April 27, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, April 27, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

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

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, this council meeting was conducted via teleconference as provided by Minnesota Statute 13D.021 Sub(1).

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – None

PUBLIC FORUM – City Manager Todd spoke of two emails he received.
Pastor George Marin is requesting financial support of approximately $1300 for an inclusive community project. This project consists of displaying pictorial banners for the high school graduating class of 2020. These banners would be displayed on the decorative poles in the Broadway corridor from the Government Center to Fountain Street. A local company would be used to make the banners. Todd displayed a prototype of the banners. Todd spoke of his support for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen inquired if it would be reasonable for City staff to hang the banners and remove them rather than contribute the $1300. Todd explained due to the pandemic, this service would be costly as the service would require two trucks and only one staff member in each truck. It would take 3-5 days and could cost as much as $5000.

Howland stated he spoke with Mr. Marin earlier today and clarified for council that a deadline of May 8th has been set for the senior students to submit their photos and around May 20th the banners would be displayed. The seniors will be given the banner when they are taken down. Howland thanked the people involved in this project. He conveyed the importance of the community supporting inclusive projects such as this in difficult times.

Rasmussen echoed his support as well.

Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to donate $1300 to this banner project.

Councilor Howland made a motion to approve this donation. 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.

City Manager Todd mentioned an email he received from Matt Benda who commented, due to the COVID pandemic, restructuring furloughs and pay adjustments should be considered at all levels. Benda implored City council and staff to continue to look for ways to assist taxpayers, home and business owners.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda. He declared the addition of item (E) regarding the Resolution Approving Electronic Signature Policy:

A. Approve Minutes Of The April 13, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Resolution Approving Tree Donation In Edgewater Park
C. Resolution Approving Lawful Gambling Premises Permit – Albert Lea Amateur Hockey Association
D. Resolution Amending South Broadway Urban Renewal Grant Agreement With Lea Development, LLC
E. Resolution Approving Electronic Signature Policy

Motion made by Councilor Baker, to approve the consent agenda including the addition of item E., 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 20-075 through 20-077 Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. ORDINANCE 20-243 AMENDING ARTICLE II, SECTION 14-31 THROUGH SECTION 14-43 – DOGS & CATS (2ND READING)

The first reading of this ordinance was held at the council meeting of April 13th. The City enacted the dog and cat ordinance to require licenses to ensure that owners of dogs and cats properly vaccinate their animals against rabies. In addition, the ordinance provides for the proper care and treatment of dogs and cats; public nuisance issues that impact the peace and quiet and health of the community, and dangerous dog declarations. Definitions were added to provide clarification and make it easier for staff to enforce the ordinance.

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 Ordinance 20-243 Included with these minutes)

B. ORDINANCE 20-244 RENAMING WATER STREET TO MARION ROSS STREET (2ND READING)

The first reading of this ordinance was held at the council meeting of April 13th. The request to rename Water Street to Marion Ross Street, from Water Street to Washington Avenue, follows community support and fundraising for a Marion Ross bronze statue outside the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

Jahnke clarified that the renaming of the street will not take place until the unveiling of the bronze statue.

Baker suggested since there was mention at the last council meeting from a resident, if community members have an interest in naming a street after Eddie Cochran, they are welcome to pursue that request. Mayor Rasmussen mentioned that he has been contacted by individuals who are interested and will being moving forward with that invitation.

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 Ordinance 20-244 Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS

A. RESOLUTION 20-078 ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT FOR THE CLARK STREET RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 2051)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, April 14, 2020 for the Clark Street Reconstruction project. The project involves complete reconstruction of the roadway and utilities, including the removal of the existing concrete and overlaid concrete pavements, as well as repairs and replacement of the existing utility infrastructure including sanitary sewer, storm sewer and watermain improvements, sidewalk replacement, and curb and gutter improvements along Clark Street from Ermina Avenue to First Avenue. The new street is proposed to be constructed using bituminous pavement. Engineering received three bids. Engineering is recommending the low bid of $1,038,452.75 as submitted by JJD Companies LLC of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. The Engineer’s estimate was $1,187,996.22.

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 20-078 Included with these minutes)

B. RESOLUTION 20-079 ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT FOR THE NEWTON AVENUE AND COLLEGE STREET PARKING LOT RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 2052)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, April 21, 2020 for the Newton Avenue & College Street Parking Lot Reconstruction project. The project involves the removal of the existing bituminous pavement, regrading of the existing aggregate base, and paving of the new bituminous surface. New sign posts, spot aggregate base reconstruction and spot concrete sidewalk replacement will also take place where warranted. Engineering received one bid and is recommending the low bid of $106,431.63 as submitted by Ulland Brothers Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The Engineer’s estimate was $112,000.08.

Motion made by Councilor Rasmussen, 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 20-079 Included with these minutes)

C. RESOLUTION 20-080 ACKNOWLEDGING OPENING OF BIDS, LOW BIDDER AND AWARDING CONTRACT FOR THE BRIDGE AVENUE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 1907)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, April 21, 2020 for the Bridge Avenue (CSAH 22) Reconstruction Project, Job No. 1907. The roadway is owned and maintained by Freeborn County, and the underground utilities are owned and maintained by the City of Albert Lea. This will be a joint project between the City of Albert Lea and Freeborn County with Freeborn County being the Lead Agency. The proposed project calls for the complete reconstruction of Bridge Avenue (CSAH 22) from Marshall Street to Hammer Road. One bid was received. The bid summary is as follows:

Bidder Total
Ulland Brothers, Inc. $12,238,229.39
Albert Lea, MN

This was significantly higher than the Engineer’s estimate of $9,729,831.21. SRF Consulting Inc. has provided opinions for why the project costs were higher and options for moving forward have been reviewed. This report is included in the council packet. Engineering believes the best option is to move forward with this project, therefore, recommends moving forward at this time. Because the project will be awarded by Freeborn County and the Federal Funding has been allocated to Freeborn County, they will be awarding the contract. Awarding of the bid is scheduled for the May 5, 2020 board meeting. The updated estimated cost shares are included in the attached resolution and bid memo.

Jahnke confirmed for Councilor Rasmussen that for every tree that was removed from Bridge Avenue for this project, will be replaced by two trees.

To Howland’s inquiry, Jahnke detailed why the final cost came out so much higher than the estimated cost. This included, in addition to several other factors, the significant complexity of underground work. Jahnke mentioned if the Freeborn County Fair is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it could bring the cost down some, but not substantially.

To Baker’s question, Jahnke described the history and costs involved in replacing the pilings on Richway Drive. Baker asked if the stop lights on Hawthorne and Bridge are still in the plan to be removed. Jahnke reiterated the engineer’s study that indicates this is the safest and best option, and will be replaced with flashing crossing lights.

Councilor Murray asked what the total cost will be to the City. Jahnke replied the City’s portion will be nearly $1.8 million. Jahnke also expounded on the manner in which the costs are split between the county and city.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 20-080 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items with the City Manager
• Committee Update – None

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items with the City Manager. He suggested finding a replacement location for the dump station that was located in the area of the new Fire Station. Jahnke described the options that are being explored.
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting last Tuesday. He reported the HRA Board signed the elevator repair contract with a new service provider.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – Working on a ward item
• Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Provided a list of alleys needing repair and asked the Engineering Department review.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:
• Reminded the community to complete the Census
• Thanked the CVB for the gift card challenge program they developed and described how the program works
• Encouraged the community to support the local small businesses
• Encouraged the community to continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
Todd described the plan City leadership has identified to reduce expenditures including furloughs and layoffs and hiring freeze of summer employees. He explained the Library and City Arena will remain closed due to Governor’s orders. The swimming pool closure is being evaluated at this time. Overtime has been eliminated as well as travel that is not deemed necessary.

Howland asked if there is a schedule date for the the arena and the library to open, to which Todd explained those dates have not been identified. Howland suggested when City Hall and other buildings start to open, hand sanitizer stations be placed at building entry points for the visitors to use. Todd described the supplies that will be put in place within all the City facilities to help protect employees and visitors.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-081 APPROVING CLAIMS

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 Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #74966 through #75084 in the amount of $617,917.42. 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 20-081
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:49 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, May 11, 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