Onamia City Hall

Discussion was held at the February Onamia City Council meeting concerning Beull Consulting’s application for a conditional use permit (CUP) and variance on behalf of Uniti Towers/AT&T for construction of a 245 foot telecommunications tower and related equipment on property located at 1410 357th Street in Onamia. The variance is due to the tower exceeding 200 feet and to reduce the setback requirements.

The Planning Commission recommended that the City approve the CUP and variance applications. Trustee Bill Hill pointed out that “the application meets all of the City’s requirements for a conditional use permit.” A motion was made to approve construction of said tower. Motion carried.

The Onamia Police Department presented several policies for updating. A motion was made to update their cell policy, and the motion was carried. A motion was also made to approve the purchase of one taser from Axon for the approximate cost of $1,459 and carried. Bob Matzke’s February 2020 Onamia Police report included a meeting with Shannon Amundson, Executive Director at the Nexus Academy to discuss the City’s concern regarding the uptick in calls for police service at the facility. They have agreed to meet regularly to share ideas, updates and concerns.

As of March 15, field training will be starting for new part-time officer, Jill Verke. She will be assisting the Onamia Police Department as hours become available. Work continues with the IT Department on getting dash cam systems to upload properly to the cloud data storage for easier dissemination to prosecuting attorneys. Matzke noted the IT Department has suggested increasing the speed of the existing internet service. He is in the process of looking into a 100 megabyte service to alleviate the issue.

A motion was made to amend the city’s tobacco ordinance to add vaping language and change the age of purchase. The motion carried.

Fire Chief Bruce Peterson presented a list of newly elected fire department officers: Assistant Chief, Les DeVries; Assistant Chief, Terry DeVries; and Training Officer, Tom Fellegy. A motion was made and carried to accept the listed officers.

Dave Blommel from the engineering firm of SEH informed the council that amended plans will be sent off to the USDA soon which will require three permits from the county. Also a permit will be required from MnDOT, and a DNR permit for crossing the Rum River will also be required. A motion was made and carried to have Mayor Agnew sign off on the right-of-way certificate.

Gene Falconer reported the loader push blades are in need of repair and that the plasma cutter is here. They also need to communicate better with property owners on clearing snow from their sidewalks.

More rags were found in the sewer lines, three times in the last month. And reported was four inches of sludge in the primary pond and one inch of sludge in the secondary pond. Council decided that customers with “bad” water should keep their water running similar to winter run until the start of the flushing season. Adjustments will be issued. Motion was made and carried to accept the January 2020 water/sewer adjustments report as presented.

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