City Council Meeting

Monday, July 7th 2008



Council Members Present:  Mayor Sturdevant; Council members Bertsch, Hansey, Wateland, DeVries, Schmidt, Tollefson and Bohn.

Council Members Absent: Mitskog

Staff Present:  Attorney Lies, City Coordinator Assistant Kessel, Public Works Director Nelson, Finance Director Huwe, Economic Development Director Priebe, Librarian MacIver and Assessor Broadland.

Others Present:  Finance Assistant Appell and City Coordinator Assistant Burchill.


Mayor Sturdevant called the meeting to order at 5:01pm.


Minutes from June 16th and 24th to be approved at the next meeting.



Mayor Sturdevant presented a plaque expressing our appreciation to former Councilmember Beyer for his service on the council. 


CITY COORDINATOR KESSEL – Kessel has a request to review our ordinances related to Ancillary Structures.  He is asking that the Public Works/Safety Committee review this item. 


Mayor Sturdevant agreed and referred that item to Public Work/Safety Committee.   


Kessel announced the resignation of City Coordinator Assistant Burchill from the City of Wahpeton effective August 1st, 2008.  She has accepted the position as a full time mother and will also be working for Burchill Construction.  Kessel stated that advertising is taking place and they hope to conduct interviews next week. 


Sturdevant asked if there will be a realignment of duties. 


Kessel stated that he has the authority to change the job description of employees other than Department Heads.  He will be presenting information in the near future with regard to realigning the duties to help jobs flow better.


The next item is to hold the first reading of Ordinance 912.  This ordinance is required in order to approve the official zoning map and make our zoning ordinance effective.  This item was reviewed today at the Planning Commission meeting and Kessel stated that a along with a first reading, a motion to approve the hearing date is also required.  The earliest the hearing could occur is August 4th.


 Councilmember Hansey offered first reading of the following Ordinance:






AUGUST 4th, 2008.


Motion by Hansey, seconded by Schmidt to offer a hearing date of August 4th.  Motion carried 7-0.


Kessel would like to refer the approval of the service area agreements to Public Works/Safety Committee.


Mayor Sturdevant agreed and referred that item to the Public Works/Safety Committee for review.   


There has been a request to review our current liquor license ordinances and consider adding an additional license.  The individual making the request would like to start a new business along the bypass.  We are currently at our maximum number of liquor licenses based on our population.  The City council has the right to change the ordinance to allow for more. 


Mayor Sturdevant reminded the council that they also have some letters on file requesting a license if one were to become available.  He referred this item to the Public Works Committee for review. 


ATTORNEY LIES – Attorney Lies brought forth Resolution 3342 under the direction of the Finance committee.  This resolution will establish fees for itinerant merchants.  Individuals who go door to door and sell products/take orders fall under this category.  Federal law states that we cannot ban door to door sales but we can regulate it by requiring licenses and bonds.   The law states that fees have to be reasonable and directly related to the cost of issuing the licenses and policing the merchants.  The fees proposed are $15 per day with a maximum of $300 per year.  Current fees exceed state law and there have been no charges imposed to date.  The fee was changed to $100 per day the last time the resolution was addressed.  The new fees proposed are charged per business.  An example is the Schwan’s company.  They would pay the $300 annual fee and it would cover all of their employees. 


Councilmember Tollefson offered the following Resolution and moved for adoption:




The motion for the adoption of the foregoing Resolution was duly seconded by Councilmember DeVries, and upon vote being taken thereon, the following voted in favor thereof: Bertsch, Hansey, Wateland, DeVries, Schmidt, Tollefson and Bohn; and the following voted against the same:  None.  Whereupon said Resolution was declared duly passed and adopted, was signed by the Mayor, and attested to by the City Auditor.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR PRIEBE Priebe distributed her activity report with a list of happening in the office.  One of the items she has been working on is a full page ad for Quality of Life issue of Xpansion Management Magazine.  The proposed final design manual from Thomas Zahn has been received.  This document shows proposed improvements to selected downtown buildings.  The document will be reviewed by the Private Improvement Committee on Wednesday morning at 7am in Breckenridge.  Priebe provided the definition of SBDC – Small Business Development Center.  They provide management assistance to current and prospective small businesses owners.  Priebe stated that this is where they ask all new businesses to visit before the City can start working with them on grants and loan programs. 


Priebe also informed everyone about the Governors Rural Community Summit in August. If anyone is interested in attending please contact Priebe.   


FINANCE DIRECTOR HUWE – Huwe stated that in January 2008 the Wahpeton Fire Department was notified of a 2007 award from the Assistance to Firefighters grant.  Brett Lambrecht, Richland County Emergency Management Director and the Wahpeton Volunteer Fire Dept applied and were awarded a $252,000 multi agency grant through the Department of Homeland Security.  The grant was submitted on behalf of 19 agencies and applicants were encouraged to submit projects that involve multiple jurisdictions to further integrate regional response capabilities.  The City received $9,500 in match monies from the participating departments prior to the equipment being ordered, the grant funds were electronically deposited in the City account and disbursed to the vendor on the same day, June 30th.  The June bill pay report will reflect a $148,862 disbursement to Minn-Kota Communications for the grant recipients.  The City of Wahpeton saved approximately $23,000 in communication equipment expense by the grant award proceeds.  Between 14 fire departments, 4 ambulance services and Richland County 911 Dispatch they will receive 232 pieces of equipment including radios, pagers and a communications tower. 


Huwe has requested that the Finance and Public Works Committees review the various options for the Fire Department to lease/purchase a fire truck.  She stated that the purchase was requested for 2010 but it may be advantageous to purchase it sooner.  The committees will be reviewing the reasons to acquire it sooner and review possible funding options. 


Mayor Sturdevant agreed and referred that to Finance and Public Works/Safety Committees for review. 


LIBRARIAN MACIVER – MacIver presented an invitation to attend the dedication for the outdoor sign on July 14 at 3:30pm.  The Women’s Literary Club will provide refreshments.   


PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR – Director Nelson explained that the WCC Board reviewed and approved change orders 5G, 3M and 1E for the Community Center.  Nelson explained what the various change orders are for and listed the costs associated with each. 


Motion by Hansey, seconded by Bohn to approve change orders 5G, 3M and 1E totaling $4,479.  Motion carried 7-0.    


Nelson has requested referral of the Maintenance Certification to NDDOT for Urban Federal Aid Projects.


Mayor Sturdevant agreed and referred that item to Public Works/Safety Committee. 


Nelson is asking that the Public Works/Safety Committee review a claim for vehicle damages on city streets. 


Mayor Sturdevant agreed and referred that item to the Public Works/Safety Committee.


Mayor Sturdevant asked how the vector control efforts are going. 


Nelson stated that they would be ground spraying this evening.  They are going to modify how they spray.  The entire city will be sprayed at one time versus the north side on one night and south side on another.  The spraying of allies will be eliminated as it is controversial if it is beneficial.  The truck takes one trip down each road and sprays into the air. The spray then drifts into the yards and encompasses roughly 300 square feet of area.  Nelson is anticipating two sprays of the entire city (Monday and Thursdays) will provide for significant coverage. It takes roughly 6-7 hours to spray the entire city minus the allies.  The anticipated start time for spraying will be around 6-7pm but it depends on the weather.  The City will follow the mosquito counts and if the numbers are not going down the plan will be revised.  The aerial spray reduced the counts and they are anticipating the ground sprays will help keep it under control. 


Mayor Sturdevant has requested a committee be formed to review the management of golf course operations.  Meetings have been held between Coordinator Kessel, Mayor Sturdevant and Arden Anderson to discuss this item and it is now time to obtain information from others.  Mayor Sturdevant has suggested the following serve on this committee: representation from Finance Committee, Public Works Committee, Park and Recreation Board, and downtown businesses owners/operators.  We are going to require a business plan before we consider taking over operations.  Priebe discussed the SBDC today during her presentation and Sturdevant believes that is the best place to begin.    



Finance Committee - One 24 has requested an extension on their developers agreement for the old city hall building.  The original agreement ends September 2008.  After review the Finance Committee voted to extend the deadline for one year.  The expected completion date is Feb 28, 2009.  Motion by Tollefson, seconded Bohn to approve the request from One24 and grant a one year extension of the developer’s agreement.  Motion carried 7-0.   


The Finance Committee reviewed the policy regarding response time for critical personnel.  Our current policy states “The City of Wahpeton requires all essential personnel, such as ……and Police Officers, to have the ability to immediately respond to needs of their respective departments within thirty (30) minutes of receiving initial notification.”  After speaking with the Police Chief about his and the supervising Sergeants feelings toward the residency requirement the Finance Committee voted to add an exception to that portion of the policy so that the council can review and grant an exception if they see fit. 


Motion by Tollefson, seconded by Wateland to add an exception to the response time policy to allow the council the opportunity to approve, on a case by case basis, a longer response time.  Motion carried 7-0.   


Tollefson clarified that the policy will continue to list the response time at 30 minutes but could be reviewed on a case by case basis.  We are not approving the exception for the officer tonight but allowing for the different language to be added.  Once that is complete the request form Officer Cory will come back to the Council for consideration. 


Public Works Committee - Hansey stated that he had no formal report.  His committee has discussed nine different items and will continue to work on topics that come to their committee. 


Kessel informed the council that he has received one complaint call and brought forth one piece of evidence from the fireworks.  There is a resident who is upset and would like for the Council to eliminate airborne fireworks.  Kessel assured her that he would bring this item forth to the council and they can choose if they want to review our ordinances.  This item was reviewed in previous years and the council decided to continue to allow the use of fireworks.    


Hansey explained that it is difficult to discontinue the sale of fireworks in the City because a portion of revenue benefits various youth organizations.  He stated that he is not happy about the wide use of the fireworks by residents but he doesn’t want to take away those funds either.    

  1. Wahpeton Airport Authority July 9 Agenda.
  2. Community Center Construction Meeting Report #22.
  3. CC Kessel letter to IPM-G requesting records.
  4. LAWA Bulletin.
  5. MDU Response letter regarding future natural gas service.
  6. Midcontinent Communication letter regarding changes in service.
  7. WCC Change Orders 5G, 3M, 1E, 6G, 7G and 8G.
  8. Blandin Community Leadership newsletter.
  9. Garaas Law Firm letter on behalf of Bruce Miller.
  10. Naomi Braun letter to WCC Board members regarding Indoor Batting Cage.
  11. Letter from International Water Institute regarding Red River Basin Mapping Initiative. 

Motion by Tollefson, seconded by Bohn to approve the reports sent in the mail and in the correspondence book.  Motion carried 7-0. 


BILLS – No bills.  



The following Committee meetings were then scheduled:

* SPECIAL COUNCIL MTG              Monday, July 14th 1pm

* FINANCE & PERSONNEL Monday, July 14th Noon          

* PUBLIC WORKS                             Tuesday, July 15th Noon

* FLOOD                                                                   

* VECTOR CONTROL                                                                      


The special council meeting on July 14th at 1pm is to discuss the bid award for sidewalks on the11th street shared use path. 


Motion by Wateland, seconded by Bertsch to adjourn. 5:44pm




Mayor Sturdevant




Tracy Burchill, City Coordinators Assistant - Minutes respectfully submitted by tpb.