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Mayor appoints new Kenmare city councilman

Five new appointments were announced at the Kenmare City Council meeting Monday, including one new council member.

11/16/11 (Wed)


Five new appointments were announced at the Kenmare City Council meeting Monday, including one new council member.


Mayor Roger Ness appointed Ken Barnhart to replace alderman Butch Norrie who resigned last month. The seat will be up for election in July 2012.


Other new appointments were: Julius Brekhus replaces Don Gravesen on the Airport Authority board.


Shane Harris replaces Ron Wirtz, and Linda Freeman replaces Ken Barnhart on the Fund Itt Committee.


Ron Wirtz replaces Audrey Wirtz on the Planning Commission.


Conditional Use Permits

Two Conditional Use Permits that allowed the placement of man-camp style trailers in town for a nine month trial period are due to expire.


It was discussed that public hearings on the issue will again be held. First off, however, the permit holders must make requests for renewal.


Shane Harris has one of the conditional use permits to rent space to place two office trailers next to his business on the east side of Highway 52.


Jim Wink has the other permit, also for a location on the east side of Highway 52, where a mix of a couple bunkhouse trailers and a couple traditional mobile homes have been parked for use by CP Railroad workers.


Public Works Director, Mike Thompson, stated, “I don’t think we’ve had any trouble.”


Donation requests

Four requests were considered for donations from the city gaming fund (from Minot Hockey Boosters charitable gaming activity at South of the Border). The fund currently has a balance of $3126.


The council discussed its past history of using the gaming fund primarily for youth related activities and causes. They then denied a request from Wheels and Meals for $500 for roof repair.


They denied a request from KPS Adult Tech Education to buy an iPAD to be given away as an incentive for people to attend their training classes.


A request from the Tobacco Free Coalition for $400 for postage and post cards was also denied. The Coalition was advised by the council to submit an application to the city sales tax health care fund.


The council did approve a $1200 donation to the Kenmare FFA towards sending 12 students to the FFA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC next summer.


A request from the Fire Department Auxiliary for a raffle permit was also approved. The raffle will include a Las Vegas trip and other local prizes.


Fund Itt loan and

interest buydown

The council gave its approval to a Fund Itt, zero-interest loan of $5000 to Seykora’s Meat Processing to be used towards a down payment on the purchase of the business.


They also approved a Fund Itt grant to Seykora’s Meat Processing to buy down the 5.75 percent interest to zero on a $72,500 loan for a term of five years. Total cost of the buydown will be $16,752.55.


The council was informed that Kenmare One Stop has paid off the balance of a Fund Itt loan used towards the down payment at the start-up of their business.


Gartner’s Jack and Jill has paid off the balance early on their Fund Itt loan.


Employee benefits

The Personnel Committee has been reviewing additional benefits for the city employees, including life insurance through PERS.


Alderman Hedberg said offering the life insurance is a good benefit for the employees at a low cost. He said it is provided by ING insurance, but is about half of their regular rate.


Hedberg said the 50-54 age range would cost $12.16 per month for a $75,000 policy, while the cost for younger employees is as low as $3 to $4 per month.


Mayor Ness recommended the Fire Department also consider the life insurance for its members. “I think everyone, their families deserve this. Let’s make it happen.”


Hedberg said the employees can purchase additional coverage for themselves, as well as for their spouse and children.


He said the city needs to enroll by the November 30th deadline.


The council approved purchase of a $75,000 life insurance policy for each of its full-time employees.


Water meters finally ready

“We can officially say people don’t have to read their meters anymore,” Mayor Ness stated to the council.


The Water Committee reported all the new radio-read meters are now operating.


One minor glitch, there were 13 “double reads” out of the 518 meters tested. Thompson said that problem would be easily fixed.


In other action:

• Steve Eberle of Ackerman-Estvold Engineering updated the council on projects underway, including start on the new water tower, and placement on sewer line under 4th Avenue SE.


• Contracts for city garbage collection expire at the end of the year. The Garbage Committee has sought proposals to have the garbage collected and hauled away at the same time, rather than having it collected around the city, then deposited in rolloff bins at the old landfill, then later hauled to the Minot landfill. As yet, the city has received no proposals. Mayor Ness told the committee to have a recommendation for the December meeting.


• The Personnel Committee is working on hiring a new city patrolman.


• The Fire Department wants to use the siren and lights from the old city patrol car for their Humvee. Police Chief Gary Kraft said the old patrol car should be offered for sale on bids after it is stripped of its police equipment.


• Kraft said the Ford Expedition patrol vehicle will get a newly rebuilt engine, thanks to a $5000 donation from Vet’s Club Gaming.


• The city recently purchased the house, shop, and property of Butch and Connie Norrie in southeast Kenmare. Norrie now wants to rent the shop for awhile to store his equipment. The council agreed to a $500 per month rent, plus propane heat and electricity, until May 1st. Hedberg said no action will be taken on renting the house until they are sure the new city patrolman can find housing.


• Councilman Todd Ankenbauer stressed the need to clear the city streets of trucks, motorcycles, campers, and other vehicles before snow removal begins this winter.


• Council member Terese Skjordal asked that the city skating rink be cleaned up of weeds and flooded for use this winter. Thompson said he could do that after the ground freezes.


• The council approved paying $420 of a $5500 bill incurred by Kacy Keysor to bring water service into his new home. Thompson said a sleeve on the city line had spun, resulting in there being no water at the tap after the service was connected. “This is the first time I’ve seen that,” Thompson said.