City of Pelican Rapids 



August 6, 2009


Monday, August 10, 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 - Administrator Don Solga

· WWTF Improvement Pay Request No. 10 – Gridor Construction $467,312.00

· WWTF Improvement Pay Request No. 6 – Interstate Engineering - $14,251.88

· WWTF Improvement Pay Request No. 2 – Engineering America, Inc.-$111,823.60

6. Utility Superintendent Report

· Wayne Johnson Waste Proposal

7. Library Report

8. Police Chief Report

· Police Department Presentation – Safe and Sober Program – Tom Kummrow

9. Street/Park Superintendent Report

10. Financial Report – Administrator Don Solga

11. Housing and Commercial Rehabilitation – Public Input

12. Otter Express Update





The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, 08-10-09, in Council Chambers, City Hall.  Mayor Ben Woessner, Council Members Steve Foster, Kevin Ballard and John E. Waller, III were present.  Council Member Richard Peterson was absent.  Administrator Don Solga, Assistant Clerk Julie Lammers, Police Chief Jeff Stadum, Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier, Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson, Library Director Anne Wrigg, Kelley Gorman of The Pelican Rapids Press, Tom Kummrow of Safe and Sober and Wayne Johnson 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.


Motion by Foster, seconded by Waller to accept the agenda.  There were no additions or deletions. Motion passed unanimously.


Police Chief Jeff Stadum introduced Tom Kummrow from Minnesota Safe and Sober Program.  Kummrow informed council about a grant for equipment given to the City of Pelican Rapids.  Stadum chose an in-car video camera for the police car no.104.  Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to accept the grant for an in-car camera from the Safe and Sober program. Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the minutes of 07-13-09 and 07-28-09. Motion by Waller, seconded by Ballard to approve the minutes of 07-13-09 and 07-28-09 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the Accounts Payable Listing of 08-10-09 and an additional bill for Karl Grefsrud Construction for $5,411.00 for sidewalk repair.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Foster to approve the Accounts Payable Listing of 08-10-09 with addition, in the amount of $92,126.31 for City, $125,621.14 for Liquor Store and $5,089.08 for Library bills. Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Improvements for P-Management, Improvement Project No. 75, requests for payment. Motion by Foster, seconded by Waller to approve as recommended for payment of Pay Request No. 10 to contractor Gridor Construction Inc., in the amount of $467,312.00, Pay Request No. 6 to engineers Interstate Engineering, Inc., in the amount of $14,251.88 ,and Pay Request No. 2 to Engineering America, Inc., in the amount of $111.823.60.  Motion passed unanimously.


Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier reviewed his department’s activities. 

Superintendent Frazier updated council on Wayne Johnson’s waste proposal.  Frazier checked with four other cities (one is no longer accepting loads) and received three quotes for $74, $103.60 and $137.50 a load. There are some cities charging up to $259 a load.  Johnson has proposed paying the City at $20 a load.  The lift station by the city shop may be the best place to enter the system.  Frazier said, “We need to know if he has equipment to make sure we do not have spillage and we need some kind of cap on the lift station.”  Periodic testing, a record or log of information, and liability insurance issues need to be determined prior to formulating and agreement.  The City needs to be assured that only domestic wastewater will be discharged into the city system.  Johnson is looking at 2-3 loads a week in the winter and 5-6 loads a day in summer.  Mayor Woessner requested that the City find out if Johnson is willing to pay proposed charge before we spend additional time putting this agreement in place. 


Motion by Foster, seconded by Waller to charge $100 a load for a six months trial period. 

Discussion included liability issues and willingness of Johnson to pay this charge. Motion passed unanimously.


Library Director Annie Wrigg reported on the library.


Mayor Woessner thanked Police Chief Jeff Stadum for his work with Safe and Sober program.  Chief Stadum reported on activities in the police department.  


Street and Park Superintendent Brian Olson presented his report on the streets and parks.  Olson recommended hiring Anna Skow-Anderson, Cody Tullar, Austin Lammers and Alyssa Berube as lifeguards to continue the season if they pass life guard training.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Ballard to hire Anna Skow-Anderson, Cody Tullar, Austin Lammers and Alyssa Berube at the rate of $7.49 an hour contingent on passing the program.  Motion passed unanimously.


Solga reported on the July Financial Reports.  The Budget Committee has met once and the next meeting date needs to be established.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Foster to accept financial reports.  Motion passed unanimously.


Wayne Johnson joined the meeting.


Administrator Don Solga introduced the Housing and Commercial rehabilitation discussion requesting public input.  “As we go forward with the Small Cities Grant, we welcome input and comments from the public on the importance of commercial and home owner rehab.  We also need Mayor and Administrator to sign a Needs Priority Plan documenting the two most important needs are commercial and owner-occupied housing rehabilitation.  One comment often heard is people saying they wished they had applied for the program,” Solga said.  Administrator Solga informed the Council that the City did not get enough funding to cover the needs in the last grant.  The application list is a work in process as more people come into City Hall and seek funding through the grant program.  Solga asked council and public to comment on City’s need for commercial and owner-occupied housing rehab. 

Council reviewed and discussed the following information about the community: Owner occupied housing stock in Pelican Rapids is much older than average. Approximately 34% of all owner occupied housing units are pre-1940 construction. State­wide average for pre-1940 housing is approximately 21%.

The existing housing stock in the City is in fair condition. Approximately 58% of the houses were judged to be in need of Minor or Major Repair. Without rehabilitation assistance, there is the potential that the affordable housing stock will shrink in the City of Pelican Rapids.

Sixteen homes in the City were rated as Dilapidated and possibly beyond repair, which is a relatively large number of dilapidated homes.

The substandard homes in the City aren't concentrated as they are located in all four quadrants of Pelican Rapids.

Household and family incomes for Pelican Rapids are lower than the State-wide medians. The City's estimated median household income for 2007 is $33,658, which translates into an approximate housing affordability level of $841 per month. While this income level matches up well with prices for low ­valued existing homes in the City of Pelican Rapids, it is not as well matched to the prices for new housing construction.

Housing in Pelican Rapids is in need of improvements to meet expectations of potential buyers.

Most of the housing opportunities will continue to be provided by the stock that is already on the ground. This is especially important for affordable housing opportunities, as it will almost always be less expensive to offer an affordable unit through rehabilitation versus new construction.

Evidence suggests that a percentage of the existing stock is not being well maintained and needs repair. Emphasis on housing rehabilitation will be important to meet future housing needs.

Many jobs in Pelican Rapids are at the lower end of the pay scale and the employees with these jobs have limited housing choices.  Efforts and investment in housing rehabilitation activities will be critical to offering affordable housing opportunities.

The affordability and condition of the existing housing stock in Pelican Rapids will continue to be a major attraction for families that are seeking housing in the area.

Rehabilitation of homes and businesses adds much needed value for homeowners, the surrounding neighborhoods and the community as a whole.


Well maintained housing, businesses, and community are inviting to visitors, families and employers looking to relocate.  It promotes a safe and active environment.


Motion by Foster, seconded by Ballard to sign Needs Priority Plan for City.  Motion passed unanimously.


Administrator Solga informed the Council that the pre-application cover page for the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP)Grant needs the Mayor’s signature.  Motion by Foster, seconded by Waller to authorize the mayor and administrator to sign Pre-application cover page for the SCDP Grant. Motion passed unanimously.


Otter Express Update was presented by Administrator Don Solga.  He said that for five weeks reported, the City only had four or five new riders.  The City’s cost for free Thursdays in July is $41.00.  “What we were trying to do was good, but we did not see an increase in riders,” said Solga.  Solga is meeting with Otter Express to see what the next step is going to be and he will continue to update council as he knows more.


Mayor Woessner addressed Wayne Johnson and explained that the City Council discussed his proposal at great length and the figure would be $100 per load on a six month trial basis.  City Council asked Johnson to let Administrator Solga know in the next few days if he was still interested in dumping waste into the municipal system.


Motion by Ballard, seconded by Foster to adjourn the meeting at 6:45 p.m.  Motion passed unanimously.



Julie Lammers, CMC

Assistant Clerk

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