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The Lancaster City Council met for its Regular Meeting on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Hall Meeting Room.  Members present were Mayor, Mike Olson, council members present Jim Hilman, Luke Nordin and Mary Barron.  John Stenquist was absent.

Barron moved to approve the council minutes of the June 11, 2014 regular meeting, seconded by Nordin 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.

George Zondagh & Tom Sebenaler met with the council to discuss water tower repairs.   Maguire Iron quoted a cost or $29,860.00 to clean and paint the exterior of the water tower.   Council discussed the cost and if this maintenance could be pushed back 1 more year due to the many sewer and lagoon repairs that need to be done.  Zondagh & Sebenaler thought that the painting could wait.  Council tabled the exterior cleaning and painting.

Maguire Iron also quoted the interior cleaning for the tower on an every other year basis would be $1650.00 every other year starting in 2014 through 2022.  Hilman moved to accept the interior cleaning contract and allow the Mayor and Clerk to execute the agreement, second by Barron and carried.

Zondagh & Sebenaler reported on the Lagoon outlet pipe that was plugged and the large amount of sediment and solids that have built up around the outlet pipe.  Zondagh reported that he had used a large compressor pump to blow out the material blocking the end of the pipe in the lagoon but that the sediment would need to be cleared from around the end of the pipe by dredging.   Sebenaler obtained a quote from Fergus Power Pump of $13,800.00 to dredge the area surrounding the lagoon outlet pipe.  The city would also need to hire a crane to lift the dredge in and out of the lagoon.  Nordin moved to accept the quote of $13,800.00 from Fergus Power Pump plus pay the cost of a crane, second by Hilman and carried.

Zondagh reported that the pumps at lift station #1 are not working properly and that Electric Pump has quoted a price of $4474.67 to fix the float and electric panel issues that cause the pumps not to pump in sequence as they should.  Hilman moved to accept the quote, second by Barron and carried.

Shawn Anderson, representing Kittson County Highway Department, and Betty Younggren, Kittson County Commissioner, met with the council to discuss snow removal within the city limits.  Anderson stated that due to complaints regarding snow removal on rural bus routes they propose that the Highway Department would station a Highway Department Snow plow truck at the Lancaster Highway Department shed and that if Lancaster provided the man, fuel and insurance for the truck the county would charge the city $80.00/hr for the truck use.  Currently the city is charged $99.00/hr. for the county blade to remove snow plus an additional amount if overtime is needed to plow the streets.  The council discussed that the city doesn’t have enough man power to remove snow using the county truck and that the truck blading could lead to an excess build up of snow and ice on city streets that would lead to blockage of roads.  The council tabled the matter at this time.

Council also discussed with Anderson the cost of street sealing.   Anderson said due to lack of man power they could not do the cleaning of the cracks prior to sealing.   The city would need to clean the cracks and time it with the County Highway Department so that the sealing is done shortly after.  Sebenaler is available to clean the cracks and coordinate with the county. 

Clerk received email from resident requesting gravel in alley east of Sion Lutheran church and on Hawaii Avenue on the east side of Leland Swenson’s.   Council discussed with Zondagh that there is need for gravel on various areas of town and the city park.  Hilman moved to have 4 loads of gravel stock piled in city limits for use where needed, second by Barron and carried.

Council discussed the need to repaint the curbs and handicapped curb areas and that there is a need to hire temporary help to complete the project.  Barron moved to allow 40-50 hours for this project and to pay the person hired $10.00/hour, second by Nordin and carried.

Clerk reported that mosquito spraying is authorized by state statute and the city may budget for spraying without additional approval but that the person spraying should be trained and licensed.  An ordinance would be needed to authorize specific fees to be charged to residents and business.   The council discussed the need for mosquito spraying and that there is an all school reunion next summer that might require additional spraying.

Gary Rice resigned as the city delegate to the Kittson County Affordable Housing Board.   Mayor appointed Mary Barron to replace Rice on the board.

Council discussed possibly renting out the land owned by the city in the Lancaster Addition to the City of Lancaster that lies south of the developed lots in the addition.  Olson will contact the owners of land that is contiguous to this small parcel to see if they would be interested.

Council discussed the need to clarify the cities versus landowner responsibilities when water and sewer line repairs are needed.  Nordin moved to require that landowners are responsible for water and sewer line repairs up to the riser for the connection but must coordinate repairs with city public works employee before doing repairs, second by Hilman and carried.

Clerk reported that there are 2 council (Barron and Stenquist) and the Mayor (Olson) position open for election this year.  The filing for these positions open on July 29, 2014 and closes at 5:00PM on August 12, 2014.

The council reviewed the July 2014 bills presented this night and any 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 2014 Rates, Fees & Appointments Schedule.  Hilman moved to approve the bills, second by Barron and carried.  An abstract of bills will be posted with the minutes and are available upon request to the clerk.

Council reviewed budgeting information as presented by the clerk including last year actuals and six month to date numbers.  They discussed the sewer and lagoon expenditures and future needs that exceed water expenditures and also discussed the city auditor’s reminder that the sewer expenditures have historically exceeded the sewer income and that the fees/income should be increased to meet the expenditures.  Clerk also reported that North Kittson Rural Water is increasing the amount they charge for water by 5% on August 1, 2014 due to the decrease in water sales since the dairy west of Lancaster closed.  Council directed the clerk to make some changes to the proposed numbers and they will discuss the issue at the next meeting.

Council reviewed the June 2014 City and Liquor Store financial information; daily sales averages for the liquor store.

Barron moved to transfer $21075.00 from the general fund to the debt service fund for the community center loan payment, second by Nordin and carried.

All school reunion committee has requested to use the area just north of Podco next summer during the reunion for mud volleyball.  Hilman moved to all the use of the property for mud volleyball in 2015, second by Nordin and carried.

Olson reported that Jesse Peterson has expressed interest in purchasing a lot in the Lancaster Addition to Lancaster.   Olson will work with Peterson to insure that he understands that stick frame homes only are allowed and the property must be used to move in or build a home within a specified amount of time.

Council discussed the late payment of Hanson Manufacturing loans.   Mark Hanson, CEO, has requested that he be allowed to pay interest only until January 2015 on both of the Hanson Manufacturing loans.   Barron moved to allow interest only payments until January 2015 on the 2 Hanson Manufacturing loans, second by Nordin and carried.

Clerk reported that MN Department of health drinking water test results for the City are good.

Emerson Light & Sound quoted the cost of a hanging projector and screen to be $7680.00 and the cost of outside speakers to be $4657.00.   The council tabled these items to see if the public is interested in raising money for the projects.


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


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