The Milbank City Council met Monday, July 12, at the Milbank Visitors Center for their regular monthly meeting. Before the July meeting commenced, the... New Milbank City Council Members Sworn In

The Milbank City Council met Monday, July 12, at the Milbank Visitors Center for their regular monthly meeting.

Before the July meeting commenced, the council dealt with old business in a separate meeting which included the members who were on the board in June.  They approved the June council meeting minutes and the June treasurer’s report. Bills in the amount of  $373,028.04 were also approved.   That meeting was adjourned.

The July meeting was called to order and began New Business. 

The council approved the appointment of Roger Briggs, Ward 1 Councilman for a one-year term to fill Joel Foster’s seat. Foster chose not to seek re-election.

The Oath of Office was administered to Briggs and the newly-elected member of the council, Mindy Rogers. Rogers replaces James Johnson in Ward II. Josh Karels and Mike Hanson, incumbents on the council, also took the Oath of Office.

An election of officers for president and vice president of the council was held. Scott Hoeke was elected as president and Steve Weiner was elected as vice president.

The mayor’s appointments were also approved and included: City Administrator – John Forman, Finance Officer – Cynthia Schumacher, Police Chief – Boyd VanVooren, Fire Chief – Kevin Schuelke, Assistant  Fire Chiefs – David Giesen and Justin Mathiason and City Attorney – Mark Reedstrom    

The Milbank Police Department’s reserve officer roster was approved.  It includes Rodney Thaden, Neil Folk, Nic Bray, Jacob Wellnitz, and Steve Huizenga. The Milbank Fire and Rescue Department’s roster was also approved per the list on file.

The council approved the transfer of the retail (on sale) liquor license from Birch -Miller Post No. 9 to Dale and Pam Johnson/Johnson Automotive Inc. at Morningside Drive.

The consent agenda encompassed:

  1. Ratifying the hiring of Zach Ringsaker as a part-time lifeguard at Unity Health & Fitness at $13.81 per hour effective June 28, 2021. 

2. Amending Kelly Kutters contract to include an additional $250 per month for the mowing of the Unity Health & Fitness property.

3. Approving the closure of West Third Avenue (First Street) from July 21-23 for installation of equipment at Valley Queen.

The Energize Conference permit for August 11 was approved.The permit allows for closing a section of Second Avenue from 5- 9 p.m. on August 11. Plans include a stage with live entertainment and food vendors in the city-owned parking lot just south of Second Avenue.

The council received an engineering estimate from Banner and Associates for River Street. The street runs on the west side of Twin Valley Tire beginning at the city limits on Hwy 12 proceeding south for 1,200 feet.  Potential improvements include concrete pavement, water and sewer, and curb and gutter.The estimate came in at $922,000. No action was taken but the council suggested working it into their five-year plan. Jamie LaRoche, of Twin Valley Tire, addressed  the council and said he would like to see the project completed sooner than later. 

Police Chief Boyd VanVoorn conducted a body camera presentation. He showed two videos — one at night and one during the day — to demonstrate the clarity of the footage. MIlbank police officers are equipped with the camera on the front of their uniforms. The council approved the hiring of police officer Deven Weinkauf effective July 26, 2021, at step 5-1. His rate of pay will be $19.29.

Dan Keyes, city parks and recreation manager, explained the new Unity Health & Fitness Aquatic Risk Management document.

According to Keyes, important points  include:

  1. All patrons using the facility must complete a signed city-approved participant agreement, waiver and release form

 2. All patrons shall be at least 18 years of age to use the lap pool during periods when there are no lifeguards on duty

 3. Adults wishing to take children under 18 years of age into the lap pool at the facility when there is no lifeguard on duty must complete and submit a guardian acknowledgment form 

4. All guardians must be at least 18 years of age 

The board approved the document without opposition.   

A bid of $54,000 for a digital sign at Unity Health & Fitness came up for approval. Councilmember Wiener stated that because Milbank had just taken over the facility, he believed the $54,000 would be better spent in other areas. After much discussion, in the end the council decided to table it.

Mayor Raffety updated the council on the baseball complex. A meeting is planned with the Milbank Baseball Diamond Association (MBDA) to go over the most recent revisions of the plans.

The hope was to get started in August, but the start date was pushed back to 2022 after talking with contractors about their schedules and in lieu of the fact that supplies are not available. 

The plan is to get the numbers together in the next couple of weeks so they can be included in the 2022 budget. The MBDA and the American Legion will begin fundraising efforts. Mayor Raffety said, “Hopefully, by March we’ll know exactly where we’re at with money raised. It makes it a lot easier to build it that way.” 

The board approved the second reading of Ordinance 836, which was a supplemental budget in the amount of $400,000. The vote allows for the transfer of $200,000 from capital outlay and $200,000 from the capital budget for the Seventh Street project to park capital improvement.

The council approved Helms and Associates as the engineering consultant for airport engineering and aviation services for the period of 2021 through 2025. 

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Monday, August 9, at 7 p.m. in the Milbank Visitor Center.   




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