REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, April 24, 2017, 7:00 P.M.
PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., Councilors Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen and Brooks. Also present were City Manager Chad Adams, City Engineer Steven Jahnke and City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte.
PROCLAMATION DECLARING APRIL 28TH AS ARBOR DAY IN THE CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Mayor Rasmussen read a proclamation celebrating Arbor Day.
Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, expressed concern about the cost of living increase in salaries for city staff, noting that social security recipients did not receive a similar increase. He then asked what happens to the debris collected by the electric fish barrier. Jahnke clarified that unnatural waste is removed and that natural debris continues flowing downstream.
CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes of The April 10, 2017 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Corrected Minutes Of March 27, 2017 Regular Council Meeting
C. Approve Minutes Of The April 6, 2017 Work Session
D. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
E. Resolution 17-83 Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
Mayor Rasmussen highlighted the gifts from the Knudson family to the Fire Department and a donation from Wanda Thomas.
MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda as presented.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-83 included with these minutes)
PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS
A. SHELL ROCK RIVER WATERSHED DISTRICT UPDATE
Brett Behnke of the Shell Rock River Watershed District (hereinafter referred to as “the Watershed” spoke. He noted that a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the beginning of construction of the confined disposal facility (CDF). He spoke about the status of the project to dredge Fountain Lake, emphasizing that many items must be addressed for the process to move forward. He reported that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reviewing items submitted by the Watershed for the project. He also updated the Council about the status of the local option sales tax. He reported that City Manager Adams attended a hearing of the Minnesota Legislature about a water credit trading program. He concluded by stating that the terms of two managers is nearing, work on Pickerel Lake dam was recently completed and an audit is currently being performed.
Brooks asked when dredging could begin. Behnke responded that the soonest the project could begin, assuming all processes are completed, would be August 1, 2017.
Baker requested Behnke elaborate about where dredging would begin. Behnke said that the Watershed would begin in Edgewater Bay and to complete Dane Bay. Behnke, responding to Baker, continued speaking about the dredging project, saying that the Watershed intends to deepen the tributaries and conduct maintenance dredging in the same locations. Baker and Behnke discussed the possibility of installing a berm to alleviate flooding in one area around the lake and the effect that it may have. Behnke commented that he could explore pursuing that option with the city.
Howland clarified the processes for the cells in the CDF with Behnke. Howland and Behnke spoke about the location of the dredge pipe and the potential impact it may have on boat traffic.
Baker and Behnke discussed how the sales tax funding could impact when dredging begins. Behnke explained more about how the dredge would operate and the effect it could have on fish.
Behnke, responding to Kamrath, then informed the Council about how fish barriers work. Behnke closed by thanking those who attended hearings on behalf of the Watershed.
2017 1ST QUARTER BUDGET REPORT – FINANCE DIRECTOR KRISTI BRUTLAG
Adams delivered a PowerPoint presentation with slides showing revenue and expenditures, expenditures by department, cash and investments, fire investments and police investments.
He commented that revenue from property taxes and local government has not been received. He also noted that the expenditure is higher for the City Council because annual dues to organizations are paid using that fund.
SMART METERS RESPONSE – CITY MANAGER CHAD ADAMS
Adams provided an overview what the City’s role is as it relates to the installation of smart meters by Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services. He said that smart meters are permitted to be installed by local utilities and that the city and utility franchise agreements to do not regulate meter installation and that staff has not found sufficient credible research from scientific community illustrating health concerns. He noted that Freeborn-Mower is considering an opt-out provision for customers.
PUBLIC RESTROOMS DOWNTOWN – CITY MANAGER CHAD ADAMS
Adams informed the Council of background information about the installation of restrooms downtown. He explained how the splash pad would operate. He noted that the Park Board has assigned a sub-committee review options in the general vicinity of the North Broadway project. The group is examining the scope of the project, the potential for vandalism and how the project fits with the capital improvement plan.
Baker requested Susie Petersen attend a council meeting to address safety concerns about the splash pad. Howland said he attended the Park Board meeting and he felt there was consensus that a public restroom is needed.
ORDINANCE 205,6D AMENDING CHAPTER 74, ARTICLE I, SEC. 74-13 – YARD SPACE AND SEC. 74-18 ACCESSORY BUILDINGS, FENCES AND SITE APPURTENANCES; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 74, ARTICLE III, SEC. 74-218 – RULES OF INTERPRETATION OF BOUNDARIES AND SEC. 74-219 (3)E – TABULATION OF DISTRICT REQUIREMENTS AND AMENDING CHAPTER 74, ARTICLE IV, SEC. 74-1000 – DEFINITIONS; AND SEC. 74-1007 – MEASUREMENT STANDARDS; AND SEC. 74-1009 – SIGN STANDARDS BY ZONING DISTRICTS TO AMEND REQUIREMENTS FOR AWNING, CANOPY AND PROJECTING SIGNS IN THE B-3 AND DCD DISTRICTS AND ADDING STANDARDS FOR PERMITTED SIGNAGE IN THE PD/PLANNED DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT (1ST READING)
Adams stated that the League of Minnesota Cities suggests that regularly updating land use and zoning laws can minimize controversy and help cities make legally defensible land use decisions. Adams noted that the some of the included items have not been updated since 1980. The City Planner and other city staff continuously keep track of concerns or issues with interpretation of the Land Use sections of the code and periodically bring them to the Planning Commission, Board of Appeals or other appropriate boards and commissions for feedback or clarification when needed. Several sections of the Zoning & Land Use Code, Chapter 74 have been under discussion recently and are being brought to the City Council for amendment. This is the first reading of an ordinance that would amend several sections of Chapter 74. A second reading at a following meeting is required before the City Council can finalize these changes with adoption of the ordinance presented here. Staff recommends approval.
Baker asked Adams a question about the permitted height of accessory buildings. Adams said he did not believe that issue was in this set of revisions. He said he would update the Council in the future and that the matter of accessory heights could be addressed in the future. Adams, answering Baker, said an issue regarding yard space is addressed in this set of changes. Adams added, replying to Brooks, that the Council could examine the changes in code by viewing the documents in “track changes” format. Adams also noted that some of the changes were in response to matters brought forward to the city staff. He the definition of “boundary line” as an example and said he could bring forward more information at another council meeting. Mayor Rasmussen reminded the Council that this is the first reading of this ordinance and additional discussion can occur in the future.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 205,6d included with these minutes)
ORDINANCE 206, 6D AMENDING CHAPTER 6, ARTICLE II, DIVISION 2, SEC. 6-77(9) (B) – RESTRICTIONS AND REGULATIONS (1ST READING)
Adams stated that staff seeks an amendment to Albert Lea City Code Sec. 6-77(9) (b). The ordinance indicates that an applicant with sales of 3.2 beer of less than $10,000 per year shall be exempt from certain insurance coverage amounts. The State law has changed to $25,000 pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 340A.409, subd. 4(1), which indicates that liability insurance is not required when a licensee, by affidavit, establishes that they are on-sale 3.2% malt liquor licensees with sales of less than $25,000 of 3.2% malt liquor for the preceding year. Staff recommends approvals.
Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Olson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 206,6d
included with these minutes)
RESOLUTION 17-84 ACCEPTING BID FOR 2017 NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (JOB 1701)
Adams explained the Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, April 11, 2017 for the 2017 Neighborhood Improvement project. This project will involve the bituminous overlay, bituminous reclamation, reconstruction, miscellaneous and total curb replacement and miscellaneous sidewalk replacement of various streets located in the central part of the City. The project will also include removal and replacement of the bituminous surface, aggregate base and curb and gutter on the service road north of East Main Street from Morningside Road to Prospect Avenue. The access road to the Transfer Station and Demolition Landfill is in poor condition and warrants reconstruction. The access road will be reconstructed using a bituminous reclamation process and will be paid for using the Solid Waste Fund as part of this project.
One bid was received. Engineering recommends the low bid of $1,052,756.17 as submitted by Ulland Brothers, Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The bid abstract is attached. The Engineer’s estimate was $1,230,616.50.
Motion made by Councilor Howland, seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-84 included with these minutes)
MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
- Ward Items – None
- Committee Update – Relayed calls to the City Manager regarding the location of the splash pad because of safety concerns and expressing disfavor with paying for a public restroom. He noted he received calls about smart meters as well.
Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
- Ward Items – None
- Committee Update – Relayed that there was a public hearing held at the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) about signage at Between Friends and Snap Fitness the signs were approved with the changes made at the meeting. The HPC also approved the size of the awnings at Intellicents. He attended a meeting of the League of Freeborn Cities, in which rental housing matters were discussed.
Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
- Ward Items – None
- Committee – Received calls about garbage cans left near the curb year-round. He suggested proceeding with an ordinance to limit this behavior.
Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
- Ward Items – None
- Committee Update – The City Engineer is working on a sidewalk issue brought to his attention.
Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
- Ward Items – None
- Committee Update – Attended a meeting of the Airport Advisory Board. He said bids will be released on May 16th for the arrival and departure building. He said there will be a glider competition at the airport between May 14 and 22. He added the board discussed hangar policy as well.
Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
- Ward Items – He asked Jahnke about assessments on South Broadway, saying that residents informed him they would not have to pay. Jahnke replied that he was not aware of this. Brooks then questioned Jahnke as to capping footage on assessments. Jahnke answered that the price per foot is less because the project is being led by the County, but the cap remains at 300’. Jahnke said panels in the sidewalk will need to be replaced as part of the project and spoke about the funding mechanism for the project.
- Brooks asked Adams when portable restrooms would be installed throughout city parks. Adams said he would check and inform Brooks.
- Committee Update – None
Mayor Rasmussen: Announced dates and times for special events, the Packinghouse Daughter and the Demolition Derby events. He noted he attended the League of Freeborn Cities meeting with Baker, a meeting with Mesa Latina and a meeting about the Freeborn Bank Building
CITY MANAGER REPORT
City Manager Adams reported that the City is working with a group to explore development of the Freeborn Bank Building. He informed Council that the local option sales tax advanced in the Minnesota legislature
APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
Adams displayed claims from the previous Council meeting in addition to the current claims. He explained each claim over $25,000.
RESOLUTION 17-85 APPROVING CLAIMS
Adams explained that the attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report.
Baker clarified that the payment for Park Avenue is not the last payment for the work.
Motion made by Councilor Brooks, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #63672 though #63806 in the amount of $538,932.99, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-85 Included with these minutes)
ADJOURNMENT– 8:13 PM
Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker, that there being no further business, the Council meeting adjourn until the next regular meeting of the Albert Lea City Council at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, May 8, 2017. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.
Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr.