At the March 11 meeting, all members of the Canton City council were present, except Randy Gossman. Mayor Donvee Johnson was present via a phone call. After the approval of minutes and consent agenda, the reports were presented.
Brock Bergy started with the clerk’s report. Bergey reported that there are 17 delinquent water/sewage/garbage accounts, which is approximately 10% of all city household accounts. Canton Town Hall will have a busy season with many events planned, such as wedding receptions, graduation celebrations, senior exercise classes, etc. Pictures of the building will be put up on Canton’s upcoming website to possibly bring more reservations.
May 1 will be the deadline for golf cart and UTV registration. Cost will be $10, the city asks for you to arrive with proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license.
Bergey also reported that Danny Whalen, who was recently in court for nuisance property complaints, pled guilty. He has till May 15 to make sure his property is up to code, but the council will discuss the status of the property on May 13 at the monthly council meeting.
On March 9, Lolly Melander had her omnibus hearing with no challenges and has entered a not guilty plea (which was expected). At the moment there is no trial date scheduled, but the pretrial hearing is planned for April 20th.
Joel Torgerson has a pretrial hearing set for May 5 for four misdemeanor charges. May 11 is the settlement conference with the jury trial to be scheduled thereafter.
After Bergey’s announcements, Public Works had their reports. One topic Jon Nordsving included in the report was that large amounts of grease have emerged at the wastewater plant requiring clean-up multiple times a day. The exact location of where the grease is coming from has not been determined.
The council approved (with amount of $10,000 allowed in the budget) to purchase a Hustler Super Z from Windridge Implement.
Next up was unfinished business. Starting with the Water/Sewage/Garbage Fund, Bergey once again discussed how these funds need to be separated for bookwork purposes to improve the efficiency of the process. On the topic of bookkeeping, the council had a lengthy discussion about a bookkeeping software. Bergey discussed many advantages to using Banyon software compared to what the city is using now, Quickbooks. He sought advice from Monica Hauser, of Hawkins Ash, whose advice was to not use Quickbooks for billing. After large amounts of discussion, the council decided to approve of using the Banyon software, for $8,995.
Utility rates were also a portion of discussion. Since 2017, there has been no increase in these rates. Nordsving and Bergey will be meeting with an advisor to discuss these issues on April 7.
New Business was next on the agenda, starting with bills with due dates prior to council meetings. Bergey asked to council to allow duel signatures prior to council meetings to avoid late fees. The council approved this motion.
Bergey also proposed city credit/debit cards. He pointed out that many city workers have to use personal cards for certain transactions and the city would pay them back afterwards. The council agreed to issue three debit cards to each branch of the city.
In 2017, Don Wilken made a $20,000 donation to the City of Canton to go towards the softball field or city park. The donation was put into the general fund; the council decided to move that to a CD so the donation does not get used for anything other than what was in the will.
The council is asking the residents of Canton to put house numbers in a visible area on their residence as soon as they can. This will make emergency and delivery services more efficient. Even though this is not a set ordinance, the council does ask all residents to do so as soon as possible.
Next meeting will be April 8th at 6 p.m.
Other business in brief
Thirty-one dogs and cats have been licensed in the City of Canton.
There is no updated audit information.
Forty votes were cast by mail-in ballots for the primary. There is no data based upon turnout from past years to compare these numbers to.
$50 is the limit of petty cash to be maintained by the city clerk.
Nordving’s DNR water conservation report is due March 30.
The Fire Department FEMA grant experienced a delay because of password difficulty, causing the application to not be in by the deadline.