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The Lancaster City Council met for its regular meeting on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall.  The following members were present: Rice, Olson and Swenson.  Stenquist and Nordin were absent.  Also, present was Mary Barron, Council Member elect.

Swenson moved to approve the minutes of the November 10, 2010 Regular meeting and the December 1, 2020 Special meeting, seconded by Olson 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 Decemberr 2010 Bills to be paid. Olson moved to approve the bills for payment, second by Swenson and carried.  An abstract of bills will be posted with the minutes and are available upon request to the clerk.

At 7:15PM the mayor, Gary Rice, called the Municipal Liquor Store Hearing to order.  Mary Barron was the 1 public person present.  The Mayor stated that the hearing was being held because the Liquor Store has sustained a net operating loss for the 2  of the 3 previous years and that by state statute a public hearing is required to be held within 45 days of the close of the next year.  The Mayor reviewed a 13 year income and expense comparison, 2009/2010 Daily Sales Comparison worksheet and a 2009/2010 Profit and Loss worksheet.  The Mayor reported that the Liquor store has shown a profit of $24,909.27 as of November 30, 2010  The mayor then opened the meeting for public input.   There was no public input at this time.  Rice reported that with operating profits in 2009 and 2010 there would be no need for a public hearing next year. The hearing was adjourned at 7:40 PM.

Clerk handed out the State Auditor’s Fire Relief Association Report Card for the council’s information.  The Fire relief association has sustained no losses during the recession.

Mayor Rice set the Liquor Store inventory for January 1, 2011 at 10:00A.M.

The Clerk has a liquor license application for Bernstrom Oil, the only form missing is the liquor liability certification that the clerk has been assured will be received shortly.  Swenson moved to approve the 3.2 Off-sale Liquor License for Bernstrom Oil Co. for the period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 and allow the Clerk and Mayor to sign the license forms pending receipt of all paperwork, seconded by Olson and carried. 

Clerk reported that the city has qualified for $1,197.88 in State monies for the flooding in June 2010.  Olson moved to accept the money, second by Olson and carried.

Clerk reported that North Kittson Rural water is increasing their rates to $2.14/1000 gallons of water.

Olson moved to have new benefitted employee’s health insurance start the first day after the first full month of employment and amend the Employee Handbook with this wording, second by Swenson and carried.

Clerk reported on the Health insurance quotes for single person health insurance.  The MN Public Insuarnce Program quote was $436.62/month for a $2500 deductible plan, Clerk also received quotes from Sjostrand Agency for a Blue Cross blue Shield $2500 deductible plan or $242/month and a $1500 deductible plan would cost $254.50/month.  Olson moved to accept the $1500 Blue Cross Blue Shield plan costing $254.50/month and that the city would pay the $254.50 for a single person coverage, second by Swenson and carried.

Council discussed purchasing a token of appreciation for the retiring Public Works Director, Tom Sebenaler.  Swenson moved to allow the purchase of a small gift not to exceed $50.00 for retiring employees, second by Olson and carried.

Clerk reported that the Kittson County Highway Department has raised their equipment rental rates for 2011 and will charge extra if the employee is receiving overtime.

Clerk reported that due to new IRS payroll deposit rules effective January 2011 all payroll deposits must be made electronically and with one account.  The Liquor Store and Golf Course deposits would need to be made with the City General Fund checking account and then reimbursed from the Liquor Store and Golf Course. 

Olson moved to allow clerk to pay council per diems for 2010, second by Swenson and carried.

Council discussed the proposal to increase the clerk’s hours to 30 per week and make the position benefitted at the pro rata fulltime portion per the employee handbook rules at the clerks 10 year employee status.   Olson moved to increase the clerk’s hours to 30 and allow benefits at the 10 year rate, effective for hours worked after January 1, 2011, second by Swenson and carried.

Clerk reported that Hanson Manufacturing has made the September loan payment and promised to pay the October 2010 payment prior to the end of 2010.  Council tabled this until the next meeting.

Rice reported that Minnesota Dept of Employment and Economic Developement has requested a full application for the Small Cities Grant and that the city must hold a public hearing to gather citizen input.  The total grant amount is $579,000.00 with a city match.  The city doesn’t have to expend the total amount.  Rice reported that we need a conceptual drawing for the Application and for the Hearing.  Olson moved to set the hearing for January 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM and Allow Rice to contract with an architect for the conceptual drawing, second by Swenson and carried. 

Council reviewed the November City and Liquor Store financial information, Liquor Store Daily sales and Gambling Monthly receipts.  Council again discussed that the liquor store cost of goods for resale is out of balance with sales. 

Jen Rice requested to be allowed to purchase a laptop computer for the Liquor Store for Ordering, scheduling, Inventory and advertising needs.  Olson moved to allow the purchase of a laptop with the cost not to exceed $500.00, second by Swenson and carried.

Wikstrom Telecom requests an easement on the City Maintenance Shop property for fiber optic installation.  Swenson moved to grant the easement and allow the Mayor and Clerk to sign the document, second by Olson and carried.

Clerk reported that the Lancaster Economic Development checking account at Prime Security Bank is considered dormant, it has not been used in 10 years.  The account balance is $229.31 and the bank will start charging a monthly fee for this account.  Olson moved to transfer the funds to the city General fund, second by Swenson and carried.

The Kittson County Saddle Club has inquired if they can use the city property south of town on the east side of US Highway 59 for a riding arena.  The council discussed the issue and wil have the Public Works Director  review the issue.

Council Adjourned as there was no further council business.

Carol Johnson








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