City of Pembina, ND

Oldest Settlement in the Dakota Territories

March 13th Minutes

Unofficial Minutes for March 13th, 2023, Pembina City Council Meeting


Date: March 13th, 2023, at 6:00pm

Location: Professional Building

Present: Mayor Mike Fitzgerald, Connor Snitker, Ken Norby, Allen Huttunen, Jeff Watts, Pat Burton, Renee Thomas


Guests: Sherri Carattini, Greg Koropatnicki, Rob Fleming, Brad Bail, Phil Hall, Ben Kneeshaw, Jennifer Priester, Rachel Gornowicz, Cole Hegg, Brenda Maslowski


Meeting called to order at 6:03 pm

Jeff Watts arrives at 6:05 pm

Changes to Agenda: Add Catfish Committee Permit Request to New Business, add Apartment Buildings to Garbage/truck rates under Old Business, add Flood discussion under New Business, add Camera for City Shop under New Business. Motion to accept changes by Burton, seconded by Snitker. All ayes present. Motion carries.

Approval/Changes to February’s Minutes: Motion to approve minutes by Watts, seconded by Thomas. All ayes present. Motion carries.

Old Business                   

  • Garbage truck/rates – Rachel Gornowicz from Countrywide Sanitation was present to discuss with the council the most recent draft of the contract. Rob Fleming mentioned that the new draft added the current rates for commercial pickup. He also said we still had concerns that Countrywide would only be able to pick up commercial dumpsters once a week. Connor Snitker asked if there would be an issue if we didn’t make Countrywide the exclusive collector for commercial and simply kept exclusive pickups for residential. After a long discussion, a motion was made by Snitker to remove the commercial exclusivity clause from the contract and to offer commercial businesses the option to stay with Valley Landfill or switch to Countrywide on their own. The motion was seconded by Huttunen. Mike called for a roll call vote: Norby – no; Thomas – no; Snitker – yes; Watts – yes; Burton – yes; Huttunen – yes. Motion carries 4-2.  
o   After further discussion, another motion was made by Snitker to accept the contract with changes to include adding dumpster rental rates of $6.00 per yard. Seconded by Thomas. Roll call vote – unanimous (6-0 in favor). Rob will make the changes to the contract.
o   Commercial Recycling Rates – Rob brought up the differences in how businesses are being charged for recycling. After a discussion, a motion was made by Burton to charge all commercial businesses the same recycling rates ($20.00 per month per commercial entity, except for MCI, who has more recycling. They will stay at $60.00 per month). Seconded by Snitker. All ayes present. Motion carries.
o   Rob then asked if the residential rates should be raised to cover the cost of overhead for Sherri to make the changes. After a discussion, it was decided that no raise in rates was needed. No motion required to keep things as they are.
o   Draft Letter to Pembina Community – tabled until it can be revised. Commercial properties will get a letter and residents will get a separate letter informing them of new rates.
  • Lagoon - Brad mentioned that we are in the process of purchasing the land. He also stated that the surveyors worked up a description of the boundary lines, which includes an easement since the original property lines have shifted. Rob mentioned he wanted the legals for buying the land on the north side.
  • Generator – quote needed – Tabled – Watts mentioned he is still waiting for quotes for one generator overall or two generators (one for each location).
  • Water meter readers – Tabled
  • Street Repairs - Tabled
  • Masloski’s lot - Tabled
  • Weight Limit Signs - Tabled
  • House Condemnations – 422 N 5th St – Rob mentioned that the owner is going to sell the property to a private realtor. He mentioned that the owner would still be hit with the condemnation fees and, therefore, would still need to pay for that.
  • Grinder Pump – Koropatnicki mentioned that he had two quotes, one for $3870 and one for $5800. Burton made a motion to purchase the one for $3870. Seconded by Snitker. All ayes present. Motion carries. Mike told Greg to order the pump tomorrow.
  • Summer help – ads were placed, but no applicants yet. Al suggested re-running the ads to include the starting wage of $15.00 per hour.
  • LCRR: Korpat mentioned that he just got the information from ND Water but did not yet have enough time to review it enough to make a full report to the council. However, Greg did mention that assistance was available – potentially enough to cover all funding for the city, and that we would just need to complete the application. Application would be completed by Greg and Sherri tomorrow. Brad added that this will be an ongoing project for a few years, for the entire state, in order to eliminate all lead from people’s water. The main issue to be explored is the connection between the curb and the houses, that even though they may have copper pipes, they may still have lead solder on them. Therefore, those lines would need to be replaced. Because it would be expensive for the city, applying for assistance would be the best option. Huttunen made a motion to adopt the resolution as presented. Seconded by Thomas. All ayes present. Motion carries.
  • Fish & Game – lake sturgeon reintroduction & Pembina Dam: Tabled until more information provided from Fish & Game. The current dam will need to be replaced first.


Committee Reports

  • Fire Department – None
  • Rec Board – Brenda Maslowski mentioned that the Rec Board will be sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt on April 8th at the Museum. She requested funds to purchase reusable items for the hunt. Motion made by Snitker to let them spend up to $1000. Seconded by Burton. Five to one in favor, one opposed. Motion carries. Brenda then mentioned that they would like a separate fund added to the accounting system, a line item dedicated just for new playground equipment. Mike directed Sherri to add the new line item to the Rec Board account.


Employees Report/Concerns - none

Engineer Report/Brad Bail – Nothing further to add

Attorney Update – Rob mentioned that we received a non-compliance letter for Valley Landfill. He said that he filled out the form and made us compliant. Mike said he would try to contact all the mayors in order to have a meeting about Valley Landfill.

Update & Business: Mayor – no updates

Update & Business: City Auditor/ Sherri Carattini

  • February Bills & Financials – Motion to approve financials by Snitker, seconded by Huttunen. All ayes present. Motion carries.
  • FEMA Distribution – Sherri shared the breakdown of FEMA fund distribution. Motion by Snitker to approve distribution amounts as presented. Seconded by Huttunen. All ayes present. Motion carried.
  • New safe and furniture for office – after some discussion it was tabled until Sherri can provide more quotes to consider.
  • Valley Landfill Letter – a new letter will be sent to commercial businesses indicating that they will be able to choose to remain with Valley or switch to Countrywide.
  • Banyon Training – Sherri mentioned she has completed two trainings and will be doing one more on the 15th. She stated that the trainings have been extremely helpful.
  • Meat Raffle Report – Earnings report and distribution shared with council.


New Business

  • Local Permit Request for Catfish Committee to hold a raffle. Motion to approve by Snitker. Seconded by Huttunen. All ayes present. Motion carries.
  • Local Permit Request for Ice Rink to hold annual raffles, etc. Rob mentioned that any entity under the city’s EIN was not eligible. Council members felt Ice Rink should get their own EIN number or find another 503-C to sponsor them. Permit request denied.
  • Fur Trader Reenactors request to camp in April-May. After some discussion, motion to approve their request made by Norby – with the stipulation that they should be informed that the time period requested is our wet season. Seconded by Burton. All ayes present. Motion carries.
  • Hiring part time help for City Shop: Mr. Norby had been helping Greg with snow removal and meter readings. Since he was volunteering his time, it seemed as if the City Shop would benefit for additional hired help. A discussion took place about whether Mr. Norby should be compensated for the hours he has already assisted. A further discussion ensued as to, if approved, what that compensation would be. Thomas asked about the legalities of having a council member getting paid for doing work for the city. Mike mentioned that, because we are a population of less than $500, a council member is permitted to be paid for their help. Mr. Norby was asked how many hours he’s already worked and he said no more than 50. Burton made a motion to pay Mr. Norby $28.00 per hour for each hour already worked, and to pay him $28.00 per hour for any future hours worked, at no more than 10 hours per week – with the stipulation that the city would also advertise for the position, and that Mr. Norby would continue until someone is officially hired. Roll Call Vote = unanimous.
  • Flood Preparations: Mike said he was waiting for a report from Blaine. Greg said he would meet with Blaine as well to discuss what needs to be done. Burton recommended a Flood Committee be formed and Huttunen said he would be interested in being on the committee. Watts also mentioned bringing it up at the next school board meeting. Finally, Mike mentioned that the current flood policy is probably out of date and will need to be revised.
  • Cameras for City Shop: There are currently two cameras at the shop – one inside and one outside. A motion was made by Burton to purchase two new cameras for the shop. Seconded by Connor. All ayes present. Motion carries.


Adjournment – Motion to adjourn at 8:06 PM by Thomas.


By: Mayor, Mike Fitzgerald                                                                                  

Attested to: Sherri Carattini, City Auditor

The next city council meeting will be held on April 10th, 2023, at 6:00pm in the Professional building.