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The Lancaster City Council met virtually for its Regular Meeting on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 7:00 P.M. in the City Hall Meeting Room.  The following persons were present: Mayor Mike Olson; Council members Jim Hilman, Kathy Bernstrom and Faye Potrament and Luke Nordin.  Also, present Anna Jauhola with the Kittson County Enterprise.

Bernstrom moved to approve the May 13, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes, second by Potrament 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 June 2020 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 2020 Rates Fees & Appointments Schedule.  Hilman 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.

Nordin reported that the company painting the water tower will mark out the logo on the tower prior to printing for the council to see and approve.

Fire Chief, Faken requests that the council approve hiring Darick Sjostrand as a Volunteer Fireman.  Background check has been completed.  Potrament moved to hire Darick Sjostrand, second by Bernstrom and carried.

Mayor has set Liquor Store inventory for Sunday, June 28th at 12:30PM.

Clerk reported that the State Demographer’s population and household estimates as of April 1, 2019 are population 338 and households 168.  This trend has been slight increases in population and households 2017 through 2019.

At 7:15PM the Mayor started the Hearing for the closeout of the Small Cities Grant from the State of Minnesota.  Others present were John Wynne and Diane Hayes, with Wynne Consulting.  The only other member of the public in attendance was Anna Jauhola with the Kittson County Enterprise.   John and Diane reported on the final use of funds and amounts not used at the close out of the grant.  As there were no other comments the Mayor closed the hearing.

Council discussed closing the Community Center Savings account and transferring the balance to the Community Center Debt Service fund to use along with other funds in August for the 2020 Community Center USDA loan payment of $19,435.00.  Bernstrom moved to transfer $1,779.86 and close the Community Center Savings Account, second by Potrament and carried.  Nordin moved to transfer $17,700.00 from the General Fund to the Community Center Debt Service fund for the August 2020 payment to USDA, second by Hilman and carried.

At this time George Zondagh, Public Works director met with the council. He and Mayor, Olson reported that they have been unable to obtain additional quotes at this time for the lagoon structure work.  The gates have been ordered from Core & Main at an estimated to cost $4,200.00.  Council discussed that with the excess water in the area they will continue to work on obtaining another quote but delay the project until 2021.

Council discussed with Zondagh the quote from MP  Carpentry for the concrete apron that would run the length of the east side of the maintenance shop, loader and street sweeper bays.  Council tabled until 2021 and asked that clerk add this to the budget.

Zondagh reports that Manitoba street needs gravel and Washington Street needs 2 culverts replaced and gravel.  Nordin moved to allow Zondagh to purchase the culverts and gravel, second by Potrament and carried.

Council discussed drainage issues on the southeast end of town by Podco and the Lift Station #4.  Olson and Nordin will work with the county and Two River Washington to facilitate additional drainage.  Zondagh reported that many man hours and water pump hours were spent pumping excess water from that area.

Olson reported that Ken Hunter would like to have water extended to his property along County Road 6 on the west side of Lancaster where he is building a shop with small seasonal living quarters.  Council discussed that the current city water assessment is at $4,500.00 with that amount subject to change if council so wishes.  This doesn’t include the mandatory 2 water assessments from North Kittson Rural Water.  Potrament moved to allow water to be extended to Ken Hunter at his cost and the amount Hunter pays the contractor for the extension portion only would be used to reduce the city assessment only, with any remaining portion if any of the $4,500.00 city assessment to be assessed along with the required North Kittson Rural Water Assessments and that Hunter must sign an assessment agreement prior to work commencement, second by Hilman and carried.

Zondagh reported that the Lagoon road washed out due to excess rain and that the road needs to be built up and graveled.  The Golf course has sustained considerable damage to greens; walking bridge and other items.  Clerk will work with Kittson County Emergency manager, Scott Olson on filing a claim with the state for flood damages.

Nordin and Hilman presented the opening plans for Liquor On-Sale and limited inside seating and also requested to allow the Community Center Patio area to be used for food and on-sale liquor consumption.  Nordin presented the Liquor Store COVID-19 Preparedness Plan required by the State of  Minnesota for council review.  Nordin moved to adopt the  Liquor Store COVID-19 Preparedness Plan with the addition that bartenders/servers are required to wear masks, second by Bernstrom and carried.   Council discussed that the City liquor ordinance section 112.05 bars alcohol consumption in public places and due to the COVID restrictions sales at the Liquor Store have decreased significantly.  Nordin moved to Adopt Resolution 2020-03 Suspending Section 112.05 of the City of Lancaster Municipal Code, second by Hilman and carried.

Council discussed the 2021 City Budget and directed clerk to add proposed costs for lagoon control structure, shop slab, road gravel and step increase for employees.

Council also reviewed the May 2020 City and Liquor Store financial information.

Hilman requested the donation of the used auto fry that the city has previously tried to sell, to the Lancaster Golf Course.  Bernstrom moved to make the donation of the auto fry, second by Potrament and carried.

Brad Rice requests that the city allow Ottertail Power to extend electric service to the property he purchased on the west side of Central Avenue at the very North end of Central.  Hilman moved to allow the electric extension and allow the Mayor and Clerk to execute any documents needed for the extension with land owner to pay any associated costs, second by Nordin and carried.

Council discussed the Federal Sick Leave requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Act that extend to December 31, 2020.

Council reviewed the State required City COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for the Community Center; City Hall and Office; City Shop; Highway 59 Park/Campground and other Public spaces.  Potrament moved to accept the plan as presented, second by Bernstrom and carried.

As there was no further business the council adjourned.

Carol Johnson, Clerk/Treasurer                 Approved:  Mike Olson, Mayor  
Approval Date: July 14,2020



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


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