- The City Council agenda will be posted by 5:00 pm on the Tuesday before each City Council meeting.
A copy of the unapproved minutes will be posted 1-2 weeks after a City Council meeting.
WATKINS CITY COUNCIL
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Call to Order
• Minutes of October 10th regular meeting
• October 2013 Financial Report
• Resolution 2013-33, Resolution Accepting Donations
• Resolution 2013-34, Resolution Approving Transfers
• Delinquent Water Bills for Shut Off
• Public Forum
7:15 p.m. – Sheriff’s Report
7:20 p.m. – Holly Geislinger, Lions Gambling Permit
7:30 p.m. – Steve Geislinger – snow removal
• Performance Reviews
• Gravel Lease
• EDA Update
• Planning Commission Resignation
• Land Use Permits- Fees
• 2014 Proposed Budget
• Council Concerns
• Staff Comments
• Approve Bills (including Ambulance Fund bills)
WATKINS CITY COUNCIL
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013
Mayor Loch called the regular meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. at City Hall.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Dennis Loch, Sue Unterberger, Melody Gertken, Jersey Piccerillo
MEMBERS ABSENT: Jerry Hesse
Others present: Tri-County News, EV-W Voice, Shirley Jacklitch, Bonnie Holthaus, Julie Hilsgen, Public Works Director Steve Geislinger, Duane Peterson, Deputy Josh Case and Clerk Deb Kramer
Mayor Loch added the Watkins Ambulance Service to the agenda at 7:20 p.m. and removed Holly Geislinger.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY PICCERILLO TO APPROVE THE AGENDA WITH THE CHANGES, SECONDED BY UNTERBERGER. MOTION CARRIED.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY GERTKEN TO APPROVE THE CONSENT AGENDA, SECONDED BY UNTERBERGER. MOTION CARRIED.
Items on the Consent Agenda were minutes of the October 10th regular council meeting, October financial report, Resolution #2013-33, Resolution Accepting Donations, Resolution #2013-34, Resolution Approving Transfers and delinquent water bills for shut off.
There was nothing for public forum.
Deputy Case reported there were 59 calls for service in October. The majority were traffic stops. Case noted Halloween went fine and there were a lot of kids out. He had no incidences reported to him.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY UNTERBERGER TO APPROVE THE SHERIFF’S REPORT, SECONDED BY GERTKEN. MOTION CARRIED.
Bonnie Holthaus requested that the limit on the amount for purchases made by the ambulance service before having to get approval from the council be increased from $500 to $1,000. Council noted they would still need to approve their bills every month.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY GERTKEN TO INCREASE THE LIMIT TO $1,000.00, SECONDED BY PICCERILLO. MOTION CARRIED.
Piccerillo asked that any future meetings with the ambulance service include the full council. Loch noted that it could be difficult to get everyone together but anything discussed in a committee meeting would come before the full council before any decisions are made. No decisions were made at the committee meeting held October 1st. Piccerillo felt the council should have had the notes from that meeting at the October council meeting.
Steve Geislinger requested to take vacation November 23rd to December 12th.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY GERTKEN TO APPROVE THE VACATION REQUEST, SECONDED BY UNTERBERGER. MOTION CARRIED.
Steve noted that snow would be hauled out to the property the EDA owns on Highway 55 this season. He reported the snow plow equipment is ready to go and sand is here.
Unterberger brought a template for the council to use for performance reviews. Council will conduct a 6-month performance review on a public works employee at the December meeting. This will be closed unless the employee requests it to be open.
Tom and Vicki Landwehr requested to pay the gravel lease one time a year rather than as mined. They can then submit a copy of the invoice along with payment that shows how much was mined. Payment could be more than one time per year depending on the use. Council agreed to allow to pay once a year and to submit an invoice showing the amount mined.
Loch reported that the EDA has mailed out a community survey. Residents were asked to respond by December 1st. He noted it would probably be March before the board has a visioning session. The Liquor Warehouse should be opening soon. The owners would be willing to lease the other part of the building and may be willing to sell land to the north of the building.
Duane Peterson submitted his resignation from the Planning Commission effective October 13, 2013.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY GERTKEN TO ACCEPT PETERSON’S RESIGNATION, SECONDED BY UNTERBERGER. MOTION CARRIED.
Council advised Kramer to advertise the vacancy.
Land Use Permit Fees- The city required a separate land use permit application for each of the wind towers at Mies Outland and a fee for each. Centra Sota has applied to install two storage tanks. Kramer asked if council felt it should be considered one permit for both tanks or a separate one for each tank. Council advised to stay with precedent set with Mies Outland.
Council reviewed the 2014 proposed budget. The city has over levied for the Mies abatement. Piccerillo asked about the $20,000 budgeted under general government buildings and replacing overhead doors at City Hall. He noted the price for replacing the last two at the Fire Hall. Kramer noted that no one has come to look at the doors here and what would all need to be replaced. Loch noted that the proposed tax statements are out and the residential taxes decreased while most commercial increased. Loch noted he spoke with Hesse and they both felt the levy should remain at the proposed level. It was noted that the capital outlay under parks and recreation would be for the new playground at Faber Addition. Final action on the levy and budget cannot be taken until after the public has an opportunity to discuss this with the council at the designated time at the December 12th meeting.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY GERTKEN TO TABLE THE 2014 BUDGET UNTIL AFTER THE DECEMBER TAX MEETING, SECONDED BY UNTERBERGER. MOTION CARRIED.
Council concerns-Loch noted some street lights are out. They will be fixed as outages are reported. Unterberger noted that the light on the back of the Village Hall is out. Geislinger noted he would take care of it. Loch noted that the 4-way stop at Central Avenue and 4th Street North should have better lighting. He advised Kramer to check with Xcel Energy about getting another light there.
Siren—Kramer noted that grants for this are hard to get. Meeker County will be contacted to see if there is any assistance available through the county. Geislinger noted that another city is supposed to be getting rid of some sirens that are the same model as what is here. It might be possible to get one for parts but it could be expensive. The siren does sound but it does not rotate. Deputy Case will check with the Sheriff’s Department to see if we could get something less expensive.
Kramer asked for approval for City Hall to be closed Friday, November 29th and Tuesday, December 24th. Council approved.
Council approved to start the December 12th meeting at 6 p.m. since the tax meeting regarding the levy and budget was set for 6:15 p.m.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY UNTERBERGER TO APPROVE THE WAGES FOR KELLY KELLEY OF $400 PER MONTH RETROACTIVE TO JULY AND TERESA CARLSON OF $200 PER MONTH RETROACTIVE TO AUGUST FOR DUTIES PERFORMED FOR THE AMBULANCE SERVICE, SECONDED BY GERTKEN. MOTION CARRIED.
Virl Liebrenz received his water operator Class D license in October. With this license he was to get a .50 per hour increase. When Geislinger received his license, the increases went into effect the first of the year. Council advised to go with precedent set and the increase would be effective January 1.
Kramer noted that with the new water meters if an account is listed as inactive in the utility billing system, no bill is generated even if there is water being used. The handheld unit only picks up readings from meters that are active. In the past if water has been shut off at the street the account is made inactive so the owner does not get billed for the base charges. This becomes a problem in the mobile home park when the city is told a lot is vacant and water has been shut off at the street and then someone moves in and water is turned back on and the city is not notified. The public works department does not handle the water and sewer at the park. After reviewing the occupied and unoccupied lots with the park manager the end of September there were a couple lots the city had as inactive that were occupied. The October readings then picked up usage going back several months and billed for all that usage at one time. Kramer noted she sent a letter to the park owner with the October bills about the issue and informed him it would be discussed at the November meeting. The city did not get a response on the matter. After discussion, council advised staff to make all the accounts active to avoid any further issue.
Kramer was advised to subscribe council to the E-Bulletin sent by the League.
Council did not take any action on subscribing to the EV-W Voice.
Council approved for Kramer to take vacation in March and change the meeting date if needed.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY UNTERBERGER TO APPROVE PAYMENT OF ALL BILLS, INCLUDING AMBULANCE BILLS, SECONDED BY GERTKEN. MOTION CARRIED.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY GERTKEN TO ADJOURN THE MEETING, SECONDED BY UNTERBERGER. MOTION CARRIED.
Adjourned at 8 p.m.
Dennis C. Loch,