August 10, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, August 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 Acting City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, Finance Director Kristi Brutlag, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

ABSENT: Public Works Director Steven Jahnke

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).

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – None

PUBLIC FORUM – None

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda. Gabrielatos provided background information. He clarified item A under new business will also include a public hearing.

A. Approve Minutes Of The July 27, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The July 27, 2020 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Bid And Awarding Contract For 2020 Biosolids Removal (Job 2061)
E. Resolution Approving Joint Powers Agreement Between Freeborn County Family Services And Children’s Mental Health Collaborative
F. MNDOT Rail – Wedgewood Road Grade Crossing Safety Program – Funding Solicitation

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. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-133 through 20-134 Included with these minutes)

I. PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

II. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

III. NEW BUSINESS

A. RESOLUTION 20-135 AND PUBLIC HEARING AUTHORIZING HOUSING TAX ABATEMENT ON PROPERTY WITHIN THE CITY OF ALBET LEA FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING DEVELOPMENT COSTS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SINGLE FAMILY HOME.

A Public Hearing is being held to consider abatement of property taxes levied by the City on the property described as Lots 2 & 3, Block 1, Summerdale Townhomes Fourth Subdivision. 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 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.

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. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-135 Included with these minutes)

B. RESOLUTION 20-136 APPROVING EXTENSION OF MARCH 17, 2020 CITY OF ALBERT LEA, MINNESOTA PROCLAMATION AND DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY NO. 2020-1 AND ORDINANCE 20-232.

The City Council convened a special meeting on March 17, 2020 and adopted the City of Albert Lea Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency No. 2020-1 and the Mayoral Declaration Ordinance 20-232, in response to Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-01 – Declaring a Peacetime Emergency and Coordinating Minnesota’s Strategy to Protect Minnesotans from COVID-19. On July 13, 2020 Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-78 extending the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency issued by Executive Order 20-01 and further extended by Executive Orders 20-35, 20-53, and 20-75 an additional 30 days through August 12, 2020.

Multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 exist in Freeborn County. In light of the ongoing crisis, it is necessary to extend the Declaration and Ordinance. The extension of the Emergency Declaration and accompanying Ordinance allows the terms and conditions contained within to remain in full force and effect through September 14, 2020 unless the Governor’s Peacetime Emergency expires or is rescinded by legislative authority. Approval to extend the Declaration and Ordinance requires approval by five members of City Council.

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. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-136
Included with these minutes)

C. RESOLUTION 20-137 IDENTIFYING ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO BE USED FOR THE FREEBORN COUNTY / CITY OF ALBERT LEA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY RECOVERY AND RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM TO AID BUSINESSES DIRECTLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY COVID19 ECONOMIC IMPACT.

The City has been and continues to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants, bars/pubs, salons/spas, fitness centers, small retail businesses and tourist-related businesses within the City have experienced significant amount of economic loss due to the various Emergency Orders put in place to help protect the health and wellness of the community. Several small businesses in the City did not receive aid and are in need of some type of financial assistance to continue providing employment opportunities, goods and services to the community. The City of Albert Lea designated $150,000.00 on May 26th to be utilized specifically for “eligible businesses” that meet the requirements of the Freeborn County/City of Albert Lea/Albert Lea Economic Development Agency Recovery and Relief Grant Program to aid local small businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Resolution designates an additional $76,600 and also designates these funds and the prior $150,000 to be paid from the City’s CARES funds.

To Howland’s questions, Murray confirmed that 131 business were approved to receive grants and a total of $871,000 were or will be dispersed.

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. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-137 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items.
• Committee Update – Toured the new Fire Hall. Attended an ALEDA meeting.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – A resident that lives on Clark Street called with comments on the quality of water since the completion of the street project. Baker asked staff to follow up. In addition, he asked if the contractor for that area is on schedule.
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – Responded to a call regarding cats roaming in public. Also received a call from a resident on Seath drive regarding speeding vehicles. Reminded the community to get out and vote tomorrow at Primary Elections.
• Committee Update – None

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Will review a ward item with Jahnke. Has received calls regarding the proposed new softball fields.
• Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Will attend an Airport and Library board meeting next week.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Inquired about the potential to offset license fees for restaurants with liquor licenses. He requests this be discussed again at a future meeting.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT: Toured the new Fire Facility. He commended the contractors for the additions creating the facility safe for the firefighters and public. He also commended staff for the success of the CARES funding and grant program.

INTERIM CITY MANAGER REPORT:  Thanked Jeff Laskowske and JD Carlson for their work in getting the new Fire Hall up and going.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-138 APPROVING CLAIMS

Gabrielatos 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, Gabrielatos 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 #75913 through #76022 in the amount of $1,126,755.33. Seconded by Councilor Howland. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-138 Included with these minutes)

CLOSED SESSION – Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to move into closed session to discuss Labor Negotiations Pursuant To Minnesota Statute 13D.03

Motion made by Councilor Olson at 7:32 p.m. to move into closed session, 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. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

Motion made by Councilor Baker at 7:47 p.m. to move out of closed session, 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. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed

Mayor Rasmussen explained direction was given to staff regarding the subject of the Closed Session.

ADJOURNMENT: 7:48 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. 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 August 24, 2020. 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