Burtrum City • February 6, 2023


Present: Jenae Ulbricht, Romie Gessell, Irene Ehlert and Chad Landowski. Others present: Juli Scherping, Debbie Strassburg, Sandy Prout, Ron Strassburg, Adam Ulbricht, Sue Rotty, Jack and Carly Peterson, Shirley Hulinsky
Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance: Mayor Ulbricht called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.
Note Taker: Motion by Gessell, seconded by Ehlert for Adam Ulbricht to take notes throughout the meetings until the city clerk position is filled. Motion carried.
Approval of Agenda City Council: Motion by Ehlert, seconded by Gessell to approve the agenda as posted in accordance with the Open Meeting Law and herein place all agenda items on the table for discussion. Motion carried.
Approval of Minutes City Council: Special meeting session January 27, 2023; the regular meeting on January 2, 2023. Gessell offers to amend the meeting January 2 meeting that the 10 P.M. alarm wasn’t a complaint but a discussion. Ehlert motions, Landowski seconds to approve the previous meeting notes with amendment by Gessell. Motion carried.
Approval of Bills City Council: Motion by Landowski, seconded by Elhert, to approve January city bills in the amount of $591.42 for Minnesota Power; Quarterly Taxes $419.22; Todd County Sherriff’s Office $504.00; office supplies (W2s & W3) $24.42; Community Center (Softener Salt) $51.48; Totaling: $1,590.54. Motion carried.
Old Business: Handicap Railings at Community Center: Handicap railings need to be purchased and installed in both bathrooms at the city hall. No action has been taken at this time. City will seek bids for purchase of and installation. No further action taken at the meeting.
Open City Council Seat: City seat is open, two people have approached Mayor Ulbricht to fill this position – Juli Sherping and Sara Macho. Ehlert motions, Gessell seconds for Juli Sherping to fill the open city council seat. Motion carried. Juli Sherping will be sworn in at the March city council meeting.
Open City Clerk Position: Position has been posted. Applications have been received. Mayor Ulbricht discussed how we will need to declare a personnel committee to conduct interviews. Interviews would occur after normal business hours to accommodate working schedules. Ehlert, Gessell and Ulbricht all volunteered to be part of the personnel committee. Landowski motions, Ehlert seconds, for Ehlert and Gessell to be the personnel committee. Motion carries.
City Laptops: The following was recommended by an IT professional, retire the Apple laptop, no further upgrade can be done to the laptop. The Acer can have an upgrade with installing more ram allowing more storage and giving us 2 more years, along with 4 hours of IT hours at $100 hourly rate and $150.00 of new parts. Estimate at $650.00. Second option, new Thinkbook of 16GB at roughly $1,600 including new laptop and transferring data to the new laptop. This is estimated to last five years. Mayor Ulbricht recommends only having one city laptop. Discussion ensues. Gessell and Ehlert both prefer buying new to last longer. Mayor Ulbricht will seek a second estimate for a new laptop. Further action to be taken in March.
New Time for City Council Meetings: Discussion was held around personal schedules for council members to move the council meeting time. Gessel motions, Landowski seconds for 1st Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Motion carried.
Curfew Horn at 10:00 p.m.: A formal email was submitted by Jack and Carly Peterson prior to the meeting. Mayor Ulbricht opened the floor for Jack and Carly to present their concerns. Burtrum residents Jack and Carly Peterson spoke up against the bell as it right by their home. They feel it should be removed since no kids are moving out and about at that time. The bell was originally installed per city ordinance of a 10 p.m. curfew. The whistle is set by the city, not the county. Gessell motions, Ehlert seconds to remove the 10 p.m. horn. Motion carried.
Open Floor: Jack and Carly brought up dogs coming through town. They were attacked by a dog while walking their animals at night. They have also had dogs come into their yard. Some are friendly and some aren’t. They’re worried about letting their dogs out in their own yard. Mayor Ulbricht will reach out to county attorney to enforce the ordinance relating to pets/animals. City ordinances will be provided.
New Business: Heritage Club Raffle: Mayor Ulbricht was presented with a permit request for the Heritage Raffle by Sue Rotty that will be held on August 27. Landowski motions, Ehlert seconds. Motion carried.
City Clean Up Bid: Shirley Hulinsky is looking to see if Burtrum wants to partner with the township for clean up day on May 20th. Currently, Shirley is working to get three estimates and the city will decide after the estimates are received. No further action was taken.
Elected Leader Institute: Foundational Program: Event to be held March 3 and 4 in Alexandria, MN. $330.00 dollars to attend. The event is provided by the League of Minnesota Cities. It’s designed for newly elected officials. It’s an opportunity to learn state rules, networking with other cities, and how to seek grant opportunities. Event begins at 10:30 a.m. with meals provided. Pre-courses would be sent out in advance for attendees. Mayor Ulbricht recommends the event. Council members will need to consult their work schedules prior to agreeing to attend. Gessell motions, Ehlert seconds to approve up to two council members to attend. Motion carried.
Update Name on all Accounts: Update name on all accounts to reflect Mayor Ulbricht by removing former mayor Ronald Stassburg on all accounts. Strassburg has yet to forfeit his safety deposit keys. Ehlert motions, Gessell seconds to remove Strassburg from all city accounts and safety deposit box at Magnifi Financial and add Mayor Ulbricht and the future city clerk to all accounts and safety deposit box. Motion carried.
City locks: Proposing updating the city locks and looking for the main door to do a keyless entry. With the lack of tracking keys to the community center, we are uncertain who has keys to the building.
Mayor Ulbricht spoke to a vendor about changing out city locks, including keyless entry. Keyless entry has the ability to track who is entering and exiting the building. Codes could be created for different groups. Programs could be set up for temporary rentals. City hall is designated as a storm shelter and there were questions surrounding how this would work. With keyless entry a code could be provided at the time of the storm to enter and then be removed. Question arose regarding losing electricity. To Mayor Ulbricht’s understanding it is linked wirelessly and electricity shouldn’t be an issue. Mayor Ulbricht will confirm. Mayor Ulbricht will continue to gather more information. No action was taken at this time.
Landowski requested that the council be able to review who is renting the city hall. Ulbricht will further inform the council of future rentals and look for an application to keep council members informed. Deb Strassburg will continue to be notified via text prior to rentals for cleaning purposes.
Wifi to Community Center: Proposing Wifi for the community center. This will allow keyless entry for the community center, therefore, key codes can be tracked when entering the building and exiting. Codes can be set per group and/or individual renting or needing access to the building year-round. Some renters have asked about Wifi. No internet connectivity is currently offered at the city hall. Mayor Ulbricht will continue to gather more information and estimates. No further action was taken at this time.
City Phone Number: Proposing city phone. Verizon offers city phones at a discounted rate. Previous Mayor received $50.00 monthly reimbursement. Highly recommended all city calls go through a non-private phone. One of the options is downloading an app on up to five phones to set up a calling tree, which would cost $15 a month. If Mayor Ulbricht would be gone, you could assign the number to another person. More information is being requested by the city council. No further action was taken at this time.
Office Supplies: Mice have gotten into meeting notes, which are required to be retained permanently. Plastic bins and other standard office supplies such as envelopes, stamps, paper, clips, etc., need to be purchased for the city. Gessell motions, Landowski seconds the purchase of up to $200 of office supplies. Any additional funds would need to come back to the Council for further review. Motion approved.
Office Clean Up: City office needs to be cleaned up and organized, and ensuring the paperwork is following the standard retention policy that is provided by the state of Minnesota. Requesting volunteers to help clean and organize the office. Click here read Minnesota’s general retention policy requirements: https://www.mcfoa.org/records This is pending upon hiring a city clerk, in hopes this to be accomplished in March. Deb Strassburg volunteered to go through old files to ensure historical documents don’t get disposed. There was further discussion of adding a potential display to showcase historical items. No further action taken at this time.
Payroll: Mayor Ulbricht is seeking to change to standardized pay periods. Monthly payroll for city clerk, maintenance, and cleaners with a pay date of the 15th of every month. If the pay date lands on a Saturday or Sunday, it will be moved to the previous Friday. City council and Mayor will be paid quarterly, with the same rules as the monthly payroll.
Ehlert motions, Landowski seconds to standardized payrolls as Mayor Ulbricht outlined. Motion carried.
Contracts: Quinlivan & Hughes (city attorney), hourly rate of $175.00. City attorney has not been utilized much, historically. A ballpark estimate is roughly up to $2,000 a year. City to gather information on rates from other attorney offices for the position of city attorney.
Todd County Attorney’s Office, annual rate of $500.00. Burtrum has never had a contract with the county before. City attorney can’t enforce ordinances, so it must go through county attorney. Warning letters have previously been sent out by the city to those violating ordinances, but no enforcement was provided. Landowski motions, Gessell seconds the county contract. Motion carried.
Announcements: Acknowledgment to the following people: Sandy Prout, Ron Bruggenthies, Bobby Veldkamp, Mick Flood and Sara Macho for helping within the community from answering questions, scraping ice, snow plowing and organizing paperwork. All your work was much appreciated. Gessell recognized Mayor Ulbricht’s work as well.
Adjournment: Motion by Gessell, seconded by Landowski to adjourn meeting at 8:22 P.M. Motion carried.
Minutes not approved.
Jenae Ulbricht, Mayor