REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
MONDAY, MAY 2, 2022
Council Members Present: Mayor Darren Wiese, Acting Mayor Scott Hart, Tammy Fosse, Jim Haberer, and Wes Johnson.
City Staff Present: Clerk-Treasurer Kim Schroeder, Deputy/Billing Clerk Joe Miller, Utility Supervisor Ted Strand, Police and Fire Chief Mike Helle, Willow Creek Director Lisa Augustus, Ambulance Director Jane Cook, Ambulance EMT Riley Lueders.
Members of the Public Present: Chad Koenen-Citizens Advocate, City Engineer Bob Schlieman, Otter Tail County Amy Baldwin, MRES Representatives Joni Livingston, Terry Wolf and Sam Jones, Commissioner Betty Murphy, Dave Haglund, Pete Hagen, Jessica Strege, Travis Nelson, Clay Houselog, Elaine Dubel, Jamie Wilson, Dondi Kimber, Cora Wiirre, Wilma Morse, Shari Haberer, Hope Sapp, Connie Bachmeier, Elizabeth Augustus, Dan Broten, Sara Oscarson, Sara Booker, Beth Rose, Chad Mesker, Brenden Markuson, Dana Christenson, Beno Lohse, Patty Christenson, John Thalmann, Kelly Miller, Jesse Miller, Scott Grabe, Carleen Markuson.
1) Call to order at 5:30 pm and pledge.
2) Motion by Fosse, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to approve the agenda.
3) Motion by Haberer, second by Hart and unanimously carried by roll call vote to approve the consent agenda items with corrections as follows:
• Approval of April 4 and 18, 2022 Minutes
• Approval of April City Claims
4) Public Input: Judy Strege questioned how many applications have been received for the open positions. It was stated the clerk position was posted that day with one resume and no full application received at this time. The utility/public works positions have received numerous resumes or inquiries with one a few applicants completing the full application required to be a candidate. Of those completing the full application, none are meeting the responsibilities, work history, or desired requirements of the job.
5) Motion by Haberer, second by Johnson and unanimously carried to hire seasonal mowers and airport mechanics with a range of $12.00-$15.00 per hour based on experience and level of job duties. The council hired John Thalmann at $15.00 per hour as the airport seasonal mower and mechanic.
6) Utility/Public Works Supervisor Ted Strand Update:
• Electric: The planned outage has been rescheduled to May 21st at 11:00 pm, weather dependent. Scheduled for approx. 4-5 hours however, notification will go out longer in case there’s need. Notifications to residents will be done in the newspaper, facebook page, posters around town, and the county’s Smart 911 system. Generators are available at the fire hall and water tower if someone is in need. Augustus noted she has a need at WC, Haberer offered his generator and will get it to her.
• Road Maintenance: Complaints have been received regarding the condition of Airport Rd and Marshall Ave. Helle has been communicating with the township about mutual maintenance assistance. This stems from the recent detachments of property from the city to township with half of the road now owned relatively 50/50 city and township. Strand will look into road patching potholes.
• Inman St/CSAH 67: Engineer Bob Schlieman went over his outline. There’s a supply chain issue for items in the project. This has affected the bids for a 2022 project completion. To bring bids back to reasonable projected costs the timeline is extended to October of 2023. Bids were received May 4, 2022 and will be reviewed at the June 6 regular meeting. The Public Facilities Authority (PFA) will have grant funding information sometime in June. It was noted, the project will still commence as scheduled along with portions of the project continuing when supplies come in. Roads will be completed as needed to not cause issues as well.
• TH108 Project: MnDOT spoke with Steve Fiskum at the elevator. MnDOT will move the 32’ entrance to the west and re-run turn movements to see if that helps the grass or concrete boulevard discussion. MnDOT is still proposing to keep the curb as is, and not lower. The council will continue discussion or make a decision when they hear back from MnDOT regarding the entrance move and new turn movements.
• 2nd St Project: Selling Bros. is still pushing to replace the broken gasket with a stainless sleeve. Also requesting the council to review the additional fees allowed in the project, along with the city’s contingency late fees as another option for negotiations. Members of the council still agreed it’s a brand-new service, should have never happened and want it fixed as originally planned. Air voids are still an issue with the bituminous, after Sellins met with the subcontract, the subcontractor requested additional testing in other areas. Braun Intertech will complete the testing at no cost to the city and are required to patch the areas. This will set back the completion of the project into 2023. Boulevard and yard topsoil will be completed as soon as weather allows.
7) Motion by Hart, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to hire Apex Engineering for TH108 planning for a maximum of $16,500. Schlieman has put in additional time towards the ongoing discussions between MnDOT and the city that’s not included in the original agreement. Schlieman doesn’t believe the billable amount will be up to the $16,500. The city will only be billed hourly for the time invested.
8) Motion by Haberer, second by Fosse and unanimously carried to approve Resolution 2022-19 Missouri River Energy Service Distribution Maintenance Supplemental Service Agreement. Joni Livingston, along with other representatives Terry Wolf and Sam Jones were present to acknowledge the city’s unfortunate lack of employee and electrical requirements in the event there’s a power outage or other serious electrical need.
9) Motion by Hart, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to increase the Utility Technician/Public Works Utility Maintenance Worker pay range to $20.00-$28.00 per hour based on experience. The position has been advertised for over a month with no qualified candidates. Members decided to increase the pay range to attract qualified candidates.
10) Police & Fire Supervisor Mike Helle Update:
• Fire: Firefighter Dan Reese retired after fulfilling 22 years of service.
• Police: No applications received to date for the open full-time position. Still unable to secure a title for the old squad.
11) Motion by Fosse, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to hire volunteer firefighter Darrin Lutgens.
12) Motion by Hart, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to increase the Police Officer pay range to $25.00-$28.00 per hour based on experience. The position has been advertised for over a month with no qualified candidates. Members decided to increase the pay range to attract qualified candidates.
13) Motion by Haberer, second by Hart and unanimously carried to purchase two new tablets with a budget up to $3,100. The current tablets are approx. 5 years old, showing signs of reaching their lifespan.
14) Motion by Hart, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to approve Resolution 2022-20 Otter Tail County HRA-CDA Calling for Public Hearing and Consent. Amy Baldwin, Otter Tail County CDA updated the council that Otter Tail County HRA is merging with Otter Tail County CDA. The effort is to expand the program. There are no changes to staff or the program. Only a formality to provide a public hearing in Henning that currently has HRA funds available.
15) Willow Creek Director Lisa Augustus Update:
• Census: Current census is 22 residents. 15 on assisted living services, 2 on homemaking services and meal plans, 5 on independent.
• Discharges: No discharges in April.
• Admissions: One new on 4/10/22.
• Referrals: Informational packet given to one interested person. One tour completed 4/27/22 and a second on 4/28/22.
• Financials: All private pay accounts are current. Over the past week a little more than $30,000 in outstanding elderly waiver (EW) has been collected. Deputy clerk Miller has received assistance from a Dept of HS supervisor to help with proper submissions and payments. Currently, there’s one EW still outstanding that dates back to Sept 2021, the remaining are Dec 2021 and newer. Miller continues to work on this.
COVID: No current outbreak in staff or residents.
• Visitation: There are no visitation limitations at this time. All visitors are required to check in at the front entrance and screened before entering the building. Anyone who appears ill or has a fever will not be allowed to visit. Masks are required for all visitors and residents in the hallways.
• Staffing: One part time open universal worker position at this time. One interview was completed this week, a second interest will be completed next week.
• AL License Renewals: notices will be sent out on or before May 1st. This is a lengthy application. Augustus and Schroeder will work on the application prior to Schroeder’s full-time resignation. The clerk is listed as the Authorized Agent. Once a new clerk is hired, this will have to be updated.
16) Motion by Fosse, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to approve the amended Willow Creek Commission by-laws at presented.
17) Motion by Haberer, second by Fosse and unanimously carried to increase tenant rent 4% and cost per meal of $.25. This aligns with the Mn Dept of Health housing support program allowable increases. The increases will provide WC with approx. $18,000 in added annual revenue.
18) Motion by Hart, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to have the personnel Committee and all Department Supervisors convene to review and make recommended changes to the Personnel Policy. Augustus is interested in this for WC also. She notes, in some areas part-time WC employees receive better benefits than full-time employees. She’d like to review both and make recommended adjustments that coincide and meet all state law requirements.
19) Motion by Hart, second by Haberer and unanimously carried to close City Hall to the public the week of May 9-May 13, 2022. Schroeder resigned full-time with the last day May 6th, Deputy Clerk Miller will be attending a required MN Clerks Institute week-long training. Utility late fees will not be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
20) Motion by Haberer and seconded by Hart to adjourn at 7:26 pm.
Respectfully submitted: Kimberly Schroeder City Clerk-Treasurer
Attested to: Darren Wiese Mayor