Clarkfield Council talks assessments & Covid

Jess Gorman

     Clarkfield City Council met this past Tuesday evening with a light agenda. Administrator Chris Webb gave his report informing council of recent meetings he attended including County Public Health COVID Update, a HWY 67 Update Meeting with MNDOT, and a HRA meeting. The HRA will be providing an update to the city council in November.

     The council approved a list of properties with unpaid water, sewer and garbage bills with the intent of the outstanding fees being added to the property owners property tax assessments.

     The council reviewed and took action regarding utility application deposit rates. Currently the city requires a $40 deposit for our utility application. Per the city this amount doesn't really go very far if someone leaves without paying their bill. City staff recommended that the city council vote to update the city’s fee schedule with the recommended utility application deposit moving forward at $75. The council passed a motion to approve the change. City staff also recommended that the city enter into the MN Revenue Recapture Program to allow the city to recapture abandoned city bills.

     Justin Boldt gave a care center update starting with an overview of recent financials. Noting the year to date occupancy is setting at 72% and the August cash balance for 2020 is in a healthier place than August of 2019. The Minnesota Department of Health recently visited the Care center as part of a regular survey, results should be forward to the city once the MDH report is finalized. The Clarkfield facility had a reported Covid-19 outbreak on October 15 which required residents being placed on isolation. Boldt said “To date we have had no residents that have gotten the virus, so far it has only been staff members”. Boldt felt this was a sign the infection control measures must be doing well to keep patients safe. Staff appear to be contracting the virus out in the community and testing measures at the Clarkfield center have caught the staff coming in with the virus quickly.

    The council meeting ended quickly with council members moving into a closed session to address ongoing pending litigation with the contracted city attorney.