The Deer River City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, July 12.  The following are highlights from the meeting. 

Bills in the amount of $110,075.61 were approved.  

Rick Rogich, Deer River Public Works, stated the pond discharge was complete. Rogich explained the new pond and dike are almost finished too, however a couple more inspections need to be done. After the inspections are completed, public works crews will put the final sand down before the liner comes in. Rogich said they started some of the pipework in between the ponds Monday.  

Rogich mentioned there were a few curb lines and parking spots left to paint. 

They still have the red ag-lime to spread.  With practices still going on, they are hoping to get it done toward the end of the month.   

Delivery of the new dock for Moose Lake Beach is tentative for July 30, 2021. With it being so late in the season, public works is debating on whether or not to put the new dock in. The council agreed to leave the old dock in for the remainder of the year. Councilor Chris Reed asked what kind of usage the beach was getting this year. Deer River Police Chief Brian Castellano let the council know that the beach has been busy. 

The city has received the new skid loader and attachments. All attachments have been used except for the snow blower and Rogich said everything works great. In addition, all of the sidewalk repairs have been completed for the year. 

Dust control is scheduled for the end of July. Councilor Reed asked how often it usually gets done. Council discussed how it hasn’t been done since 2018 because of Covid, but Rogich let him know that it’s usually done every two years. All allies will be graded before the dust control spray happens. 

The Wild Rice Festival was busy and went well.  

Coming up, Rogich will be working on hydrant repairs and ditch mowing.     

Sarah Nelson, Assistant City Administrator, let the council know that City Administrator Mark Box will be attending a League of Minnesota Cities policy committee meeting on July 13, 2021 via zoom. This meeting is to get ready for next year’s legislative session.  

The trail project bid opening will be on Aug. 2, 2021, awarded by the city on August 9, 2021 and awarded by the county on Aug. 10, 2021.    

The council pproved resolution 2021-21, authorizing the City to enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Transportation of the State of Minnesota to providing limited use, under the terms and conditions set forth therein of certain right of way of Trunk Highway #6.  

The council approved and signed for the Limited Use Permit. Nelson explained that the Limited Use Permit is for the walking trail. The permit is to make sure that the city’s use of the trail is limited to only the constructing, maintaining and operating of a non-motorized recreational trail. 

Nelson updated the council on some of the legislative updates. The reimbursement process for sales tax on construction will be simplified. There will be a one-time funding for small cities with a population fewer than 5,000. This funding can be used for streets. Councilor Pat Richards asked if the city could use the funding for curbs because there are a couple of corners that need to become handicap accessible. Nelson let him know that she would have to look further into that. The state of emergency ended on July 1, 2021. A decision was made for the state to distribute funds directly to 13 counties, Itasca County being one of them, on or before August 15 for Enbridge property taxes.  This means the City of Deer River will not be responsible for the reimbursement. The property tax process will become more cumbersome in 2022. They didn’t give out a lot of information on this, so there will be more information to come.            

Itasca County Soil and Water is going to be applying for a grant to create a stormwater plan. Direct flows into waterways are not going to be allowed. The planning that Itasca County Soil and Water does will be 100 percent grant funded and the mitigation may have a cost share for the City. This is still to be determined. Richards asked if the drain water the City has now flows directly into the river. Rogich let him know that some of it flows into the swamp and some of it flows into White Oak Lake.   

The council approved and signed a certificate of support. Nelson said, for USDA, the City of Virginia needs a certificate signed stating that the City of Deer River supports their project.  

Pay estimate number two for Uland Brothers, Inc. was approved in the amount of $234,263.87. This pay estimate is the second one for the pond expansion project.  

Nelson let the council know that the south end project plan has been approved.       

The council approved an address change for New Beginnings who has moved their entrance door from First Avenue Northeast to First Street Northeast.  

Castellano mentioned the weekend went well with only a couple of calls.  

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