New Two Harbors city councilor questions untelevised meetingMonday night was Roger Simonson’s first meeting as the fill-in city councilor for Ward 2, and already he brought up some questions about the way the Two Harbors City Council runs its meetings.
Monday night was Roger Simonson’s first meeting as the fill-in city councilor for Ward 2, and already he brought up some questions about the way the Two Harbors City Council runs its meetings.
Simonson said at the 5 p.m. meeting he noticed the meeting was called the “finance committee” meeting and the whole council functioned as that committee.
“So this is not technically an agenda meeting, where everything that’s just going to be brought up at the regular city council meeting is discussed here,” asked Simonson.
Council President Jones said that technically that was correct. Simonson also asked if there may not be things that are brought up at the regular meeting that are new to some of the councilors.
“We try to bring it up here and not surprise people at the 7 p.m. meeting,” answered Jones. “Usually it has to do with finance one way or another.”
The 5 p.m. finance committee meetings are not televised. The 7 p.m. regular city council meetings are broadcasted on the local cable channel.
Simonson was appointed to the City Council after Ward 2 Councilor Chris Swanson retired last month. Simonson will serve on the public affairs and public utilities committees.
Public works jobs
The Two Harbors Public Works Department will undergo more staffing changes.
Councilor Jerry Norberg asked the City Council Monday night to consider approving posting the position of assistant street commissioner/assistant public works director.
“Vacation season is coming and snow is second in command up there so I’m going to ask that we post that,” he said.
Norberg also asked the council to approve posting internally a heavy equipment job.
“There’s a responsible person on digs that you have to have,” Norberg said.
Training for that position is being offered in Two Harbors in May. City Administrator Lee Klein said one option was to bid on the jobs one at a time rather than simultaneously.
Councilors voted to post the assistant public works director and any subsequent openings after that.
Sidewalk project changes
The Council also amended an earlier resolution on sidewalk replacement on the 600 block and Ninth Avenue to be actually done on the 700 block and Ninth Avenue.
Councilor Seth McDonald brought up the issue of funding to pay SEH Engineering for their future work on planning and engineering the Parking Lot Rehabilitation Project at the Two Harbors airport at the five o’clock meeting. The contract costs the city $24,000.
The council went back and forth on where to find the funding for the contract but eventually settled on taking it out of the P.I. fund.
Silver Creek agreement
Councilor Steve Detlefsen wanted to get some solid figures about the cost for Silver Creek to pump sewage into Two Harbors. Detlefsen said the question that kept coming back is price per 1000 gallons and asked the Council if they thought that was fair.
“I talked to an engineer who said the only way to come up with that figure and that’s fair to the city, is to count the number of constituents that run in your sewer, what it costs to process it and divide it and add 25% of it and that’s the price that we charge for price per gallon per thousand,” he said.
Klein said the wastewater treatment plant could provide that figure.
“Are they contemplating running their sewer line and using us?” Rosati asked.
Detlefsen answered in the affirmative. Councilors decided to commence on a fact-finding mission to find the figure.