Frazee VFW post commander updates city council 

Photo by Robert Williams
The City of Frazee is looking at a building located at 207 Main Avenue West to potentially house the police department.

By Robert Williams

Editor

According to council person Mark Flemmer, Roger Boe, owner of the building at 207 Main Avenue West, across from the city administration building and fire department, has agreed to sell the property to the city to house the police department for $65,000.

The council had previously discussed the property to be used for needed storage for the fire department. 

By acquiring the building, the council is looking to solve three different issues: more room for city administration, the fire department to use the current police garage for storage and moving the police department across the street to the 207 building.

“It would solve the space issue for all three entities that we are facing right now.”

Jordin Roberts, city administrator

According to Flemmer, the building could be purchased with existing city funds and reimburse those funds with the future sale of Eagle Lake Park, creating a net-zero cost for the building. Budgeted COVID-19 relief funds cannot be used to purchase the property, but can be used to remodel the building, which will be mandatory to house the police department.

There are roof repairs that need to be completed and a full design and remodel of the interior that would include a full gutting of the interior down to the studs, new wiring and new plumbing.

The council toured the building during last week’s city council meeting.

The location of the building was highlighted as the main draw. Flemmer and Roberts both reiterated the construction would also help beautify the area, one of the city’s goals for the future of Frazee.

The agreement to move forward with the purchase was approved, but not unanimously. Council person Mark Kemper abstained citing the unknown condition of the building and costs of the total remodel.

First follow-up held with VFW

VFW Post commander Bob Clarey represented The Heart O’Lakes VFW Post 7702 in the first of two follow-up meetings. Clarey discussed changes to accounting practices and money tracking, hiring the services of Paymasters for payroll and Cupkie Accounting and Tax Service for federal taxes.

Club officers are also spot auditing the till randomly to assure consistency and addressed security concerns regarding access to the building for after-hour deliveries.

Server training was discussed at length. The training is mandated by state statute and city ordinance, and will be enforced across bars and clubs in town going forward. 

Clarey asked that the club be treated fairly. The VFW officers were mandated by the council to sign off on the liquor laws, as they pertain to the city and state.

Council person Nicole Strand noted having the VFW officers sign off on liquor laws, and not the other liquor entities in town, was not fair.

Strand and Kemper had a testy conversation from opposing sides of the issue.

Kemper and Mayor Ken Miosek noted that the municipal liquor store has been obeying the rules and the VFW has not.

“I just want these guys to know what the rules are,” said Kemper.

The conversation devolved for a total of 47 minutes to repetitive comments from both the council and Clarey before an abrupt, albeit honest remark from police chief Tyler Trieglaff.

“Let me phrase this gently, the VFW has not been friendly to work with as long as I’ve been here, 15 years. It’s going to take a while and that’s why I’m digging my heels in a little bit.”

Tyler Trieglaff, police chief

Clarey agreed, having taken over the post after the club’s license was suspended and trying to make the necessary changes to be in good standing.

“I’m willing to help and get through that,” said Trieglaff.

‘That’s all I can ask for,” said Clarey. “Just a fair shot.”

The post and council will meet again in June as part of an earlier agreement of a 60-day update after reinstatement of the liquor license.

FCDC prepping to purchase Wannigan land

After a Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission visit to Frazee in early May regarding potential state funding for Wannigan Park, Frazee Community Development Corporation president Denise Anderson announced the board was feeling confident after the meeting. They are also preparing to pursue a purchase agreement for the property.

The land is currently in a trust and owned by Greg Ness. If money is not acquired from the commission, 

“This board is working really hard to pull this together to acquire this property,” said Anderson.

Once acquired, the 200 plus acres of land will be owned by the city of Frazee.

The FCDC asked for acquisition money from the commission at the price the land was appraised at ($718,000). If approved, that will leave a shortage of $92,000 to meet Ness’ asking price of $810,000. That sale price has remained the same for the past five years.

Even if the project does not qualify for money from the commission, Anderson noted there are two other options for funds. If received, the acquisition money would eventually have to be paid off in time.

The FCDC is a non-profit organization with all contributors working as volunteers. All donations or monies that go into the fund for Wannigan Park is used for the acquisition, attorney fees, appraisals, etc.

Anderson addressed a rumor allegedly going around town that if the funding goes through that certain FCDC member(s) will be gaining property.

“Totally untrue,” she said. “I just want to squelch the rumor here in town right now. This is a great, big project, a huge undertaking, and I just don’t want those undertones and underlying rumors to affect any good work that we’re doing.”

Denise Anderson, Frazee Community Development Corporation

Chickens in town?

The Planning and Zoning committee brought up the small animals clause of the animal control section of the city ordinance regarding chickens in the city limits. 

City administration has received several calls from residents wanting to have chickens on their property.

The current law allows no more than two dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks or geese, more than three months old, on a property in the city. 

The council approved a recommendation to adopt a recent chicken ordinance approved in Detroit Lakes. The issue was sent back to planning and zoning for final approval.

The ordinance language was also changed to clarify it allows two total animals, not the assumption of two of each.

Emergency and public works

Police calls for the month April were 82, five of which were traffic.

There were 24 rescue calls, 13 in town.

The fire department responded to five calls, one medical assist, two brush fires and provided mutual aid to a fire in Detroit Lakes. 

The department announced it will host its annual pancake breakfast this year on Sunday, June 26, beginning at 8 a.m.

The water plant produced 4,861,000 gallons of water for the month of April. There were 86 pounds of fluoride and 752 pounds of chlorine added; 2.37 million gallons were pumped to the wastewater plant for treatment.

Motorcycle Awareness Month proclaimed

May Ken Miosek signed and the council approved the declaration and observance of May as Motorcycle Awareness Month in Frazee.