April 9, 2018

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, April 9, 2018, 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 Chad Adams, City Engineer Steven Jahnke, City Attorney Kelly Martinez and City Clerk Daphney Maras.
PUBLIC FORUM – There were no public comments.

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

A. Oath Of Office – Albert Lea Fire Rescue Paid On-Call Firefighters – Captain David Stewart introduced the new paid on-call firefighters: Cody Fox, Ryan Grimmius, and Nick Schiltz. He explained missing tonight is Ross Miller who was called away for active duty by the National Guard. Clerk Daphney Maras administered the Oath of Office to Fox, Grimmius, and Schiltz.
B. Mayor Rasmussen read the Proclamation Declaring Parkinsons Awareness Month.
C. Mayor Rasmussen read the Proclamation Declaring National Library Week 2018.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The March 26, 2018 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The March 26, 2018 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
D. Resolution Adopting Primary Election

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda.

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 Re solution 18-53included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS

Resolution Of Support For Independent School District #241 Albert Lea Area Schools Bond Referendum, with Presentation by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mike Funk.

Dr. Funk provided an overview and displayed slides regarding the $24 million bond referendum. He explained this bond would finance facility upgrades at the Senior High School and Hammer Field, as well as a gymnasium expansion and secured entrance at Halverson Elementary. The referendum would not increase property taxes in 2019. Funk provided additional information in response to council’s questions.

Council did not vote on this Resolution.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Ordinance 213,7d Amending Chapter 74, Sec. 74-2 Definitions and Chapter 74, Sec. 74-18 Accessory Structures, Fences and Site Appurtenances (2nd Reading)

Adams read the What’s Behind It relating to the second reading of this ordinance.

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 Or dinance 213,7dincluded with these minutes)

Resolution 18-54 Permitting Publication Of An Ordinance Summary for an Ordinance Amending Chapter 74, Sec. 74-2 Definitions and Chapter 74, Sec. 74-18 Accessory Structures, Fences and Site Appurtenances

Adams explained 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 Howland, 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 R esolution 18-54Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution 18-55 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal – 1326 Broadway Avenue South

Adams explained a removal hearing for the property at 1326 Broadway Avenue S. was set for September 14, 2014. At that time, the property had the following problems which supported a removal of the structure: broken windows, no natural gas or electricity, no foundation under the front porch, bad siding and the back porch appeared to have fallen off. The property is owned by a Trust. The hearing was continued to October 26, 2015 to give the Trust time to attempt repairs of the deficiencies. A staff member issued a building permit on November 2, 2015, without a definitive expiration date.

Staff met with Gerald King on site on June 30 2017. Discussion regarding the needed minimal work was discussed and Mr. King promised prompt results. Minimal work was attempted over the summer and on August 8, 2017 staff again placarded the structure as not meeting the minimum structural and housing standards cited in City Code Sections 34-27 to 34-32. No work on the structure has been noted since. Staff recommends Council adopt an Order of Abatement and authorize court action to raze the structure.
Sorensen lead a demonstration displaying photos, and providing background regarding the history of the property.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Gerald King spoke on behalf of this property. He said the house is up for sale, and he has hired people to clean.

Joni Cather is a neighbor to Mr. King. She voiced concerns of the condition of the home now and in the past adding that gravel and rock are now piled in the back yard. She implored council to approve this resolution tonight.

Mayor Rasmussen called two more times. No one spoke. He closed the public hearing.

Baker asked Martinez to elaborate on the order of abatement. Martinez detailed the process.

Howland commented that four years is a long time for this to have been going on and believes it’s time to move forward with abatement. Noting it’s not fair to the neighbors as the house is an eyesore and a nuisance. Mayor Rasmussen agreed with Howland’s comments adding the opportunity was given to the owner to make repairs and not only were repairs not made, but the house is now in worse condition.

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 18-55
included with these minutes)

Resolution 18-56 and Public Hearing Approving Preliminary and Final Plat – Sky Pilot Park Unit 4 Condominium

Adams said Sky Pilot Park is a business condominium development that will create 11 units of commercial space in two separate buildings for the purpose of light manufacturing, warehousing/storage and retailing/consumer services. The units will be for sale with the surrounding land and parking area held in common ownership. The proposed development is located on the corner of Pilot Road and High Tech Avenue, east of the Airport, in an I-1, Limited Industrial District. This is a replat of lots created in Bridgeport Fourth Subdivision. It will create the individual units and common space in a Condominium Common Interest Community. Both the Preliminary and Final Plats are before the City Council for review. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on March 15th and recommended approval. The applicant has since modified the plat slightly (adding 4 ft. on to the proposed buildings/lots) so an additional public hearing is being held at this meeting.

Sorensen provided a PowerPoint highlighting the preliminary and final plat. He said the Planning Commission unanimously approved the final plat.

Mayor Rasmussen introduced the developers of the project; Craig Hoium, Ron Holton and Rick Mummert. Hoium spoke of the rain gardens and landscaping proposed to be installed in Phase II of this project. He commented that he believes this business condominium project will be a good addition to the community to offer not only private warehousing, but also to house businesses of all sizes.

Mayor Rasmussen commented that he appreciates the efforts they have taken to consider the rain gardens and landscaping designed to deter flooding issues.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. Called three times. No one spoke.

Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Howland requested clarification of what a business condominium development actually is. Sorensen explained each bay would be sold to a business and is essentially similar to a residential condominium.

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.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-56
included with these minutes)

Resolution 18-57 Supporting a Job Creation Fund Application In Connection With Mortarr, LLC.

The attached resolution would support an application from Mortarr, LLC to be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) requesting an award and/or rebate from the Job Creation Fund Program. Mortarr is a SaaS software start-up established in July 2017 in Albert Lea that is undergoing final beta testing and will go live this summer. It is an imagery-driven and search-based website and app that serves as an inspiration gallery, networking and promotional tool for professionals, brands and end-users in the commercial construction and design industry.

Mortarr has grown to a team of 15 and projects another 37 full-time employees by June 30, 2019. The company is pursuing the Freeborn Bank Building as their corporate headquarters with plans to develop the space in phases. Phase 1 of construction would include the main floor and mezzanine levels to accommodate approximately 35 workstations, 2 conference rooms, a break room, 2 ADA-compliant bathrooms, a half-bath on mezzanine, flexible work seating and lounge areas. To accommodate Mortarr’s growth, the goal is to begin Phase 1 no later than June 1, 2018 and complete no later than October 31, 2018. Additional phases of the project would include demolition and reconstruction of each floor individually to keep pace with the company’s continued growth. Mortarr expects Phase 2 to begin immediately following completion of Phase 1. All phases of the project intend to maintain the historical integrity of the building while abiding by or exceeding all code and life safety requirements. Staff will be working on a possible purchase agreement as well as other loans for the business in coming weeks.

Representatives present from Mortarr, LLC are; Co-founders Steve Pulley, Abby Murray and Amy Petersen. The representatives thanked council and Ryan Nolander from ALEDA for their support. Pulley stated they are looking forward to the potential of moving into the Freeborn Bank Building and making it their corporate headquarters. He spoke of a number of employees that are originally from Albert Lea and have moved back here to make it their home once again.

Abby Murray described their current employment status as well as the potential for future job growth.

Councilor Baker thanked the co-founders for their interest in growing their business in Albert Lea. Howland commented on their enthusiasm for expansive job growth within 15 months.

To Howland’s question, Abby Murray provided detailed explanation of the Mortarr business.

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 18-57
included with these minutes)

Resolution 18-58 Amending 2018 Fee Schedule Regarding Municipal Docks

Adams described the attached resolution that would amend the 2018 Fee Schedule to add fees for municipal docks. As part of the Marina Pilot project, staff is recommending a fee of $1,250 per boat slip which is based on equipment costs in comparison to an individual paying a dock space fee and other costs associated with the purchase, installation, maintenance and storage of a dock.

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 18-58
included with these minutes)

Resolution 18-59 Supporting Local Decision-Making Authority

Adams explained the attached resolution states Council support for local decision-making authority and opposes legislation that removes the ability for local elected officials to respond to the needs of their businesses and constituents. More than two dozen bills that restrict local decision-making have been introduced in the 2017-2018 biennium and over 110 cities have already approved the resolution supporting local decision making.
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 18-59
included with these minutes)

MAYOR REPORTS

Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion from Council to appoint Colby Cunningham to Board of Appeals.

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.

COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Deferred snow removal questions to staff.
• Committee Update – Attended the joint special meeting with City/County and State Representative Peggy Bennett last week.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items –.None
• Committee – Attended the joint special meeting with City/County and State Representative Peggy Bennett last week

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Received calls asking if HRA grants will be available for home improvements. Adams said staff could look into grant options.
• Committee Update – None

Mayor’s Report:
• Announced the City of Albert Lea was once again named Tree City USA.
• Encouraged the community to take advantage of the Hometown Pride Clean-up Day on April 28th from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Albert Lea Landfill.
• Attended a port authority meeting.
• Attended the informational joint special meeting with City/County and State Representative Peggy Bennett last week.

CITY MANAGER REPORT
A. Public Safety Services And Future Direction

Adams said two options are being reviewed:
1) Continue with the current model of a Public Safety Director, or
2) Revert back to the traditional model of a separate Police and separate Fire Department

Adams anticipates a decision by the next council meeting.
B. Notice for Filing Affidavits of Candidacy for Municipal Election

Clerk Maras provided information regarding filing affidavits of candidacy for the upcoming election.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
Adams displayed claims from the previous Council meeting in addition to the current claims. He explained each claim over $25,000.

RESOLUTION 18-60 APPROVING 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.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #67410 though #67556 in the amount of $1,262,279.92 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 18-60
Included with these minutes)

CLOSED SESSION – 8:25 PM

Adams stated that a Closed Session is as Permitted by Attorney-Client Privilege (Minnesota Statute 13D.05, Subd.3) to Discuss Pending Litigation

MOTION: Move to enter into closed session.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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.

Mayor Rasmussen reopened the regular meeting at 8:50 p.m. He noted discussion took place regarding eminent domain of a hospital.

ADJOURNMENT – 8:50 PM – A motion to adjourn is not required.

____/s/________________________
Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr.

____/s/________________________
Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council

Minnesota state law (Chapter 156 of the Session Laws of 2005) requires that "a city or county with a population of more than 15,000 must annually notify its residents of the positions and base salaries of its three highest-paid employees." For the City of Albert Lea, titles and salaries as of Jan. 1, 2019, are: City Manager, $138,375.12; Director of Public Works/City Engineer $110,780.80; and Director of Public Safety $103,646.40. Date of publication: January 23, 2019.