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Roseau City Council Meets in Regular April Meeting

04/04/2019

By Ben Johnston, News Reporter

The Roseau City Council met for their regular monthly meeting Monday, April 1. Among topics discussed were the presentation of the annual City Financial Statement, feasibility planning for converting Highway 89 (from Highway 11 to 7th St. SW) to urban design, the need for additional building lots and a recognition of City employees for their work during a difficult winter.

In attendance were Mayor Jeff Pelowski, Council Members Amy Bassingthwaite, Pat Novacek and Brady Johnson, City Attorney Michelle E. Moren, Community Development Coordinator (CDC) Todd Peterson, City Clerk-Treasurer Elizabeth Carlson, Police Chief Ward Anderson, Fire Chief Craig McMillan, City Superintendent David Drown, County Commissioner Jack Swanson and Brady Martz CPA Tracee Bruggeman.

The meeting began with Mayor Pelowski recognizing City employees.

“It would be very appropriate, given the excellent service that the citizens of Roseau got this winter, that we recognize the folks that did that,” he said.

Eight employees introduced themselves and were given a round of applause.

The meeting proceeded with the approval of minutes from the March 4th regular meeting and a March 27th special meeting which dealt with the Watershed District grant application and the revised grant for the airport.

Continuing to the approval of the Consent Agenda, which included a few items of note:

The council acknowledged a notification from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, which granted a new Child Foster Care license to Karyn Michel Sigurdson & Jason Michael Snyder.

Jill Helgeson was appointed to the Planning Commission, and will replace Larry Guggisberg, who retired after serving on the commission for more than 20 years.

A resolution accepting a $10,950 grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation was designated to the Roseau Fire Department’s “Jaws of Life project”.

Tracee Bruggeman, a certified public accountant from Brady Martz, presented the council with the City Financial Statement. Bruggeman detailed while the city has $2 million in long-term debt from the construction of the Roseau Court Townhomes, it will be forgiven by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency by 2023.

Peterson started the report for the Planning Commission, which met Monday, March 25, by presenting the council with a recommendation for a public hearing on a variance application of 545.5 square feet for Rob Sando to build a garage replacing an existing pole building that had collapsed. The council approved a public hearing for 12:30 p.m., Monday, April 29, at the Planning Commission meeting.

Peterson also informed the council the annual tour of the city is planned for 10 a.m., Monday, May 20, prior to the May regular meeting — which has been moved from May 27 (Memorial Day).

The Planning Commission has also been discussing the lack of residential development plots and potential locations for the next sub-division, but no action was taken.

A major project discussed was the feasibility of converting Trunk Highway 89, between Trunk Highway 11 and 7th St. SW, from a rural to urban design highway. A proposal was provided by Houston Engineering, Inc., of preliminary thoughts on areas they believe MNDOT would seek in terms of changes to the proposed highway section. Changes would involve realigning and closing some of the access roads along this section of highway, as well as potentially changing the two-way stop at the Center Street intersection and the signals at the 6th St. (Polaris) intersection to roundabouts.

County Commissioner Jack Swanson then spoke to the council on the lack of buildable lots — expressing the potential for the county to sell two lots, currently owned by the county, to the city for a nominal price. It would be contingent on making the lots buildable, with one as a potential site for a joint project with the Roseau School to build a house. The council adopted a resolution to accept contingent on the county’s proposal.

The Economic Development Authority (EDA) report was given by CDC Peterson, mentioning continued discussion on the Workforce Development Initiative that started last summer and ongoing discussions with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation on how to better promote the community as a possible place to live and work.

The EDA also discussed the lack of buildable lots in regards to the joint project with the Roseau School and the possibility of the city providing infrastructure for a new sub-division. The final item from the EDA was the resignation of Roseau Civic and Commerce representative, Cheri Losse from their board. Civic and Commerce was contacted to provide recommendations for a replacement.

City Superintendent David Drown had three bids for a water pipe removal and fix project for a section of pipe running under the Roseau River and a section in front of Polaris. The council voted to award the bid to Taggert Contracting, Inc., who had the low bid of $124,771.

Finally, Mayor Pelowski spoke about a March meeting with Customs & Border Protection on border crossing hours.

“To say the meeting went bad is an understatement,” Pelowski said. “It was a waste of time.”

Congressman Collin Peterson would like to deal with the issue in Washington D.C., and attempt to find funding earmarked for the Northern border crossing to fund the border hours. There is a tentative meeting set for the morning of Tuesday, April 9, in Washington. Mayor Pelowski, Todd Peterson and Ted Falk — the Member of Parliament for Provencher — will all be in attendance.

The Next Regular meeting of the City Council will be at 5 p.m., May 6.

Last modified: 04/04/2019

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