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REGULAR MEETING DICKINSON CITY COMMISSIO

REGULAR MEETING
DICKINSON CITY COMMISSION
November 16, 2021
I.CALL TO ORDER
President Scott Decker called the meeting to order at 4:30 PM.
II.ROLL CALL
Present were: President Scott Decker, Vice President Jason Fridrich, Commissioners Suzi Sobolik, John Odermann and Nikki Wolla
Absent:None
1.ORDER OF BUSINESS
MOTION BY: Jason Fridrich SECONDED BY: Suzi Sobolik
To approve the November 16, 2021 Order of Business as presented with the addition of the SW Water Contract Discussion under 4E.
MOTION BY: Suzi Sobolik SECONDED BY: John Odermann
To approve the remaining Order of Business.
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed
2.CONSENT AGENDA
MOTION BY: Nikki Wolla SECONDED BY: John Odermann
A. Approval of meeting minutes dated November 2, 2021.
B. Approval of Accounts Payable and Checkbook.
C. Approval of Urban Maintenance Agreement.
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed
3. ADMINISTRATION/FINANCE
A. Monthly Financial Report
Accountant Robbie Morey gives the Commissioners an update on the monthly financial report. He states there really has been no change from the previous month. He feels the trending in the general fund is going in the right direction and the City is pretty comfortable with the year end for revenue. He states the general fund did receive unexpected grants in 2021 and will bring that information forward next month.
MOTION BY: John Odermann SECONDED BY: Suzi Sobolik
Approve the Monthly Financial Report.
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed
B. Gaming Site Authorization – Buffalo Wild Wings – Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports
City Attorney Christina Wenko presents the Site Authorization for Buffalo Wild Wings which was tabled last commission meeting. She has done some research and contacted the attorney general licensing division for these types of sites. She states the city has discretion and authority to permit or deny the application. She states the applicant is from Minot. Ms. Wenko states there are some concerns whether funds are utilized in the city of Dickinson. By statute the city does grant licenses but cannot dictate on how these funds are used. City staff does have concerns with the proposed location as long as the gaming is regulated to the designated area inducted by staff to ensure only 21 and older will be allowed in the designated area.
President Scott Decker states the city can craft a policy for gaming sites. He feels any gaming site in the future should be a local charity.
Commissioner John Odermann does agree with that appropriate. He is not opposed to having this site finish out the year.
City Attorney Christina Wenko states it is possible that the organization come back with a local charity next year.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich struggles with the fact that the city has already approved other charities and that we don’t have any policy in place yet. He states this organization is not doing anything wrong by asking but he does struggle with it a bit.
City Administrator Brian Winningham has received comments from the Director of Gaming of ND AG office. Prairie Grit does have 4 sites and they are all out town. As of this date they have not issued any gaming proceeds.
MOTION BY: John Odermann SECONDED BY: Jason Fridrich
To Deny the Gaming Site for Prairie Grit for Buffalo Wild Wings.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich does struggle with this personally that the city has approved these already and now to not approve this one because it is not in city limits. He would offer any grandfather if possibilities.
Commissioner John Odermann moves to deny due to the investment, kind of forcing approving this one forcing ourselves into a corner what we would have to grandfather them in also. If the city does approve this site authorization then the city would be painting themselves into a corner.
City Attorney Christina Wenko states the current codes provides no commitment that you are guaranteed an automatic renewal, not automatic renewal and not guaranteed.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich would like for the city to draft a policy that states it would have to be a local charity.
City Attorney Christina Wenko states how does the city regulate and research that as part of the renewal process. The code would be a parameter. Not so much of a physical address, funds could be expended or ascertained to the citizens of this community. At this time, it is simply an open-ended question for the commissioners to grant or deny the application. The city can look at it case by case. The code would allow the city to not be too specific but to grant authority to the commissioners to look at each situation. The applications could be county based or geographically based.
Commissioners Jason Fridrich states if the city does approve this and puts something together for renewal time next year that the site authorization have to benefit the people of the city of Dickinson this gives the organizations a chance to do this and we won’t remove them.
Commissioner John Odermann rescinds his motion to deny. Commissioners Jason Fridrich rescinds his motion to second.
City Administrator Brian Winningham states the businesses do receive rental income.
MOTION BY: Jason Fridrich SECONDED BY: Suzi Sobolik
Approval the Gaming Site for Prairie Grit to allow gaming in Buffalo Wild Wings.
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed
C. Gaming Site Authorization – Men’s Den
City Attorney Christina Wenko states as indicated previously this item was tabled from the last meeting. She states there is some concern about the location of potentially granting this particular application. She states city staff does not have an issue with granting this application if the gaming machines were in an area designated currently as 21 and older and not taking the pull tabs outside of the area.
Commissioner John Odermann feels that this one has a different level of complexity than the prior one due to the fact that the city needs to consider location if a business should have gaming in them. This potentially opens the door for others. If the city allows this type of business to enter into a commercial setting like this how does the city say no to others. He states that because the city does not have it in code that they can’t have a gaming site at Men’s Den or Walmart or other places.
Commissioner Christina Wenko states the Commissioners have the authority to stop it. The Commissioners are the only ones that can grant the authority. She states if the commissioner does not agree to have this gaming at this site then the motion would be to deny. She states Men’s Den is very small.
Commissioners John Odermann states philosophically there should be nothing in the way of deny or approval if the city code prevents gaming. There is no reason why the commissioners should deny it. He would like to look at each case by case.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich is concerned about this and once it is approved how do we stop it. He is shocked that the state allows gaming in these places.
MOTION BY: John Odermann SECONDED BY: Nikki Wolla
Approval the Gaming Site for Men’s Den
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote…Aye 2, Nay 3 (Fridrich, Sobolik, Decker), Absent 0
Motion denied
Commissioner Suzi Sobolik states if there was something in our code that it is allowed. The City can’t define everything so there has to be as a leadership body we have to set prescient of what is right for or community and she does feel there is something that we are stepping into. Just because it is not in our code that we can’t make a ruling on it otherwise.
D. Reports
1. HR Monthly Report
HR Coordinator Shelly Nameniuk presents the monthly HR Report to include open positions such as Communication Specialist, Internal Detective Sergeant Position; Museum positions along with Police Officers.
E. SW Water Contract
City Attorney Christina Wenko discusses the SW Water Contract which is soon to expire between the City of Dickinson and SW Water. She states City staff did reach out to contact SW Water with no avail. Ms. Wenko would like to draft a letter to notify SW Water the City would like to terminate the contract. This contract does apply to areas identified in the service agreement. This agreement states the is for a transfer of service area.
Public Works Director Gary Zuroff states this transfer of service agreement if the City extends limits to provide water for existing or future customers then the City would have to pay a fee and for their future capital repayment. There is nothing with the existing water for the City would change as the city would provide water for future or existing customers. He states the City does want to change some language in the document being discussed.
MOTION BY: Jason Fridrich SECONDED BY: Nikki Wolla
Approve the SW Water Contract letter to be sent notifying SW Water of the termination of the discussed contract.
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed
4.PUBLIC SAFETY
A. Fire Department
1. Reports:
None
B. Police Department
1. Reports
Monthly Report – Lt. Hanson gives the monthly Police Department report. He states this report is from the month of October which states there were 2,353 calls for service which is a little down from the summer time and will get a little slower during the colder months. Calls for service show the top one is to speak to an officer, suspicious person or vehicle, parking complaint and others. There were 57 total accidents with 1 pedestrian accident on 10th Avenue East at the 800 block. He states that a pedestrian was hit while crossing the road by a car moving 5 m.p.h. There was one rollover on the East side of Dickinson which needed medical attention. There were 449 traffic stops. Arrests were down in October. There were 79 behavioral health calls with 57 welfare checks. He states suicidal thoughts were able to be resolved in most cases with the tip 211. Lt. Hanson discusses training hours, criminal investigations with 52 open cases and 13 callouts.
5.ENGINEERING
A. Reports
1. None
6. PUBLIC WORKS
A. Reports
1. None
7. PLANNING
A. Final Plat – Acres Subdivision
Planning Director Walter Hadley presents a final plat for Acres subdivision. This was tabled from the last meeting. Director Hadley states this final plat has staff recommendation for approval at this time.
MOTION BY: Nikki Wolla SECONDED BY: John Odermann
Adopt Resolution 33-2021
RESOLUTION NO. __33-2021
A RESOLUTION APPROVING FINAL PLAT ENTITLED THE ACRES SUBDIVISION
STARK COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA.
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed
8.BUILDING/CODE ENFORCEMENT
A. Reports
1. None
9. PUBLIC HEARING AND PUBLIC COMMENTS NOT ON AGENDA – 5:00 P.M.
A. Public Hearing – Chapter 13 Revisions
Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell presents a Chapter 13 revision which pertains moving the volunteer firefighters to part time firefighters. Chief Presnell states this ordinance change had a unanimous vote on by the volunteers to change to part time firefighters.
President Scott Decker opens the public hearing at 5:06 p.m. Hearing no public comment, the hearing was closed at 5:08 p.m. and the following motion was made.
MOTION BY: Suzi Sobolik SECONDED BY: John Odermann
To approve first reading of Ordinance No. 1731.
ORDINANCE NO. 1731
AN ORDINANCE AMENDED AND RE-ENACTING SECTION 13.12.02010 AND REPEALING SECTIONS 13.12.02040 AND 13.12.02130 OF THE CITY CODE OF THE CITY OF DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA, RELATING TO ARTICLE 13.12 - FIRE DEPARTMENT
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0Motion declared duly passed
B. Public Hearing – Chapter 32 Revision
Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell states this change also would pertain to the volunteer firefighters changing to part time firefighter status. This ordinance change would modify the terminology of Chapter 32. Staff recommends approval.
President Scott Decker opens the public hearing at 5:12 p.m. Hearing no public comment, the hearing was closed at 5:14 p.m. and the following motion was made.
MOTION BY: Nikki Wolla SECONDED BY: Jason Fridrich
To approve first reading of Ordinance No. 1732.
ORDINANCE NO. 1732
AN ORDINANCE AMENDED AND RE-ENACTING SECTION 32.16, 32.16.010, 32.16.020, 32.16.040, 32.16.080, 32.16.150, 32.16.150 OF THE CITY CODE OF THE CITY OF DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA, RELATING TO ARTICLE 32.16 – DICKINSON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT PENSION PLAN
DISPOSITION:Roll call vote…Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0Motion declared duly passed
C. Public Hearing – Chapter 4 Revisions
City Attorney Christina Wenko discusses the Chapter 4 Revisions which pertain to the liquor license. She reviews the significant changes to the liquor ordinance. She states the topic of expansion of classes such as adding a domestic winery and adding beer only back in for restaurants, adding beer and wine on sale and beer and wine off sale. The purposes of this ordinance are for clarity. Attorney Wenko discusses the expansion of definitions which now have more detail in the ordinance. She states that Ordinance 1691 which pertains to the concession stand license was re-added into the ordinance. She discusses the fee of classes of licenses which will be discussed with the fee schedule. She states all licenses are transferrable at this time and can be changed.
President Scott Decker opens the public hearing at 5:30 p.m.
Don Paul whom owns the Ponderosa and Town and Country liquor stores states he has been a business owner for the past 25 years and questions whether Dickinson needs anymore liquor licenses in Dickinson. He states that in the city’s code it states there is a limit on liquor licenses. He believes adding a convenience store license would be inappropriate, unfair, unethical and upend laws that have been in place for years. He states previous commissions have made a great investment in the laws that were set. Mr. Paul states the liquor license holders at this time have the town covered. He states there is liquor at each end of the city. He states gas stations are the biggest sellers of 20 oz. beers. He states the City now wants to invite everyone off the interest to wheel in and drink a 20 oz. and then get back on the road. He states that is how people get killed. He states kids are in and out of gas stations. He feels adding this additional liquor license is an unfair investment to a Class A liquor license holder.
Commissioner John Odermann states he empathetic for their investments. He states having the convenience of stopping one time for gas and alcohol would be convenient.
Police Chief Dustin Dassinger states the Police Department would be responsible for compliance checks and he is not an advocate for more liquor licenses. The Police would now need to patrol those areas. He has not seen an increase of open contains since people can purchase pounders.
Mr. Don Paul feels it would be nice to have everything in one stop but that is not how it is. There are liquor stores on each end of town. The people whom have license already have made a big investment. The forefathers limited the number of licenses. Licenses are inflated by the City. He states beer and wine are 2/3 of his business. He feels the city will be taking three steps backwards. Mr. Paul states the person selling alcohol has to be 21 or older.
House of Booze owner Dean Volesky is opposed to adding another class of licenses. He questions why the City does not follow ordinances as it states no more on/off sales licenses. He feels adding another class goes against the ordinance. He states the ordinance states there are not to be gaming in restaurants. He states off sale licenses would allow minors on the premises. He states minors are not allowed on site after 10 p.m. if there is alcohol. He states there is a reason the progressive City of Fargo does not have it in their gas stations.
City Attorney Christina Wenko states the City is allowed to be more restrictive than the State code but not lesser.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich states anything you have to pay for right away is considered beer and wine. This would include White Claws as they are considered a malt beverage
Mike Staudinger of Lucky’s Liquor feels no matter what this license is sold for will de-value everyone else’s class of liquor license. He is wondering how the city is going to keep the playing field the same. Mr. Staudinger is questioning how the city is going to separate the gas station from the alcohol area. He states Lucky’s has even been referred to as setting an example. He feels as long as it is consistent with everyone else. It should have the same requirement that they were held to, the same standards.
Police Chief Dustin Dassinger states Mr. Staudinger has been very good to work with and the City was able to review the site and plans prior to being remodeled.
Commissioner John Odermann states if the city does move forward he is hoping the city would hold the same standards as in the past.
TH Investment Tracy Tooz states he has held a liquor license since 2002. He feels the fee should be more substantial and adding another class would de-value liquor licenses. Mr. Tooz elaborates on three stores that are not in compliance at this time. He states he has no faith in adding another license and policing it. He feels there is another class there could be stores 100 feet apart from each other. He states there are three liquor licenses available right now. He feels proximity is a concern. He states getting alcohol in Dickinson is not a problem. He states the following license holders are not in compliance, Walmart, Cashwise and Family Fare.
Commissioner John Odermann discusses if he gets a haircut he can get a beer and if he gets gas he can get a beer.
Bernie Marsh whom owns the Esquire Club states he has owned the Esquire since 1987 revisits the history of liquor stores, restaurants, gaming and music. He does question on transferring of license. He states maybe a license should be dissolved or comes back to the city prior to transferring.
Commissioner John Odermann is empathetic to someone with a Class A license which is inflated.
Jared Scheeler whom is the owner of the HUB has a great deal of respect of license holders. He appreciates the opportunity to visit about the license. He wants to sell beer and wine and 81% of convenience stores sell beer in ND. He states convenience stores are an outlet for beer. He states the common answer is that is the way it has been done in the past. Those saying this statement are narrow minded and see through distorted lenses. He does see the pushback from existing license holders. He states just because it has been a certain way for years it does not need to continue that way. He is a pro-business owner and believes in free enterprise and competition. He believes in letting the best business win. He venues to as quite a bit of existing license holders doesn’t’ believe deep down what they say. The City is picking winners and losers and this should not be done. He feels the HUB has lost between $50-$60,000 because they are unable to sell liquor. He states the proposed ordinance as written ensures safety measures to keep alcohol out of minor’s hands. It is not about convenience, it is about freedom. He would like to see everyone win.
Rosie Lantz from Rosie’s Food and Gas states she has been in the business for 29 years. Ms. Lantz states she is in favor of proposed changes to allow an off-sale liquor license as this will help Dickinson move forward in business and help serve her customers.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich questions Ms. Lantz if she is willing to spend $40,000 for a license and $40,000 for the remodel of her store to allow liquor.
Ms. Rose Lantz does not want to turn her entire store into a beer/wine store. She would like to offer it to her customers definitely. She would like to wait and see the requirements and the cost. She does not want to spend the money on a Class A license. Yes, she agrees having no liquor in her store has impacted the store. She states having a liquor store across from her in previous years did help her as they would stop at the liquor store earlier and then stop at her store.
Mr. Don Paul states who really profits from the license being valued so high. The smartest ones in the room are the ones that set that up. He states in reference to Mr. Sheeler comments if he is losing so much money why does he not go out and purchase a liquor license.
Mr. Bernie Marsh states this is a balancing act and once you open the Pandora box you cannot close it.
President Decker closes the public hearing at 6:45 p.m.
President Scott Decker states there are a lot of ideas and issues that came to the table this evening to think about. President Decker is open to suggestions, fees, etc. and would compromise with a beer only on sale license. He states the value would be one of the parameters that the license would cost.
Commissioner John Odermann states if the city moves forward it is basically a period of time their renewal would be set aside to help make up for whatever loss of value or whatever you want to say. He is sympathetic to that point of view but have to take into consideration the valuation that the City has created for past business owners that have transferred licenses as the market conditions. The city cannot make everyone happy.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich states first of all the city hasn’t even gauged the commissioners on the interest of adding a new license class. This is a tough position as the first reading has a lot of changes that he agrees with but adding the Class M and vote on everything and don’t add a class of license. He states staff have put a ton of work into this ordinance and it might not pass.
City Attorney Christina Wenko sates it is reality of the situation and to simplify it would make sense to gauge first if there is any interest in a Class M license. She states if the commission says yes or no the changes are dramatic and will need to come forward for a second reading. Attorney Wenko recommends to decide on the class first and then adjust the ordinance accordingly. She recommends to keep it simple as possible, starts with going to create a license or not.
MOTION BY: John Odermann SECONDED BY: Scott Decker
To approve first reading of Ordinance No. 1733 with reading Class M to be beer only off sale.
ORDINANCE NO. 1733
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND RE-ENACTING SECTIONS 4.04.010, 4.08.030, 4.08.060, 4.08.070, 4.08.075, 4.08.170, 4.08.180, 4.08.200, 4.08.230, 4.08.240, 4.08.270, 4.08.280 AND ENACTING SECTION 4.08.065 OF ARTICLE 4 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA, RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote…Aye 2, Nay 3 (Fridrich, Wolla, Sobolik), Absent 0 Motion denied.
MOTION BY: John Odermann SECONDED BY: Jason Fridrich
To approve first reading of Ordinance No. 1733 with removing Class M as it is related to Section 4.08.120
ORDINANCE NO. 1733
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND RE-ENACTING SECTIONS 4.04.010, 4.08.030, 4.08.060, 4.08.070, 4.08.075, 4.08.170, 4.08.180, 4.08.200, 4.08.230, 4.08.240, 4.08.270, 4.08.280 AND ENACTING SECTION 4.08.065 OF ARTICLE 4 OF THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA, RELATING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote…Aye 4, Nay 1 (Decker), Absent 0Motion declared duly passed
D. Public Comments not on Agenda
None
10. COMMISSION
Commissioner John Odermann would like for the City to review the gaming code and see how it can be cleaned up and add on some guidance. He states it is libertarian whom can’t do something that is not codified. He states it is important for the commissioners to have this conversation to have guidance to make decisions. Commissioner Odermann commends Administrator Winningham on doing a great job with the Youth Commission.
City Administrator Brian Winningham states the code should be written so common citizen can understand it. He states if a code does not say that is prohibited then it must be allowed. Society has good judgment so the intent of the statement would bring us an application and would consider something differently. We have to have a society with good judgment coming before this board and not to have so many laws. This is why the Commissioners were elected.
Commissioner John Odermann states the government does not always know the right decision.
Commissioner Suzi Sobolik states she did hear that a citizen was not able to find the updated ordinance online for the alcohol She feels the website is something that needs to be reviewed again.
City Administrator Brian Winningham states there will be a more formal presentation coming in regards to the city hall but he is hoping that everyone will be moved over by the end of December. Administrator Winningham states there have been some challenges. The time line is very aggressive and work is being done fairly diligently. He states when utility billing and other public counter is ready over at the new city hall then the move will take place.
Commissioner Jason Fridrich states Class D license does restrict gaming in a restaurant.
ADJOURNMENT
MOTION BY: Suzi Sobolik SECONDED BY: Jason Fridrich
Adjournment of the meeting 7:25 P.M.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote… Aye 5, Nay 0, Absent 0
Motion declared duly passed.
OFFICIAL MINUTES PREPARED BY:
Rita Binstock, Assistant to City Administrator
APPROVED BY:
Brian Winningham, City Administrator
Scott Decker, President
Board of City Commissioners
Date: December 7, 2021
(Dec. 1, 2021) 8698