07/07/2020 City Commission Minutes

The City Commission Meeting began on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 5:00 PM CT, at City Commission Chambers, 254 2nd Avenue NE, Valley City, ND. Members of the public were not permitted in the Commission Chambers due to COVID-19 and as allowed in ND Executive Order 2020-16.

Members of the public may view the meeting online (https://zoom.us/j/97914864324?pwd=WU9HcjJhSDVaZmwvRnQxQjVkWmlxZz09) Password 9PhqpQ or listen by calling (1 253 215 8782) Webinar ID: 979 1486 4324 Password 481130

President Carlsrud called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.

Members present: Commissioner Magnuson, Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Erickson, Commissioner Gulmon.

Others present: City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, City Auditor Richter, Deputy Auditor Klein, City Assessor Hansen (by Zoom), Building/Fire Inspector Andersen, Public Works Accountant/Manager Jacobson, Fire Chief Magnuson, Police Chief Hatcher, Chad Petersen from KLJ.

Approval of Agenda

Added Ordinance 1062

Remove Resolution 2258

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the minutes from June 23, 2020 meeting, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon. Motion carried.

Approval of Consent Agenda

  1. Approve Monthly Reports from the Fire Chief, Building Inspector, Auditor, Municipal Judge and Public Works Accountant.
  2. Approve Monthly Bills for the City and Public Works in the Amount of $2,458,233.49.
  3. Approve Block off the Street Request for On the Move “Let’s Walk Valley City” Event on July 20, 2020 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 Pm at 4th Ave NE from 9th St NE to 6th Street NE

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve the consent agenda, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon. Motion carried.

Public Comments

Gary Jacobson had received a concern from a citizen about the monthly water surcharge of $8.24 for multi-unit buildings. Currently the owner pays the consumption cost and each tenants pays the $8.24 surcharge. This charge has been in place for at least 30 years to make sure costs are being distributed to those receiving the benefit. A single family home has a smaller and less expensive meter going into the home where the multi-unit homes have a larger meter which is more expensive to purchase and maintain. If this monthly fee was removed there would need to be an increase to all residents to make up for this decrease in revenue.


Approve second and final reading of Ordinance No. 1060, an Ordinance Relating to amend and reenact Chapter 5 of Title 8 and Section 11-05-18 of the Valley City Municipal Code, relating to mobile vendors and transient merchants.

Attorney Martineck reviewed the ordinance and stated all recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board have been adopted in this version. Commissioner Erickson moved to approve second and final reading of Ordinance No. 1060, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve second and final reading of Ordinance No. 1061, an Ordinance to Adopt and Enact Section 1-01-15 of the Valley City Municipal Code related to Crime Victim Witness Fee

City Attorney Martineck reported that the City has imposed a crime victim witness fee in 2017, the section was repealed inadvertently during the recodification process and this ordinance will re-instate the section. There has been no change to the ordinance from the first reading. Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the second and final reading of Ordinance No. 1061, seconded by Commissioner Erickson. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve first reading of Ordinance 1058, an Ordinance Creating Section 20-04.01 to extend City Sales, Use & Gross Receipts Tax dedicated to Permanent Flood Protection.

Attorney Martineck stated this ordinance went to the vote of the citizens of Valley City in June and passed. Finance Director Richter stated the purpose of extending the sales tax is to have a revenue source to finance permanent flood protection through the Bank of North Dakota. These loans have a 30 year term. Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 1058, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve first reading of Ordinance No. 1062, an ordinance to amend and reenact sections 14-8-07 and 14-08-20 of the Valley City Municipal Code related to penalties for striking unattended motor vehicle and driving without liability insurance.

Attorney Martineck stated these amendments had previously been discussed by the Commission and need to be updated to be in compliance with NDCC. Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 1062, seconded by Commissioner Bishop. The motion passed unanimously.

New Business

Discuss job title for City Administrator position.

Commissioner Bishop stated there was discussion at the Finance Meeting regarding changing the title of City Administrator to City Manager. Commissioner Bishop moved to keep the title as City Administrator, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Commissioner Gulmon stated the citizens voted to keep the City Administrator position, it’s time for us all to support this position and move on in a positive manner. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Appointment for the Visitors Committee.

Finance Director Richter stated this position was advertised in the Times Record. Paige Bjornson expressed her interest in serving on the Visitors Committee, no other inquiries were received. Commissioner Gulmon moved to appoint Paige Bjornson to the Visitors Committee, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Property Tax exemption for Improvements to Residential Building at 905 9th Ave SE.

City Assessor Hansen submitted her recommendation to approve the tax exemption at 905 9th Ave SE for a 25’x 25’ addition that will add an estimated $60,000 of value. Finance Director Richter reminded the Commission that the tax exemption is only on the addition and would not affect the current tax revenue from this property. Commissioner Bishop moved to approve the property tax exemption at 905 9th Ave SE, seconded by Commissioner Erickson.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Assistant Public Works (Operations) Superintendent Position for Succession Planning. Attorney Martineck reviewed the succession plan when Jeff Differding retires. The plan moving forward would be to post the position internally, go through the interview process, and promote the person to assistant operations superintendent with a 5% increase in the employee’s current salary. This person would then have the opportunity to job shadow Jeff and learn the job. Commissioner Erickson moved to move forward with the succession plan of the Public Works Operations Superintendent, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  The motion passed unanimously.

City Administrator’s Report

City Administrator Crawford reported on meeting with department heads, banners on central, department head meetings starting this week, opening the transfer station on Saturdays starting July 18th through September, Clean up week is September 14-18, need to work on tree growth in alleyways, and drawing up agreements in writing instead of verbal agreements.

City Updates & Commission Reports

Attorney Martineck reported on the applications for the City Engineer position and would like to continue posting for another two weeks.

Finance Director Richter welcomed Brandy Johnson, City Hall Administrative Assistant and Tina Current, Public Works Administrative Assistant.

Chad Petersen gave a brief overview of the construction projects – Seal Coat has been completed, continue working on the underground on 5th Avenue NW on track with completion deadlines for Phase I, PFP concrete flood walls have been completed.

Commissioner Gulmon has met with Finance Director Richter to review the City’s finances and will continue to do so monthly. Also met with Jennifer Feist with the VCBC Development Corporation.

Commissioner Bishop welcomed the new police officer and thanks to all the officers for their work.

President Carlsrud thanked the new police officer for coming to our community and being interested in law enforcement. Thanks to Paige Bjornson for stepping up and serving on the Visitors Committee. City employees are working in the hot weather, be aware of the workers in work zones.

Adjourn at 5:37 PM

Posted in Announcements, City Commission Minutes.