Upsala City September 8, 2020


Call to Order/Attendance: The City Council meeting was called to order at Upsala City Hall by Mayor Rollie Johnson at 7:00 PM. Mayor Johnson led the Pledge of Allegiance.
On roll call members in attendance: Mayor Rollie Johnson, Council Members Lana Bartells (via phone), Dennis Westrich, and Brian Lange. Absent: Crystal Benson
People attending: MC Record reporter Sheila McCoy, First Response Team Vice President Garrett Doucette, Public Works Director Mike Tschida, Fire Chief Jay Baggenstoss, and City Clerk/Treasurer Michelle Stevens.
Minutes: Bartells moved to approve minutes from August 3, 2020 City Council Meeting, 2nd by Westrich. Motion carried unanimously.
Bartells moved to approve Special Budget Meeting minutes from August 13, 2020 City Council Meeting, 2nd by Lange. Motion carried unanimously.
Added agenda items: Lange moved to approve the agenda as presented with the addition of ‘speeding’ under new business, 2nd by Westrch. Motion carried unanimously.
Presentation, Citizen Appeals: Robert Harris with Lead for Minnesota presented on what the program is about and how it can benefit the City of Upsala.
Department Reports:
Fire Department Report: The Upsala Fire Department raffle is September 12, please be sure to buy a ticket. They will be joining the First Response Team with their training at the end of September. The Fire Trucks will be going in for basic maintenance this fall.
Baggenstoss shared the thank yous they received for the help the department gave to the Northern Metal Fire in Becker.
First Response Team: Doucette stated that they will be utilizing Sourcewell Grant dollars for COVID recovery. Morrison County is also offering a grant that both departments will be taking advantage of.
The LUCAS machine has arrived.
The team will be hosting a wilderness search and rescue through Central Lakes College on Saturday, September 26 at Nick Johnson and Dannielle Haus’s place. Please note that their will be helicopters and other emergency teams in the area for the training.
The Upsala First Response Team is hosting a raffle in October; please purchase a ticket for a good cause.
Maintenance Report: Tschida reported on water and sewer levels, and he stated discharging is done.
The trees were trimmed in the uptown alley. The Rec Building cleaning is completed. The streets sweeper will be here in September. Tschida plans to start flushing hydrants on MEA Thursday evening. The department is continuing to put rip rap rock around the sewer pond.
Thein Well did their annual inspection of the City’s wells; well #4 is losing capacity. They recommend cleaning and jetting the well. Tschida recommends doing the cleaning and jetting next summer.
City Office Report: Stevens reviewed the September Calendar.
Planning Commission: Lange reported that the commissioners walked through portions of the zoning ordinance. They discussed the Jason Malisheski permit. They reviewed the lot split for Sheri and Steve Johnson. The commissioners also talked about the mobile home that was moved in without a permit; the owner will be billed with a doubled permit fee.
Recreation Board: No meeting was held. The Rec Building was cleaned by Service Master while it was shut down; the City will use COVID dollars to pay for the expense.
Unfinished Business:
CEDA Contract: Mayor Johnson reported that the City met with Ron Ziegler and both parties agreed that terminating the contract would be best. CEDA sent a refund check for the months that were not used.
Rental/Background Checks: Stevens reported back to the Council on the request to require landlords to do background checks on all tenants. Stevens stated that she was in contact with the League of Minnesota Cities and they have not heard of any city requiring background checks. If the City of Upsala wanted to require such a thing, they should contact their attorney.
New Business:
Approve CARES Act dollars: Lange moved to approve the CARES act dollars from the State on the expenses as presented, 2nd by Westrich. Motion carried unanimously.
Main Street Flower Box Contest: Mayor Johnson stated that Laura Douvier, the Post Office Master in Upsala, won the annual Flower Box Contest and received $25.00 in Upsala Bucks.
Proposed Budget & Levy: Lange moved to raise the City’s levy by 0.5% for 2021 to meet the City’s fiscal responsibilities, 2nd by Westrich. Motion carried unanimously.
Speeding in Town: Mayor Johnson stated that there is quite a bit of speeding on County Road 21 as well as Highway 238; he will be talking with the Sheriff’s Office to help deal with the problem.
Medallion Hunt: The Long-Term Disaster Recovery Team met and agreed to have a monthly activity to encourage a new normal in our community. September’s activity will be the annual Medallion Hunt that is usually held during Heritage Days.
Appreciation goes out to Jan Schutz for volunteering her time and talent to process the paperwork for the sale of the property on Hwy 238. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
We appreciate unselfish citizens who help their neighbors without recognition. Your actions are what makes Upsala a great and special place to live!
Financials: Lange moved to approve the bills as presented, 2nd by Westrich. Motion carried unanimously.
Updates/FYI: Next Regular City Council Meeting will be Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Adjourn: Lange moved to adjourn at 8:40 p.m., 2nd by Westrich. Motion carried unanimously.
Michelle Stevens, Clerk/Treasurer