Weekly Memo 5-3-2013

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


Labor Update

The City has reached tentative agreements with all of the bargaining units. Two groups – Water and Light Teamsters and Law Enforcement Labor Services – have formally ratified the agreements. The Water and Light Commission approved its labor agreement on Thursday evening. We are hammering through minor details on the other groups. I expect formal ratification soon. The remaining agreements will appear before the Council when they are signed and returned to the City.

Legislative update

The final House environment and natural resources bill contains increased water appropriation fees for most water uses, including municipal water. The final bill going to conference committee generates slightly less revenue than the original version, and it is not expected to change in the conference committee. The new fee would be $15 per million gallons per day for municipal uses. http://www.lmc.org/page/1/waterfeesbulletin.jsp

Both chambers have approved omnibus tax bills with some key differences that will be decided in conference committee. The primary differences include sales tax exemptions for cities, inflation adjustments to Local Government Aid (LGA), and general fund increases to police and fire pensions. Both versions include the new LGA formula with an $80 million total funding increase. http://lmc.org/page/1/full-sen-approves-omni-tax-bill.jsp


Library, Charlotte Helgeson

The Friends of the Library Book Sale is being held Friday and Saturday from 8-5.
Braun has submitted a report on their most recent investigation of the library roof. The report is available at the library. Braun will return to look further into the repair work completed this past fall. This review is at no additional cost to the city.

Public Works, Jason Stordahl

Flood: It appears that the river level has peaked and is on its way back down. We removed both of the invisible flood walls downtown this week. Plans are to remove the barricades on 17th ST. NW and 12th Ave. NW Friday morning if river levels allow. We hope to see the water steadily recede this weekend, and sometime next week reopen the 4th ST. NW underpass.

Stormwater: Staff started to deactivate lift stations, and will continue to do so as the river retreats.

Streets: We started street sweeping this week. There is a lot of debris on the streets after the long winter; it will take some time to cover the entire town the first run through.

Fire Department, Chief Gary Larson

Flood walls are down and things are getting back to normal. We are still staffing one additional person on the Point until the rail underpass is open. We are close to opening the on ramp on the north side of Hwy 2.

We have completed the painting the walls and installing a new tile floor in Station One. It needed a freshening up and looks good.

While we have additional people at Station 2 we hope to get some maintenance done on the garage. It is looking pretty run down.

We have acquired a house to do a house burn. We are in the process of having asbestos inspection done and filing the needed paper work with MPCA and the DNR. We hope to train in the house for 2 months and burn it in September.

We are putting on a First Responder medical class at the Fire Dept now. All new Paid on Call firefighter and anyone else that did not have a minimum of First Responder will complete the class.

Police Department, Chief Mike Hedlund

EGFPD Officer Honored by Optimists Club

Officer Alex Schilke of the EGFPD was selected to receive an award from the Optimists Club for his work with local youth. The Optimists annually recognize area law enforcement officers during a “Respect for Law” luncheon. The award recipients are chosen for exemplifying the Optimists Creed and for being a “friend of youth”. Officer Schilke recently took part in training to become an instructor in the Department’s “Responsible Beverage Server Training” program. This program involves officers providing instruction to local alcoholic beverage employees on how to recognize fake ID’s and other methods that are designed to minimize the chances of underage persons acquiring alcohol. Officer Schilke is also the Department’s advisor for the local Explorer Scout Program.

Agenda Items:

The consent agenda contains the City’s annual resolution to act as a legal sponsor for a snowmobile trail maintenance grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The City passes through the grant funds to the Red River Snowmobile Club provided the trails are properly groomed.

The Council will consider for second reading two ordinances relating to amending the City’s ordinances regarding Sexually Oriented Businesses.

Item 14 considers approving the revised arena rental fee structure. The simplified structure roughly places categories into for-profit events and non-profit events for rental fees.

Item 15 is a resolution opposing new phosphorus restrictions in the Red River basin. The resolution generally supports the City of Moorhead’s contention that there is no empirical evidence to support MPCA’s proposed 1.0 milligram per liter (mg/L) limit on phosphorus discharge for municipal treatment facilities.

Item 16 is a catch up motion to formally approve ordinance summaries of recently-passed ordinances for formal publication in the official newspaper.