Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

9.21.2021 Commission Minutes

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

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

Others City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck via Zoom, Finance Director Richter, Administrative Assistant Johnson, Fire Chief Magnuson, Police Chief Hatcher.

Pledge of Allegiance

Oath of Office for Police Officer Joshua Reign

President Carlsrud recognized Deputy Auditor Klein for successfully completing her certified city auditor course.

Approval of Agenda

No Changes.

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the minutes from the September 7th and September 13th meetings, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Approve Raffle Permit for District 24 Republicans for Drawing on December 18th, 2021.

Approve Parade Application for VCHS Homecoming Parade on September 24th, 2021 on Central Ave.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion passed unanimously.

Josh Johnson from VCPS requested to make a public comment.  He stated back in August there was a conversation regarding school facilities.  Through the covid funds the last couple of years the school has received dollars that up to this point have been unobligated.  Conversation took place around updating the current school structures, building new and consolidating of several schools and offices.  On September 24th meetings will be announced in the month of October that will invite the community for discussion regarding these topics.

Resolution

Approve Resolution 2313, a Resolution Approving the Replat Request of Lots 2-4, 11-16, and 19-21, Block 1 of Prairie View Addition.

City Attorney Martineck stated at the last PZ meeting the commission heard an application to subdivide existing lots in the Prairie View Subdivision for residential purposes.  There were several community members that attend and once they heard what the plan was to move forward they didn’t seem to have any objections.  That was approved by the zoning commission and city staff is also recommending approval to include the conditions listed in the resolution.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve Resolution 2315, a Resolution Approving the Replat and Variance Request of Lot 1 Block 2 NP West 5th Addition and Lots 1-2 and Outlot A, Block 1 NP West 6th Addition. 

City Attorney Martineck stated this was also presented in the last PZ meeting.  The PZ commission and city staff recommend approval.  There are still some conditions that need to be worked out with the sale that Gwen has been working on.  With that we recommend approval with the conditions that are being listed.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.

City Administrator Crawford added that Mr. Zubrod is aware of the easement behind his property that Bobby Koepplin is working on.  What we were not aware of is that Bobby had talked about a parking lot down by the area where the shared entrance would be.  Dave is not okay with that.

City Attorney Martineck stated that with the last conversation he had with them his understanding is that he wants the parking to be on the frontage road south of Main Street just south of where the approach would be.  Not sure if that would be an actual parking lot or street parking with signage to the trail.

City Administrator Crawford stated we would have to work with the DOT on the right of way but that part’s different but this resolution is good as is.

Motion passed unanimously.

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford stated on the 7th Ave project they will be getting all the concrete prepped this week and poured next week.  The paving will be the following week.  The paving was pushed back just because Border States wasn’t able to get here.  The temps. still look good and the completion date isn’t until Oct 16th so they’ll be ahead of that game.

Mike Strom updated that the Streetscape has most of the concrete done on Main Street.  They should be finishing up on the concrete mid next week.  The signals should be all upright mid next week and that way they can order for the company to come up to set the timing.  The mill and overlay is floating in between the 7th Ave project and the other project.  They’re trying to move that up if they can to the end of September otherwise it could go until the second week of October.  This also has a substantial completion date of October 16th and they should be on track for that.

City Administrator Crawford stated on the 5th Ave project there are some seeding issues.  We got them out there today to spray to kill the weeds.  It is our understanding that you have to have that done for 10 days before any seeding is done to make sure the weed killer won’t kill the seed.  We will get a letter out to let that area know what is going on.   

City Updates & Commission Reports

City Attorney Martineck stated there were some interviews with internal candidates for the Assessor in Training position and then formally offered the position to Tina Current.  There is an 18 month plan in place for her with Sandy retiring sometime next fall.  We now have an opening for the Admin I position in Public Works.

Finance Director Richter stated last spring the loan for the fire hall addition was discussed.  An update on the loan through the Bank of ND, we are well on our way of being approved for that loan. 

Fire Chief Magnuson reported that they are making progress on the addition.  Fire Prevention week takes place Oct. 3rd-9th.  The battle of badges blood drive is scheduled for October 12th-13th at Stoudt Ross Ford.

Police Chief Hatcher added that anyone can sign up online or call one of the Chiefs to get you signed up.  We are looking for new donors to help expand our pool.

President Carlsrud stated covid numbers are a little higher than they were last year but we have better ways to mitigate and battle covid at this time, get vaccinated.  If you have questions about the vaccination talk to your healthcare provide.  They will be more reliable than Facebook.  To all our employees a thank you. 

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 5:25 P.M.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

9.13.2021 Special Commission Meeting Minutes

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

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

Pledge of Allegiance (Please Stand)

New Business

N2.  Consider Raffle Permit for the Valley City Lions Club on September 14th, 2021.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

N1.  Discuss Valley City Municipal Code Section 15-01-12.1 regarding Assessment of Unpaid Utility Charges.

President Carlsrud asked the public for comments.

Dick Lorenz stated he has some rental property and doesn’t object to it going on the taxes but feels the rental owners should get some sort of notice ahead of time.  If the tenants are 30 days late there should be notice.  It would also be nice to get notice when tenants disconnect.

City Administrator Crawford stated we do give notice about 45 days to both the landlord and tenant.

Dick requested notice sooner.

City Administrator Crawford explained our current deposit policy for new accounts.  Also added that we trying to work things out.  Before the landlords weren’t able to call in and check on a tenant’s bill.  We are thinking of having the tenants sign something that makes the landlords able to check the status of the account. 

Mike Payson questioned if anyone has thought about how this affects affordable housing?  Some of the landlords may look at raising rent as a way to help cover the utility bills.  The other concern is energy assistance.  If the landlords are paying the utilities the tenants lose the ability to receive energy assistance.

City Administrator Crawford stated there may be some landlords that choose to do it that way but many won’t because they can’t control how much someone uses the utilities.  For the energy assistance, yes, they have to have the utility in their name to receive the assistance.

Mike Payson added he did not feel the utility bills should not be placed on the landlords, that it should be put back on the city or government.

Dean Ross stated he doesn’t think it’s the landlord’s responsibility.  He bases his rent including the utilities because it’s all electric heat so in the winter it’s substantial.  What happened to making them responsible for paying for their utilities?  Isn’t that why there is a deposit?  What if you get a tenant that is upset with the landlord, will they purposely not pay their utility bill just so the landlord gets stuck with it?

City Administrator Crawford stated the city will still do what they can to get the bill paid.  There is approximately $15,000 per year not getting paid.  A lot has to do with once they are gone there is no way to get to them.  

Commissioner Magnuson added that we are having this meeting to hear from the landlords because we didn’t do that prior to creating the ordinance.  Magnuson questioned if Dean thought the unpaid bills should be put onto the rest of the people’s bills that are paying them because that’s where they’re going now?

President Carlsrud added that we did have 3 public meetings regarding this topic that were published in various places and no one showed up.  It gets to be a cost if we send letters every time for people to show up.  We are here today to listen to ideas because it’s not fair to the people of our community to have $15,000 to go on the tax roll.

Mike Payson added that this could be tough for young investors.  If it’s an average of $15,000/year maybe they city could think about adding that into the budget?

Commissioner Magnuson requested a fair solution.  Dean mentioned that $15,000 is pennies to the city but then someone else will come back and say we just spent $500 on garbage cans and that’s a great deal of money.  So $15,000 we’ll just write off goes to everyone that’s paying utility bills.  Are you okay with covering somebody that’s not paying their bills?  Do you make the deposit $1,000?  Chances are if they are renting they can’t afford that.  Now you’re running the small investor out of business because they can’t rent to them because they can’t afford utilities.  We’re open to suggestions.

Mike Payson suggested assessing it to everyone in the city because it would be such a small amount.  I don’t see that it should be a burden on the landlords when it’s more of a governmental or energy assistance thing.

Commissioner Magnuson stated a question was presented to him by a couple that could not attend the meeting.  Hypothetically if they rented from someone and didn’t pay their bill so the landlord was stuck with it and then they just jump to someone else’s apartment.  Can we track if they’re delinquent?

City Administrator Crawford stated there could be a question added to the form when they apply.

Commissioner Bishop stated what we’re doing now is trying to fix the problem after it happens.  What we need to focus on is not letting the problem happen.  Do landlords run credit checks on their tenants or the city on people coming in to get utilities?  Maybe your deposit is based on your credit score?  Maybe that has to be worked out where the city and landlord has it worked out together.

Mike Payson stated there is a facility in town that has not been managed well and 50% of their units have not been rented.  Think of the burden on that landlord when you’re down 50% of tenants and some that don’t pay rent on time and now they’re getting hit with unpaid utilities.

President Carlsrud stated if we work together we have a better chance of getting the cost causer to be the cost payer.  We can come together to lessen the chance of those getting away with fraud or theft, whatever you want to call it.

City Attorney Martineck added that the ordinance was drafted to be discretionary so it’s not like on January 1st there will be a drop dead date.  It’s just there if we need to use it.

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 5:44 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

9.7.2021 Commission Minutes

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

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

Others City Administrator Crawford and City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Administrative Assistant Johnson, Deputy Auditor Klein, Police Chief Hatcher.

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda

No Changes.

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the minutes from the August 17th and August 30th, 2021 meetings, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Approve Monthly Reports from the Fire Chief, Electrical Superintendent, Building Inspector Finance Director and Municipal Judge.

Approve Raffle Permit for Sheyenne Care Center.

Approve Parade Application for VCSU Homecoming Parade on Oct. 2 at 10:30 AM on Central Ave from 12 St. NE to the VCSU Foot Bridge.

Approve Block off the Street Request from RL Stearns for the alley running East/West at Ace Hardware from beginning September 8th for about 2 weeks.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING

Public Hearing for 2022 City Budget.

President Carlsrud declared the Public Hearing Open.

Finance Director Richter gave overview of the 2022 budget.

Steve Jorissen commented about the city taxes going up about 10%.  Wondering what is going on?

Finance Director Richter stated there were a couple factors in the 10%.  When you take the increase on the value of your home, I believe it’s 5.8%.  Last year for the budget we reduced our mill levy by 4.51 mills.  We had Covid CARES funds for about $100,000 to offset that, to buy down our mill levy.  We no longer have that so we brought the mill levy back up to what it was before we have the Covid CARES money.

Steve Jorissen asked if what we are saying is that this year budget is pretty much like it was about 2 years ago.  Overall what is the dollar amount that the budget went up?

Finance Director Richter stated for the general fund the expenditures increased $138,609.

Commissioner Bishop moved to close the hearing, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 1089, an Ordinance Adopting the 2022 City Budget, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

New Business

Approve Monthly Bills for the City and Public Works in the Amount of $2,347,996.56

Finance Director Richter reported about $283,000 in PFP because of purchasing the maintenance building and also the two vacant properties.  The new equipment lease for $68,000, BND some PFP debt service due for another $64,000, invoice for the FD addition for $53,000, construction projects are around $750,000 and MRES is another $460,000.  The remaining balance is our employee salaries and insurance.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve Valley City Barnes County Development Request for Funds.

Jennifer Feist stated this is requesting $10,000 to assist with the drain analysis in the Northwest Industrial Park. 

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion passed unanimously.

Consider the Valley City Barnes County Development Corporation’s request to Retain $188,000 of Economic Development Funds.

Jennifer Feist stated this request is because we recently accepted an offer to purchase a building in the Northwest Industrial Park.  We are planning to construct a new manufacturing type building in that area.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion passed unanimously.

Consider Granting Easement to Barnes County Park Board for Monson Trail.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve City Administrator to Negotiate Sale of City Lot Located North of West Main Street in NP Additions 5 and 6.

City Administrator Crawford stated she presented the offer of $48,200 for the property that we own which also included the right of way and the easement for the Monson Trail.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion passed unanimously.

Consider Site Authorization for Barnes County Wildlife Federation at the Valley City Eagles Club on April 2, 2022. 

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion passed unanimously.

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford stated we closed on a cold storage building for the PFP.  We also closed on the PFP lots that were able to be built on so we could protect that.  The property to the west is being used as community gardens but we spoke to the owner and they can keep doing what they’re doing until we’re ready to build the flood wall.  The closing on the Valley Implements building should be this Thursday at 9 am.

City Updates & Commission Reports

Chad Petersen from KLJ updated on the construction.  Main Street Streetscape the rain last week slowed progress a little bit along with some of the basement windows we encountered under the sidewalk that has been there for years.  The concrete work on that block should be done early next week and then we’ll be shifting to the concrete work between 2nd and 3rd.  We’re making progress and still on schedule.  We’re still waiting for a term date for the mill and overlay on south Central. We have some parades coming up and need to make sure we’re communicating with them.

The recommendation to fix the drain by the Elks is to take bids this fall so there is a contractor in place and get the materials ordered to do the work this spring.

Commissioner Gulmon stated a couple meetings ago a discussion took place about a collaboration with the Park District and CVB about a Marketing Coordinator.  That is nearing completion, interviews are taking place this week.

President Carlsrud thanked to all that worked on the budget.  Our water department has reported that our water supply is in a good position so we aren’t likely to go on any restrictions.  Thank you to our Police Department and the Fire Department.   

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 5:35 P.M.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

8.30.2021 Special Commission Meeting Minutes

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 12:00 PM.

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

Pledge of Allegiance (Please Stand)

New Business

Approve Block off Street Request for VCSU for 2nd Ave SW between Student Center and Library for Student Street Dance on September 1st from 9:00 Pm to 12:00 AM.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion passed unanimously.

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 12:02 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

8.17.2021 Commission Minutes

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

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

Others City Administrator Crawford and City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Administrative Assistant Johnson, Deputy Auditor Klein, Police Chief Hatcher.

Pledge of Allegiance

MRES Update

Tom Heller Presented.

Approval of Agenda

No Changes.

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the minutes from the August 3rd, 2021 Finance and Commissioner Meetings, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion carried.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Approve Application for a Raffle Permit for Barnes County Senior Citizens Council, Inc. from August 17th, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

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

Ordinance

Approve First Reading of Ordinance 1088, an Ordinance Approving Text Amendments to Titles 11 and 16 of the Valley City Municipal Code.

City Attorney Martineck stated this is for changes to the zoning and subdivision codes.  All of these were approved by the P&Z Commission and City Attorney Martineck recommends approval with changes as presented.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop. 

Jennifer Feist questioned the parking schedule, also the 250 sq. ft. increase in lot size for family structured if changing the number of units.  Jennifer requested a copy of everything so she could review in case there are additional questions and requested clarification prior to the second reading taking place.

Motion passed unanimously.

Resolutions

Approve Resolution 2310, a Resolution Authorizing the City Administrator to Sell City Property if it’s below $2500.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approved, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve Resolution 2311, a Resolution Approving the Replat of Original Townsite Block 17 Lot 15 (Fire Department Expansion)

City Attorney Martineck stated this will create one lot for Sheyenne Valley and one lot for the Fire Department so there aren’t several little lots.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve Resolution 2312, a Resolution Approving the Replat of Grangers Subdivision Lots 9 & 10.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion passed unanimously. 

New Business

Approve Request to provide a Letter Supporting Changes that Support Development and Object Recent Changes Implemented by MDU. 

Jennifer Feist stated MDU is making changes that a class 1 contractor is required to dig in the MDU gas lines.  Previously we had local contractors that could do this but now MDU requires the class 1 contractor needs to do everything.  This will add to the cost and timeframe of things being completed.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  Motion passed unanimously.     

Discuss Delinquent Electric Bills staying with Properties. 

Commissioner Bishop stated he had received calls that there was never any notification sent out prior to this taking place.  Commissioner Bishop requested a special meeting be set up and invite these landlords to visit to see if we could come to an agreement as to how this could be worked out.

Commissioner Gulmon stated this has become a common practice in several other cities.  In the last 6 years we have averaged about $13,000 in write offs which affects everyone.  This change takes place in January and we did have 2 public meetings on it so at the end of this day I think this type of ordinance protects our customers from the higher charges because of the write offs.

Commissioner Bishop motioned to set up a special meeting to discuss delinquent bills, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve Appointment of Tyler Marthaler as the Community at Large Representative for the Visitor’s Committee. 

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Consider Visitors Committee Recommendation for Image Enhancement Grant for Dakota Dogs in the amount up to $1,000 towards additional signage and $3,587 towards exterior and lobby improvements for a total grant of up to $4,587. 

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approve Construction Engineering for West End Lift Station.

Chad Petersen from KLJ stated Sellin Brothers was awarded this contract on July 23rd.  Since that time they have submitted the drawings.  They are not slated to get started until late September early October but right now we need to get materials ordered and that is what this contact if for.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.

Roll Call: Magnuson-aye          Erickson-nay    Gulmon-aye     Bishop-aye       Carlsrud-aye

Motion carried.

Approve Design Engineering for 6th Street NW Reconstruction Project (NDDOT Project No. SU-2-990(060), PCN 23154). 

Chad Petersen from KLJ stated the Commission approved the environmental phase of the project on July 23rd.  This takes care of the plan development, acquisition of construction easements as well as on the south side of the project corridor there are some encroachments of the street right of way so we are looking at a vacation plat along that corridor.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon. 

Roll Call: Bishop-aye   Magnuson-aye              Erickson-nay    Gulmon-aye     Carlsrud-aye

Motion carried.  

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford stated there were some issues with the outdoor speakers we’ve been trying.  Those issues were addressed and they sounded good.  We’re putting the order in tomorrow.

City Updates & Commission Reports

Police Chief Hatcher reported the PD is working with local car dealerships to address the recent catalytic converter thefts.  The community can call the dealership and they will do the service free of charge for the first 90 days.  In 8 days school starts.  There are a lot of new faces and the police department is trying to do more on the campus.  Be aware of school zones, the speed, crosswalks and the new parking areas that help with better visibility.  There have been lots of changes, make yourself aware.

Chad Petersen from KLJ reported the activity continues to increase on Main Street.  Communication with the business owners is great, things have been going along well. 

President Carlsrud thanked all the employees and the Commissioners for serving.  With school starting the kids are excited, be careful out there.  

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 6:15 P.M.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

8.3.2021 Commission Minutes

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

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

Others City Administrator Crawford and City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Administrative Assistant Johnson, Deputy Auditor Klein, Police Chief Hatcher.

Pledge of Allegiance

Oath of Office for Police Officer Christopher Burk

Approval of Agenda

No Changes.

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the minutes from the July 20th, 21st and 27th meetings, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  Motion carried.

Approval of Consent Agenda

  • Approve Monthly Reports from the Fire Chief, Building Inspector, Auditor, Municipal Judge and Public Works Accountant.
  • Approve Monthly Bills for the City and Public Works in the Amount of $1,986,631.23   
  • Approve Application for a Raffle Permit for Barnes County Ducks Unlimited on September 23, 2021 at the Eagles.
  • Approve Application for a Raffle Permit for Hi-Liner Booster Club from July 27, 2021-June 30, 2022 at Hanna Field and the Hi Liner Activity Center.
  • Approve Application for a Raffle Permit for VCSU Foundation from August 4th, 2021-June 30th, 2022 at Lokken Stadium/Shelley Ellig Field, W.E. Osmon Field Houser and Brockopp Brewing.

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

Resolutions

Approve Resolution 2305, a Resolution Accepting Bids and Awarding Master Lift Station Upgrades Project.

Chad Petersen reported one bid was received from Swanberg Construction at $464,000.  The engineer’s estimate was $216,000.  After reviewing the bids with city staff and public works the recommendation was to reject all bids and to rebid in October for 2022 construction.

Commissioner Gulmon motioned to accept the bid, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.

Roll Call: Gulmon-nay  Bishop-nay      Magnuson-nay             Erickson-nay    Carlsrud-nay

Motion rejected.

New Business

Approve Policy Manual Change.

City Attorney Martineck stated the request is to update the definition of eligible family member to follow the state administrative law.  That would be to add parent, including mother and father-in-law, a child regardless of whether a dependent and a domestic partner or significant other.  Currently an employee can use a maximum of 40 hours for care for a family member.

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

Approve Applications for Property Tax Exemption for Improvements at the following addresses: 

  1. 220 9th Ave NW
    1. 1049 5th Ave NW
    1. 1035 5th Ave NW
    1. 1019 5th Ave NW
    1. 645 12th St NW
    1. 715 12th St NW

City Assessor Hansen stated Valley Bridges properties has invested quite heavily in Valley City.  These represent a small token of what has been purchased and they are doing quite a bit of improvements on them.  City Assessor Hansen recommended approval.

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

Approve Preliminary Budget.

Finance Director Richter stated we had 2 early morning meetings in July for budget preparation.  We worked through our mill levy and expenditures and we ended up with a 4.51 mill increase which brings us back to what our 2019 mill levy was.  In 2019 it was at 76.85 mills, in 2020 we were able to reduce that by 4.51 mills using covid cares funds so with this increase we are bringing it back to where it was prior to the CARES funds. 

Commissioner Gulmon added that this process was started needing to increase 16.79 mills so a lot of work has been done and some sacrifices in areas to get where it is now.  We’re transferring $66,100 from electric fund and keeping the percentage of gross revenue at 12.2%.  We’re utilizing additional city sales tax for the relief fund for this budget.  We are also proposing a 4% COLA for our employees along with their step increases.  51% of this budget goes to public safety and we appreciate all the work from Gwen, Avis, Brenda and all the Commissioners though the process all while were projecting a 30% cash reserve.

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

Approve Revised Road Maintenance Agreement with Valley Township Regarding 35th St SE.  

City Administrator Crawford stated the only thing that changed was that we were previously just going to the entrance of the Transfer Station but now we are going to the entrance of the to the grass clipping and tree branch entrance.

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

Approve Offering for Sale Lots 63-3450012 and 63-3440047.

This item was tabled to a future meeting.

 

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford reported there was a meeting with Waterfront Meadows to get some things worked out.  I was asked to talk to our realtors about our incentives are so they are aware and can help get the word out.  Work started on Hanna Field parking lot.  Lee retired from Public Works.

City Updates & Commission Reports

City Assessor Hansen stated she will be out next week at the State Equalization meeting and Assessor Association Training.

Chad Petersen from KLJ reported 7th Ave and 2nd Ave work is progressing.  We are still waiting for an update on seeding.  7th Ave and 4th St the underground is being worked on.  We’re hoping for end of August for paving.  2nd Ave Se they are coming in to do the mill and overly by Pizza Corner and the heat plant.  Love’s contractor is supposed to be coming in to get working on the ditch clean up and erosion mitigation along the roadside.

Commissioner Gulmon we had a very positive meeting regarding our budgets for the general funds and Public Works.  Revenues are running ahead of budget and expenses are below budget amounts.

Commissioner Bishop welcomed Chris to the Police Department and thanks to all the Police Officers and Fireman.

President Carlsrud gave his best to Lee.  Think before you throw, please find appropriate places to get rid of your garbage.  Thank you to all you folks that have contributed to the budget work and also all the employees that are working in the heat.

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 5:37 P.M.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

7.27.2021 Special Commission Minutes


President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 12:00 PM.

Members present: President Carlsrud, Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Gulmon

Pledge of Allegiance (Please Stand)

New Business

Approve Right of Way Encroachment Easement on 6th Ave NE at 6th St NE.

City Attorney Martineck stated the house at 605 Chautauqua Blvd. has a garage that has been encroaching on 6th Ave NE for about 75 years.  The lender will not provide a loan unless the homeowner has an easement.  We have drafted the easement to give the homeowner 10 feet of easement to provide access to the garage.  No other obstructions can be placed within that 10 feet.  If the garage goes away, so does the easement.

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


City Attorney Martineck also added there is a waiver of liability so if some reason a member of the street crew would damage the garage, since it is in the easement there would be no liability to the City.

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 12:03 PM.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

7.21.2021 Special Commission Budget Minutes

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 7:00 AM.

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

Others Present: City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, City Attorney Martineck, Police Chief Hatcher, Fire Chief Magnuson via Zoom

 

Continue discussing 2021 Budget

Fire Chief Magnuson reviewed his budget. Discussed the one-time items that would be paid with Cares Money for the Fire Hall. This included carpet for the hallway and office and ceiling fans.

Police Chief Hatcher reviewed his budget. The Police Department will use Cares money to purchase security cameras and also update signage on the outside of the building.

There was discussion to also update the signage on the Public Works/City Hall Building.

Finance Director Richter reported she should hear from the County later in the week on the valuation of a mill. Commissioners agreed to wait until the August 3rd Commission Meeting to approve the 2022 Preliminary Budget.

ADJOURN

Meeting Adjourned at 8:22 AM

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

7.20.2021 Commission Minutes

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

Members present: President Carlsrud, Commissioner Magnuson, Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Erickson, Commissioner Gulmon, City Administrator Crawford and City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein.

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Agenda

Remove R2

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the minutes from the July 6th meetings seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion carried.

Approval of Consent Agenda

Approve Electrician, Plumber and/or Mechanical Contractor License(s) for Olauson Duct Cleaning.

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

PUBLIC HEARING

Open Public Hearing regarding Special Assessments Commission for Paving Improvement District No. 121

Deputy Auditor Klein stated a public hearing was held on July 12th and there were no property owners present.  It was also published twice in the TR and each property owner received a letter with their estimated amount and we have not received any questions or concerns so the Special Assessment board moved to approve as is.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to close the public hearing, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.

Approve Special Assessments as recommended by the Special Assessment Commission for Paving Improvement District No. 121

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

Ordinance

Approve Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. 1087, an Ordinance to Amend and Reenact Section 14-12-02 of the Valley City Municipal Code Relating to Permits for Vehicles of Excessive Size and Weight.

City Attorney Martineck stated there were no changes from the first reading. 

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

Resolutions

Approve Resolution No. 2304, a Resolution Approving Engineer’s Report & Directing Preparation of Detailed Plans, Specifications & Estimates of Probable Cost for Consolidated Sewer & Water District No. 59 (Nextera).

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

Approve Resolution No. 2306, a Resolution Accepting Bids and Awarding West End Lift Station Project. 

Chad Petersen reported July 16th the bids were opened, one bid was received from Sellin Brothers out of Hawley, MN at $332,920.  The engineers estimate was $296,105 we recommend awarding the contract to Sellin Brothers.

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

Approve Resolution No. 2307, a Resolution Approving the Plat and Variance Request for Lunde Addition to Barnes County. 

City Attorney Martineck stated this is where our PFP storage will be and Chris Lunde owns the commercial buildings.  The City submitted this plat for approval and the PZ committee recommends approval along with the variance for the road width.

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

Approve Resolution No. 2308, a Resolution Offering for Sale Lots 63-3450012 and 63-3440047.

City Administrator Crawford stated there is someone that is interested in purchasing but in order to do that they have to have a resolution.

Bobby Koepplin representing the Barnes County Park Board stated with the prior City Administrator they were talking about an easement for a trail.  Please keep this in mind if you get an offer.

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

Commissioner Bishop motioned to add Resolution 2309 to the agenda, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion carried.

Approve Resolution No. 2309, a Resolution Approve the Master Fee Schedule.

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

New Business

Approve Special Alcohol Beverage Event Permit for Boomers Corner Keg on August 13, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 12:30 AM for the Debbie Gabel Memorial Event.

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

Consider Visitors Committee Recommendation for Image Enhancement Grant for Thrivent in the amount up to $2,850 for Storefront.

Bobby Koepplin stated the Visitor’s Committee met and recommends approval.

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

Approve 30 day notification to Leevers.

City Attorney Martineck stated back in 1994 the City signed an agreement with Leevers to allow them to encroach on the right of way on 4th St NE.  Now with the work being done by the city to resurface that road the City desires to take back that portion of the parking lot that they are extending into the road.  In order to do that we need to provide the 30 days’ notice.

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

Approve Transition Plan for City Assessor Position.

City Administrator Crawford stated we would open the position internally first.  If no one applies internally the plan would be revisited.

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

Approve the Following Appointments:

a.  Commissioner Gulmon-City County Health Board

b.  Commissioner Magnuson-VC Library Board

c.  Tammy Jo Taft as VCSU Representative on the Visitor’s Committee.

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

Consider Project Decisions for 6th Street NW Reconstruction (NDDOT Project No. SU-2-990(060), PCN 23154).

Chad Petersen stated the decisions that need to be made are:

1.  Does the City concur with the Project Concepts as Proposed?

2.  Which alternative should proceed with the project?

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve yes on decision 1 and Alt. B on decision 2, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion Carried.

Approval to Purchase 63-3060062 for the assessed value of $12,500.

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

Approve Site Authorization Renewal for the Valley City Twisters Gymnastics Inc. at Bridges Bar and Grill from 7/20/2021 to 6/30/2022. 

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

Approve Hannah Field Parking Lot Plans.

City Administrator Crawford stated the existing driveway will remain but they are adding an exit to the north side of that to help with safety.  There would be no parking on that side of the street between the entrances. 

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

Approve Special Alcohol Beverage Event Permit for the Eagles Club on August 12th & 19th on Central Avenue for Summer Nights on Central.

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

Approve Special Alcohol Beverage Event Permit for the Eagles Club on July 31st for an Outdoor Cornhole Tournament.

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

 

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford reported most of the time has been spent on budget prep.  The demo speaker came in and they are testing it, so far it looks good.  The Streetscape Committee was talking about getting the rest of the benches.    

City Updates & Commission Reports

City Attorney Martineck reported an immediate opening on our Sanitation Department.

Finance Director Richter reported that the budget is going good and we will continue with our budget meeting tomorrow at 7 AM.

Fire Chief Magnuson there has been a lot activity around the FD.  The trucks were getting serviced and tests were being taken, they all passed.  We also received word that we received a grant for grain bin rescue.  We have been asked why there isn’t a burn ban, it’s been good out in the country.  No one has been abusing it so we decided not to implement one yet.

Police Chief Hatcher reported they VCPD now has a FB page so if you are a social media person look us up.  We will be doing more informational posts and plan to use that as a tool.  We are now fully staffed.

Chad Petersen from KLJ reported 2nd Ave NE is pretty much complete.  Seeding won’t happen until later due to the dry weather.  Tree planting won’t happen until after September 1st.  7th Ave NW the underground work is continuing.  Streetscape Phase II work is continuing on Central Ave South.

Commissioner Gulmon stated the sales tax revenue report is very positive, it is up 47%.  Food and Beverage tax was down for 2020 but is now up 33% through May.  Occupancy tax also suffered but is up 16%.

Commissioner Bishop gave a shout out to the PD and FD for all the work.  Thank you to the citizens.  With all the construction going on it was noticed how people were respectful and waving people through, keep doing that.

President Carlsrud thanked everyone that has contributed to working on the budget.  Thank you to all of you to all of you working in the heat.  Some have been showing up to work early to beat the heat.

Adjourn

Meeting was adjourned at 6:00 P.M.

Minutes Available text with City of Valley City Logo above

7.20.2021 Special Commission Budget Minutes

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 7:00 AM.

Members present: Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Erickson, Commissioner Gulmon

Members absent: Commissioner Magnuson

Others Present: City Administrator Crawford, Finance Director Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, City Attorney Martineck, Police Chief Hatcher, Fire Chief Magnuson

 

New Business

Discuss first draft of 2022 Budget

Auditor Richter reported that the value of a mill increased by an estimated $560 from last year to an estimated value of $20,000. The County Auditor will determine the actual value of a mill later in Dec 2021. For the 2021 Budget the City provided property tax relief using Covid Cares dollars which made up for the 4.51 mill shortage due to the change on how the county calculated the value of a mill in regards to Homestead Credits. Using the Cares dollars in the 2021 Budget prevented the City from having to capture last year’s shortage in the 2022 Budget. The first draft of the budget came in with a need for a 16.79 mill increase, which is equivalent to $376,400. After capturing the 4.51 mills that was provided with Cares dollars in the 2021 Budget, this left us with a 12.28 mill increase remaining. Between department heads making concessions, using Cares money to cover onetime budget requests, and increasing the utility transfer, we arrived at the 4.51 mill increase needed.

Cash reserves remain at 30% of expenditures, which is $1,030,000. This is within the guidelines set in the City’s Fund Balance policy (30% to no lower than 21%, with 20% needing corrective action by the Commission). The General fund revenues increased by $55,813 and expenditures increased by $70,803 from the 2021 Budget.

The proposed salaries in the 2022 budget includes a 4% cost of living allowance (COLA) increase and a step increase in the 25-year salary schedule. Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is calculated using the Consumer Price Index, in the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics report for the Midwest Region from May 2020 to May 2021. The CPI’s COLA was listed at a 5.6% increase. The City did give a 2.5% increase in 2021 when CPI was suggested a 0% increase. The City is looking to do a salary study in 2022.

NDPHIT is suggesting that the City budgets a 3% increase in health insurance premiums. The City will pick up 50% of the cost of the increase and employees will pick up the other 50%. If the premium increase is more than the estimated 3%, the Commission will re-evaluate. The City’s contribution to the employee’s HSA accounts would remain the same, with the employees matching a portion of the contribution in order to receive the full amount.

Commissioners reviewed the list of items that were pulled from the 2022 Budget and will be purchased with Cares money:  Security Cameras at the Police Station $5,000, Law Enforcement Center Exterior Building Updates $10,000, Window Blinds for City Hall Offices $1,400, 7 Ceiling Fans at the Fire Hall $2,100, Carpet in Hallway & Office at Fire Hall $2,000, 4 Computer Replacements $10,000, Computer Monitors $1,600. Also looking to use Cares money for the local share of the Ergonomic Grant in 2021.

ADJOURN

At 8:12 AM Meeting Adjourned until 7:00 AM Wednesday, July 21, 2021.