Crosslake City Attorney Brad Person on Monday, April 12, provided the following written summaries of recent closed city council meetings, and council member Dave Schrupp read each summary:

  • The council considered a respectful workplace complaint that an employee initiated and took no disciplinary action. The Respectful Workplace Policy will be distributed to and reviewed by all employees, including department heads and administration, as well as city council, city board and city commission members.

The council approved this action with Marcia Seibert-Volz abstaining. The council had hired a Duluth attorney as a third party to investigate this complaint.

No further information was available.

  • The council considered a citizen complaint and took disciplinary action. City Administrator Mike Lyonais talked with the employee and placed the copy of the action in his personnel file, Schrupp said.

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The council approved this action.

No further information was available.

  • The council discussed labor negotiation strategies and developments.

This map shows roads that Crosslake is seeking speed limit studies for. Submitted Photo (April 2021)
This map shows roads that Crosslake is seeking speed limit studies for. Submitted Photo (April 2021)Submitted Photo (April 2021)

COVID-19

During the second public forum time, resident Jerome Volz said he’d been informed that someone at a recent planning and zoning meeting had COVID-19, and no one at the meeting was informed. He asked for clarification.

City Clerk Char Nelson said the person who tested positive gave information to the Minnesota Department of Health, and it’s up to that state department to contact people.

Mayor Dave Nevin said it was odd no major announcement was made.

Seibert-Volz said the city should assume responsibility to notify people.

Commercial rental unit moratorium

During the council’s first public forum time, Crosslake resident Clay Porter asked that the council reinstate a ban on allowing commercial storage in the residential district.

After discussion, the council agreed to put a moratorium on allowing commercial rental units in residential areas. The council sent the issue to the planning and zoning commission to take up. Nevin asked Porter to be part of the discussion.

Public safety

The council approved a three-year law enforcement contract with Mission Township, after previously approving a one-year contract. Cost to the township is $62,870 in 2021, $64,756 in 2022, and $66,698 in 2023, which the township also approved.

The council learned the fire department will move back into its remodeled building soon. The council discussed and approved various costs associated with the remodel, including $3,731 for radio room chairs and $20,000 for a training room audio/video system.

Seibert-Volz proposed allocating the $20,000 budgeted for the training room equipment, instead of the requested $33,083, and building on it next year. The council approved that suggestion, with council members Schrupp and John Andrews opposed.

Police reported 192 incidents in March in Crosslake, including eight agency assists, 37 emergency medical services calls, two property damage accidents, 65 traffic warnings, 10 traffic citations and one each burglary in progress, fire and theft.

In Mission Township, police reported 67 incidents in March, including eight agency assists, five traffic citations, two suspicious activity and one each EMS call, property damage accident, suspicious vehicle and traffic arrest.

The fire department reported 36 incidents in March, including 26 EMS calls and one grass fire.

North Ambulance reported 72 calls in March.

Andrews participated in the meeting online via Zoom while other council members and staff were at city hall.

The Crosslake City Council studied photos of Pinewood Cemetery during its Monday, April 12, 2021, meeting. Echo Journal Screenshot / Nancy Vogt
The Crosslake City Council studied photos of Pinewood Cemetery during its Monday, April 12, 2021, meeting. Echo Journal Screenshot / Nancy VogtEcho Journal Screenshot / Nancy Vogt

In other business Monday, the council:

  • Issued $865,000 general obligation equipment certificates at a premium of $46,669. The proceeds will be used to finance a new fire truck. The bonds are payable over seven years at a net effective interest rate of 0.08743%.

  • Heard from Crosslake resident Brenda Brittan, who shared concerns about the city’s building permit process, saying she found the process frustrating, not customer centric and a waste of taxpayer money.

  • Granted a request from Joe Ruttger and Neal and Elaine Bailey to relocate road right of way/access on Whitefish Avenue to Whitefish Lake.

  • Received a letter signed by more than 20 people asking for better maintenance at Pinewood Cemetery. Public Works Director Ted Strand said his department needs more time and money to provide more maintenance at the cemetery. Consensus was that people need to follow cemetery rules as well regarding items left there.

After discussion, the council agreed to allocate up to $15,000 for a part-time seasonal worker to work with the Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments to help maintain the cemetery and city walking paths.

Residents are asked to claim and remove personal items at the cemetery by Friday, May 7, before the annual cleaning scheduled for the week of May 10.

  • Accepted the following donations: $50 anonymous donation to upgrade the community center sign at County State Aid Highway 66 and Daggett Pine Road, and six framed pictures from Bob Heales for decoration at the police department and city hall.

  • Agreed to donate $100 to Pine River-Backus High School seniors.

  • Discussed plumbing issues at city hall, and agreed to buy wired microphones for the council chambers for an estimated $2,541 from Stewart Sound systems.

  • Agreed to meet at 6 p.m. Monday, May 10, before the next regularly scheduled meeting, to review 2020 financial statements.

  • Learned a traffic study request for appropriate speeds on three roadways - County Road 66 from CSAH 3 to CSAH 6, CR 3 from CSAH 36/CR 103 to CSAH 66, and County Road 16 from West Shore Drive to CSAH 66 - was sent to Crow Wing County, which sent it to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

  • Updated a community center policy adding that the parking lot is for community center and park visitors only.

  • Agreed to accept $1,500 in park dedication fees for the Schnitker Subdivision and $3,000 in fees for the Gallaway Subdivision, both in lieu of land.

  • Approved an Xcel Energy proposal for $10,580 to install a natural gas line to the maintenance shop and garden garage.

  • Approved a proposal from Thelen Heating and Cooling for $15,400 to dispose of two heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and replace them with two high efficiency systems. Nevin was opposed.

  • Approved a construction cost share agreement with Crow Wing County for bituminous seal coat of Daggett Bay Road and Perkins Road for an estimated $19,160. The council was told bids came in a bit lower than that. Nevin was opposed, saying the project likely didn’t have to be done this year.

  • Accepted Bolton & Menk engineering firm’s proposal to design wastewater treatment facility improvements (clarifier rehabilitation and lift station controls) for an hourly rate not to exceed $39,350.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.