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Fifty Lakes City Council

Web posted January 23, 2024
(Editor’s note: The following article was written from the draft minutes of the regular monthly meeting of the Fifty Lakes City Council held January 10, 2023.)  

The Fifty Lakes City Council held their first regular meeting of 2023 on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. The following officers were present: Mayor Steve Dahlke; Council members Mark Bradley, Toni Buchite (via phone), Gary Staples and Jill Radman; City Clerk Karen Stern; Deputy Clerk Ann Raph; Planning and Zoning Administrator (P&Z) Justin Burslie; Maintenance Supervisor Chad Wosmek; Liquor Manager Diana Johnson; and Medical Fire Chief Keith Fitzpatrick.

Three council members, re-elected incumbents Mayor Steve Dahlke, and Mark Bradley, and newly elected Jill Radman, took their seats after taking the oath of office.

Consent Agenda
Council reviewed and approved the Consent Agenda that included: Council Meeting Minutes for Regular Meeting December 13th, Treasurer’s Report: Payment of bills in the amount of $120,684.15 including Checks #4917 through #45008; Fire and Rescue minutes.

New Business
The Council reviewed and approved by a 3-1 vote (no, Radman) a motion to allow council and P&Z commission members to vote at one meeting per year, remotely via interactive technology.

2023 Organizational Appointments

The following are the 2023 Mayoral appointments: Acting Mayor - Toni Buchite; Official Newspaper - Northland Press; Emergency Management - TBD; City Attorney - Ratwik, Roswak & Maloney; City Engineer - Bolton & Menk; Finance-Depositories - First Western Bank, Frandsen Bank, First National Bank, and Pine River State Bank.

Committee Assignments: Roads, Maintenance & Weed Inspector - Mark Bradley; Public Safety (Fire & Rescue) - Jill Radman; Parks - Toni Buchite; Liquor Store - Gary Staples; Purchasing & Personnel - Mayor Steve Dahlke; Planning & Zoning - Mayor Steve Dahlke and Toni Buchite; Signatories - Mayor, Acting Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer; Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) Clerk and Deputy Clerk. Commission Appointments are as follows: Planning & Zoning - Bob Stancer, Don Reierson, Bruce Bissonnette, (terms end December 2023), Mike Milbrath and Fred Strohmeier (terms end December 2025); Fire & Rescue Executive Review Board - Keith Fitzpatric, Ed Shetka IV, Jesse Anderson, Ken Hersey; Toni Buchite (Liaison); and Karen Stern (as recorder, not a voting member); Forestry Committee - Les Degner, Mark Johnson, Mark Bradley, Mike Prouty, Fred Strohmeier and Tom Steffen; FLLP-Fifty Lakes Lake Improvement Committee: Bob Stancer, Fred Strohmeier, Ken Neihart, Mark Bradley, and Karen Stern; Fifty Lakes Day Committee - Ann Raph, Toni Buchite , Deb Shetka, Ronda Veit, Diana Johnson.

Planning and Zoning
Council approved a request from Planning Administrator Justin Burslie to approve the 2023 Planning and Zoning Fee Schedule. Council discussed raising the application fee for a variance, conditional use, interim use, and rezoning requests, to add a $100 lot line adjustment fee and, add a $750 fee for petition to vacate road/alley/public way. It was noted that the address assignment fee has gone up at the county level from $75 to $100. An additional change will be increasing the late filing fee from $500 to $1,000.

• Mr. Burslie informed council the fee for Greg Kossan to conduct septic inspections is increasing from $165 to $175. The city has a $250 fee for SSTS permit applications, which covers the inspection and staff time to process.

• The city has received a conditional use application for Verizon Towers to construct and operate a 199’ telecommunication tower located 41972 Kego Lake Road. This is the same request as the prior application on this property, and the permit was allowed to expire. A public hearing will be held on January 24th on this application and ordinance revisions.

There were 51 land use permits issued in 2022 and 17 SSTS.

Parks and Public Safety
Andy Hemphill, fire chief, has been elected to the Emily City Council and no longer able to attend Fifty Lakes council meetings. The fire and rescue department will create a second assistant chief position to assist with duties and attend council meetings. For the month of December there were 5 calls.

• The mayor and clerk will attend the February 8th fire relief meeting as required to review the audit.

Road Construction and Maintenance
The Council approved the purchase of a wood chipper at a price not to exceed $6,600 to use for storm cleanup. Council member Bradley explained all the trees that were damaged from storms will need to be cleaned up. Dahlke questioned the labor hours for this and hiring an independent contractor to do the cleanup. Maintenance Supervisor Chad Wosmek told council that he counted multiple trees on city roads that will need to be cleaned up, and would like to perform the work himself.

• Wosmek stated the county held a timber sale and logging would be taking place on Kego Lake Road by Edgewild Resort, and, council member Bradley requested information be placed on the city website regarding buckthorn in the city ditches.

Liquor Store
Liquor manager Diana Johnson presented the profit and loss statement for December 2022 showing a gross profit of 44 percent. Johnson said has been working on the cost of sales being so high and gross profit so low. Annual inventory for January 1st, 2023, went well, with one problem regarding the beer inventory. Potluck is back on the second Monday of the month

Mayor’s Report
Mayor Dahlke stated his concerns with holding an Outdoor Expo on June 3rd, 2023, with Fifty Lakes Day being so close on June 24th, 2023. The committee will meet to discuss canceling this event for  June 3rd and possibly rescheduling to fall.


Wosmek told council he has 7.75 hours of comp time he was not able to use due to the December snowstorms. And Johnson has 24 hours of unused vacation time from 2022. Council moved 4-0 to allow Wosmek to carry his hours over; and will pay out the 24 hours of unused vacation time to Johnson by a 3-1 vote (no, Dahlke)

• Council accepted Clerk-Treasurer Karen’s Stern’s letter of resignation and discussed the Clerk-Treasurer position, then scheduled a special meeting for January 18 to discuss job descriptions.

The Fifty Lake City Council meets in regular session on the second Tuesday of every month at 7 pm at City Hall.

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