November 22, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
November 22, 2021 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 Ian Rigg, Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

ATTENDING VIA ZOOM: Finance Director Kristi Brutlag, Human Resource Director Mike Zelenak, and Building/Zoning Official Wayne Sorensen.

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – Mayor Rasmussen Read aloud the proclamation declaring Saturday, November 27, 2021 SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY.

PUBLIC FORUM – None

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The November 8, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The November 8, 2021 Work Session
C. Resolution Amending Professional Services Agreement With SRF Consulting Group for the East Main Street Resurfacing & Trail Project – TH-65 to CSAH 38 (Job 1805)
D. Resolution Approving Temporary Agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation – East Main Street (Job 1806)

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the Consent and Approval Agenda as read, 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 21-194 through 21-195
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution 21-196 and Public Hearing Levying Special Assessments for Miscellaneous Delinquent Water/Sewer Accounts and Miscellaneous Delinquent Accounts Receivable.

Rigg explained a public hearing is being held to receive input on adopting the final assessments for delinquent water/sewer accounts and miscellaneous delinquent accounts receivable per the Code of Ordinances. These assessments are payable with terms of one year at 3.01% interest.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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 21-196
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-197 and Public Hearing Authorizing A Housing Tax Abatement On Property Within The City Of Albert Lea For The Purpose Of Funding Development Costs For Construction Of A New Single-Family Home – 1718 Keystone Drive.

Rigg stated a public hearing is being held to receive input on granting a housing tax abatement for property located at Parcel #34-448-0040 in the City of Albert Lea, for the construction of a new single family home. The abatement will assist in property improvement and increase tax base for the community. The School District and Freeborn County have also agreed to retain the tax abatement for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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 Resolution 21-197
Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 21-198 and Public Hearing Authorizing A Housing Tax Abatement On Property Within The City Of Albert Lea For The Purpose Of Funding Development Costs For Construction Of A New Single-Family Home – 1814 Tiger Ridge Drive.

Once again a public hearing is being held to receive input on granting a housing tax abatement for property located at Parcel #34.417.0250 in the City of Albert Lea, for the construction of a new single family home. The abatement will assist in property improvement and increase tax base for the community. The School District and Freeborn County have also agreed to retain the tax abatement for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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 Resolution 21-198
Included with these minutes)

D. Resolution 21-199 and Public Hearing Authorizing A Housing Tax Abatement On Property Within the City of Albert Lea For The Purpose of Funding Development Costs For Construction Of a New Single-Family Home – 1710 Keystone Drive.

Again a public hearing is being held to receive input on granting a housing tax abatement for property located at Parcel #34-448-0020 in the City of Albert Lea, for the construction of a new single family home. The abatement will assist in property improvement and increase tax base for the community. The School District and Freeborn County have also agreed to retain the tax abatement for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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 21-199
Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 21-200 and Public Hearing Authorizing A Housing Tax Abatement On Property Within the City of Albert Lea For The Purpose of Funding Development Costs
for Construction of a New Single-Family Home – 1623 Massee Street.

A public hearing is being held to receive input on granting a housing tax abatement for property located at Parcel #34-103-0511 in the City of Albert Lea, for the construction of a new single family home. The abatement will assist in property improvement and increase tax base for the community. The School District and Freeborn County have also agreed to retain the tax abatement for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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 21-200 included with these minutes)

F. Resolution 21-201 Authorizing Order For Removal Of Hazardous Structures And Abatement Of Nuisance Located at 720 Minnesota Street, Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Rigg said the attached resolution would authorize the removal and abatement of hazardous structures located at 720 Minnesota Street. City Building Official Wayne Sorensen provided a brief presentation at the work session before this council meeting.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, 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 Resolution 21-201
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Responded to a couple of phone calls from residents
• Committee Update – Attended the budget and HRA meeting last week.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee – Attended the HRA and budget meeting last week. Reported the HRA moved up from a “troubled performer” and has now been moved up to a “standard performer.”

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Item – Attended the final of the three budget meetings. Thanked staff for the work put into getting the operating levy down to a reasonable number.
• Committee – Encouraged the public to attend the upcoming play “A Christmas Story” at the Marion Ross theatre.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting. Spoke of the REACT evaluation done at the HRA and reported the improved score to “standard performer” after being in a “troubled” status for many years. He commended Director Jeanne Leick for her excellent work and dedication to the HRA.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Airport Board meeting where they discussed the Capital Improvement projects and master plan for the airport. Attended the Library Board meeting. Spoke of the outdoor lockers that are available at other libraries and the positive impact it has. Discussion of possibly opening the Library on Fridays’ beginning in January has opened up provided staffing issues can be resolved.

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

MAYOR’S REPORT
• Spoke with a group from Indiana that stayed in Albert Lea recently to explore the Blue Zones concept with the idea of implementing it in their community.
• Met with the House of Representatives bonding committee as well as the Senate committee to discuss the WWTP updates and financial impact.
• Attended a Comprehensive Plan meeting where approximately 25 people attended
• Attended the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities meeting in Minneapolis.
• Addressed the comment the person made at the public forum at the last council meeting related to the City’s water quality. Mayor Rasmussen stated the organization this person quoted, has no scientific proof of the information shared. Mayor Rasmussen provided reassurance that the water quality is well within the limits. This has been confirmed with State of Minnesota.

CITY MANAGER REPORT
• Attended a Comprehensive Plan meeting. Reports housing and inclusiveness was discussed.
• Met with the Blue Zones committee. Thanked Steve Jahnke for leading the tour
• Met with the House of Representatives bonding committee as well as the Senate committee
• Tax Abatement policy changes will be presented at a future council meeting
• Worked on the budget and spoke of the success in bringing down the levy
• Attended the Rotary and Lions service clubs
• Thanked the Public Works Department for putting up the holiday lights downtown

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
A. Resolution 21-202 Approving Contract with Councilmember Al D. Brooks dba Brooks Safety

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Treasurer to make payment in the amount of $270.75 on behalf of the City for a claim from Brooks Safety Equipment, and issue payment for filing the affidavit of official interest by the interested official, Councilor Brooks.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Howland. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-202
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-203 Approving Claims
(1). Presentation of Claims Over $25,000

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Treasurer to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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 21-203
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 7:27 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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, December 13, 2021. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion.

Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.

___/s/_________________________
Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr.
__/s/__________________________
Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council