In a show of support for the Canton City Clerk, Brock Bergey, Mayor Donivee Johnson introduced a resolution in response to the recent acts of Jamie Knutson, who publicly directed hate speech towards the clerk.
Knutson posted his comments with photos of a building on his property painted in a variety of colors with graffiti directed towards Bergey on his Facebook page.
Resolution No. 2020-05, which passed unanimously, supports the efforts of Bergey to enforce the city nuisance ordinances and condemns the acts of Mr. Knutson in his posts, which can only be classified as hate speech.
It also reinforces the desire of the council to encourage and nurture a welcoming community, encouraging residents with concerns to bring them to the city council.
Mayor Johnson called the July 8 meeting to order with all council members present.
Consent agenda items, which included monthly bills, COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and waiving the town hall fee for the American Red Cross Blood Drive on August 19 were approved.
Nick Prestby spoke regarding updates to the ball field and proposed improvements to the veterans park. Prestby asked for city support for veterans placing flags on properties in the city. The property owners would pay for the flags to be placed and removed by Legion members on federal holidays.
Russell Lehman stated he received a letter from the city regarding a community complaint about fireworks. He stated that he was not responsible and felt that the letter was not warranted since there was no truth to the complaint.
Clerk Bergey reported that there are 16 delinquent utility accounts, representing 9% of all accounts with a total of approximately $1,611 as of July 6, with no disconnections. Ten nuisance property ordinance violation notices were sent June as well as a safety concern notice regarding UTV use by a minor.
Danny Whalen, compliance deadline of July 15, review hearing July 27; Joel Torgerson jury trial is scheduled for July 28-30; Lolly Melander settlement conference hearing scheduled for July 13 via Zoom, jury trial for August 17-21 and Steve Popplewell hearing date August 5.
Town hall use schedule was provided.
Additional website updates have been completed.
Filing for candidacy for mayor and two council positions begins July 28 and closes at 5 p.m. August 11. Interested persons should contact the city clerk’s office for details and filing.
The August 11 primary voting will once again be by mail, with ballots expected to be mailed starting July 14. Any questions are to be directed to the Fillmore County Auditor’s office.
Bergey reported that the City of Canton is eligible for $26,294 ($75.34 per capita aid x 349 residents, based on 2018 population), to be used for COVID-19 related costs incurred between March 1 and November 15, 2020, with a September 15 as the final date to certify with DOR. It was felt that no significant additional expenses have been incurred thus far, although the possibility that lost revenue from town hall rent and increased utility costs for meetings held at the hall could be recouped. Bergey will check on this.
Public Works: Jim Davis reported that the new street signs have been installed and other city maintenance done. LED light conversion of the 19 existing street lights is estimated to cost $4,750. Bergey will check on the possibility of obtaining a grant.
Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office monthly report reviewed.
Parking Ordinance Review Committee: The community survey confirmed that the Canton ordinance regarding parking is in line with seven out of eight cities reviewed.
Utility rates: Further discussion led by Mayor Johnson with no decision was made.
Crosswalks: The letter sent by Mayor Johnson regarding establishing 10 marked crosswalks in Canton to Fillmore County Highway Commission resulted in correspondence from Ronald Gregg, Fillmore County Engineer, stating the matter will be brought before the Fillmore County Highway Commission on July 21. Clerk Bergey stated that this project has the support of Sheriff DeGeorge.
Sign request: Russell Lehman requested that children at play signs be installed due to the number of children residing in his neighborhood. No action was taken; it will be put on the August agenda.
Mitson House: Kathie Haynes was present to discuss Mitson priority needs regarding the existing wiring and mold on the ceiling in one of the kitchens. A proposal was received from Morem Electric for complete rewiring for almost $13,500 and Marco Electric for $500 for updating to LED and inspecting the building’s wiring. It was approved to utilize the services of Marco Electric. Charlie Warner stated that he had looked at the roof and determined what the area that was causing the water leak with a material costs of around $100, plus labor. A roofer estimate will be reported at the August meeting as well as the cost of installation of a hand rail and a ramp on the exterior of the building. The General Fund budget has in it $2,500 for Mitson repairs.
Property inspection report
A summary of violations was reviewed. Nuisance property issues: There were a total of 32 violations noted in the 2020 inspection. Deputy Bellock and Bergey completed a survey of the city and compiled a listing of the owners and with their violations. All violators have been notified of their infractions and deadline to come into compliance. Citations were approved to be issued to Robroy Kelly and Rick Nelson due to lack of response to multiple notices of violation of the city nuisance property ordinances. Nuisance photos and documentation are available for review at the city office.
The next meeting will be August 12 at 7 p.m.