March 27, 2017

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, March 27, 2017, 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 Lee Bjorndal, and City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte.

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

PUBLIC FORUM

Mike Delger, 75080 – 125th Street, Glenville, of the Shell Rock River Watershed Board of Managers presented a check in the amount of $25,000 to be used toward the purchase of the street sweeper.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The March 13, 2017 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The March 9, 2017 Concurrent Session Of The Albert Lea City Council And Freeborn County Board Of Commissioners
C. Approve Minutes Of The March 9, 2017 Work Session
D. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
E. Resolution 17-52 Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
F. Resolution 17-53 Accepting Admission And Proposed Order – East Side Liquor
G. Resolution 17-54 Accepting Admission And Proposed Order – Fountain Warehouse Liquor
H. Resolution 17-55 Accepting Bid And Awarding Contract For City Arena Air Conditioning And Air Monitoring Equipment And Installation
I. Resolution 17-56 Approving A Lot Reconfiguration Through An Administrative Lot Survey For Property Described As Lot 7 And The Eastern Portion Of Lot 6, Block 1, Port Authority Plat No. 1
J. Resolution 17-57 Waiving Blazing Star Trail Joint Powers Board Annual Audit
K. Amend Previous Motion Of March 13, 2017 To Approve Waiver Of Building Permit Fees Up To $50,000 Value For Commercial Rehabilitation And Up To $39,000 Value For Rental Rehabilitation Located Within The Target Area, Per The Application Submitted By The City Of Albert Lea To The Department Of Employment And Economic Development

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda as presented.

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 Resolution 17-52 – 17-57
included with these minutes)

UNFINSHED BUSINESS

NEW BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 17-58 ORDERING IMPROVEMENT AND PREPARATION OF PLANS FOR LAKE AVENUE AND EAST COLLEGE STREET RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 1607)

Adams explained that a public hearing is being held for public input on the proposed improvement. The proposed project calls for the complete reconstruction of the following:

• Lake Avenue – Clark Street to William Street (342 feet)
• Lake Avenue Alley – William Street to Elizabeth Avenue (428 feet)
• East College Street – Newton Avenue to approximately 200 feet east of Elizabeth Avenue (471 feet)

Lake Avenue will be reconstructed using the same configuration as the existing roadway with a 31-foot (back-to-back of curb) width bituminous surface, concrete curb and gutter and sidewalk lining both sides of the street. The watermain, storm sewer and sanitary sewer are all proposed to be replaced. The Lake Avenue alley is an approximately 20-foot wide bituminous surface and will be reconstructed to match the existing alleyway. The residences along the south side of William Street from Elizabeth Avenue to Lake Avenue are served with sanitary sewer which runs through the alley. This sanitary sewer runs straight east from Elizabeth Avenue to a manhole in East Main Street. Replacing this line using open trenching methods would result in a prolonged detour of East Main Street. To avoid this detour, Zenk Read Trygstad & Associates, Inc. (ZRT) and Engineering recommends that this portion of the sanitary sewer be sliplined using cured-in-place-pipe methods. This process involves pulling a resin-soaked fiberglass sock through the existing pipe. The sock is inflated to fill the pipe and the resin is heat cured using hot water or steam. This process essentially leaves a new pipe encased within the old pipe.

East College Street is a wider street which accommodates 45-degree angle parking on both sides. There is curb and gutter and sidewalk lining both sides of the street. It is proposed to reconstruct East College Street from Newton Avenue to Elizabeth Avenue to match the existing street configuration. East of Elizabeth Avenue, Engineering is proposing to reduce the street width of East College to a standard 34-ft. wide residential street and to eliminate the sidewalk. The sanitary sewer, watermain, and storm sewer on East College Street are also proposed to be replaced.

ZRT has prepared a preliminary engineering report for the project. It is attached to the feasibility report. The estimated project cost is $1,019,350 and includes City Funds, Sewer Funds, Water Funds, and Assessable Funds. Assessments for Lake Avenue and the alley will be based on reconstructing the streets to the same configuration as the existing roadways. Since East College Street is wider due to the 45-degree angle parking, the assessments will be based on a standard 33-foot wide residential street. Fifty percent of the sidewalk costs will be assessed to all properties where sidewalk is being replaced.

The proposed street assessment rates are $128.84 per front foot for Lake Avenue, $51.20/front foot for the alley and $141.60/front foot for E. College Street. The proposed sidewalk replacement assessment rate is $5.51 per square foot. Following the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years. The interest rate will be based on bonding in 2017. A neighborhood meeting was held on March 20, 2017 to discuss the project with affected residents.

Jahnke delivered a PowerPoint presentation focused on the reconstruction Lake Avenue and E. College Street. The slides displayed the project area, background, the scope of work, the cost, and the assessments, how staff would communicate with the public and a timeline.

Adams reminded the Council that ordering a project with special assessments requires a 4/5 vote of the Council.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the Public Hearing.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and no one spoke to this issue.

Mayor Rasmussen closed the Public Hearing.

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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-58 included with these minutes)

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 17-59 ADOPTING A MODIFICATION TO THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT NO. 5; AND ESTABLISHING TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT NO. 5-25 THEREIN AND ADOPTING A TAX INCREMENT FINANCING PLAN THEREFOR

Adams invited Rebecca Kurtz from Ehlers and Associates to speak about the TIF. She noted that the district is an economic development district, which will exist for nine years. She described the project and how it would be financed. She noted that a development agreement would come before the Council.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the Public Hearing.

Ryan Nolander, Executive Director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency spoke. He detailed genesis of the project and stated that TIF funds are being used because of the large soil remediation costs. He noted how many jobs and the projected salaries. In response to Howland, Nolander specified the issues with the soil.

Mayor Rasmussen closed the Public Hearing. He then thanked the Port Authority, Zumbro River Brand and City staff for their work in bringing the project to fruition.

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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-59 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 17-60 APPROVING CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR GOLD CROSS AMBULANCE FACILITY

Adams explained that the Mayo Clinic and Gold Cross Ambulance have requested a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a new ambulance facility on the property of the old high school across West Avenue from Central Park. The Planning Commission held a public hearing at their March meeting and is recommending approval. Gold Cross has provided updated plans and architectural renderings upgrading the appearance of the proposed facility with additional architectural elements and landscaping based on comments at the public hearing. Staff is recommending approval of the updated plans with conditions.

Mayor Rasmussen announced because he is an employee of the Mayo Clinic, of which Gold Cross Ambulance is a subsidiary, he would be abstaining from voting. He invited Mayor Pro Tem Baker to conduct this portion of the meeting. Howland announced that he too is an employee of the Mayo Clinic and would abstain from voting.

Kris Keltgen, Operations Manager for Gold Cross then spoke, thanking the Council and staff for working with the organization. Brooks thanked Gold Cross. Baker said he appreciated that the organization listened to the concerns of the community.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-60 included with these minutes)

Mayor Pro Tem Baker turned the meeting over to Mayor Rasmussen.

RESOLUTION 17-61 AUTHORIZING INTERFUND LOAN FOR ADVANCE OF CERTAIN COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT NO. 5-25

Adams explained that the City commonly approves an Interfund Loan resolution for all TIF projects as advised by Ehlers in the event any funds have to be temporarily borrowed internally for the project. Staff recommends approval.

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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-61 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 17-62 APPROVING SALE OF REAL ESTATE FROM THE CITY OF ALBERT LEA TO THE ALBERT LEA PORT AUTHORITY

Adams explained that the City of Albert Lea seeks to sell a small parcel of land to the Albert Port Authority. He highlighted the parcel on the screen for the Council, noting that the parcel was needed for access. Adams also said that the City would sell the parcel to the Port Authority for $1 and that the Planning Commission unanimously approved the project. The transaction has a contingency in the Purchase Agreement if the Zumbro expansion does not go forward. Staff recommends approval.

Howland clarified that the area would be used as a driveway.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-62 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 17-63 APPROVING PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS AND ORDERING OF BIDS FOR SUNSET STREET RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 1614)

Adams explained that on March 13, 2017 the Public Improvement Hearing for City Job No. 1614 was held and the project was authorized to proceed. The project is from trunk highway 13 to Lakeview Boulevard on Sunset Street and on Hillside Avenue from Sunset Street to the dead end. The project includes the removal and replacement of existing pavement, replacing the existing utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements, sidewalk construction and reconstructing the roadway to meet state aid standards.

The project will involve reconstructing the existing concrete roadways to a width of 34 feet (face-to-face of curb) with concrete curb and gutter. A concrete sidewalk is proposed along the north side of the street. The proposed utility improvements include the replacement of watermain, replacement of sanitary sewer, and the replacement of storm sewer. Plans and specifications have been completed by Bolton & Menk, Inc., and submitted to the State for approval as well as presented to Council for approval and authorization of bidding. If State approval is received promptly, the bid opening would be scheduled for April 25, 2017. Staff recommends approving the plans and specifications and authorization to bid the project.
Baker reiterated that, because he has been contacted by residents in the area voicing opposition, he would not support the installation of a sidewalk on the north side of Sunset.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-63 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 17-64 DESIGNATING NO PARKING ON SUNSET STREET (JOB 1614)

Adams stated that in order to complete the Sunset Street Reconstruction project under Job No. 1614 using Municipal State Aid funding, Sunset Street from Lakeview Boulevard to 1,132 feet west of the centerline of Lakeview Boulevard and from 1,427 feet west of the centerline of Lakeview Boulevard to TH-13 must be designated “No Parking” on one side to meet the street width requirements under Minnesota State Aid Rules Chapters 8820.9936 and 8820.9946. It is proposed to designate the north side of this section of Sunset Street as “No Parking.” Parking on both sides of Sunset would remain in place for the 295 feet between the driveways at 1702 and 1708 Sunset Street.

In response to Howland, Jahnke clarified that a particular section of the road was widened to 44 ft. Jahnke, answering Baker, said that no one has contacted him since the public hearing about the road project. He described the configuration of the sidewalk as well.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-64 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 17-65 AMENDING ASSESSMENT POLICY PERTAINING TO SIDEWALK ASSESSMENT RATE AND DOWNTOWN PARKING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT

Adams stated that staff is recommending a revision to the City of Albert Lea Assessment Policy. The Assessment Policy was originally adopted in 2006 and amended several times, with the latest revision in August of 2013. The changes would remove section VIII. A. Off-Street Parking; Parking Maintenance District. The parking maintenance district for downtown Albert Lea was repealed with Resolution 16-175 on August 22, 2016.

Staff also recommends amending the assessment policy for sidewalk effective for 2017 projects to change the cost-share of new sidewalk installation from the present 50/50 City and benefitting property distribution, to 75% City and 25% property owner for residential and commercial projects. Sidewalk reconstruction projects will remain 50% City and 50% property owners. Sidewalk assessments for new commercial and residential subdivisions would not change; assessments would still be 100% of the installation costs
Jahnke delivered a PowerPoint presentation about the proposed assessment policy. He provided a summary of the proposed changes, which include the removal of the downtown assessment district and reductions in assessments on residential and commercial sidewalks. He presented a summary of the sidewalk projects and costs, and then what the proposal would cost.

Jahnke, responding to Murray, said that the proposal could increase the City’s overall cost by $97,000.

MOTION: Move to approve the Assessment Policy as presented with the 75% City and 25% property owner for residential and commercial projects for both new and reconstruction projects and to include Resolution 16-175 Repealing Parking Maintenance District for Downtown Albert Lea.

Motion made by Councilor Howland, seconded by Councilor Olson.

MOTION: Move to table this item.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Rasmussen. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilor Murray, Rasmussen and Mayor Rasmussen. The following voted nay: Councilor Howland, Olson, Brooks, and Baker. Motion to table failed.

Howland said passing this motion would provide relief on the assessments. Olson stated that he is not seeking more input, referencing his tenure on the Council. He said he wanted to reduce the assessment rate previously.

Murray noted that taxpayers who paid the assessments under the previous policy will see overall tax burden increase if this policy is enacted.

Brooks said he agreed with the comments made by Murray, but said that the City should pay for a larger share of the assessment. Mayor Rasmussen said that he would have liked for more time for the public to comment, but stated his belief that because the community benefits from the installation of the sidewalk, more should be paid by the City. Councilor Rasmussen said he would have liked the motion tabled to allow for more public debate.

VOTE ON MAIN MOTON: The following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Murray voted nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-65 included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Attended an educational awareness program about sex trafficking in Minnesota. He reported that he learned sex trafficking affects 8,000 to 12,000 children per year. He applauded the program and noted that many hoteliers attended the meeting as well.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Attended the League of Minnesota Cities legislative day with the City Manager. Baker suggested the Council approve a resolution, and request staff to send a letter, stating concern about removal of local government control to the state. He reported that Senator Sparks would remove his name from a bill regarding cell phone towers.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:

  • Ward Items – Referred to staff
  • Committee – Attended the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board retreat, where strengths and weaknesses were discussed. He reported that the group needs a strategic plan. He announced a new scoreboard was installed in Nystrom Arena.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Will be attending the HRA meeting

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Attended the Lake Avenue neighborhood meeting

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Thanked the Albert Lea Police Department and the City Attorney for addressing an issue

Mayor Rasmussen – Announced a vacancy on the Planning Commission for which he welcomed applications

CITY MANAGER REPORT
Adams presented a PowerPoint about the revolving loan fund policy. He showed potential amendments to the policy because the capital investment is not necessarily reflecting an increase in assessed tax value of properties. He noted criteria to evaluate the discussion including the number of jobs created, the time it takes to create the job and the capital investment required. Murray asked if analysis was performed on returns on the current program. Adams said there are analytics and testimonials that can be provided.

Adams then provided a legislative update. He commented about the local option sales tax, local government aid, workforce housing, the MPCA regulations, a bonding bill, local control and transportation funding.

Howland asked how federal policies could change state and local government. Adams cited tax credits as example. He has not seen changes in environmental policies yet. Adams said funding for transportation could also be affected. Baker asked if the removal of local authority reflects a national trend. Adams said that may be the case, but believed that the city is asserting its preservation for local control. Adams and Baker discussed the number of lobbyists working legislation for cellular equipment. Adams expounded on the legislation at the state level, which could remove local decision making authority on where equipment can be placed in the public way.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
RESOLUTION 17-66 APPROVING CONTRACT WITH COUNCILMEMBER BROOKS

Adams explained that the attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $380.25 on behalf of the City for a claim from Brooks Safety Equipment and to issue payment for filing the affidavit of official interest by the interested official, Councilor Brooks.

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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-66 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 17-67 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 Brooks, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #63392 though #63538 in the amount of $500,825.50, 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 17-67 Included with these minutes)

Large Claims Over $25,000 – Staff will present and display claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency, and education at the next council meeting.

CLOSED SESSION – Land Acquisition Pursuant To Minn. Stat. §13D.05, Subd. 3(c)

Adams stated that this involved the following parcels: 1737, 1749, 1750, 1764, 1782 Victory Lane, Albert Lea, MN

MOTION: Move to enter into closed session.

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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

Mayor Rasmussen reopened the regular meeting at 8:45 p.m.

Mayor Rasmussen noted there is no action to report on the closed session discussion.

ADJOURNMENT– 8:46 PM
Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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, April 10, 2017. 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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Shirley Slater-Schulte
Council Secretary