Adrian City Council Notes October 26, 2020

The Adrian City Council meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26.  All council members were present along with Administrator Jill Wolf, and Rita Boltjes was taking minutes.  Police Chief Langseth was not present.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Brett Jackson, Fire Chief requested that the fire department could hang on to the old Suburban for a time, until the full fire department could decide if they should sell it off as surplice or keep it.  It was suggested to look into whether or not they could just carry liability insurance on it.  The Council agreed to the request.

Chad and Meegan Heidebrink from Heidebrink and Associates Insurance was on hand to discuss options for the City’s insurance plan.  Chad explained that the current plan was grand-fathered in and could continue, but once it was changed, it could not be gotten back.  They went through other insurance options and what the different costs would be for the employees and the city.  It was decided that for now the City would keep the policy that it had with the knowledge that it would probably have to be changed in the future. A discussion will need to be had with employees.

At last month’s meeting the Nobles County Historical Society came to explain the process they were using for the restoration of the Armory building in Worthington to hold the Historical Society’s collection.  They also requested that the city would consider a donation and explained what other entities were doing.  It was approved to donate $10,000 over five years towards the project.  This would be payable at $2,000 per year, and could be raised at any time if the council so decided.

The Park Board will be looking for a replacement for Julie Winselman.  The terms are three year terms.  It will be put into the Nobles County Review.

The HRA will extend the City’s contract with the 106 Company, who manages Adrian Country Living Cottages, for another year.

Permits or licenses were given to Mike Kruger, Marvin Gomesz-Louders, Mark Lonneman, Adrian Town and Country, and Donald Wolf.

Officer Ashley has been logging speeds by Larry Voss’ house to clock how fast vehicles are coming into town.  A report will be given next month, but her presence has caused vehicles to slow down when entering the city limits.

Jill Wolf discussed the CARES Act Funding.  She told the Council that 26 businesses had applied to the City and four more applied directly to the County.  Adrian has approximately $20,000 to spend yet.  The County has about 1.1 million left.  The Council decided to wait to see where the County put their money before deciding, so they could supplement local entities that could use it, such as the school or the long-term facilities.  The council will decide when they meet to canvass the election votes.

Approximately 100 Apple Crunch bags were handed out to older residents of Adrian.  The Elementary Student Council packed the bags and Peer Helpers handed them out.  It was a fun project funded by the Age-Friendly Grant.  Other things funded by the grant are: games that can be loaned out for now and can be utilized by the Senior Center once restrictions are lifted, a collection large print books for the library, digital cameras for use with the library computers for zoom or other on-line classes, water aerobics equipment for next summer, and players for the library’s collection of books on tape.

Wolf has been working with Keith’s Grocery to find a viable buyer for the store.  Essman’s hopes are to have the business sold by June of 2021.

She briefly discussed the set up for the elections on November 3.  Voters will come in the door to Council Chambers and directed in a semi-circle around the room to vote.  They will leave through the door on the east end of the room, therefore limiting contact with voters coming in.  It has been suggested by the County to have a law enforcement presence during voting hours.  14 election judges have been trained to handle the process.

A brief discussion was held on the MRES contract.  Things are going well.  She informed the Council that due to COVID-19 and lower costs on several projects, MRES is giving a one-time 10% refund to it’s members.  The City will be getting a refund of $34,792.21.  The PUC suggested passing the refund directly back to Adrian customers.  The Council agreed.  The funds will be distributed in early December.

The Automated Meter Infrastructure Project is about ready to go.  Two Public Works employees have been trained on how to trouble shoot.  As soon as the software transfers are complete, the meters will be installed, hopefully to begin in early November.

The PUC voted to contract Justin Ahlers to be our interim, certified Water and Wastewater Supervisor.  Ahlers is teaching the Public Works Crew the correct way to do sampling and training them to prepare for the Water/Wastewater Certification Tests.

The MCPA did an inspection last week, and it went well.  The City was given two warnings. We bypassed water 7 times (too many times) as our groundwater table is so high.  He recommended to adopt a sewer inspection statute.  This would require that all sales (of property) have a Certificate of Compliance, with a sewer inspection before the sale is final.  He also recommended to knock down the sludge on the primary pond prior to discharging it to the required 36 inches.  This was taken care of, but in the spring the pond will be discharged completely and the pond dredged.

The City staff partnered up and delivered Meals on Wheels last week.  The residents commented on how nice out was to meet the faces of the men in the snow plows.  It was a successful outreach.

A discussion was held on the pay of the Mayor and City Council.  Cities around Adrian that are comparable in size were looked at and Adrian was the lowest paid.  The Council moved to make an ordinance to increase the Mayor’s pay and the City Council’s pay and remove the committee meeting stipend, but retain the special meeting stipend as there were so few of them.  The Council has not had any increase since 2003.  This will be voted on next meeting.

The Council voted to set Monday, November 9 at 4:30 p.m. to canvass the election results and to decide the final CARES Act funding disbursements.

The Council reviewed the current golf cart requirement.  It was agreed that anyone with a valid drivers license could operate a golf cart, ATV or UTV in Adrian.  The registration fee is $50 for a lifetime.  If the owner gets a new cart, the registration stays with the owner, not follow the old cart.

The Council agreed to hire a consultant to come in and assess the city job descriptions.  At that time, the Council will look at comparable pay scales to get the city where they belong compared to other cities our size.

The next regular Council meeting is November 23 at 7:00 p.m.

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