The Langdon City Commission had extensive discussion during their recent meeting held on Monday, March 25. The meeting covered just about every facet of city business.
By Melissa Anderson
During department reports, Langdon Activity Center Director Judy Lill informed the Commission of the estimated cost for the key fob system at the center to be upgraded. The current operating program for the key fob system is not compatible with the newly installed computers the center purchased. Charlie Jordan has been working with Lill to try and make the current program work, but those attempts have not been successful. Jordan has estimated the updated program to cost the city around $8,000.
Lill also had quotes for making the center more energy efficient. The Commission reviewed the quote for the key fob program as well as the energy efficiency and decided to table the issue until next meeting. Commission Chair Jerry Nowatzki cited that figuring out how the purchases will be funded should be reviewed. Commissioner Jim Rademacher addressed the Commission agreeing that funding needs to be reviewed as well as the entire financials for the center.
Moore Engineering had an update on where projects stand. The Phase II bid process has been completed with the lowest bid for the work coming from Spruce Valley Corporation from Middle River, Minnesota. Moore had estimated the work for Phase II to be $3.8 million; Spruce Valley’s winning bid came in at $3.9 million. The Commission accepted the bid pending approval from USDA Rural Development.
The Commission received the Kakela resolution for annexation. The project was reviewed and approved by the Planning and Zoning committee, giving the Commission a recommendation to adopt the resolution. The hearing for the resolution will take place on May 13 at 7 p.m. in Langdon City Hall. Any complaints for annexation must be submitted prior to the hearing in writing.
Northeast Rural Water Development’s (NRWD) Gordy Johnson was present at the meeting along with Jeremy Schuler. Johnson reviewed the water supply project and the first year of operation data with the commissioners. Johnson proposed a new method for settling accounts at the end of the year to the Commission. NRWD has proposed to other communities that they perform a three year rotation of increase as the known standard increase will be right around 3 percent. Johnson explained that for the two years of the rotation, the increase will be a standard 3 percent with the third year having a true and full accounting done by the financial department at Advanced Engineering and Environmental systems.
Jason Busse, head of the city water department, and Commissioner Marty Tetrault were against the rotation stating that they would rather have the yearly true full pay out rather than do the three year rotation. Busse and Tetrault believed that this would be easier for the city and its residents as this would eliminate any surprise substantial increase. After further discussion, Nowatzki recommended that they table the issue until Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth could be consulted on the issue.
Regular Langdon City Building Inspector Gary Bimler was out on vacation and had Darol Hoffman of Walhalla Building Center assisting on the issue of building and fire codes. Two developers currently working on creating apartment buildings with four units have potentially run into a huge issue with a newly implemented fire code stating that with four or more units, apartment buildings need to have a fire deterrent system such as a sprinkler.
Hoffman had been in contact with other area building inspectors for their input, with none providing any good solution around the issue. Hoffman will work with Bimler and the developers to find a solution that does not leave the city and the developers liable.