Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 17, 2009 Council Meeting

I am almost too late on this post, but here it is.

John M. started the meeting by telling us why State St is dark at night. The underground electric cable is damaged/broken and needs replacement. Johnny is working on a temp fix to get the lights on, then he will finish with a permanent fix.

The City Attorney (Al) let us know that the League of MN Cities did not find a problem with the ambulance contract between Kinney and Buhl. That should be finalized (finally) in April.

The agenda started with a discussion on the 2009 budget and the loss of $40,000 in LGA for Buhl. We decided to restrict spending as much as possible this year, and if there is a budget shortfall at the end of the year then we will transfer money from Buhl's savings to cover the shortfall.

Mayor Pulford gave us a copy of a Bill (HF 17) that will cover the Central Iron Range Sanitary Sewer District if it is passed. This District will provide sewer service to Hibbing, Chisholm, Buhl and Kinney. The cost of the sewer lines and work on the Hibbing sewer plant will be paid for by State, Federal and local dollars. Both Buhl and Chisholm need new plants, and this District will allow our sewer lines to be connected to Hibbing's plant. A new plant just for Buhl is @$2 million. So, either we use Hibbing's plant or build our own.

John M. gave us bids for electrical work in the City for the summer. This work is spread out mostly over the north side of Buhl. The total cost of the project is $103,726 and will be completed by Minnesota Power, with the money coming out of the Electric Fund.

Buhl's Clerk Mike then asked if we wanted him to put in for more CDBG grants for 2010. The discussion was centered around the fact that Buhl will lose another $40,000 in LGA next year and may not be able to match the CDBG grants as required. We decided that Mike should request additional CDBG grants for 2010, and we will see what we get. Then we will try to find the additional money within the City to match the grants. These grants are for community development, and we use them to fix our infrastructure problems.

The next discussion was on the Stubler Pit project and whether or not to pay the final payment of the contract. The final payment is $18,922, and we did not make the final payment yet. During our initial discussions on Stubler we were assured that the walking trail around Stubler would be repaired after all of the construction and as of now it has not been fixed. Also, there are dozens of very large rocks that should be removed from the site. This payment was tabled.

We paid an invoice for Frantz St improvements for engineering for a total of $806.

We talked about sending employees to water license training. The discussion was whether or not we should use training that is free, or use training that we need to pay for. We decided that the free training provided by Minnesota Rural Water Association was just as good as the fee for service training. Buhl employees will use the free training.

We paid the invoice for the new defibrillators that was purchased for the Fire/Ambulance Department. The Fire Department received a FEMA grant for $11,875 for this purchase. The entire purchase was $12,239.25, so the total cost to Buhl was $364.25.

Last was the resignation of a rec board member.

That was the entire meeting, let me know what you think.