Palisade City Government Has High Turnover | Government meetings

2021 has been a busy year for almost all local authorities and Palisade was no exception.

Financial hardship plagued the village even before the pandemic, and additional complexity came from pandemic funding, business closings, canceled events, and infrastructure issues.

Council member Dave Simons resigned his seat this month, leaving a vacant seat on city council. Earlier in 2021, Rodger Lindgren resigned from the board and was replaced by Nancy Havila.

The December 6 meeting was open to the public and a number of locals attended at the Palisade Community Center. Mayor Pam Nordstrom invited those in attendance to speak, but there were no comments.

The main topic of the year-end meeting was the finances of the city. Clerk Maureen Mischler read the treasurer’s report, which confirmed what most residents have known for some time: that the village is in financial difficulty.

Mischler said that while a number of the city’s properties are still in the areas when it comes to property taxes, the overdue amount is decreasing each year. The amount for 2021 is approximately $ 7,500 in the regions.

“Almost half of the properties that are in the regions are in some kind of transition – for sale, experiencing financial difficulties, involved in settling an estate, etc.,” Mischler explained.

Cory Eken, owner of the Palisade Cafe, offered his services as a consultant to the town’s toll-free liquor store. The board voted to accept the offer as part of its effort to put the struggling company “in the dark.”

Meanwhile, council voted itself a salary increase to $ 85 per meeting for council members and $ 100 per meeting for the mayor. There is also a mileage allowance for attending meetings.

Palisade Fire Chief Jere Gruhlke presented a year-end report on the activities of the volunteer service. One way the ministry is helping the city weather its current crisis is by promoting the revitalization of the municipal liquor store by reinstating the pull tabs in the bar. The Fire Department and possibly the Tamarack Sno-Flyers Snowmobile Club will be the non-profit beneficiaries of the zipper program. The program will be presented on an experimental basis, in order to see how it is received by the staff and customers of the company.

Gruhlke spoke about the firefighter training, which takes place in the adjacent fire station during the meeting. The city and other neighboring departments are all suffering for the firefighters, Gruhlke said. He said Chris Brooks had applied to be accepted as a volunteer firefighter for Palisade. The Board voted to approve Brooks’ participation, pending successful training and a background check.

Gruhlke also spoke about the payments the Minnesota DNR makes to Palisade when Palisade firefighters and / or equipment are needed to respond to a fire. Payments are per piece of equipment and per hour of firefighter time.

Mischler and Mayor Nordstrom both expressed surprise when Gruhlke cited the dollar amounts that had been paid to the city; they were not aware that they had received the payments but promised to check and make sure that the state had the correct information on the bank account.

Jami Packer was introduced as the city’s new maintenance manager. He replaces Nick Gunning, who left for another post.

Packer spoke about the need to repaint the interior and exterior of the iconic Palisade Water Tower.

He had obtained quotes for the painting completed in 2022 and 2023, and urged the council to approve the completion of maintenance in 2022 to avoid a significant price increase that would be incurred pending the additional year.

“The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has changed its rules regarding the type of paint that can be used for a municipal water supply,” Packer said. “I encourage you to act as soon as possible, because if we are done by the end of 2022, we will be able to grandfather when the new rules come into force.”

Packer’s reported cost for the 2022 paint was $ 103,670. It would climb between $ 149,000 and $ 150,000 in 2023.

Packer also said the sewage treatment center needs a new monitor. There was a discussion about whether to spend the extra money on getting a monitor who would call a cell phone number if there was a water problem.

Packer also reported progress in installing water meters at Palisade residences as a way to track water usage.

The announcement that the Palisade Mid-Winter Festival would be held this year on February 5 was definitely in the “good news” category.

The town of Palisade has a page on Facebook.

The next regular meeting of the municipal council will take place on Monday, January 3, 2021.

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