September 27, 2023, Working Session Meeting Minutes

Working Session Meeting of the Mazeppa City Council

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Mazeppa City Council Working Session was called to order at 6:00 PM by Mayor Chris Hagfors.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Present: Mayor Chris Hagfors. Council Persons Steve Liffrig, Erica Young, Michael Hammes, and Dustin Wiebusch.

Others Present: Wabasha County Sheriff Rodney Bartsch, Deputy Sherriff Jason Bade, and

Administrator Clerk Karl Nahrgang.

Motion by Wiebusch, second by Young to approve the agenda. All in favor, none opposed. Carried.

The purpose of this working session is to review the new proposed policing contract between the City of Mazeppa and Wabasha County Sheriff’s Department.


The current contract is an open-ended contract agreed to in 2012. It called for a 2.5% rate increase annually. The contract specified that Wabasha County Sheriff’s department would dedicate 20 hours per week patrol time to the City of Mazeppa to promote public safety with police presence in town and requested City ordinance enforcement. The specified rate increases did not keep up with increased costs of policing and the original cost analysis used in the contract may not have reflected the full costs of policing for the specified hours.


The City of Mazeppa will pay $54,744 for policing in 2023. The proposed amount for policing in 2024 will be $77,106.59. Sheriff Bartsch provided analysis of current Patrol Officer salaries and equipment costs supporting the increase. The proposed contract would be for 5 years with increases of 5% per year.

Sheriff Bartsch had shared information with Administrator Clerk Nahrgang that the State of Minnesota had allocated a one-time grant in 2023 dedicated to offset public safety costs. Mr. Nahrgang confirmed that the City will receive $38,947 in a one-time automatic public safety grant from the State of Minnesota and that amount would cover most of the increase for the first 2 years of the contract.


Could the contract be put in place for a shorter time to be revisited at the end of 2 years, or 3 years instead of 5? Sheriff Bartsch said that the contract could be altered upon 60-day notice by either party, but it would be possible to use a shorter time frame and the Council could reconsider contract details at a future renewal.

What if the contract was not to be renewed? The Sheriff’s department would answer calls from within the City but would not spend as much time patrolling and being available within the community and would provide no City ordinance enforcement to the City.

Why is the full cost of patrol hours charged to the City when a portion of taxes collected by the County goes to policing? Sheriff Bartsch pointed out that communities that have their own police force also pay taxes to the County that go towards policing.

The Council will consider this information and decide at the October 11, 2023 Council meeting to sign or amend the contract.

The Administrator Clerk suggested that letters be sent to our representative in State government to see if they would consider legislating the public safety grants into or in addition to annual Local Government Aid from the State of Minnesota.

Motion by Young, second by Wiebusch to adjourn the Council working session. All in favor, none opposed. Carried.

Meeting adjourned at 6:34 PM.

Next meeting, October 11, 2023 at 6:00 PM.