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The Lancaster City Council met for its Regular Meeting on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at 7:00 P.M.  The following persons were present: Mayor, Mike Olson; Council members: Kathy Bernstrom, John Stenquist, Krista Matthew and Teresa (Teri) Halvorson.

 Also present:  Anna Jauhola, Kittson County Enterprise reporter.

Bernstrom moved to approve the July 12, 2023 Council Meeting Minutes, second by Matthew and carried.  A copy of the Minutes will be posted at the Lancaster City Hall and U.S. Post Office and available upon request to the clerk.

The council reviewed the August 2023 bills presented and other bills that have been paid prior to this meeting to avoid late payments, receive discounts & meet payroll and all payroll expenses as approved in the 2023 Rates Fees & Appointments Schedule.  Bernstrom moved to approve the bills, second by Stenquist and carried.   An abstract of bills will be posted with the minutes and are available upon request.

Council discussed 2024 payroll options.

Council reviewed the proposed 2024 budget and General Fund Property Tax Levy with no increase to the 2023 levy amount.  Bernstrom moved to accept the 2024 Budget and set the 2024 General Fund Property Tax Levy at $115,000.00 with the total overall General Fund Budget set at $286,259.00, second by Halverson and carried.

Council discussed the new Sick and Safe Time leave law passed during the 2023 state legislative session.   This leave structure starts January 1, 2024 for qualifying employees and is prorated based on employee worked hours up to a maximum of 48 hours per year with maximum carryover to following year of 80 hours with no payout of sick hours upon employee leaving city employment.   This does not replace sick leave the city already has in place for benefitted employees.   It is for non benefitted employees that work more than 6 months in a year and will exceed 80 worked hours in total employment.  Clerk reports that the Personnel Policy will need to be updated.

Matthew moved to accept $2,000.00 received from Lancaster Legion Gambling for Event Stage, second by Halvorson and carried.

Stenquist moved to make a $2,000.00 gambling fund request for Golf Course operations expense, second by Matthew and carried.

Council discussed information from Sheriff’s Office regarding operating the siren to mark specific times of the day.  Only noon whistle is allowed per FCC regulations.  Council tabled this to allow time for public input.

Quote from Absolute Refrigeration in the amount of $1,090.00 per year to clean both the Liquor Store and Community Center ice makers, plus the labor and parts for repairs & filter replacement was received.  Stenquist moved to accept the Absolute Refrigeration quote, second by Halvorson and carried.

Clerk discussed the NW Regional Arts Council grant training that she participated in.  The city will need to be the grant applicant, financial responsible entity and do all follow up reporting for City (Business Association) grant events if funds are received.   There is a 10% match that can come from various sources but the match will also need to be administered by the city.  Bernstrom moved to allow the clerk to work with Business Association on a budget and to apply for a Arts Legacy Grant from the Northwest Region Arts Council, second by Matthew and carried.

Council discussed new Edible and Cannabis legislation passed in 2023.   At this time the city is required to implement the MN dual license system for the edible & (hemp based) products.  The city can charge a license fee but the council did not implement a license fee at this time.

Reviewed July Liquor Store and City financials.

Other items discussed: Liquor Store & City Hall exterior light fixtures and paint; removal of trees at Highway 59 Park complete; Gazebo stain & replacement of boards on step.

Bernstrom moved to pay ½ of the cost for pavement in front of the US Post Office and that the building owner, Kyle Anderson is responsible for the other ½ of the cost, second by Halvorson and carried.

Fire Department request to purchase a gas tender to obtain straight gas-no ethanol.   Bernstrom moved to approve the tender purchase not to exceed $300.00, second by Matthew and carried.

Fire Department request to purchase fire hydrant pressure monitor for testing hydrants and this will help to improve the city ISO rating.  Bernstrom moved to approve the tender purchase not to exceed $3,000.00, second by Halvorson and carried.

Mayor closed the meeting as there was no further business for council.


Carol Johnson, Clerk/Treasurer                      Approved:  Mike Olson, Mayor  

Approval Date: September 13, 2023




Other links: Lancaster Riverside Golf Course | Lancaster Public School | NW MN Multi-County HRA


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