Working with IEDC, the city identifies shovel-ready building sites for residential home development

All Deer River City Councilors were present for the Monday, June 14 meeting, with nobody attending via Zoom. Highlights included:

Opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer. 

Regular meeting minutes from May 24, 2021 were approved as read, as well as the working session minutes from May 27, 2021.  

Approved the bills for $332,089.46. 

Rick Rogich, Deer River Public Works, stated hydrant flushing, lift station maintenance and the lift station repair at the shop are completed. The pond project is also moving forward. The public works crews will be working on getting things ready for the Wild Rice Festival. Curbs, parking spaces and speed bumps will be getting painted.  

Rogich is getting quotes on some sections of sidewalk replaced along First Avenue Northeast. 

The new dump truck was delivered on June 17, 2021 and the swimming beach is open and being used.  

Rogich presented land use and cooperative agreement with the State of Minnesota for the Council to consider. The agreement states that the State will provide a dock, and the city will install, take out and maintain the dock. After discussion, council approved the agreement between the State of Minnesota and the City of Deer River. 

The grass blight notices are out, and people are getting the lawns in shape. However, Rogich has had to mow for two residents, which will be billed.  

The waterline to the community garden is in and operational. Rogich also brought back trade-in values for the 2002 Dodge. The low value was estimated at $3,675, and the high value is estimated at $8,100.   The overhead door at the shop is broken and will need to be repaired or replaced. Rogich received an estimate for repairs of $3,200, and to replace the door would be $12,000. Council advised him to do the repairs. Council asked Rogich to contact the dust control company and apply it to the dirt alleys and streets.  

City Administrator Mark Box said that the internal posting for the Deputy Registrar / Deputy Clerk/Treasurer was posted and the City received one application. Box asked for the Council to appoint ReaAnne Lattimore to Deputy Registrar and Deputy/Clerk-Treasurer which was approved. Council also approved Resolution 2021-14, a resolution requesting Rea Anne Lattimore be appointed Deputy Registrar for the City of Deer River. 

Box has met with a group from surrounding cities to discuss residential home development. Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) hosted a meeting asking the individual cities what they have for shovel-ready building sites. Box has provided the information of property the city has, and the other cities were doing the same. This developer builds 50 homes per year. 

Approved to transfer the balance of the TIF funds to the general fund. The TIF District is closed, and the city has never charged for the administration, advertising or auditing of the TIF, so there’s a balance that can be transferred. 

Approved resolution 2021-16, which would allow the Mayor and Administrator to sign resolution 2021-16, a resolution approving the issuance of a $930,373.00 PFA loan. This is a 30-year, one percent bond to go along with the 1.9-million-dollar grant from PFA for the pond construction. 

Approved resolution 2021-17, a resolution approving the DNR dock operation and maintenance agreement.  

Approved pay estimate Number One for the pond construction for $147,025. 

Approved resolution 2021-18 accepting a donation of $5,000 from Enbridge Energy for use on the walking trail. 

Box asked for approval to sign the agreement with Burlington Northern to work within their right of way. The agreement is good for one year. The cost for the agreement is $3,110 and a fee of $1,266 to be added to their liability insurance. Council approved this.   

The city codebook is now online. Box said if any council members want a hard copy to let him know, and he will make copies.  

The City of Deer River has old light poles, a non-operational street sweeper, a dump truck. and a fire truck no longer being used. Box asked for permission to list them on a city bid along with the previously approved items. Box explained the City would set minimums so the City would at least get scrap metal prices for the items. Council agreed to add the items and advertise them to the public.  

The trail project is being held up by the State who wants to replace the curb as part of the project. The State is looking for funding to pay for this portion of the project.  

The South project is still waiting to be reviewed by Rural Development. The latest estimate for review is June 16, 2021. 

Box will be out of the office for longer than a week and advised the Council of this. Box asked if they were going to want to hold a working session on June 17, 2021. The consensus was to cancel the meeting and make it up during the budget sessions.  

Deer River Mayor Steve Geving asked about a property on Fourth Street Southeast. Box has talked with her, and the house is slated to come down this month, and the lawn is supposed to be mowed this week. The city will mow the property, if it’s not done soon.

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