City to add new employee to staff

By Barbie Porter


The city-wide clean-up in Frazee may return in the spring of 2022. 

Frazee City Administrator Jordin Roberts informed the city council at the monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 16 that residents call weekly asking if the service will be provided this year. 

In years past, the clean up week was held in the spring. When the event started it was held annually, and then shifted to every other year. It was noted the funds for the clean up were available in the current year’s budget. The average cost was stated to be about $7,000. 

However, Utilities Superintendent Larry Stephenson said the county tends to set its fees at the dump in the spring and those had not been reviewed. He suggested, if the city were to hold the event, it do it next spring. That way the city could review the county fee changes and adjust any fees the city may need to charge for the service.

While clean up for residents is on hold, cleaning off desks may be a bit more efficient for city staff once a part-time assistant is brought on board. The council approved hiring a part-time person for the city office with a maximum of 24 hours a week.

Roberts explained having a person to answer phones, collect permit fees and answer basic questions from the public would free up her and the deputy clerk to stay focused on the task at hand.

She also informed the council that the amount the city saved when they hired her, compared to the former clerk salary and benefits, was about  $25,000. The estimated cost for the additional office help was about $15,000. 

When asked where the new employee would work, it was stated in the office area alongside the deputy clerk. Then, a remodeling vision was shared. Roberts explained, down the road, there was an idea of taking one of the two garage stalls used by the police department and creating a larger office space. The current police office would then be used for the new part time city receptionist.

Department news

Department heads provided the city council with their monthly reports.

Frazee Police Chief Tyler Trieglaff reported 124 calls in July with 31 being traffic related.

The Frazee Rescue responded to 27 calls with 16 being in town. 

Stephenson said the new water plant pumped 5.75 million gallons of water in July. 

The water supply saw 98 pounds of fluoride added, which Stephenson noted was a minimum standard. The city crew earned a community water fluoridation 50 year award, given jointly to recognize public water systems that have consistently adjusted the fluoride concentration in drinking water for the past 50 years. 

“Congratulations on this outstanding achievement and thank you for providing safe, dependable drinking water for your community,” the award read. It was signed by association heads of  oral health, drinking water protection and Minnesota dental.

He also informed the council that the old well house had an estimated cost of about $30,000 to remove, so the city crew got to work. With city equipment and city employee manpower they were able to pull down about 3/4 of the building, leaving only the filter bed of poured concrete. Stephenson estimated removing that will cost about $2,500.

The city saw 1.44 inches of rain in July. There were concerns over water levels of the water source for the city, as Stephenson noted, however, the new plant measures the city aquifer. He said the water level of the aquifer had not changed since the spring.

As for the wastewater treatment plant, 2.38 million gallons were treated.

There was no report from the fire department.

In other news

• The council was asked to review a proposed road that would exit/enter County Highway 29 into school property. It later becomes a private road, and would be used to access a proposed student parking area.

• The council approved a limited use permit for the Minnesota Department of Transportation during State Highway 87 roadwork, as well as a temporary right to construct on three parcels owned by the city, which would conclude by 2024. The city will receive a $2,800 reimbursement for the three parcels. 

• The council passed a resolution to recognize pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day on Oct. 15.