The Elk River City Council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, January 17. On the Consent Agenda, they approved the low bids from Palmer West Construction Co. Inc. for the roof replacement of City Hall and Granite City Roofing Inc. for roof replacement of the Public Safety Building. They also accepted the Petition and Waivers to assess the costs of design and bidding of a city sanitary sewer connection to the Rolling Hills development.
Mayor Dietz recognized Mavis Weber as the January Volunteer of the Month and thanked Finance Director Lori Ziemer for her 28+ years of service with the city and wished her a happy retirement. Councilmembers also drew assignments for the next segment of the Inside Elk River Jobs videos where each member works with city employees performing and explaining city work. Mayor Dietz will perform a building inspection, Councilmember Wagner will clear sidewalk and trail snow, Councilmember Beyer will work a controlled prairie grass burn, Councilmember Westgaard will conduct snow removal and storage, and Councilmember Grupa will demonstrate building maintenance. The videos will be posted on city social media and the website when completed.
Two public hearings were held and one was postponed. An Interim Use Permit was extended for a multifamily residential use in a single family zoning district for Sogdiana, LLC, and a drainage and utility easement was vacated and correctly replaced to provide access to County Ditch 28 to allow the property owner, Benjamin Olson, to proceed with home construction on the buildable portion of the property. An administrative hearing for tobacco license suspension and fine for illegal sale to minors was postponed to February 6, 2023, at the request of the business owner.
In General Business, Mike Beyer was appointed to the joint city/ERMU Information Security Committee and Sara Soukup was appointed to the Library Board for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2023.
In the Work Session, the Council discussed appointments to two city advisory commissions that are filled by representatives from ISD #728. Due to meeting and work conflicts, the appointees frequently miss meetings, which by Council policy calls for removal from the commission. The Council expressed consensus they wanted ISD participation on the commissions and directed the city administrator to ask the district to appoint alternative commissioners to ensure participation. They also received an update on the city phone system, which is scheduled for replacement in 2025. The Council had approved the purchase of a replacement server for $25,000 in the 2023 budget. It was expected that the server would be utilized with the new system upon replacement. IT staff research found a significant annual savings of at least $12,000 through a Software as a Service Contract (SaaS) with a cloud-based phone system. The Council directed staff to transition to a new system this year.
The next City Council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 6 at City Hall.