The first order of business at the Whalan City Council meeting in January was to swear in re-elected council members. Whalan City Clerk Michele Peterson administered the oath of office to Mayor Marlys Tuftin and councilmembers Owen Lewis, Tanya Cook and Thore Johnson.
The regularly scheduled council meeting was held on January 11, 2021, on Zoom. Also present at the virtual meeting was council member Kim Berekvam.
After reviewing the agenda there were four additions made. One addition under new business and three additions to miscellaneous.
The minutes of the Special Canvassing Board meeting held November 13, 2020, were read aloud by Tuftin. Present at the special meeting were Tuftin, Berekvam, Cook and Lewis. Johnson was absent. The board approved Resolution 2020-4 certifying the November 3, 2020, election results. The minutes from Special Canvassing Board meeting were approved.
The minutes of the regularly scheduled December 14, 2020, Whalan City Council meeting were read aloud by Tuftin and approved by the council.
The Treasurer’s Report was read aloud by Peterson and was also approved.
The new city attorney for Whalan, Joseph O’Koren of Manion O’Koren Law Firm introduced himself to the city council. Mr. O’Koren thanked the council for the opportunity to serve the City of Whalan.
Berekvam discussed the progress of the new Whalan brochure. Councilmembers Berekvam, Cook and Johnson, along with Jane Lewis and Donna Novotny have agreed to be on the committee to work on the brochure.
Council member pay was discussed. Current pay for council members is $50 per regularly scheduled council meetings and $75 for an irregular meeting. There is no extra pay for special meetings. No changes were made to the council members pay.
The board approved Resolution 2021-01, designating Merchant’s Bank in Lanesboro, Minn., as the official depository for the City of Whalan.
The board approved:
•Resolution 2021-02, designating the Fillmore County Journal as the official newspaper for the City of Whalan.
•Resolution 2021-03, establishing mileage reimbursement rate at 57.5 cents per mile.
•Resolution 2021-04, authorizing signature authority for city accounts. Both Tuftin’s and Peterson’s signatures will be required.
Ernie Johnson and Diane Snyder were reappointed to the Zoning Board for a three-year term.
Councilmember Berekvam was appointed to the Zoning Board until the end of 2021.
Peterson informed the council of a Rural Board Meeting which will take place Monday, February 8, 2021, at 7 pm. Peterson will not know whether the meeting will be in person or virtual until February 1.
Although the town hall is not currently being rented due to the pandemic, Peterson inquired whether the City of Whalan has a rental form for those who rent the town hall. The council also discussed that the charge of a deposit for rental of the town hall has kind of fell to the wayside. Peterson will put together some paperwork for the town hall rental for the council to review at the next council meeting.
The council discussed whether the City of Whalan should add a local sales tax. The sales tax could be used for community projects and improvements. Discussion on the local sales tax will resume at the February council meeting.
The Lodging Tax was discussed. The contract with the Lanesboro Chamber will be up for negotiation in February of 2022. The council will have further discussions on the subject in the coming months.
The next regularly scheduled Whalan City Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Monday, February 8 at 5 p.m.