February 1, 2021 City Council Minutes

Regular meeting of the City Council of the City of International Falls, Minnesota was held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building and via BlueJeans Conferencing on the 1st day of February, 2021 at the hour of 5:30 P.M.

MEMBERS PRESENT:       Councilors Buller, Ditsch, Holden, and Mayor Droba.  Councilor Krause, media and public via BlueJeans Conferencing.  All members noted they could hear the others and the discussion.

MEMBERS ABSENT:         None.

APPROVED agenda with addition MOTION by Councilor Holden to approve the agenda with one addition as presented:

  • New Business Item – Accept resignation of City Administrator Ken Anderson (Council action)

Motion seconded by Councilor Ditsch and carried unanimously.

APPROVED minutes of the January 19, 2020 regular City Council meeting MOTION by Councilor Ditsch to approve minutes of the regular City Council meeting of January 19, 2021.  Motion seconded by Councilor Buller and carried unanimously.
ADOPTED Resolution No. 07-2021 approving transfers, payment of claims, and accounts payable MOTION by Councilor Holden to adopt Resolution No. 07-2021 approving transfers, payment of claims and accounts payable for the first monthly City Council meeting.  Motion seconded by Councilor Krause and carried unanimously.


A+ Pest Management Pest Control        425.00 70338
Alex Air Apparatus Inc Supplies – Fire Department        707.98 70339
Amazon Capital Services Supplies – IT/Pol/Public Works, Fire Cloth        998.87 70340
American Water Works Assoc. Membership Dues – Wilson          79.00 70341
Ameritas Life Ins Corp Dental Insurance Premiums     1,837.16 70342
Applied Concepts Inc New Stalker Radar Unit     3,151.00 70343
Auto Value Int’l Falls Tools/Parts-Gar/Unit 6/Street, Air Comp Oil        276.99 70344
Axon Enterprises Inc 10 Taser 60 Year 2 Payment: X26P Basic     2,190.00 70345
BCBS of MN Health Insurance Premiums     4,343.50 70346
Big Fish Print Solutions Blight Inspection Forms        320.58 70347
Border State Bank Radio Equipment   38,587.10 70348
Borderland Humane Society Pound Operation     2,250.00 70349
Bound Tree Medical LLC Ambulance Supplies        390.84 70350
Bremer Cardmember Service Sup/Lic/Trng/MR/Auto-It/Pol/St/Amb/VNP        849.34 70351
Bronko Nagurski Foundation Appropriation 2021   30,000.00 70352
Citizens for Backus/AB Appropriation 2021   55,000.00 70353
City of Int’l Falls – Fund 101 Lodging Tax Transfer        153.39 70354
City Water Department City Buildings – Water Usage    1,264.13 70355
CMS Medicare Amb Overpayment Refund-3221013008830        515.48 70356
Convention & Visitors Bureau Lodging Tax     2,914.44 70357
Core & Main Rods/PVC Pipe        898.54 70358
Emblem Enterprises, Inc Patches – Fire Dept./Ambulance     2,283.41 70359
Falls Hunger Coalition 2021 Annual Appropriation    5,000.00 70360
Ford of Hibbing 2020 Ford Explorer Police   34,536.00 70361
Forest Hill Cemetery Assoc. 2021 Annual Allocation   10,000.00 70362
Friends Against Abuse Appropriation 2021     1,000.00 70363
Galls, an Aramark Co., LLC Clothing – Baldwin/Sears/Amb/Bombenger        755.39 70364
Graybar Maint & Repair – Water        205.45 70365
Hawkins Inc Chemicals    2,517.50 70366
Holiday Companies Gas – Strm Sew/Fire/House/Str/Wtr/Amb    4,562.46 70367
I-Falls Super One Foods Supplies – Ambulance         31.93 70368
Innovative Office Solutions LLC Cases of Paper    1,711.80 70369
Int’l Falls/Kooch Cty 1st Half 2021 Project Allocation   88,981.00 70370
IUOE Local 49 Health Insurance Premiums   29,554.00 70371
K & K Meyers Inc Bldg Maint – Water, Supplies – Engineering        122.03 70372
KCC TV Appropriation 2021   14,000.00 70373
Kooch Co Env Services Dept. Tipping Fee – Street          18.00 70374
Kooch County Hwy Dept. Dyed Fuel – Street/Garage    3,157.48 70375
League of Minnesota Cities Patrol Subscription     1,170.00 70376
LVC Inc Annu Fire Ext-Wtr Plnt/Chamb/Pound/K Prk        278.55 70377
Macqueen Equipment Inc Parts – Street Department        269.79 70378
Marco Antivirus/Microsoft Exchange        512.75 70379
Marco Technologies LLC Contract/Print Copies – Fire/Admin/Pw     1,102.90 70380
Mark Leblanc Meal Allowance          59.34 70381
MedicareBlue Rx Health Insurance Premiums     1,560.00 70382
Melanie Clarity Sewing – Ambulance          32.00 70383
Menards International Falls Tools/Sup-Str/Strm Sew/Admin/Hous/Safety        484.19 70384
Midcontinent Communications Cable – Fire Hall/Ambulance, Internet-Street        283.70 70385
Minnesota Energy Resources Utilities     1,207.92 70386
Minnesota Industries Supplies – Park&Rec/Garage        105.86 70387
Mn Dept. of Labor & Industry VNP Elevator #1002980        100.00 70388
Mn Dept. of Transportation Temporary Traffic Control Field Manuals (3)          19.50 70389
Municipal Code Corporation Annual Code Hosting-2021       550.00 70390
Musco Sports Lighting LLC Hydrant Extension – Kerry Park Arena          99.36 70391
National Government Services Ambulance Overpayment Refund        803.35 70392
ON2 Solutions Street Lighting – Cap Project  12,500.00 70393
Rainy Lake Medical Center Medical/Pharmaceutical Supplies     1,646.69 70394
Range Paper Corp Cleaning Supplies – Bldgs & Grds/Garage     2,403.23 70395
Roche’s Towing Towing – Police          85.00 70396
ServiceMaster of Intl Falls Cleaning Services – VNP    3,500.00 70397
Shannon’s Inc Bldg Maint – City Hall/Library     9,086.40 70398
Sirchie Acquisition Company LLC Evidence Collection Supplies        277.90 70399
Steven M Shermoen Legal Fees   11,066.00 70400
Streicher’s Inc Cloth-Mastin/Kennedy/Franko/Kostiuk/Offer        666.09 70401
Sun Life Financial Life Insurance Premiums        510.88 70402
The Nelson Trust Health Insurance Premiums  38,912.00 70403
Tri State Bobcat Inc Parts – Unit 6       688.65 70404
Verizon Wireless Monthly Cellular Service     2,503.12 70405
Viking Electric Supply Inc Bldg Maint-Fire, Elect Conserva, St Lights    1,163.25 70406
Widseth Engineering Services 103,785.40 70407
Xerox Corporation Maint/Monthly Charge – Water Plant         78.22 70408
Ziegler Inc Unit 121 – Parts, Grader Lease-12m3awd     5,368.83 70409
  The following checks were issued under blanket authorization:
AFLAC Supplemental Insurance 225.04 100856
AllState – American Heritage Supplemental Insurance 9.64 100857
Bremer Bank NA Federal Withholding 36,871.16 100858
I.U.O.E. Local Central Pen Fund Retirement 4,191.30 100859
Intl Falls Ambulance Service Dues 168.00 100860
Justin Franz, Sec/Treas C.O.P.S 120.00 100861
MN Child Support Pmt Center Wage Assignment 601.46 100862
MN Department of Revenue State Withholding 6,857.85 100863
Empower Retirement Deferred Comp 7,025.00 100864
PERA Retirement 30,570.51 100865
Sun Life Financial Supplemental Life Insurance 700.55 100866
The Hartford Voluntary LTD Insurance 727.98 100867



APPROVED First reading of Contract Ordinance for the 2021 Elevated Water Storage Tank Improvements

MOTION by Councilor Buller to approve the first reading of Contract Ordinance for the 2021 Elevated Water Storage Tank Improvements.  Director of Public Works Ted Brokaw stated Viking Industrial Paintings quote came in under the Engineers projected estimate.  Motion seconded by Councilor Holden and carried unanimously.
CONSENT AGENDA: APPROVED as presented MOTION by Councilor Ditsch to approve the Consent Agenda as presented:

1.      Year 2021 license renewals/applications

·         Silvers Construction, LLC – snowplow license

·         Snickers Concrete – snowplow license

Motion seconded by Councilor Krause and carried unanimously.


TABLED Consideration of building demolition application from owners Teri Hart and Lisa and Ben Mortenson on non-homesteaded property at 1418 Main Ave.

Mayor Droba suggested tabling consideration of building demolition application from owners Teri Hart and Lisa and Ben Mortenson on non-homesteaded property at 1418 Main Ave.  Mayor Droba stated he would like the council to discuss the demolition policy at the Committee-of the-Whole meeting on Monday, February 8, 2021 before making a decision.

MOTION by Councilor Buller to table consideration of building demolition application from owners Teri Hart and Lisa and Ben Mortenson on non-homesteaded property at 1418 Main Ave.  Motion seconded by Councilor Holden and carried unanimously.

APPOINTED Alexandria C. Stevens and Ryan E. Stenson as part-time Police Officers MOTION by Councilor Ditsch to appoint Alexandria C. Stevens and Ryan E. Stenson as part-time Police Officers effective upon successfully meeting all city and state employment requirements.  Motion seconded by Councilor Krause and carried unanimously.
ACCEPTED letter of resignation from City Administrator


Mayor Droba stated the council received a letter of resignation from City Administrator Ken Anderson at the Special City Council Meeting held prior to the regular City Council Meeting on February 1, 2021.

City Administrator Anderson stated his last day of work will be Friday, March 5, 2021 with retirement at the end of day on April 2, 2021.  Anderson stated it has been a privilege to have worked for seven years on behalf of all the citizens of the City of International Falls.  I have advocated and worked hard to pursue excellence in local governance.  City Administrator Anderson submitted a list of activities that he plans on focusing on in his last weeks of employment.

Mayor Droba thanked City Administrator Anderson for his service the past seven years.

MOTION by Councilor Holden to accept the resignation of City Administrator Anderson.  Motion seconded by Councilor Buller and carried unanimously.

CONVENE CLOSED MEETING Mayor Droba announced that the City Council would proceed into a closed meeting session with the City Council, City Attorney, City Administrator, Deputy City Administrator, and Director of Public Works present in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.05, Subd. 3 (c)(3) for the purpose of considering property acquisition of 801 3rd Avenue, International Falls.  Mayor Droba asked the City Council if they would like the meeting to be closed to discuss this matter.  The City Council indicated they wanted the meeting to be closed to the public in order to freely discuss the matter. MOTION by Councilor Ditsch to recess the open meeting and move to close the meeting at 5:45 P.M. Motion seconded by Councilor Holden and carried unanimously.
RECONVENE OPEN SESSION Mayor Droba reconvened the open session meeting at 6:06 P.M.  Mayor Droba shared they will be continuing negotiations regarding the property at 801 3rd Avenue.

Reports of the Administrator, Attorney, and Department Heads

City Administrator Anderson shared that the Koochiching Community COVID Testing Event held on January 21 – 23 administered 231 saliva tests.  The County has not received the positivity results yet.  Anderson also shared that he received the Sand Creek employee assistance programs yearly report.  A copy has been put in the Mayor and Councilors mailboxes.  Minimal participation in 2020. Anderson stated he received an application on tax abatement and will be processing that through the normal channels and will keep the council advised on the matter.

City Attorney Shermoen thanked City Administrator Anderson for all his years of service.  Shermoen stated it has been a pleasure to work with Anderson and appreciates all he has done for the city.  Shermoen stated he will miss working with him.


City Attorney Shermoen presented the blight report.  Court cases are scheduled for February 16, 2021 and March 16, 2021.  Shermoen requested to discuss at the next Committee-of the-Whole meeting the pending demolition cases.  Discussion ensued regarding assessing legal fees to the property owners. Mayor Droba shared he would add to the Committee-of-the-Whole agenda for discussion.

Reports of Mayor and Council Committees Councilor Ditsch shared that he requested the number of accidents that have occurred from 332 truck route to Hwy 53 from Police Chief Mastin.  Residents in the area had concerns and sought to get stop signs put up.  Based on the Police Chiefs report of the low number of accidents it does not warrant any stop signs.

Councilor Buller shared the Airport is having issues with the #2 Boiler ever since it was installed.  They have given the company one last chance to fix it.  If not fixed they will be demanding a new boiler.

Councilor Buller also shared that Public Works will be meeting next week to discuss 2022 projects.

Mayor Droba shared Land Use & Legislation have been meeting and discussing the MN Powers Franchise Agreement and rental licensing.  Both will be discussed in detail at the Committee-of-the-Whole meeting on Monday, February 8, 2021.

Mayor Droba shared he has not met with the Chamber of Commerce.  He did receive a letter from Leif Larson asking how to move forward with the Chamber building.  Mayor Droba plans on meeting with them this week.

Councilor Holden shared that the KEDA meeting went well.  Cold Weather Testing was discussed.  Due to COVID they were not able to do Helicopter testing.

Councilor Krause shared that the Recreation Commission met.  They are having issues with visiting teams and visiting spectators being non-compliant and not wearing masks.

Councilor Krause also shared that elections of officers was conducted.

Councilor Krause thanked the Public Works Director and the Recreation Commission Director for opening the warming house on 8th Street.

ADJOURNMENT Mayor Droba reminded everyone that the next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 5:30 P.M. and adjourned the meeting at 6:28 P.M.


Harley M. Droba, Mayor



Kenneth R. Anderson, City Administrator

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