Council approves old contracts
Contracts for the Park Rapids city attorney's services that were drafted in 2003, but never presented to the council, were approved Tuesday night. Mayor Ted Godfrey said he is looking for "accountability" in prosecution. City administrator Brian ...
Contracts for the Park Rapids city attorney's services that were drafted in 2003, but never presented to the council, were approved Tuesday night.
Mayor Ted Godfrey said he is looking for "accountability" in prosecution.
City administrator Brian Weuve said he found the two proposed contracts in a file. They had been drafted by former city administrator Betty Thomsen and worked out with city attorney John Masog, but Weuve said he found no record showing the contracts had been presented to the council for approval.
Drafted some time in late 2003, the contracts are for general legal services and prosecution services.
One provision in the document calls for a monthly report. Godfrey asked Masog if it would work to highlight a printout of the court calendar to show the cases he is handling and record the disposition of each case.
Masog said Godfrey's suggestion would work.
The city pays Masog $2,342 a month for prosecution services and an hourly rate of $80 an hour for his other work.
"This would be better for everybody," Godfrey said. "I'm more comfortable with some accountability."
The council approved the contracts as written, inserting a term of one year.
For several months, beginning in June 2003, Godfrey had begun questioning Masog's handling of bad checks, since he was collecting and keeping the $30 service charge.
Masog had suggested drawing up a contract at the time, but, as Weuve said, none was ever presented for council approval.
The council minutes of the June 24, 2003, meeting said: "Masog stated he would be happy to look at a contract. He added previous management didn't want that, as long as the police department was happy and that the figures coincide."
Godfrey had replied, "We don't know if the figures coincide. There is no accountability."
In August, the city approved using the Retailers Protection Association to collect bad checks, removing the procedure from Masog's authority unless they are forwarded for criminal prosecution.
Masog said there have only been half a dozen such cases in the past three years.
Airport project behind
Tuesday night, Weuve reported the slow progress of construction on the airport hangar building.
"We're not sure what's going on," Weuve said, adding that at $1,000 a day, the contractor, American General, now is at about $15,000 in penalties.
Masog added the architect has put the intent to impose penalties in writing and sent it to the contractor and the city is retaining a percentage of the money owed. In addition, he said the contract required completion and performance bonds, so the city is somewhat protected.
Weuve said there's a crew of three working, but the building that was supposed to have been done Jan. 23 is only about 50 to 60 percent complete.
Scott Burlingame, public works supervisor, added the contractor is blaming the subcontractors. However, the subcontractors have told Burlingame they planned to do the work on time, but now it doesn't fit their schedules.
Weuve said that, to try to move things along, there will be weekly construction meetings at the job site and the general contractor will be getting an updated schedule for completion.
In other action Tuesday night, the council (with Nancy Carroll absent):
* Accepted the resignation of Scott Holk from the fire department and authorized advertising for a volunteer to replace him.
* Proclaimed April 28 as Arbor Day in the city.
* Terminated the employment of part-time employee Alisha Jacobson at Rapids Spirits.
* Appointed Carolyn Conklin as the city representative on the Kitchigami Regional Library Board. Council member Gene Kinkel was appointed earlier but can't serve until this fall. Since a substitute can't vote, Kinkel withdrew, and Conklin will serve in the interim.