Weekly Memo 2-15-13

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

WEEKLY UPDATE:

City Sales Tax Bill held over

A bill that would exempt cities and counties from sales tax was laid over for possible inclusion in the Omnibus Tax bill later this session. Cities and counties have paid sales tax on many goods purchased since 1992. At the time, the sales tax was included as a way to fill a budget hole while retaining LGA funding. Since then, LGA has been cut several times while the sales tax on city and county purchases has remained. Schools remain exempt from sales tax, and townships were exempted in 2011.

Labor Update

The City met with two labor groups this week. Final offers are out to three of the city’s five bargaining units.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Police Department, Chief Hedlund

Late Winter Driving

Our late winter weather brings frequent snowfalls which can create some unsafe road conditions throughout our region.  As our days grow longer and the sun starts producing more heat we will frequently experiencing melting conditions during the day followed by freezing at night.  Those roads that seemed fine at 3:00 PM can be very icy later in the evening or in the morning hours.  Slow down and help us keep our roadways safe.

Regional School Principles Attend Drug Presentation

Eighteen school principals from around our region attended a drug presentation that was put on by the Pine to Prairie Drug Task Force on February 13, 2013.  The Drug Task Force is made up of officers from the East Grand Forks Police Department, Crookston Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.  The Task Force uses a variety of measures to combat illegal drugs in our area and they are working hard educate the public on the specific problems we face in the Red River Valley.

Fire Department, Chief Gary Larson

We have been busy training at the Fire Dept. We sent 2 people to Windom, MN to an ice rescue class in January, and they came back and trained the department in February at our monthly drill. All went well considering we were putting people in a hole in the ice. The volunteer association purchased a Rapid Deployment Craft for water and ice rescue which worked very well for ice rescue.

We had 4 people go to Fergus Falls for an evening class on Fire leadership.

We had 2 people go to Alexandria for a class on Fire Department Management.

Rental inspections have started for 2013.

We have had 97 calls for 2013 so far.

We are repainting the inside of Station 1. There will be a new floor going in soon, so it should be all fresh. Work is being done by on duty firefighters.

We are working with the State Fire Marshalls office to bring in a class on inspections and fire codes.

Reminders:

Most City offices will be closed for Monday, February 18 for Presidents Day.

City, County, and School Officials along with the Chamber of Commerce will meet Friday, February 22 at the Boardwalk Bar and Grill for the Intergovernmental Retreat. Please RSVP your attendance to the Administration Office.

The City Council will meet with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on Thursday, Feburary 21 at 8:30am in Detroit Lakes.

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