Nevis Council reviews audit
BY JEAN RUZICKA
The Nevis Council welcomed Rich Johnson to the ranks this week; the councilor appointed to replace John Plumley will serve as commissioner of streets, water and sewer.
The council reviewed the annual city audit report, Don Zierke of Miller McDonald stating the “city is in good financial shape from a cash perspective,” but he cautioned the council should look at raising water and sewer rates. He indicated the funds’ cash assets are adequate but an “emergency situation” could pose a hardship.
Mayor Paul Schroeder agreed, asking that research begin on water and sewer rates for towns of commensurate size. But city administrator Carol Fridgen pointed out rates are driven by several factors, which must be considered in the comparison.
In reviewing financing sources, Zierke pointed out 66 percent of the city’s total revenue is derived from property taxes, “but the Legislature may pump more money into Local Government Aid.” The city currently receives 13.9 percent of its revenue from LGA.
In other action, the board:
n Set dates of April 29 and 30 and May 1 for hydrant flushing.
n Approved a quote of $15,933 for keg coolers for the liquor store. The low bidder was received from Tweeton in Detroit Lakes.
Liquor store manager Lisa Kamrowski reported the current wood cooler was installed in the 1960s and needs to be upgraded to stainless steel for compliance purposes.
The council also approved hand washing sinks at the liquor store at a cost of $1,785.
The liquor store reported net earnings of $1,108 in March.
The liquor store has reported a net loss of $4,621 in January, a profit of $364 in February.
n Approved League of Minnesota Cities property liability insurance through the Dick Sessing Agency, which renews May 1.
Sessing reported several of the rates are down slightly from last year.
n Learned fire chief Kerry Swenson will apply for a $7,000 grant through the Department of Natural Resources to purchase hose and fittings.
Swenson reported Giziibii Resource Conservation and Development Association has funding available for building upgrades. The council agreed to move forward with preliminary research on ideas and options for the fire hall. A new building was briefly discussed.
n Council member Heidi Schmeichel asked that flags be put on fire hydrants, which are buried in snow, to make them identifiable. Currently, about 10 of the city’s 68 hydrants have flags. She suggested neighborhoods be asked to shovel around the hydrants.
n Will explore the purchase of another lawn mower for the cemetery.
n Approved the city act as fiscal agent for trails groomed by the Nevis Trailblazers, as has been past practice.
n Agreed to open the city dump from May 11 to May 25 to allow city residents to bring leaves and brush to the site.