Stacy council not entirely 10-4 with 800 MHz contract

By Anne Thom—

Stacy City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer recently reviewed several contracts. The most contentious of which was the 800 MHz radio contract with the Chisago County Sheriff’s office.

The city council grumbled over the Communication Subscriber Agreement provisions especially for assessing the cost of lost or damaged radios.

According to the contract, the replacement cost is to be spread among all subscribers. This is a concern for the city. The Lent Town Board and the Stacy-Lent Fire Department joined the city in the opinion that the entity losing or destroying the radio should pay for the replacement.

But Mayor Mark Utecht said that Sheriff Rick Duncan disagrees.

The Sheriff’s rationale is each radio costs “a couple of thousand dollars” and that would be difficult for any single jurisdiction to absorb the cost, making replacement of equipment difficult. Utecht said he told the Sheriff in response, “Then don’t lose the radio.”

Duncan had also told Utecht that depending on how many radios are lost or damaged the cost to the city annually will fluctuate.

Mayor Utecht said the county is dictating the terms to the joint powers agreement on the 800 MHz system.

“If we don’t like it, we don’t sign it,” he said, but warned that would bring other issues. The county has bought the radios.

Utecht also spoke to County Commissioner Ben Montzka with a complaint over Stacy being asked to pay for one year’s worth of coverage in return for six months of use.

Utecht felt that neither Duncan nor Montzka were willing to listen to the issues the city presented.

He suggested attending a county board meeting to bring up the subject as he guessed other jurisdictions have the same objections.

Grundhoefer advised Utecht to first find out exactly which jurisdictions are in agreement and ask them to all come together to make an organized statement.

Clerk Payne received a request to change the polling place for the 2012 election. The request cited that the municipal building is not large enough. This would require some new voting equipment and notice to the voters. The council suggested the Doyle Field building. Payne said that during the last presidential election, approximately two hundred new voters were registered at the polling place on Election Day and the election judges had nowhere to work while the citizens had to have patience. The council agreed with the request and Payne’s assessment. Voting will be conducted at the Doyle Field building in November 2012.

In other business:

• The City Clerk presented resolution 2012-1-2, establishing appointments for 2012. First Clerk Payne chided the councilors regarding meeting attendance. She advised them that there has been poor turnout, and that she had thought that perhaps if each committee met early in the year, that would facilitate ongoing meetings.

The council accepted the criticism, and committee assignments and agreed to do better this year. Resolution 2012-1-2 was approved.

Of note in the appointments is that Springsted is now the city’s financial advisors, and the city’s engineering needs will be covered by Charles Schwartz, but Bonestroo has now joined Stantec and this will be the firm of record. The ECM Post Review remains the official newspaper for the city of Stacy.

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