CITY OF PELICAN RAPIDS COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES – 10-11-99
The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 6:30 p.m., on 10-11-99 at the Pelican Rapids Public Library meeting room.
Present: Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Paulette Nettestad, John Waller III, Denise Magnusson and Dave Gottenborg. Absent: none. Also present: Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier, Julie Sachs, Glenace Metcalfe, James Wick, Roger Schleske, Mazie Wick, LouAnn Schleske, Raymond Kratzke, Melissa J. Cox, John Grabarkewitz and Stephanie Larson.
Meeting called to order by Mayor Runningen.
Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to approve the minutes of 9-13-99 and 9-29-99 as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Waller, seconded by Nettestad to approve payment of the 10-11-99 Accounts Payable Listing as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
Council reviewed the Liquor Store Report.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson presented the Street Department’s report.
Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier reviewed activities in his departments. He distributed copies of the Consumer Confidence Report recently published in the Pelican Rapids Press.
Council reviewed the police report.
Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert presented the September financial reports. She reported on finance sessions she attended on tax increment financing, leadership, new reporting standards for cities and employee benefits. Ehlert said the sales tax audit recently completed for the City by the State of Minnesota resulted in the City qualifying for a refund of $2,576.84.
Pursuant to due call and published notice thereof, bids were opened at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 10-11-99, and read aloud for construction, installation, leasing, operation and maintenance of a city water well. One bid was received from Thein Well in the amount of $.075 per thousand gallons of water pumped to the City of Pelican Rapids.
Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Waller, to accept the bid from Thein Well for construction of Well No. 14. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Magnusson, seconded by Nettestad to introduce the following written resolution, entitled RESOLUTION RELATING TO CITY OF PELICAN RAPIDS TAX RATE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE YEAR 2000. (A complete text is part of permanent public record in the city clerk’s office.) Voting yes: Mayor Runningen, Council Members Magnusson, Waller, Nettestad and Gottenborg. Voting no: none. Motion passed unanimously and resolution declared duly adopted.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson reviewed Calvary Evangelical Free Church’s request for a fill permit to add about 100 yards of fill to their parking lot. Jenson said this amount of fill will not change the drainage patterns, but it will help the storm drain system on 10th Ave SE.
Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Magnusson to authorize a fill permit for Calvary Evangelical Free Church to add 100 yards of fill to their parking lot. Motion passed unanimously.
Glenace Metcalf was present from the Chamber Board to bring some of the issues from the Chamber to the City Council. Concerns of the Chamber are downtown vacancies, burglaries and interest in the Community Policing Program.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson reported on problems with the heating system at City Hall. The present furnace is over 20 years old and it is difficult to obtain parts for it. Cost to repair is estimated at $600. Jenson recommends purchase of a new furnace at a price of $2600.
Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize purchase of a new furnace for City Hall at an estimated quote of $2600. Motion passed unanimously.
Pursuant to due call and published notice thereof, a public hearing was held regarding a proposed assessment of the cost of improving the gravel portion of 10th Ave. SW easterly of the Old Fergus Road by the construction of curb, gutter, base, bituminous surfacing, storm drain and water and sewer services.
Mayor Runningen explained the format of the hearing agenda and copies of the agenda were made available to the public.
Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson reviewed the project costs and explained the proposed street project assessment roll.
City Attorney Scott Dirks presented the assessment process and the appeal process. In order to appeal the assessment people must present their objection in writing to the assessment to the city clerk prior to the hearing or at this hearing. Dirks explained that if the project does not proceed at this time, the City’s agreement to pay 20% of the costs would be null and void.
Julie Sachs spoke against the project and presented a written objection to the assessment.
Jim and Maizie Wick were present and Jim spoke against the project and presented a written objection to the assessment.
Roger and LouAnne Schleske were present and Roger spoke against the project.
Raymond Kratzke spoke against the project on behalf of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Melissa Cox spoke against the project. She said she cannot afford these assessments and would like the street to remain gravel. Cox said the dust was not a problem.
Stephanie Larson said she would like the project done. She said, “But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”
Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Waller to close the hearing. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Magnusson to not adopt the assessment roll.
During discussion of the motion Council Member Nettestad said she thought it was important and necessary to get this all in black and white. Looking at these assessments and listening to comments are her reasons for not going through with assessment roll.
The vote was called. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Magnusson to reject the contractor’s bid. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Magnusson, seconded by Waller to abandon the project. Motion passed unanimously.
Resident Roger Schleske said that three blocks normally would have 36 houses and they only have nine properties. They’re asking for a less expensive project. They want it tarred for $15 a foot.
Council will have to reassess the project and what was heard tonight and decide where to go from here according to Mayor Runningen.
Members of the public discussed various historical items. Council Member Magnusson said that we’re further along even if it seems like we’re back to square one. It’s been a learning process and hard work.
Mayor Runningen thanked people for coming to hearing and participating in process.
Mayor Runningen reported on the Community Policing Meeting held on 10-4-99.
In addition to Community Policing Program, citizens help by participating in Operation ID and Neighborhood Watch and displaying signs. These programs also help discourage crime.
Police Chief Greg Ballard said the next step concerning the community policing is to continue gathering information and invite people expressing interest into another meeting and start identifying block captains.
Chamber Board Member Glenace Metcalf said the Chamber of Commerce is concerned with the impact of these crimes on the downtown. A suggestion is to have the police department more visible such as parking the police car in front of the building.
Council discussed various possibilities with Glenace Metcalf.
“We need to have a more positive attitude as a town,” said Glenace Metcalf.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Glenys Ehlert, CMC