Moose Lake purchases new squad vehicles


October 25, 2018

The Moose Lake City Council approved the purchase of two squad vehicles at the monthly meeting of the council on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Sergeant Mike McNulty, who reported to the council as Chief Bryce Bogenholm had another commitment, explained that the department has missed out on the state bid for a new squad vehicle, a 2019 Ford Explorer Interceptor, due to an unknown cutoff date by the manufacturer.

He searched for another vehicle within the state and then out of state.

“I found several brand new 2018 Ford Explorer Interceptors on a lot in Chicago,” he told the council. “They had already been outfitted by Ford. They had pretty much everything that we would have ordered. And they were $15,000 less than the 2019 model.

“I also found a 2016 Ford Explorer Interceptor that was being sold by the City of Randall. It has 9,900 miles on it. It is fully equipped but we’d have to put a camera system on it and computer hardware. We have to put in a bid by Oct. 17.”

Councilor Doug Juntunen, who also serves as a deputy for Carlton County, urged the council to approve the purchase of both vehicles.

“The truck that we have is not a pursuit vehicle,” he said. “And the Charger has about 100,000 miles on it.”

It was decided to put in a bid on the vehicle from the City of Randall for $14,000, and to purchase a 2018 vehicle from that dealer in Chicago for $47,728. The Charger and the truck would be sold to help pay for the purchases.

City Administrator Tim Peterson explained the funds for the purchases would have to come from the city’s reserves as it had been planned to pay for the purchase of the vehicle next year.

Public Works Supervisor Phil Entner reported he had recently attended a MnWARN (Minnesota Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network) annual board meeting and learned that the Minnesota Rural Water Association and the Pollution Control Agency has assembled pumps, inflatable water barriers and other equipment into two enclosed trailers to station in each of the northern and southern portions of the state.

“With your approval, I got permission to store the trailer for northern Minnesota in Moose Lake,” he said. “It would be covered under the league (League of Minnesota Cities) insurance.”

Entner explained the equipment would be used in the event of a flood in Moose Lake or elsewhere in the region. He also explained that, if there is another flood in Moose Lake, all of the extra equipment would already be in the community. Equipment would not have to be brought from other communities as far away as the Twin Cities, as had been the case in the past.

“This is going to be huge for us if this goes through,” he told the council.

He added it is not certain that the city would receive one of the trailers.

The council discussed where the trailer would be stored if it was stationed in Moose Lake. It would have to be a secure, well-lit location. Suggestions were to store it at the fenced police impound lot or in a specially built secure lot by the city garage.

It was the consensus of the council to support stationing the trailer in Moose Lake.

As Carlton County has been declared a disaster area after the 2018 floods, the city will be receiving $70,000 in disaster aid, explained Peterson. Seventy-five percent of the funding will come from FEMA and 25 percent will come from Homeland Security. The funds will be used to restore affected streets to the original condition, it was said.

There had been a question about Third Street on Soo Hill. It is a short gravel street and washes out in heavy rains.

Peterson said it will be restored with gravel like it has been.

The council voted to raise the water and sewer rates by three and two percent, respectively. The two new rates would total an increase of $1.18 per month for average water usage, it was said. The new rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The council also approved the 2019 budgets for the Department of Motor Vehicles and the liquor store.

Peterson explained that the City of Moose Lake had submitted an application for a grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for $860,000 in funding to build a paved trail beside Highway 73 from the bridge over the Moose Horn River on the south end of town to the County Road 10 intersection. With additional funding from Safe Routes to School to continue the trail to the school, a paved trail could be used by students to get to school by walking or biking.

“They received four applications with projects totaling $2.4 million,” Peterson told the council. “They only have $1.4 million available. They asked us how little we would take to do our project.”

Peterson added that, if the city was able to get the funding from the state, it could be supported by another grant from Safe Routes to School. A lesser amount could jeopardize SRTS funding, he added.

No decision was made.

In other business, the council: approved a bid from Ideal Drywall, Inc. for materials and to install drywall in the public works building, approved the low bid from Gobel Excavating and Aggregate, Inc. for gravel for the city campground, and approved an estimate for a snowblower from Ziegler Cat.

The next meeting of the council was set for Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m.


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