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City of Pelican Rapids

2/28, 2001



Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Paulette Nettestad, Denise Magnusson and John Waller III were present.  Council Member Dave Gottenborg was absent.  Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert and Gary Peterson of the Pelican Rapids Press were also present. 


Meeting called to order by Mayor Runningen.


County Commission Action and Public Nuisance Concern were added to the agenda.


Mayor Runningen said he talked to County Commissioner Malcolm Lee regarding the Commissioners’ work on a Central Lakes Hiking/Biking Trail in southern Otter Tail County.  The Commissioners are requesting that the money set aside by the State of Minnesota for the City of Pelican Rapids’ Hiking/Biking Trail be transferred to the Central Lakes Trail.  The City of Fergus Falls has allocated $166,000 to support the project.    Total enhancement funds requested were $664,000.  The trail is located on an abandoned railroad bed owned by the State of Minnesota.


Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson reviewed the engineer’s bill for Hiking/Biking Trail work in the amount of $22,544.71.  He has submitted the bill for reimbursement with the State of Minnesota.


Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Magnusson to approve payment of the engineering bill in the amount of $22,544.71 to Larson-Peterson & Associates.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council Member Magnusson brought the discussion back to Council regarding safety concerns at the high school.  Cars parked too close to the crosswalk are a problem.  The School Board is considering the matter and will provide a recommendation to the Council.  She requested that the police department provide extra patrolling during school events.


Jenson said the Head Start Program met with him regarding their need for a different location for the program.  He provided a couple of suggestions regarding buildings and tax forfeited lots.


Mayor Runningen provided information about the Town Meeting scheduled by Representative Paul Marquart at The Rapids on 03-10-01 at 2:30 p.m.


Jenson reviewed staff work on the water tower bond refinancing and preliminary payment schedules for 10 and 15 years.


Motion by Waller, seconded by Nettestad to extend the water tower bond financing to 2016.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Runningen said that during the water budget discussion, committee members felt the water tower would benefit the community for 70 years more or less and so people need to contribute to it over a period of time.


Jenson said the public nuisance concern, trailers located in business district in violation of the zoning ordinance, have been referred to the City Attorney.


Mayor Runningen said the Salary Negotiating Committee has been meeting with the police union to negotiate a contract for two years. The proposed contract provides a 4% increase in the first year, 2001, and 4% the second year.  An investigator will be appointed by the police chief and compensated at the rate of $50 per month for these duties.  The contract will also include $40 towards health insurance in 2001 and $35 in 2002.  There is additional language proposing a sick leave severance package.  Details of qualifications are part of police union contract.


Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to approve the proposed contract changes for police union for 2001 and 2002, subject to the union signatures.  Motion passed unanimously.


The Salary Negotiation Committee is recommending a wage increase for 2001 for other employees.  The committee met and discussed individual employees and developed rate changes for various positions.  Benefit increases would include a $40 per month increase in the City’s payment of family health insurance and the same sick leave severance pay proposed for the police union.


Motion by Nettestad, seconded by Waller to accept the rate changes, insurance and sick leave severance pay at retirement as proposed by the Salary Negotiating Committee, retroactive to 01-01-01.  Motion passed unanimously.


Meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.


Glenys Ehlert

Deputy Clerk-Treasurer


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