New Richland City Council


Staff Writer

The New Richland City Council chambers were partially full for the first meeting of 2012 Monday night as two Boy Scout leaders and eight Scouts were present to observe the meeting. Mayor Tom McShane called the meeting to order and roll call showed all members present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all and after amendments; the evening’s agenda was approved.

The consent agenda was rather lengthy due to the required annual Mayoral appointments, notably: Official Newspaper - NRHEG Star Eagle; Depository - State Bank of New Richland; Deputy Mayor - Christine Gislason; Fire Chief - Jeremy Parpart; and City Attorney -  Perry Berg.

The council next adopted the following resolutions:

• 12-01 — Water and Sewer Rates. The base rate will be $17.47 per month for each meter connection, allocated as $7.12 for water and $10.35 for sewer. Volume rates will be $15.38 per 1,000 gallons of usage, allocated as $9.51 for water and $5.87 for sewer. The new rates will become effective after meter reading January 2012.

• 12-02 — Amending Fee Schedule. New schedule to include increased water and sewer charges. Additionally, charges for certain emergency services have been established.

• 12-03 — Accepting donation from Pat and Kay Adams of a structure for use as a warming house at the ice rink with a cash value of $2,000. The structure will be dedicated in memory of the Adams’ grandson Steven. An appropriate plaque will be placed within the warming house.

• 12-04 — Accepting donations from the By The Grace of God Fund with a total amount of $3,700. Funds distributed are $1,000 to the NR Ambulance, $1,000 to NR Fire $1,000 to NR Police and $700 to be used at Legion Field.

Police Chief Scott Eads next reported a total of 78 calls for service with 49 additional contacts during the month of December. There were two felonies reported, a vehicle theft and a burglary of a business.

“The auto was recovered in Owatonna a week later, undamaged and returned to the owner,” said Eads. “The burglary is still under investigation.”

2011 was a busy year for the police department who answered a total of 914 calls, up 113 calls from 2010. Eads also noted the severity of crimes reported has also risen.

Jeanne Waldhauser, NR Care Center Business Manager, was present with facility financial reports. The reports were approved as presented. Terry Hansen was selected as a new member of the Care Center Advisory Board. The long-awaited flood recovery funds from FEMA have finally arrived. The center has repaid in full the amount borrowed from the city and put over $80,000 into the Money Market account. Waldhauser reported the census remains at 50 residents, which is the capacity at NRCC.

Trenton Fast, CPA from CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, was on hand to answer questions about the recently completed audit of the care center as of its fiscal year ending September 2011. Fast pointed out the center had a deficit of revenues over expenses in the amount of $331,401. The center was closed for the first three months of its fiscal reporting period and incurred costs of approximately $340,000 for flood damage repair, replacement and loss of operations. Fast informed the council the center is also taking steps to reduce the amount of accounts receivable.

NR Fire Chief Jeremy Parpart said the department received a total of 148 calls for 2011, 103 of them medically related. The council approved the addition of Brandon Mullenbach to the department and also to send him to fire fighting school at a cost of $1,100. Parpart presented requests for the following:

Five firefighters to attend water rescue class ($375); three sets of boots ($329 per set); and 12 pair of FF gloves (not to exceed $1,000.)

Parpart announced several changes to department organization which were naming Mike Shurson, Deputy Chief, and Tyler Hansen, 2nd Lt. Gary Eustice and Brian Espe have retired from service.

The last item on the agenda was discussion of a joint committee with the NRHEG School Board concerning issues at the ball fields. The School Board will be contacted about a tentative meeting date in mid-February.

The next scheduled meeting of the NR City Council is set for Monday, January 23 starting at 6:30 p.m.