Kelliher Council approves grant requests
The Kelliher City Council met July 19 for its regular meeting will all councilmembers present.
Jay Waldo came before the council to thank them for their support of the lawn mower races and presented the council with an anonymous donation of $215.00 to reimburse the city for the cost of Insurance that they had contributed. The anonymous donator wanted to thank the city and hopes that the races can continue in the future.
The following consent agenda items were presented for approval:
City council meeting minutes from June 21
Receipts totaling $91,248.23
Claims paid prior totaling $39717.83
Employee overtime report
Delinquent water/sewer accounts
Cash control statement
Bank reconciliation report
All of the consent agenda items were then approved.
The council reviewed the claims list as presented by City Clerk Shelli Krueth, totaling $9,796.34.
Councilmember Laura Nelson asked about the $200 payment to URLAA. Krueth informed her it was the result of an addition error resulting in an over deposit into the URLAA gambling account.
Liquor Store Manager Tom Heck had missed a $200 payout when closing out the game and thought the employee's had made a mistake so he added the money to the deposit to avoid penalties until he could meet with the employees. When URLAA audited the game they found his mistake but since the money had been already deposited, the city was unable get it back.
Due to the error, the city now has to make up for the $200 deposited to them.
Councilmember Richard Skoe asked about the controls in place to avoid that from happening again. Krueth assured him that the next time there is any question, members of the URLAA offered to come in to audit the game before the deposit is due.
Since this is the first time this has happened Skoe suggested that the city make it a policy that if there is a short or a long, it should just be deposited/reported as is and not to take from another game to make it right.
The claims were then approved as presented.
Benji Hofstad, an engineering technician from Widseth Smith Nolting came before the council to inform them that the preliminary engineering report would be delivered next week and ready for review.
He told them that Engineer Curt Meyer from WSN, would like to set up a review meeting with the council. His goal is to have a finalized P.E.R. before the council at the Aug. 16 meeting for approval, to be submitted for funding in 2012.
A long discussion was held concerning the funding of the project, Hofstad informed the council that Meyer and Pat Conroy, a funding specialist, would be at the Aug. 16 meeting. Council discussed having another meeting after the P.E.R. review meeting to discuss the funding implications further.
The motion was then made and approved to schedule a special meeting of the city council Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. for the purpose of reviewing the preliminary engineering report with Meyer and discuss concerns of the water and sewer project.
The council received a Business Incentive Grant application from Steve and Robin Ufford. A discussion was held concerning the wording of the grant, questioning ownership versus the business open and operating and the actual creation of jobs.
The council then unanimously voted to approve the grant application for the $5,000 requested for acquisition, contingent upon an accepted purchase agreement, plus the $1,250 job creation application after the purchase and the proof of employment is presented to the city clerk.
Mayor Darin Latterell asked the council to discuss the grant application and asked what needed to be changed?
Concerns about whether the application should be broken into two separate applications -- one for business acquisition and one for employment, were voiced.
Clarification of employment was discussed pertaining to the number of hours worked to qualify as part-time and full-time, employment duration, a separate lien for the employment part. The question of why isn't the owner included as an employee was asked as well.
Members of the council asked questions about what constitutes a sale? How does a Contract for Deed fit in? Should the city not have a business acquisition part in the grant? Should the city clarify the term business? What is the main goal of the city? Job creation or business opening? Should we clarify a business as a retail or commercial or open to the public? Should the city differentiate between job creation and job retention?
Krueth was asked to inquire with Northwest Minnesota Foundation to see if they have any similar programs in which we could see their wording used to clarify the grant application to meet the city's objectives.
The council was presented with the final Con Con and PILT grant requests:
$9,550 for the purchase of Radar Speed Signs to be placed at the North and South entrances of town
$20,000 for the Business Incentive Grant
$25,000 for the Housing Incentive Grant
$4,750 to finish the Park RV pads and
$24,000 to reimburse the Lift Station Project.
All requests were then approved following a short discussion.
Walt Schuh Jr. had requested at the June meeting, the use of the bleacher that is located at the Pfund Park. The request was tabled with councilmember Nelson being directed to find out who actually owned the bleachers, the school or the city and Krueth to find out how the city's liability insurance would cover any unforeseen issues.
It was decided that the city did own them and Krueth had clarification from League of Minnesota Cities that the bleachers would be covered in the event of any loss. The LMC also sent an
"Equipment Loan Agreement" they suggested the city use.
Councilmember Skoe suggested the city also have City Maintenance Supervisor Chuck Schultz inspect the equipment before it is borrowed and when it is returned, to verify any damage and to also charge a nominal fee for hiss time. A $15 one-time fee was decided on.
It was discussed that the "un-written policy" has been not to borrow out any equipment, unless to a city employee. So, maybe the city should write such a policy for future reference. Skoe agreed, since the generally the council tends to be supportive of the community as a whole.
The motion to approve the use of the bleachers by Walt Schuh with a signed Equipment Loan Agreement and a fee of $15 was carried unanimously.
The council reviewed the June income statement.
It was reported that repairs and maintenance was higher this month because of the new portable pour station and air conditioner repairs. Other items to note are $1,100 in credits that were not received until July and a couple of invoices for food and wine that were put into inventory but not paid until July. If those figures were accounted for, there would've been a profit.
Councilmember Skoe inquired about the cost of buying accrual accounting software. He felt it is impossible to have a true picture of how the liquor store is doing without the true accounting software.
Councilmember Dan Persons informed the council that according to MMBA, the city is using a very good software, there is one brand better.
It was suggested that maybe the software to its fullest extent. Krueth was directed to talk with Heck about how the software works and if there is anything else that can be done. Purchasing new accrual software would not be cost effective. Skoe agreed that the spreadsheet already created does do a good job.
The profit and loss statement on the Hughes-Boreen wedding was then presented to the council.
Schultz came before the council to request temporarily hiring a school student to finish the painting jobs around the city until the CEP program gets started. The dock still needs to be cleaned and sealed and some fire hydrants painted.
Skoe inquired as to the number of hours Heck was talking about and if the student hired would be one of the CEP-eligible kids. If so, then the student could not work through CEP if the city were to hire the student themselves.
The city does not want to limit future eligibility to have CEP workers. Skoe asked Krueth to call CEP to find out what the rules are and based on her findings, hire someone under guidelines.
Krueth was then directed to hire a temporary maintenance employee at her discretion until the Aug. 16 meeting.
She also informed the council that she has received a letter stating the LGA would be issued July 27 instead of July 20.