11/22/2018 11:42:00 AM Shafer City Council passes ordinance on small cell phone structures, and
considers water billing hike
Shafer City Council met November 13 for the one meeting this month. The council eliminated the first meeting due to the November 6 election. City council member Tamara Hessler and City Finance Administrator Richard Hill were absent.
With no public hearings and after consenting the agenda the council heard from Jim Stein of Stein Insurance Agency. Stein was there to give an overview of the city's insurance policies as the renewal deadline is approaching. The council thanked Stein for his time.
The council then passed a motion certifying the election results. Shafer will have a new mayor beginning in January. Paula Hanson will replace Dan Vogel who did not run. Nick Brehm will replace Tamara Hessler on the council. Patty Mattson was re-elected.
The council then established city hall as next year's polling place, a formality that is required every year. The council then approved liquor licenses to Ole's Crossroads and the Shafer Creamery upon submission of the proper paper work and fees paid.
Council then passed a new contract with ITron for the software and management of the current water billing process. The total cost of the contract is $1,661.11.
The council then discussed billing rates of water and sewer in Shafer. It has been discussed extensively in prior meetings and agreed the city needs to raise its rates. The council then voted to accept version three of three options which includes a base rate increase of $9.25 per quarter for water and 78 cents raise per quarter for sewer. The increase works out to a $10.03 increase total per quarter or an increase of $3.34 per month. The council is required to hold a public hearing prior to voting on an increase, the date for the hearing will be December 4.
The council then passed a motion to raise water meter purchase fees for new construction from $350 to $400 (includes a $100 inspection fee) and for a second irrigation meter the cost would rise from $250 to $300. Currently the city is losing money on meters it sells to the public.
The council then discussed adopting a right of way ordinance amendment to include small wireless facilities. A small cell wireless facility provides coverage where there is no broadband level services. Small cell sites fill the coverage gaps due to high demand for wireless. These small cells are usually attached to utility poles, street lights and are usually installed in the right-of-way. If a city or municipality does not have this ordinance the small cell companies are free to install their wireless facilities in the right-of-ways. The council agreed to pass the ordinance enabling right-of-way management granted to cities by the state of Minnesota.
The council then agreed to hire Chisago County inspector Jack Kramer to perform city wide inspections and enforcement of code violations for a base rate of $25 per hour. With Kramer doing the inspections and issuing the violations, it takes the burden off of Shafer employees.
In the public works report Maintenance Supervisor Dan Cooper told the council he would like to sell the orange truck to help fund the new tractor.
Mayor Vogel made a motion to put the truck up for sale which passed.
Cooper then told the council he would like permission to purchase a trash pump. The council approved the purchase of the pump unanimously.
Cooper spoke with the hockey association and they intend to use the rink again this season and help with flooding and maintenance. Cooper also noted they are planning on holding another Hockey Day Minnesota event this year.
In the his report, engineer Jon Herdegen told the council the Ridgewood cul-de-sac project was complete and there will be a bill from Dresel coming in December.