The Langdon City Commission met June 14, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall for their scheduled meeting. Department reports started with the street department reporting that a truck had been hauled to Drayton for repairs and a different truck is needing a new air tank. The fire department is waiting on bids for the driveway outside bays. The water department clarified that the colored water residents may have noticed the week prior was fixed. Sanitation reported that clean up week was successful and went well. The Activity Center floor materials have been delivered, and donations have reached $92,000. The police department reported that this was the last year contracted and that a vote will be coming in the next year for the police department.
The city auditor reported the American Rescue Plan Act would be a good bill to look into for funding and is as follows:
Passed Senate (03/06/2021)
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
This bill provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.
Specifically, the bill provides funding for
• agriculture and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program)
• schools and institutions of higher education
• child care and programs for older Americans and their families
• COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, treatment, and prevention
• mental health and substance-use disorder services
• emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and other housing programs
• payments to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments for economic relief
• multiemployer pension plans
• small business assistance, including specific programs for restaurants and live venues
• programs for health care workers, transportation workers, federal employees, veterans, and other targeted populations
• international and humanitarian responses
• tribal government services
• scientific research and development
• state, territorial, and tribal capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to COVID-19
• health care providers in rural areas
The bill also includes provisions that
• extend unemployment benefits and related services
• make up to $10,200 of 2020 unemployment compensation tax-free
• make student loan forgiveness tax-free through 2025
• provide a maximum recovery rebate of $1,400 per eligible individual
• expand and otherwise modify certain tax credits, including the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit
• provide premium assistance for certain health insurance coverage
• require coverage, without cost-sharing, of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The city auditor also reported that letters have been sent out to residents that have been neglecting to cut their grass. There was also discussion for the health department to get involved as animal feces is covering lawns for several properties and becoming hazardous. The 2019 audit is almost finished and will roll into working on the 2020 audit as COVID threw a wrench in 2020. The budgets are out to the departments and being worked on now. The cash report from the city auditor was a request to move $100,000 from the water account to the sewer account for different lines.
Bids for tearing down the old water plant are in, but before a final vote is made, there will need to be verification that valves are in order. When the city switched to Devils Lake for water, the city ran it thought the old water plant in case it did not go as planned and needed to switch back. Now that the water has been working in proper order, the valves just need to be checked and in the correct places before tear down occurs.
For the street project, the subcontractor bids came in higher than anticipated and now is at a standstill. The problem is with prices going higher and higher, the next step is to wait, and if the contract laps, new contracts will be discussed.
The first reading for ordinances on commercial accounts is as follows:
AMENDED ORDINANCE 6.0105 AND NEW ORDINANCES 6.0107 AND 6.0108; BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LANGDON, NORTH DAKOTA: 6.0105 WATER, SEWER & GARBAGE MINIMUMS: The owner or owners of all real property located within the City of Langdon’s commercial zones shall be required to pay either their actual use of water, sewer, and garbage service or the minimum charge by the City, whichever is greater on a water, sewer, or garbage service for each business located on their property. The owner or owners of the property shall be subject to a minimum fee regardless of the fact of whether or not there is a separate meter or separate sewer hookup for a particular business for each business located on their property. Furthermore, the owner or owners of the property shall be required to pay a minimum fee for city beautification, streetlights, publication of minutes, and mosquito spraying for each business located on their property. Businesses owned by the same entity, located on the same premises, and sharing the same employees shall not be construed as separate businesses. All fees assessed under this ordinance shall be billed to the property owner pursuant to ordinance 6.0107.
6.0107 RATES AND CHARGES – LIABILITY FOR: The owner or owners of all real property in the City furnished with garbage, water or sewer service or service line repairs shall be responsible for the payment of any and all such charges and will be billed for such service regardless of who the occupant or tenant may be. If such charges are not paid when due, they shall be assessed to the property served.
6.0108 DUTY OF OWNER TO INFORM CITY AUDITOR OF TENANTS: It shall be the property owner’s responsibility to inform the City Auditor for the City of Langdon of any tenants that are conducting business on the owner’s property and using services, such as water, sewer and garbage. If the owner fails to inform the city auditor of any tenants that are conducting business on the owner’s property and using services, such as water, sewer and garbage, the owner shall be assessed a fee of $200.00 per month the tenant was on the property and not reported by the owner to the city auditor for the City of Langdon.
First Reading: June 14, 2021
Jocelyn Jennings, owner and operator of Langdon Electrolysis Clinic, attended the meeting and brought her concerns to the table. She made points that for some of the full-time businesses and businesses that have private space that this might not be a big deal, but for part-time businesses like herself - this would have a big impact. The board explained that the fee is for simply having access to the city amenities like water and sewer and that the bill would not come to her but the business owner. With that, business owners may feel with the extra fee that they may charge tenants this fee meaning it would fall on the renter. Jennings did ask if the city would provide more amenities for the minimal fee/tenant even if the shared meter does not read that and where the extra money intake would go to. The City replied that the money accumulated from these fees would go towards the water project and that the fee is for general access. The City did point out that some cities/townships have a business licensing fee for businesses and that this was the better route they believed. The second reading will be at the next meeting. The public is welcome to attend and express concerns at that meeting.
JDA came to the table with an annual request for funds for the developmental center that works with businesses and banks for business plans. The request was motioned and approved.
It was brought up that At the Hop bar is waiting on bids to repair the building this fall. It was a concern if the building is structurally sound and will be looked into as the side that is falling down is not the side being used.
Quentin Wenzel is working on waivers for the gun range Jon Metzger is arranging for and will have waivers and discussion at the next meeting. The ordinance requires the mayor to approve usage of a gun range.
For several meetings there has been discussion on residential homes that need to be considered for condemnation, and it was requested that a list is made to start the condemning process.
The next meeting will be June 28 at 6:00 p.m.