The Canton City Council regular meeting was held on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at the town hall due to ongoing COVID precautions.
September meeting minutes and monthly bills were approved as presented.
Consent agenda items of monthly bills, waiver of town hall rental fee for the Mabel-Canton School district informational meeting, held on October 5 regarding general election referendum questions, and sponsorship of $30 for emergency response team special section in the Driftless Journal were approved.
Sheriff DeGeorge spoke regarding the City contract with Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office.
Three deputies are assigned to cover Mabel, Canton and Harmony. DeGeorge explained the benefits of being under contract, which provides ongoing services, including patrol and enforcement of city ordinances. Having dedicated deputies also provides familiarity between the residents and the deputies who patrol the communities. Knowledge of ordinances and city staff is a benefit to all. The cost for these services is designed to be an actual cost number. DeGeorge also stated that there is no increase anticipated for Canton for 2021, although periodic increases can be expected due to rising operational costs.
Clerk Brock Bergey reported that there are 17 delinquent accounts (10% of total), $1,740 as of October 8, with delinquencies down $1,000 from September’s report and zero disconnections.
In legal matters, Steve Popplewell had a plea hearing October 13 with no agreement filed and court action expected; Robroy Kelly had arraignment October 14 with not guilty plea, return to court scheduled December 8; Rick Nelson has arraignment scheduled November 3; Joel Torgerson – no update on appeal with November 15 compliance deadline; Danny Whalen’s probationary period ends February 10, 2021; and Lolly Melander’s pretrial conference is scheduled November 16 with jury trial March 24 – April 2, 2021.
Bergey also reported residence street address numbers continue to be problematic with reminders in September billing having little impact.
Main Street surface improvement, to be completed by Fillmore County is underway with a patching project in progress the date of the meeting.
Little Library projects are being worked on.
In Public Works, Jon Nordsving reported on potential street sweeper purchase from the City of Mabel, contingent upon their approval of new sweeper purchase. There were questions regarding funding; it was suggested that the item be a 2021 budget item. Approval was given for the purchase if Mabel proceeds with their plan.
Josh Nordsving, Planning Commission, reported on land use permit application for deck construction, with all setbacks met; approval was given.
Arlin Falck Grant application has been completed for LED street light upgrades.
Updated ordinances on website – completed with website content development – in progress.
Coronavirus Relief Funds available were $26,294; $4,869.14 has been distributed with $21,624.86 remaining. Items planned but not completed include city hall security cameras, town hall A/V system, WiFi installation and electrical upgrades and two fire department radios. Approval was given to proceed with the remaining items on the list, plus additional item of the purchase of replacement chairs for the town hall. Allotted funds must be used by November 15, 2020.
Mitson House reports no updates on electric and construction of the ramp and rail are in progress.
Utility rates were discussed with options to present at November 10 public hearing. Base rate plus per gallon charges options were discussed and three scenarios were chosen. Jeff Dale, from MN Rural Water, will be in attendance for information and questions. The special public hearing was approved for 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 10.
• Banyon software purchase of $10,345.00 total cost was approved.
• Regarding the Joel Torgerson property, photos were provided documenting no improvement. City approved proceeding with the judgement.
Fire department CY2021 preliminary budget of Proposed Revenue – $30,853, Expenses – $26,350 and Net Income – $4,503 were approved.
Deputy clerk job was announced, for a part-time, 16 hours per week position at a starting salary of $15 per hour plus PERA benefits. Approval was given to advertise for a candidate to fill the position and an employment committee was set up.
Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m., November 6, 2020. Contact Canton City Hall for application by phone, in person or online at cantonmn.com.
Liquor licenses for Pauly’s Canton Pub, $610 on-sale only and ZZ Tap, $710 on- and off-sale were approved with fees waived for both businesses for 2021, due to the impact of COVID-19.
Utility Base mapping agreement with WHKS and Co. was discussed, which would provide accurate maps of the city utility lines. No action was taken.
Small Cities Loan – Alma Syvertson, Whalan for $20,000 home improvement loan, November 30, 2011, with maturity date of November 30, 2023. Approximately $6,000 will be returned to Canton for the remaining balance plus 10%.
Trick-or-treating – social distancing to be maintained in a trunk and treat event was approved. Residents are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines if offering door-to-door trick-or-treating.
Santa Day alternative event was also approved. More information is available on city website.
School Referendum Resolution #2020-07, supporting the proposed Mabel-Canton School District referendum was approved.
Graduation pictures – M-C superintendent inquired as to the location of the Canton High graduation pictures. After discussion, with it felt that these pictures should remain in Canton. The possibility of storing them at the Presbyterian Church was mentioned and will be explored.
Renewal of SEMLM membership annual dues of $40 was discussed; it was felt no benefit was received and will not be continued.
Mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters with no in town voting. The options exists to mail in, drop off at the courthouse or vote in-person in Preston. Additional information is available on the city website.
Next meeting date Tuesday, November 10; 6 p.m. public hearing on utility rates; 7 p.m. regular meeting. Note meeting date change due to Veterans Day, November 11.