February 10, 2020

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA Monday, February 10, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr., Councilors Rich Murray, Larry Baker, Jason Howland, Reid Olson, Robert Rasmussen, and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager David Todd, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, Public Works Director Steve Jahnke, and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

A. Proclamation Supporting Albert Lea Public Library ‘Food For Fines’ Campaign.
Mayor Rasmussen proclaimed the month of March as Albert Lea Public Library’s Food for Fines month in support of Minnesota Food Share and the community’s food shelves. The Proclamation was presented to Library Director Peggy Heavener.

Lucas Schuster conveyed there are garbage cans that sit along the curbside at an apartment building in his neighborhood that prohibit proper snow removal. He requests that the owners of garbage cans be instructed to store them behind or beside buildings where they were historically kept. Schuster said he has spoken to his councilman and staff regarding this issue and has had no resolution.

Todd explained that Public Director JD Carlson is planning on speaking with the people living in that complex regarding the misplacement of the garbage retainers.

Joe Attig commented he is not pleased that snow was plowed into his yard by City staff.

Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda:

A. Approve Minutes Of The January 27, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The January 27, 2020 Work Session
C. Approve Minutes Of The February 1, 2020 City Council Annual Meeting
D. Licenses & Permits (None requested)
E. Resolution Accepting Bids And Awarding Contract For North Water Tower Inspection And Painting (Job 1916)
F. Resolution Approving Replacement of Street Department Motor Grader (Unit 785) G. Resolution Approving Replacement of Street Department Pickup Truck (Unit 133)
H. Approve Albert Lea Public Library Policy Regarding Adoption Of 1st Amendment Audit

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda, 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 20-032 through 20-034 Included with these minutes)

A. Presentation Of Flood Mitigation Alternatives For US 65 (East Main Street) – Barr Engineering – Barr Engineering has completed a study of the short term and long term flooding that occurs on US 65 (East Main Street). Barr Engineering presented the results of the study and outlined flood mitigation alternatives for this 1,200 foot section of roadway. MNDOT was also present to answer questions.

Greg Fransen and Art Kalmes from Barr Engineering, as well as Tom Austin, Chris Langley, and Greg Paulson from MNDot were present. Greg Fransen displayed a PowerPoint Presentation outlining the results from the US Hwy 65/Main Street Flood Mitigation Analysis.
He depicted the differences between the regional and the local flooding events. In summary he provided pros and cons of the options from raising the road versus installing a pump station.

Council asked questions and discussion took place regarding several aspects of this project.

Mayor Rasmussen commended Barr Engineering for the thorough presentation.

MNDot representatives thanked Council and staff for allowing them to work on this project and commended Steve Jahnke for his diligent work.

Howland inquired as to who will make the ultimate decision on which option is best. MNDot suggested it would be a joint decision between them and the City. Howland asked if MNDot has a preference. MnDot representatives replied either option would be satisfactory.


A. Resolution 20-035 And Public Hearing Ordering Improvement And Preparation Of Plans For The 2020 Neighborhood Improvement Overlay And James Avenue Reconstruction Project (Job 2050) – A public hearing is being held for public input on the 2020 Neighborhood Improvement Overlay & James Avenue Reconstruction Project (Job 2050). The proposed project involves the bituminous overlay of streets in various parts of the City and complete reconstruction of the one roadway. The streets are as follows:

Mill and Overlay
Sunset Street – Lake Chapeau Drive to 127 ft. east of Meadow Lane
Campus Drive – Lake Chapeau Drive to the cul-de-sac
Campus Lane – Campus Drive to Trollwood Drive
Trollwood Drive – Sunset Street to Campus Lane
Meadow Lane – Sunset Street to Sunset Street
Seath Drive – Westwood Drive to C.R. 74
Westwood Drive – Ashley Court to Seath Drive
Hale Drive – Quisley Street to the cul-de-sac
Crystal Drive – Hale Drive to 134 ft. south of Silver Lane
Silver Lane – Crystal Drive to the cul-de-sac
Quisley Street – Crystal Drive to Bridge Avenue
Plaza Street – 292 ft. east of Bridge Avenue to Ekko Ave
Ekko Avenue – Sykes Street to Plaza Street
Frank Hall Drive – South Shore Drive to 7th Street
10th Street – Margaretha Avenue to Halverson Elementary School
Complete Reconstruction
James Avenue – 8th Street to 7th Street

The project will involve milling the existing bituminous street surfacing for a 6-foot width along each concrete gutter line so the new bituminous layer will match with the level of the concrete gutter. A 2-inch thick layer of bituminous will be laid over the entire width of the street. The project also would involve replacing sections of curb and gutter that have settled and are causing drainage issues. Sidewalk will be replaced where it is damaged or uneven, and causing a tripping hazard. Additionally, all of the sidewalk pedestrian ramps will be replaced to bring them into compliance with current ADA standards. Per the assessment policy, 25% of the costs to replace damaged or displaced sidewalk will be assessed to the abutting properties.

The City costs are for side yard credits, work in the intersections and for work along Cityowned property. The Sanitary Sewer Fund costs are for repairs to manholes that will be completed as part of this project and done prior to placement of the overlay. The average age of these streets is 30 years old. Only two of the streets have been overlaid in the past. The last overlay was placed in 1996. Typically Engineering has tried to extend the life of the roadways by performing an overlay between year 20 and 30, and every 15 to 20 years thereafter. The goal is to extend the life of the roadway to an approximately 75 year life. This is the estimated life of the underground utilities. The total centerline footage of the project is approximately 15,363 linear feet (2.91 miles).

Complete Reconstruction – James Avenue
This portion of the proposed project involves the complete reconstruction of James Avenue from 7th Street to 8th Street. This would include replacement of the bituminous surface, curb and gutter, watermain, sanitary sewer and storm sewer.

The underground utilities were installed between 1954 and 1958, while the bituminous surface and curb and gutter were constructed in 1963. The watermain has experienced a large number of breaks in recent years, with the Utilities Department needing to spend more and more time and resources repairing these breaks.
The age and condition of the storm sewer, bituminous surface and curb and gutter warrant reconstruction at this time as well. Engineering is in the process of evaluating the condition of the sanitary sewer to determine if full replacement is warranted, or if this can be sliplined using cured-in-place-pipe methods. For purposes of this report, the higher cost option of complete reconstruction is being presented. New sidewalk is being proposed along the east side of James Avenue.

There are 254 properties to be assessed as part of this project (241 properties in the overlay areas and 13 along James Avenue). The overlay area assessments depend on the width of the roadway and range between $22.21 per foot, to $23.85 per foot. The preliminary assessment rate for the work on James Avenue is $131.01 per foot. The preliminary assessment rate for sidewalk replacement for this project is $2.74 per square foot and for the new sidewalk along James Avenue, it is $2.12 per square foot. Following the Assessment Policy, the assessments will be over 10 or 15 years. The interest rate will be based on bonding in 2020. The estimated project cost is $1,619,415.63 and would be paid for with assessments, general obligation bonding money, sanitary sewer funds and water funds. The neighborhood meeting was held January 30, 2020 to discuss the project with the affected residents.
Mayor Rasmussen opened the public meeting.

Sterling Benning is the construction project manager for Albert Lea Law on S. Broadway. He presents with questions on their behalf. He asked if during the street reconstruction project, if parts of the driveway at that location can be raised. Jahnke replied he will look into this request.

Joe Attig owns a home on Frank Hall Drive. He reported water settles in front of the home after every rain. He is asking if the road could be raised after the road is repaired. Jahnke said he will look into it.
Mark Grosklaus commended Chris Lowe for getting back to him in good fashion. He said he thinks the assessments incurred on his property, as a result from the proposed road reconstruction, seems fair. He asked if Sunset Street is a “collector road.” Jahnke commented that this is something they will take into account. It is currently not functioning as a collector road, but that will be kept in mind so water does not create a problem in the future.
Mayor Rasmussen called a second time.

Hugh O’Byrne owns property on Seath Drive and on Campus Drive. He said he originally built and paid for the road and doesn’t want to pay for it again. He asked why Campus Drive is undergoing an overlay as he believes it is in satisfactory condition. Jahnke said the mill and overlay is required at this point to extend the life as long as possible. O’Byrne also had questions regarding charges he has incurred for cul de sac repairs. Mayor Rasmussen suggested Mr. O’Bryne stop in and speak with staff concerning the assessments.

Mayor Rasmussen called a third time. No one else spoke. He closed the public hearing.

Brooks asked if it is possible to get a quote on the cost on the east side without a sidewalk on James Avenue to 7th Street since there are only four homes on that side. Jahnke replied the sidewalk is recommend but if council chooses, the sidewalk can be removed from the project.

Howland mentioned a petition was presented today from residents in the Seath Drive neighborhood that are not in favor of the proposed reconstruction project. Although he understands these projects are usually done for maintenance, he asked what the criteria is for choosing the mill and overlay on any road. Jahnke explained each street is evaluated and repair is not based on just its age. He said there are spots along the curb on Seath Drive that are breaking, adding this is the best time to repair before it fails further and faster and becomes more costly.

Howland observed the importance of maintaining infrastructure. He also recognizes that residents have questions and concerns, but trusts the Engineering Department has a good plan in place.
Mayor Rasmussen commented the importance of maintaining the roads to avoid complete reconstruction and maintain the infrastructure.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 20-035 Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution Approving Purchase of Mini-Rescue Apparatus For Albert Lea Fire Rescue – Albert Lea Fire Rescue is requesting approval to purchase a Mini-Rescue apparatus through the City’s Central Garage Fund. The Mini-Rescue Apparatus is the primary medical response vehicle used to carry technical rescue equipment, and is essential to the department. It was originally scheduled to be purchased in 2022, however, the motor in the apparatus is damaged and unrepairable. The apparatus would be purchased through the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) or the Minnesota State Bid Process. Both of these programs utilize a structured competitive bidding process. Said purchase will be made at the lowest cost possible and will not exceed $250,000.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 20-036 Included with these minutes)

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Neighborhood Improvement open house on Jan. 31st and attended the annual council retreat on Feb. 1st at the Albert Lea Airport. Also attended the ALEDA Board meeting where they discussed the various projects in progress. Attended the HRA Board meeting before tonight’s council meeting. Attended the Big Freeze activities and reported a good turnout.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA Board Meeting.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – Attended the Neighborhood Improvement meeting and took some calls regarding that project.
• Committee Update – Commented this year is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp of WWII. Albert Lea Community Theatre is opening Irena’s Vow, which is based on a true story of a young Polish housekeeper who secretly held 12 Jewish friends in the basement home of a Nazi Commander.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Mayor Rasmussen requested a motion to approve the appointment of Katie Yotter to the Library Board.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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.

Mayor Rasmussen all announced:
• Has two more openings on the Board of Appeals
• City Hall is closed Monday, February 17th in observance of President’s Day
• ALEDA will present the Strategic Economic Development plan on Feb. 27th
• Bridge Street Reconstruction Project open house is this Wednesday at the City Hall Council Chambers from 4:30 -7 p.m. This will entail two presentations, one at 5:00 pm. and another at 6:00 p.m.
• Clark Street Reconstruction Project open House will be held this Thursday at the City Hall Council Chambers at 6:30 p.m.

• Thanked council and staff for their attendance at the annual Council planning and goal setting session retreat held Feb. 1st.
• Attended a two day seminar at Brooklyn Park regarding Public Financing.
• Will attend 2020 Legislative Session tomorrow with ALEDA Director Phillip Johnson and Chamber of Commerce members
• Will attend Legislature Day in March



David Todd explained that the attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Treasurer to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report. In addition, Todd displayed a list of claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency and education.

Motion made by Councilor Howland to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #74245 through #74380 in the amount of $900,625.00. 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 20-037 Included with these minutes)


Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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, February 24, 2020. 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.

Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council