Keewatin City Council

October 10, 2019

    At the Sept. 25 Keewatin City Council meeting, the council approved the minutes of the Sept. 11 council meeting and other routine items on the consent agenda.

 

    The council opted to table a decision on employee retiree insurance. The city also approved a new lease with DNR for snow storage. 

    Officials approved all city election judges to attend an upcoming workshop. And, motion and a support were made to approve the city paying $10,000 back to the city sewer fund, which was approved by the council.

Keewatin City Council

September 19, 2019

    At last week’s Keewatin City Council meeting all items on the consent agenda, including payment of current bills and the minutes from the previous council meeting, were approved. 

    The council also approved its employee insurance plan. Councilors noted that the city has received grant funding that will go to improving the city ball field. 

    The police department requested to scrap one vehicle and sell another and the council approved this request. A series of charitable gambling requests were also approved for Halloween.

Keewatin City Council

July 22, 2019

    At last week’s Keewatin City Council meeting, officials approved the minutes of the June 26 council meeting, approved the city’s bank statements and payment of current bills. 

    The council passed a resolution to apply for and accept 2020 IRRRB infrastructure funds.

    Upon request from the Itasca County Historical Society, the city will make a donation $500 to the Historical Society. 

Officials also noted that the city also was awarded a grant of $7,500 from the Twins Community Fund.

Keewatin City Council

January 17, 2019

    At last week’s Keewatin City Council meeting all items on the consent agenda were approved, including approval of the minutes of the Dec. 26 council meeting. 

    The council tabled approval of the People’s Service contract, deferring the decision to the next council meeting. City officials also unanimously approved a new copier for the library at a cost of $5,800. 

    Fort and Company will serve as the city’s official audit firm for 2018. The audit cost cannot exceed $20,000.

    The council passed two resolutions, the first of which designates the community center as a 2019 polling place. The second resolution accepted IRRRB grant funding.

    City officials noted this year’s annual fun day will be held on Jan. 19 at the community center. There will be vintage snowmobiles at the event as well as a drawing for prizes. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Designated the Scenic Range NewsForum as the city’s official newspaper.

    • Named John Dimich Law Office is the city’s official law office.

    • Approved three the gambling finds requests.

    • Named Paul Clusiau as the acting mayor.

    • Scheduled council meetings for the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, beginning at 5 p.m.

    • Named Benchmark Engineering as the city’s official engineering firm.

Keewatin City Council

November 01, 2018

    Officials in the city of Keewatin approved an amended joint powers agreement for the East Itasca Joint Sewer Board, which seeks to develop a joint system for the cities of Keewatin and Nashwauk as well as Lone Pine Township.

    The amended agreement takes into account the withdrawal of Greenway Township from the joint effort. The township opted out because the system would not be of benefit to all its residents.

    Keewatin Mayor Bill King noted that the withdrawal of Greenway Township did not change the course of the plan and Keewatin, Nashwauk and Lone Pine Township remain committed to the project. The three entities hope to bid the joint sewer project next summer.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved an immediate increase of the MISO charge on the city’s electric bill from $3 to $7. The charge will increase to $9 on Jan. 1 and city officials will evaluate the need for another increase for April at a later date.

    • Approved moving to the Public Employees Retirement Association NCPRS plan for life insurance for city employees. The policy change would increase benefit to city employees from $5,000 to $10,000.

    • Approved three-year union contracts as negotiated for both essential and non-essential city employees.

    • Authorized Susan Thronson to attend the NESC insurance meeting on Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.

    • Set the date for canvassing election results as Nov. 14. 

    • Approved three gambling distribution requests in an amount totaling $1,800.

    • Increased the wage for part-time police officers from $16/hour to $18/hour, which would put the city’s rate on par with other municipalities in the area.

    • Approved the purchase of two Tazers in the amount of $3,542.92 for the city’s police department to replace worn-out models.

    • Approved purchase of 14 sets of gloves for the fire department in amount of $1,600. Officials delayed a decision on the purchase of new defibrillators for the city until more information on a reduced group purchase price is obtained.

Keewatin City Council

August 15, 2018

    The Keewatin City Council handled a number of routine items of business at their Aug. 7 meeting. The council: 

    • Listened to an update on the Eastern Itasca Joint Powers Board from Mayor King who said the committee is in the beginning stages of financial planning .

    • Approved Susan Thornson attending a utilities commission meeting on Sept. 19 .

    • Adopted resolution 2018-05, endorsing Oct. 15 as pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day 

    • Listened to a proposal from Nathan Phillips, a local internet service provider, who is interested in providing satellite internet to Keewatin residents (Phillips is set to further discuss this endeavor with council members later this month). 

Keewatin City Council

July 19, 2018

    The Keewatin City Council held its regular meeting on July 11 at 5 p.m. The council took care of a few routine items of business. The council: 

    • Approved a new hire for the Keewatin fire department. 

    • Gave Police Chief Chris Whitney authorization to sell unclaimed surplus bikes, and use proceeds towards his bike safety program. 

    • Listened to an update from Mayor Bill King regarding payments that have to be made as the result of Procare Healthcare Pool insurance consortium dissolving.

Keewatin City Council

July 05, 2018

   The Keewatin City Council handled a number of routine items of business at the June 27 council meeting. The council:

    • Approved updated fire relief by-laws

    • Listened to an update on the city well from Mayor Bill King who said a new motor is needed for the well, which will cost approximately $18,000

    • Accepted a proposal from Community Resource Development, which has agreed to handle financial services for the East Itasca Wastewater Joint Powers Board as they work to approve a new joint powers agreement at a cost of $4,000 per month for 12 months. This cost is to be shared among the city of Nashwauk, Lone Pine Township, Greenway Township and the city of Keewatin.

Keewatin CIty Council

June 20, 2018

At the June 13 Keewatin City Council meeting the council took action on several routine items of business. The council: 

    • Approved a $21,450 quote to change out seven of the electrical poles in the city of Keewatin

    • Approved a 10-year service agreement with KLM Engineering to perform yearly inspection services on the Keewatin water tower.

    • Approved the Joint Powers Agreement from Northeast Service Cooperative, which serves as a provider for group employee benefits for the city of Keewatin.

Keewatin mulls increase in parking ticket fees

May 16, 2018

At the May 9, 2018 Keewatin City Council meeting, officials discussed the possibility of raising the cost of administrative penalties, specifically with regard to parking tickets. The cost of parking tickets in the city is currently $5, and council members were in agreement that raising the cost of parking tickets would both increase the city’s revenues and deter people from parking in prohibited areas.

 

The council also noted that parking fees in other area towns, such as Grand Rapids, were much higher. Officials estimated that an increase to $10 for parking tickets was a reasonable increase, although not a set amount, that would be further discussed in the future. 

    In other business, the council: 

    • Announced a special meeting on May 17 at 4 p.m. to discuss insurance policies 

    • Announced it is dumpster week in the city of Keewatin May 14 through May 19, and during this period unbroken televisions and computers can be put in these dumpsters for spring cleaning purposes. 

Keewatin moves closer to playground goal

April 19, 2018

The city of Keewatin continues to raise funds for playground equipment at O’Brien Reservoir. 

At last week’s city council meeting, officials noted that the city would hold a Burger Bash fundraiser for the project on May 4. To date, the city has raised about $15,000 of the total needed amount of $22,000 to $23,000.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the minutes of the March 28 regular council meeting.

• Approved use of a portion of the city garage for Career Development for their welding program.

• Approved the city of Keewatin Fourth of July raffle at the American Legion.

• Approved rental of 30-yard dumpsters for city-wide clean up days in May at a similar cost as last year. 

• Approved giving direct deposit information to AEOA.

• Approved sending out gambling donation requests for fireworks and bike safety.

• Noted that an alcohol policy for the community center will be discussed at the next council meeting. The council wants to address the matter before graduation parties are booked.

Wastewater treatment facility plans move forward

March 08, 2018

The city of Keewatin continues to move forward with plans for a joint wastewater treatment facility.

At last week’s city council meeting, officials authorized city engineering firm Benchmark Engineering to contract with Stantec with regard to tertiary treatment options for the proposed joint wastewater treatment facility. The estimated cost for the services is estimated between $5,000 and $7,500. Acting Mayor Paul Clusiau noted that such costs would be reimbursable once outside funding is received.

The council also approved an independent contractor agreement with the Joint Sewer Board and CRD to assist with lobbying efforts at the Capitol regarding the wastewater treatment project funding. 

In other business, the council:

• Approved the minutes of the Feb. 14 council meeting and Jan. 18 library board meeting.

• Listened to an update on fundraising for the O’Brien Park playground. City officials hope to have fundraising completed by the end of March.

• Authorized Police Chief Chris Whitney to attend a three-day basic narcotics investigation training class in April in Grand Rapids. The cost of the training is $375. The council also authorized the police department to scrap a forfeiture vehicle due to its poor condition.

• Granted permission for use of the community center for a class put on by Itasca County on responsible beverage training. The class will be held on April 20 from 1-3 p.m. 

• Granted permission to send gambling requests for the fish fry, which is a fundraiser for playground equipment, to AmVets and the American Legion. 

• Authorized city staff to move forward with a grant application to the Minnesota Department of Health for tank removal at an old gas station.

• Hired Tom Fillman to the Keewatin Fire Department.

Keewatin raises utility rates

January 18, 2018

By Beth Bily

 

Although no city official relishes raising taxes, fees or rates, officials in Keewatin upped the charges for city utilities at last week’s council meeting.

Mayor Bill King told those in attendance that raising utility rates was a must for the city that has, in some cases, 100-year-old water/sewer infrastructure with high maintenance needs and costs.

King said he hopes that ongoing talks on a joint wastewater facility with the city of Nashwauk and surrounding townships will eventually yield positive results for city residents. “We’re hoping to see the annual cost for our wastewater decrease rather than increase,” he said.

Meanwhile, councilors opted to increase rates for 2018 as follows: refuse rates will increase by 50 cents; sewer charges will increase by $2 and water rates by $1; and, electricity will go up by 1 cent per kWh.

In other business, the council:

• Reorganized for 2018, designating service providers for the coming year and making numerous appointments to official city committees and boards.

• Approved the minutes of the Dec. 27 regular meeting.

• Approved end of the year reports.

• Tabled a discussion on drug testing policy for casual laborers to the Feb. 14 council meeting.

• Approved a payment for the city’s fireworks for this year in the amount of $6,000.

• Authorized Susan Thronson to attend the annual regional meeting of the MFCOA in Bloomington March 20-23.

• Passed a resolution designating the city’s community center as the official polling place for 2018.

• Renewed a resolution allowing the city to reimburse itself for any bond money received for wastewater treatment facility.

• Approved transfer of an $8/month service charge to city street fund.

• Approved the IRS mileage reimbursement rate for 2018 of 54.5 cents per mile.

Keewatin opts for no levy increase

December 21, 2017

Following a lengthy discussion at a well-attended annual budget and levy meeting last week, the city of Keewatin opted to keep its payable 2018 levy at the same level as 2017.

The city initially had set a preliminary levy with an 8.64 percent levy bump for the coming year – an increase that Mayor Bill King said was proposed due to a large gap in projected fiscal disparities revenues.

King took some time during the budget and levy meeting to address concerns about proposed rising tax bills. He also noted that the city has implemented collaborative efforts – such as sharing part-time police officers with Nashwauk. The mayor said the officer sharing probably wasn’t generating much savings but city officials hoped that collaborative efforts would grow in the future.

 

The city has been exploring possibilities for joint wastewater services with Nashwauk and some nearby townships – an initiative that, if successful, could generate substantial savings for all parties.

After reconvening the regular council meeting following the public hearing, the council unanimously voted to keep the city’s levy at the 2017 total, which was $423,042.

In other business, the council

• Passed two resolutions approving quit claim deeds.

• Tabled a decision on early payment on the 2018 fireworks contract with Pyrotechnics Inc. until after the first of the year.

  • Tabled a discussion on drug testing for casual laborers until January.

• Accepted the roster of 2018 fire department officers as approved by the fire department.

• Authorized Susan Thronson to attend clerk training on Jan. 12.

• Approved the purchase of a new snowblower from L&M Supply in the amount of $1,699 for the city’s sewer plant.

Keewatin signs off on police department requests

November 16, 2017

    Several items from the police department dominated discussion at the Keewatin City Council meeting last week.

    Police Chief Chris Whitney addressed the council with several requests including seeking authorization for officer Cody Kasper to attend D.A.R.E. school training from Jan. 22-26 and Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, 2018. Whitney also requested authorization to purchase a new vest and purchase ammunition for the department in bulk as a cost saving measure. All three requests were approved by the council. 

    City officials also authorized Whitney to put a 2003 Ford Focus up for sale, with a minimum bid of $500. Bids will be accepted on the vehicle until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 27.

    In other business, the council:

    • Acknowledged the Itasca County designation of hunger and homeless awareness month.

    • Authorized city employees to contact Minnesota Power to request they cover costs associated with the city’s annual Christmas lighting contest.

Keewatin awards snowmobile bids

October 19, 2017

   At last week’s meeting of the Keewatin City Council, officials awarded bids on two city-owned snowmobiles. The first snowmobile, a 1998 Polaris, was awarded to the high bidder of three at a price of $377. The second snowmobile, a 1998 Ski-Doo, was awarded to the high bidder of two at a price of $327.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Sept. 27 council meeting.

    • Approved the request from the Swan Lake Booster Club to conduct charitable gambling at the Vene Qua.

    • Listened to an update on blight issues from Police Chief Chris Whitney.

    • Set the date of the annual Truth in Taxation meeting for 6 p.m. on Dec. 13.

    • Approved a donation of $250 to the city of Nashwauk for its new Trunk or Treat Halloween event. 

    • Authorized Deputy Clerk Susan Thronson to attend the Minnesota Municipal Clerks Finance Officer Association Region II training on Oct. 27 in Hoyt Lakes at a cost of $25.

    • Appointed Mayor Bill King to continue as the city’s representative to the Arrowhead Procare Pool.

Keewatin City Council

September 21, 2017

    At last week’s meeting of the Keewatin City Council, officials handled a number of routine items of business. Following are actions taken by the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Aug. 23 council meeting.

    • Accepted Mavo Systems bid for asbestos removal for two properties on north First Street.

    • Passed a blanket resolution to accept grant funds from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board through July 1, 2018.

    • Authorized Deputy Clerk Susan Thronsen and other interested city personnel to attend League of Minnesota Cities regional meeting on Oct. 26 in Virginia, Minn.

    • Scheduled a work session to discuss the 2018 city levy at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

    • Noted that Sept. 18-22 will be city fall hydrant and sewer flushing.

• Noted that Fall Clean-up days are designated as Oct. 2-13. 

Keewatin City Council

August 17, 2017

    At the Aug. 9 Keewatin City Council meeting, officials adopted a policy change at the request of the Public Utilities Commission that unpaid utility bills from renters will be assessed to the property owners. 

    The council approved the shift to ensure that if a renter leaves town without paying their bills, the utility fees will not go unpaid. The city has lost significant amounts of money in the past, and local rental property owners have already been notified about the adoption of this policy. Along with the utility bill approval, the council also approved to increase meter deposits from $200 to $300 as requested by the PUC. 

    In other business, the council: 

    • Accepted a bid on the city’s ‘04 Ford Taurus for $1,005. 

    • Discussed the purchase of alternative traffic control methods as the flashing light will be coming down when the property on 125 W. Second Ave. comes down. 

    • Approved payment of the bills and the minutes from the previous meeting. 

Keewatin City Council

August 03, 2017

    At the July 26 Keewatin City Council meeting the council carried out a number of routine items of business. The council:

    • Approved a policy that would give police officers working special events their regular wages while working up to eight hours of overtime at these events.

    • Approved their Dec. 31, 2016 audit which received the highest opinion from auditors which is classified as “unmodified.”

    • Approved Susan Thronson’s request to attend Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association of Minnesota (MCFOA) conference on public employee contributions. 

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