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City of Pelican Rapids




The City Council of the City of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:30 p.m., Monday, 09-10-07, in Council Chambers of City Hall.  Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Ben Woessner, John E. Waller, III and David Gottenborg were present.  Council Member Richard Peterson was absent.  Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Police Chief Scott Fox, Utilities Superintendent Brent E. Frazier, Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson, Library Director Annie Wrigg, Liquor Store Manager Bob Leslie, Gene Miller, Stan Zierke, Jamie and Mia Teberg, Donna Stenholm, Shirley Ralston, Karen Homan, Jane Trosvik and Carson, Janice Stromberg, Karen Mickelson, Renee Stromberg, Alan Johnson, Jerry Wilm, Keith Stromberg and Kelley Gorman of the Pelican Rapids Press were also present.


Mayor Runningen called the meeting to order.


Dogs were added to the agenda.  There were no deletions.


Jamie Stromberg addressed the City Council on dangerous dogs on behalf of the fourteen people present.  Police Chief Scott Fox reviewed the current ordinance which discusses dogs on public property while the State of Minnesota addresses private property.  The City’s attorney is looking at the ordinance to include aggressive behavior on private property.


“There are 20 kids and two day cares in this neighborhood,” said Jamie Teberg.  The dog was running loose in the neighborhood and on the streets the day it attacked Police Officer Macleod.  People present at the council meeting identified times and people threatened by the dog that challenged Officer Macleod.


“What concerned me about this dog is that many people had complaints about the dog, but the City Police had not been called on the dog,” said Administrator Don Solga.  The City Council will consider ordinance revisions as soon as they are available.


Jerry Wilm and Alan Johnson, of the Classic Car Show Committee, were present to request that 1st St. SW be blocked from the elevator to 5th Ave. SW during Turkey Days to allow Burn-Out Contest and Balance Beam from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Council suggested alternative areas such as Lake Region Blvd. or 1st St. SW at the west end of Mill Ave.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to approve closure of a portion of 1st St. SW as discussed for automobile contests, subject to approval of surrounding property owners.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the minutes.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to approve the minutes of 08-13-07 and 08-28-07 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the Accounts Payable Listing of 09-10-07.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to approve payment of the Accounts Payable Listing of 09-10-07 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Police Chief Scott Fox reported on activities in his department.  Chief Fox read a letter of resignation due to retirement for Sgt. Scott Wellnitz, effective 11-30-07.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to accept the resignation of Sgt. Scott Wellnitz, effective 11-30-07.  Motion passed unanimously.  Mayor Runningen said the City will be offering Scott Wellnitz thanks for his many years of service to the City.


Mayor Runningen asked if the school liaison officer program was going to be handled the same way this year as in the past.  Chief Fox expects it to remain the same, but he will be checking on it with School Superintendent Deb Wanek. 


Utilities Superintendent Brent E. Frazier reported on Well No. 8 which has been cleaned up and tested at 200 gallons per minute.  This is better pumping than when the well was taken off line.  The well is not going on line at this time, but will be held for use if necessary.


He also reported on Well No. 15 and the pumping tests were favorable.


Frazier reported that city employee Dennis Heruth has passed his licensing test and is a Class A Plant Operator.


Mayor Runningen said he has received a letter from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) notifying the City that we are on the Public Facilities Funding List.


Administrator Don Solga reviewed the ordinance regarding the discharge of water to sanitary sewer system.  He recommends imposing a small fee of $15 to $20 per year for issuing a permit.  Mayor Runningen said the City would want to review the matter annually.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize city staff to review the ordinance to discharge water to sanitary sewer system to expand the permit process.  Motion passed unanimously.


Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson reported on televising the 657 ft. of sewer main.  The mains are in overall pretty good shape.  The problem that prompted the televising was in a private service line.  Airport fuel pump has been installed.  The swimming pool was closed before Labor Day.  New playground equipment has been installed in E.L. Peterson Park through an Early Childhood Initiative Grant.


Library Director Annie Wrigg reported on personnel at the library.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Woessner to approve hiring of Julie Tunheim as library assistant and Emina Corbo as custodian at the library.  Both positions will be paid at the starting level of the Library Salary Schedule.  Motion passed unanimously.


Liquor Store Manager Bob Leslie reported on the Liquor Store.  He requested authorization to attend two holiday retail shows. 


Administrator Don Solga discussed two options concerning airport property.  Council could consider selling the airport property to a private developer.  The flip side is that the City could hold on to the property and develop it. 


Gene Miller of Miller Engineering, Inc., said they are looking at a willingness by the City to sell the property and establish a selling price.  “My client is interested is developing an air park and a multi-plane hangar is a possibility,” Miller said.


The other issue is building a multi-place hangar in the general aviation area.  The City could develop this through the state program, but the City would have a capital investment to build the hangar and cash flow the hangar until the state program provides 80% of the cost in an interest free loan.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller that the City has an interest in developing the airport property and for that reason the City is willing to consider selling the property to Growth Investments, L.L.C. with the negotiations to be conducted by Administrator Don Solga, Council Member Richard Peterson and City Attorney Greg Larson.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Runningen discussed the Fire Hall at 101 S. Broadway and options to sell property.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to hire Steve Zimmerman to appraise the Fire Hall.  Motion passed unanimously.


Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert presented the 08-31-07 Financial Reports.  She reported that the City of Pelican Rapids has been notified by Commissioner Patricia Anderson that the City successfully met the requirements of the Local Government Pay Equity Act and Minnesota Rules, Chapter 3920.  The notice was a result of an official review by the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations and the City’s 2007 pay equity report.


Administrator Solga discussed the proposed budget for 2008.  Expenses are projected to increase about 6%.  General taxes are proposed to increase 4.7%.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to accept the proposed budget for 2008 and certify the proposed 2008 levy for the General Fund for $576,860.30 and the Special Levy for $96,425 as reviewed.  Motion passed unanimously.


City Council discussed the applications on behalf of the  Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter to conduct Charitable Gambling at Crossroads Corner, 10 South Broadway, for the term of two years.  City ordinance sets out a one year only licensing period.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Woessner to approve the Charitable Gambling License for 2008 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter to conduct Charitable Gambling at Crossroads Corner, 10 South Broadway, for the term of one year, beginning on January 1, 2008, subject to the laws of the State of Minnesota and the ordinances and regulations of said City of Pelican Rapids pertaining thereto. Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


Glenys Ehlert, CMC


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