottenborg brought an idea from the Park Board to develop the Veterans’ Memorial River Park with a simple walkway, planting some trees such as clump birch and creating a perennial bed similar to the one along Hwy. 59 at Grace Lutheran Church in Erhard.  The horseshoe shelter presently located in this park area needs to be removed.  The park also needs green space.  Gottenborg said, “If we’re going to straighten it out, we’re going to lose some parking spaces.  We could make some sizeable plantings yet this fall and spend about $3,000 for larger trees and perennials.  The VFW was present at the Park Board meeting and they liked this design.  Either this is a park or it’s going to stay a parking lot,” Gottenborg said. 


Gottenborg continued, “Now it’s council’s decision to remove the horseshoe pit and decide that this would be a green space.  We could bring in 7-10 trees and bare root plants for $3,000 to $4,000.  I think it could be very nice.”


Chet Nettestad is a member of the Senior Citizen Club and the Senior Center Board of Directors.  He said, “The parking is a concern for the Senior Citizens.”


“The parking has to be thought out, but the river is the greatest asset in Pelican Rapids,” said David Gottenborg.  “Is it going to be a walking park with flowers and memorials?” asked Chet Nettestad.  “Yes, the flowers and plantings will provide an area, a destination, for people to walk along the river to this area and sit down,” said Gottenborg. Gottenborg requested action on removal of the horseshoe pits and said that the Park Board would ask the Senior Citizens to attend the next Park Board meeting to discuss parking. Motion by Peterson, seconded by Foster to remove old horseshoe shelter. Motion passed unanimously.


Utility Superintendent Brent Frazier presented his report on the water and wastewater facilities.  Mayor Woessner asked if everything is going to be done so City can meet the deadline of 11-01-09.  Superintendent Frazier said the units are all in and it’s going to be a period of experimentation to meet the standards.


The water tower has developed condensation or a leak where the water tower tank meets the shaft.  In the winter the ice build-up is a concern.  There has always been a stream of water there in high humidity weather in the summer. The tank is filled with water which is ground temperature.  The concern is that there is a hole in the tank.  Ulteig Engineers has requested a quote from a company that inspects water tanks.  City employees and Ulteig Engineers are monitoring the tower to try to determine if it is a leak or condensation. The water stream stopped as the temperature dropped. Chicago Bridge and Iron designed the tower and they have not seen this problem in any other installation they have built.  Administrator Don Solga said that the City has a quote from Braun Pump to inspect the tower at a cost of $4700. 


Part of the City’s concern about the possibility of a water leak at the tower is that there is no way to provide water service or fire protection to the City if the water tower needs to be drained for repairs. The City previously had a well near the water plant that would provide water to the plant and system when the tower was being cleaned.  However, that well isn’t worth putting more money into. Superintendent Frazier recommends purchase of a variable frequency drive pump to be connected to the high service pump at the water plant.  The variable frequency drive pump will provide and maintain water service during periods of downtime at the water tower. He has a quote of $7,000 for that type of pump. Motion by Peterson, seconded by Foster to obtain two quotes on the recommended pump.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Council decided to wait on the water tower inspection and monitor the situation through the winter.


Police Chief Jeff Stadum presented his report. 


Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson presented his report. He requested authorization to install two dead end signs.  Motion by Peterson, seconded by Ballard to approve purchase and installation of two dead end signs.  Motion passed unanimously.  The semi-annual water main flushing was conducted on 09-29-09. Annual sewer jetting has been completed; there are some areas to televise. The parks got winterized. Hockey boards will go up this week.  Mayor Woessner said he wanted to pass on a compliment to Superintendent Olson and his department.  A resident commented on the timeliness of the dust guard control this year.


Utility Superintendent Frazier said the heating and air conditioning at the Wastewater Facility is no longer functioning.  He has two quotes:  $9100 from Honeywell and $8500 from Dean Nelson Sales and Service for new units.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Ballard to approve purchase of the unit at the low quote in the amount of $8500.  Motion passed unanimously.


Administrator Don Solga requested an estimate from Interstate Engineering, Inc., to finish up the WWTF phosphorus project.  He says the engineering is going to go over budget by about $10,000 and he recommended that Council approve this amount to be added to the oversight and inspection engineering portion of the contract.  Council declined to take action. 


Utility Superintendent Frazier presented information on the lagoon system.  He said the system began to serve West Central Turkeys (WCT).  The WCT plant needed sewage treatment and the 14.1 acre equalization pond and three anaerobic ponds were built in 1956.  In 1988 two ponds were changed from north to south to being aligned east to west.  Superintendent Frazier said, “We lost the sludge cover; it never redeveloped perhaps due to wave action.” 


Water from turkey plant comes into the two .75 acre anaerobic ponds and through a lift station to the 5 acre anaerobic pond, built in 1995. Then the water goes into the 3.2 aerated pond built in 1994, and flows by gravity to the equalization pond.  It is discharged to the Pelican River annually.  Frazier continued, “We added a by-pass pit so water can come directly from WCT to the WWTF.  Only problem there would be BOD loadings.  We thought if we have a lot of odor coming from the ponds we could divert the loadings to the WWTF.”


The liquid alum for phosphorous treatment will be added to the equalization pond.  The City may need to use a pontoon boat rather than the john boat currently used to add the bleach.


Administrator Don Solga presented the Planning Commission’s discussion on garage sale issue and home businesses.  One perpetual garage sale is in a residential zone and one perpetual garage sale is in a commercial zone.  Typically a garage sale is of items that the resident has gotten the item’s useful life and offers it for sale once or twice a year.  The Planning Commission’s question is does the City need a Garage Sale Ordinance to define the number of sales a homeowner may have each year?  Mayor Woessner said he thought the City needs an ordinance regulating garage sales.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Ballard to direct the Planning Commission to draft a Garage Sale Ordinance.  Motion passed unanimously.


Administrator Don Solga said the Planning Commission discussed home based businesses which are permitted in the residential zone in an attached garage or the main building as long as it doesn’t exceed 25% of the combined space.  The City may want to look at what type of home businesses to allow in residential zone.  Council Member Peterson said, “We have two choices:  1) Leave everything as it is and enforce the ordinance.  2) Or revisit the whole concept and redo it.”


Administrator Don Solga continued, “Conditional Use has primary criteria set up by the State and secondary criteria set up by the City.  What’s the best for the community?”  Motion by Foster, seconded by Waller to direct the Planning Commission to research possible changes to city ordinances to permit the existing home businesses to continue.  Mayor Woessner, Council Members Waller and Foster voted yes.  Council Members Ballard and Peterson voted no.  Motion carried.


Library Director Annie Wrigg’s report was presented by Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert.  The library is busy and meeting room use is up.


Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert presented the 09-30-09 Financial Reports.


Administrator Don Solga presented a written policy for Travel, Conferences, Schools & Training. Motion by Waller, seconded by Ballard to approve the Travel Policy.  Motion passed unanimously.


Motion by Waller, seconded by Peterson to approve certifying an unpaid utility bill in the amount of $227.51 for parcel number 76000990201000, to the County Auditor for collection with real estate taxes.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council Member Peterson and Waller questioned the Liquor Store bill to Corky’s Refrigeration.  City staff will check the invoices and report to Council on 10-27-09.


Motion by Ballard, seconded by Waller to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m.  Motion passed unanimously.



Glenys Ehlert, CMC



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