October 25, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
October 25, 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 Public Safety Director JD Carlson and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

ATTENDING VIA ZOOM: City Manager Ian Rigg, Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, City Planner Megan Boeck, Finance Director Kristi Brutlag, City Attorney Kelly Martinez

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – None

PUBLIC FORUM

Nicki Lundberg, a resident of Albert Lea spoke of her disagreement with the mask mandate and how it affected Lisa Hanson’s business (The Interchange). She also commented on the fact that Lisa is required to continue paying rent until the expiration of her lease at the end of this year.

Debbie Proulx asked about the Resolution Authorizing TIF District 5-29. She said she is simply curious as to what it is about. Mayor Rasmussen deferred to Rigg who explained the process involved in establishing Tax Incremental Funding Districts.

Mayor Rasmussen read through the Council Agenda. He noted the addition of Item K under the Consent and Approval Agenda Approving a Lawful Gambling Permit for Albert Lea Hockey Association at Trumbles 2.OH!

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes Of The October 11, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The October 11, 2021 Work Session
C. License & Permits
D. Resolution Designating Additional Depository Of City Funds
E. Resolution Authorizing Broadway Ridge Renewal Grant Agreement
F. Resolution Authorizing Bond Funds For Food Truck Plaza Project At 804 E. Main Street
G. Resolution Calling A Public Hearing On Proposed Assessments For Delinquent Water/Sewer Accounts And Miscellaneous Accounts Receivable
H. Resolution Waiving Assessments On Property
I. Resolution Authorizing an Interfund Loan for Advance of Certain Costs In Connection With Tax Increment Financing District No. 5-29
J. Resolution Accepting Donation of Memorial Bench
K. Resolution Approving A Lawful Gambling Permit for Albert Lea Hockey Association at Trumbles 2.OH!

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the Consent and Approval Agenda with the addition of Item K and also to move Item F under New Business for further clarification and discussion, motion 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 21-171 through 21-177
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Resolution 21-178 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 – 2358 W. 9th Street.

Rigg explained this item as well as the following two items (B and C) are Public Hearings held to receive input on the granting of a housing tax abatement. This one is for property located at 2358 W. 9th Street 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 Howland, seconded by Councilor Baker. 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 21-178 Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-179 8And 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 – 2366 W. 9th Street

A Public Hearing is being held to receive input on the granting of a housing tax abatement for property located at 2366 W. 9th Street 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 Howland, seconded by Councilor Baker. 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 21-179 Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 21-180 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 – 1750 Tiger Ridge Drive

A Public Hearing is being held to receive input on the granting of a housing tax abatement for property located at 1750 Tiger Ridge Drive 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, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-180 Included with these minutes)

D. Ordinance 21-067 Amending Chapter 26 Housing Articles I, II, III and IV (1st Reading)

Rigg explained updates to Chapter 26 of the Housing Code, Albert Lea City Ordinance consists of grammatical changes to include the proper pronouns, cleaning up redundant language, adding Air B&B’s, Vacation Rentals and such to the code for compliance. Removing the Crime Free Rental Housing portion of the ordinance is because the courts do not support, and include all applicable codes to assist with inspection and compliance for clean safe housing. Lastly, it corrects the responsibility between the owner and the occupant when dealing with bugs or nuisance insects.

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, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 21-067 Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 21-181 Approving Contract for Private Development with Ulland Brothers, Inc.

Rigg said on September 27, 2021 the City established a TIF District to support the redevelopment of the former Freeborn Mower site into Ulland Brothers corporate headquarters. The attached agreement provides up to $760,000 in tax increment financing for eligible costs such as demolition of the existing building, soil corrections and construction of storm water facilities. The agreement also includes the creation of at least five new jobs on the redevelopment property within two years of the date of issuance of a certificate of completion. The new jobs shall pay wages of at least $24.00 per hour.

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 21-181 Included with these minutes)

F. Resolution 21-182 Authorizing Bond Funds For Food Truck Plaza Project At 804 E. Main Street

In approving the Consent and Agenda earlier, a motion was made by Councilor Baker to move this item from the Consent Agenda to New Business to allow for discussion and clarification.

Rigg suggested council make a motion to strike the paragraph within the resolution stating the “City has estimated the cost of the food truck plaza at $50,000 and will be included in the 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Program.” Rigg explained this would still approve the cost of the schematic design services and council would have the option to use bonding for reimbursement in the future should they choose to move forward with the project.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to strike the paragraph in the resolution stating the “City has estimated the cost of the food truck plaza at $50,000 and will be included in the 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Program.” Seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, and Mayor Rasmussen. And the following voted against: Councilors Murray and Brooks. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-182 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:

  • Ward Items – Responded to some calls from local residents
  • Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting last week where they discussed the Health Insurance renewal as well as COVID policy. HRA Director Jeanie Leick reviewed a revenue recapture program she is working on. Murray mentioned the positive article in a recent Minneapolis Tribune review that spoke of all the great events, the Albert Lea downtown area, shopping, and activities offered in Albert Lea throughout the year. Murray reminded the community to be safe and watch for trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Reminded the community to get out and vote next Tuesday on the School Referendum.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – Asked Jahnke to follow up on some issues reported to him on Sunset Boulevard since the reconstruction project last year. Jahnke agreed he will follow up.
  • Committee – Attended the HRA meeting. Attended the joint City/County meeting exploring cost-sharing possibilities between the two.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:

  • Ward Item – None
  • Committee – Reported that although he was unable to attend the recent Park & Rec meeting, he spoke of a group that displayed a presentation ”All Together” organizing to bring in an All-Inclusive playground. They are exploring grant money opportunities. He also attended a budget meeting with Councilors Baker and Murray and Finance Director Brutlag.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Attended HRA meeting

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:

  • Ward Items
  • Committee Update – Attended the Airport Board Meeting where they discussed the Master Plan and the FAA is requiring a safer approach to the airport therefore a couple of Frisbee golf holes might need to be moved as well as the fence.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT

  • This Thursday evening, Oct 28th is the Downtown Spooktacular. Kids are invited to ‘Trick or Treat’ at participating downtown merchants from 4 to 7PM. The Albert Lea Main Street Program, located at 132 N. Broadway will also be taking free photos at their office for the trick or treaters!
  • On Saturday, Oct 30th, local churches are sponsoring the annual ‘Trunk or Treat’ event at Central Park, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.
  • Attended the joint City/County meeting.
  • Announced the Van National issued a Trophy to Albert Lea for hosting the 48th Annual Van National Event earlier in this summer. The Van National representatives commented that Albert Lea citizens provided excellent hospitality. They are also making a donation to a local charity.
  • Attended Vortex’ “Steel Completion Party”. This project is bringing in nearly 30 jobs to Albert Lea.
  • Spoke at the Noon Lion’s Club recently.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

  • Staff continues to review the budget in preparation for upcoming meetings and finalizing the CIP.
  • Drafting RFPs to dispose of some City property well at the same time opening up opportunity for developments
  • The Fee schedule is being reviewed and will include proposed fee increases for the Wine and 3.2% Off-Sale.
  • Mentioned upcoming items on the next council agenda
  • Staff continues to work on an Airport report that has delayed a project
  • Sewer line repairs will take place on Bridge Avenue and Marshall
  • Staff and other individuals participated in interviews for the Community Engagement Enrichment Position
  • Attended the Vortex Steel Party. He reported this is a very coming along and is a positive project.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
A. Resolution 21- 183 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 Brooks. 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 21-183 Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 7:35 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, November 8, 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.

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Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council