Brownsville City Council members met Wednesday, November 1 at the Brownsville Community Center. Council members present included Mayor Jean Meyer, Pam Walhovd, Barb Hurley and Tim Klug. In addition, City Clerk Steve Schuldt, City Treasurer Jenna Knight and Maintenance Dean Twite attended.
In a change of pace, a fire district meeting took place starting at 7 p.m. The fire district meeting involved residents who occupy the city of Brownsville, Crooked Creek Township and Brownsville Township.
Brownsville’s Fire Department training officer, Brandon Frank, started the meeting off with a brief presentation.
Frank informed the council and audience of where Brownsville’s Fire Department funding comes from. Training aspects in regards to the department is funded through the state of Minnesota. Houston County provides some funding. All in all, the department’s main source of funding comes from the city of Brownsville, Crooked Creek Township and Brownsville Township. The city of Brownsville makes up 80% of the budget, with Crooked Creek making up 1% and Brownsville Township making up 10%. The question is, how much should townships be contributing?
Frank reached out to other fire departments within Houston County to compare. Some departments follow the state of Minnesota’s recommendation when it comes to funding while other departments use their own methods. Overall, there is no one consistent method used in the state of Minnesota. In addition, Frank reached out to the state fire marshal’s office for suggestions.
There are three considerations when it comes to the state recommended formula in terms of funding. First, is call volume. Second, includes the value of structures within the fire district that are protected. Third, is population. Additional people in a given area equates to more fire and rescue related service calls. Frank shared the city of Brownsville receives the most calls while Crooked Creek Township receives the least number of calls.
The new yearly budget recommendation for funding contribution includes the city of Brownsville making up 68%, Crooked Creek Township 6%, and Brownsville Township 26%. Currently, the city of Brownsville has been responsible for more than their fair share of contribution costs than what is recommended by the state of Minnesota.
Frank shared the last agreement found for Brownsville Township dated back to 1988 and the last agreement for Crooked Creed Township dated back to 2001. Since then, there has been no paperwork updates. Frank stated the benefits to an updated agreement include documentation, protection on the behalf of both parties, with both expectations and responsibilities clearly defined.
Council member Walhovd thanked the fire department personnel for their service. Walhovd stated, “I just want to remind people that this a volunteer fire department, I think we forget about that.”
Mayor Meyer expressed to the audience that she wants to show what is contributed and that with no agreement there is nothing to work with.
Once the presentation came to a close, Training Officer Frank addressed concerns participants in the audience voiced. The fire district meeting ended at 8:12 p.m. Mayor Meyer stated, “This has been a wonderful meeting. Thank you for your time!”
The regular Brownsville City Council meeting started off with a closed session at 8:15 p.m. that reconvened at 8:34 p.m. Mayor Meyer called the meeting to order at 8:36 p.m.
Meyer shared the city received several applications for former council member, Jacob Danielson’s vacant position on the city council. The vacant position will continue to remain open. Additional letters of intent will be accepted until Friday, December 1. At December’s regular council meeting, an appointment will be made for Danielson’s vacant position.
Councilor Hurley moved, seconded by Walhovd to table the Resident’s Survey-Comprehensive Planning. Motion carried.
Brownsville Lions Club member Jeff LeJeune proudly stated the new pickleball court is going well and that people now request an additional court to be added due to the game’s popularity. LeJeune proposed an additional court be added on the right side of the gym. LeJeune offered to bring up a net himself. So far, there have been no issues with cleaning affecting the court’s tape and no complaints. The council unanimously approved LeJeune’s request.
City Maintenance Twite informed that Bluffview Manor apartment #12 received new faucets in both the kitchen and bathroom as the previous faucets were beyond repair.
Twite stated the ballpark is now winterized and shut down, however, the ice-skating rink is being prepped.
Council member Klug moved, seconded by Walhovd, to approve the Saxon Hall 2 LLC-Liquor License Renewal 2024 which may be subject to change in January 2024. Motion carried.
The council meeting came to a close and adjourned at 9:41 p.m. The next regular Brownsville City Council meeting will take place Wednesday, December 6 at 7 p.m., at the community center. The public is invited to attend.