WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     The Walnut Grove City Council met in a regular session on the 9th day of December, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the council room.  Greg Hansen, Leonard McLaughlin, Todd Harrington, Jeff Harnack, Deb Johnson, Tom Hansen, Kerwin Armitage and Mike Zeug were present.  Xiong Yang was absent.

    The council approved Resolution 2013-1209 approving the Final Budget and certifying the Tax Levy in 2013 for collection in 2014 of $204,000 for the General Fund to the County of Redwood for collection in 2014. The 2014 General Fund Expense Budget total is $542,000.

    The maintenance report was presented by Tom Hansen.  Discussion was held on the replacing the tractor in 2014.  The council reviewed quotes for a new tractor.  After trade in Tracy John Deere was $29900 & Kibble from Wabasso was $14950.  The council approved the trade in for a new tractor with Kibble Equipment.

    The Truth in Taxation Public Hearing was opened at 7:00 p.m. for public comment on the proposed budget.  No residents were present. The council approved changes to adjust capital outlay for office expenditures and public safety, community center building expenses and the sewer maintenance.   The council will spend reserves to replace plumbing between the men's and women's restroom in the community center.

    The Bar & Grill report was presented by Deb Johnson.  Deb has hired Tom Vondracek to perform at the Bar & Grill on New Year's Eve.  

    The Water/Wastewater report was presented by Kerwin Armitage. Kerwin has gotten a total of 4 single curbstops and 2 shared curbstops repaired.  The council approved the purchase of a 14x24 shed for the plant in 2014.  

    A request was made on behalf of the Walnut Grove Legion for approval of Special Liquor License for Super Bowl Sunday which was approved by the council.

    The council approved the increased fee for the City Assessor in 2014 and approved Hoffman & Brobst as the auditors for the 2013 audit to be completed in 2014.  

    The total cost of the UV system for the plant will be close to $200,000 with equipment, labor and engineer expense.  The council reviewed options as to how they would like to pay for this.  The council agreed that they will spend sewer reserve funds, and water reserve funds to pay for this and then add a charge to the utility bills to replace these reserve funds over a four or five year time period.  The final Sewer Debt charge of $3.25 base & $1.70 per 1000 gallons will be on the utility bills in December and then this will be paid off and removed from the utility bills and the “Sewer Plant Maintenance” charge will be added.  The base fee will be $4 and the usage fee will be $2.50 per 1000 gallons.  Residents that use 1000 gallons per month will notice an increase on their bill of approximately $1.55.  A 5000 gallon usage will show a total increase of $4.75.  

    The Police Report was given by Chief Zeug.  The city received a letter from an attorney regarding an alleged one time incident in 2005 concerning an a violation of the use of the DPS system.  This was turned over to the League of MN Cities claims department.  A claims representative from the league stated they would handle it along with the other hundreds of claims of the same type for other cities.    

    The council approved contacting Northland Securities Trust to have them prepare the resolution and to help with the necessary paperwork for early pay off the 2004 GO Improvement bonds in 2014.   This pay off will come from funds received as special assessments.  

    Discussion was held on the retirement of the city attorney.  The council agreed that they would like Mayor Hansen to contact Muske & Muske from Springfield to replace Brian White.    

    The council approved the Minutes for the November 13, 2013 regular meeting and approved claims #35707 through #35782.