July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016, 7:00 P.M.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., Councilors John Schulte V, Larry Baker, George Marin, Reid Olson, Larry Anderson and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager Chad Adams, Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, City Attorney Lee Bjorndal and City Engineer Steven Jahnke.

ABSENT: City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte


Nick Ronnenberg, 1123 Frank Hall Drive, expressed concern about traffic on Frank Hall Drive. He circulated a petition requesting a three-way stop sign at Frank Hall and 8th Street where a traffic fatality recently occurred.

Laura Cunningham, 1204 Cedar Avenue, announced the Albert Lea Floats event. The Lakes Foundation will be providing free recreational equipment to use the waterway. Staff will be available to assist users. The Lakes Foundation will soon be hosting educational events as well.

Baker inquired if Cunningham could provide an update on what the Lakes Foundation is doing to educate the public about the pending sales tax vote. Cunningham responded that the foundation can be reached via email and Facebook. The public can also attend the meetings of the organization. Schulte noted that he received calls about the Watershed’s restoration plan. Cunningham provided an update.

Randy Kehr, 1712 Plainview Lane, stated that the Chamber is hosting public forums on Tuesday for candidates running for Councilor in the 1st and 5th wards. Marin thanked Kehr for this effort.
Dustin Trail, 1902 Brookside Drive, questioned how the airport usage is measured. He then asked if the City plans to use fund balances to minimize potential levy increases. Adams answered that the fund balance could be applied to capital improvement projects or debt service, but a decision has yet to be made. Trail and Adams discussed how the city manages debt and its finances. Trail concluded by commenting on the potential costs of new city facilities.


A. Approve Minutes Of The July 11, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The July 7, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See attached list.)
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Approving Lot Combination Through An Administrative Lot Survey For Property Located At 519 / 521 Prospect Avenue
F. Resolution Granting A Variance To 503 Park Avenue
G. Resolution Authorizing Broadway Ridge Grant Agreement – Allan L. Halvorsen
H. Resolution Supporting Grant Application To Alliance Pipeline Emergency Services
I. Resolution Adopting Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) Policy And Procedural Guidelines
J. Resolution Approving Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) Administrative Services Contract

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-148 to 16-154 included with these minutes.)


A. Broadway Ridge Grant Fund – Projects Approved To Date
City Manager Adams chronicled the Broadway Ridge Grant Program, showing a PowerPoint slide listing the names of businesses that benefitted from the programs and the amount of funding awarded. Marin inquired about how the program worked in general, and specifically regarding the Marion Ross Theater. Adams explained the program and noted that the tenant of the Marion Ross Theater supplied the matching funds required for the grant. Baker then asked Adams to provide an update about expanding the program to South Broadway. Adams responded that he would continue to research the matter and discuss it at a future work session.


A. Resolution 16-155 Rejecting Bids For Albert Lea Municipal Airport Arrival/Departure Building And Parking Lot Construction

Adams explained that three bids were opened on July 11th for the Municipal Airport Arrival/Departure Building and parking lot construction project. The low bid was $2,274,113.30 which was 66.62% above the engineer’s estimate of $1,364,855.00. Normally, the unit costs per square foot for a facility of this type range from $250-300/SF. The unit cost provided from the bidding contractors ranged from $400-450/SF which is significantly more than industry standards.

Matt Wagner from Mead & Hunt spoke about the airport bids. He presented slides comparing the bids in Albert Lea to that of other cities, analysis about why submitted bids were over the engineer’s estimate and provided recommendations to the Council.
Marin asked how the Council could trust Mead & Hunt again, given that there was a difference between what was submitted and the estimate. Wagner responded that the bids received were higher than anywhere else in the region and referred to a previous slide. He suggested releasing the bids at a more opportune time for contractors. Marin later asked Matt how much it cost for Mead & Hunt’s work on this project.

Baker and Wagner discussed how to maintain the design of the building while reducing the costs. Anderson spoke about the energy efficiency of the HVAC system to be installed in the proposed building, explaining that the Airport Board anticipated the cost of the system would decrease, but it did not. Marin expressed concern about the need for a new building and questioned the economic benefits of the proposal. There are several contributing factors that play into these high numbers including the market conditions of specific sub-contractors, wherein the Prime Bidders were limited to a small field of certified subcontractors (metal wall panels and the mechanical system). The available state, federal, and local funds allocated to the project are not sufficient to construct the Base Bid work. Mead & Hunt recommended that the City reject all bids and not award a contract at this time and staff agreed.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, seconded by Councilor Marin. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-155
included with these minutes.)


A. Resolution 16-156 Putting A Proposition Relating To A Local Option Sales Tax On The November 8, 2016 Special Election Ballot (TABLED)

Adams explained that the resolution would approve Proposition Number 1 going before voters at the November 8th general election to determine if the half cent sales tax should be extended for another period of up to 15 years or $15 million to continue funding the water quality improvement projects outlined in the Shell Rock River Watershed Plan.

A motion was made by Councilor Baker and seconded by Councilor Anderson to table this item.


First Ward, Councilor Schulte V:

  • Schulte reported receiving calls about the Watershed’s plan to dredge; noting that he shared this information with a member of the Watershed’s Board.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker:

  • Attended the Heritage Preservation Commission meeting, where the installation of a sidewalk café was debated. Applicants for a Broadway Ridge grant attended the same meeting; more details about their proposal will be available next month.
  • Attended the Board of Appeals meeting and a public hearing regarding Minnesota Energy Resources.
  • Spoke about the previous Wind Down Wednesday.

Third Ward, Councilor Marin

  • Marin reported that the Human Rights Commission hosted a showing of a documentary.
  • Shared his concern and later stated opposition to a potential merger between the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and Community Education. He requested the City Manager provide the City Council with weekly updates.
  • Voiced reservations about the City managing property.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson:

  • Attended the Park Board meeting where volleyball locations, playparks and future programming were topics of discussion.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson:

  • Attended an Airport Commission meeting.
  • Ward Items: Staff is working on infrastructure and sanitation issues that were brought to his attention.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks:

  • Ward Items – Brooks spoke of the aforementioned issues of stop signs and sidewalks mentioned during the public forum. He then requested an update about a home at 1212 St. Joseph and the construction project at 5th Street and Virginia. Jahnke detailed the projected timeline for the latter.

Mayor Rasmussen:

  • Announced the Rally for Civility and the Party in the Park.
  • Attended the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities summit; the processing of wastewater is a shared concern among the group.
  • Announced that the CGMC honored Adams for his service.
  • Rasmussen said that the Council conducted its annual review of Adams at its last meeting. He reported that Adams was rated as satisfactory or above satisfactory at all levels.


A. Update on Stop Policy Reviews

Adams stated that Council directed staff to examine the Frank Hall and 8th intersection. Staff is surveying that location and the entire Frank Hall Drive corridor. Staff is awaiting the release of data from other agencies before completing the review. Jahnke highlighted the stop sign policy and spoke about how stop signs affect traffic. Staff designed the policy to provide a procedure when there are requests from residents to place a stop sign. Vehicle speed, traffic volume, sight distance, pedestrian activity and traffic accident history are taken into consideration when scrutinizing intersections for potential stop signs. Brooks and Jahnke talked about Frank Hall Drive and how to obtain the stop sign policy.

Adams also noted that CGMC conference attendees were optimistic that the Minnesota legislature would hold a special session. This could allow for funding of the projects that the City is pursuing.

Adams announced that staff would begin to install links within the minutes.


A. Resolution 16-157 Approving Contract with Councilmember Schulte

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $829.90 on behalf of the City for a claim from Jones, Haugh & Smith and to issue payment for filing the affidavit of official interest by the interested official, Councilor Schulte.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-157 included with these minutes.)

B. Resolution 16-158 Approving Claims

(1). Presentation of Claims Over $25,000

The resolution directed the Mayor and City Clerk to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report. Adams highlighted the claims over $25,000.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-158 Include with these minutes.)


Motion made by Councilor Marin, seconded by Councilor Brooks, 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 8, 2016. 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.

Jerry Gabrielatos
Council Secretary Pro Tem