The Wykoff City Council met on December 12 in regular session, with all members in attendance (Mitch Grabau, Rocky Vreeman, Mayor Al Williams, Deputy Clerk Becky Schmidt, Megan Lund, and Brody Mensink). The council allotted time at the beginning of the meeting for the annual “Truth in Taxation” hearing, but no citizens showed up for this, so the council went forward with the regular council meeting.
Lonnie Shipton was the only person signed up to address the council. He explained that he’s behind on his water bill, and asked, “Could I set up some kind of payment deal?” He said he can pay half of the total now, and hopes to be able to pay off the balance in thirty days. Mayor Williams pointed out that whatever the city chooses to do, it could set a precedent for other such situations. There was discussion about getting a “hardship” statement from Shipton’s doctor. Shipton agreed to pay half on December 13, and the matter will be added to the agenda for the next council meeting to discuss how to handle the remaining balance. Shipton said he hopes to be able to pay it off at that time.
Fire Chief Wade Baker asked the council to consider increasing the fire chief’s pay from $1,000 to $2,000, and to add a paid position of $500 for assistant chief, since there are increased documentation duties. The council suggested increasing the fire chief to $1,500 and adding the assistant chief pay at $500. After discussion, Mensink said he was OK with that, as long as it comes from funds already budgeted to the Fire Department, so there would be no additional cost. The council voted to OK this plan. Mark Arndt stated that regarding the Wastewater Treatment Plant, “Everything’s going great,” and he said the plant met specifications for the third month in a row.
In Old Business, the council discussed a “junk ordinance” situation in the city. Mayor Williams said, “I think he’s working on it,” and he noted that good progress had been made on the clean-up. Mensink asked, “If everything’s done and he’s in compliance with the ordinance, great. If not, then I guess I don’t understand why we send out these letters. We say please take care of this situation in ten days, and if it’s not taken care of in ten days,… either change the ordinance, or clean it up and bill him.” Grabau suggested sending the property owner another letter, including a copy of the ordinance, so that he can see exactly what is expected. He also pointed out that a “paper trail” is needed if the city wishes to pursue the matter further, so an actual written complaint would need to be on file to start the process. The council agreed to send another letter along with a copy of the ordinance.
The council then considered a bid from National Environmental Waterproofing to fix leaks in the city’s manholes. The estimate said it would be $3,000 to $5,000 per manhole. Mayor Williams said, “It doesn’t look very good as far as any help from FEMA for manhole waterproofing… We can’t afford to go under contract for this price.” The council chose to table the issue. Mark Arndt told the council, “I personally think I could repair some of them myself.”
Regarding a previous issue regarding sewer lines on South Main, the League of Minnesota Cities will send out a claims adjuster to look into the matter and report back to the city. A representative from Stevenson Insurance addressed the council regarding increasing the city’s coverage on three buildings (community center, city hall, and the city garage) to cover full replacement cost. Schmidt will email the council information on the exact cost of such a change, so the council members can decide.
The council agreed to continue advertising in the Visit Bluff Country publication, at a cost of $383 for the year. The council chose to advertise the part-time maintenance position, with wording that applicants must be willing to obtain a CDL and Class D WWTP certification, and be on-call for weekends.
he council will have a special meeting on December 21 at 7 p.m. to make final approval of the 2017 budget. The meeting adjourned about 9 p.m. The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome.