12.15.2021 Commission Meeting Minutes

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.

Members present: President Carlsrud, Commissioner Magnuson, Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Erickson, and Commissioner Gulmon.

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, City Assessor Hansen, PW Accountant/Manager Jacobson, Police Chief Hatcher, Chad Petersen from KLJ

Approval of Agenda

Added New Business 9

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the December 1st minutes, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion carried.

Approval of Consent Agenda

A.  Approve 2021 Permit to Sell L.P Gas for

            1.  CHS Inc. dba Dakota Plains Ag

            2.  Petro Serve USA #071

B.  Approve 2021 Tree Trimming and Removal License for Ross’ Tree Service.

Commissioner Erickson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.

Public Comments

There were no public comments.

New Business

1.  Approve 2021 Application to Operate Mobile Home Park for 

            a. Rockwater LLC

            b. Richard Plecity Trailer Court  (City Administrator Crawford)

City Administrator Crawford stated she and Lance inspected a few of the mobile home parks and there’s a little bit of junk but nothing that wouldn’t be handled a different way.  Richard Plecity Park only has 3 spots open but are licensed through the state to have 5 so we will keep them at that.  These parks are okay.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  Motion carried.

2.  Discuss 2021 Application to Operate Mobile Home Park for Viking Drive Estates. (City Administrator Crawford)

City Administrator Crawford said there were some problems with the garbage trucks because of the pavement heaving.  We are looking into what needs to be done.  First step is speaking with the owners and what needs to be improved.  It is in the application that the park has to be up to the city’s standards.  If we can wait on approving it we would like to so we can discuss further.

Consensus was made to postpone until next meeting.

3.  Approve Public Works Capital and Operating budgets for FY21.  (PW Manager Jacobson)

PW Manager Jacobson stated in total we are pretty much the same as last year.  For the electrical department we are requesting a reduction of about 1% due to less consumption.  For the water department we are asking in total for an increase of about 3.7% mainly due to increasing the maintenance on the mains and the depreciation on some new equipment.  For the sewer we are going down 2.4% which is mainly transferring labor and associated benefits to the water department.  Garbage we are increase 1.8% for the recycling subsidy.  Street department we are going up 1.2% due to payroll increase.  Total the budget compared to current year we are going down $7000.  We are falling within the range we like to keep everything so we are not looking at any type of increase for this year.

For the capital budget we are asking for $1.6 million.  Some of the major projects are $260,000 for the master lift upgrade, $100,000 new Service Center and cold storage building and an item that was approved back in 2018 $260,000 and the rest of the smaller projects which total up to the $1.6 million.

Commissioner Bishop motioned to approve the Public Works capital operating budget for 2021, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion carried.

4.  Review and Award bids for 2021 Vehicle Purchase.  (Police Chief Hatcher)

Police Chief Hatcher stated he received bids from the three local manufacturers to replace the red 2007 Ford 500 vehicle.  The lowest bid is Miller Motors with a 2021 Dodge Durango at $26,329.  That is budgeted into the 2021 year and will be delivered then.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion carried.

5.  Approve Engineering Committee Recommendations.  (Commissioner Gulmon)

Commissioner Gulmon stated the committee met with KLJ and Moore to discuss services and costs.  The committee recommends moving forward with KLJ/Moore for the City Engineering services.

Commissioner Bishop expressed his concerns that this nothing is changing and when this process started it was to have an individual that is separate from a firm.

Commissioner Erickson stated we were going to find an engineer that would not bid on the projects while they were the city engineer and we are not doing that right now.

President Carlsrud questioned if quality control and conflict of interest were discussed.

Commissioner Gulmon stated that he did not think they did but as stated previously all these professional firms have ethical standards to meet to uphold their licensing.  Over the years KLJ has been doing projects and if there would have been ethical issues they would have been brought up.  He also stated that we are getting enhanced services, two professional companies that can bring a lot of expertise and background to the community with planning and zoning, future growth opportunities, I think we’re getting a lot more.

Commissioner Gulmon motioned to enter into a contract with KLJ/Moore for engineering services and we continue to utilize Mike Blevins from Midwest Inspection Services for building inspections, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.

Bishop-nay      Gulmon-aye     Erickson-nay    Magnuson-aye  Carlsrud-aye     Motion carried.

6.  Approve the NDDOT Urban Roads Project Submittal List for Fiscal Year 2022-2025 (KLJ)

Chad Petersen from KLJ presented a list of projects that are currently programmed through the NDDOT along with a location map.  There are three projects listed in 2021, due to some delays and challenges with the drainage project, that will be moved out to the 2022 fiscal year.  Also for 2022 is the slide area.  The mill and overlay project on west main and the frontage road can be planned to be moved to the 2023 season due to the work on the slide repair and drainage area may impact the work on the mill and overlay project.  At a previous meeting we talked about turn lanes for Petro, those were not included with that project.  Investigating different opportunities to fund that project we found we could make it eligible through the Urban Road program as a new project.  The recommendation is to modify the scope of work for 12th Street North to expand the project to 8th Ave and Winter Show Road for those turn lanes.  It increases the cost of the project by about $50,000 with about $40,000 being funded through Urban Road program.  Also programmed in 2022 is the 6th Street NW project and in 2023 there are two reconstruction projects planned on 5th St NW and 3rd Street NE.  Both are prioritized on the Urban Roads program due to replace water mains.  In 2024 the city was able to secure funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program on behalf of the Parks and Rec for flashing beacons at the crosswalk from Gaukler to the Bubble and from 4th St SW by the Rec Center to provide a safe crossing.  It is recommended that these projects are approved for the 2022-2025 fiscal year.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion Carried.

7.  Approve City Administrator’s Review.  (President Carlsrud)

President Carlsrud stated he had sent out about 14 requests for information and about 10 returned.  His recommendation is to move forward as contracted.

Commissioner Gulmon stated in the 6 months Gwen has been here she has done a great job.  She has provided great leadership skills, empowers and supports staff which has improved morale she is very dedicated to success of staff and community and takes a common sense approach. She also does a lot of back ground work. We are fortunate to have her.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  Motion carried.

8.  Consider Emergency Orders 2020-02.4 and 2020-05.3 re extension of City COVID Plan.  (President Carlsrud)

President Carlsrud stated last month we extended and amended our emergency order to coincide with the state and Governor’s declaration and I propose we do that again.

City Attorney Martineck added the governor’s order was extended until the 8th and the health department order for the mask mandate was extended until the 18th.  As of right now the city’s order includes both the mask mandate and the large event regulations which goes until January 8th.  At that point we can see if that is extended again by the state, if not I anticipate we would just extend the mask mandate until the 18th at that time.

President Carlsrud stated at this time his proposal is to move forward and stay in concert with the state.

Commissioner Erickson asked if we had to go along with the state.

President Carlsrud responded that it is easier when there is one set of rules.

City Attorney Martineck stated if the city did not have a local order the state order would still apply.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Carlsrud.

Gulmon-aye                 Erickson-nay                Magnuson-aye              Bishop-aye       Carlsrud-aye

9.  Approve Quote for Light Fixtures for the 2021 6th Street Reconstruction Project.  (Electrical Superintendent Senf)

Electrical Superintendent Senf stated he would like to keep them looking same.  They still have the fixtures, the bases changed but isn’t noticeable, I would like to order them.

Commissioner Erickson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford stated there are several things being worked on one being the pole counts. This is supposed to be done annually but has not been done for several years.  We have given Century Link our counts and are waiting to hear back from them.  There is also supposed to be a fee paid to the City annually but it looks like 2005 was the last time it was paid.

Metal is not to be dropped off at the recycling   center.  It is across the road from the landfill.

There were some issues figuring out occupancy for some of the buildings.  Next year when they do building inspection of fire inspection we will be adding the occupancy to our report.

City Updates & Commission Reports

City Attorney Martineck stated bids were requested for the land by the lagoons and the Transfer Station.  One bid was received and we entered into a contract with that person.  We previously were getting $25/acre but with the bidding process we were able to get $63.41/acre.

An RFQ was sent out for the 6th Street project.  Four qualification statements were received and interviews were held last week.  We will prepare a report and present that at the next meeting. 

Finance Director Richter stated this is the last meeting of 2020 and we will be working on closing the books and start working towards the 2020 audit.  We have the field work scheduled the end of March and Gary has the inventory scheduled and he can report on that.

City Assessor Hanson wishes everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

PW Manager Jacobson stated the inventory count is scheduled for January 6th.  Also, kudos to everyone in the office.  Earlier this week our merchandise accounts receivable has always had aging balances.  As of this week anything over a month old is zero.

Commissioner Magnuson stated the VCFD was filling food baskets tonight for those in need.

Police Chief Hatcher stated they were continuing to shop for the Santa Cops for Kids and hopefully delivering those the next week.

Chad Petersen from KLJ wished everyone a happy and safe holiday.  Also thanked everyone for the opportunities they’ve had working with the city this past year and look forward to it for 2021.

Commissioner Gulmon wanted to let the community know that the city is in a strong financial position.  We were able to maintain the mill levy for 2021 and have strong cash reserves.  Also, you may have seen Fargo and Grand Forks have been addressing certain restaurants that have been affected due to COVID.  After hearing that and visiting with Mayor Carlsrud and City Administrator Crawford, maybe we should set up a committee to see if there is something we can do to help some of these businesses that were affected.

Commissioner Erickson thanks the Public Works and all involved in the budgeting.  There is discussion that they may put out recycling drops at the new Handy Hardware.  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Commissioner Bishop wished everyone a safe and happy new year.  If you see the VCPD or VCFD wish them a happy holiday season as a lot of them will be working as we enjoy time with family.

Commissioner Magnuson wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New.  Also would like to see a committee formed to help out these local businesses.

President Carlsrud stated they do have some information out on what could be done to help the local businesses and we have some information coming back to us.  Shout out to recycle.  There is a lot of cardboard this time of year and it’s really important to recycle that.  Thanks to Valley City and the greater Barnes County area.  In the 30 days the order was in place our numbers have went way down.  Our Public Works folks have been getting extra work done all over town with the fall we’ve had.  Appreciate the city crew too as they work on closing the year and beginning a new one. Thanks to the Commissioners for serving, it’s important to give back to the community. 

Meeting was adjourned at 6:09 PM

Posted in Announcements, City Commission Minutes.