TH City Council OK's major expensesThe Two Harbors City Council met Monday, February 11 with all councilors, city administrator, city attorney and mayor present.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
The Two Harbors City Council met Monday, February 11 with all councilors, city administrator, city attorney and mayor present.
The city received correspondence from the American Red Cross requesting use of the Two Harbors City Hall as a shelter in the event of a large scale disaster. Councilor Robin Glaser suggested that the issue be sent along to the Public Safety Committee for consideration.
Michelle Ronning sent correspondence to the City requesting in-kind services during the chalk festival to be held July 19-21. Her requests included closing the street to motor vehicle traffic, permission to allow food and craft vendors in Thomas Owens Park during the event and the provision of water, electricity and porta-potties by the City. She also asked that the City act as fiscal agent and pre-registration site, and for the establishment of a separate account for the annual event so that left- over monies could be rolled over to the following year.
City Administrator, Lee Klein, said that accounting practices followed by the City discourage the carry-over of funds from year to year, but Councilor Seth Mc Donald commented that such an account is reassurance to individuals and businesses that their donations are being spent for the intended purpose.
“What has to happen for the City to be able to do what (Ronning) is asking?” asked Mayor Randy Bolen. Councilor Simonson said that there should be some way to account for the carry-over of the funds in the City’s books.
“It’s not normal,” he said, “but let’s do it and see if we can get away with it.”
The Edna G. commission sought permission from the City Council to get quotes for a hull study. The study would update the commission on the boats condition. A motion to permit the gathering of bids carried unanimously.
A motion made by Councilor McDonald to permit the city administrator to purchase two new laptop computers for use by city councilors, also carried. The maximum cost for the computers was set at $1500.
Other approved expenses included $6655 for the replacement of four butterfly valves at the water treatment plant, $12,000 to cover the City’s annual audit. The services will be provided by Wipfli, an accounting and consulting firm with partners in Duluth.
The electrical superintendent sought to amend a request for the purchase of a new truck. The request was increased from $28,000 to $36,500. The purchase will be made under a state purchasing agreement that allows municipalities to take advantage of cost-saving contracts made by Minnesota’s Materials Management Division with suppliers of goods and services. The THPD will also be purchasing a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor for $25,703.82 under the state purchasing agreement. The cost of the new vehicle for the police department is likely to cost close to $34,000 when it is fully outfitted.
The big ticket item of the evening was the approval of the bid for the Burlington Bay Campground expansion project, which came in at $1, 207,930.The winning bidder was Northland Constructors.
Possible savings on insurance may lay ahead for local homeowners and businesses. Fire Chief Mark Schlangen reported that a review of the Two Harbors Fire Department by the Insurance Service Office resulted in improvements in both city and out- of- city Public Protection Classification.
The ISO collects information on a city’s fire protection efforts, analyzes the data and assigns a classification on a scale of 1-10. A class one score indicates outstanding property fire protection, and under some circumstances this can mean lower insurance costs.
According to the ISO website, “by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services.”
While lower insurance costs are not guaranteed, Councilor McDonald recommended that local property and business owners let their insurance companies know of the city’s reclassification and ask about possible savings.
Mayor Bolen praised the THFD for its ongoing commitment to public safety and service to the community.
The Mayor also extended best wishes to County Commissioner Paul Bergman who received a lung transplant just days ago.
“From everything that I’ve heard and read, he’s doing well… I just want to wish him well,” said Bolen.
Mayor Bolen acknowledged the efforts of city crews who, he said, did an excellent job during the Winter Frolic and the recent snow storm and noted that a delegation will be in St. Paul to discuss the needs of the community with Minnesota legislators.