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Fifty Lakes City Council Feb. 9 Highlights

Web posted February 23, 2021
(Editor’s note: The following article was written from the unapproved minutes of the February 9, 2021 regular meeting of the Fifty Lakes City Council as provided by the City Clerk.)

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Fifty Lakes City Council was held on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at Fifty Lakes City Hall. The following officers were present: Steve Dahlke, Mayor; Jodie Schrupp, Toni Buchite, Mark Bradley, and Gary Staples, Council members; Karen Stern, City Clerk; Ann Raph, Deputy Clerk; Andy Hemphill, Fire Chief; Diana Johnson, Bar Manager; and Chad Wosmek, Maintenance Supervisor.

Consent Agenda
The Council reviewed and approved the consent agenda that included Council meeting minutes for January 12 and January 19 Treasurers Report; Payment of bills in the amount of $85,707.92 including check #42774 through #42840; Fire & Rescue Minutes; and the renewal of one CD maturing the end of February from the roads account in the amount of $45,116.43.

Planning & Zoning
The Planning Commission did not meet in January and will be holding a workshop meeting on February 23rd after their regular meeting. The new Mn DNR Hydrologist, Danielle McNeil, will be attending the February 23rd meeting.

The Wetland Conservation Act billed $2,000 for services in 2020 and have itemized a breakdown of the exact services the City received and will reduce the 2021 invoice to $1,000. Council approved contracting with Crow Wing County for Wetland Services for 2021 in the amount of $1,000.

Council discussed a property located 41947 Shamrock Lane; Mayor Dahlke visited the property, and said the owner will begin work on cleaning up the yard.

Council discussed Crow Wing County’s corner lot at the intersection of County Roads 1 and 3 regarding setbacks and using that as a possible post office box cover.

Parks and Public Safety
Council member Toni Buchite presented three new playground equipment pieces to council for approval. Council approved up to $5,000 for playground expansion and affirmed that additional edging and manufactured wood chips will be needed, as well as a decision on the placement of the new equipment. This will be discussed again in the spring.

Buchite presented information on work being done by herself, Mayor Dahlke, Ann Raph with the Over the Hills Gang ATV Club and Crow Wing County to create Grant In Aid trails connecting Fifty Lakes to the Emily/Outing ATV trails. The ATV club is sponsoring an ATV training class on May 1, 2021 at the Fifty Lakes Community Center. Mayor Dahlke informed council of the importance of all the parking we have available in the city for ATV riders to be able to park their truck and trailers here while riding.

Discussion was held on ATV “Go Slow” signs, and Buchite may purchase signs as allowed by the purchasing policy.

Buchite explained to council an incentive for membership for the Over The Hills Club. Anyone signing up for membership through the bar will receive a complimentary pizza. The Fire Relief Association will be discussing a donation toward this incentive program at their monthly meeting.

Dick Schiller, Emergency Management Director, presented a report on the repair needs at the Fifty Lakes Foundation building for modifications if the structure will still be listed as a storm shelter. Council recommended removing the foundation building in the Emergency Management Plan as a storm shelter location, leaving the fire hall/community center as the dedicated storm shelter.

Road Construction and Maintenance

Council member Mark Bradley reported to council of the need for a backup plow driver with a CDL license. Council voted 4-0 in favor of Bradley as back up plow driver (Bradley abstained). If Mr. Bradley is used as an emergency backup snowplow driver, he will turn in his hours and council will decide the rate of pay. Council advised an ad to be placed in the paper for a permanent part time position to include the requirement of the applicant must have a CDL.

Liquor Store
Liquor Manager Diana Johnson reviewed the bar hours, staffing and the profit and loss report with council. She explained her inventory is up due to “big buy” purchases and the new transfer station.

Johnson informed council that she has discovered items in the off sale that have apparently lost their UPC codes. She has contacted Phil Lambert at Transform to research what is happening with this along with inventory count issues. Council discussed putting a new POS system in the off-sale store that is for retail services, not hospitality or, discontinuing support with them at $100 a month. Council will revisit this matter at the March council meeting.

Council approved Johnson’s request for a phone stipend for Kim Tuchek, Lead Bartender, at $35 per month. Council accepted the resignation bartender Michelle Bohlke.

Mayor’s Report

Discussion was held on Fifty Lakes Day Celebration scheduled for June 26th, 2021 and Governor Walz’s Executive Order. Ann Raph, Committee Chair, stated her concerns with the executive order and enforcement and Council acknowledged this event may not be able to take place and advises the committee to continue with planning the event and council will revisit this in March. Council member Schrupp asked the Fire Department to hold a prize raffle if the event is cancelled.

Mayor Dahlke would like to proceed slowly on the postal box cover project. Rob Hall, Crow Wing County Engineer, has confirmed that the County is willing to work with the City regarding the possibility of the City obtaining the corner lot at the intersection of County Roads 1 and 3 adjacent to Howard’s Barn. Mayor Dahlke appointed Schrupp to oversee the postal box project and to bring back a proposal and cost on a structure.

Council approved a donation to the Emily Food Shelf.

Purchasing, Personnel

Buchite requested information on the Planning Commission liaison(s) receiving a Planning and Zoning (P&Z ) meeting stipend of $40, but no other liaisons receive a stipend for meetings held in their departments.

Ms. Schrupp stated the P&Z liaison is required to attend these meetings, and this has been in place for several years. Clerk Stern will contact the city attorney regarding council pay laws and the council will revisit this again at a future meeting.

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