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City of Fifty Lakes Council

Web posted February 4, 2014
(Editor’s Note: The following article was written from the unapproved minutes of the regular monthly meeting of the Fifty Lakes City Council held Tuesday, January 14, 2014 as provided by the city clerk.)

Council approved the following Mayoral appointments for 2014: Greg Buchite, Acting Mayor; Northland Press, Official Newspaper; Thomas Pearson, City Attorney (through the February Council Meeting); Richard Schiller, Emergency Services Manager (or Emergency Management); Jay Weinmann, Planning and Zoning; Greg Buchite, Parks and Public Safety (Fire and Rescue); Jodie Schrupp, Liquor Store; Les Degner, Roads, Maintenance and Weed Inspector; Mayor Hersey, Purchasing, Personnel; Liquor Advisory Committee: Jodie Schrupp, Les Degner, Toni Buchite, Robin Benzor and Ann Raph; Fire & Rescue Review: Keith Fitzpatrick, Jesse Anderson, Ed Shetka, Roger Brooks, Greg Buchite (Liaison) Karen Stern (Recording); Personnel Committee: Roger Brooks, Les Degner, Jodie Schrupp; Official Depositories are BlackRidge Bank, Frandsen Bank, Lakes State Bank, Pine River State Bank.

Council member Jay Weinmann commented to recommend changes for zoning permit fees in February after P & Z Commission approval.

Council approved the following updates for office fees, community and pavilion rentals and mileage reimbursements: Photocopies $.15; Fax transmission $2 first page, $1 for each additional; Fax receive 50¢ per page; Copy of audio tape $5; Copy of ordinance $15; Copy of comp plan $10; Fully refundable damage deposit for use of Community Center for meetings and banquets $100; Fully refundable deposit for reserved events of the pavilion $50.

Following a lengthy discussion concerning the removal of health and dental benefits as part of a disciplinary action, including a conference call with City attorney Tom Pearson, council approved a motion by 3-2 vote to reinstate the health and dental benefits for Jake Stern. Voting yes were council members Buchite, Degner, and Weinmann, voting no were Mayor Hersey and council member Schrupp.

Pearson had recommended that council immediately reinstate Stern’s health and dental benefits for an uninterrupted six month period going forward in 2014 and then review his hours worked again at mid-year in order to determine whether the health and dental benefits should continue in 2014. More discussion followed regarding disciplinary action taken; lead bartender to part time bartender, any further disciplinary action and the correction of the employee handbook benefits.

Council then unanimously approved a motion stating health and dental benefits will no longer be available for part time bartenders effective June 30, 2014.

Fire & Rescue
Dick Schiller reported there were 2 medical calls and no fire calls in the past month. He then reviewed the mass notification system for the warning system that is being reviewed by Crow Wing County. No action was taken.

Council unanimously a accepted a donation from the Fifty Lakes Fire Relief Association in the amount of $35,000; $27,000 for truck payments and $8,000 for the Fire Relief Pension Plan.

Liquor manager Toni Buchite informed the council the 50 Lakes Municipal Bar took first place for the collection of food during the MMBA sponsored food shelf program. Miller, Coors Brewing Company will donate $1000 to the Emily Food Shelf.

Buchite also reviewed with council the proposed patio addition and council then requested three bids for architects.

Council member Degner reviewed with the Council the County’s cost shares agreement for the reconstruction of the County Road 3 project. The estimated construction cost share for the City of Fifty Lakes would be $70,210.26 and the County is suggesting a transfer of R/W Plat Parcel #91 to the City for $23,485.54. Council discussed no agreement was made on the land transfer and the value/cost of the land (corner lot). Degner said he would contact Crow Wing County and bring information for the February meeting.

Planning and Zoning
Council member Weinmann requested Council to consider the ordinance amendments at another time due to the length of this meeting. Les Degner commented the possibility to continue the discussions at a joint special meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mayor Hersey stated the need to set up a special meeting to consult with the League Attorney regarding the legal action with the Hebert case.

Council unanimously approved a special meeting for Jan. 28 with League of MN Cities attorney Paul Reuvers concerning the Hebert case; a portion of the meeting would be closed, then reopened to continue with a joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning commission to review ordinance changes.

Council approved councilmember Degner to work with Crow Wing County to update the zoning map with costs not to exceed $400 and to have Ann Raph work three consecutive days for 8 hours with costs to include mileage.

In other council action:
• Resident Julie Engle requested Council to consider saving the corner building as a historical building. Council agreed to have the committee review all possibilities and revisit this issue at the February council meeting. Les Degner will contact the County to find out the schedule and timeline for removal of the building.

• Rescheduled the regular monthly meeting in March to Mar. 11 due to scheduling conflicts. The meeting will be at 7 pm.

• Mayor Hersey presented a proposal he received from Tom’s TV to install audio/visual equipment within the council chambers. Mayor Hersey requested Council to review and to resume discussion at the February council meeting. Council member Schrupp stated that the city needs to create some policies if they move forward with the equipment, including: pros/cons, procedures, protocols, archival on internet, broadcasting, council and staff training. Discussion followed regarding policy, as well as allowing councilmembers to remotely attend council meetings via Skype, a commonly used video conferencing application. Hersey commented Degner will be absent in March and April and Hersey will be gone in April.

The next regular meeting of the Fifty Lakes City Council will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, February 11 at city hall.

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