City of Pembina, ND

Oldest Settlement in the Dakota Territories

Official Minutes for September 14th, 2020, Pembina City Council Meeting

Council Members Present: Mayor Mike Fitzgerald, President Jeff Watts, VP Ron Fritz, Pat Burton, Greg Koropatnicki, Jennifer Martin and Allen Huttunen

Absent: none

City Employees Present: Lisa Hall/Auditor, Gary Helland/ Public Works Superintendent

City Attorney Present: Rob Fleming

City Engineer: Brad Bail

Others present: Blaine Eisenbeis-PFD Chief

Public Portion-no one present.

Meeting called to order by Mayor Fitzgerald at 6:00 p.m.

Changes to Agenda

 Add Gastrak bill, JR wastewater, shop access and RV park bids under Gary, second reading of lodging tax ordinance and demolishing houses under attorney, PCC-4H under Lisa, mosquito fund, overtime and payroll under council and port water usage under new business. Motion by Watts second by Huttunen to approve agenda with changes. Ayes all present.   Motion carries.


Motion by Fritz, second by Watts to approve August meeting’s minutes. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


Old Business

  • Spot Bar- Lisa received invoice today and will pay Forest River Colony for the demolishing of Spot Bar. Going forward any contracts should include that contractor is responsible for any damages.

    Engineer Report/Brad Bail Discussed the lagoon project and purchasing land ahead of time but letting the property owner continue to farm on it until project is started. Brought up adding a fee for lagoon on monthly utility bill.

    Attorney Update / Rob Fleming-

  • Lodging Tax Ordinance- Motion by Huttunen second by Korpat to approve the second reading of the Lodging Tax Ordinance. Ayes all present. Motion carries.

  • Update condemned buildings- Received bids from Twamley and Forest River Colony. Forest River Colony has the low bid. Korpat will verify with them that it included filling in any basements and hauling off debris. Motion by Watts second by Fritz to move ahead on condemning the three houses and shed. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • Lodging tax- First reading of the City Lodging Tax and a City Lodging and Restaurant Tax for the City of Pembina.


    Council business/concerns:

  • Minutes-GK- Korpat said he had compliments on August minutes that were more detailed than previous minutes. Will have Lisa check how much more Ness Press bill was for the longer minutes when she gets it.


  • Trimming trees between 2nd & 3rd on Stutsman-GK- Korpat had Brent Trosdahl ask about doing the trees alongside walk because he cleans that off during the winter. Also, if city pushed snow after he cleans if we can clean back off. Gary will look into borrowing bucket truck for trimming trees.


  • Water & sewer rates-JW- Instead of raising taxes raise the water and sewer rates. Looking at $2.50 on water and $2.50 on sewer. Assess apartment buildings per unit.   Look into what other towns do for commercial rates.


  • Mill Disbursement—Lisa presented the mill levy disbursement as discussed at budget hearing. General-101.74, Emergency- 2.5, Airport- 0, Library-0, cemetery- 1.94, Recreation-3.26, City share- 19.38 and Capital Improvement- 3.80 for total mills of 132.62 same as last year. Motion by Watts second by Korpat to disperse mill levy’s as presented. Ayes all present. Motion carries.Library has $3800 in fund with city account from last couple year’s county tax payment from mill levy. Motion by Watts second by Huttunen to pay the city library rent that is due to the school. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • Late fees- Motion by Watts second by Huttunen to set late fees at 1.75% per month. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • Overtime/payroll- Currently overtime is paid out on an eight hour day. Korpat called around to other cities and they pay on 40 hour work week. Also, said ND Department of Labor states overtime based on 40 hour work week and sick time, vacation, and holidays need not be counted towards hours worked. Motion by Huttunen second by Watts that non holiday weeks treated as 40 hours worked before getting approved overtime and PTO does not count towards the 40 hours worked for overtime. On holiday weeks hours worked for overtime becomes effective over 32 hours. Ayes Huttunen, Martin, Watts, Korpat and Burton. Nay Ron. Motion carries.


  • Mosquito Fund- Martin inquired if the funds under mosquito fund could be used for anything else or just mosquitos. Also asked if spraying more often could be done. Need to get another person to spray so Gary doesn’t need to do it all the time.


    Employee Report/Concerns-


  • Tool inventory- GK- Korpat inquired if Gary had a tool inventory. Gary is to send inventory list to Korpat.


  • Mowing outside of dikes-GK- Korpat talked to Owen and his sprayer is too small to do the spraying. Gary will talk to Team Lab about adding the dikes when they come up and spray. It is mowed spring and fall currently on outside. Inside is mowed every time we are mowing our other properties.


  • Pump house/rain gutters- The pump house is need of rain gutters to get the rain away from building.   Washing out the dirt around building. Gary will get gutters from lumber yard to put on.


  • Tree pile- Pile has been burned but there is still debris that needs to be hauled off. Lisa will contact Martin from Forest River Colony for a bid.


  • Storm drain gates- Three in town the backs have fallen down which is causing them not to drain properly. Will have Brad look at them to advise how to repair.


  • Gastrak bill- The bill from Thorlakson did not match the original bid. There was a charge for an extra survey and wire repair when the lines were cut and not marked properly. Stateside billed Thorlakson for repair in turn they billed us. This was a private locate and not city’s responsibility. The city sign has water sitting at it. A culvert that goes across the road was closed off. Motion by Watts second by Fritz to pay bill from Thorlakson minus the $1216.56 on the condition they give us the culvert on bill that wasn’t used or see if they are able to return it. Ayes all present. Motion carries. Will discuss Gastrak paying towards the project at a later date. Motion by Watts second by Korpat to approve bid of approximately $2000 to finish catch basin. Ayes all present. Motion carries.

  • JR wastewater-  Three years ago they did camera the sewer lines. Motion by Fritz second by Korpat to keep the routine the same for squeegeeing the sewer lines. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • RV park bids- Motion by Burton second by Huttunen to accept the bid from Twamley of $1180 per site to repair the 2 lots water. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • Shop access- Gary came to work one day and battery box on loader was open and his buttons were turned off. Gary requested that anyone with access that is going to go into the shop to please let him know ahead of time. Gary will look into surveillance camera for shop.


    Update & Business: Mayor

  • Growth committee-Jennifer- Mayor Fitzgerald appointed Martin to the Growth Committee. Motion by Huttunen second by Burton to approve the appointment of Martin to Growth Committee. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


    Update & Business: City Auditor/Lisa Hall


  • Final Budget- Motion by Fritz second by Martin to certify the mills to the county. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • Motion by Watts second by Fritz to approve final budget. Ayes Watts, Burton, Korpat, Fritz and Martin. Nay Huttunen. Motion carries.


  • Motion by Martin second by Fritz to approve August financials. Ayes all present. Motion carries.


  • NDLC Annual Conference- No one wishes to attend since it is virtual meetings and not in person.


  • PCC-4H- Lisa was contacted for 4H to use the PCC and what cost would be. Since new council members want to verify non-profit still no charge. The 4H group is able to use free of charge.


    Committee Reports:  


  • Fire Department- Chief Eisenbeis gave update on ongoing grants. Will need land for a new station because out growing current one and a lot of repairs that need to be done on building. Each year plan is to purchase turnout gear and SCBA. Chief Eisenbeis asked if the city would sign for a loan on a new rig. Will bring more details on new one to next meeting.


    New Business:


  • Port water usage- When Gary went to read meters at the port the old vet building is gone and so is meter so no idea what that reading was. The new vet building meter not working and had bypassed the meter. They had been running sprinklers so probably high usage. The unload vet building has double meter head and neither meter is working. Will compare what city was billed and what we billed out to estimate amount of water used at those buildings. Gary will check back out there to make sure they have them fixed.

    Motion to adjourn by Fritz at 9:06 p.m.


    By: Mayor, Mike Fitzgerald



Attested to: Lisa Hall, Auditor