by April Scheinoha
The Thief River Falls City Council has adopted the assessment roll for the 2017 Street and Utilities Improvement Project. Assessments totalled $478,864.45. The assessment roll was adopted after an assessment hearing Tuesday, Oct. 17.
It was estimated that the entire project would cost $1,576,538. The remainder will be covered by the revolving capital fund, U.S. Tennis Association grants and storm water utility funds. Among other things, the project included the reconstruction of the Ole Engelstad Park tennis courts.
At its regular council meeting prior to the assessment hearing, the council approved hiring three police officers. The officers include Brady Meunier, Shaun Hoffart and Joshua Putzke.
Meunier started Wednesday, Oct. 18. He attended the council meeting. Meunier is a graduate of Lincoln High School and Northland Community and Technical College. Previously, he was employed by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office – first as a corrections officer and later as a part-time sheriff’s deputy.
Hoffart was expected to start working for the city Monday, Oct. 23. Putzke’s start date was set for Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Each officer will be paid $22.38 per hour.
As part of its consent agenda, the council approved appointing Officer Dustin Arlt to the position of school resources officer. Arlt succeeds Andy Hart, who was recently appointed as the juvenile investigator after the resignation of Ginger Alby. Arlt will receive a monthly prorated share of the school resources officer’s additional $480 payment for the remainder of the year and the $480 annual payment thereafter.
As part of its consent agenda, the council approved renewing the lease with the Thief River Falls School District for city-owned facilities. The district will pay the city $125,826 for the 2017-18 school year.
Mayor Brian Holmer signed a proclamation, designating Saturday, Oct. 28 as Norskies Day. On that day, at 7 p.m., the Norskies will host the Fort Frances Lakers. The Norskies are 10-0 so far this season. The proclamation states that “no American town has ever loved its hockey more than the city.”
City Council approved replacing the downtown holiday lighting fixtures. The holiday decorations will be replaced at a cost of about $32,300. The Thief River Falls Chamber will contribute a $5,000 donation as it had in 1995, when the current decorations were purchased.
“I think the community and business community will be happy to have lights this year,” said Chamber Executive Director Ashley Nerhus.
The decorations will include 80 wreaths with candles that are affixed to streetlights. Three skyline drape bow wreaths were also purchased.
As part of its consent agenda, the council approved a phased retirement option agreement with Building Official Elvin Erickson. He will retire Dec. 27, but he will continue to work for the city as a temporary employee for up to 1,000 hours per year on a year-by-year basis. The decision was made due to the justice center and Digi-Key construction projects.
Holmer read aloud a summary of the performance evaluation of Electric Superintendent Dale Narlock. The council conducted a performance review of Narlock in a closed session two weeks earlier.
Holmer read that Narlock handles his many responsibilities promptly and professionally. In particular, he referred to Narlock’s work during the relocation of the Electric Department and the ongoing transition period. Holmer noted that Narlock was advised to seek more outside contractors for construction projects.
The next council meeting is scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.