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Fifty Lakes Council highlights

Web posted March 14, 2017
(Editor’s note: The following article was written from the unapproved minutes of the regular monthly meeting of the Fifty Lakes City Council, held on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.)

Council heard from Darrin Ogdahl from CDS, City Auditor, who presented the 2016 audit for the council at their regular monthly meeting, held February 21. Ogdahl explained the expense of the building loan and the responsibility of the bar’s portion of this loan being paid back to the general fund.

City Attorney, Ginny Knudson, League of Minnesota Cities and Mr. Ogdahl have consulted with the State of Minnesota’s Auditor's office for some guidance. The general consensus and  interpretation of Minn. Stat. 426.20 regarding capital improvements is that if capital improvements are amortized, then the public hearing requirement does not apply.

However, if the council is going to use general funds to pay for capital improvements for the municipal liquor operations, then there must be a public hearing on the issue. The hearing would have to be specifically noticed, public comment be taken, and then council action would determine the issue. The hearing could occur at a regularly scheduled Council meeting, but the issue needs to be specially noticed to the public.

Council reviewed with Ogdahl the process of conducting quarterly inventories at the bar, rather than the year-end on January 1. Based on results of variances through the quarterly counts Council will make a decision in December whether to conduct a full inventory on January 1.

Council also discussed options of holding a public hearing or setting up a payment plan for the bar to pay the general fund. Council agreed on conducting a survey to all tax payers and set up a public hearing in the summer months when more residents are available to attend.

Public Safety
There were two medical calls reported for the month of February.

The 3,000 Gallon tanker/tender truck (pictured left) was delivered March 2nd and delivered and council requested the truck to be in the annual Crosslake St. Patrick’s Day Parade, if possible.

Council member Jodie Schrupp informed the council about the request for Fire & Rescue members to attend the Long Hot Summer Conference. At this time four Fire & Rescue members have requested to attend but there may be a couple more considering. A motion approved up to six Fire & Rescue members to attend the conference with lodging, mileage and the conference costs to be covered.

Liquor Store
Council reviewed Liquor Manager Job description. Council discussed in detail the responsibility of a liaison being a direct supervisor to a department. Council agreed this position will report to council and council liaison.

Personnel
Council unanimously approved a COLA increase of 1.5 percent for all employees based on the 2016 CPI of 1.8 percent effective February 15, 2017.

Council reviewed the recommendations on the proposed employee handbook from City Attorney Ginny Knudson. Mayor Anick stated he would like to see the benefits adjusted and vacation pay and accrual for sick time reviewed prior to accepting it. Council also unanimously rescinded the employee discount program for the Municipal Liquor store.

No action was taken regarding a possible FLASA law change scheduled for December 1, 2016. City Clerk Karen Stern’s wages were increased by 3 hours to 33 hours per week to be in compliance with the law. However the law did not get enacted.

Mayor Anick informed council that the City requires a recognition policy to allow for any recognition of retirement, or holiday party.

In other council action:
• Passed a resolution authorizing the city to accept funds from Initiative Foundation. The city is the fiscal unit for The Go North project: and agrees to accept funding for the underlying project. The resolution allows the city to accept the grant monies of $2,895.80 from the Initiative Foundation for the Go North, The Landing project.

• Unanimously approved council member Schrupp’s request to consider joining with the City of Emily in the annual city-wide Clean Up Day.

• Appointed Ann Raph (Chair), Deb Shetka, Teri Potz, Diana Weinmann, Cheryl Drexler, Ronda Veit and the bar manager to the 50 Lakes Day committee for 2017.

• Council member Jay Weinmann read a memo from the League of MN Cities regarding the changing of meeting dates, and thanked the council members for changing the February meeting to accommodate his schedule. Anick said he felt it is more productive if all five members can be at a meeting, adding that he can schedule a special meeting if necessary, or two council members can call for a special council meeting.

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