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Blackduck Council tables engineer's grant updates; approves donation

With the city's engineer, Curt Meyer, absent at Blackduck's March 5 city council meeting, councilmembers agreed to table the grant updates and an invoice until Meyer could be present.

The invoice in question was one from Meyer's firm, Widseth Smith Nolting, concerning professional engineering services. Following a short discussion, the council voted to table to the invoice until next month's meeting.

Meyer was to be present to discuss two grants. The grants, the LRIP and Transportation Funds grants, had been denied.

City Administrator Karin Elhard recommended some discussion with Meyer regarding resubmission of both grants, at some point in time, and the cost for doing so. The council agreed and the issue was tabled.

The council was told that this year's Lady Slipper celebration will be held June 23 from 2-4 p.m. with a full array of events planned for Blackduck. The June 24 action will be held in Cass Lake.

It was noted that the public hearing for contract for fire protection services was held Feb. 27 with quite a few township representatives in attendance.

The group discussed whether or not to change KOPP formula. The change would include the removal of chargeable fires and charge for services based solely on property valuation.

The consensus of the group was to receive more information based on how it changes the dollar amount for each entity and they will further discuss the change with their township representatives.

Additional information will be collected and distributed to the townships by March 13.

A special meeting has been scheduled for April 16 at 7 p.m. at Blackduck City Hall to further discuss the issue.

The issue has been agreed upon to extend the current fire contract for one year, as is.

Interim Liquor Store Manager Shawnda Kisner came before the council to present her update for the month.

She informed the council that things were going well and that she is available for a variety of shifts. She also told them that she would like to hire Mollie Brown as a part time liquor store bartender with a starting wage of $8.50 per hour as she has experience with bartending and off-sale liquor store management. In addition, her background check was completed and came back clean.

The council approved her request as well as the hiring of Melissa Gullette as a part time bartender.

Blackduck Police Chief John Wilkinson presented his report, outlining the things that were happening within his department.

He told them that the Dodge Charger was back on the road following an accident.

He also informed them that he was in the process of completing a training record spreadsheet, squad maintenance spreadsheet and an equipment record spreadsheet.

Danny Savich informed Chief Wilkinson that he would be tearing down blighted property after Spring thaw and dry up.

The resignation of firefighter Rick Olhava was read and accepted with the council's thanks for his service to the community.

The council looked over and then approved an estimate for a new furnace for the city's maintenance garage. They were told that a couple of weeks ago the crew noticed terrible exhaust in the city garage. They found it to be caused by a large crack in the firewall of the furnace.

City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug Jr. asked for and received three bids for replacing the furnace. After reviewing all three bids, the council voted to approve the lowest bid from Nenson Plumbing and Heating.

Elhard informed the council that she had received five applications for golf course manager and it was decided that the committee would meet and do the interviews and hopefully have a new manager by April's council meeting.