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Kelliher City Council approves staff raises

The Kelliher City Council met for its regular meeting in January.

The following consent agenda items were presented for approval:

• City Council Meeting Minutes, December 20, 2012

• Receipts Totaling $140,036.56

• Claims Paid Prior Totaling $56,927.68

• Claims List for Approval $16,552.70

• Fire Dept and Council 2011 Payrolls

• Employee Overtime Report

• Delinquent Water/Sewer Accounts

• Cash Control Statement

• Bank Reconciliation Report

A motion was then made to approve the consent agenda with the change to the Dec. 20 minutes reflecting that Mayor Darin Latterell called the meeting to order.

The November liquor store income statement for December was reviewed. Councilman Richard Skoe expressed his concern and dislike of the information provided on the income dtatement.

The council reviewed the annual before and after inventory report. There was a discrepancy of $1,054.41, so the inventory was adjusted. Discussion was held regarding where and why the discrepancies occurred.

Mayor Latterell stated in years past the number has been much higher and Skoe agreed that the number was small in proportion to the amount of sales for the year.

The Annual MMBA meeting and training was discussed and City Clerk Shelli Krueth was not sure if Liquor Store Manager Tom Heck wanted to go. She said that she thought she would ask the council on his behalf.

A discussion was held regarding if Clerk Krueth should attend also but the timing will conflict with the February council meeting.

Following that discussion, the council voted to approve Heck's attendance of the meeting and training.

The annual Minnesota Rural Water Association conference and training is scheduled for March 6-8. City Maintenance Supervisor Chuck Schultz requested to attend. He will get his continuing education credits while there and also meets with vendors. The council unanimously voted to approve the request.

Krueth presented the council with the 2012 training schedule from Municipal Clerks and Finance Association.

The first is the Municipal Clerks Institute, which is a three year, one week per year, study course that will be in April.

The second is the annual statewide conference which is in March. Previous clerks had attended both the conference and the certification training. Krueth hasn't attended either in the past. Before making a decision, the council requested more information on each to be brought to the next meeting.

Krueth updated the council on the Business Incentive Grant. she had attended a meeting with County Commissioner Quentin Fairbanks and he requested a grant request for an additional $10,000 for the Business Incentive Grant Fund, which she had submitted. He will be recommending its approval.

The Kelliher Fire Department gave a recommendation to the council to have Greg Vollhaber appointed as fire chief for a three year term. The council voted unanimously to approve the appointment.

The council reviewed the resolution with the current appointments/designations and discussed the positions that needed to be filled.

Councilmember Skoe asked about the Community Development Representative position, which is currently blank. Mayor Latterell explained the position was held by a previous councilmember, but when he left nobody took the position. It was decided to eliminate that position. Skoe then inquired if the Arts & Cultural Heritage Committee reported to the council.

Resolution 2012-1 with all changes as discussed was then approved.

Linda Dreyer asked if the Northome Area News could be the official newspaper for the city, since they have a greater coverage area for the citizens of Kelliher. A discussion was held about the benefits before the council voted to revise Resolution 2012-1 and make the official newspaper Northome Area News.

Concerning Resolution 2012-2, councilman Skoe asked to raise the NSF check fee from $15 to $30. The council was in agreement.

The terminology was changed from Dog License to Pet License as they city's ordinance reads including CATS.

Water and sewer rates were discussed and Krueth informed the council that she was told the city most likely is not getting any funding this year for the water sewer project they were planning. She also told them that there are some sewer manholes that need repairs this next summer.

After a lengthy discussion, sewer rates were raised to $14 base (increase of $1.50) and $2.00 per 1,000 gal. usage (increase of 50¢), which went into effect Feb. 1. The new fee will be charge to the customers on the March 15 billing, affecting the water usage starting on Feb. 1.

The master fee schedule was then approved and the council asked to have it made into a resolution for better record keeping. Resolution 2012-2, Master Fee Schedule, with all changes discussed, was then approved.

The council was presented with a contract from Miller McDonald for $10,000 for the 2011 annual audit as required by law.

Discussion was held regarding if the city should try to get bids next year. It was noted that they will show the number of hours worked.

A motion was then made to approve the contract with Miller McDonald for the city's annual audit. The motion carried.

The two committees created at last month's meeting, recommended raises of 3.1 and 3.2 percent (25¢). Discussion was held regarding the need for a manager at the liquor store. Krueth was directed to look into the responsibilities of a manager versus a head bartender. Questions arose about the responsibilities of all job titles currently used.

A motion was made and carried to approve the raise recommendations as presented for all employees except Heck.

A long discussion was held regarding offering health insurance to the full time employees.

The council decided to table the issue until an employee comes to them requesting it.

The council then voted to approve a 9 percent pay increase for Shelli Krueth and an 8.3 percent increase for Schultz.

Mayor Latterell presented the council with an updated revolving loan application and guidelines. He had compared what the city has with some other cities programs.

The council reviewed the changes and discussed the options. Krueth was asked to verify with the USDA if the city can make some of the changes we are considering. Latterell talked with a potential person to review and recommend the applicants. Krueth said she had also spoken with someone to process the loan applications.