By Lori Newman
The Deer Creek City Council held their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 25.
New York Mills Police Chief Bobby Berndt gave the police report for December, which included calls for medical issues, wellness checks, animal complaints, trespassing and traffic violations. Berndt also told the council that the NY Mills Police attempts to drive by every house on every street in town at least once a day.
The council approved licenses to sell tobacco for Deer Creek Express and The Station.
The IRS standard mileage rate of $0.56 per mile reimbursed for business travel was also approved.
The council discussed and approved a DNR grant of $2,000 to the Deer Creek Fire Department for the purchase of hoses and nozzles for the recently acquired pumper/tanker truck.
The fire department has also applied for a grant to purchase a washer system for turn-out gear.
City Clerk/Treasurer Tom Parish said he has not yet seen the paperwork on this though.
The council also approved fire department expenditures for radio communication pagers. Council members again discussed the requirement for fire department expenditures over $500 to be approved by the council prior to being made.
Councilor Jayme George proposed to the council that wages for the fire department chief and secretary be raised significantly.
George noted that these wages have not been increased in several years, and cited the higher amounts that other towns in the area are paying.
Councilor Dan Hendershot said he agreed that the wages need to be raised, but suggested that the proposed increases take place in increments over a two or three year period rather than all at once. The council decided to discuss this matter further at the next meeting.
George and Hendershot requested that the council take a more in-depth look at the fire department budget at the next meeting also.
Parish reported on end-of-the-year work that is being completed, including state tax, budget, and employment reports and updates to the city directory and website.
Parish also provided the council with a list of unpaid water/sewer accounts that will be submitted to the County Auditor so the fees can be added to those property tax bills.
Hendershot commented on the number of street lights in town that are out, and said he would contact Otter Tail Power Company about the matter soon.
Councilor Bob Lund suggested that boxes for donations to the city be put in place for the free services provided at the Deer Creek Lions Park and the truck parking area on the south end of town.
Mayor Troy Beiswenger reported that he has been receiving calls from people wanting to rent space in the community center this year, and confirmed the deposit amount of $150 for the large room.