Wanamingo City Council Meeting - May 9, 2022



City Council Regular Meeting

Monday, May 9, 2022 7:00 P.M.

Wanamingo City Council Chambers – 401 Main Street

Wanamingo, MN

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Holmes. 

PRESENT: Council:  Ryan Holmes, Larry VanDeWalker, Eric Dierks, and Jeremiah Flotterud (Late)

City Administrator: Michael Boulton

Deputy Clerk: Karen Masters

ABSENT: Council: Stuart Ohr

ALSO PRESENT:   Brad Kennedy, Richard Turri, Jason Boynton – Smith Schafer & Associates, Steve Kruser, Todd Greseth, Dylan Steberg, and Julie Steberg.      

ADOPT AGENDA:  VanDeWalker motioned to adopt the agenda, seconded by Dierks.  Passed 3-0-0.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Dierks motioned, seconded by VanDeWalker.  Passed 3-0-0.


A) Brad Kennedy reported on:

1) Put out benches on Main Street Sidewalk

2) Put up banners on Main Street light poles.  Banners were new in 2021.  They were put up in warm weather in 2021.  The material does not stretch well in cold weather.  They may either need to be left up year-round or be only put up in warm weather.

3) Sweeper attachment for skid loader was picked up from dealer and has already been utilized on streets

4) Obtained a quote from Apex Fence out of Rochester to furnish and installed 81 1 ½” x 8’ galvanized posts at Riverside Park parking lot for $7,252.  The current posts and cable are a safety hazard and need to be removed.

5) Wastewater sampler and equipment has been ordered from Tech Sales Co. for $6,117.  It is set to ship toward the end of May.

6) Jetted clay sanitary sewer lines

7) Filled potholes with asphalt cold mix on City Streets

8) Placed three loads of gravel and grated all the alleys removing potholes

9) Painting pool and have started preparation.  The pool will not be filled with water for a couple of more weeks

10) Started flushing hydrants to clear sediment from water lines

11) Falk Collision replaced bumper on Ford F250.  The Ford F250 needs to go into Ford for a recall replacement of a heat shield over the drive shaft.

12) Turned water back on at Riverside Park.  Put up nets and worked on sand volley ball courts

B) Jason Boynton of Smith Schafer & Associates reported on:

1) Conducted a presentation of the 2021 Wanamingo City Audit

2) No large (State or Federal) single audit required for 2021

3) There is limited segregation of duties in the small office – yearly recommendation for small staff communities.  This is not possible with a small office staff.

4) The audit completion letter showed no disagreements with management

5) City was undercollateralized at bank as of 12/31/2021.  The bank has since pledged additional collateral to cover deposits over FDIC insurance.

6) MIF $300,000 loan was paid back to MN DEED and the City was allowed to keep $100,000 for a revolving loan fund under the State rules for business loans.

7) Paid down $581,000 of debt in 2021

8) Issued advanced refunding bonds for 2014A, 2014C, and 2015A series bonds in order to obtain lower interest rates for the life of the bonds 

7) The general fund showed a $15,451 surplus in 2021.  Water fund showed an increase in cash of $113,841 while having $147,830 in cash.  Sewer fund showed an increase of cash of $72,325 while having $513,008 in cash.

Flotterud asked if the revolving fund with $62,000 could be at the City Council’s discretion.  Boynton stated that the fund was set up with general fund dollars and could be utilized at the Council’s discretion.  Flotterud asked why cash on-hand had increased so much from 2020 to 2021.  Boynton stated that ARPA funds and the accounting adjustment from the sanitation fund to the water fund for incorrectly coded sales tax made up a large amount of the cash increase from 2020 to 2021.  Flotterud asked how much depreciation was for the water and sewer funds.  Boynton stated that depreciation accounted for roughly $60,000 for sewer and $106,000 for water.  These funds should be set aside for system repair or replacement (life of current system).  Flotterud stated that depreciation is sort of a made up number and that cash on hand matter more. 

C) Julie Steberg & Dylan Steberg reported on:

1) Pool has been painted and the maintenance staff has done many of the preparations for the 2022 season

2) 9 out of the 16 lifeguards from 2021 returning.  There will be seven new guards.

3) Swimming Pool is scheduled to open on Monday June 6th

4) Lifeguard orientation and safety training is scheduled for June 3rd

5) Daniel and Katie VanEpps will be teaching swimming lessons with others looking to obtain their WSI certification. 

6)Dylan Steberg, Daniel VanEpps, and Katie VanEpps are the only 18+ year-olds on the pool staff this summer.  One of them will have to be on duty at all times.

7) Proposing slight increases to swimming pool fees.

8) Had question regarding family pool passes.  Do grandparents/grandchildren/parents count as family for pool pass?  Boulton stated that staff could issue formal extended family pool pass for an additional $30 in a case-by-case basis.

9) Believes that 2022 will be a busy season due to the cost of gas and many children not leaving town regularly.

10) 2022 will be the last year that Dylan Steberg will be the Swimming Pool Manager.  Will be close to graduating college and looking to obtain an internship in summer 2023.

D) Todd Greseth – Goodhue County Commissioner reported on:

Here to listen to the Council’s concerns and to provide some County Board of Commissioners updates

Reported on press release from Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office on the identification of the mother of babies found in 1999 and 2003.   Three past Sheriffs were in attendance for the 20 plus year investigation.

The Legislative effort to obtain funds for replacement radios looks like it has come up short.  Chad Steffen of the sheriff’s office has obtained ten more used radios as backups for the County.  Chad is a great resource for the County communication system.  This is an everchanging system with many security risks and technology updates that Chad Steffens navigates on behalf of the County.



22-032 = Accepting 2022 Yearly Driver's License Checks for City Employees: VanDeWalker moved to approve, Seconded by Flotterud.  Passed 4-0-0.

22-033 = Setting Swimming Pool Fees and Schedule for the 2022 Season: Dierks moved to approve, Seconded by Flotterud.  Passed 4-0-0.

22-034 = Authorizing a Temporary Liquor License for the Wanamingo Fire Relief Association July 3rd Dance: VanDeWalker moved to approve, Seconded by Flotterud.  Passed 4-0-0.

22-035 = Accepting the 2021 Wanamingo Audit: Dierks moved to approve, Seconded by Flotterud.  Boulton stated that the request from Luke and Krista Swanson is to combine two different sets of townhome style lots into two new separate parcels.  Boulton stated that there are no easement concerns.  Passed 4-0-0.

22-036 = Approving the Combination of Tax Parcels: Flotterud moved to approve, seconded by VanDeWalker.  Boulton stated that the request to combine two lots is from Steve & Ellen Kruser.  Boulton stated that Kruser is aware of the utility easement for the sanitary sewer line.  Kruser stated he is aware of the easement and has no intentions of building over the easement.  Kruser stated that he and his wife have no intentions of selling off the second lot and desire to have one tax statement.  Boulton stated that the Kruser’s had moved a utility shed onto the open lot and that the combination would clear up issues with Wanamingo Code of Ordinances 152.57 – requirement to construct primary home before accessory/utility building is constructed.  Passed 4-0-0.

22-037 = Approving the Combination of Tax Parcels: Dierks moved to approve, seconded by Flotterud.  Passed 4-0-0.

22-038 = Approving Updated Wanamingo Wastewater Treatment Plant Operating Policy for Accepting Domestic Waste from Licensed Waste Haulers: Flotterud moved to approve, seconded by VanDeWalker.  Turri stated that the City of Wanamingo must monitor waste that can upset the operations of the plant.  If the City has issues with the operation of the plant that cause violations to the permit the City can be fined.  The City has been dumping in the secondary digester where in the past the City use to dump into the main digester.  The old process upset the plant.  The current process leaves concerns with wet weather event when the second digester is utilized.  The City has to utilize additional chlorine to treat discharge and pushes the limits of the discharge.  Turri stated that the City should not take waste from commercial/industrial floor pits or portable toilets.  This waste is extremely difficult to the operations of the wastewater treatment plant.   Passed 4-0-0.


Administrator Boulton brought up a memo on the MPCA sewer enforcement next steps.  The Wanamingo City Council approved Ordinance No. 198 at the April 11th City Council meeting.  This was a six-month process to establishes an ordinance modifying water and sewer regulations to meet current industry enforcement standards in the City.  This ordinance update is part of a comprehensive plan to address the MPCA Compliance Evaluation Inspection Report with Letter of Warning from May 2021.  The Council will consider updates and changes to the Wanamingo wastewater treatment plant operating policy for accepting domestic waste from licensed waste haulers at the May 9th City Council meeting.

Part of the MPCA report included the need for the City to regulate discharge from users of its wastewater treatment facility.  The MPCA was concerned with blood from the Wanamingo Locker, the potential of pollutants from Reckitt/Mead Johnson, and the effects of biosolids dumping haulers.  The City shall prevent any pass through of pollutants or any inhibition or disruption of the City’s facility, its treatment process, or its sludge processes or disposal that contribute to the violation of the conditions of the permit or any federal or state law or regulation limiting the release of pollutants from the POTW.  The City shall prohibit the discharge of the following to its wastewater treatment facility: Solid or viscus pollutants which obstruct flow.  Any pollutant, including oxygen demanding pollutant such as biochemical oxygen demand, released at a flow rate or pollutant concentration that will cause interference or pass through. 

The City Council reviewed the proposed letter with a notice of violation to the Wanamingo Locker.  The violation is for Wanamingo Code of Ordinances 53.29 (B) Discharge of Waters or Wastes.  2. Solid or viscous substances which will cause obstructions to the flow in a sewer or other interference with the operation of the wastewater treatment facilities such as but not limited to grease, garbage, with particles greater than 2-inch in any dimension, animal guts or tissue, paunch manure, bones, hair, hides or fleshings, entrails, whole blood, feathers, ashes, cinders, spent lime, store or marble dust, metal, glass, straw, shavings, grass clippings, rags, spent grains, spent hops, waste paper, wood, plastic, asphalt residues, residues from refining or processing of fuel or lubricating oil, mud or glass griding or polishing wastes.

The proposed letter will formally notify the Wanamingo Locker of the notice of violation.  The City has been documenting the presence of blood in the wastewater discharge each occurrence for more than four years.  The City Council will formally set a compliance schedule with the locker.  Staff have put together a recommended schedule:

-30 days for the locker to provide a written letter back to the City on how they plan to meet the goal of eliminating blood, animal guts/tissue, and fleshings from entering into the discharge of waters or wastes.

-60 days provide a written update on progress toward meeting goal

-90 days to meet goal.  If goal is not met a written request made to the City outlining why goals have not been met.  State how long of a realistic extension to meet goal.

If the locker has not met the three milestones of 30, 60, and 90 days the City would consider them in violation.  The City may fine, block sanitary sewer service pipe, or take legal action.  The City will inform the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency of the violation.

A proposed letter has been drafted for Reckitt/Mead Johnson.  City staff have ordered the necessary testing equipment from Tech Sales Co. for $6,177.00.  This equipment will be installed on the discharge pipe from Reckitt/Mead Johnson to the Wanamingo wastewater treatment facility.  The City needs to ensure that discharged waste from Reckitt/Mead Johnson is not disrupting the operations of the wastewater treatment plant.  The City is required to prevent any pass through of pollutants or any inhibition or disruption of the City’s facility, its treatment process, or its sludge processes or disposal that contribute to the violation of the conditions of the permit or any federal or state law or regulation limiting the release of pollutants from the POTW. 

The City will notify Reckitt/Mead Johnson of the need to conduct testing, at Reckitt/Mead Johnson’s expense, to ensure that the wastewater discharged to the treatment plan is not disrupting the plant.  This testing process will be ongoing for a 3-4 month period.  If during the course of testing there is found pollutants or any inhibition or disruption of the City’s facility, the City will notify Reckitt/Mead Johnson.  It will be Reckitt/Mead Johnson’s responsibility to make any necessary corrections to the wastewater discharged in order to not disrupt the City’s facility.

A proposed letter has been drafted for biosolids dumping haulers, specifically Jason’s Sewer Sucking & Excavating (Jason Raths) about the approved updates and changes to the wastewater treatment plant operating policy for accepting domestic waste from licensed waste haulers.  The updates include references to section 53 of the Wanamingo Code of Ordinances.  The changes include changes to the language giving the operator discretion for both taking of sludge at the facility and the type of sludge dumping allowed and only biosolids from within Goodhue County will be allowed.

The City will notify Jason Raths that the Council has approved restarting biosolids dumping with changes.  Moving forward, the City will be enforcing the wastewater treatment plant operating policy for accepting domestic waste from licensed haulers for all haulers.  All haulers will need to call City staff to schedule an appointment between 10:00AM-4:00PM Tuesdays-Thursdays to dump.  Only City staff will have keys to the wastewater treatment facility.  There will be a maximum 3,000/day and 10,000 gallons per month limit that will be monitored and recorded by Wanamingo staff.  Only domestic waste from home septic systems will be accepted.  Waste from commercial/industrial tanks, recreational vehicles, and portable toilets may be allowed only at the discretion of the operator to be approved when scheduling the appointment.  Proof of insurance will be required no later than April 1st each calendar year.

In addition to the all haulers will be billed the $100.00/1,000 gallons of biosolids dumping fee.  Jason Raths and the City have been working on a bartering system in which Jason was allowed to dump biosolids for water/sewer line repairs and other services.  The MPCA has concerns with appropriately billing for the dumping.  The increased scrutiny of transparency in local government no longer allows for a bartering system to continue.  The Council has agreed that dumping by Jason Raths and water/sewer line repairs and other services work for the City should be billed and paid separately.  Moving forward, the City asked Jason Raths to bill the City directly for water/sewer line repairs and other services work.  Once Jason Raths resumes biosolids dumping, the City will bill him directly.   

VanDeWalker stated that he had spoken with Council Member Ohr who was not able to make the meeting.  VanDeWalker and Ohr wanted to thank City staff on their hard work to put together letters regarding the MPCA sewer enforcement next steps.  VanDeWalker and Ohr agree with the action items laid out in the letter to the three users.  Holmes stated that the letters were well written and that the City needs to move forward to be in compliance with the MPCA.  Turri stated that the Chatfield and Pine Island lockers block the sanitary sewer service and cleans up all blood and waste and places it with the rendering.  Rendering services, such as Sanimax will take blood with other animal renderings.  Lockers cannot dump blood and other animal byproducts down the sanitary sewer due to Federal, State, and Local laws and ordinances.  The rest of the residents pay to treat any waste that upsets the operations of the wastewater treatment facility.  The City will keep costs down by making changes and monitoring these three users.  Boulton stated that Reckitt/Mead Johnson is on board for testing to determine if changes are needed to the cleaning agents at the facility.  Flotterud moved to approve the letters and instruct staff to send them to the Wanamingo Locker, Reckitt/Mead Johnson, and Jason’s Sewer Sucking and Excavating, seconded by Dierks.  Passed 4-0-0.

Boulton stated that the request for issuance of conduit bonds for Jones-Harrison Residence, a Minnesota nonprofit corporation had fallen through.  There was a plan presented to the Wanamingo City Council at the April City Council meeting to refinance its skilled nursing home facility and assisted living facility located at 3700 Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis.  In addition, the non-profit wanted to finance improvements to the facility to improve handicap accessibility and infection control.  The non-profit had a plan to issue one or more taxable or tax-exempt bonds in the maximum principal amount of $13,500,000.  Interest rate increases has shelved the project for the foreseeable future.

Boulton stated that staff would be starting to work on the nuisance clean-up list.  Boulton was starting to put together nuisance violation letters.  Boulton and Mayor Holmes will be speaking with residents prior to the letters being sent.  The goals is to clean up the town before the 4th of July celebration.

*Next City Council meeting on 6/13/2022 at 7:00pm. 

Adjourn: At 8:03PM a motion to adjourn was made by VanDeWalker and seconded by Flotterud. Passed 4-0-0.

Signed: Attest:

Ryan Holmes, Mayor

Michael Boulton, City Administrator


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