Correction from the Monday, October 26, 2020 meeting. It was stated that the VFW Auxiliary gave a donation when it should have been the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. Deer River City Council this week officially accepted the donation at Monday’s regular city council meeting.

In other business:

Minutes from the regular meeting on October 26, 2020 were approved as read, as well as the work session minutes from October 27, 2020.

Bills in the amount of $75,858.08 were approved.

Richard Rogich, Deer River public works, reported the crew has been busy transitioning to the winter season. Maintenance has been completed on the street sweeper and the snow removal equipment is ready to go and the holiday decorations have been put out.

Rogich explained the second discharge from the ponds is underway, and the City needs to get a third discharge done before everything freezes up.

The entire department attended a wastewater training sponsored by Minnesota Rural Water last week. The reserved parking signs, no overnight parking sign and the no parking this side of street signs have been installed. Councilman Chris Reed asked about the reserved parking signs, which was explained they were for the Prestige apartment tenants. The State agreed to allow them parking on Highway 6 because they lost parking during the Highway 6 construction. The apartment is responsible for informing the police department of who the renters are.

Rochich continued by stating lift stations will be getting serviced this week. Matt Rajala would be donating his time and equipment to shape the sliding hill. Reed asked for input on possibly naming a sponsor for the sliding hill. Reed also suggested that we ask Rajala Companies if they would consider being named the sliding hill sponsor for this year. A motion by councilwoman Barb Serfling was made to put the sign up if approved by the Rajala Companies.

Rochich brought up the ice rink and that they will start making ice as soon as the weather permits with a motion made to hire two rink attendance for the season. There is a sewer manhole that has shifted in Zemple with Casper Construction completing the work soon. Rochich stated it is unclear why the manhole moved, but frost is the likely reason.

The water tower is leaking out the overflow pipe, and the City will have to take it out of service to repair it. Rochich received a KLM quote that estimates the repair at $4,500.00 if the repair is what they think it is. The quote also states that the repair will not exceed $7,500.00, which was approved.

City Administrator Mark Box gave his report.

The Council on Monday, canvased the 2020 election results with a roll call vote carried unanimously.

Box said the public works crew met with SEH to discuss the design of the wastewater pond, and updated the council that the project will be going out for bid in early December.

“So the only thing we have left on the project, is to make the final payment on the wetlands mitigation,” Box said.

Resolution 2020-27 was approved, which was a donation of $1,000 from the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

“That is to put power to the flagpole,” Box said.

“Are we going to get power to it yet this winter?” Serfling asked, with Box stating he has a call into Itasca Utilities.

Council approved resolution 2020-28, to approve a donation of $10,000 from TC Energy to the police department to be used to purchase a new squad and outfit the police squad.

“Wonderful,” Serfling said.

A motion was made to approve resolution 2020-29, a resolution to oppose the parole of Audie Lynn Fox. Motion carried three for and one opposed.

A donation from the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department to the Deer River Police department, in the amount of $1,800 was approved for the donation of a radar detector.

The council approved resolution 2020-31, a resolution applying for a grant from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority. Box explained the resolution needed to be in place to claim the $4 million bond bill appropriation.

Rick and Box met with the State of Minnesota on wellhead protection plans and they had some suggestions.

“We will probably implement that, as well as create a page on the website,” Box said. “We have to have information available upon request, keeping in mind, upcoming projects.”

“We reviewed the plan, and there isn’t a lot that we need to change or do, other than putting it on the webpage,” Box added.

Reed asked to have the fire extinguishers serviced at the White Oak building.

Thursday and Friday, the license bureau would be closed for the switch over. Box referenced the printer and how renting it will save the City money each month.

“We do more through the window,” Box said. “When people need to come in, they do, if they don’t’ need to, we do it through the window.”

Reed brought up the fact of Winter approaching, and having people stand on the sidewalk in the cold.

“We can open, we have the ventilation system in,” Box said.

Reed wanted to discuss the resolution opposing the parole of Audie Lynn Fox. Reed wanted to change the wording to state the council feels the release would create an extreme safety risk. He also brought up that this is saying an unwarranted conclusion without actually conducting the City’s own investigation. Reed opposed to him getting released, and he wouldn’t vote for the way it was worded. Council felt the wording was OK, and it was left as written.

By proclamation, Mayor Geving identified November 2020 as hunger and homelessness awareness month.


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