The Blackduck City Council pushed through its agenda with ease Jan. 19, approving the consent agenda and bills.
The council approved a request from the Blackduck American Legion for a one-to-four day on sale liquor license for an event to be held Feb. 21. They also adopted Resolution 2010-03 acknowledging a donation of $100 from the Tenstrike Community Church for the Fire Department Reserve Fund for the purpose of future capital expenditures.
They also adopted Resolution 2010-04 on annual appointments and designations:
Designated The American as the city's official newspaper; Blackduck City Hall as the official posting location and designated Wells Fargo Bank and Deerwood Bank as official depositories
Included the designation of a vice mayor
Included the appointments of the city councilors and staff to various boards and commissions.
City Administrator Karin Elhard mentioned a request from Rural Minnesota CEP for two at-large positions on its board of directors as well as the audit letter from Miller McDonald concerning the city's annual audit which is scheduled for Feb. 8.
Discussion was then held on the month end remittance report for fines and fees.
Elhard brought to the attention of the council, that Blackduck would be receiving a total of $757 for the adjustment for the coding error that has been ongoing for some years.
"Is this all we get back for the year or just for December?" questioned councilmember Daryl Lundberg.
"No," Elhard responded, "This is what they gave us for the year."
The discussion that ensued concerned the fact that for years, the city wasn't being paid the correct amount for citations and fees that were written. When it was brought to the attention of the county and state, the city was informed that there had been a coding error and that the city would be reimbursed. It was never clear as to how far back the reimbursements would go.
It was the understanding of Elhard that the $757 amount would be all that Blackduck would be reimbursed.
"I think we should send them a letter asking if this is all we get or is there more to come," suggested Lundberg.
Other council members agreed that this would be a wise idea. After more discussion, the council directed Elhard to draft a letter asking if this was all the money Blackduck would be getting for the error.
It was brought up by councilor Ted Falk that the amount of fines and fee used to appear in the newspaper monthly with the amount of money Blackduck received for them.
This was brought up at a much earlier council meeting about why the fines and fees weren't being published in the paper anymore to which Elhard explained that the city hadn't been receiving a print out from the county on what fines and fees were being paid. She contacted them, asking if Blackduck could get the monthly report, which it is now receiving.
Blackduck's portion of the December fines and fees is $384.28. Adding to that is the reimbursement for the coding error bringing the total to $1,141.28.
Jeff Asfoor, representing the Blackduck History and Art Center, appeared before the council, asking permission to put up signs around the city.
City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug, Jr. held up one of the signs for the council to see, explaining that the center would like to have the signs placed on the light poles as strategic locations around the city.
"Rae and I will put them up," Klug explained, "I contacted Tyler Koos concerning the placement of the signs on Summit and Main Street as these are county roads. He had no problem with it."
Asfoor explained to the council that these signs would help direct people to the history center.
"With the loss of the hardware store, that end of town is gone. We used to see people who stopped at the hardware store, walk over and come into the history center. Now we that we don't have that, we felt these signs would direct those who come into town to the center." he said.
Klug and Asfoor told the council that these signs would cost the city nothing, not even maintenance on them.
"The sign company told us that these signs would be good for about 25 years," Asfoor explained. "All we are looking for is the council's approval to put them up."
The council agreed and gave its approval to have the signs put up.
A resignation letter from Blackduck firefighter Mike Sunell was then read and discussed.
"I hate to see Mike resign because he was an asset to the city," said Mayor Scott Palmer. "All our firefighters do an outstanding job and it is sad to lose one." he said.
There was a short discussion concerning GPS mapping of Pine Tree Park as well as a couple who may be interested in becoming the campground hosts for this year.
The council opened the one bid received for a new cooler for the liquor store. After some discussion as to whether they should rebid the project or accept the lone bid, it was agreed upon that time was of the essence.
"We are losing customers due to the fact we don't have cold beer to sell," said Lundberg. "I don't think we should wait on this."
The council agreed and approved the bid from Naylor's for $41,812.57 for the cooler.
The council approved the request from Liquor Store Manager Shawn Waldo recommending that employee Shawnda Patch be allowed to attend the MMBA boot camp, set for Feb. 22-23.
Mayor Palmer then called for the meeting to be closed for the annual personnel wage review. Local resident Kurt Benson spoke up, asking if he may address the council before the meeting was closed.
Benson then asked the council if they would be raising taxes if they gave their employees raises.
"How is this going to affect our taxes?" he asked. "Is it going to be across the board or what?"
Elhard explained to him that the 2010 budget was already set and that the levy was this year was in place.
"The governor said no to all raises for all over the state. But I was wondering about taxes. It's tough to pay taxes out here," he said.
He was assured that the levy for the city had been set last year and approved therefore, there was no need for anyone to be worried about their taxes being raised. It would have no affect on them.
The meeting was then closed.