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Airport business tops Northome Council meeting

The airport in Northome was a big part of the focus for the Northome City Council at it's Jan. 4 meeting.

The meeting began with the approval of the agenda with the addition of fire department business along with the approval of the minutes from the Dec. 7 regular meeting.

A letter that was just received from MN DEED concerning the water and sewer project was reviewed indicating that the pre-application had been evaluated and that the city was invited to proceed with a full application.

Mickey Guderian presented information on the POW-MIA hot air balloon that he would like to have brought to town on the the Bearfest weekend.

Discussion on sled dog races being cancelled due to lack of snow ensued and it was decided to have the organizers keep the money that was already paid for sponsorship and put toward next year's race.

The council then voted to approve the addition of Jene Shull as a new fire department member.

Leroy Thurlby of the Airport Commission, presented a sample contract form that he would like to use when contracting services for the airport, which council approved.

He presented three quotes for brushing along the airport runways: Smischney Brushing for $2,850, Jeffrey Powell for $3,850 and All Seasons Contracting, Inc. for $1,650.

Following some discussion, the council voted to accept the quote from All Seasons Contracting and proceed with the brush removal project. Thurlby will assist with drawing up a contract. Discussion then moved to the purchase of the mower and the runway lighting problems.

It was decided that Rick Dreher would look into grant money available for repair.

There was also a discussion on the snowmobile club's rental agreement and on runway snowplowing. The council decided to have Cory Lindley plow when he can with the city truck. When bigger equipment is needed, Councilman Bill Eitenmiller will contact the county crew to plow. They will be compensated at an agreed upon rate.

City Clerk Connie White was instructed to check with Littlefork and International Falls to see what they are charging the county for snowplowing.

Thurlby discussed trees that are ready for harvest and also hunting on airport property. He will be marking property lines. The possibility of selling fuel at the airport was also discussed. The Commission was directed to research the possibilities and costs involved with set-up.

Councilman Jack White discussed issues with the firewood piled up in the ditch by the pond before the council voted to approve the hiring of Emily Goede as a part time bartender at the municipal liquor store.

The council also voted to approve the December 2011 financial reports, the December 2011 disbursements totaling $70,308.62 and to approve current claims presented totaling $10,072.18.

A motion was made and then approved to approve the fee schedule as presented with the exception of changing the Water User Fees monthly gallons exempt from 3,000 to 2,000.

Following some discussion, it was decided to amend the current motion to also change the Water User Fees connection fee to "Cost of connection to the curb stop."

Approval for a fund transfers were as follows: $20,000 from Liquor Store to General, $6,500 from Laundromat to Laundromat Equipment Capital and to create a new fund -- Liquor Store Equipment Capital and to transfer $5,000 to it from Liquor Store.

Cigarette licenses for Fisher Petroleum, Northome Grocery, Powerhouse and Northome Municipal were discussed before they were all approved.

The following annual appointments and designations were then made:

• Official Depositories - Deerwood Bank and First State Bank of Bigfork

• City Attorney - Joe Boyle

• Senior Councilor - Jack White

• Official Newspaper - Northome Area News

• Library Board - Kathy Elhard, President; Mary Estabrooks, Secretary/Treasurer; Dorothy Matta, Evelyn Fisher, Shirley Latterell, Judy Malterud, Connie Nelson, Pat DeVries, Gail Wilding andLarry Salmonson as City Council Representative.

• Regular monthly meeting - First Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.

• Parks Committee - Councilors White and Struss.

It was decided not to make appointments to the Airport Commission at this time.