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The Lancaster City Council met for its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Meeting Room.  Members present were Mayor, Michael Olson; council members John Stenquist, Jim Hilman and Luke Nordin.   Mary Barron was absent.


Nordin moved to approve the council minutes of the December 11, 2013 regular meeting, seconded by Hilman 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 Final December 2013 bills paid December 31, 2013 and the  January 2014 bills presented this night.  Stenquist moved to approve the bills, second by Nordin and carried.  An abstract of bills will be posted with the minutes and are available upon request to the clerk.


Council reviewed the 2013 Rates and Fees Schedule.   Clerk reported that North Kittson Rural Water will be increasing their water rate 3% effective January 1, 2014.  


At this time the city attorney, George Hanson; Fire Chief, Terry Kukowski; Mark Wilwant, Assistant Fire Chief and Mike Faken, Assistant Fire Chief visited with the Council regarding fire department issues.  A review of issues regarding fire department equipment was conducted by the Council and those in attendance.  The Council, city attorney, and fire department members then discussed organizational structure of the department and other fire fighting entities in the community.  The Fire chief asked the council to visit with Nyle Zhikman, head of the MN Nonprofit Fire Department Association regarding nonprofit fire departments regarding organization.  The council then entered into a conference call with Mr. Zhikman.  A discussion of organization was again undertaken given the new information provided by Mr. Zhikman.  The Fire Department Chief also reported that they wished to have township contract increase of 5% reduced to a 3% increase per year for the contract years of 2014-2016, to which the Council agreed.  The Council discussed that the city council must act as the governing agency as set out by state statute.   The Council felt it necessary gather input with respect to possibly contracting with a nonprofit for fire services.  Mayor asked the Clerk to gather information regarding the differences between a City Volunteer Fire Department and a Nonprofit Fire Department from the State Auditor and the League of Minnesota Cities for the Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chiefs.   Council directed Olson and Hilman to deliver the League of MN publications and Auditor Position papers to the Fire Chief and Assistants.


Nordin moved to set the 2014-2016 township fire contracts as a 3% increase per year on the total 2013 Contract amount.  The 2014 total contract amount will be $17,383.94. The individual contracts are calculated as follows: The total township base will remain at $3433.00, each of the 8 townships served 100% by the department will have a base amount of $400.00 with the exception of the partial township service contracts for Clow (base $133) and Hazelton (base $100) for a total base of $3433.00.  The remaining contract amount will be divided by each township’s most current estimated market value on a pro rata basis with the townships of Clow & Hazelton being based on the estimated market value of the sections covered by the Lancaster Fire Department, second by Stenquist and carried


Council went back to the discussion of  the 2014 Rates and Fees. Discussing small increases to the water and sewer rates, removing the nonresident community center rental rate tier, reviewed all other matters as set forth in the rate scheduled.  Stenquist moved set the 2014 Rates and Fees as set forth below, second by Hilman and carried.



Acting Mayor if Mayor absent, John Stenquist

Fire Chief     Terry Kukowski              250.00 yearly

Fire Relief Assoc. Annual Meeting 3rd Wednesday of each March 8:00 PM at the Lancaster Fire Hall

Responsibility areas:  City buildings – Luke Nordin

                       City Services, City Employees & Equip –Jim Hilman

                       City Infrastructure-John Stenquist

                                       Liquor Store – Mary Barron       

                                       Park/Recreation – Michael Olson

Board Appointments: Lancaster EDA-Michael Olson & John Stenquist

                                       Kittson Co.  Economic Development-      

                                       Kittson Co. Affordable Housing-Mary Barron

Council PerDiems   (this includes committees and other classes/meetings attended)

                Mayor – $70 per mtg.

                Council – $50 per mtg.

                Mileage – current IRS mileage rate

Official Newspaper:  Kittson County Enterprise

Official Depositories:  United Valley Bank, Prime Security Bank & American Federal Bank


BUILDING RENTAL RATES:  See rental rates sheet  

Camping fees:      Daily-Non electric       10.00 Electric      15.00   

                                Weekly-Non electric    50.00               Electric     80.00

                                Monthly-Non electric 140.00              Electric   210.00

Permits:Peddlers daily                                  50.00

                Beer        3.2 daily                          50.00

                Restaurant 3.2 Beer & Wine On-Sale Annual       200.00-effective licenses starting 1/1/2014

                Off sale  3.2 Annual                                                     200.00–effective licenses starting 1/1/2014

                Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor-set by statute      240.00-restricted to 1 licensee in the city limits

On Sale Intoxicating Liquor                             1760.00-restricted to 1 licensee in the city limits               


Clerk has approval effective each January 1 with the passing of the rates & fees schedule to pay any bills necessary to avoid late payments, receive discounts &  meet payroll and all payroll expenses.


Clean Recycling Bin $40/month & $7.25/hr for downtown garbage can cleaning-increased 7/1/10

Equipment rates:  Payloader $150/hr.; John Deere Tractor & Rotary Mower $125/hr & Ford Mower $125/hr.-Min. 1 hr.


Insurance issues: The city does NOT waive the monetary limits on municipal tort liability established by MN Statute 466.04.


Effective 1/1/14 Water Rates:  Minimum 6000 gallons and less $46.00/quarter and  $6.10/each 1000 gallons above minimum.

Effective 1/1/14 Sewer Rates:  Min 6000 gal. & less $46.00 and $3.80/each 1000 gallon of water used between 7000-50,000 gal.; $3.50/each 1000 gallons of water used between 51,000-100,000 gallons; $3.00/each 1000 gallons of water used starting at 101,000 gallons.

INDUSTRIAL PARK SPECIAL SEWER RATE (if water usage exceeds 30k) sewer rate is $6.10/1000 on all usage above 30k

Bulk Water rates $8.25/1000 Gallon-minimum of 2000 Gal/$16.50  --  Water Hookup/New account fee $35.

Insufficient Funds Check charges are $30.00/check and will be added to the customer’s water/sewer account

Interest rate on overdue accounts 10% per annum.

Special Assessments: eff. 1/1/10: New Water Hookups $4,000.00, 20 yr. assessment with 5% interest per year &

Effective 1/1/10 new Sewer Hookups $4,000.00, 20 yr. assessment with 5% interest per year. All Extensions will be reviewed by the council , and may at the councils discretion be charged higher Water & Sewer hookup fees.

NOTE:  North Kittson Rural Water Special Assessments as applied to other city hookups also apply.


Clerk asked the council for clarification on the new payroll step system on the following items how to count years of service for placement of employee on the step system and how to handle employees that have not worked for the city on a continuous basis either part time or full time basis; and raise for summer flower maintenance person who is paid an annual fee for her work.  Hilman moved to count employees full years worked as of each January 1 and each full year be equal to  1 step; also that  the employee must have worked in the last 6 months of  the year prior to January 1 in order to receive a

step and that the raise for the flower maintenance person be 3 % of the annual amount paid in 2013, second by Nordin and carried. 


Council reviewed the December 2013 City and Liquor Store financial information, annual daily sales averages for the liquor store and gambling monthly summary.


Hilman reported that he has visited with the Amundson-Diamond families regarding their wedding reception in June 2014.  They would like to have a tent on Central Avenue because of the large size of the reception and for weather reasons.  Hilman also visited with the Kittson County Highway Department regarding the placement of the tent.  Hilman and the

persons renting the community center will work with the Highway Department regarding requirements that need to be met in order for the tent to be placed on Central Avenue.


Stenquist reported that he is working with Kittson County Extension regarding setting up a commercial food processing community education class with the hopes that the community center could be used by individuals or businesses to produce food products for commercial sale.


Hilman and Olson are working to see if they can get the city shop spray foamed and what the cost of that would be.   The heating costs are extremely high this winter and this should save the city a considerable amount of money.



Carol Johnson, Clerk/Treasurer


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