Friday, June 12, 2009

Council Meeting June 2, 2009

The meeting started 30 minutes early so that we could review the 2008 Fianancial Audit. Sterle and Company did our audit as they have every year since I have been on the council. The audit is available to anyone at City Hall, so I am not going to review it here. However, the audit was positive for 2008 without any real concerns. Buhl still has a fairly substantial amount of cash reserves and the auditor did not find any real problems.

Gene P spoke for Public Works to start the regular meeting. He told us that the boat landing was in, the camp ground is open, and alley cleanup was going well. He also let us know that he hired 4 people for summer help at $7.50/hour.

Mike L. spoke for the Fire/Ambulance and let us know that hydrant flushing would take place the week of June 7. Mike explained that there are 60 hydrants and it takes a lot of time and effort. So, two individuals would be paid the regular hourly rate for this work. Mike also asked for an additional $921 for the new fire truck for chassis wiring, radio install and wheel protectors. The council approved this spending and the new fire truck should be delivered this month. The final cost is @$120,000. I did not write down the exact cost but you can phone City Hall to find out.

Next up….the Rec Board asked to spend $1100 on new swings for the playground equipment. This amount was in the Rec Departments budget request for the year, so the board approved this purchase.

The meeting then went into a series of resolutions for improvements to East Monroe Drive, Frantz Street, President's Avenue and South Memorial Drive. Each project had three resolutions, and they were:

A resolution approving plans and specifications and ordering advertisement for bids.
A resolution declaring cost to be assessed and ordering preparation of proposed assessment.
A resolution for hearing on the proposed assessment.

Each project’s resolutions were passed, with the hearings to be held June 30 at the Senior Center starting at 5pm.

The total costs of the projects are estimated to be:

East Monroe Drive - $130,765
Frantz Street - $324,000
President’s Avenue – 120,000
South Memorial Drive - $75,000

The total cost estimate is $649,765, with $480,000 filled by various grants.

Next was final payment for the Stubler Pit project of $18,922.76. I asked the city engineer about the large rocks still in a pile down at Stubler and I told him that the walking trail had still not been repaired. Early on in the project, we had assurances that the “trail” would be repaired after the project was complete. There was some misunderstanding on this, as the engineer thought we were talking about the Mesabi Bike Trail, not the walking trail. An agreement was reached that will have the City Crew repair the walking trail using funds withheld from the final payment. The rocks were left, as the engineer did not believe that the contract enforced moving the rocks from the site.

I walked the trail last week, and the repairs have been completed.

Next up the council approved the purchase of a new lawnmower for $5628.52. The old lawnmower finally gave up, so the purchase was needed.

During the summer months there will be only one meeting a month….so next up the council had to approve the payments of certain regular bills for the months of June, July and August. These bills are telephone, waste, energy etc….normal monthly bills. The council approved this.

Last on the agenda was the City’s membership dues for the Minnesota Association of Small Cities. The total for the year is $562.35, which the council approved. This association lobbies the State Legislature on behalf of small cities, which gives us a larger voice in Minneapolis.

That was it, let me know what you think.