City of Pelican Rapids 


9/8, 2003



The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in regular session at 5:30 p.m., 09-08-03 in Council Chamber of City Hall.  Present:  Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Dave Gottenborg, Ben Woessner, John Waller III and Denise Magnusson.  Also present:  Administrative Assistant Richard A. Jenson, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier, Street & Parks Superintendent Vern Benson, Police Chief Scott Fox, Library Director Pam Westby, Engineer Gary Nansen, Rick Gail of the Pelican Rapids Press and the following members of the public.  Phillip M. Toftely, Delane Wahl, Rosemary K. Daniels, Bob Bjorgo, Sharon Bjorgo, Mark  Pierce, Kimberly Pierce, Marge Anderson, Susan Foster, Teresa Foster, Daren Berube, Jennifer Berube and Susan Strand.


Add to agenda – Pelican Drug Curb and Gutter; Community Center Item, Announcement of Library Employee Retirement.


Meeting called to order by Mayor Runningen.


Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to approve the minutes of 08-11 and 08-26-03 as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the Accounts Payable Listing of 09-08-03.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to approve payment of the Accounts Payable Listing of 09-08-03 with the following additions:  Minn. Dept. of Health, state surcharge, $956; Pelican Press, publications, supplies, $235.10 and Municipal Service Co., WWTF service, $2849.85.  Motion includes payment of the library bills as approved by the Library Board.  Motion passed unanimously.


Police Chief Scott Fox presented his report.  The Budget Committee has approved the purchase of a new squad car in 2004.  He has obtained a state bid from Nelson Ford in the amount of $21,973 for a 2004 Crown Victoria.  There will be an additional cost of $4,000 to $5,000 for equipment such as light bar and radio equipment.  Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to authorize ordering a 2004 squad car for delivery and purchase in 2004 at the state bid price of $21,973 from Nelson Ford.  Motion passed unanimously.


Utilities Superintendent Brent Frazier reported on wastewater matters including the treatment plant grinder authorized previously by City Council.


Street and Parks Superintendent Vern Benson reported on activities in his departments.

Council considered the Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Policy distributed previously.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to approve the Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Policy.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council reviewed the Liquor Store report.  Mayor Runningen reported that Auditor Dan Rollie is completing the City and Liquor Store Audit for 2002 and will present it at the last meeting in September.


Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert present the 08-31-03 Clerk’s Financial Report and the Schedule of Investments.  The first payment of $12, 500 from West Central Initiative Fund for the Multicultural Grant was received.  Crossover Refinancing for Street Improvements monies were received in August.


Mayor Runningen announced the League of Minnesota Cities Regional Meeting is 10-01-03 in Detroit Lakes.  Council Members will notify Ehlert if they would like to attend.  He also announced a retirement party for Library Employee Dorothy Damschen is scheduled for Thursday, 09-11-03, 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.


Mayor Runningen reviewed a JOBZ grant application for the State of Minnesota.


Motion by Woessner, seconded by Waller to introduce the following resolution, entitled, SUB-ZONE RESOLUTION OF APPROVAL TO AUTHORIZE TAX EXEMPTIONS. A complete text of this resolution is part of permanent public record in the City Clerk’s Office.   Motion passed unanimously and resolution declared duly adopted.


Pursuant to due call and published notice thereof, the City Council conducted a public hearing to consider the making of an improvement on 4th Street SE between 6th Avenue SE to a point approximately 600 feet northerly thereof by the construction of water and sewer mains and service lines, curb, gutter, bituminous surfacing and storm drains, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Sections 429.001 to 429.111.  The area proposed to be assessed for such improvement is adjoining 4th Street SE.  The estimated cost of the improvement is $167,000.


Engineer Gary Nansen of Larson-Peterson and Assoc. Engineering, reported on the process for the consideration of improvements.  He presented drawings of the proposed street and discussed sewer and water extensions, storm water flow and level of the street and costs.


Total Cost is estimated to be $167,600.  A 100 ft. lot would be assessed just under $13,000 for water, sewer and street.  City will pay 80% of the storm drain costs.


Members of the public present spoke about high cost for street improvement.  The consensus of the members of the public present was that they were opposed to the street improvement but were not opposed to the water and sewer mains and service lines.  A complete text of the hearing is part of permanent public record in the City Administrator’s office.


Council Member Gottenborg said the City has an obligation to provide water and sewer service for a failing system.  At the same time he does not want to assess people for water service and/or sewer service who already have paid for service through another source. 


Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to close the hearing.  Motion passed unanimously.


Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Waller to deny the project as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council considered various options.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to authorize Gary Nansen to explore possibilities to serve the three properties with water and sewer.  Jenson asked if the council would consider installing a service line in the street right of way.  Council would like to know the cost of extending water to serve just the three properties and the cost of looping water service.  Motion passed unanimously.


Jenson reported on the Planning Commission’s findings at their meeting on 09-04-03.


Motion by Gottenborg, seconded by Magnusson to approve final plat of Lake Region Estates. Motion Passed unanimously.


Motion by Waller, seconded by Gottenborg to waive fees for recording final plat.  Voting Yes: Gottenborg, Waller, Woessner, Magnusson.  Voting No: none.  Abstaining: Runningen.  Motion carried.


Council Members discussed Planning Commission’s recommendation that the City build the proposed houses on Lots 1 and 2 to allow more room for park development if necessary.  The view of the river on Lots 3 and 4  makes these lots more desirable.  Jenson will provide the Economic Development Committee with the Planning Commission’s recommendation.


Mayor Runningen presented the 2004 Proposed Budget.  He said the General Taxes increase is directly due to cuts in Local Government Aid by state legislators.  He reviewed personnel costs, capital expenditures, pool maintenance and utilities for Old City Hall on the Visitor Information/Old City Hall line, airport increase for building maintenance and library increase.


Library Director Pam Westby explained the federal mandate requiring internet filters on every PC in the library. Regarding the $10,000 cut in 2003, the library will be closed on Thursdays in November and December and reduce some staffing.   They received $3,000 from Friends of the Library.  This will reinstate some programs.   


Mayor Runningen said the Committee cut a number of capital outlay items and looked at everything.  There aren’t a lot of places to cut. Gottenborg said $20,000 was cut from pool maintenance.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to approve the Proposed 2004 Budget as presented.  Motion passed unanimously.  Mayor Runningen thanked Gottenborg, Jenson and city staff for their work on the budget.


Jenson recommended setting budget hearing for 12-1-08 at 7:00 p.m. and 12-08-03 at 6:00 p.m.  Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to set the above budget hearing Dates.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Council considered the Post Office request for 10 minute parking restriction.  They discussed cost of signs and enforcement.  Motion by Woessner, seconded by Magnusson to authorize the Post Office to install 10 minute parking signs on the north side of Hwy.108 East, adjoining Post Office.  Motion passed unanimously.


Council Member Gottenborg reviewed Old City Hall Financing.  The Budget Committee suggested putting those costs, $71,500 for interior work; into the current budget but decided against this solution.  Instead they suggest taking an interfund loan from the Sewer Fund litigation money.  These costs would be repaid over a period of ten years with interest.


Jenson reviewed Community Center.  Merle Miller of Dunn Township called to request the City’s position on the Community Center being built and financed by the Hospital District.  Council Member Gottenborg said, “I may have an opinion.  As a Council we only received preliminary information two weeks ago.  We have questions as a Council also.”  The Council does not have a position at this time.


Council Member Woessner reviewed a request for the City to install new curb and gutter on Hwy. 108 East adjacent to Pelican Drug, prior to installation of new sidewalks.  Jenson said he will check on prices with the County project.


Mayor Runningen explained that the Personnel Committee will be interviewing for the position of Street and Parks Superintendent tomorrow.  They will have a recommendation for the Council’s consideration later in the week. 


Motion by Waller, seconded by Magnusson to adjourn this meeting to Wednesday, 09-10-03, at 5:00 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall.


8:10 p.m.

Glenys Ehlert, CMC

Deputy Clerk-Treasurer



Official Website of the City Of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota