Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

2.2.2021 Finance Minutes

Called To Order

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, City Assessor Hansen, Electrical Superintendent Senf, Police Chief Hatcher, PW Superintendent Klemisch, Fire Chief Magnuson, Sanitation Supervisor Swart, Chad Petersen from KLJ, Tracy Eslinger from Moore.

1.  Department Reports:

PW Superintendent Klemisch recognized Tyler Martin for passing his pesticide applicator   certification and Nick Yokom for passing his waste water collection exam.

Sanitary Supervisor Swart reported the cardboard is going well with having the dumpster.  We are    hiring so if you know someone that would be a good fit send them our way.

Fire Chief Magnuson reported 17 calls for January, a lot of CO detectors this time of year.  Fire extinguishing business is going great.  We are 99.9% up and going.  We are receiving a lot of great feedback that they are happy the City took it back on.  We had the rural board meeting and we have a lease agreement that has been sent to Gwen and Bob Bruns for approval and back to Carl and hopefully for the next 5 years we have a good program in place.

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported zero outages last month.  Darwin finished the pole counts.    Recognition was given to Alec Storhoff for receiving his journeyman linemen certificate.   

2.  Review monthly bills/reports.

Finance Director Richter reported $1,261,000 in bills for the month.  $254,000 in annual payments which includes software, payment with Development Corporation annual insurance, annual HSA payment to employees, PD investigation fees and the last payment for the Winter Show.  We have two payrolls and a quarterly payment to the park which brings it up to about $900,000 with the balance being operations.

3. Discuss changing the April 20th, 2021 Commission Meeting Date for NDLC training.

 Deputy Auditor Klein reported the NDLC workshop falls on the same date as a commission   meeting.  Is there enough interest in people wanting to go that we change the meeting date?    Consensus was made to change the commission meeting to Monday, April 19th.  Will add it to the     next meeting agenda.

4.  Discuss making whole the negative cash balances in the Water (-95,748) and Street (-136,175) funds. 

 PW Manager Jacobson reported we ended the 2020 year with two negative balances.  The     water fund is mainly due to the large amount of repairs due to the water main breaks.  We        budgeted a loss for the street department of about $258,000.  We came in at about $100,000 loss mainly due to the COVID money that was used.  The sewer fund has $1.3 million cash balance and since the water goes hand and hand with that we would like to use that.  For the street fund I’m asking for the funds to come from the electrical department which currently has $3.6 million. Will add to commission meeting.          

5.  Discuss offering a bill credit for $5 for utility customers agreeing to go paperless by proving an email address.

 PW Manager Jacobson stated about two months ago our billing process was moved into our  new finance package causing us to go to a regular paper bill which is also put into an envelope. Due to the number of bills we purchased a stuffer but it’s not working as smooth as it should. With that and the increase in postage we would like to remedy some of this by utilizing the email billing.  To encourage customers to change over we discussed a $5 change to paperless campaign.  Will add to commission meeting.

6.  Discuss Residential Building Permit and Inspection Fees.

 City Administrator Crawford reported that we would like to clear up the Master Fee Schedule based on the different job duties of Lance and Mike.

7.  Discuss SRO Agreement.

 Police Chief Hatcher stated traditionally we’ve been on a contract with the schools for the SRO.  In the last budget process our agreement was becoming a little unbalanced on percentages being covered.  I asked the Superintendent for an increase in the fee with a commitment from us that we will enter into a longer contract.  Looking for approval to present to the school board.  Consensus was given.

8.  Discuss 2021 vehicle bids.

Operations Superintendent Klemisch reported all three bids come in under budget.  Looking     for approval to go with the Miller Motors bid.

9.  Discuss Main Street Seal Coat Project.

 Operations Superintendent Klemisch stated he feels we should move forward with this project. Typically you should seal coat a new surface in 2-3 years and we’re pushing 4 years. 

City Administrator Crawford added the federal funds weren’t available for us before.  50% will go to local share then the other will come out of R&R funds which is plenty because of the cost share the federal program was doing.

Chad from KLJ added Main Street was overlaid from Budget Burger east with the exception of a small segment west of the Rainbow Bridge.  Communication took place with the District Engineer late in 2020 who felt if we got it in soon we could get the funding for 2021.

 Finance Director Richter stated the DOT estimated the local share to be just under $13,000 so   half would be assessed to the property owners and the other half to the R&R fund.


The meeting was adjourned at ­4:07 PM.

1.5.2021 Finance Meeting

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

2:30 PM

Via Zoom

Called To Order

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, City Assessor Hansen, Police Chief Hatcher, Chad Petersen from KLJ, Operations Superintendent Klemisch, Fire Chief Magnuson (3:30), Gloria Swart (3:30)

1.  Commission Topics

            b. Discuss Incentives to Newly Built Homes Outside the Renaissance Zone. 

            Discussion took place around incentives for bringing people to Valley City.

            a. Discuss City Engineer.

            Discussion took place regarding the City Engineer position.

2.  Department Reports:

            Electrical Superintendent Senf reported there were 3 outages for this month, 2 squirrels and 1          primary jumper.  We were at 99.99996% for the year, 40 total outages, and 43 hours out of power       for about 1700 customers.  Over half were animal related.  There was also discussion about putting        lights on the walk bridge.  Cost estimate would be about $2500 per side and         recommended only doing            the one side due to the cost and since the other side is only seen by the Elks building and would like to    do them so they are year round lights, not just for Christmas.  Would also like to improve the          Christmas decorations throughout town.  We also received 5 quotes back for the transformers.              Looking for approval for the lowest bids on the 9 transforms shown in the quote.  $65,000 was  previously budgeted for a Bobcat.  They no longer make the model we were looking to purchase.            Bobcat found us one in Iowa for under budget so that is on order along with attachments, still under          budget.

 Operations Superintendent Klemisch reported he was happy with the work the guys did after the     first storm.  We had some new people doing new things, so thanks to them for all their hard work.            Made it through the holiday garbage schedule with limited bodies so thanks to those employees.  The      ND Department of Equality found additional funding to continue the waste water testing through            January, maybe through the summer depending on the funding.  RDO was out to do some             maintenance on the motor grader and found a larger in the differential so we will be getting a loaner in         town will the other one is serviced.

 Gloria Swart reported that the cardboard dumpster is working great.  The new garbage truck is going to Fargo Thursday for servicing.  We made it through the holidays without to many hiccups.

Fire Chief Magnuson reported fire extinguisher services have been great.  Geotech was out drilling holes        where the addition will hopefully go.  Those results were sent to the foundation people and it     sounds   like within the next 2 weeks we should get results from that.  We are starting to get back to training while still practicing social distancing.  Most of our team have had the first dose of the vaccine.       By the time we go back to training they should have had their second dose.  Fire Chief    Magnuson stated he is training to be able to administer the rapid Covid tests so his team will be able to            rapid test before drill.    

2.  Review monthly bills/reports.

Finance Director Richter reported $1.3 million in bills for the month.  $365,000 in projects such as PFP or Infrastructure projects.  There was also a 3rd payroll issued in December which is a little over $100,000.  That puts us under the $1 million for operations.  For revenue coming in we had a good month.  We received the Prairie Dog funds which was about $2.5 million and we received November Cares for the salaries which was a little over $91,000.  We also received a little over $300,000 for reimbursement from the State Water Commission.

3.  Review proposed Public Works Capital and Operating Budgets for FY21.

            Public Works Manager Jacobson explained the breakdown of the capital budget and     summarized the operations budget.

4.  Discuss Mobile Home Park Ordinance.

            City Administrator Crawford reported that the way the Ordinance is worded an annual application is not needed, they do still have to turn in the fees.  Looking at the properties the           biggest issue we saw was Viking MHP.  The roads are beyond the city’s standards.  Per the           Ordinance we will send a notice and inform them of the penalties.  It states if nothing happens           after that a Class B Misdemeanor is issued.

            City Attorney Martineck stated that is one way to do it.  Another way is to have it so if they      aren’t in compliance their license isn’t renewed, another option is to add administrative penalties   to the ordinance. 

            City Administrator Crawford recommends amending the ordinance so it states an application   must be turned in annually and add any other changes they feel necessary. 

            Consensus was to send a letter regarding the streets.

5.  Discuss Prairie Dog Funding and Options.

            City Administrator Crawford stated in 2019 there was a plan put together for the funds and that            was when we thought it was going to be $3.5 million, it was actually $2.5 million.  We only have        the streetscape project in 2021 so the 7th Ave NW and 2nd Ave NE could be completed.  This     project is shovel ready as it was supposed to be completed in 2019 but due to circumstances it            was put on hold.  On the project a large portion cannot be assessed so this would be a good option for the funds and using part of the R&R funds.  We would have to update the bid package.  The          storm sewer would be replaced all the way and the water main would be from 2nd SW to 2nd NW      and the alley between 2nd and 3rd up to 4th St.

            Clint Klemisch added that the big thing with the water main is that it’s 4 inch cast iron and the   minimum for fire protection is 6 inch, we would go with 8 inch.  The 2nd Ave sanitary reline     project-when they went to do that they weren’t table to reline 2 blocks because of the way it’s    angled into the manhole.  There’s a lot of difficulty cleaning that right now and there are some           blockages there which is why this is a priority.

            Consensus is to move to Commission agenda for action.

6Discuss Curb Stop to Main Ownership.

            City Administrator Crawford stated in most cities in ND has a rule that the city owns the curb stop to the main.  In 2014 a policy was made to change that the homeowner owns it and that was      entered into the Ordinances in 2016.  This will be an issue whenever there are pipes that freeze.

            Commissioner Erickson stated he thought the reasoning this was done was due to some new     homes that were built with the mains not being buried deep enough and that was because of the         homeowners decision. Due to this they put it back on the homeowner.

            City Administrator Crawford stated in the ordinance is says that the main has to be buried 7-8 feet so anything less than that shouldn’t have been allowed.

            Consensus is that the city should own curb stop to main and change the ordinance.

7.  Discuss Valley City CARES Business Assistance Program.

            Commissioner Gulmon stated the committee that consisted of himself, Commissioner    Magnuson, City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Richter and PW Accountant Jacobsen met to discuss ways to help businesses within the city during these difficult times.  The proposal            is to leverage $200,000 in CARES dollars for Chamber Bucks and receive a 25% benefit.  There          are some exclusions such as medical, dental, RXD, bills.  The sales could begin on February 6th           and would continue until out.  The Chamber Bucks would be open to all businesses, not just       Chamber members.  If we committed $200,000 and another $12,000 for expenses and waive the        remainder of the beer licenses for 2021 totaling $21,000.  The total CARES expenditure would be             $233,000. 

8.  Review Covid 19 Cares Act Relief Fund.

 Finance Director Richter reported on the changes for the revenues we’ve received and the  expenditures to date.  We estimating $91,000 for the December CARES revenue.  Prior to the Prairie Dog money we used $150,000 for Streetscape II.  Now that we have Prairie Dog funds, that lightens up the load for R&R find and we would request to take the $150,000 extra for that out of the R&R instead of the CARES freeing up more of those funds for other items.  The other  item for $100,000 is for property tax reductions that our citizens did get, not intentionally, but      they did. The mill levy was calculated differently this year than prior years and the city ended up         with a 4 mill reduction than what was expected.  The next item is the bars and restaurants Covid          relief but that’s where the $233,000 would go leaving us with $28,000 in our CARES relief fund.


The meeting was adjourned at ­4:45 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

12.1.2020 Finance Meeting Minutes

Called To Order

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 3:31 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, City Assessor Hansen, Police Chief Hatcher, Chad Petersen from KLJ, Wade Hesch, Gloria Swart, Clint Klemisch(3:50).

1.  Department Reports:

            Wade Hesch reported water tower inspections took place this last month.  Inside the stand pipe they found caulking debris from the seams.   Those will need to be resealed.  There doesn’t seem to be any leaking right now.  The NW tower west of Dairy Queen is in poor shape inside.  It will need some refurbishing.  That will need to be taken off line for a couple of weeks and probably move those people to the stand pipe.  The Water Plant had its membrane replacement finished and is on track and running fine.  We will have Stew from Water Smith do some test drilling to see if there is a more productive spot for a well.

            Fire Chief Magnuson reported they are not doing any drills due to COVID and they are doing what they can to keep everyone safe while maintaining safe distances when possible.  The FD, Rescue and City Crew worked together to remove a log and some branches from the river.  It has been a nuisance previously and the removal went well.   

            Clint Klemisch reported the Superintendent for the diving team was very concerned with the NW water tower.  They gave a timeframe of 2-3 years before failure so this will need to be put on the hot list.  The inert cell should be wrapped up in about a week.  We have been participating in the waste water COVID testing with the Health Department.   We received the chemical to finish the winterization of fire hydrants this week.

            Police Chief Hatcher stated they are starting to do some work with the policy and procedure manual. Other than that just trying to stay healthy.

            Gloria Swart reported they are still trying to get everybody to comply with the two 32 gallon cans and to encourage recycling so there isn’t as much to haul to Fargo.

2.  Review monthly bills/reports.

Finance Director Richter reported $1.4 million in bills for the month.  Interest payments for bonds. PFP we aren’t having as much this time of year but it is around $70,000.  We also had about $70,000 that we paid to Economic Development that was requested at the last meeting.  Construction projects we had about $260,000 paid out.  The rest is operating expenses we have every month.

3.  Review proposed Public Works Capital and Operating Budgets for FY21.

            Public Works Manager Jacobson explained the breakdown of the capital budget and     summarized the operations budget.

4.  Discuss 2021 Application to Operate Mobile Home Park for

            a. Rockwater LLC

            b. Richard Plecity Trailer Court

            City Administrator Crawford reported Richard Pelcity Trailer Court should only have 3 lots     listed but since their State license shows 5 it will remain at 5.  We’ll be adding a line asking for the State license on our applications. With Rockwater there were concerns with some of the trailer homes in that park and if they are    still suitable and some of the junk that is laying around there.  The trailer that had the fire will be moved within the next couple of weeks.

City Attorney Martineck stated the thought was to create a list of needs in those areas, send it out and see what kind of reaction we get and the steps to take following.

5.  Discuss State Water Commission Agreement for Cost Share Reimbursement for Mill Dam. 

            Chad Petersen from KLJ reported that last spring this was presented to the Commission.  After that meeting the cost share request was submitted to the SWC in April.  That was on the timeline when the requests were being tabled due to the funding at that level.  It has now been brought back forward.  Total estimated cost is $99,500 and this type of project is funded at 75/25%. Local cost share amount would be $74,625.  This is on the meeting tonight for action.

6City County Health Cost share

            President Carlsrud stated the CCH put a program together for the mask mandate along with estimated costs and requested the City help with some of the costs.

            Commissioner Gulmon stated some of the requested funds were to assist with the marketing costs before the Governor came out with the state mandate.  Would there be a need for that now?

            City Administrator Crawford also added that Blake Crosby from NDLC was contacted and informed us that no additional funds other than what was already received would be sent to help with the costs.

            Consensus is to help with $1200 for kits.


The meeting was adjourned at ­4:55 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

11.03.2020 Finance Meeting Minutes

Called To Order at 3:02 PM

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 3:02 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, City Assessor Hansen, Police Chief Hatcher, Chad Petersen from KLJ, Gloria Swart,

1.  Department Reports:

Gloria Swart reported they are getting some compost screened so that will be available come spring.  They have also been cracking down on oversized garbage cans and general violations.

2.  Review monthly bills/reports.

Finance Director Richter reported $1,566,701.00 in bills for the month.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Had some PFP and other infrastructure construction costs, payroll and other regular maintenance charges.

Deputy Auditor Klein questioned approval process of bills due to meetings taking place via Zoom.  Consensus was to approve via emails.

3.  Discuss Tree Ordinance Change.

 City Administrator Crawford recommended changing the ORD to state stumps must be removed within a certain timeframe of removing the tree and/or clarify that the tree also includes the stump and include any contractor that does not abide by ORD is to not be licensed the following year.        There have been instances where the stumps have been forgotten and when they are diseased they      need to be or they are still spreading the disease.

Consensus was to start with 3 weeks.  City Attorney Martineck will draft the ORD for the first    reading.

4.  Discuss 2021 Employee Benefits.

            City Attorney Martineck stated it’s more of an update as the change has already been approved.  Benefits will be changing to ND Public Health Insurance Trust.  Premiums will stay the same for 2021 with the possibility of being reduced by 1%.  Going forward we are looking at 3-6%     increases.  This is good for our employees and will also save the City some money.  Will also have new dental and vision.

5.  Discussion around recycling cardboard. 

 President Carlsrud stated he has seen lots of cardboard while he has been walking around the city that we pick up.  Gloria stated they do see lots of cardboard come in at the Transfer Station.

Commissioner Gulmon recommended some type of education on why the cardboard should be brought to recycling.  President Carlsrud agreed to start with education.

6.  Consider Placing Vacant City Lots for Bids. 

City Assessor Hansen stated she received a request to put together city lots which has been added to the packet.  There are very few that are considered buildable.

Commissioner Magnuson questioned a why a few of the lots were considered unbuildable.

Commissioner Bishop questioned if they were “unbuildable” and sold to an adjacent landowner if that would then make them buildable.

Assessor Hansen said that is possible if they replatted.  Some are unbuildable only because they don’t meet the size outlined in order to make them a buildable lot.

Finance Director Richter also mentioned we do have an agreement for the FEMA lots for adjacent landowners to maintain it and use it.  We cannot sell FEMA lots.  WE own them but we        have an ORD that prohibits any building on them.

Attorney Martineck will create a RES to allow the sale of the vacant properties that are buildable not including the lot on 4 Bottle Drive.

7.  Review bids for Streetscape Phase II.

Chad Petersen form KLJ stated the DOT received three bids for the project ranging from $2.2-2.5 million, the Engineers estimate was $2.18 million.  Total project cost is $2,868,000 with the local share approximately $725,000.

 Commissioner Gulmon commented that Finance Director Richter sent out information and the City identified we are short about on the local share about $254,000.  Also sent out were projections of Care’s Act relief fund coming in $450,000 coming in before the end of the year. For discussion we plugged in about $140,000 of the $254,000 and we think we could also take some out of the R&R fund.  Commissioner Gulmon requested City Administrator Crawford speak on the approximately $389,000 of prepaid engineering funds that will have to be paid back if we don’t complete the project.

 City Administrator Crawford stated basically when the project was approved in order to move ahead there was engineering, some was paid by a full grant some was 90/10.  We paid to engineering and they reimbursed us but if the project isn’t completed the State will bill us.

8.  Discuss Urban Roads Program Solicitation

 Valley City receives approximately $555,000 annually from the DOT through the Urban Roads funds.  With that the DOT puts together a statewide 5 year improvement plan.  Valley City      submits annually the projects for the next 5 years.  The deadline for the update is December 31st. Just wanted to make you aware that was coming up.

9.  Discuss NDDOT Urban Grant Program (UGP) Solicitation

 Deadline is December 31st.

10.  Discuss NDDOT Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Solicitation

Deadline is December 31st.

11.  Discuss NDDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Solicitation

In 2024 the City has a plan to place flashing beacons by the Wellness Center going to the Bubble as well as one on 4th Street by the Rec Center.  Some other programs that were talked about were adding signage in student crossing areas, high crash areas.

City Administrator Crawford brought up that there was previous discussion about putting a turn   lane in at Petro but it didn’t happen.  She feels we should still move forward with it but it would     be at our cost and maybe we could add it to this program with approval.

 Chad will get a cost estimate for the project.

12.  Discuss Elks Building

 City Attorney Martineck stated this is a Commission decision at this point.  After discussion it  seems the consensus is that we should follow the denial by the Insurance Reserve.  The City has      already paid out a significant amount.  Century Code strictly limits the liability on cities.  We pay        into insurance companies so we don’t have to resolve our own claims and they have handled this         for us in the past.  The financial and legal opinion is to not pay out any more.  If the Commission          desires to move forward with some type of settlement we did look at a couple of options, one being a property tax exemption.  The other is to negotiate a cash settlement.

Commissioner Magnuson stated his initial thought is that he wants to help but to what extent.

Commissioner Gulmon stated he would like to make a “good Faith” payment not accepting or acknowledging any liability to make us all feel better about moving on with this thing. That may be the $30,000 they are asking for or maybe $20,000, can that be done?

City Attorney Martineck stated if they were to make a payment that is what he would      recommend.

President Carlsrud feels there is a moral obligation but is unsure to what extent.

City Attorney Martineck stated if there is a consensus to move forward the next step is to have a conversation on what we would like to offer and present that to the Commission.

13.  Form a committee for PFP storage.

Moved to Commission Meeting.

14.  Discuss Future Outlook of the City.

Moved to Commission Meeting.

15.  Discuss Coronavirus        

President Carlsrud said the numbers are on the rise and he will be limiting his time at the office. 

Commissioner Magnuson stated they went to a mandate at work and now he sees more    customers without masks.  When you have massive amounts of testing with very long times before you get the results back people are walking around in the meantime instead of staying home.  We need to get the tests back faster.

Commissioner Gulmon stated he would like to place a mandate for at least 30 days.

City Administrator Crawford stated we have a lot of people with differing opinions but until we   get the direction of what we are supposed to do from the Commission we can’t do make that decision.

City Attorney Martineck added that there had been discussion about wearing masks in city buildings before.  We just put something in place about 10 days ago so we need justification to move to a mandate already.

Commissioner Erickson said if we mandate it in City buildings we will have to provide masks at the building.  You’re seeing the numbers go up because they are testing more.

Commissioner Gulmon recommends changing to a mandate.

President Carlsrud stated there had been some discussion previously and it was decided to wait until the end of the week to see what the numbers are doing.

Adjourn The meeting was adjourned at ­4:54 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

10/6/2020 Finance Meeting Minutes

Called To Order at 2:30 PM

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Attorney Martineck, City Auditor Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, City Assessor Hansen, Chad Petersen from KLJ, Fire Chief Magnuson, Police Chief Hatcher, Electrical Superintendent Senf, Operations Superintendent Klemisch, Mike Opatz from Houston Engineering

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported 4 outages for the month, 3 squirrels and 1 tree branch.  City Park lighting is completed.  Working on 5th Ave.  Skyline Villa is finished.  Love’s is completed other than the main service, waiting on the electrician.

Commission Topics:

  1. Discussion about removing flag pole on North side of City Hall building.
  2. Discussion around selling the extra land the City owns.
  3. Discussion around Elk’s Letter.
  4. Discussion about cold storage.
  5. Brainstorming Session will be added to another meeting due to time restraints.
  6. MRES and NDLC training report was deferred to November Finance Meeting.

Department Reports:

Operations Superintendent Klemisch reported the tree was removed by Chautauqua.  Clean up week is complete.  Next year we are considering moving it a week later to hopefully have summer help available.  Thanks to KPH and Jack Moritz for helping with the water main breaks.  Tony Gille is scheduled to do the concrete work. 

Police Chief Hatcher reported they will be getting around more taking care of the car complaints.  There was an incident at Jefferson school so we are researching additional safety options.  Considering dropping the speed limit in the school zone to 15mph, 20 is still pretty fast for a school zone.  Battle of the Badges blood drive is next week, vote Team Law!

Fire Chief Magnuson reported 10 calls last month, 9 for the city and 1 rural.  This week is Fire Prevention and since we can’t go around to the schools we made a video.  Battle of the Badges next week, vote Team Fire!  The final data for the census has been moved to October 30th

Review monthly bills/reports

Finance Director Richter reported $1.5 million in bills for the month. $430,000 spent on 5th Ave NW, $207,000 on bond payments $142,000 on Fire Department payroll and a couple other miscellaneous that put us over the $1 million with our regular operations and payroll. 

Discuss Building Fees

City Administrator Crawford reported she received commercial fees from various towns for comparison.  We want to build Valley City but we cannot let the fees end up costing us.  Resolution 2263 will be added to the Commission meeting to add the “Use of outside consultants for plan review, inspections, or both, including administrative and overhead costs. Actual costs” back onto the resolution as it was removed back in 2018.  Would also like to see some of our current fees such as sign fees adjusted. If you want to keep the building inspection fees stay the same we can look into charging a building inspection fee.

Discuss CLOMR

Chad Petersen from KLJ and Mike Opatz from Houston Engineering presented six top options to get the Commission’s feedback.  Commission chose to remove the Golf club bypass and the Tourist Park as an option.  Mayor Carlsrud asked they come up with a plan and if we need we can set up a special meeting.     


The meeting was adjourned at ­4:52 PM.

9/1/2020 Finance Meeting Minutes

Called To Order at 3:00 PM

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 3:00 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, PW Accountant/Manager Jacobson, Fire Chief Magnuson, Police Chief Hatcher, Chad Petersen from KLJ

Department Reports

Fire Chief Magnuson – There were 19 calls for the month of August. 

Census update – The rural homeowners that have had two or three addresses have all gotten census information.  The County numbers may not be going up because those addresses are not being fulfilled, waiting on clarification.

Waiting on a cylinder dryer and a tester that should be in the end of the week.  Within two to three weeks we should be able to start testing and filling extinguishers.

Gloria Swart –Closed this Saturday at the Transfer Station.  Clean up week is September 14-18.  Please separate your materials into piles.  TVs are taken with no extra charge.  Tires are accepted at the Transfer Station with an extra charge depending on size, but will not be picked up on the blvd. Appliances can go to Valley Recycling.  We will not pick up metal.

Review Monthly Bills/Reports

City Auditor Richter reported we only spent $1.4 million in August.  Looking at some of the construction reports there was just about $300,000 infrastructure and PFP and there weren’t really any other large charges.

Discuss Agenda for the NDLC virtual conference

City Administrator Crawford feels this training is important and to avoid interruption during the training we should move it offsite.

Discuss Advertising for bids the sale of vacant lot at 14th St SQ, Parcel 63-0880017.

City Commissioner Bishop stated he didn’t think we should sell it as it’s not costing us anything.  Services can’t come from the bottom up but they can come from the back.  It could be sold as a buildable lot someday.

Will leave on the Commission meeting agenda making a motion to not put it up for sale.

Discuss lease agreement.

City Administrator Crawford stated she had requested if anyone knew of any verbal agreements or any agreements that were expiring to bring them forward.  This lease has expired.  They were getting if for $25 and I have listed what the average prices are going for right now. 

Public Works Manager said he spoke with Jeff and the land is tillable.  There was a deal worked out in the past.

City Commissioner requesting putting the land up for bids.

City Attorney Martineck stated typically use of any government property can only be for a maximum of two years.  It has to be for fair market value.

Discuss URD Wire Bid for all URD projects for 2020.

President Carlsrud the need for the underground is to finish the University and 5th Ave. project.  Marshall recommends that we move forward with Resco.  

Eide Bailly presentation of the 2019 Audit Report.

Luke Evenson from Eide Bailly presented the 2019 Audit findings.  The city received a “clean” audit opinion.

Update on CLOMR

Chad Petersen from KLJ, Mike Opat and Adam Neiss from Houston Engineering presented some of the impacts with PFP and concepts identified for mitigation.

Discuss City Engineer

City Attorney Martineck stated we discussed our one and only candidate and came to the conclusion that the way we have the job description set up right now he may not be the best fit.  We could work with him if we wanted to go that direction but he does not have any building inspection experience which could end up being a good portion of that position.  Before we move forward with an offer we would like to present some other options.

City Administrator Crawford stated she went through what was wanted, what the City’s needs are and what the candidate said he could do.  On the list of pros and cons there were very few pros.  If there were building inspection experience that would add more to the pros.  Other options may be doing RFQ for a City Engineer that would not do any projects.

Will add this to the Special Commission meeting that was scheduled for Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 7:00 AM.

Adjourn The meeting was adjourned at ­4:15 PM.

7/7/2020 Finance Minutes

Called To Order at 3:30 PM

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, City Auditor Richter, City Assessor Hansen, Deputy Auditor Klein, Administrative Assistant Johnson, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, Chad Petersen from KLJ, Fire Chief Magnuson, Police Chief Hatcher, WTP Superintendent Hesch, Electrical Superintendent Senf, PW Superintendent Differding.

Department Reports:

Marshall Senf– Electrical department continues working on 5th Avenue NW, conduit is in at the College. Looking for direction for putting in new poles at City Park

  • Reviewed bids for 8 transformers, like to have spares of all sizes. Marshall requested to purchase the 75KVA transformers from Resco in the amount of $27,252 and the 300KVA and 500KVA transformers from DSG in the amount of $15,600. The Commission gave consensus to go ahead and order the transformers.

Wade Hesch– Water usage is up with citizens watering lawns. Getting some thicker water coming from the dam to treat. UF project is underway. Have made a down payment for the membranes at the Water Treatment Plant.

Jeff Differding– Crews have been monitoring storm sewers with the high water during large rain events. Busy taking out a lot of trees on City Property. Crew has been working on area between Quality Alignment and Thomsen Chiropractic to work on drainage issue. In the winter street crew was there 1 to 2 times a week because of the ice buildup in this area. The new paint machine is working out well and crews will be looking at painting signage around the school areas before long. New garbage truck is in and being used. Jeff suggests ordering tandem axle garbage trucks going forward. Mayor Carlsrud asked Jeff to address some of his concerns with Natural Gardens. Some issues with the gardens would be difficulty with spraying for mosquitoes and weed in those areas, and also attracting critters and foot traffic.

Scott Magnuson- Fire Department has still been doing some birthday and retirement drive events, but this is coming to an end. The statue is up in front of the Fire Hall and painting has been done on outside of building. Working on a grant to help with cost of Fire Hall Addition.

Phil Hatcher – Swearing in a new officer and have another new officer starting this week. Moral is good with police employees. Employees haven’t been able to take much vacation with being short staffed.

Review Monthly Bills/Reports

Auditor Richter reported on monthly bills and reports.

Discuss job title for City Administrator position

Commissioner Bishop has been approached about changing the job title to City Manager. Commissioner Gulmon stated this position went to the vote of the citizens and passed. It’s time to get behind this position and support it. Commissioner Magnuson stated if we change the name do we give people the opportunity to lobby against the new title. President Carlsrud would like to keep it the same and didn’t feel a need to change the title. Commissioner Bishop was also good with keeping the title as is.

Discuss Nature Gardens

City Forrester Bob Anderson threw out the option to plant nature gardens on some of the vacant City property acquired with the flood buyouts. This is not as viable for Valley City as larger communities like Fargo as they would be much smaller areas. Also there were concerns discussed earlier with Jeff Differding.

Discuss Water Service WS-16 surcharge for unmetered water services to apartments, condominiums, townhouses and trailer sites

Gary Jacobson had received a concern from a citizen about the monthly water surcharge of $8.24 for multi-unit buildings. Currently the owner pays the consumption of the building and each tenants pays the $8.24 surcharge. This charge has been in place for at least 30 years to make sure costs are being distributed to those receiving the benefit. A single family home has a smaller and less expensive meter going into the home where the multi-unit homes have a larger meter which is more expensive to purchase and maintain. If this monthly fee was removed there would need to be an increase to all residents to make up for this decrease in revenue.

Discuss Assistant Public Works (Operations) Superintendent Position for Succession Planning

Carl reviewed the succession plan when Jeff Differding retires possibly this year. The plan moving forward would be to post that position internally, go through the interview process, and promote the person to assistant superintendent with a 5% increase in employee’s current salary. This person would then have the opportunity to job shadow Jeff and learn the job.

Discuss Storm Water Management Plan for proposed Fire Hall Addition

Building Inspector Anderson received a letter from Mike Strom, Engineer with KLJ, regarding any storm water issues with the new addition at the Fire Hall. The additional runoff created would be insignificant for the short term but is something that could be addressed during a future improvement project. KLJ Engineer Chad Petersen did not feel a payment in lieu of a retention pond would be applicable as this is such a minimal amount of runoff.

Discuss changing disposal rate for trees from $0 to $5 per ton for commercial tree haulers

Gloria Swart had discussed this rate change with Commissioner Erickson because of the extra hours and expense spent taking care of these trees at the transfer station. There has been an increase in the volume of trees dropped off this year. There is no charge to valley city residents that dispose of trees, this fee would just be charged to commercial tree haulers. After discussion the Commission agreed the amount of revenue this would generate is minimal and would not like this changed at this time. The City does offer to special assess the expense to remove trees if a city resident has a hardship to pay for the removal. The City is currently seeing a cost savings with not having the grass sites in town.

Adjourn The meeting was adjourned at ­4:38 PM.

8/4/2020 Finance Meeting Minutes

Board Members attended from alternate locations to minimize group size and contact,
as recommended by state and federal government officials due to COVID-19
and as allowed in ND Executive Order 2020-16.

Called To Order at 3:30 PM

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM.

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, City Auditor Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, PW Accountant/Manager Jacobson, Fire Chief Magnuson, Assistant Fire Chief Coit, Police Chief Hatcher, Electrical Superintendent Senf, Assistant Operations Superintendent Klemish, Chad Petersen from KLJ.

Department Reports

Marshall Senf– There were 5 outages in July. Need more men and more equipment.  Rented a mini excavator.  Digger truck is down, we’re waiting for that to get fixed.  Jail we have the temporary set.  College all the poles except for one are pulled because the digger truck broke down.  Should be putting lights up as soon as we get them.  5th Ave project has had a few snags.  Digging the conduit in for Love’s right now which has also had some snags.  They were going to dig the trench but decided not to so we will hire it done.  Also doing some odds and end jobs too.

President Carlsrud stated the power was on .99996.  Also read a letter from Senator Robinson thanking staff for the effort put forth removing the poles from the front of the campus.

Clint Klemish – Wrapping up project on west main.  Dirt was down today and hopefully get our straw and mats down tomorrow and get out of there.  We did our tree campaign for July.  We expanded off the list a bit since we had so many storms and wind.  We ended up picking up pretty much the whole town.  Next opportunity will be clean up week.  New sweeper was delivered last week, should have been here in March but was shut down due to COVID.  Transfer Station received their new pick up.  Will be starting on painting soon. 

City Commissioner Magnuson asked how the Transfer Station was going.  Clint stated it’s going good, Gloria does a great job out there.  PTO pump went out on the new truck. Haven’t been able to use the compost yet because it is too wet and we’re just busy.  It will be a month long process screening compost.  We’re also trying to dig a cell for the inert which is another 3 weeks’ worth of work. 

City Administrator Crawford added that she met with Clint and there are a few trees on the list that are on city property that they are going to get removed right away.  We want everyone to understand that with Dutch Elm sitting though the fall and into the spring it does spread faster costing us more money.  Jeff Differding gave his notice in writing that he will be retiring September 22nd.  Would like to ask Carl to move forward filling Clint’s position so when the time comes they aren’t short people. 

Clint stated they installed stop signs on the east and west bound 5th St NW.  Added flags and trimmed some trees but we need to trim the trees a little more. 

Fire Chief Magnuson– 11 Fire calls last month.  Have had all trucks pump tested and they all pass the pumper test so they are all good to go for another year.  Lance Coit started full time this week.  Census is great, we’re close!        

Police Chief Hatcher- Officer Joshua Sampson will be sworn in tonight and tomorrow our third new guy will start.  Working on vacation openings and trying to get the guys some time off that they haven’t been able to take since we were minimum staffed.  Brand new officers take 27 weeks to when they start in the car so it’s about a 29-30 week process by the time they are fully on board to be counted as a whole person.  We will be full-staffed tomorrow.

Review Monthly Bills/Reports

City Auditor Richter reported we were at $2,154,951.80.  There were three payrolls in July at about $140,000 to $150,000 each when you include the benefits.  A garbage truck at $175,000, sweeper lease payment for $43,000, construction in progress for 5th Ave and seal coating for $345,000 and $254,000 for permanent flood protection.  $100,000 to the park district for food and beverage some state aid.  That gets us back to the $1 million mark which is regular operations.

Request to Approve the use of GSA Contracting for the New Addition on the Fire Hall

Fire Chief Magnuson stated through Enterprise Sales they utilize the GSA contracting.  It cuts out the architect fee, at the end of the day you save on this project about $200,000-$220,000 using the GSA contract. 

Attorney Martineck added for projects over $200,000 you need to open it for bids.  If we go through GSA process which is a purchasing process where all the bidding is already complete, we would need an Ordinance allowing this.

Discuss Fees for Temporary Use Permit

City Attorney Martineck said at a previous meeting you approved amendments to the ordinance for temporary use and permit and solicitor license.  We set the fee for the solicitor license at $50/day so we’re set with that one but we need the fee for the temporary use permit.  Will set at $50 for 10 days and $500 for a season.

Discuss Fee for Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Fire Chief Magnuson stated an inspection on an extinguisher would be right around $12, a recharge for a 5 lb. would be $12.50 plus parts, 10 lb. would be $12.50 plus parts, hydro testing is $22.50 plus the recharge fee plus fee, new extinguishers depend on market cost.

Review Amendment to Agreement for Permanent Flood Protection Phase III

Chad Peterson from KLJ stated original contract was $482,500, this estimate was based off the contractor’s original schedule.  Project was delayed last fall due to some flooding in early October.  The original contract was for $182,500 with the city.  In the spring of this year the contract was amended to extend the completion date from June to September extending the amount of effort for our inspection team to do their job.  Requesting up to $20,500.  The cost share request through the state water commission in 2018 requested construction and engineering at $203,000 at the 80/20 cost share so what we are asking for has already been approved through the state wide commission in a cost share request. 

Discuss contract for building inspection services – Midwest Inspection Services

City Administrator Crawford stated they asked Dave Andersen if he would be willing to stay on as a contract employee while they fill his position but that was not something he was interested in.  Found a company in Fargo that does inspections.  We would need to negotiate fees but they would be in charge of building permits and inspections until we filled that role.

Lance Coit read off multiple phone messages that were left within a day and a half as an example of how important it is that we fill that role right away. 

City Administrator Crawford stated there may be some things that Fire Chief Magnuson and Assistant Fire Chief Coit might be able to do some of the things to help with cost.  There are options and we don’t’ really have two more weeks to wait for another commission meeting.

City Attorney Martineck stated we have several projects in process and inspections are going to have to happen and we don’t have anyone currently working for the city that can do that.  We need to enter into a contract or appoint somebody as the interim building inspector.  City Attorney Martineck stated he felt the best option is to appoint City Administrator Crawford the ability to allow her to enter into the contract with Mike Blevins to move forward with his services.

City Administrator Crawford stated he is willing to work with us under our circumstances.  He only asks to be notified prior to 24 hours of an inspection being done.  We don’t know what the fee schedule is.  We will have to go through those and find out what we can do ourselves and what he needs to do for us. 

President Carlsrud asked what the most feasible way to move forward?

City Administrator Crawford stated she would like them to trust and allow that she can make the decision and enter into a contract with him.


The meeting was adjourned at ­4:38 PM.