Weekly Memo 4-13-2012

Each Weekly Memo to the City Council is also provided on the City Council web page.

WEEKLY UPDATE

Compensation Study Update

The City’s human resources consultant will visit the City next week to conduct job audits with selected employees. The audits are brief personal interviews with employees that generally consist of only a few questions. The intent is to clarify any questions or inconsistencies in the Position Analysis Questionnaires (PAQs) that employees completed in February. Employees also will have another chance to ask questions about the process. The consultant also is beginning to conduct a wage and benefit market study. The study is on track for a completion date of late June.

Administrative Assistant
The City is happy to announce that Megan Nelson will join the Administration and Finance staff next week. Megan holds a baccalaureate degree in education from the University of North Dakota. She has held positions locally in education and in customer service. Megan is slated to start Wednesday, April 18.

Legislative Update
The Legislature adjourned this week for its Easter/Passover break this week. There has been little new progress on bills that affect cities. The House and Senate tax bills are in conference committee, where they are expected to be for quite some time. Generally, the bills cut business taxes incrementally over several years. The funding sources for those tax cuts differ in the House and Senate versions. Both versions generally freeze hold Local Government Aid (LGA) allotments at 2012 levels. Most analysts expect Governor Dayton to veto the final version. Bills allowing the use and sale of fireworks continue to advance. And, a bill that allows the Board of Pharmacy to regulate synthetic drugs passed both the House and the Senate. A full description of the current legislative issues facing cities can be found via the League of Minnesota Cities Cities Bulletin (http://www.lmc.org/page/1/cities-bulletin-newsletter.jsp) and the expanded Friday Facts via e-mail subscription (http://www.lmc.org/page/1/fridayfacts.jsp).

Dispatch Study

The Polk County Dispatch Consolidation (Collaboration) Review report is now available on the City Council web page or directly at Polk County Dispatch Study. The City Council likely will discuss the review in May. I have discussed the issue with Polk County Coordinator Jack Schmalenberg. I hope to have County staff and contractors present to facilitate the discussion especially with particular respect to the pending technological innovations in emergency dispatch.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Public Works, Jason Stordahl
Spring is here, and the grass has started its growing season. The Green Site is open, with grass containers in place and ready for use. We plan to start our mowing program within the upcoming week, and are excited to test out our new Slope Mower on the levees.

We have started the cleaning of both boat ramps. The south boat ramp (Red Lake River) cleaning is almost complete, and should be ready for this weekend. We hope to have the north ramp (Red River) cleaned by next weekend.

Police Department, Chief Mike Hedlund

Employee Milestone
The East Grand Forks Police Department would like to thank Mike Swang for 24 years (and counting) of service to the citizens of EGF. Mike was hired as a police officer on April 6, 1988 and is the longest tenured employee of the EGFPD. Mike was promoted to sergeant on November 26, 1997. Mike became a regular fixture at EGF school events during his tenure as the department’s school resource officer. Mike currently works for the department as a Secretary/Dispatcher/Jailer. Mike also works with the State of Minnesota as the department’s Terminal Agency Coordinator and he oversees the department’s Safe & Sober program.

EGFPD Training
Officer April Hansen attended “Female Enforcers – Advanced Mental, Physical and Tactical Skills to Survive” training at the Grand Forks Public Safety Training Center on April 10, 2012. Officer Tony Reznicek is attending “Finding the Leader in You” training at the Grand Forks Public Safety Training Center on April 11 & 12, 2012.

Library, Charlotte Helgeson
Monday, April 16 the Campbell Library will hold a second session in a series of Audobon Society lectures. “The Boys in Blue: Attracting Bluebirds” with Heidi Hughes will be in the large meeting from 6:30-7:30. The last session was standing room only with some patrons being turned away due to limited space. To get a seat, arrive early.

A call for local/regional artists is going out for the Library’s Community Artists Exhibit in June. Encourage friends or yourself to exhibit artwork on the library walls for the months of June and July. Call 773-9121 and ask for Anita.

AGENDA ITEMS:

The City Council will hold three public hearings. First, the City Council considers the proposed special assessment project on 14th Avenue SE. The current proposal includes full paving, curb, and gutter improvements with increased thickness to support truck traffic. The proposal also includes participation from Huntsville Township. The City Council will consider ordering the improvement at the meeting with the City Engineer to development plans and specifications.

Next, the City Council will hold a similar public hearing for a proposed special assessment project to improve Greenway Boulevard and 13th Street SE. The proposal includes eligible state aid funds to reduce the total assessment for the district. Again, the City Council will consider ordering the improvement at the meeting with the City Engineer to development plans and specifications.

Finally, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed Transit Development Plan. The Planning Commission will also hold a public hearing in May.

Item 10 under New Business considers the proposed repair of the longstanding library conference room roof. The first proposal before the Council includes the full proposed scope that repairs the entire library roof at an estimated cost of $282,186.

Item 11 is a recommended rezone of the Coulee View Addition to better define drainage easements along the Hartsville Coulee.

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