With the resignation of Michele Peterson as the city clerk/treasurer, the Whalan, Minn., city council discussed applications received and the interview process at their August 14 council meeting.
Present at the council meeting were Mayor David Hallum, council members Kim Berekvam, Sheila Higbe, Thore E. Johnson and Owen Lewis. Peterson was in attendance, as her role of city clerk/treasurer was still in effect. There were no absences.
The agenda was approved, with additions of 1) Public hearing on short-term rentals, 2) Zoom option, 3) Fire hydrant maintenance and 4) Invoice from Sveen Excavating. Peterson also requested to move the discussion about the city clerk/treasurer position to the end of the meeting to keep things moving at a steady pace.
Minutes of the regularly scheduled July 10 council meeting and the July 20 special meeting were both approved as presented, as was the Treasurer’s Report.
There were no comments or questions from visitors.
Melissa Vander Plas, executive director of the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce (LACC) attended the meeting to introduce herself to the council. She stated that LACC promotes Whalan along with Lanesboro, and offered any assistance to the city of Whalan that they may need through the Chamber.
The annual Worker’s Compensation Insurance Premium Option was approved.
A Taste of the Trail funding request was tabled until the September 11 council meeting.
A discussion was held on the Oak Street temporary improvements. Peterson talked with Ryan at Generation X and he said they would be doing the work soon.
A discussion on the DNR signs and trees was tabled until the September 11 council meeting.
Repairs have been done to the gas tank, but there is a leak. City maintenance worker Randy Berekvam will make contact to have the leak fixed.
Survey estimates to identify the right of way on 2nd Avenue were received. One estimate was in the amount of $2,000 and another in the amount of $2,500. The discussion was tabled until the September 11 council meeting.
Peterson reported that she had heard back in regards to the Local Road Improvement Application. The city of Whalan was awarded $5,000 from the League of Minnesota Cities to help with the cost of the grant writing for local road improvement. Resolution 2023-09 was approved.
The Zoning Committee has gone through the proposed short-term rental ordinance and would like to have another public hearing on the subject. There will be another public hearing on short-term rentals in October. The hearing notification will be published in the Fillmore County Journal.
The City of Whalan has been utilizing the City of Lanesboro’s account to have the Zoom option available for council meetings. Peterson asked the council if they would like her to create an account for the city of Whalan, to which the council agreed.
A discussion was held on fire hydrant maintenance. Although not functional, Johnson expressed the need for the fire hydrants to be maintained, with caps replaced and new paint. Red paint will be purchased for the fire hydrants.
An invoice was received from Sveen Excavating for road maintenance in 2021 and 2022. Peterson stated her records show that the city paid for the year 2021. The council approved the 2022 payment, and had a discussion about timely billing. Peterson will share their concern with Sveen.
Payment will be made to city maintenance worker Berekvam in the amount of $564.75, as well as a payment to Peterson in the amount of $589.99.
The council discussed the city clerk/treasurer position, for which ten applications were received. Peterson blacked out the personal information on each application and handed a copy of each to councilors for review. After several minutes of review, the council narrowed the field down to four applications. Interviews will be conducted on Friday, August 25 beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The next regularly scheduled Whalan City Council meeting will be held on Monday, September 11, at 5 p.m. in the town hall. The public is encouraged to attend.
For more information visit the city of Whalan website at cityofwhalan.weebly.com or phone city hall at (507) 467-2212.