At its Aug. 24 meeting, the Osseo City Council approved ratifying the Osseo Fire Department Relief Association bylaws.

Fire Chief Mike Phenow said the relief association’s Board of Trustees met several times since February in work sessions with the council. He said the association was just seeking to make updates to the language of the bylaws at first, but it was soon realized an overall refresh of the bylaws was in order.

He said a committee of the association created a first draft of the bylaws based on the model bylaws published by the Minnesota Office of the State Auditor. The draft was reviewed and updated several times between the committee, the Board of Trustees, the association members, city staff, the city attorney and the council.

Phenow said during the process of reviewing the bylaws, including reviewing the pension funding levels, it was determined the association was eligible for an increase in the benefit level under the maximum benefit level calculation mentioned in the state statute.

“There is a special fund for the pension for the firefighters,” he said. “It’s funded by fire state aid from the State of Minnesota, that money comes from insurance premiums. A small percentage of homeowners insurance premiums goes into a fund at the state and then its distributed out to cities for pension funds for firefighters.”

He said that money is then invested through the association’s adviser. A final portion of the pensions comes from a contribution from the city. A city contribution would be calculated for 2022.

“We have the authority to adopt our own bylaws within the membership,” Phenow said of the association.

“We want to be on the same page as the city.”

OTHER

In other action, the council:

APPROVED proposed changes to the assessment policy and direct staff to present an ordinance at a future meeting. Amendments to the ordinance include changing the language for assessing costs for alley assessments (as it is not included in the city code) and allowing for partial prepayments of special assessments.

APPROVED the purchase of a jet/vac truck from MacQueen Equipment for $407,991, to replace the city’s current truck that needs repairs.

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