The Clarkfield City Council held a regular city council meeting on Tuesday, February 19. The meeting got off to a rocky start after several residents in attendance voiced their frustration with the ongoing infrastructure project. Specifically, they voiced their concerns over the planned easement, a process in which properties will be assessed individually. Residents complained that it was unfair that some residents had to pay more than others.
City Administrator Amanda Luepke explained that the city chose to go this route rather than increasing city taxes. She explained that the total project price tag will amount to $2 million, which the city is financing over a 20-year period. Later in the meeting, Luepke reported that the city attorney had sent out letters to property owners regarding the utility project easements that are needed. She explained that these easements “would permit the City to place utilities on that portion of the property requested,” adding that the easement would give the City the “right" to go on the property for the purpose of the easement as well as future maintenance that may be necessary in connection with those utilities.” Once all the work is completed, the City will be required to restore the property back to how it was originally."
Luepke also updated the Council on the progress of the newly implemented rental ordinance. As part of the new stipulation, landlords are legally required to undergo a city-mandated inspection to ensure that they comply with both new and existing city codes. Luepke explained that as city officials went through the list of Clarkfield landlords, they realized that a number of property owners weren't on the list. “Each landlord ended up filling out an application and paid the rental application fee for 2018,” she explained in her report. “As we move into 2019, we need all landlords to complete the inspection process and work with our building inspector closely on the rentals that do not pass inspection.” She added that the information will be presented to the Council in March after they have compiled all the necessary information.
The City of Clarkfield issued the updated fire contracts for the seven cities and townships that rely on the Clarkfield Fire Department. The cities/ towns are the City of Hazel Run, Friendship Township, Hazel Run Township, Lisbon Town-ship, Normania Town-ship, Tyro Township, and Swede Prairie Township. In 2019, these cities/ townships will pay Clarkfield a net total of $31,329 for Fire Dept. related services, roughly the same amount as last year.
Interim Care Center Administrator Kris Knoll updated the Council regarding financials and the incoming Adminis-trator. He explained that occupancy is currently up, though cash is currently tight due to a series of payments recently made by the Care Center. He expected the financial situation to clear up slightly in the coming months, however. He also introduced Justin Boldt to the Council. Boldt is expected to take over sometime in the next month or two.