The City Council met in regular session on October 18, 2010 at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
City employees present were Public Works Director Gortsema, Chief Quantz, Attorney Green and Clerk Kennedy.
The meeting was called to order and the minutes of the October 4th meeting was approved as presented by Councilwoman DeHaas, second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Jeff Kutner, Chamber of Commerce representative, and Mary Jahn were present to request permission to place Northwest Passage Scenic Byway signs at Heritage Square. Northwest Passage Scenic Byways received a grant to install kiosks in area communities. They originally had a location on Main Street by US Bank and they found out with federal funds it couldn’t go on private property unless they had a permanent easement. They ended up looking at Heritage Square as on option for the signs and came up with two ideas: Option #1 by the pond and Option #2 in the opening of the wall facing Main Street. The Chamber will provide the install and maintenance on the signs. Councilwoman DeHaas was concerned with the possibility of the signs being vandalized. Mayor Walker thought the fountain looked nice as is and would like to leave it as is. Councilman Bentley thought Option #2, which had the signs mounted in the wall opening, would be the best option. On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Bentley that the City agrees with the Chambers Option #2 as presented and asked them to proceed. Motion carried. Councilwoman DeHaas voting no.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: Public Works Director Gortsema explained that the change order is a decrease in project cost of $17,373.40, which includes quantity adjustments. On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Lester to approve change order #3 on the sewer project. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
BILLS: The bills in the amount of $372,417.75 were approved and ordered paid out of their respective funds, on motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Peterson. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SURPLUS: On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Houger to surplus the old library couch set. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
POLICE SALARY SCHEDULE ADOPTION: Clerk Kennedy explained that the police salary schedule was reviewed and approved during budget; however the schedule should be formally adopted by the Council. On motion by Councilman Houger, second by Councilman Lorentz to accept the police salary schedule as discussed during budget. Motion carried. Councilman Lester voting no.
WRITE-OFFS: Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Peterson to write off the non-collectible utility accounts in the amount of $132.28. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
LETTER OF SUPPORT: On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilman Houger to write a letter of support for the Prairie Community Library to host a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition called “The Way We Worked”. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
GENEALOGY ROOM: Mayor Walker explained that Clerk Kennedy found in the minutes where the Library traded space with the police department. Based upon that trade, Mayor Walker suggested that the Library decide what they would like to do with the Genealogy Room. Clerk Kennedy provided background information on the building. The library was built in 1964 with a federal grant of $17,500, City general fund monies of $9,500 and other funds as yet not determined through minutes. The general ledger accounts were not reviewed. An addition was built to the east of the library in the mid to late 70s as the new city hall building. Attorney Green stated that State Statute states that donations to the library or donations of property can only be used for library purposes. Councilman Lester felt Genealogy was a good thing. They have used the room well and he felt they should be able to stay there until the City needs the space. On motion by Councilman Lester, second by Councilwoman DeHaas to let Genealogy stay in the room at this time. Councilman Lorentz agreed with Councilman Lester, but after hearing what Genealogy provides and does, he felt the logical location would actually be the Historical Museum or St Gertrudes. He would like to see them work towards marrying the Genealogy Society with the museum because it seems like a better fit. Councilman Peterson stated that they have tried to talk to the museum but there is no room and they aren’t open very often so there wouldn’t be much access. They haven’t checked with St. Gertrude’s Museum. Mayor Walker agreed with Councilmen Lester and Lorentz but also felt the Library should decide what the space should be used for. Councilman Houger’s concern is that if the City allows the Library to make the decision and then down the road the City needs the room, then the Library would get to make that decision. Councilman Lester felt the problem started in 1998 when the Council gave permission to mix and match the old library building with the new City Hall building that was built in the 70s. The grant paid a portion of the old building, not the new building. He felt it is still City owned property and the Council still has as say. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
FESTIVAL OF TREES DONATION: On motion by Councilman Lorentz, second by Councilman Houger to donate a family season pool pass to the Festival of Trees. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
ITEMS TO NOTE: CEDA’s Quarterly report for July 1, 2010 – September 30, 2010 was provided to the Council.
Chief Quantz stated that the new officer, Paul Orgish, is doing well on his own and has good judgment. He currently drives a 2003 Impala to and from work. The magnetic stickers are taken off when he leaves the City and they are put back on when he returns.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – City Clerk