A total of $26,995.50 will be reimbursed back to the City of Deer River after the council  approved the deputy registrar reimbursement grant at the regular city council meeting on Monday, June 10.

In a letter dated June 6, 2019, it stated legislation recently signed by Governor Walz included an appropriation of $13 million for deputy registrar reimbursement grants related to the development and deployment of the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS). ​

In order for the city to receive reimbursement, a fully completed and signed grant agreement and release form would need to be submitted on or before June 30, 2019. ​

In addition, the state calculated the grant amount using the formula specified in the legislation which was 10% of available funds allocated equally among all deputy registrars, and 45% of the available funds allocated proportionally based on the number of transactions where a filing fee was retained by the deputy registrar from Aug. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2018, compared to the total number of transactions where a filing fee is retained by all deputy registrars. ​

In other business, the council: ​

• Approved the public hearing minutes from May 28, 2019, as well as the regular city council meeting minutes from May 28, 2019 with a few minor wording and spelling changes, as well as the work session minutes from May 30, 2019. ​

• Approved bills in the amount of $33,492.25. ​

• Public Works Foreman Jason Lundquist opened his report mentioning the city recently hosted a training. ​

“Had a really neat trailer. Ended up with 32 city employees,” Lundquist said, adding they were from all over the northeast region. ​

“It was all totally hands on,” Lundquist said. “It was a great refresher. You couldn’t ask for a better training.” ​

Lundquist said Hammerlund Construction finished the sidewalk by the post office recently and that he gave out 10 grass citation notices.​

“They got posted out today [Monday],” Lundquist said. ​

Lundquist explained that when the city receives a power outage, they have to manually open the 16-foot-by-22-foot overhead doors, which takes a lot of manual labor, is heavy and not necessarily safe. ​

He asked the council, which they approved, for a small 13k unit that would run the lights and doors, at a total cost of $8,187. ​

“When we get a power outage, we can’t open our doors,” Lundquist said.​

“I assume you have already checked and have that in your budget,” Councilor Pat Richards asked.​

“These doors are heavy. I look at it as a thing of emergency importance. We have to be able to operate,” Lundquist said, adding the four departments [street, water, sewer and park] can divide up the cost.​

“It probably should have been done a long time ago,” Lundquist said. ​

“I see the guys are painting the speed bumps,” Councilor Barb Serfling said. ​

“What did they cost us?” Richards asked. ​

“About $15,000,” said Mark Box, Deer River City Administrator. ​

• Box also had several items for his report. ​

He received approval on the bonding bill request. ​

“There is a resolution that needs to be signed, if you want to continue for the wastewater pond. We did increase it to $5 million,” Box said. “We can still use the rural development match to match that, and the small cities development grant. Because both of those things won’t take place until next year.”​

He added, “The total application is $10 million, asking the state for $5 million.” ​

The construction loan resolution was approved with the city choosing Bremer Bank at an interest rate of 2.8% for a three-year loan term.​

“We have it written into the agreement we can ask for an extension,” Box said.​

Total loan amount would be $3,664,000, providing funds for the temporary financing of preliminary costs of improvements to the city’s municipal water, sewer and storm sewer utilities, including payment of engineering costs. ​

• Approved the conflict of interest policy. Box explained the state statute dictates all these rules.​

“We have to have a written conflict of interest policy for the USDA grant,” Box said. “I sent a couple examples over to (City Attorney) Andy (Shaw).” ​

• Box signed the gambling license application for St. Mary’s. ​

• Approved signature of the annual maintenance and grooming application form for Blueberry Hills Ski Trail, which is required by the DNR Cross-Country Ski Trails Assistance Program. ​

• Box provided an update on Deer River having a drivers license facility. He stated the application has been submitted and added the State of Minnesota came out and took the square footage of the facility. ​

“After talking to them, sounds like they are going to make it work,” Box said. “We can get a variance. We meet the public area requirements.” ​

• Approved the pull-tab booth for Outpost Bar and Grill. ​

• Box also explained the new population calculation shows the Deer River population going down, basing it off the 2010 census, which decreased from 942 to 925. ​

“I let them know about the new senior center and the new home, they do this in March of 2018. The home they didn’t have, and the senior facility is late, so it wouldn’t have made this survey,” Box said. “They figure our local government aid on this.”​

Councilor Chris Reed was absent. ​

Highlights from the May 28, 2019 Deer River City Council meeting, included: 

• A public hearing preceded the Deer River City Council meeting at the Tuesday, May 28, 2019 regular meeting, held to vacate some platted streets and allies that will never be developed. ​

There was no public comment. ​

The streets and allies to be vacated are as follows: That platted right of way lying easterly of Blocks One, Four and Six, Ingersoll’s Addition to Itasca City; and the north one-half of Marion Avenue lying easterly of First Street and southerly of and adjacent to Lot Three, Block One, Ingersoll’s addition to Itasca City.​

No council members saw an issue to vacate the streets and allies. ​

• Infrastructure projects for 2019 and beyond were the topic of the night at the regular meeting. ​

•Approved the public hearing minutes with a date addition of May 13, 2019. ​

• Approved the regular meeting minutes from May 13, 2019 with no changes. ​

• Work session minutes from May 14, 2019 were approved. ​

• Bills in the amount of $14,300.52 were approved. ​

• Deer River Fire Chief Steve Jurvellin gave his report. ​

“Had a few calls since the last time I was here,” Jurvellin said. “Mississippi meadow fire was probably the only one of size.”​

“That’s a good thing for the month, I guess,” Jurvellin added. ​

A house burn is scheduled for June 18, 2019. At this time, it is just for the Deer River Fire Department. As for the potential mutual aid agreement between Deer River and Cass Lake, Jurvellin told the council to keep thinking about it. ​

“We have never mutual aided with them before, but they are our department to the West,” Jurvellin said. ​

The fire department received a $10,000 grant from TransCanada, primarily wrote for the new hoods. Flashlight helmets were also added. ​

“Seriously, look at the heating system this summer,” Jurvelin said. “I would like to get some bids.” ​

The current system is 39 years. Jurvellin said in his 28 years, they have had one major rebuild. ​

Council said there is nothing wrong with getting bids. ​

• Police Chief Tammy Perry gave her report and stated there were 147 calls in April and that on May 28, they brought the D.A.R.E. graduates to the Twins game. ​

“It’s the first time in a long time, we haven’t been above calls from the previous year,” Perry said. ​

• Allie Jurvellin, city engineer, gave her report stating sod is finished, with a few minor things to finish up for the 2018 south end project. ​

Milling of Fifth Avenue was scheduled for May 29, with paving on the 30th. ​

Jurvellin said the speed bumps have been a topic of whether or not to install them. Council was a little torn, as some were in favor and others thought why not cut it out of the budget if the public has been obeying the traffic laws. Motion was made to approve the speed bumps. ​

• Street vacation resolution was approved. ​

•Approved the consulting agreement with Northland Securities, Inc., in Minneapolis to a drawn-down loan in the amount of approximately $3,664,000 for system improvements and to refund the City’s General Obligation Temporary Utility Revenue Note, with a bank of their choosing. ​

• Received a letter from the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training stating the Deer River Police Department had passed the comprehensive review of their records.​

• A motion was made to reject the bid for the water main project from Eighth Avenue to County Road 128.

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