April 8, 2019

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, April 8, 2019, 7:00 P.M.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr., Councilors Rich Murray, Larry Baker, Jason Howland, Robert Rasmussen, Reid Olson and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager Chad Adams, Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

ABSENT: City Attorney Kelly Martinez

PUBLIC FORUM

CERMONIAL ITEMS:

A. Mayor Rasmussen presented Wastewater Superintendent Rick Ashling with the 2018 Wastewater Treatment Facility Operational Award.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda.

A. Approve Minutes Of The March 25, 2019 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The March 25, 2019 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
D. Resolution Permitting Publication of Summary Ordinance Of An Ordinance Amending Tobacco License Requirements And Regulations – Tobacco 21
E. Resolution Authorizing Funds Transfer
F. Declare Hometown Pride Spring Clean Up Day And Authorizing Reduced Rates At Transfer Station
G. Approve Application To Minnesota Timberwolves “Our Courts, Our Future” Program

Howland asked about the Resolution Permitting Publication of the Summary Ordinance amending the Tobacco license requirements. Adams explained this resolution is approving a summary of the entire ordinance for publication purpose and noted the ordinance will become effective on May 1st.

Baker asked the date scheduled for Home Town Pride Spring Cleanup. Adams responded it will be held Saturday, April 27th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda as read. Motion 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 19-051 and 19-052
included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

A. Main Street Program – Rhonda Jordal, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Chamber Director Rhonda Jordal provided an update on the Main Street Program. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota oversees this program which helps communities create high-quality places and stronger communities through preservation based economic development. Noting the value of the Main Street program is to work on historic and design preservation of the downtown district.

Mayor Rasmussen commented this program would cover more than just the downtown district, noting East Main Street and Bridge Avenue as well as the surrounding streets would be included.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Ordinance 224,10d Amending Chapter 2, Article IV, Sections 2-132 – 2-139 Restructuring City Departments (2nd reading)

The first reading of this ordinance was presented and approved by City Council at the meeting of March 25, 2019. Staff recommends approval of the second reading of this ordinance with one modification being the Public Works Department without the word “Engineer” with the official head title to be Director of Public Works/Engineer.

Brooks asked for clarification on the change to the Parks and Recreation Department. Adams responded that Park services are under the Public Works Department and the Recreation services will be under the Administrative Department as this is how it has been operating over the last few years. He said the confusion seems to come down to the terminology over the use of the word “Department,” adding that the services have not gone away. No change has been made to any of the services. If anything, more services have and will be added.

Howland remarked the Parks and Recreation Board still exists and both the Parks Superintendent and Recreation Manager report to that board. He also commented that both managers do a fantastic job.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Howland. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilors Howland and Olson voted Nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 224,10d (2nd reading)
included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 19-053 Permitting Publication of Ordinance Summary of an Ordinance Amending Chapter 2, Article IV, Sections 2-132 – 2-139 Restructuring City Departments.

Summaries of ordinances may be published if they reasonably inform the public of the effect and intent of the Ordinance. Summaries fulfill all legal requirements as if the entire summarized matter had been published and also directs the public how to obtain the complete Ordinance. This must pass by a four-fifths vote by Council.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Murray. 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 19-053 Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution 19-054 and Public Hearing Approving Tax Abatement for Certain Property Pursuant to Minn Stat. 469.1813

A Public Hearing is being held to consider abatement of property taxes levied by the City on the following properties identified as tax parcel numbers:
Address Parcel Number
1725 Keystone Drive 34-235-0710
1322 Foothills Blvd. 34-370-0250

Council adopted the Tax Abatement Policy to provide incentives to encourage construction of new owner occupied and rental residential housing units within the City. Persons constructing a single family home, duplex, or multi-family complex that file an application and obtain formal approval from the appropriate local jurisdictions between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019 shall be eligible to receive 100% tax abatement of the City’s share of the increased real estate taxes resulting from the newly constructed housing unit for a period of five (5) years.

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

Motion made by Councilor Howland, 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 19-054 Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 19-055 Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement of Bids for the Newton Avenue Reconstruction & Concrete Rehabilitation Project (Job 1902)

On March 25, 2019 a Public Improvement Hearing for City Job No. 1902 was held and the project was authorized to proceed. The proposed Newton Avenue Reconstruction & Concrete Rehabilitation Project includes the removal of existing pavement, repairs to the existing utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements, sidewalk replacement and reconstructing the roadway to meet State Aid/Federal Aid standards from Pearl Street to 2nd Street. Newton Avenue from 2nd Street to 4th Street will undergo Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation (CPR). This process will involve replacing panels of damaged or settled concrete pavement and curb and gutter. Miscellaneous damaged or settled sidewalk will be replaced in this section as well. There are 34 properties proposed to be assessed as part of this project.

The estimated project cost is $1,450,323.65 and would be paid for with assessments, Municipal State Aid funds, and water and sewer funds. The plans and specifications have been completed and presented to Council for approval and authorization of bidding.

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 19-055 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended ALEDA meeting and HRA meeting. A search will begin for an executive director of HRA.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Working on items with city staff
• Committee Update – Attended a Planning meeting where an approval for a Plat in Chapeau area was presented and approved. Attended the One Watershed One Plan meeting last week. The advisory board made a recommendation on the plan. There will be a kick-off meeting for the public to come and learn about the One Watershed One Plan. Baker encouraged community members that might be interested in joining this committee to get in touch with Councilor Murray. Baker also attended the HRA meeting prior to tonight’s work session.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – Working with City staff on a couple of issues.
• Committee Update – Reminded the community that the Governor’s Opener is just one month away and they are still looking for people to boat host for that event.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Attended the HRA meeting prior to the work session tonight. Talked to a gentleman who had questions about his boat dock insurance.
• Committee Update – None

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

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Talked to a couple of constituents about their issues.
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA board meeting prior to the work session.

MAYOR REPORT
• Attended a Port Authority meeting and mentioned a building that had been empty is now being rented by a local business.
• Fountain Lake Five and Tiger Trot / April 13th at Brookside School; starts at 9AM.
• Congratulated Catherine Zimmney on her 102nd birthday! One of her daughters wants everyone to know that Catherine raised 10 children, she is still quick witted, beautiful and lives at home.

Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to appoint Molly Grimmius to a 2nd term on the Library Board.
Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

A. 2019/20 Goal Setting Priorities

Adams said following the discussion of the survey rating results at the work session, the top four goal setting priorities for 2019-20 will be presented to the public. No action is needed on this item. The items council arrived at a consensus are:

1. Flooding/Storm Water
2. Economic and Community Development specifically;

o Enhancing Economic Development Initiatives (in addition to current programs/plans in collaboration with ALEDA and others)
o New initiative may include City seed money for entrepreneurs, retail summit

3. Economic/Community Development including

o Advancing the Blazing Star Landing Project
o Options to include: securing master developer, execute existing Phase 1 and/or Phase II for the project with private development and community center, obtaining state bonding dollars and additional community engagement.

4. Housing

o Develop and implement a comprehensive housing plan based on the findings of the recently completed Housing Study

Other areas identified as high priorities include:
o Blue Zones Promotion/Events/Projects; Local Health Care Initiatives; and, Infrastructure Funding/Assessment Policy review

B. Resolution 19-056 Supporting Flood Mitigation Capital Improvement Request for East Main Street

The attached resolution supports a state appropriation of $3.5 million from Minnesota State bonding proceeds for a flood mitigation solution on US Trunk Hwy. 65 (E. Main Street) in the City of Albert Lea. This roadway has experienced regular flooding events over the past few decades. The City, along with the Shell Rock River Watershed District and MN Department of Transportation has been working on a solution for the past several years. The mitigation being proposed would involve raising the roadway above flood levels and/or installation of large storm water pumps to keep flood levels lower than the roadway.

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 19-056 Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 19-057 Supporting Comprehensive Road and Transit Funding

The attached resolution calls for Legislature to pass, and Governor Tim Walz to sign, a permanent increase in dedicated funding for state and local road, bridge and transit systems in Greater Minnesota and the metropolitan area. The resolution further supports funding for all parts of the state’s transportation system, but specifically requests an omnibus transportation funding bill that provides additional dedicated state funding for city streets, including funding that can be used for non-Municipal State Aid city street maintenance, construction and reconstruction.

Murray asked for confirmation that this proposal is simply to seek approval for funding and not specifically calling for ways to raise that funding. Adams responded that is correct. Howland asked if the omnibus transportation funding for city streets was approved could this be used to alleviate assessments on property owners. Adams said that would be an option in addition to several funding mechanisms the City has advocated for in the past that could also be used in this manner if approved. Adams deferred to Jahnke to provide additional context. Jahnke mentioned the language is broad in that this dedicated funding would apply to cities not just over population of 5000, but below 5000 as well.

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 19-057 Included with these minutes)

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

Resolution 19-058 Approval of 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. In addition, Adams displayed a list of claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency and education.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #71231 through #71369 in the amount of $900,168.25. 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 19-058 Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 7:43 PM

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, April 22, 2019. 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