City Council

August 4, 2008


Present:  Bertsch, Hansey, Wateland, Mitskog, Mayor, DeVries, Schmidt, and Bohn.


Absent:  Tollefson


Officers Present:  Lies, Kessel, Thorsteinson, Nelson, Huwe, Priebe, MacIver, and Broadland.


Motion by Wateland, seconded by Hansey to approve the July 21, 2008 City Council minutes.  Motion carried 7-0.


City Coordinator Kessel

Kessel stated that the second reading for the City of Wahpeton Zoning Map will be given tonight.  The zoning map shows how each parcel is zoned within the City limits and the ETZ (Extra Territorial Zoning) area.   


Councilmember Bohn offered second reading of the following Ordinance and moved for adoption:




AUGUST 4, 2008


Site Authorizations, permits and raffles.

Councilmember Bohn offered the following and moved its adoption:

Raffle – Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club

The motion for the adoption of the foregoing Resolution was duly seconded by Councilmember Schmidt, Motion carried 7-0.


Kessel reminded the Council that September 1, 2008 is Labor Day and City Hall will be closed and City Council will meet on Tuesday, September 2, 2008.


Sarah Manock will begin employment as City Coordinator’s Assistant beginning August 11th.


Kessel received a request from Jim Tillman to purchase a small portion of land the City owns in Breckenridge.  Mayor referred the item to the Finance Committee.


Kessel asked for a referral to the Public Works Committee there is some land that has become available adjacent to the City lagoons and may be of interest to the City for expansion of the lagoons or other Economic Development projects.


Kessel reported on the SEMCA (Southeast Multi County Agency) budget.  This year Wilkin County is opted out of participating in SEMCA.  The remaining participants had to pick up additional funding due to Wilkin County and the City of Breckenridge not participating.  The remaining entities involved are City of Wahpeton, Richland County, Ransom County, City of Lisbon, Sargent County and NDSCS.  NDSCS and Sargent County are contributing a set amount rather than a percentage.   The other entities need to take on a higher percentage; the City of Wahpeton would pay 41% or $37,066.05.  Kessel wanted the City Council to be aware of the change and will be addressed during the budget process.    Mitskog asked if SEMCA provides an activity report.  Kessel stated that during board meetings a report is provided and Council members Hansey and Wateland are on the Board.  Kessel stated that most of the information in the report is sensitive in nature; but it can be made available listing instances and where they occurred.  Wateland stated that the 41% the City pays is over the percentage in the case load as most instances occur in the City of Wahpeton.  Sturdevant asked about funding from the State for SEMCA; Kessel stated that the money came from the Federal Government in the form of the Byrne Grant and that funding source has decreased over time.  Kessel mentioned when Pomeroy was in Wahpeton they advocated for the Byrne Grant to assist in stabilizing or preferably improving the funding side.  Senator Conrad will be in Wahpeton on Wednesday and will be asking him for the same assistance with the Byrne Grant.  The last legislative session designated a set amount from the lottery proceeds and is now distributing that money to drug task force agencies.  Asset forfeitures are part of the funding source and are shown as a line item in the funding formula. 


Kessel asked for Dakota Avenue appearance to be referred to Public Works Public Safety  (PWPS) Committee as there have been questions as to who is responsible for maintaining sidewalks in the downtown area.


Kessel asked that a reimbursement request from Jim Link be referred to the PWPS Committee.


Kessel stated that the City Council members have City ID’s at their desks.


Attorney Lies 

Lies explained that the accessory building ordinance has been discussed at Public Works and Planning Commission as there is a 1200 square foot building limitation on accessory buildings.  The Planning Commission recommended that a special exception be created to go to the Board of Adjustment for requests made in the City of Wahpeton and the Planning Commission would act as the Board of Adjustment in the ETZ are.  This would allow residents to build an accessory building in excess of 1200 square feet and they may do so upon application and approval of the Board of Adjustment. 


Councilmember Hansey offered first reading of the following Ordinance and moved for adoption:





Motion by Schmidt, seconded by DeVries to set a hearing date of September 2, 2008 for the zoning ordinance.  Motion carried 7-0.      


Economic Development Director Priebe

Priebe distributed the July 21st thru August 4th activity report.  Priebe reviewed the results of the Executive Summary for the Labor Availability Study. 


Priebe stated there is a request for Tax Increment Financing from WCCO Belting as they are working on an expansion project; there are eligible costs that could be reimbursed.  WCCO is not in a TIF District, but the entire City is in an urban renewal district.  Priebe requested the Mayor refer this item to the Finance Committee.


Priebe has the design manual for the downtown buildings and a public input meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 6th at Breckenridge City Hall on Wednesday at 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.


Priebe is looking at revamping the Mini-match program and asked that the item be referred to the Finance Committee.


Priebe stated that last year a moratorium was placed on signs in the downtown area and asked that this item be referred to the Finance Committee.


Finance Director Huwe

Huwe reported that she received correspondence from the Department of Emergency Management regarding FEMA money the City received for a high water event in 2001.  FEMA has conducted a project review and stated that the City could not account for $4,648.59 of administrative costs and are now asking for reimbursement.  Huwe stated that there are funds available from the snow and flood emergency fund to reimburse the $4,648.59.  Motion by Hansey, seconded by Bertsch to refund $4,648.59 to FEMA.  Motion carried 7-0


Huwe is requesting a meeting of the whole on Tuesday, August 12th at 5:00 pm, before the Public Works Committee meeting to discuss the 2009 preliminary budget. 


Police Chief Thorsteinson

Thorsteinson received a request from NDSCS to hold their homecoming parade on October 18th beginning at 10 am.  The parade participants would line up at Wells Park in Breckenridge and proceed onto Dakota Avenue in Wahpeton to 6th Street ending at the NDSCS oval.  Motion by Mitskog, seconded by DeVries to approve the NDSCS Homecoming Parade on October 18th.  Motion carried 7-0.


Public Works Director Nelson

Nelson has received a payment request from the NDDOT in the amount of $20,619.44 for the 16th Avenue North project.  The special assessments for this project have already been spread and assessed.  Nelson reported that approximately half of the bill from the NDDOT is related to expenses for the shared use path.  The other costs are final calculations on preliminary engineering costs relating to construction.  The $20,619.44 is to be paid from the special street maintenance fund.  Motion by Schmidt, seconded by Mitskog to approve payment of the NDDOT in the amount of $20,619.44.  Motion carried 7-0.


Nelson is requesting to advertise for flood protection improvements at the Harry S. Stern Airport project number FL-07-130.  This is a companion to the Stage II levee project and is being bid outside the Corps of Engineers project.  The City created this project when the ceiling had been reached on the federal share of the project; and in order to minimize the local cost the City split out certain improvements in the area and shortened the levee.  The Flood Committee was involved in rescoping the project and there has been no formal action by the Flood Committee to move the project forward.  The Council would be taking action to authorize advertisement without prior Committee review.  The project has been advertised once for the bid letting on August 14th and the action tonight is to confirm the advertising that has already taken place.  Two weeks from tonight Nelson will have a recommendation for the award of the bid.  Motion by Bertsch, seconded by Schmidt to confirm the authorizing of the advertising for bids for the Flood Protection Improvements at Harry S. Stern Airport.  Motion carried 7-0.


Mayor Sturdevant asked about bid opening for parking lot at the Wahpeton Community Center.  Nelson stated that on August 12th at the committee of the whole meeting the parking lot would be an agenda item.


Council member Bohn Finance Committee Report

Council member Bohn reported that a request for a Class A liquor license was received.  The party making the request was present at the meeting and the location they are looking at for a sports bar facility that would serve food; requires a five year lease.  Currently the number of Class A and Class B liquor licenses exceeds the number allowed by Ordinance, as they are based on population.  The Finance Committee offered the individual a Class C liquor license which requires a 50/50 split of food to liquor.  The Committee will review the Class C Ordinance to determine if a change could be made to accommodate this type of business.   


Kessel gave the Committee an update on the water service contract with the Red River Valley Water Supply.


Bohn reported that the group reviewed the Tax Increment Financing Guideline.  The Committee reviewed a request to access TIF funding for a proposed development adjacent to the 210 Bypass.  After discussion it was determined that an abatement process would best suit the project.


Councilmember Bohn offered the following Resolution and moved for adoption: 




The motion for the adoption of the foregoing Resolution was duly seconded by Councilmember Bertsch, and upon vote being taken thereon, the following voted in favor thereof: All.   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.


Lies went on to explain that the resolution expands on eligible projects as the current plan only allows for regional tax incentives and this would allow project specific incentives.


Motion by Bohn, seconded by Mitskog to approve the TIF abatement for the Westgate Commons for 50% of eligible costs or 10% of the total project cost as listed on the building permit which ever is less and not to exceed five years.  Motion carried 7-0.


Councilmember Wateland Public Works/Public Safety Committee

Wateland reported that City Attorney Lies is reviewing a reimbursement request for damage from a storm sewer manhole cover.


Received a request from a property owner for an onsite waste water system.


There is ongoing trapping of pigeons to control the population.


Received an updated status report on dilapidated properties from Building Official Johnson.


Councilmember Wateland offered first reading of the following Ordinance:


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING §§16-832 and 16-912

AND ADOPTING §16-922 AND 16-932



Kessel stated that the Wahpeton Community Center Board met on Friday; and recommended approval the purchase of seven folding chair caddies and eleven table dollies. 


Motion by Mitskog, seconded by Schmidt to suspend the rules.  Motion carried 7-0.


Motion by Hansey, seconded by Wateland to approve the purchase of the chair caddies and table dollies at a cost of $3,419.56 plus freight.  All voting aye.  Motion carried 7-0.


Motion by Wateland, seconded by Mitskog to approve the reports.  Motion carried 7-0


Kessel reminded everyone of the Golf Course Ad Hoc Committee meeting on Tuesday at 7 am.


Motion by Mitskog, seconded by Wateland to adjourn.  Motion carried 7-0.


Minutes respectfully submitted:  Angie Appell