The city of Walker has hired an administrative intern who will be working with City Administrator Hope Fairchild over the next few months, a move that was approved at the June 7 city council meeting.

Kobey Layne, a graduate of Walker-Hackendsack-Akeley School who is currently in graduate school, started last week and will work at City Hall until about Sept. 2. He will work for no more than 400 hours at $12 per hour.

Fairchild said that Layne is attending the University of Minnesota, studying public policy.

The council also approved the recommendation of the Library Board for Kathi Cadmus to volunteer her services for the new library building project to coordinate efforts and move the project forward.

The meeting began with the council tabling the opening of sealed bids for the excess land sale of parcel no. 96-027-0001 until the July 2021 meeting.

In other city business, the council:

Approved Walker City Council regular meeting minutes of May 3.

Reviewed the Walker Planning Commission Board of Adjustments regular meeting minutes of May 24.

Reviewed and file April 2021 Zoning Administrator Report.

Reviewed the Park Advisory Board meeting minutes of May 25.

Heard that the May Walker Public Library Board meeting was not held due to lack of a quorum.

Reviewed the Public Works Committee meeting minutes of May 25.

Reviewed Cemetery Board meeting minutes of May 6.

Reviewed the Walker Area Joint Fire Department minutes of May 13.

Reviewed Walker Police Department monthly report.

Approved cash balance report as of April 30.

Reviewed the Sales Tax Receipts.

Approved airport federal entitlement funds transfer from the Walker Municipal Airport to the Fillmore County Airport in the amount of $190,000, which will be paid back in the upcoming years.

Approved payment of $16,549.60 to Ulteig for professional services through Feb. 27 for the 2020 Northside Project.

Approved request from the Accounting Department to close out Southside Project Fund 514 and transfer the fund balance of $333,853.83 to the Debt Service Funds 305-2016 PFA Water Debt Service in the amount of $153,572.76 and Debt Service Fund 306-2016 PFA Sewer Debt Service in the amount of $180,281.07.

Approved a resolution accepting donations made to the city that included a $2,500 donation from Walker American Legion Post 134 pull tab fund to the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

Approved payment of $15,074.60 to Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP for professional services rendered and costs advanced through May 19 on TIF 2-15.

Wilkening questioned whether this will be charged as TIF administration fees and Fairchild confirmed it would be.

Approved payment of $2,348 to Dakota Business Solutions East for the rental and standard maintenance of the postage and folder/inserter Neopost machines.

Approved a one-day temporary on-sale liquor license for Walker Rotary for the July 4 event taking place at Walker City Park.

Approved one-day liquor license from Walker Area Joint Fire Department for the Aug. 20 event taking place at the Fire Hall, contingent upon proof of insurance.

Approved an application for exempt permit from Leech Lake Area Amateur Hockey for paper and electronic pull-tabs that will take place at Wilbur’s on Walker Bay.

Approved an application for exempt permit from Blue Canoe B&B LLC for paper pull tabs that will take place at The Piggy BBQ.

Approved paying 2021 increase in estimated monthly premium for health insurance for single coverage only in the total estimated amount of $10,650.91.

Approved Fairchild attending the League of Minnesota Cities 2021 Virtual Annual Conference in the amount of $99.

Discussed the liquor license ordinances with Wilkening and Mayor McMurrin agreeing to sit down and review Walker’s liquor license ordinances, specifically seating requirements, limitation on ownership and temporary liquor licenses. A recommendation will be reviewed by City Attorney John Valen and brought back to the council sometime in the next few months.

Discussed examples of Council Bylaws, Rules of Order and Rules for Public Comment. Fairchild stated that she provided these documents to the Council as examples that could be adopted and used to educate the public and meeting participants to set out rules and keep the meetings running efficiently.

Councilors Senenfelder and Moore stated that they would sit down and review the documents and bring a recommendation back to the council in the upcoming months.

Approved Sourcewell Internship Funding Program Agreement.

Approved successful completion of Lindsey Fallgren’s probationary period and adding a 3 percent increase to her hourly wage, effective June 21.

Approved Walker Planning Commission Board of Adjustments meeting minutes and public hearing minutes of April 26.

Approved recommendation of the Planning Commission Board of Adjustments for a lot split by metes and bounds and a conditional use permit for self-storage units located at 7981 Town Hall Road, with the proposed findings of facts and conditions granted.

Approved recommendation of the Planning Commission Board of Adjustments for a petition to rezone property located at 7859 Osage Trail from low density residential to general commercial, with the proposed findings of facts and conditions.

Approved recommendation of the Planning Commission Board of Adjustments for a petition to rezone parcel No’s 96-375-0051 and 96-375-0042 from transitional commercial to multi-family residential and an interim use permit application for a vacation/private home short-term rental for parcel no. 96-375-0042, with the proposed findings of facts and conditions.

Approved recommendation of the Planning Commission Board of Adjustments for a quit claim deed for Jack C. Carder and Rosemarie Carder.

Approved Resolution 20-2021 authorizing the execution of Minnesota Department of Transportation grant agreement for federal airport expenses reimbursement.

Approved State of Minnesota agreement No. 1046848 for federal airport expenses reimbursement for state project No. A1101-C2 at the Walker Municipal Airport.

Approved reimbursing property owner Wilkening in the amount of $6,500 for airport obstruction removal of trees from said private property.

Mayor McMurrin stated that the trees must be removed from the flight path or funding will not be available for the airport, and that it is common practice to reimburse for tree removal.

Approved Park Advisory Board meeting minutes of April 27.

Approved of the recommendation of the Park Advisory Board to approve of the park application for Walker July 4 celebration requested by Walker Rotary for the use of the lower city park. Set-up will take place July 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. with the actual event July 4 from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. Clean-up will take place on July 5 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Approved recommendation of the Park Advisory Board for an application for Mission of Love-Walker requested by Walker Area Pregnancy Support Center for the use of the lower City Park July 17 for about 200 to 400 people. Set-up will start at noon and the actual event is from 4 to 8 p.m. Clean-up will take place from 8 to 9 p.m.

Approved  Park Advisory Board to for a Celebration of Life for Jim Metzger in the lower City Park June 25 from noon to 2 p.m. for about 30 people. Set-up will start at 9 a.m. and clean-up from 2 to 3 p.m.

Approved recommendation of the Park Advisory Board to deny purchasing windscreens for the pickle ball courts.

Senenfelder explained it was talked about before, but if a group wanted to purchase them they could and take them down when they are done. The courts are a great asset to the city, but council agrees they should not be up permanently.

Approved to advertise for rock garden planting and maintenance services.

Approved Park Advisory Board to remove the old benches at City Park due to safety concerns.

Discussed continuing to purchase insurance for the Circle of Time statues.

Wilkening said this was supposed to be provided upon initial approval. The city was not supposed to have any expenses regarding the Circle of Time statues. Senenfelder stated that the city should contact the chairperson of the Circle of Time statues committee.

Approved a resolution supporting Cass County’s pursuit of a grant to replace the Lake May Bridge.

Approved recommendation of the Public Works Committee to approve of Reed’s Family Outdoor Outfitters’ request to close sidewalks in front of 522 and 603 Minnesota Avenue and Sixth Street sidewalk near Reed’s Friday at 7 a.m. and ending Sunday at 9 p.m., contingent upon approval from the MNDOT for a use of right of way permit.

Wilkening remarked that the event is something the City should keep an eye on this year and make sure it goes well and is safe.

Approved request for Walker Lion’s Club to close Highway 371 for the July 4 parade from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Approved request from Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for the following street closures for Ethnic Fest Sept. 11 from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

• Fifth Street N. between Minnesota Avenue and Front Street.

• Fifth Street S. between Minnesota Avenue and the alley behind Tiger Lily’s.

• Fourth Street between Minnesota Avenue and the alley behind Benson’s.

Approved recommendation of the Public Works Committee to approve of Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s request for use of city property, 30 cones and six barricades for Ethnic Fest Sept. 11.

Discussed new location for Cass County recycling center in Walker area.

Mayor McMurrin said she has been in contact with John Ringle of Cass County Environmental Services since that last meeting. She was informed there is one facility for recycling at the Y Junction. McMurrin said Ringle asked that the council reconsider the requested location and he will put fences and security cameras up.

Moore asked why they will not put them at the county garage.

McMurrin said there is too much traffic with the trucks at the county garage, adding the city could look at other city locations while Ringle looks around for some other options for a site.

Wilkening suggests the area where the vehicles are parked for their auctions. Senenfelder suggested the county may have to invest in an area of land.

Approved of Cemetery Board meeting minutes of March 4.

Approved purchase of a new fish grinder for the fish cleaning shack at City Park.

Public Works Director Mike Ridlon stated that the grinder in the fish cleaning shack broke and it needs to be replaced at an estimated cost of about $4,000.

Advised that city offices and the DMV will be closed July 5 in observance of the Fourth of July.

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