April 29, 2019 Joint Meeting-City Council, ISD No. 361, Recreation Commission


April 29, 2019 Joint Meeting

City Council, ISD No. 361, and Recreation Commission Minutes

6:30 P.M.


A joint meeting of the City Council of International Falls, Minnesota was held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building on the 29th day of April 2019 at the hour of 6:30 P.M. with the Independent School District No. 361 School Board and Recreation Commission members.


COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT: Councilors Buller, Droba, Krause, and Mayor Anderson


ISD 361 MEMBERS PRESENT:    Michelle Hebner, Mike Holden, Terry Murray, Ted Saxton and Jennifer Windels

RECREATION COMMISSION:    Mark Glowack, Ashley Hall, and Tony Palm

OTHERS PRESENT:    Kevin Grover, School Superintendent; Ted Brokaw, Street/Water Commissioner; Bill Mason, Recreation Director/Athletic Director; Brad Reiners, Recreation Hockey; and Ken Anderson, City Administrator.



Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M. and welcomed everyone present. He extended his thanks and recognition to the various groups providing recreation services in the community. He commented that the Joint Powers Agreement with the School District was good and has allowed the City, School District, and Recreation Commission to provide good recreation services to the community, but said it could be better. He said that facilities have been a low priority in the budget. He encouraged further discussion since the Town Hall meeting of March 25th was held on recreation programs, facilities, and services.


Councilor Droba offered comments and suggested that we need to develop a flow chart for all organizations related to recreation. He said this will improve the understanding of the role of each organization and whom to contact. For example, one “take-away” from the Town Hall meeting was that the City thought the Recreation Commission was working with the old-timers hockey tournament and the Recreation Commission thought the City was so no one was sure who was doing what. The same was apparent about facility use, coaches, volunteers, etc.


Much discussion ensued. It was recognized by some that there was much confusion since everything is so intertwined, connected, and uncertain; therefore, a chart was needed to show who was accountable and for what. Most people know to call the school if there is a school associated activity. Board member Windels said a flow chart and calendar with contact information would be helpful so families know where to go to find out more information. The web site calendar will need to be kept up to date.


Hand-shake agreements were identified as a problem and would be more transparent if an agreement was in writing. Many agreements will need to be loosely worded since schedules change and City, School, Backus, and RRCC facilities are all used for various activities and events. Changing participant numbers, lack of coaches, lack of volunteers, consolidation of programs, consolidation of facilities, facility maintenance, program affordability, transportation, capital improvements, and parent involvement or lack thereof were all discussed. Mr. Saxton suggested that community organizations could adopt a park to help maintain parks, hold neighborhood events, and raise funds to keep parks modernized. Superintendent Grover emphasized that we need to budget appropriately to maintain our facilities and cited the positive changes that have been occurring in Ranier.


Councilor Droba summarized priorities on the flip chart to include the following:

  • One-stop shop for information
  • Create a flow chart and post on the web site, paper, etc.
  • Prepare written agreements
  • Recruit and retain coaches and volunteers
  • Coordinate Park Advocacy – young and old


It was agreed that the ISD 361 should focus on the first bullet statement, the Recreation Commission the middle three bullets, and the City the last bullet statement or priority listed for Park Advocacy given that summer will soon be upon us. Facility planning and funding for improvements were recognized as a need that could be discussed by the School and City at a Town Hall meeting in the Fall.


Michelle Hebner, Ashley Hall and Harley Droba agreed to meet soon and look at Park Advocacy as a combined volunteer group. Councilor Droba thanked everyone and noted that everyone present was part of the solution.



Mayor Robert W. Anderson extended his thanks and appreciation to the School Board and Recreation Commission for their work with the City in promoting recreation within our extended community. The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 8:05 P.M.





Robert W. Anderson, Mayor




Kenneth R. Anderson, City Administrator

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