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3.5.2024 Finance Minutes

City Commission Finance Meeting

Valley City, North Dakota

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

2:30 PM

Called to Order

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

Roll Call

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

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Deputy Auditor Johnson, Administrative Assistant Hintz

New Items

Red River Water Supply Project

Guest Greg Bischoff, Barnes County’s Representative on the Garrison Diversion Board, shared an update on the Red River Water Supply Project.  A project to supply emergency water to central & eastern North Dakota during times of water scarcity so as to protect public health, ensure economic vitality and provide environmental benefits in the river systems.

NW Industrial Park

Discuss selling city owned lots in NW Industrial Park. Commissioner Bishop asked Jennifer Feist with the VCBC Development Corp to discuss the use of the land in the NW Industrial Park for Non-Primary Sector purposes. In the interest of development & putting that land in the hands of the private sector, the VCBCDC feels it is a good idea.

Clean-Up Week

Sanitation Supervisor Swart started the discussion on Clean-Up Week tentatively set for May 13–18, 2024. Swart shared a few ideas and changes that may need to be made due to the number of Trucks currently in the fleet. The consensus of the Commissioners was to continue as is by renting a truck to assist with pick up. Educating the Citizens of Valley City on what can and cannot be disposed of, as well as how to separate their piles of garbage for a more efficient clean-up. Citizens not following the guidelines set forth will not have their trash picked up.  

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart reminded all not to put your garbage container on a snow bank, that they need 3’ of clearance around the container, your handles should face the house & it must be out for pick-up by 7:00AM.  

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported that his team is staying busy with Service Orders, Lights & Trees. They are working on their gateway issues and getting this cleared up.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reported on their Calls for Service. Magnuson & Coit are currently working on some nuisance items, letters were mailed out prior to the recent snow storm. The boat is about completely ready, then on to the preparations for the pick-up. Looking for alternate locations for Fire Equipment parking this summer during the construction project. The Ariel is an issue. Hydrants, whether City owned or Privately owned, must be fixed and can not just be shut off. Private hydrants must be tested yearly. Looking into an ordinance for this issue. Magnuson shared that the Department is involved in the Chili Cook-Off at the Winter Show this year. They are also working on their yearly fundraiser being held March 23rd.

Police Department

Chief Horner shared that his Department is working with the Sheriff’s Office and the Highway Patrol Department to have extra enforcement during the ND Winter Show. The Department is applying for grants to assist in the purchase of Cameras for inside & outside the Police Department to cover a few blind spots and to update the current door security system. They are also waiting to hear on a grant they applied for to purchase body cameras. There are currently 3 open positions that they are trying to fill.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported on the snowstorm & the clean-up that followed. Ben Lokken passed the Treatment 4 License Exam so now is a Certified Level 4 Operator which is the highest level in North Dakota and the level of our Valley City Water Plant.

Administration

City Administrator Crawford shared that on March 23, 2024 there will be a walk through with AE2S at the Water Plant to give us an over all game plan for future projects and maintenance.

Review monthly bills/reports

Deputy Auditor Johnson reported expenditures in the amount of $1,399,702. for the month.

New Items Continued

Discuss Amendments to Alcoholic Beverage License Code. City Attorney Martineck discussed:

  1. License fees – Streamline the fees
    1. New license for professional services businesses – Need a new class of license
    1. New license for entertainment facilities – Need a new class of license
    1. Guidelines for special event permits – No specifications for precautions
    1. Lookback period for violations – Possibly change title and change to 2 years
    1. Dates for renewal – Currently from July 1 to June 30. State is due January 1
    1. Administrative hearing procedures – Need to clarify the procedures process
    1. Server training certificates – New process to track these certificates

Discuss Commissioner Responsibilities Including Appointment of City Officials. City Attorney Martineck shared that the initial discussion on this topic was held in December so he is bringing it back for further discussion and direction. An Ordinance will be put together to clarify who should be appointed officer. In Code it states the Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City. When you have a City Manager or City Administrator system, most of the Chief Executive Officer’s powers transfer to the City Administrator. The executive officer is the person who has the power to execute the laws and the City Commission is the Legislative Body that makes the laws. Martineck suggested, for the balance of powers, leave the Mayor as the Chief Executive Officer in Code and add those powers will be suspended during the period of having a City Administrator or a City Manager.

Review Recommended Changes to Valley City Urban Functional Classification System for Submittal to NDDOT for Review and Consideration. City Engineer reviewed the information and the submission is due onto the ND Department of Transportation by April 1, 2024.

Discussion on the Junk Ordinance for Main Street. Commissioner Magnuson started discussion on what, if anything, can be done about the locations along main street as it relates to junk. An ordinance can be drawn up regarding this topic but it will affect all citizens. Currently this is handled on a case by case process.

Discussion Regarding a Change to Paving Project 125 (2nd Ave NE/3rd St NE/4th St NE/3rd Ave NE) in regards to Parking for the Fire Hall. Administrator Crawford shared the quotes for concrete vs. recycled asphalt to include additional parking for the Fire Department during the project this summer. Her recommendation is to move forward with the additional parking but requiring the Firemen to abide by the current parking guidelines.  The consensus of the Commission is to move ahead with the recycled asphalt option for now.

SLWA Quick Start Guide Update President Carlsrud and Commissioner Erickson informed the Commission on the Service Line Warranties of America program. They explained the relationship between the two entities and gave an overview of program being offered. It was also stated that the repairs will be done by Licensed Contractors with the City of Valley City. This program is intended to give Valley City Residents an option for their service lines.

Discuss Finance Meeting Times. President Carlsrud brought up discussion on the times for the Finance meeting and how they seem to need adjusting monthly. It was decided that the Agenda will be reviewed the on Thursday afternoon the week prior and a time set.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:57 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

2.6.2024 Finance Minutes

City Commission Finance Meeting

Valley City, North Dakota

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

3:30 PM

Called to Order

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

Roll Call

Members present: President Carlsrud, Commissioner Magnuson, Commissioner Erickson,

Other present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

Members absent: Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Gulmon

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart shared that the automated truck has both arms working after repairs. Cost per ton comparisons were discussed between hauling to Jamestown @ $87.91/ton & Fargo @ $92.42/ton. Communication on the total tonnage that both locations are able to handle will need to happen.

Electric Department

Cory Buck reported that outages were down for the month of January. Work continues on the purple lights, the pole inventory for Century Link, and updating the meter reading infrastructure. All Christmas decorations have been taken down & stored. Still cleaning up from the Ice Storm. Branches that are hanging over lines will be taken care of by the City if reported, branches hanging over streets and boulevards are the responsibility of the homeowners.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported on an issue this morning at the master lift. This is now online using back-up until the new transfer switch arrives. Tree count from the Ice Storm was reported. In the residential areas, 158 tandem loads of branches were removed. In addition, 50 more tandem loads were taken out from clean-up on city lots. Currently working on potholes and drainage areas.

Administration

City Administrator Crawford discussed the possibility of a Lead Line Repair Ordinance. As we move forward working on our inventory, do we want to look at asking the home owner to replace the lead lines on the Customer owned side.

City Attorney explained the consent agenda at the Commission meeting contains a request for a Public Hearing to be held on a Dangerous Building at 340 3rd St SE.

Police Department

Police Chief Horner presented a Power Point presentation on the 2023 Annual Report for the Police Department. He also updated on the current application process.

Review monthly bills/reports

Finance Director Klein reported expenditures in the amount of $1,618,408 for the month.

New Items

  1. City Attorney Martineck and Parking/Animal Control Officer Johnson discussed the current ordinance regarding livestock in city limits and a few changes to wording that they would suggest.
  2. VCSU would like to change the location for the Recycling Containers. The area by the Parks and Rec Maintenance building may be a possible location and Klemisch will research.
  3. City Administrator Crawford reviewed the BEK Connect Service Renewal. Discussion on the proposed savings and reasoning for the changes was explained and was given a recommendation to pass at the Commission meeting.
  4. City Attorney Martineck gave an overview of the current process on Dangerous Buildings Process.  City Administrator Crawford and Fire Chief Magnuson shared some ideas for changes that may make this process more streamlined. Magnuson would like to see standards set and then look to changes in the future for rentals and working with the Health Department.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:54 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

1.4.2024 Finance Minutes

City Commission Finance Meeting

Valley City, North Dakota

Thursday, January 4, 2024

2:30 PM

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, Commissioner Gulmon.

Other present: City Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

Department Reports

Police Department

Police Chief Horner discussed the 2024 Budget for the year and changes that he will be making. The Department is down two positions so working on applicants to fill those positions. Researching Discipline Matrixes to see if one would be a fit for this size of Department. This would also mean putting together a Committee of Officers to make the Matrix with what they feel is needed and enforceable for the entire Department. 

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart was not present. Operations Supervisor Klemisch shared that anyone taking trees or branches to the drop site try to pile them together instead of scatter throughout. 30 people used the “Free Christmas Week” garbage drop off that was offered by the City. Good thing we limited to 100 pounds as some did try to bring more. The automated truck is down to 1 arm at this time but able to keep up. It is being used while waiting for the repairs. All garbage pickup is up to date. Shutting down alley pickup on Valley Avenue for the winter due to conditions.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch stated that his Team was out every day during the Ice Storm Event, both Sanders & the Motor Grader out daily, at times even more equipment. Focus in the first 24 hours was on the Emergency Routes and Hills. Downtown was taken care of Thursday morning. They have now entered the Residential Areas.

New Items

  1. Salt/Sand Discussion –Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported on the amounts of Sand/Salt that was used for this one event & then added in the amount that was sold to local Businesses as well. He is keeping an eye on the amount that was used and then what he feels will be needed for the remainder of the Winter. Rates, delivery fees and a possible cap on the amount of Sand/Salt sold were discussed.
  2. Finance Director Klein reported expenditures in the amount of $2,488,773 for the month.
  3. Monthly Engineer Report. Finance Director Klein shared that we did come in under budget for the year of 2023. The Current contract did expire. The City will need to draw up a new contract and both KLJ & Moore Engineering will need to agree and sign off if we wish to continue.  Recommendations from Staff are to continue as is.
  4. Viking Drive Estates Mobile Home Park License Renewal 2024 Discussion – City Administrator Crawford spoke with David Wick and discussed the budget & plan for the Viking Drive Estates. Crawford recommends that we approve until 4/15/2024 and must have a budget and plan into the City to continue after that date.  
  5. Discuss updates to the Employee Policy Manual. City Attorney Martineck emailed the red line copy to the Commissioners. Discussion was held on a few of the changes such as On-Call or a Second Job. The changes were approved and recommended by the Employee Committee.

Water Department

Water Superintendent Hesch shared how the power outages effected the Water Plant. Concentrating on maintenance items as approaching the equipment being over 10 years old. These repairs and maintenance do take quite a bit of time with a shutdown to machines and dry time before work can begin. The lead time on parts are weeks out. As the equipment ages, there will be more repairs and maintenance in the future. Discontinued the Data Contract with GE and went with a different route for the data. This saved substantial funds.

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported that his Team has been busy cleaning up after the Ice Storm and getting the Electricity going for the City. His Team will need to go back to locations and verify & correct the quick fixes and make sure that everyone has reliable power resources. Missouri River Energy Services will be out doing infrared scans to verify any weak spots so they may be taken care of. Tree branches near lines will also need to be removed. Electrical Superintendent Senf also explained the Western Area Power Association’s power outage lines were sagging and drawing the lines down, this caused a static line to touch a transmission line causing it to short out. They were having relay issue at the substation, so they needed to send a crew from Fargo to come out and rectify the relay issue and power was restored. This happened again a couple days later. Our Team was able to fix the line and restore service. There are 2 Drone Operators that will be getting licensed on the Team. The drones were instrumental in finding the breaks. We will be looking into a new afterhours answering service as Cass County will no longer be taking calls after June 30, 2024.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson shared the Year in Review for 2023. Calls were way up from previous years. There were several calls during the Ice Storm and all Departments worked so well together. Dangerous Building Report was discussed and the process to clean up dangerous buildings and piles of rubbish that are in yards in the City. Fines were discussed to help with the process.

Fire Extinguisher Report was much higher than last year. Expenses should be less in the future with the changes made to the Master Fee Schedule on charges.

New Items Continued

  • Tree Branch Pick-up & Removal – Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported that currently they are using 2 payloaders & 3 tandems in the cleanup process for the Ice Storm Tree Branch removal. We started the Residential pick up today just on the South side of Interstate. As of 2:00PM 13 loads were hauled out and the Crew just made it to Winter Show Road. This would be about ½ of the SE Section. This is at least a month-long process. People will need to be patient and know that the City is trying. Be aware that they will not be going back to areas that branches were already picked up. They are also not raking up small sticks and branches. You would need to take your branches out to the site if you missed the pickup in your area.
  • Apprenticeship Opportunity with North Dakota Rural Water – City Administrator Crawford explained that Valley City was approached to become one of the City’s that would take on apprenticeships. This means that the City would hire a person while they are registered as Student at Bismarck State College in the Water Plant or Distribution Field of studies. The student would work for the City while attending classes and completing their college courses. The benefit to the student would be Employment and on the job training to assist with their Water Plant curriculum. The benefit to the City would be to fill open positions that we currently have and, in the fields, where we are needing bodies.

Administration

Public Works Accountant Jacobson discussed the possible reimbursements for the Ice Storm Declaration and what we are keeping track of this time. All labor, pay rate & benefits and truck usage, repairs & work that have to do with the Ice Storm. He is keeping track daily on a spreadsheet. Currently he is at about $80,000 worth of expenses we have paid out. His best guess is that FEMA will reimburse for about $52,000.

Finance Director Klein updated the Commissioners that payment was received on the items that were sold at auction for $31,640. Currently she is working on a loan with the Bank of ND on the Northwest Reconstruction Project that will be happening this year. This is the Special Assessment part of the project. We are getting a rate of 2% on $425,000. We will not start drawing on the loan until this fall and we will have a resolution brought before the Commission prior to drawing. Finance Director Klein shared that in an email regarding tax distribution to the Commissioners she explained that the City received an extra highway distribution payment in the amount of $113,000. She has also been working with the new outside Auditors.

City Attorney Martineck discussed The Captain’s Pub as it was voted on at the last Commission meeting to have a Public Hearing. The Hearing is scheduled for January 16, 2024. The Captain’s Pub has hired a Lawyer, but he has not responded to any correspondence that was sent his direction. The License Holder did try to call today but had to leave a voicemail. There are witnesses subpoenaed for this hearing. There is a more formal process to follow to suspend a license. Martineck will be working with Mayor Carlsrud on this process. Hoping that a resolution will be reached prior to the Public Hearing but if needed, it is on the calendar.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:32 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

12.5.2023 Finance Minutes

City Commission Finance Meeting

Valley City, North Dakota

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

2:30 PM

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, Commissioner Gulmon.

Other present: City Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart discussed picking up garbage racks that remain around town. She reminded us that the Truck needs at least 3’ clearance around the containers. Swart shared information about Saturday openings for the Landfill and what hours seem to be the best to be open. 9AM to Noon seems to be the busiest times. Swart then brought up the extra garbage that citizens have around Christmas, and it was decided to have free drop off of up to 100lbs per Residence from December 26 to December 29. Citizens can take their garbage, minus the recycled cardboard, to the Transfer Station.

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf shared there were 4 outages in the past month due to squirrels. The Department is busy with trimming trees, hanging switches and will be working on the underground connection to John Deere. The quotes for the sale of the used transformer came in and the best proposal was for $20,000. and they will load and haul the piece taking on all the liability.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reviewed the Calls for Service Report. Numbers were down from the previous month with 10 regular and 10 after hour calls. Magnuson filled the Commissioners in on the new rescue boat that was purchased with some insurance claim funds and the remaining amount was covered with funds raised by the Firemen.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch talked about the culvert that was replaced by the Rainbow Bridge as well as a water main break in the SW part of town. Thank you to Barnes Rural Water for some of the materials. His team also replaced the guardrail near 6th & Viking.

Administration

City Administrator Crawford gave an update on 2nd Ave lighting. Everything is ready as soon as the actual poles come in but do to timing and weather, this will be completed in the spring of 2024.

Review monthly bills/reports

Finance Director Klein reported expenditures in the amount of $1,485,229 for the month.

Commission Duties Review

Attorney Martineck gave a Power Point Presentation on the Duties of Commissioners.

Review cost of Special Meetings

Finance Director Klein shared the cost and time involved with having a Special Commission Meeting. Attorney Martineck will draw up a Resolution for approval on a future agenda, charging $25.00 for a requested Special Meeting. This Resolution will include a change to the Master Fee Schedule.

Appointment of Department Heads and Police Officers

Discussion was had on the current Appointment of Department Heads and Police Officers. Attorney Martineck referred to code which states that the City Administrator should be appointing these positions. The Commissioners requested, for the time being, Police Officers be appointed by the City Administrator and not need Commissioner Approval. The current Code will be reviewed, and an ordinance will be drafted as to the actual titles needing Commission approval and the actual titles that can be appointed by the City Administrator.

Review 10 Year Valley City Infrastructure Plan

Administrator Crawford reviewed the 10 Year Valley City Infrastructure Plan. This plan gives the transparency to determine if we have the monies for future projects and make sure that we know exactly which projects the monies budgeted go to. This plan covers the estimated projected funds needed for future projects and maintenance in all City Departments and how the monies will need to be budgeted. 

Year to Date Building Permit Report and Power Point Presentation of Recent Home Sale Comparisons

Assessor Current shared a Year-to-Date Building Permit Report from Michael Blevins. Current also shared a Power Point Demonstration on the sales of houses and how the values have increased in the past couple of years.

Discuss Public Works 2024 Proposed Budget

Public Works Accountant Jacobson discussed the Public Works 2024 Proposed Budget.

Discuss PW Water Rate increase

Public Works Accountant Jacobson explained the need for the Public Works Water rate increase.

Discuss PW South Side Sewer rate increase

Public Works Accountant Jacobson explained the reasoning for the South Side Sewer rate increase.

Discuss PW Credit Card Fees

Public Works Accountant Jacobson shared a spreadsheet on Credit Card Fees and what it costs the City to offer this payment option to the Citizens. Those fees continue to rise for the City. Discussion was had on these fees and if the fee should be passed along to those using this service.  The City does offer 3 ways to pay with no fees being charged.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:37 PM.

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11.7.2023 Finance Minutes

City Commission Finance Meeting

Valley City, North Dakota

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

3:30 PM

Called to Order

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

Roll Call

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

Other present: City Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

Absent: Commissioner Bishop

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart stated that we are still having a few issues with the containers. Remember that the handles should face your house. All garbage must be in closed bags in the container and all garbage must fit into your container. The City will not pick up excess garbage. Please also remember that you need 3 feet around each container for the truck to be able to collect the garbage. Residents and Businesses please tie your bags shut to keep the garbage contained. Finally, dump your leaves and clippings out of the bags at the Grass site. Discussion on how garbage pickup will work this winter with snow fall and weather. Containers should be placed in the same locations as they currently are, but not in a snowbank. If snow needs to be plowed in your area, your pickup may be suspended that day and will be picked up on Friday. This is a work in progress this first year.

Water Department

Water Superintendent Hesch let us know that water usage is down. A water sample was taken to The Grand Forks Pollution Control Conference and Valley City placed in the top 3 in the state for Best Tasting Water in North Dakota.

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf shared that there were 6 outages since the last month. 5 were squirrels and 1 an underground trouble near Woodland that was replaced. The 3 Phase is ready to go at Valley Plains Implement, we are ahead of that project. Inventory, Christmas Decorations, and continued work on the purple lights are on the project list.  Superintendent Senf also shared that they are currently applying for 3 grants to cover the cost of a few projects. One grant is for the replacement of the 69-transmission line from Valley City to the WAPA Sub which is roughly 1.8 miles. This opportunity will replace the old poles and insulators at possibly 100% of the costs covered. The next project would be to replace all the Sodium lights to LED, he estimates that there are about 250 lights left to switch over, this grant will possibly cover at 100%. The final project would be to convert all of Valley City to underground which would be a lengthy time frame so they would propose doing only 2 circuits this year, the grant would possibly pay for 100% of the costs.  

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reported there were 17 calls last month. The “Calls for Service” numbers are up from last year. The Fireman’s Dance will be held on November 24th at the Eagles. The band Karma will be playing and all are invited. This will be a freewill donation, no tickets this year. Assistant Fire Chief Lance Coit attended the FEMA training this past week in Baltimore. Very Educational, passed with a 100% and all it cost the City was his meals and parking. Chief Magnuson also gave an update on the ‘Dangerous Buildings” in town. There are 4 projects in play right now. Attorney Martineck is working on the legal aspects. Discussion was had on the process and again it was stated that this is a very long process.

Police Department

Police Chief Horner discussed the 3 openings at the Police Department. They have had 5 applicants with one of the applicants completing the back-ground check. The interviews for the remaining should happen later this week. There were a few scheduling conflicts. The Department is looking into updating some electronics and equipment needed that was not in the 2024 budget, they are looking for different revenues or grants as Chief Horner feels this could be an Officer safety issue. The Guys have been working hard. Discussion regarding the number and type of Applicants, as well as the training needed to become an Officer took place. Administrator Crawford thanked Chief Horner for all the extra time he has been putting into the job since taking over.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported that Ben Lokken recently went to Bismarck and passed the Water Treatment to Level 3 Certificate. This is a 5-hour test. Currently Wade Hesch & Sherry Keys are Level 4 and Ben will continue to train & test and the goal would be to gradually integrate him into working at the Water Plant. This is a big deal for Valley City. Currently discharging the lagoon for the winter. The street sweeper was winterized but is now back in service trying to get some of the leaves cleaned up. The Ash Trees that were marked have been taken care of and 2 houses were torn down. Inventory will start next week as well as some winter work. There will be a couple people working in the department over Veteran’s Day to keep things going.

Administration

City Administrator Crawford talked about the Resolution for Public Sales. An opportunity came up and items will be sold at a sale that was already set up. The items will be listed, with the larger items having reserves set. There will be a 7% charge from the Auctioneer for sold items. The Auction will take place over a two-week period. This will be an online auction but people will have the ability to go and see the items in person as well. For the larger items, if a reserve was set, we will need to pay the 7% to the Auction Service if an item is not sold. By going with Integrity Auction Service, they will handle all the pictures, descriptions and marketing for the sale. All departments have contributed items to be sold.

Administrator Crawford also brought up discussion on a Charging Station that was installed at Stoudt/Miller. The location was put in the “Line of Sight” for the Department of Transportation Right of Way. This is a new situation and an Ordinance or Resolution will need to be started. This will need to come from the direction of the Commission and we will need to start a permitting or license process. The current station may need to be moved as it is a Zoning Violation. Attorney Martineck will look into this.

Finance Director Klein updated the Commission on the loans for the Tree Removal that was discussed at an earlier meeting.  Both the Bank of ND and ND Finance Authority stated that they would not finance a tree removal loan. This is looked at differently than a regular construction project. The USDA does not see anything coming up on this subject either. Administrator Crawford shared her discussions with other Cities on this topic. Finance Director also mentioned that within the bills are final payments for DOT Projects including the 5th Ave NW Project, the East Main Sealcoat Project, and then 6th St NW Reconstruction Project.

Review monthly bills/reports

Finance Director Klein reported expenditures in the amount of $2,405,468.  for the month.

New Items

RFP for a New Service Center – CityAdministrator Crawford shared that we are required by Century Code when we build a building this size that we need to have an Architect involved. One step is that we have to have an RFP for architects. The second step is to go with Construction Management At-Risk and hire a firm who works with the architect and with the project and will figure out what it will cost and you are guaranteed that it will not go over that cost. If it comes in under, you do benefit. Commissioner Erickson also explained that the firm would manage the whole project and our team would not need to be there saving the City valuable time and resources. They would take care of the whole project acting as a General Manager which we would need regardless. City Administrator Crawford explained that the City would be required to have a Committee that is already determined by Century Code. This committee would oversee the RFP. If this is the way we want to go, with a CMAR, we can pay someone to do the RFP or set up the Committee but no one on the Committee can be applying to be one of the CMAR. Administrator Crawford & Commissioner Erickson both suggested that we go with the CMAR.

Attorney Martineck let the Commissioners know that the next step would be to do an RFP for an Architect or Engineer. That is required. The CMAR is an alternative to doing your standard bidding process. It is another approach to doing the standard bidding process. Tonight, we would need the Commissioners to approve the RFP for the Architect. The next decision would be whether you approve going with the CMAR process and then appointing a committee. Discussion.

Update on Viking Trailer Court – City Administrator Crawford shared an update from David Wick, work has begun and they are making excellent progress.

Red River Water Supply Project – President Carlsrud updated on the former McClusky Canal/Garrison Diversion which is now the Red River Water Supply Project. It was built to supply water to the eastern part of the state in a drought situation. Years ago, Valley City nominated for a certain amount of water. We have been part of the study for many years. The time is coming very close to making a decision as to whether we keep our nomination and continue with the annual cost. President Carlsrud will keep us posted as the time gets closer.

PFP Update – City Administrator Crawford gave an update on the PFP, now that the CLOMR is complete. An updated map was shared and discussed. The first step is to redesign Phase 4 adding mitigation. With that, they were able to add some mitigation with the Mill Dam and get some of that project paid for.  Also, just some updating of the design work and interior flooding concerns. Some of the streets that were set for rehab have now been updated to reconstruction. The re-design of Phase 4 will start now through fall of 2024. The Phase 4 construction will start in the spring of 2025 and continue through 2026.This will be bid in the fall of 2024.

Phase 5 design will start in the Spring of 2024. This will need to go through the State Water Commission for the updated final dollar amount as some of the funds were used for the CLOMR.

Phase 5 construction, which is also phase 6 Design and Construction, was approved through the legislature. this will now need to go through the State Water Commission as well. Currently, discussion is just on projects through 2026 right now. In Phase 5 there are 4 houses left to be bought out. Letters will go out explaining the process and if the owner wants to sell right now, we can look at it.

Special Assessment Cap for Paving Reconstruction Projects – Finance Director Klein shared with the Commission that Protest Notices have been mailed for the Reconstruction Project in the NW that will be happening next year. With previous discussions, it was known there was a need to increase that Cap. It was determined to raise that Cap to $150.00 per frontage from the $123.67 previously used. By increasing this, it gets us to just over 25% of the projects being special assessed. The remaining local funds come out of the R&R funds. We wanted to make sure that this increase at least covers the cost of the seal coat to be paid out of R&R Funds. Looking for an OK from the Commissioners to increase the cap to the $150.00 which has not been increased since 2014. This brought up discussion on the Local share as well as the R&R Fee. City Administrator recommends that the Commission approve the increase the cap at $150.00 now and then look into increasing the Cap and R&R in the future. It was decided that a recommendation on the amount to increase the R&R should be brought to the next meeting and a Resolution written. The commissioners agreed to the new $150.00 Cap.

Digital Signage Update – Commissioner Magnuson gave an update on the Digital Signage with the requests made at the 10/3/2023 Commission Meeting. The digital sign was removed from the quote and the titles: City Hall and Public Works were added to the bottom of the signs. This brought the costs down considerably and all seemed in favor of the new design. Permitting for the sign will be taken care of by the City. It was also asked if the City could take care of the electrical, City Administrator Crawford will be reaching out to Superintendent Senf on that question. Commissioner Magnuson will move forward on ordering the signs.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:47 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

10.3.2023 Finance Minutes

City Commission Finance Meeting

Valley City, North Dakota

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

2:30 PM

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, Commissioner Gulmon.

Others present: City Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

Business

Digital Signage

Commissioner Magnuson presented information on the Digital Signage for Public Works and City Hall. Commissioner Magnuson will check on pricing with the changes discussed.

Monthly Engineer Report

Finance Director Klein shared that the Contract amount is $87,000.00, through September we have used about 46% of the contract amount.

Special Assessing Tree Removal

Review a schedule for Special Assessing for Tree Removal Expenses. Discussion was had. Finance Director Klein will check into funding.

Waste Hauler Permit

Sanitation Supervisor Swart explained the North Dakota Department Environmental Quality (NDDEQ) is requiring anyone hauling waste to the Landfill, that is not their waste, will be required to obtain a Waste Hauler Permit. Homeowners & Tree Haulers are exempt. The Sanitation Department will start educating now & will require permits as of January 1, 2024. A letter will be made with all the instructions and requirements to be given to those coming out to the Landfill. There will be an Ordinance drawn up to cover the changes required by the NDDEQ. 

KPH Liquidated Damages New Requests.

Administrator Crawford covered the reasons on the change order and the liquidated damages that were part of the Project. This change will still leave us with about $55,000.00 in LDs.

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart reported that the Hook Truck is back in service. Swart was able to get some of the repairs and expenses covered under warranty and from the Dealer. The Automated Truck garbage pickup has been going well.

Water Department

Water Superintendent Hesch reported that the water usage is down in September. Devils Lake will be discontinuing the east end outlet but will still be discharging from the west end outlet. PFAS are a manufactured chemical that is resistant to heat, grease and water. The EPA is cracking down on PFAS but Valley City has tested our water, and they are not an issue here.

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported on the 3 outages last month. 3 Phase line to Northern Plains Equipment is built. The purple lighting around town will be replaced by about 200 fixtures at the shop. They were out of warranty, but Senf was still able to get them covered. There was also discussion on the trailer, truck & street light controller that was damaged in an accident over the weekend. The Electric Department received the 2023 WattStar Award at the MRES Conference for the Christmas Tree Lighting and Celebration in Valley City. 

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reported on the Calls for Service. 22 calls for the month of September. October 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week. There are several tours set up and a few of the firemen will be visiting the schools. Reporting on the dangerous buildings around town. This is a new process for removing dangerous buildings and Attorney Martineck will be drawing up paperwork to assist with this process and what are the considerations that make a building dangerous. This is a long process to get these building taken care of.

Police Department

Lieutenant Rustebakke reported on a few changes happening at the Police Department. Finger Printing will now be done on Monday & Wednesday afternoons from 1:00PM to 5:00PM. The Department also received a Silver Status Rating from Lexipol for the Policy Manual. The Department was given the Silver Status based on how they handle their new and updated policies as well as training bulletins. Currently the Department is advertising for 2 open positions. The “Battle of the Badges” Blood Drive will be held October 10 and 11 at Stoudt/Miller.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported on an outage with the Master Lift Station. Thanks to all the responding Departments, the outage was minimal. Discussion on the tear down of buyout houses. Salt /Sand has been mixed and is ready when needed. Some patching has been completed around town and now the Electric Department will check lighting needs. The Storm Sewer at 5 Ave NE will be budgeted for 2024. Dale Sather has been awarded the Outstanding Individual in Public Works from the American Public Works Association.

Administration

City Administrator Crawford discussed a pump at the reservoir that was replaced, and a structure was being built over the pump. This is on City property and an agreement will be drawn up to cover all involved. Bright Energy Solutions were discussed and how it may benefit many in the community.

David Wick reported that the excavation contractor can complete the installation in 2 – 3 weeks once all the supplies are available, currently waiting on steel culverts and making two additional concrete inlet structures.

Business

Review monthly bills/reports

Finance Director Klein reported expenditures in the amount of $1,862,579.66 for the month.

Fire Extinguisher Service Financial Report

Fire Chief Magnuson reported that the Fire Extinguisher process has been going well. Discussion on pricing and time frames was had. The Department is diligently working on getting around town and getting the inspections and updates taken care of.

Discuss Buyout of 446 8 Ave NE for $94,000.00.

Administrator Crawford pointed out that the amount is the assessed value plus 10%. This is the valuation that was shared with the homeowner to purchase. This will be voted on at the Commission meeting.

Codification of the Purchasing Policy

Attorney Martineck reported that there was legislation that added a provision to the state purchasing laws that now allows cities to use cooperative purchasing. It became clear that this policy needs to be put into code to have the force of law backing it. By putting our policy into code, it allows Valley City to continue to do what we are already doing.

Dupont Class Action Settlement

Attorney Martineck discussed the class action and that, on his recommendation, Valley City opt out of the current settlement.

Application for Transportation Alternatives Program Projects

Engineer Petersen reported on the Transportation Alternative Funds being used on the Winter Show Road Project. Valley City was awarded the funding for Phase 1. Now seeking approval to apply for funding for Phase 2 that will complete the project. Administrator Crawford recommended that the Commission approve to move forward with the application process.

Valley City Urban Limits Boundary Map Revision

Engineer Petersen discussed the maps that were discussed back in June. They are proposing a change to the Urban Limit Boundary due to planned projects and growth in the NW area. The NE area would then be moved closer to the current boundaries. The southern boundaries would remain as is due to the infrastructure that already is in that area. Sharing the maps today and will be asking for formal approval at the next meeting to send the Department of Transportation before the end of October.

Review Requested Electric Rate Increases

Public Works/Account Manager Jacobson discussed his recommendations for Electrical Rate increase proposal due to the transfer increases. Looking for approval to start the process for the rate increases that would be effective on February 1, 2024.

Review Change Orders for 2 Ave NE/3 St NE

Administrator Crawford discussed the change orders for this project. The first, electric utility manholes that needed to be replaced, these funds will come out of the Electrical budget. The second, was a no cost change order. The third, was for drainage modifications near the Police Department as the current drainage needed to be corrected and join into the storm sewer system. The remaining change orders were for the fabric and at no cost. 

Review Proposed Urban Grant Project for 2 ST NW to 2 St N

Engineer Petersen shared a map with the proposed project as listed as a 2026 project. The ND DOT is asking for a plan ready date. If plans are ready in 2024 and the DOT is ready, we could possibly start building in 2025 instead of 2026.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:47 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

9.7.2023 Finance Minutes

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 Gulmon, and Commissioner Erickson

Others present: City Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

  1. Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart reported on the Grass Site Area and reminded all that no whole trees are to be taken to the grass site. This site is only for Valley City Citizens. Also, when dumping clippings, please empty your bags and take your bags or throw them in the trash. Automated Garbage Truck update, if you place your trash can in front of your driveway put it on the street. The Arm needs at least a 3’ clearance all the way around the can to be able to dump it. Garbage must be out by 7 AM or even the night before. Handles and wheels should face your house. Lids should be closed. No excess garbage around your trash can will be picked up, that is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Please check the City’s website, Facebook page, Instagram, Times Record, KOVC, and CSI Cable for Holiday schedules and inclement weather changes. Discussion on the notification of Citizens for customer service concerns when Garbage is not picked up by the truck.

Water Department

Water Supervisor Hesch reported some numbers on usage comparing July and August. Demand has dissipated. Shared the average usage daily as well as the max usage in a day. July’s usage was higher than Augusts this year.

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported on a good August. Only 1 outage due to weather. Columbia Grain project is now complete. Several projects planned for this fall. Senf discussed the lighting around town. Parts are coming to correct the color and lumen issue. If you notice a pole down or out, please report it to Public Works so that a service order can be started and taken care of.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reported that fire calls were down for service but up for rescue calls. Last month the Trucks were all tested and serviced, and all are working and passed inspection. Fire Fighter 1 Class is finishing up. Testing will be on the morning of September 16. Magnuson reported that they tested and added 3 new members to the squad. Side by Side will be ready to go in service soon. Grass, weeds and junk calls are handled weekly.

Police Department

Assistant Police Chief Rustebakke reported the police department put a reminder out to the Citizens that starting next month you need to keep your camper and boats off of the streets.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported that they are working on cleaning the storm lift stations. Salt is scheduled for delivery on Tuesday hauling sand in as well. September 18 Rural Water will be training on hydrants. September 19 Rural Water will be putting on a Wastewater Seminar. Working on concrete projects but waiting on the actual concrete.

  • Review monthly bills/reports (Finance Director Klein)

Finance Director Klein reported on the August expenditures. $2,627,118.00 Total

Renewal of 2 CDs, renewed for 5.1% and set up a new CD @ 11 months at a 5.1% rate in the amount of $800,000.00.

  • Discuss continued use of Fargo Landfill. (Public Works Accountant Jacobson)

Jacobson compared charges between Fargo Landfill with Jamestown Landfill. The decision was to negotiate with both Landfills and determine the correct place to contract with.

  • Discuss Garbage Hook Truck out of commission. (Public Works Accountant Jacobson)

The current Hook Truck was having Def Issues and now needs parts for the ECM that has quit. Parts are about 2 years out. Jacobson gave a price comparison to hauling ourselves using our trucks, having Valley Recycling haul or renting a truck from Jamestown. Recommendation is to rent a truck then to use our own but first we check again with Peterbilt to see what they will do for us. Talk to Ken about pulling a pup. Martineck will review the rental agreement. Added to the Commission Meeting Agenda for approval of signatures.

  • Discuss ordinances to address parking ticket enforcement and alcoholic beverage license requirements. (City Attorney Martineck)

Currently the ordinance reads that the license holder must also be the title holder of the building. Requesting a change to the ordinance that a tenant or purchaser for contract for deed can hold the liquor license. The second half of this item is that the collection of parking tickets currently does not give the Police Department the authority to collect on past due tickets. It was suggested that a tiered process would give the Police Department a better enforcement tool.

  • Removed prior to Meeting
  • Review cost proposals for audit services. (Finance Director Klein)

Requests went to 6 Companies, 3 replied. One was determined insufficient. Cost proposals were shown between Eide Bailly and Brady Martz. It was decided to go with the lower bid awarding the Audit to Brady Martz.

  • KPH request to forgive liquidated damages. (City Administrator Crawford)

The Commission requested that Crawford negotiate for the City and not accept their current proposal. This will be added as a new agenda item for the Commission Meeting.

  • Personal Leave – compared to State annual leave. (City Administrator Crawford)

Discussion on current annual leave earnings and when hiring in this competitive time, it was determined that the City earns less than the State Employees. Holidays were previously changed to match the State. The Commission agreed and this change will take effect on January 1, 2024. Martineck will update the Policy.

  1. Issued Conditional Letter of Map Revision for the City of Valley City, ND case No. 23-08-0015R – (City Administrator Crawford)

The CLOMR has been approved. CLOMR letter and the map were discussed as well as the interior flooding and drainage. The letter was a requirement to be mailed as part the process.

  1. Discuss removing abandoned fuel tank located in street right of way in conjunction with street project. (City Engineer Peterson)

4th St W and Central Avenue, it was determined that there are abandoned fuel tanks. This will be taken care of at the same time as the street project but will not be included in the project.

  1. 2022 Audit Report by Eide Bailly. (Finance Director Klein)

Courtney Richman with Eide Bailly joined via Zoom and shared the executive summary for the 2022 Audit findings. The City received a “clean” audit finding.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:59 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

8.1.2023 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, and Commissioner Erickson

Others present: City Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford via Zoom, Deputy Auditor Klein, Administrative Assistant Hintz

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart reported on the automated garbage process and stated that the numbers for trash cans facing the wrong direction is down. Hint: the handle should always face your house. She also reminded us that any branches left at the grass sites should be 3’ in diameter or smaller.

Fire Department

Assistant Fire Chief Coit reported on the calls for service for July. Scuba gear was tested and checked over this past week. He is now working on fire extinguishers & fire inspections. He will be attending the National Flood Protection Insurance Program sponsored by FEMA.

Police Department

Police Chief Hatcher reported the police department is working on a transition plan with his leaving this Friday 8.4.23.

Electric Department

Electrical Superintendent Senf reported on the current outage report. He discussed the “blinks” that people are experiencing are caused mainly by squirrels, birds & trees. The city is running on 2 subs and using 9 circuits. Project with Columbia Grain to switch lines from overhead to underground, Senf will be ordering the equipment for this project pending approval by the commission and an agreement has been signed by both parties.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported that there was a water leak in front of Alley Beans, he feels that there will be more digging and repairing of couplers and pipe as this project continues. The work being done on 5th Ave NW is not a city project: A Resident is putting in a new sewer service. 3 Employees passed their CDL test. This makes all Employees in that department licensed CDL drivers. The Team is also working on the School Crossing painting.  Salt has been ordered.

Review monthly bills/reports

Deputy Auditor Klein reported on the July expenditures.

Discussion on Viking Estates

David Wick commented on facilitating the work progress on the Viking Drive Estates and other projects.

Discussion on VCMC 5-01-20. Feeding of deer and wild birds prohibited

City Attorney Martineck discussed the ordinance. Brandi Johnson reported on the issues that she is encountering when enforcing such as homeowners scattering large amounts & large pieces of corn and bread. Suggested that the feed must be in some type of feeder or container. Concerned for the amount of deer, vermin and rodents that this feeding causes.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:04 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

7.6.2023 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, Deputy Auditor Klein, Administrative Assistant Johnson

Commission Topics

Discussion took place around ways to support or incentivize restaurants in town.

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart walked through some of the required guidelines for the new cans.  Reminded that the grass site is for branches no bigger than 3 inches diameter, no processed wood and dump the grass bags out and the dumpster by the grass site is only for bags or boxes used to haul the grass.

Water Department

Water Superintendent Hesch stated the water use was slightly elevated since June and will likely increase a little more if the temps do.

Electric Department

Cory Buck reported on current electrical projects. Also stated that the current surges people are experiencing is due to being on one substation relays doing their job.  Once the other substation is back it will help.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reported on the calls for service and fire extinguishers for June.

Police Department

Police Chief Hatcher provided and update.

Street Department

Nick Yokom reported on the street department projects. Discussion took place around who is responsible for the lift station located by The Reserve.

Administration

City Administrator Crawford requested the commissioners review the state vacation schedule to help stay competitive with everyone else hiring and be able to bring in quality employees.  We will also look at the state patrol to see if that is any different.

Review monthly bills/reports

Deputy Auditor Klein reported $1,662,479 for June expenditures.

Fee for Special Meeting Request

Due to the few we have, the decision was to hold off on applying a fee for a special commission meeting.

Viking Drive Update

David Wick provided an update and stated he will be in town in the next few weeks.

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:36 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

6.6.2023 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 Attorney Martineck, City Administrator Crawford, Deputy Auditor Klein, Administrative Assistant Johnson

Department Reports

Sanitation Department

Sanitation Supervisor Swart reported on the automated garbage process and the pick-up schedule for areas of town. They’re also working on driving hours for a couple employees that needs to be completed for testing.

Forestry Department

Bob Anderson reported he has not sent out any letters on Dutch Elm disease.  Letters have been going out for pruning, mainly for where the new garbage truck is going. Provided an update on Emerald Ash Borer and provided different options to mitigate it.  It was recently documented in Moorhead this spring so it’s pretty close.

City Administrator Crawford recommended a task force be created to develop a plan of action.

Water Department

Water Superintendent Hesch reported that water usage has been up a bit, due to people washing their houses, vehicles, etc.

Electric Department

Cory Buck reported on outages and upcoming projects.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Magnuson reported on the calls for service for May. A few employees attended the State Fire Convention.

Police Department

Police Chief Hatcher reported the police department is busy as usual.

Street Department

Operations Supervisor Klemisch reported they have been working on street repairs.  West Main project should be wrapping up and has gone well. Lots of digs, hydrants and curb stop repairs planned. 

Administration

City Attorney Martineck reported on garbage collection rate additions due to the new extra containers.  There are not increases, but we need to have them added to the policy.

Review monthly bills/reports

Deputy Auditor Klein reported on the money we received from FEMA for the 2022 spring flood, approximately $1.4 million and also reported on the May expenditures.

Review Special Assessments for the 6th St. NW Reconstruction Project Constructed in 2022. 

Deputy Auditor Klein stated we are getting ready to assess this project and looking at the final numbers, when we sent out the protest notices which is before we get the bids, it was sent out at $100.50/linear ft. which was 50% of the cost.  We always do the lessor of 50% of the cost or the cap which is $123.66.  The bids came in higher which made the 50% to calculate well over the cap.  Do we want to send notices with the increase?  The difference is $43,554 and would be extra out of the R&R.

Consensus was to leave it as is and discuss increasing the cap or adding a contingency in the letters which would state what the max charge is.

Review Adjustments to Valley City Urban Limits Boundary Map.

Chad Petersen, KLJ, stated about every 10 years when there is a census, the DOT is requesting the City review their Urban Limits Boundary.  In review Nextera/Valley Plains site is included in city limits but not included on the boundary map so it is recommended to change to include that area and extend the east boundary of that site to the section line in case of additional growth.

Discuss Road Quantity Overrun for West Main. 

City Administrator Crawford reported there was a large overage. It will be an extra $20,000 overage and we have already met our max of any additional help so it would be at a local share and taken from the R&R funds. Chad has found a spot where we may be eligible to get some of the money back. 

Adjourn

The meeting was adjourned at 4:49 PM.