Deer River City Attorney Andy Shaw has been preparing some ordinance changes for the Deer River City Council to consider, which were presented at the Monday, Sept. 23 Deer River City Council meeting.
One change was taking water from the city, which Shaw said was considered theft, and offenders would be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
“It’s called theft,” Shaw said. “It needs to be affirmatively stated in our ordinance.”
The second was in accordance with city utilities and having a minimum fee which is zero to 2,000 gallons. It was explained that even if the property owner disconnects for the winter, they should still have to pay the fee.
According the unofficial minutes, City Administrator Mark Box brought this to Shaw’s attention as the city has had individuals with their water off, but still use the sewer service.
The council was asked to review it, and will decide how to proceed.
In other business:
• Steve Jurvellin, Deer River Fire Chief, was present and said there were a few calls in August. New firefighter recruits Richard Isham and John White were present, Spencer Tibbetts was unable to attend..
“What will this put you at for numbers?” Councilor Chris Reed asked.
“We have quite a list of leaves,” Jurvellin said, stating they are around 20 on the roster.
Jurvellin said he has four more potential candidates for the department and the quote for the heating system finally came in for the fire hall, as he would like to take action on it now.
“It’s original, it’s 39 years old,” Jurvellin said. “We have $15,000 in building maintenance right now. If we get the green light, they can have the system in in a couple weeks.”
The bid for the heating system was received for $22,230.09 from Deer River Plumbing and Heating. After discussion, the council approved this purchase.
Jason Lundquist, Deer River firefighter, talked about the need to bring the fire department water system up to code.
“It will be costly,” Lundquist said, but he didn’t have a number for the council.
“Our trucks are made to fill off the ground,” Jurvellin said.
Lundquist said tanks don’t get sanitized and sometimes they need to pull lake water. It was explained that trucks should be filled from the ground up, and currently are being filled from the top with no safety rails in place. The water main coming into the hall should have a backflow preventer on it.
This will be a project for 2020, and is required by the State to prevent potential cross-contamination.
Jurvellin asked for pricing on three panels for door four, as it has taken some abuse over the years and the truck should be delivered after the first of the year.
Fire prevention week is October 6-12, 2019 and the department will be participating at the elementary school.
“It’s very important,” Councilor Barb Serfling said. “You’re doing a good job.”
• Deer River Police Chief Tammy Perry gave her report and stated there were 212 calls for the month of August 200, for 2018. The D.A.R.E. program has also started and the first lesson has been completed. It was stated 69 calls were traffic calls.
• Lundquist checked with Minnesota Power, and the cost for the LED heads for the streetlights cost $329.42 per fixture.
“That’s the high wattage ones,” Lundquist said. “We also have installation costs.”
Lundquist also received a quote to bring the gravel pit / sliding hill into compliance. Council approved Lundquist to proceed with the restoration at the cost of $2,320.
Lundquist added public works has been working on fixing Sewer Pond Road, and blacktop patching will be happening soon on some City streets. The culvert on the south end of second street SE will also be removed, as it serves no purpose.
• Bills in the amount of $49,683.78 were approved.
• Meeting minutes from Sept. 9, 2019 and the work session minutes from Sept. 10, 2019 with minor punctuation and grammar changes from Councilor Pat Richards were approved.
• Box gave his report and informed the council he signed a gambling permit for a bingo event.
Box also asked for approval of the proposed levy and budget for 2020. The levy amount for 2020 is $934,852.00, with an expense budget of $2,330,263, which council approved.
Box and Reed presented a bonding request before the Minnesota State House of Representatives committee on Sept. 19 in Grand Rapids.
“This year the state received a record for water and storm sewer requests,” Reed said.
“Our enterprise funds are now funding themselves,” Reed added, with their $5,000,000 request. “I’m optimistic this will be the year.”
• July and August bank reconciliations were approved together.
• Donation to the fire department from the class of 1951 in the amount of $152.55 was approved.
• Motion was made to allow Short Elliot and Hendrickson (SEH) to move forward with the design of the south end project, at a cost of $1,916,800. Box stated this does not include fourth Avenue SE or the section of fourth street SE that is north of the railroad tracks.
• Box received what looks like approval to move forward with becoming a full DMV office.
“I think we’ve been approved,” Box said. “They have came in and measured, and said we may have to do some modifications. Not doing major construction.”
Councilor Dan Graf was absent.