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Kelliher Council discusses utility rates

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The Kelliher City Council met Oct. 19 in the council chambers at city hall for its regular meeting.

Mayor Darin Latterell called the meeting to order with council members Laura Nelson, Don Erickson and Ramona Gehlert present and council member Vicky Rabe absent.

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Also in attendance were Public Works Superintendent Chuck Schultz, City Clerk Dianna Thurlow and Assistant Clerk Peggy Vollhaber. Others present included Calvin Mayers and LeRoy Sutton.

No one was present to address the council during the public forum so the council moved on to approve the consent agenda items which were presented:

• City council Special meeting Minutes, Oct. 1.

• City council meeting minutes, Oct. 5.

• Receipts from Oct. 1-15 in the amount of $15,816.14.

• Claims list for approval in the amount of $30,332.65.

• Employee overtime report.

Calvin Mayers and LeRoy Sutton from the Northern Point Community Church addressed the council regarding the purchase of unbuildable lot number nine and 10 located in the Pearson Addition. They thanked the council for the generous offer for the lots but have to withdraw their offer, as they are no longer interested in purchasing the two lots.

The owner of the property located at 119 NE Third Street is inquiring if the city would be interested in purchasing the property. A short discussion was held and it was the consensus of the council to decline the offer.

Discussion was held regarding the three lots that still remain in non-compliance of Ordinance Chapter 52 Health and Safety nuisances. Thurlow will review the ordinance and contact the residents in regards to the non-compliance issues. Meanwhile, estimates will be obtained for the cleanup/repair of the safety nuisances.

Mayor Latterell updated the council in regards to the Small Cities Grant application for 2010. John Wynne from Wynne Consulting, contacted the mayor and inquired about submitting the grant in conjunction with another small community in northern Minnesota. Latterell on behalf of the city indicated to Wynne that combining the grants into one is acceptable.

The council was presented with the Notice of Award to Utility Systems of America with construction to begin on or near Nov. 3. A pre-construction meeting was held at city hall Oct. 20.

Nov. 9 will be the next budget work session at 6 p.m.

Public Works Superintendent Schultz, updated the council regarding the street light poles and their condition. After a follow up inspection of the street light poles it was determined that there are a total of eight that need replacing not including the one that blew down Sept. 28.

Clerk Thurlow, informed the Council that insurance may not cover the street light pole that blew down. Discussion was held regarding taking down the eight street light poles in question until the new poles can be installed. The clerk will contact entities regarding taking down the street light poles.

The council reviewed the water rate study that was completed by Jordan Vandel, Midwest Assistant Program.

According to the study, the city of Kelliher spends $4.57/1,000 gallons of water pumped or $3,300/month. The council looked at several different scenario calculations and determined that raising water rates to $3.69/1,000 gallons with a $16.00 base rate which would include the first 1,000 gallons used.

An informational community meeting will be held in late November or early December for the residents of Kelliher to address the changes with questions or inquiries.

Frenzel Construction submitted a change order totaling $1,600 which includes labor and materials to finish the storage room, tape, texture and paint, and labor and materials to install seamless rain gutter and one downspout. Also included is a change order from Northern Star Cooperative for the installation cost of the propane tank, lines, valves, etc. for $337.51.

After a brief discussion, the council approved the change orders. The clerk will submit the change orders to Wynne Consulting for the Small Cities Grant processing.

Both orders were then approved by the council.

The council reviewed the September liquor store income statement. A short discussion was held regarding inventory and expenses.

Clerk Thurlow, on behalf of head bartender Tom Heck, inquired regarding taking out the patio door going into the former smoking room and expanding the opening to the north. A short discussion was held regarding utilizing the former smoking area but it was the consensus of the council to hold off on any new remodeling projects until next year.

Assistant clerk Vollhaber, requested that there be signage for the fitness center hung on the signs at the Old School Center indicating there is indeed a fitness center located on the premises. The council approved the request but with the stipulation that the signage not exceed $50 per sign.

The council reviewed the job descriptions of the clerk and assistant clerk. After a short discussion, the council approved the two job descriptions.

Clerk Thurlow, updated the council on the Region 1 Meeting held in Mahnomen Oct. 16. The clerk also requested to attend the meetings in the future without prior council approval. The meetings are every other month hosted by different cities in Region 1, the next meeting will be Dec. 4 in Detroit Lakes.

A short discussion was held and it was the consensus of the council that the clerk attend the meetings if at all possible.

The council reviewed the Minnesota Department of Health, Haloacetic Acids and Trihalomethane results before adjourning for the evening.

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