Mountain Lake City Council accepts Friends of the Pool proposal
Mountain Lake City Council members took a second look at the issuance of General Obligation Bonds – not to exceed $3 million – to be sold to pay for infrastructure for the new commercial/industrial park to be located in the southwest corner of the city at the city government group’s meeting on Monday, August 17.
Council Member Darka Kruser raised concerns with the bond sale due to the lack of a clear plan to market and sell lots in the park, as well as the lack of businesses that have committed to locating in the park. Various aspects, costs and concerns of the project, including delaying the bond sale and development of the park for a year or two were discussed.
Another concern raised was the possible construction of a spec building on the remaining lot in Jenny’s Subdivision on the city’s south side.
According to Mountain Lake Economic Development Authority (EDA) Director Rob Anderson, who attends quarterly Community Venture Network meetings where growing metro area businesses and out-state Minnesota communities have an opportunity to meet and explore expansion opportunities in Greater Minnesota, the need for many of those businesses is for existing buildings to be tenant-ready. He also noted that there is no EDA plan in place for construction of a spec building.
A motion brought by Kruser, seconded by Council Member Dana Kass, failed to rescind the earlier resolution purchasing the bonds due to a tie vote. Voting in favor of the motion were Kruser and Kass, with Council Member David Savage and Council Member Andy Ysker voting in favor. Mountain Lake Mayor Mike Nelson was not in attendance at the meeting.
Ice rink warming house to be added
The council accepted the donation of a heated warming house for the outdoor ice skating rink, located on Mountain Lake Public School property, as presented by the Friends of the Pool. The school district is willing to allow the building on the property as long as the city furnishes liability insurance, electricity and necessary supervision. Council members agreed to those terms.
The building being looked at by the Friends group is a 10′ x 16′ Cottage Pavilion Pro Shed constructed by the Elemendorf Colony of rural Mountain Lake.
A volunteer (Ken Classen) floods the rink, and will continue to do so. Finding a person to provide supervision and setting warming house hours was also discussed by the council.
The Friends of the Pool support recreational opportunities for families during the winter months, and believe the ice rink, supported by a warming house, would be an asset for the community.
In other business
+ Approved a tentative agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The agreement calls for the establishment of a nine-step salary matrix. Placement on the matrix will be determined by years of service in 10-year increments. There are changes to the division of health care premiums costs between employee and employer, an increase in on-call pay and contract language changes. The complete contract will be approved by the council after it is received and reviewed.
+ Authorized the Rural Fire Department Volunteer Fire Assistance Matching Grant proposal. The volunteer Mountain Lake Fire & Rescue Department is requesting a grant award of $12,066 for structural turnout gear for six firefighters.
+ Named Jim McDonald to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board. The term will end 12/31/18.
+ Accepted the retirement of Kevin Krahn, Water and Wastewater Superintendent, effective December 31, after 28 years of service to the city and utility. They additionally authorized filling the position.
+ Accepted the resignation of Marva Ott, effective June 30, following 15 years of service to the city, EDA and Mountain Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Council members authorized immediately beginning the process to fill the position.
+ Accepted the resignation of Wendelyn Voshage from the Mountain Lake Ambulance Squad as of January 1, 2017.
+ Hired Ryan Hillesheim as a part-time Mountain Lake Police Officer as of March 31, 2017.
+ Hired Candace James as Mountain Lake Public Library assistant as of March 29, 2017.
+ Approved various street closings as related to Pow Wow events from Sunday, June 18 through Tuesday, June 20, as requested by the Mountain Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
+ Adopted a resolution permitting the Pow Wow Raffle, per a request from the Mountain Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
+ Adopted a resolution declaring Friday, April 28 as Arbor Day in Mountain Lake.
+ Approved Mountain Lake Fire & Rescue Department and Mountain Lake Ambulance Squad contracts with surrounding townships, including Carson, Delton, Kimball, Lakeside Midway, Mountain Lake and Selma.
+ Authorized Mountain Lake Police Chief Doug Bristol to order a 2017 Ford Explorer and other needed equipment for a new police vehicle. Chief Bristol reviewed the squad state bid price and vehicle equipment quotes with the council. The total cost is $40,338, and funds from othe Police Savings Account will cover the cost. Vehicle delivery is expected no sooner than 90 days.
+ Was presented three quotes by Mountain Lake Fire & Rescue Chief Tim Coners for a customized bed for the department’s 2005 pick-up. The department had purchased a bed for the 2015 pick-up, and now is requeting one for the second pick-up as it allows for better storage and quicker access to equipment. After discussion, council members approved the purchase of a customized bed from Janzen Fabrication and Repair of Mountain Lake at a cost of $7,500. Charitable gambling proceeds and department reserves will pay for the purchase.
+ Approved the contract with engineering consultant McKinstry Essention LLC to assist with the purchase and installation of LEDs. The city will be replacing all street light lamps with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The LEDs will be paid for through electricity savings.
+ Heard the second reading of a city ordinance addressing Utility Bills and Contract for Deed. The ordinance makes both vendors (sellers) and vendees (buyers) in contract for deed agreements responsible for the payment of utilities. There were no comments or questions from the public. No action was taken.
+ Heard, reviewed and discussed the second reading of a city ordinance amendment to the city’s Alcoholic Beverages Licensing and Regulation. An amendment is needed so that the ordinance chapter conforms to the new state statute regarding the allowance of Sunday off-sale liquor sales, which becomes effective on July 1. The amendment allows for the sale of off-sale liquor and beer on Sundays between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. There were no comments or questions from the public. No action was taken.
+ Heard a second reading of a city ordinance amendment Establishing Fees for Emergency Protection Fire Services. The current ordinance does not give the city authority to certify unpaid fire service charges for collection with property taxes. State law gives the city this power if adopted by municipal ordinance. There were no comments or questions from the public. No action was taken.
+ Reviewed and discussed First Quarter 2017 revenue, expenses and fund balances. No action was taken.
+ Briefly discussed the number of summer employment applications received during the hiring process.
+ Learned that the Lake Commission intends to increase the usage of the beach area in Lawcon Park with the addition of benches and a fire ring. An ag class at Mountain Lake Public School will provide the labor. A grant application is being prepared for submission to the Mountain Lake Area Foundation. The council approved the project and grant submission.
+ Heard from Rachel Yoder during Public Forum about the swimming beach at Lawcon Park.
+ Learned that the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization will be held at Mountain Lake City Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.
2017 meeting schedule
Council meetings will be held on the traditional first and third Mondays of the month – with the exception of the second meeting n June, which has been rescheduled to Monday, June 22 due to the annual Pow Wow celebration and the first meeting in September, which was moved to Tuesday, September 8 because of the Monday, September 7 Labor Day observance.
City of Mountain Lake Meeting Dates
+ Mountain Lake City Council meets the first and third Mondays of every month at 6:30 p.m.
+ Utilities Commission meets the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at 7 a.m.
+ Economic Development Authority (EDA) meets the second Friday of every month at 12 noon.
+ Lake Commission meets the second Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.
+ Library Board meets the second Wednesday of every month at 4:45 p.m.
+ Police Commission meets the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m.
+ Planning and Zoning meets the last Monday of the month, if needed.
+ Tree Commission meets quarterly – January, April, July and October – at 7:45 p.m.