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Crosslake Council: No action on Respectful Workplace Complaint

Web posted April 20, 2021
By Paul Boblett, Editor

The Crosslake City Council took no disciplinary action after considering a Respectful Workplace Complaint at their regular monthly meeting held Monday, April 12th.

In a memo to council, City Attorney Brad Person stated that the Respectful Workplace Policy will be distributed to and reviewed by all employees, including department heads and administration, as well as all members of the city council, city boards, and city commissions.

Council met in closed session a few times and contracted a Duluth labor attorney to investigate the complaint in March. A motion was passed 3-0 to accept no further action be taken. Council member Marcia Seibert-Volz and Mayor David Nevin abstained from the vote.

A citizen complaint against an employee was also discussed, no other information was available at press time but a data request has been placed with the City by Northland Press.

Persons memo addressed the complaint and stated that council had considered the complaint and disciplinary action was taken. City Administrator Mike Lyonais stated that the employee was  disciplined and the complaint was placed in the individual’s employee file.

Covid-19 Exposure
Citizen Jerome Volz spoke during the second public forum session and stated that he and others present at a recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting were exposed to someone who had tested positive for Covid-19.

He inquired why he was not notified by anyone.

City Clerk Char Nelson stated that the individual that tested positive contacted the Minnesota Department of Health and that the DOH is the responsible authority for contact tracing.

Seibert-Volz said the city should have assumed responsibility for notifying those present at the meeting.

Cemetery Cleanup
The Council received a letter signed by 21 residents concerned about the state of the Pinewood Cemetery.

City officials and Public Works Director Ted Strand stated that they are embarrassed by the weed growth and the inability to stay on top of maintenance, due to the amount of time it takes to properly mow and trim the cemetery. Also discussed was a problem concerning people not following the rules regarding the removal of personal items from some of the plots.

Council and City staff all agreed that more time is needed to maintain the cemetery and the council approved up to $15,000 to hire a part time seasonal maintenance worker to split time between the cemetery and city’s walking trails.

Residents are requested to remove personal items from the cemetery by Friday, May 7, as the annual clean-up is scheduled for the week of May 10.

Commercial Rental/Storage Building Moratorium
Council approved a motion to reinstate a moratorium on commercial storage units (pole barns) in the RR5 residential district. Resident Clay Porter requested the action during the first public forum session.

Council sent the item to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further discussion and Nevin requested that Porter participate in that conversation.

G.O. Bond Sale Approved
Council approved the issuance of $865,000 in General obligation bonds for the purchase of the new fire truck. The bonds are payable over seven years with a net effective interest rate of 0.08743 percent.

The bond’s AA rating and interest rate allows the City to not have to use all the money generated by the Crosslake Fire Department wildland fire team that traveled to Oregon last summer to make up the difference in the cost of the truck. The bonds will generate $46,669, nearly enough to cover the funding gap reducing the cost to the city.

Public Safety
Council approved the 3-year Law Enforcement Service contract with Mission Township. Terms of the contract are $62,870 for year one (2021-22) with a 3 percent increase for the next two years ($64,756.10 for 2022-23, and $66,698.79 for 2023-24).

Crosslake Police reported 192 calls in Crosslake in March, including 65 traffic warnings, 37 EMS, and 17 alarms. Mission Township had 67 calls in March, including 67 traffic stops and 8 agency assists.

Council approved two .223 Ruger guns be declared as surplus and sold at Bill’s Gun Shop.

Crosslake Fire reported 36 calls in March including 26 EMS, and one wildland/grass fire.

North Ambulance reported 72 callouts for March.

Fire Hall Remodel
Crosslake Fire chief Chip Lohmiller told council that he hopes the department could be fully operational by the end of April, but noted here are still quite a few items to complete.

Council approved the purchase of ten office chairs in the amount of $3731.80.

By a 3-2 vote (voting no were council members John Andrews and Dave Schrupp) council allocated $20,000 for audio visual equipment for fire department training. Lohmiller had asked for the total amount of $33,083.60. Lohmiller stated that the original amount asked for was $49,000.

Council approved several change orders for the fire hall, and a pay request from HyTec Construction for the project.

Community Center
Council approved the purchase of two HVAC units for the Community Center from Thelen Heating and Cooling in the amount of $15,400. The cost includes disposal of the old units.

Council approved adding language to the Community Center policy that states parking is allowed only for those using the center or park, and approved installation of a natural gas line to the maintenance shop and garden garage in the amount of $10,580.

Public Works
Council approved a construction cost share agreement with Crow Wing County for bituminous seal coat of Daggett Bay Road and Perkins Road with an estimate at $19,160.

Council accepted a proposal from engineering firm Bolton & Menk to design wastewater treatment facility improvements (notably, the clarifier rehabilitation and lift station controls) with the total amount not to exceed $39,350.

In other council action:

• Approved the relocation of a city right-of-way for residents Neal Bailey and Elaine Bailey and Joe Ruttger on Whitefish Avenue;

• Approved the purchase of six wired microphone for council chambers in the amount of $2541 from Stewart Sound Systems;

• Heard from resident Brenda Britten concerning her displeasure regarding her experience in procuring a permit from Planning and Zoning;

• Accepted two Park Dedication fees, cash in lieu of land in the amount of $1,500 for the Schnitker Subdivision, and $3,000 for the Gallaway Subdivision;

• Accepted two donations, one for $50, was anonymous and for upgrading the Community Center signage at the intersection of CR 66 and Daggett Pine Road, the second was from resident Bob Heales of six framed pictures for the walls in City Hall;

• Approved a $100 donation to Pine River Backus High School seniors;

• Scheduled a 6:00 p.m. meeting on May 10 to review 2020 financials.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Crosslake City Council will be held Monday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m at City Hall.

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