The Crookston City Council met on Monday evening at the Crookston City Council chambers in the lower level of Crookston City Hall. 

The Consent Agenda was unanimously approved and it included meeting minutes from December 27, and all City of Crookston bills and disbursements in the amount of $285,604.72.
It also included a resolution to approve a payment request for the reconditioning of two-gallon filter pressure vessels for Classic Protective Coating. The council approved the 2022 gas fitter and cement mason license renewals, and a resolution to authorize the grant contract agreement for violent crime enforcement teams for the years 2022 and 2023. The council also approved a lawful gambling permit for the Confidence Learning Center application for their fundraiser at the Crookston Eagles.

The council approved the amended Lake Agassiz Regional Library agreement. The agreement is for three years and allows them to continue to use the resources of the regional library system.  “In this particular agreement they did some housecleaning, such as the City of Mahnomen was added,” said Crookston City Administrator. “Having access to the regional library system allows our city and our county to benefit.”

The council passed a resolution unanimously to authorize the execution of a Minnesota Department of Transportation Airport Maintenance and Operation Grant contract. The contract is for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, which would be July 1, 2021 to June of 2023.  “We discovered that we didn’t have an updated grant agreement on file to help reimburse expenses so we will turn it in,” said Administrator Finch. “It equates to about $35,000 a year that we are eligible for and we are reimbursed about 75 percent of your maintenance and operating costs.

The council approved the purchase of a directional snowplow loader attachment and an increase of the public works department budget.  Public Works Director Brandon Carlson checked with other cities on what would be best for attaching to the new CAT 930 loader that they recently received.  “I checked with two other cities on what would be best to attach to a loader like this and they both said a loader with attachments like this,” said Carlson. “It has a directional plow on the front and a 10-foot wing on the side, so it is essentially taking a loader that we already have and turning it into a grader.  It should cut the time in half and I hope everybody sees the difference.  It should be good.”

Carlson also wanted to thank Polk County for allowing the City of Crookston the use of a backup grader. “The county mentioned they had a backup grader and if you see a John Deer grader running around the town it is city staff running it and it has helped us out a lot,” said Carlson. 

Carlson said the snow clearing crew is starting to hit their groove after the several snow events in town. “I would say we are starting to halfway hit our groove,” said Carlson. “We are in a lot better place than we were at the start of the winter and we are doing the best we can to serve the residents.”

The last item on the Regular Agenda was the introduction of an ordinance and the first reading of it entitled “Traffic Rules” by adding the definition of Utility Task Vehicles.  Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier said the popularity of the UTV’s and the police department to work with the public and educate the public on where they can ride them in town. “There hasn’t been anybody screaming for this, but I thought it would be good to get out in front of it,” said Biermaier. “I have seen people out for a nice drive on them and I think it is a nice activity for people to take part in.”
A permit would be required to drive a UTV in town if the council passes the ordinance.  A permit would likely cost $60 for a three-year permit.  The council will vote to have a UTV permit at their next meeting on Monday, January 24.  

Crookston Public Works Director Brandon Carlson said some people might have noticed a yellow to brownish tint in their water over the weekend and that was because they were doing some work on the filters. “On Friday, they were working on doing a backwash of the filters and the panel glitched on them and opened and closed the valves more than they were looking for so we had a little bit of discolored water,” said Carlson. “There was just a little bit of Iron in the water and was still safe for consumption.”  Carlson added that if people had a water softener probably didn’t notice anything.

Crookston Fire Chief Tim Froeber said they hired Garret Bengston to fill the full-time firefighter opening and he will start on Saturday. 

Jacob Solberg, Park and Rec Director, said they are working on the skating trail this week and hope to have it ready to go by the end of the week.   Solberg also gave a pool update and said they have the lights replaced and it will take three to five days to fill the pool and a few more days to balance the chemicals and hope to be open in the next week or two. 

The next Crookston City Council meeting will be on Monday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m.