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Blackduck City Council

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

When the Blackduck City Council met June 7, they took care of business in front of a crowd.

Even though there was no one present to speak at the public forum, Mayor Scott Palmer went on with business as usual.

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The council approved a Small Cities Development grant, the bills then went through a few pieces of correspondence before Palmer opened bids that were received on the Pontiac Sunbird the city was getting rid of.

The first bid was from Dennis Carrigan in the amount of $210.56 and the second bid was from Sammy Carlson who put in a bid of $401.77. As stipulated in the bid package, the minimum bid for the car was $350, therefore, Carlson was awarded the bid.

Conrad Berg, Kevin Hentges, Keith Anderson and others were present to go before the council with concerns about the condition of the golf course.

Berg's complaints centered on the poor quality of the greens. He stated that this year was especially bad.

"Something needs to be done! You will start to lose tournaments and green fees if something isn't done," he said.

He also asked the council why there wasn't a golf course board like there used to be.

"My recommendation is that you put one person in charge out there at the course over the whole thing and I think that person should be Dick McKean."

McKean, Blackduck's clubhouse manager at the course, indicated that he was happy with his current job.

Councilmember Kevin Beck spoke up telling those present that he didn't think there was a problem out at the course.

City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug, Jr. explained that there had been some ice damage at the course and the reason for the poor condition of the greens were due, in part, to that and the fact that it was too cold when the course opened, to fix the greens. He also told the group that his crew hadn't been able to get out to the course to aerate it properly because of all the rain.

"One of our crew had school and wasn't able to start right away," Klug explained. "That and we just didn't have the help we needed to take care of everything at once. We have a lot of ground to mow and get ready -- the golf course is only a part of what we do."

Klug also explained that his crew had been out at the course for two days prior and got everything done they could and that the course looked much better and was getting better every day.

"They have come a long way since last week." he said.

McKean also stated that he was disappointed in the shape of the greens last fall and the way they came through the winter.

"I think they should have been plugged last year," he said.

Hentges spoke up saying that at Castle Highlands, they had plugged their course and it was in excellent condition.

"Plugging is successful," he said. "But you have to take the whole patch to make it work."

Klug said that he, city maintenance worker Rae Burmeister, McKean and city administrator Karin Elhard would meet to talk over the things that need to be done and how to go about it.

Berg and Hentges asked the council once again to put McKean in charge over the whole course to which, Palmer said again, "Bob, Rae and Dick will get together and make a plan."

Beck agreed with Palmer but Hentges and Berg still requested that McKean be put in charge. Hentges also reiterated that it would be wise to put a golf board together again.

"I don't know that we need a board when Dick hears all the suggestions and complaints," Beck said.

Anderson brought up the fact that the it was an exceptional year and that you have one man trying to do everything.

"The sand traps haven't been raked in two weeks," he said. "I golf every day and another thing that bothers me -- the greens. They need to be mowed seven days a week not five days."

Again they were told that the matter would be taken care of.

The golfers thanked the council for their time and for listening to their concerns and left.

Loren Lossing then went before the council with his concerns about a part of the cemetery called Potter's Field.

"I want to know what is going to be done about it." he said.

"I have three obituaries here -- fact is I know who is buried out there."

His concerns stem from the fact that there were a few mangled temporary markers out in Potter's Field. They weren't marking any grave in particular but were removed because they were damaged and the names that were on them originally had become illegible.

"Whether you can read them or not," Lossing said, "they should be put back."

Retired city maintenance supervisor Bob Klug Sr. spoke up and told the council and Lossing that he had dug the last grave in that area of the cemetery in 1965 and at that time, there were and still are, only two permanent markers out there.

"There could be 20 graves out there or there could be 12," Klug said. "No one really knows for sure how many gravesites are out there."

Lossing spoke up telling the council that he counted 21 indentations in the ground.

"Ted and I walked out there and we counted 21 dips in the ground, all in a row, all in a line."

"I can take you out there and show you 100 or more dips in the ground," said Klug Sr. "That don't mean anything."

Lossing also told the council that he had found a law concerning the removal of markers from gravesites.

He told the council that he had put together a reunion, which will occur Aug. 21 and, he said, "It is going to be a big deal. We will dedicate the memorial and I am disappointed that nothing was done for Memorial Day. Nothing was done about D-Day either." He went on to say that he disliked being a hell raiser but that "sometimes you gotta ruffle some feathers to get things done."

"I get this," said Beck. "I understand the concerns. This is something that should have been addressed years ago."

Lossing said he would like to see the city pour a slab out in Potter's Field. He said he would donate a boulder to put on the slab to act as a memorial to those buried there. The boulder would be inscribed with the Biblical verse about Potter's Field and would be a tribute to all those who were buried there -- known or unknown.

He then thanked the council for listening and left the meeting.

Blackduck Fire Chief Rick Bogart came before the council to update them on fire department matters.

He told the council that all of the firefighters with the department were all certified as the last nine firefighters all passed their training and received their certification.

"We also have a controlled burn coming up," he said.

Bogart also talked to the council about a FEMA grant and that it would be used for buying portable radios for the department. These radios will replace the older ones and are also waterproof, he explained.

Bogart then presented a check to Palmer from the fire department.

Maintenance Supervisor Klug was then presented a wastewater certificate of commendation from Mayor Palmer. This makes the 20th certificate the city has received.

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