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Ellendale City Council


Contributing Writer

The Ellendale City Council met January 26 with Mayor Engel and all council members present. Also attending the meeting was City Attorney Phil Kohl, Clerk Louks and Gwen Reiss, Municipal Liquor Store Consultant.

Mayor Engel opened the public hearing for the purpose of discussing the Anti-Blight Ordinance. The council along with Attorney Kohl have been working on putting together an ordinance that helps the city dictate where a sexually oriented business would be located. As stated in the ordinance, the city is trying to control, through zoning regulations, certain land uses that have a direct and detrimental effect on the character of the city’s residential and commercial neighborhoods. Attorney Kohl answered any questions the council had about the ordinance. With no one from the general public at the hearing, Mayor Engel closed the hearing at 7:20 p.m.

Mayor Engel opened the regular council meeting at 7:30 p.m. The council approved the amended agenda for the evening. 

The first item the council reviewed was the Anti-Blight Ordinance. Having held the public hearing prior to the meeting, the council moved to adopt the Anti-Blight Ordinance 01-26-12-01. The council next approved an ordinance that would amend part of the city’s zoning ordinance. The council amended three parts of Ordinance 80. The council next approved the summary of the Anti-Blight Ordinance. The city will post in its entirety the Anti-Blight Ordinance in the Community Building. 

Mayor Engel informed the council that the city’s payments made on the lift station in the northwest part of town has been incorrect. The bond council people did not have the right figures and the city needs to make up around $3500 over the next seven years. The council moved to add $500 to the next seven payments to catch up. The council asked Attorney Kohl to draft a letter concerning some properties in town which need to be cleaned up.

Gwen Reiss was next with her report on the Municipal Liquor Store. Riess stated the grill is open and going well. She also told the council that the MLS had served over 300 baskets last Saturday. Reiss has been accepting applicants for servers and had a recommendation for hiring. The council felt the MLS should proceed carefully and not hire too many at one time. The council did approve one new hiring. 

Reiss reported the new tap beer lines were in and are very cold. Reiss also shared with the council some ideas she had for updating the bar in the future.

The fire department report was the next item for the council’s review. The department reported $3,300 income from fire calls. The fire department also had $1,518.22 in disbursements for the month. The council approved the report.

Mayor Engel next brought to the table the contract with Steele County for police protection. The council received the revised contract, which would have the city paying $3,166 per month. However, the contract did not address the language regarding the purchase of a vehicle. Mayor Engel said he would contact Sherriff Lon Thiele and the council could adopt the new contract at the next meeting.

The council approved the claims for the evening totaling $14,272.64.

The council reviewed the financial and investment statements and approved them.

The council also reviewed the disbursement register and approved it.

Clerk Louks started his report by telling the council the agreement with Alliant Energy has expired. The city has already received a new agreement for adoption. The council felt they would like to have City Attorney Kohl review the agreement before passage. Louks next brought before the council the proposal from Royal Lawn for the spraying of lawns for the city. The council approved having Royal Lawn apply two applications, spring and fall. 

Louks then reported that a couple of lights in the Community Building will need some ballast replacement. Louks told the council he had gotten some communications from the City Auditor about a resolution that would require the city to have 20% of its on-hand cash in reserve. The council felt they would like to have someone from the auditing firm be present at a meeting to discuss this recommendation.

The council discussed the possibility of purchasing a prep table for the MLS. The council approved the purchase to assist the MLS in the kitchen. 

The council had talked about the replacement of the city pick-up at its last meeting. The council will gather prices of trucks under $10,000 and make a recommendation at the next meeting.

The council approved the year-end thank you of Ellendale Bucks for city employees.   

The next meeting of the Ellendale City Council will be February 9 at 7:30 p.m.

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