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Fire contracts discussed during Blackduck Council meeting

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Fire contracts discussed during Blackduck Council meeting
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Members of the Blackduck City Council met for the regular February meeting discuss fire contracts, administrative reports and to accept the resignation of the liquor store manager.


Blackduck Librarian Nance Kunkel was present, along with Library Board President Amy Grandlund, updated the council on the library.

"We had 157 kids in the summer reading program," Kunkel said, "and that is great for Blackduck."

She also noted that Carson Nendick has received a $1,000 scholarship through the reading program and that the library had received over $4,000 in donations, the largest one coming from Hines Township.

Grandlund explained to the council that they would have to be appointing someone to the library board as Leo Johnson's term was coming up in September and he has already served as many terms as allowed.

Both women told the board that they were also short three board members.

The board thanked both of them for their update before they moved on to the fire department update.

A few of the area townships were represented for the fire contract portion of the meeting which wasn't due to begin until 6:30 p.m.

Blackduck Fire Chief Rick Bogart told the council that the department had received the resignation of Jay Brambrink who had moved to Virginia.

After a short discussion, the council accepted Brambrink's resignation, acknowledging him for doing a good job while he was with the department and wishing him the best in the future.

Blackduck Liquor Store manager Shawn Waldo's resignation was then read and approved. Waldo, who had been at The Pond as manager for the past four years, accepted a position with the Northome School as the administrative secretary. Her duties will also include accounts payable and receivable.

Council discussed how they would fill her position as well as who would be able to take over her duties.

City Administrator Karin Elhard told the council that she felt the assistant manager, Shawnda Patch, would be able to take over for Waldo. Discussion on the issue was short as the council went with the recommendation and appointed Patch as the new manager. They also approved hiring a part time bartender.

Elhard gave an update on the community coordinator position funding request.

"The Blackduck Development Corporation continues to move forward with establishing a community coordinator position," she said. "Angel Normandine, the administrator at the Good Samaritan facility and I have come up with a job description and ar now at a point to determine how this position will be funded."

The council broke into a discussion on how much it was willing to commit to at this time. The proposal called for the city's portion of the position to be $12,500 annually for the next two years. The same amount would also come from the BDC.

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation would be willing to kick is $20,000 annually for the next two years as their portion of the position.

Following a lengthy discussion, the council felt they would be able to commit to half of the $12,500.

Under the police department report, new Blackduck Police Chief John Wilkinson was welcomed by the council.

A manager at the golf course was discussed and the council gave approval for Elhard to advertise for a new golf course manager.

In other business, the council made the following designations:

• named the Blackduck American as the city's official newspaper

• Named Wells Fargo Bank and Deerwood Bank as the city's official depositories

• Approved Drahos Kieson and Christopher of Bemidji as the city's attorney as well as Boyle Law Office of International Falls.

At 6:30 p.m., the regular meeting was closed to open the public hearing for fire protection contracts.

Bob Sandbo representing Hagali Township, Bill Rabe of Hines Township, Terry Frenzel from Langor Township and Ron Jedlicka of Taylor Township were all present for the discussion concerning the township fire contracts.

Everyone was given a sheet with the 2012 budget on it and how much fire protection would cost each township.

There was confusion as to why all the townships would be paying the same amount regardless of how big the township was or how many calls the fire department responded to.

The annual fire contracts are set to expire March 31 therefore, the townships need to have their contract signed and turned back in before that date.

Because of the contracts bring presented in the way they were, Hines Township Representative Rabe offered to put together a revision to the contract for fire protection services and said he would present the revision is they could all get together at a special meeting. This special meeting will be held Feb. 27 at city hall at 6 p.m.

With everyone in agreement, the fire contract meeting was closed and the regular meeting reopened before Mayor Jason Riggs called for adjournment.

Pioneer staff reports