Menahga’s council asked to resume live streaming

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Karen Candelaria has asked the board to resume the live broadcast via GoToMeeting. She said it would allow elderly residents to keep an eye on city affairs.

“Right now, in the middle of winter, it’s colder and these seniors don’t want to leave their homes,” Candelaria said, also noting that COVID-19 is still circulating. “It’s a good way for them to continue to get involved and to feel a connection with the community. “

Council members said they would put his request on the agenda for their next meeting.

In other public comments, Tim Ellingsen complained about the bustling liquor store sign the town bought to advertise sales and promote town events.

“To this day, to my knowledge, no sale has ever come across the screen,” he said. “The considerable taxpayer money spent on this sign must be used appropriately to justify the purchase. “

Ellingsen also questioned the “snow islands” and “deltas” left behind when city staff plow the streets. “Thorough snow removal makes travel safer and a more welcoming atmosphere in Menahga,” he said.

Finally, Ellingsen reported traffic safety issues at the intersection of 2nd St. NW and Cottonwood Ave., where the introduction of a stop sign “simply made drivers smile as they drove through it as d ‘habit”.

He called for an additional patrol of the area to enforce the sign, suggesting as an alternative “remove the sign and watch the chaos begin”.

A motion to pay Amanda Pachel and Tanya Edwards $ 1,044 each for serving as certain city administrator from June 21 to September 30 failed by a 2-2 vote with Art Huebner and Robyn Keranen in favor. , Mayor Liz Olson and Dan Warmbold opposed, and Durwin Tomperi abstained.

Thomsen said these former staff members filled in during the absence of the former city administrator, preparing zoning reports, agendas, minutes and building permits, attending meetings, balancing records and answering phone calls. She recommended paying them for this time at $ 7.25 an hour, half of Kurtti’s hourly rate.

However, the board discussion noted that former employees’ union contracts expressly prohibited them from doing work outside of their job description, and Olson said she wanted to see documentation of the work they were doing. Warmbold suggested postponing the case until January.

Consent items on the council agenda included approving the minutes of 10 previous meetings, including special and budget meetings, dating back to July 26. However, four meetings were removed from the consent agenda as the minutes of two of them were still being transcribed from GoToMeeting. records and two of them required significant corrections.

The corrected minutes along with the remaining consent points were approved in three motions, all by a 4-1 vote, with Huebner opposed.

Despite being able to withdraw points from consent and discuss each motion before voting, Huebner gave no explanation for his dissent.

Following those votes, council met behind closed doors for more than an hour to discuss legal options for the pending litigation with the city attorney.

In other matters, counsel:

  • Approved a civil attorney contract with Flaherty & Hood, PA, in a 3-2 vote with Huebner and board member Robyn Keranen opposed. Their hourly rates include $ 165 for lawyers and $ 85 for other staff on general municipal matters; $ 180 for lawyers, $ 125 for analysts and $ 90 for other staff on labor and employment matters; $ 175 for lawyers and $ 90 for other staff in real estate matters; $ 185 for lawyers and $ 100 for other staff members in dispute.

  • Discussed the city’s fee schedule for on-demand snow removal from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), which questioned whether the city posts the same rates whether it uses a truck or a loader.

  • Approved board compensation for attending 2021 meetings, with a total of $ 2,820 paid for special meetings, $ 1,250 for budget meetings, $ 245 for planning committee meetings and $ 9,300 for regular meetings.

  • Approved compensation for Planning Committee members based on attendance at 2021 meetings, totaling $ 980.

  • Took note of Theo Komulainen’s resignation from the public works department, effective November 28.

  • Certified $ 18,374 in unpaid utility bills to be assessed by Wadena County to homeowners.

  • Deferred assessments for residents Mary Montoya and Delores Charmoli, based on state law that allows cities to defer assessments for the elderly, disabled, or military. City administrator Betty Thomsen said the total deferred amount is $ 13,831.

  • Posted a vacant position as a public works employee.

  • Asked Community First Bank to increase the city’s ACH credit limit from $ 22,000 to $ 25,000, due to payroll increases in 2022.

  • Approved a transfer of $ 60,000 from liquor store profits to the city’s general fund. Warmbold’s motion passed 4-1, against Huebner.

  • Extended Temporary Tech Jensine Kurtti’s offer letter to an unspecified date in 2022, noting that she will not be available for several weeks after the New Year. Tomperi’s motion passed 3-2, Huebner opposed and Keranen abstained.

  • Unanimously approved a “jake brake” resolution authorizing police to enforce the city’s nuisance ordinance regarding excessive engine noise. A separate motion asking the MnDOT to place three “vehicle noise enforcement” signs at a cost of $ 2,898 was passed by 4-1, with opposition from Huebner.

  • I heard Kurtti report that she had received a proposal from a company called Linxup to install GPS tracking in city vehicles, which she agreed to share with council members.

  • Received a P&L summary showing the city general fund had a net gain of approximately $ 93,000 for November, but a net loss of $ 244,000 for the year to date. For all funds, since the start of the year, the city has posted a net gain of approximately $ 364,000.

  • Approved payable invoices totaling $ 63,129 and prepaid invoices totaling $ 51,176.


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