The Fergus Falls City Council picked over the consent agenda a bit Monday night before approving eight of the nine items.

The consent agenda is normally passed by a single collective vote by the council.

Councilman Scott Kvamme pointed out some language stood in the way of a motion approving July 15 City Council and July 31 Committee of the Whole minutes.

The council also put the brakes on a motion directing the city attorney to draft an amended rental registration ordinance.

City Administrator Andrew Bremseth corrected a misconception on a State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) position. At last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting it was announced that SHPO would not allow an aquatics park on the RTC grounds. Bremseth told the council Monday that SHPO has not taken an official position at this time. The clarification cleared the way for the council to approve a resolution authorizing the Aquatics Committee to seek a proposal from USAquatics to review and revise the details of the project – including the scope, location, cost estimate and staffing based on an update concept.

Bremseth also provided more information for council members and city residents regarding a proposal to have Sourcewell (formerly the National Joint Powers Alliance) provide the city with planning and zoning services at a savings of approximately $55,000 in 2020.

The proposal, which gained committee approval last Wednesday, was approved as a resolution Monday.

The final item pulled out of the consent agenda, and lauded by Councilman Tom Rufer, was a resolution approving the donation of two bicycle fix-it stations from Fergus Brewing Company, West Central Initiative and Pedal Fergus Falls.

The City Council took another look at Ordinance 86 – the rental unit registration and inspection amendment – with Councilmen Anthony Hicks, Brent Thompson and Scott Kvamme offering their views of the need to amend the ordinance.

Hicks took the position that requiring registration and inspection was akin to punishment for landlords who are maintaining their property well.

Thompson, who has pushed for the amendment, took another view.

“I’ve heard a lot of complaints from a lot of people as far as landlords not fixing things,” Thompson said. “I want to basically make sure that when you’re living in an apartment that you’re not fixing it and the landlord is just walking away.”

Kvamme felt the amended ordinance would be “a very big hammer for a very small nail.”

Mayor Ben Schierer closed the discussion by asking city staff to come back to the council with some recommendations on the ordinance.

The council approved the renaming of Amy Court to Anna Court. It also passed an amended resolution encouraging city staff to entertain redevelopment opportunities for the RTC campus. Hicks abstained from voting on the RTC campus resolution.

Mayor Schierer proclaimed Aug. 6 to be National Night Out in Fergus Falls. The city is expected to see 29 block parties Tuesday evening between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.


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