City of Pelican Rapids 





The City Council of the City of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:30 p.m., Monday, 02-14-05, in Council Chambers, City Hall, 315 N. Broadway.  Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members John E. Waller, III, Ben Woessner and David Gottenborg were present.  Council Member Richard Peterson was absent.  Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Police Chief Scott Fox, Street and Park Superintendent Tom Soberg, Utilities Superintendent Brent E. Frazier, Comprehensive Plan Facilitator Gene Miller, Dennis Ouren, Brady Ouren, Judith Marko, Daren Berube, Dan Skinner, Bard Miller, Denise Magnusson, Pam Westby and Tom Hintgen of The Press were also present.


Meeting called to order by Mayor Runningen.


Lake Country Services Cooperative Safety Training was added to the agenda.


Comprehensive Plan Facilitator Gene Miller reviewed the Comprehensive Plan.


Miller apologized for a comment he made in a public meeting about trail to Maplewood Park.  Miller said the Council agonized over the trail and the decision to turn down the money.  Miller continued, “You kept the community intact by turning down the trail.  That decision led to the community being ready for the Comprehensive Plan.”


Planning Commission Chairman Daren Berube thanked Miller for his work and the Planning Commissioners for their work on the plan.  About a third of the way through, he called Ben and Wayne because he got so caught up in the process.  It was a very positive process.  Gene did a great job at keeping the process fun.  As Chairman of the Planning Commission, Berube said the Planning Commission formally presents the Plan to the City Council and recommends adoption of the Comprehensive Plan.  Commissioner Bard Miller said, “We hope the City Council will keep this document active and part of the decision making process.”


Mayor Runningen said he had to apologize to the Planning Commissioners because he told people that the Planning Commissioners job was an easy one.  He thanked the Commissioners for all their time and hard work on this document.  He said the City Council will discuss the Plan and expect to take action on it at a future meeting. 


Mayor Runningen continued, “I’m really appreciative of this document because eleven or twelve years ago as a Planning Commissioner, I was looking for this document.  I think this will be used by the Council and the Planning Commission as they make decisions for the City.  Council Member Woessner said, “Thank you for the hours you put into the plan.  The meetings brought people into a positive way of thinking about the community.  I’ve heard more positive comments about Pelican Rapids in the past year than in the last 20 years.”     Mayor Runningen thanked Tom Hintgen of The Press for excellent coverage of the meetings and planning process.


Brady Ouren discussed an Eagle Scout project he is proposing.  This would be to install four grill stands in the camping area of Sherin Park.  Ouren does not anticipate needing funds to cover expenses for paint and concrete.  Park Board Chairman Denise Magnusson said the Park Board members have approved the project.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to approve Brady Ouren’s Eagle Scout Project as proposed.  Motion passed unanimously.  Mayor Runningen said, “Please let us know if there are any expenses in connection with this project that you would need the City to pay.” 


Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Woessner to approve the minutes of 01-10-05 and 01-25-05 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to approve Accounts Payable Listing of 02-14-05 for City and Library as presented. The Library bills have been approved by Library Board Member Gary Lage.  Motion passed unanimously.


Police Chief Scott Fox presented his report.


Utilities Superintendent Brent E. Frazier presented his report. 


Mayor Runningen reported that he, Council Member Gottenborg, city staff and Pat Reisnour of Interstate Engineering are meeting to discuss wastewater rate study in connection with the phosphorous study.


Allen Ripley explained that the fire department is requesting an increase from $1600 per year to $1800.  The maximum allowable rate would be $2500.  In 2005 there would be no request for municipal support.  Three sources of revenue:  municipal support, 2% of the property valuation from the State of Minnesota and investment income.  $530,000 is in the retirement fund at the present time.  If there is a shortfall, the City would need to fund it.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to raise the fire department retirement rate from $1600 to $1800 per year served.  Motion passed unanimously.


Street and Park Superintendent Tom Soberg reviewed his departments’ activities during the past month.  He recommended thanking Loretel Systems for their help with taking down the holiday banners. 


Administrator Don Solga and Street and Park Superintendent Tom Soberg obtained bids from Interstate Implement, Inc., in the amount of $16,125 and Clay-Becker, in the amount of $15,250 for a John Deere 1420 commercial front mower with JD 62” mower deck with rear discharge.  These funds were included in the 2005 budget.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to approve the purchase of the lawn mowing tractor from Clay-Becker/RDO Implement of Hawley, in the amount of $15,250.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Council Member Gottenborg asked about the overland flooding taking place in area of Ridgecrest Drive.  He questioned if Moore Engineering is going to look at the water situation as well as the street improvement project.  Mayor Runningen directed Soberg to have Moore review the storm water situation.  Moore Engineering will be present at next meeting to report on progress.


Library Director Pam Westby reported on activities in the Library.  Pelican Rapids Library has been selected as an Honorable Mention for the Best Small Library in America Award 2005.  Council Member Woessner and Mayor Runningen discussed concerns about sidewalk during thawing and freezing cycles.  Council Member Gottenborg asked about the letter Westby wrote about the development of River Park.  Westby said the library’s concerns are for parking.  Denise Magnusson of the Park Board said the Park Board is aware of the parking needs of the Library.  Mayor Runningen said, “I would hope that people would understand that the Park Board and Library will work together and decide what is best for the community and they will be guided by the Comprehensive Plan.”


Mayor Runningen thanked everyone for helping with the Liquor Store Inventory.  Council reviewed the Liquor Store report.   


Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert reviewed the January 2005 financial reports.


Administrator Solga reviewed the need for department heads to have access to the City’s corporate credit card through individual cards.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize credit card use for department heads and establish a credit line of $1000 per department to be authorized by department heads in accordance with city purchase order policy and to establish procedures for safeguarding the cards.  City Policy permits department heads to authorize up to $500 per purchase order.  Motion passed unanimously.


Administrator Solga presented a report on rental housing.


Council reviewed the City Attorney’s recommendation regarding the liability concerns of a potential Chamber of Commerce Demolition Derby.  Council directed city staff to contact the Chamber of Commerce Turkey Days Committee to obtain a written proposal for the Demolition Derby.


Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to appoint Judith Marko to the Planning Commission for the year 2005, filling the unexpired term of Roy Fossen.  Motion passed unanimously.  Council directed Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert to write a letter of appreciation to Judith and to other candidates for offering to volunteer their time to the commission.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Runningen reviewed storm water retention.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to acquire the tax forfeited property parcels 0056-000, 0057-000 and 0058-000 for the public purpose of creating a storm water retention area.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Motion by Waller, seconded by Woessner to approve fire call increase from $300 to $400 for the first hour and for fire alarm calls as recommended by the Fire Department.  Motion passed unanimously.


Administrator Don Solga reviewed a training contract with Lakes Country Services Cooperative to conduct training for the city employees at an annual cost of $6,200.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Woessner to approve the training contract with Lakes Country Services Cooperative as proposed.  Motion passed unanimously.


Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.



Glenys Ehlert, CMC




Official Website of the City Of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota