City reorganizes; appoints The Tower News as official newspaper

MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2018 — Members of the Tower City Council met tonight to reorganize and appoint its official depositories, newspaper, consultants, and members of its standing committees and boards. Residents will see little change to the previous year’s organization, but will now need to turn to the pages of The Tower News to read official announcements and publications of the city. The city sought bids on two rates, one rate for legal publishing and one rate for display notices. While the Timberjay, the city’s former official newspaper, bid only 39 cents per column inch for legal publishing, it bid $2.75 for display advertising. The Tower News bid 65 cents for legal publishing, but only bid $2.50 for display advertising. Determining that the city purchased significantly more display advertising, than legal publishing, the city council decided that it would experience some cost savings by accepting The Tower News’ bid and unanimously voted to make it the city’s Official Newspaper. The Tower News remains the oldest business in Tower and across much of the Vermilion Iron Range. It is the oldest newspaper continually published in the Minnesota Arrowhead.

Another significant change the city council initiated is to the makeup of its economic development authority. Over the past year Marshall Helmberger served as the Tower Economic Development Authority (TEDA) president, however, over his year of service the city lost confidence in him and became concerned with his demeanor and questioned his ability to continue to work with the city. Mayor Josh Carlson recommended that the city council remove Helmberger from the authority and instead nominated Steve Peterson, Jr. to take a seat on TEDA. The vote to make the change received unanimous support. Peterson currently serves Vermilion Lake Township on its board of supervisors and is a candidate for town clerk in the upcoming March election. He also serves Tower as an Emergency Medical Responder. TEDA will establish a new slate of officers and set a regular meeting date, time and place when it reorganizes at its next meeting. The reorganization meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, February 1, in the City Council Chambers.

The city council set the second and fourth Mondays, of each month, at 5;30 p.m., as the official date and time for regular city meetings. The council will meet in the City Council Chambers at Tower’s City hall.

Kevin Fitton will serve as the city’s Acting Mayor, in the Mayor’s absence.

The city council approved the monthly rate-of-pay for the mayor, $300; and City Councilors, $200, the same rate as was set for 2017.

The Ambulance Service’s monthly rate-of-pay was set at: Steve Alteburg, Director, $1800; Josh Villebrun, Assistant Director, $300, Dena Suihkonen, Assistant Director, $400; Kim Mattila, Assistant, $300; and Nick Levens, Training Officer, $550.

The Fire Department monthly rate-of-pay was set at Steve Altenburg, Fire chief, $500; Lance Dougherty Assistant Fire Chie, $275; Mike Raj, Captain, Safety Officer, $250; Stephanie Carlson, Secretary, $50; and Josh Carlson, Training Officer, $200.

The rate-of-pay for Jesse Anderson, Emergency Management Director was set at $200

Meal reimbursements and EMT Work Loss pay will remain the same as was set in 2017. The council approved: $25.00, dinner; $20.00, lunch; $15.00, breakfast; and $20.00 per hour for EMT work loss. The Internal Revenue Service has increased the deductible cost of mileage for 2018, and the city matched it and will pay 54.5 cents per mile.

The city council set Wednesday, February 28, at 5:30 p.m., City Council Chambers as the date, time and place for the 2018 City Charter Commission meeting. Subsequent meetings will be called as needed.

The council set the 4th Thursday of February, May, August and November, at 5:30 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, as the official dates, time and place for 2018 Gundersen Trust meetings.

The Forestry Board’s first meeting of 2018 was set for March 22, 5:30 p.m. City Council Chambers.

The Tower airport Commission will meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month, at 10:30 a.m. in the city council Chambers.

2018 Boards & Committees


Planning & Zoning

Victoria Meloche, business owner

Kevin Fitton, City Council representative

Steve Altenberg, resident

Morgan Carlon, resident

Steve Abrahamson, resident

Zoning Administrator

Linda Keith

Board of Adjustment

Sheldon Majerle, resident

Mike Larson, resident

Lance Dougherty, City Council representative



City Clerk

Deputy Clerk

Maintenance Working Forman

Maintenance Worker

Full City Council

City Attorney

Andy Peterson, Cope & Peterson

City Engineer

Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH) Inc.

City Depositories

Frandsen Bank & Trust

Embarrass-Vermillion Federal Credit Union

Designated Investment Consultant

Nick Skaric, Dougherty & Company LLC

Check Signatories

Mayor Josh Carlson

Acting Mayor Kevin Fitton

City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith

Tower Economic Development Authority

Stephen Peterson, (2018)

Brad Matich, (2018)

Marit Kringstad, (2019)

Joan Broten, (2019)

Brooke Anderson, (2020)

Victoria Meloche, (2020)

Steve Peterson, Jr. (2021)

Terri Joki-Martin, Deputy City Clerk

Harbor Committee

Josh Carlson

Steve Altenburg

Linda Keith

Commercial Rehab Committee

Brad Matich

Josh Carlson

Linda Keith

Amber Zak

Sunday Young

2018 Charter Commission

Julie Johnson

Randy Johnson

Jodi Reichensperger

Steve Altenburg

Dena Suihkonen

Stephanie Carlson

Sheldon Majerle

Gundersen Trust

Lance Dougherty, ( 2018)

Josh Carlson, (2018)

Sheldon Majerle, (2019)

Brooke Anderson, (2019)

Jesse Gornick, (2019)

Mike Larsen, (2020)

Lida Keith, city clerk

Forestry Board

Doug Carter, Sr.

Brooke Anderson

Brian Clennon

Sheldon Majerle

Mike Larsen

Police Commission

Linda Keith, City Clerk-Treasurer

Lance Dougherty, City Council representative

Steve Altenburg, resident

Ambulance Commission

Steve Altenburg, Director

Lance Dougherty, City Council representative

Brad Matich, alternate City Council representative

2018 Tower-Breitung Wastewater Board

Lance Dougherty, City Council representative

Brooke Anderson, City Council representative

Josh Carlson, alternate City Council representative

Public Utilities Commission

Stephanie Carlson

Kevin Fitton, City Council representative

Liquor Commission

Brad Matich

Dena Suihkonen

Dan Nyland, Acting Police Chief

Gambling Commission

Lance Dougherty

Jesse Gornick

Lodging Tax

Kevin Fitton

Josh Carlson

Lance Dougherty

Joint Powers Rec Board

Lind Keith

Brooke Anderson, alternate

Hoodoo Point Committee

Brooke Anderson

Kevjn Fitton

Linda Keith

Airport Commission

Sheldon Majerle

Doug, Carter, Jr.

Rick Worringer

John Burgess

Linda Keith