2.2.2021 City Commission Minutes

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

Members present: President Carlsrud, Commissioner Magnuson, Commissioner Bishop, Commissioner Erickson, and Commissioner Gulmon.

Others present:  City Administrator Crawford, City Attorney Martineck, Finance Director Richter, City Assessor Hansen, Fire Chief Magnuson, Police Chief Hatcher, Sanitation Supervisor Swart, City Engineers Chad Petersen and Tracy Eslinger, Jennifer Feist

Approval of Agenda

Addition NB4 and NB5

Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve the minutes from the January 19th meeting, seconded by Commissioner Gulmon.  Motion carried.

Approval of Consent Agenda

A.  Approve Application for Raffle Permit for the Express Wrestling of Valley City for the activity dates of 1/1/2021-   6/30/2021.

B.  Approve Application for Raffle Permit for the Disabled American Veterans for the activity dates of 7/31/2021- 6/30/2022.

C.  Approve Application for Raffle Permit for Barnes County Ducks Unlimited for the activity date of 4/8/2021.

D.  Approve Application for Raffle Permit for El Zagal Sheyenne Valley Flag Corps for the activity date of       8/21/2021.

E.  Approve Monthly Reports from the Fire Chief, Building Inspector, Auditor, Municipal Judge and Public Works       Accountant.

F.  Approve Monthly Bills for the City and Public Works in the Amount of $1,261,010.33.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion carried.


Approve Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. 1070, an Ordinance Relating to the Annexation of Territory.

City Attorney Martineck stated no changes from the first reading.  This is related to the east interchange where Valley Plains Equipment is planning to build their dealership.  Recommendation is still to approve.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion carried.

Approve Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. 1071, Approving Rezone of Nextera Addition to the City of Valley City.

City Attorney Martineck stated this again is related to the Valley Plains Dealership.  A newly annexed territory was requested to zone as light industrial.  No changes from the first reading.  Recommendation is to approve.

Commissioner Magnuson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.

Approve First Reading of Ordinance No. 1072, an Ordinance enacting a new section of the Valley City Municipal Code relating to Wireless Telecommunication Facility Guidelines.

City Attorney Martineck stated in 2018 the FCC passed regulations that made it easier for telecommunications companies to put up their wireless towers.  Mostly had to do with the fees the cities were charging and the restrictions the cities were putting on aesthetics and the times the cities were taking to process the applications.  Those are the things we really have control over but our ability to assess fees are limited, our control over what they look like is limited and our time to process the applications has to be 60 days or less.  The ordinance spells out everything we are allowed to do under the FCC’s guidelines.  As we move to the second reading of the ordinance we will be working with city staff and KLJ to come up with finalized guidelines before companies come in wanting to put towers up.

Commissioner Erickson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.


Approve Resolution No. 2270, a Resolution Approving Final Plans and Specifications for Paving Improvement District No. 119 and Authorizing Engineer to Advertise for Bids.

Approve Resolution No. 2271, a Resolution Approving Paving Improvement District No. 119B and Authorizing Engineer to Advertise for Bids.

Approve Resolution No. 2272, a Resolution Approving Sanitary Sewer District No. 64 and Authorizing Engineer to Advertise for Bids.

Approve Resolution No. 2273, a Resolution Approving Storm Sewer District 52 and Authorizing Engineer to Advertise for Bids.

Approve Resolution No.  2274, a Resolution Approving Water Main District No. 100 and Authorizing Engineer to Advertise for Bids.

Finance Director Richter stated Resolutions 2270-2274 are all related to the 7th Ave NW and 2nd Ave NE project.  All five can be read and one motion and one role call is okay as long as you approve to move forward that way.

Mayor Carlsrud gave the okay.

Chad Petersen from KLJ stated this project was bid back in April of 2019.  Bids came in over estimate.  The City reevaluated and decided to hold off on the project.  Funds have become available and were allocated to this project.  One thing to note is that the bid date is anticipated within 45 days of approval.  The resolutions all note to hold all bids for up to 30 days.  Discussion with the ND DQ they recommend to have the option to hold up to 45 days post bid opening.

Commissioner Erickson questioned cost share.

Chad said the project is estimated at $3.8 million with $2.5 million of funds available thru the Prairie Dog Fund leaving approximately $1.3 local funds.  I don’t have what was estimated for special assessments.  A noted we have multiple improvement districts here.  For the street improvements the assessments are capped at the $123 and some change so that number will not change.  Utility Improvements, water and sewer, we have a combination of new services for water and sewer and then for the sewer we have mains that have been replaced but the services have not been.  New services on the water and mains are capped at $4,000 per hookup on the reline segments it’s capped half of the cost up to $3000 and then storm sewer were proposing to special assess at about $.05 per square foot.  There’s a large component of the drainage area that is outside of city limits which is one of the primary reasons we needed to get the funding for this project since those could not be special assessed.

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

Approve Resolution No. 2275, A Resolution Amending Master Fee Schedule-Residential Building Permit and Inspection Fees.

City Administrator Crawford stated they wanted to solidify the actual jobs our employees can do which would be the garage, decks and residential remodels involving structural changes.  The rest would stay as we needed it based on the person that was hired to do it.  We just need to make the change to make it match.

Commissioner Gulmon moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.

New Business

Approve the VCBCDC request for $10,000 for marketing.

Jennifer Feist stated we have had a couple of things happen just recently. We have had two of our companies bought out by major corporations.  We are needing to elevate the communication pieces we have because we are dealing with national and international companies.  We have done a good job marketing but we need to raise the bar.

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

Approve Gaming Site Authorization for Valley City State University Foundation on February 1st, 2021 through June 30th, 2021 at Brockopp Brewing.

Finance Director Richter stated this is another site VCSU is requesting. This is Brockopp Brewing’s first site.  We’ve had good success and compliance with VCSU’s gaming sites.

Commissioner Bishop moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion carried.

Review and Award bids for 2021 vehicle purchase.

City Administrator Crawford stated the request is to go forward with the bid from Miller Motors that was the lowest cost for the truck.

Commissioner Erickson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Bishop.  Motion carried.

Approve offering a one-time bill credit of $5 for utility customers agreeing to go to paperless statements.

PW Manager Jacobson stated we have been migrating to new billing software for some time.  Part of that required us to change from the postcard billings to a full page mailing so we have an increased postage cost.  We also bought a stuffer to help get those mailing out.  One of the new functions in the software is to send emails to residents.  We’d like to run a campaign for any residents to allow us to email their bills to receive a onetime $5 credit.

Commissioner Erickson moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner Magnuson.  Motion carried.

Approve transferring $95,748 from the sewer fund to the water fund and transferring $136,175 from the electric fund to the street fund.

PW Manager Jacobson reported that we ended the 2020 year with two negative balances.  The water fund is mainly due to the large amount of repairs due to the water main breaks.  We budgeted a loss for the street department of about $258,000.  We came in at about $100,000 loss mainly due to the COVID money that was used.  The sewer fund has $1.3 million cash balance and since the water goes hand and hand with that we would like to use that.  For the street fund I’m asking for the funds to come from the electrical department which currently has $3.6 million. 

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

City updates & Commission Reports

City Administrator Crawford stated there are a few processes in PW that we found weren’t being done and some other things that would be best cost effective.  The first thing is when there is a bill it tells you there is a due date.  After the due date there is supposed to be a late fee.  That hasn’t been charged until they get billed again.  No one was actually getting that fee until they were billed again.  One of the changes is that we will actually be charging the late fees as we are supposed to.  The other part is after a bill goes out a couple days later a past due notice goes out.  From the bill being past due, 15 days later we say you’re going to be cut off.  We will be eliminating the notices.  We’re in talks about the little dam and things taking place there.  About a week ago we received an email that there will be some COVID money coming for R&R projects.  No action is needed at this time, just wanted to make you aware. 

Finance Director Richter stated with the Valley City CARES and the $200,000 we have allocated for that project, the checks are cut and will be issued to the Chamber.

PW Manager Jacobson just wanted to make everyone aware that the bills are now coming in paper form in an envelope, please do not throw them out.  We will also be putting information and notices on those bills so please read them.

President Carlsrud stated he received a letter from the Census Bureau stating the City of Valley City is a valuable member of the 2020 census community partnership and engagement program and thanking us for our participation.  Thank you Scott.

Fire Chief Magnuson we’ve had a lot of odor calls.  Check drains, sewer vents and CO2 detectors.

Sanitation Supervisor Swart gave a shout out to the sanitation department and the hard work they do.  Just a reminder we are looking for another crew member so if you know anybody send them our way.

Chad Petersen stated tomorrow will be our scoping meeting for the 6th St NW project. 

Commissioner Gulmon stated he and Avis met last week and reviewed financials and we are in a really good place.  Sales tax reports were out in November and was up 9%, Food and Beverage is down 4%.  Starting Saturday the For Love of Local begins.  They have a really organized process and it should go well.  An update to the storage building, we’ve met a couple of times and talked about potentially building on the land pit lot.  We found that a 10,000 sq. ft. building will not work there because the site preparation would take more than $500,000 to prepare the site.  We will be meeting again to discuss other options.

Commissioner Erickson gave props to the individuals that went the extra mile to improve themselves with the city

Commissioner Bishop wanted to remind everyone to be safe with these cold temperatures.  Thanks to the FD and PD because no matter how bad the weather, they still have to be out.

Commissioner Magnuson thanked to all the city staff and crews that are out there doing what they do every day.  Take advantage of the For the Love of Local program.  It’s a good program.  Also, when you’re out and about talking to people invite them to come and look at Valley City.  We have a beautiful city with and want to entice people to be here.

President Carlsrud thanked all the employees, we’ve been busy and will be busier and with this cold weather it makes things more challenging, stay safe.  Our employees that went the extra mile for their continuing education were Tyler Martin, Nick Yokom and Alec Storhoff.  Thanks to all of you, we appreciate your efforts. We do have some job openings so check in at City Hall if you’re looking for work.  Report from our electrical department today, our electricity was on 100% of the time in December, that’s pretty special.  Kudos to our City and Rural Fire Department for their partnership.  Together you’re able to offer services to our citizens which we could not do if we were separate.  Hats off to City County Health. This COVID stuff affects everybody differently and those folks are getting a lot of hours in due to the COVID.  Out of the 1,677 vaccinations given, which represents 13% of our population, CCH administered 1,000 of the shots.  To date we have 43% of the 75 and older group vaccinated and that will be going up and the 65 and older crew will be coming in soon.

City Administrator Crawford added with the cold, there are people that know they have issues with their pipes freezing so be mindful of that.  We don’t have the snow there to insulate so keep an eye on that.


Meeting was adjourned at 5:54 P.M.


Posted in Announcements, City Commission Minutes.