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City of Pelican Rapids

5/8, 2000


The City Council of the City of Pelican Rapids met in regular session on Monday, 05-08-00, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pelican Rapids Public Library meeting room.

Present:  Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Paulette Nettestad, Denise Magnusson, John Waller III and Dave Gottenborg.  Absent:  none.   Also present: Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier, Street Superintendent Vern Benson, City Attorney Morrie Kershner and Gary Peterson of the Pelican Rapids Press.

Meeting called to order by Mayor Runningen.

Item 13 - Revolving Loan Fund Guidelines was deleted from the agenda and will be addressed at the 05-31-00 meeting.

Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Waller to approve minutes of 4-10-00, 4-24-00 and 4-26-00 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.

Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to approve payment of the Accounts Payable Listing of 5-8-00 with addition of Thein Well Co., water purchase - $534.68 and In Control, well staging repairs - $354.50.  Motion passed unanimously.

City Attorney Morrie Kershner explained history of Minnesota Pollution Control Agencies’ (MPCA) fines for wastewater treatment facility violations. Original fine assessed by MPCA was $100,000.  This was reduced to $50,000 at meeting on 10-4-99 of MPCA and city officials.  City Council responded with a counter offer of $30,000 at a later meeting on 4-5-00.  MPCA says City has been diligent in trying to deal with violations; however, their public policy obligation is to enforce the fines and deal with municipalities as they would deal with private industry.  If the City does not pay the fine, MPCA will turn the matter over to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  According to Kershner it’s decision time for the City Council.  The options are 1.  Pay the money.  2.  Say no and attempt to deal with it politically.  Kershner said, “My recommendation is to pay the fine and move on.”

Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize payment of  $50,000 fine to MPCA.

Attorney Kershner said there is still a stipulation agreement to work out, but with approval of the dollars, this won’t be a problem.

Mayor Runningen explained that the City could direct the money to an area watershed district project through a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) agreement authorized by MPCA.

Question called.  Motion to pay $50,000 in fines to MPCA passed unanimously.

Street Superintendent Vern Benson reported he has received a quote of $1,000 for striping, painting curbs and crosswalks.  If the City crew were to paint these areas, it costs $500 for the paint and the City has to borrow machine from the City of Detroit Lakes when it is convenient.  The work could be done next week if City accepts quote.  According to Capital Equipment Schedule, the City is due to purchase two public works pick-ups this year.  Benson has requested quotes.  One pick-up to be replaced is a 1984 and one is 1995.

Benson has received an estimate for pressure washing, minor repairs and two coats of high gloss satin paint for the Powerhouse Windmill building in the amount of $3500.  Benson has tried to obtain quotes for past two years for this project and this is the only person willing to submit a quote.  He requested council’s action on painting projects.

Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to authorize $1,000 for painting striping, crosswalks and curbs.  Motion passed unanimously.

Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Waller to authorize Mark Borgen to paint the Powerhouse Windmill building at a cost of $3500.  Motion passed unanimously.

Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier reported that Well No. 14 is on line and the City purchased seven million gallons of water at .075 cents per thousand during the past month.  He reported on other activities in his department.

No liquor store report was available.

Council reviewed the May Financial Reports.  Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert reported on Direct Deposit recently authorized by Council for payroll.  She said the process is working well.  Ehlert reported that Direct Payment of Utility Bills has been very popular.  “The combination of the newly purchased meter reading system and automatic bill payment has improved customer service to residents, “ Ehlert said.

Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to accept Swimming Pool Director Suzanne Leabo’s recommendation to increase lesson fees from $20 to $25.  Motion passed unanimously.

Council Member Nettestad requested that the City find some method to speed up the lesson registration process at the pool.

Motion by Waller, seconded by Nettestad to approve Jim Hoffe as Library Board Member for years 2000 through 2002.  Motion passed unanimously.

Information on unpaid utility bill to certify to the county was not available.

Council reviewed the Police Department report.  Mayor Runningen discussed crosswalk issues and barking dogs.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Glenys Ehlert, CMC

Deputy Clerk-Treasurer

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