Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

Menten selected to fill vacant seat at Sturgeon Lake

 


After an overruling decision by the mayor, Courtney Menten was selected to fill the vacant seat on the Sturgeon Lake City Council left by Warren Peters, whose resignation was accepted at a special called meeting June 2. The council reviewed three letters from interested candidates during the Tuesday, June 30 meeting and came to a tie in votes. Two members wanted one candidate; another member and the mayor opted for a different one.

Mayor Robert Rose reminded the council, “According to the rules, when it’s a tie, the mayor makes the choice.” And with three yeas and one nay, Menten, not present for comment, was appointed to the council. Menten will serve on the council until the regular election of 2016 is held. At that point, the newly elected members will take their seats in January of 2017.

Financial audit report

Bart Rodberg, city auditor from McGladrey, LLP in Duluth, presented to the council on his findings in a recent financial audit.

Overall, Rodberg reported positive feedback, only remarking on “one deficiency in terms of controls” in the council balance sheets and financial statements. This is a common occurrence in smaller clients, Rodberg assured.

City Treasurer Allen Delzer replied, “A lot of [the problem] is due to the software we use, QuickBooks.” QuickBooks, Delzer explained, is a difficult program to use. “It’s like doing four companies in one,” he said, and Rodberg agreed.

Increasing cash flow and paying down city debts are the steps Rodberg recommended at the end. The financial projection of the city, he said, is promising.

Riverbank stabilization

City Clerk Elizabeth Cisar presented a letter to the council from Pine Soil and Water Conservation District. The letter described the desire to start a grant in order to “establish an Urban Forestry Program.” It goes on to say, “Urban forests reduce storm water run-off and erosion, lower-energy use, moderate temperatures, clean air and water, increase property values and improve health.”

The initiative has a particular interest in stabilizing the riverbank along the Moose Horn and Kettle River intersection. City resident Ken Grey was present at the meeting, and he described in greater detail what the stabilization would look like. This project would be conducted on his property.

Grey explained that the newly employed county forester would collect root systems from healthy trees in order to reclaim shoreline that has been lost due to erosion. Details of the project still need to be worked out, presuming the council will decide to push forward with the grant. No decision was made at this meeting, but the initiative is expected to return to the city agenda in coming months.

 

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