October 9, 2017

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, October 9, 2017, 7:00 P.M.

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

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

PUBLIC FORUM – No comments were received during the public forum

Mayor Rasmussen reviewed the consent agenda:

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The September 25, 2017 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The September 21, 2017 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Approving A Lot Reconfiguration Through An Administrative Lot Survey For Property Described As Lots 3 & 4 Shore Acres, Albert Lea Freeborn County – Krebsbach
F. Resolution Approving A Lot Consolidation Through An Administrative Lot Survey For Property Described As Lots 2&3 And Portions Of Lots 5&6, Block 2, Lincoln Avenue, Second Subdivision, Albert Lea Freeborn County – Olson

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda as presented.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-185 thru 17-187 included with these minutes.)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS

A. Mayo Hospital Update – City Manager Adams

Adams stated the Health Care Accounting firm recently hired is Quorum Health Resources. He detailed the cost split between the City, County, and Save Our Hospital group. The report from the accountant is expected to take 45-60 days. Adams said the City continues to explore all options for a full service acute care hospital in Albert Lea. He also mentioned the importance of continuing dialogue between the community and Mayo Clinic.

Baker asked if Quorum would be working directly from their out-of-state offices or from Albert Lea. Adams stated the contract notes at least four local visits, adding most of the information needed can be accessed electronically. However, connecting to the Community is important to the firm as well.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution Adopting Assessments for the South Broadway Avenue (CSAH 18) – 14th Street to Th-65 Improvement Project (Job 1604)

Adams explained the attached resolution would adopt the final assessments for City Job No. 1604, the South Broadway Avenue Improvement Project. This project involved the bituminous overlay of South Broadway (CSAH 18) from TH-65 South to County Road 13. The project was a County project with the portion from TH-65 to 14th Street inside City limits. The project in the City limits involved milling of the bituminous roadway. Manholes and water valves were raised and bituminous was placed back on the roadway. Sidewalk was also replaced where it was damaged or uneven and causing a tripping hazard. Additionally, all of the sidewalk pedestrian ramps were replaced to bring them into compliance with current ADA standards.

Between proposed assessments and final assessments, the City Council made two changes to the assessment policy. The sidewalk assessment was reduced from 50% to 25%. Also, front footage was capped at 150 ft. for residential properties. The final costs came in significantly lower than the original estimate and the assessments were lowered due to this. Following the Assessment Policy, the assessments will be over 5 years at 3.94%. Staff recommends approval.

See attached resolution and supporting documents.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. No comments were received during the public hearing.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and closed the public hearing.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-188 included with these minutes)

Resolution Adopting Assessments for the 2017 Neighborhood Improvement, East Main Street Frontage Road And Landfill Road Reconstruction Project (Job 1701)

Adams said attached resolution would adopt the final assessments for the 2017 Neighborhood Improvement, East Main Street Frontage Road and Landfill Road Reconstruction Project (Job 1701). The proposed project involved the bituminous overlay, bituminous reclamation, reconstruction, miscellaneous and total curb replacement and miscellaneous sidewalk replacement of various streets.

The streets are as follows:

Quisley Street – Hale Drive to Crystal Drive Keystone Dr. – Richway Dr. to Quisley St.
Crystal Drive – Richway Drive to Quisley St. Allan Dr. – Lancaster Ln. to Garfield Ave. Lancaster Lane – Eastgate Road to Allan Dr. Portland Ave. – Richway Drive to Allan Drive
Garfield Avenue – Richway Drive to Allan Drive Eastgate Road – Bridge Ave. to Garfield Ave.
Troy Road – Bridge Avenue to Glenview Drive Glenview Drive – Troy Road to the south end
Airport Road – Hi Tech Avenue to Bridge Ave. Hale Drive – Keystone Drive to Quisley Street
Westron Street – Hi Tech Avenue to Bridge Ave. Sykes Street – Hi Tech Ave. to Bridge Ave.
Hi Tech Avenue – Airport Road to Sykes Street Landfill Road
East Main Street Service Road north of East Main Street – Fenton Avenue to the west end
East Main Street Service Road north of East Main Street – Morningside Road to Prospect Avenue

The project involved milling the existing bituminous street surfacing for a 6-foot width along each concrete gutter line and placing a 2-inch thick layer of bituminous over the entire width of the street. The project also involved replacing sections of curb and gutter that have settled and are causing drainage issues. The bituminous surface on Hale Drive from Keystone Drive to Quisley Street was in poor condition and was removed and a new aggregate base and bituminous surface was installed. The bituminous surface and curb and gutter on the service road north of East Main Street from Morningside Road to Prospect Avenue was removed and replaced. The access road to the Transfer Station and Demolition Landfill was reconstructed using a bituminous reclamation process.

Final costs came in lower than the original estimate and the assessments were lowered due to this. Following the Assessment Policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 3.94%. Staff recommends approval.

See attached resolution and supporting documents.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.
Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Dennis Flaherty, 2500 S. Shore, Dr. Mr. Flaherty submitted a written objection to his assessments. He had questions regarding the reason for holding a public forum as he doesn’t see a benefit. He detailed present and past assessments on this same property that he believes has now exceeded $125,000. He cited comparable property assessments in this same location.

John Buley, President of Produce State Bank, objected to his assessment stating he owns a vacant lot on the Airport Rd. He said this area cannot be accessed or developed as it is considered to be part of a wetland.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and closed the public hearing.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-189 included with these minutes)

Adams asked Jahnke to clarify the status of the land referred to as wetland in the last parcel discussed. Jahnke confirmed the area in question cannot be developed due to bordering wetland, however the City assessment policy was followed resulting in legitimate assessments.

Baker asked if the City has been contacted by other residents. Adams and Jahnke stated they have not.

Resolution Adopting Assessments for the Lake Avenue and East College Street Reconstruction Project (Job 1607)

The attached resolution would adopt the final assessments for the Lake Avenue and East College Street Reconstruction Project (Job 1607). The project involved 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 was 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 were all replaced. The Lake Avenue alley is an approximately 20-foot wide bituminous surface and was reconstructed to match the existing alleyway. The sanitary sewer in the alley was sliplined using cured-in-place-pipe methods.

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. East College Street from Newton Avenue to Elizabeth Avenue was reconstructed to match the existing street configuration. East of Elizabeth Avenue, the street width was reduced to a standard 34-ft wide residential street and the sidewalk was eliminated. The sanitary sewer, watermain, and storm sewer on East College Street were also replaced.

Between proposed assessments and final assessments the City Council made two changes to the assessment policy. The sidewalk assessment was reduced from 50% to 25%. Also front footage was capped at 150 feet for residential properties. The final costs came in lower than the original estimate and assessments were lowered approximately 20% due to the changes in the sidewalk assessment policy and lower bid prices. Following the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 3.94%. Staff is recommending approval.

See attached resolution and supporting documents.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. No one spoke.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and closed the public hearing.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-190 included with these minutes)

Baker asked if the City has received other calls on assessments. Adams and Jahnke stated they have not.

Resolution Adopting Assessments for the Sunset Street Reconstruction Project (Job 1614)

This item calls a public hearing on the final assessments on October 9, 2017 for City Job No. 1614, the Sunset Street Reconstruction Project. The project involves the removal of existing pavement, replacing the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and watermain, storm drainage improvements, sidewalk construction and reconstruction of the roadway to meet Municipal State Aid standards. The project area includes Sunset Street from TH 13 to Lakeview Boulevard and Hillside Avenue from Sunset Street to the dead end. The improvements include reconstructing the existing concrete roadways to a uniform width of 34 feet, with the exception of approximately 250 feet in front of the Fountain Lake Estates apartments to accommodate on-street parking for the apartment residents. A new sidewalk will be constructed along the north side of the roadway. Hillside Avenue will be reconstructed to match the existing street configuration which includes curb and gutter on the east side only and a bituminous surface.

Between proposed assessments and final assessments the City Council made two changes to the assessment policy. The sidewalk assessment was reduced from 50% to 25%. Also front footage was capped at 150 feet for residential properties. This 150 foot cap reduced assessments on two properties significantly. The final costs came in approximately 13% lower than the original estimate, however because of the changes made to the assessment policy the assessments were lowered approximately 21%. Following the Assessment Policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 3.94%. Staff recommends approval.

See attached resolution and supporting documents.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.
Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Dennis Hansel, 1713 Sunset St., discussed the inconvenience of the street project during the construction process. He had questions regarding the costs of sidewalks in different locations on Sunset. He asked to have the assessments postponed until next year when the project is completed. Mr. Hansel also asked why the assessments could not be reduced the way the Lake Chapeau assessments were last year. Bjorndal explained the process involved and details of appealing an assessment.

Joyce Lowman, 1718 Sunset St., stated the sidewalk on her street created more of a hazard than help for her and her husband. She commented the sidewalk was not necessary since it goes out to the highway.

Baker mentioned his objection to the project and said he will vote against it. He asked for clarification on the cost of the assessment involving the sidewalk. Jahnke provided explanation.

Howland emphasized the new sidewalk on Sunset not only goes out to Highway 13, but it also goes to Fountain Lake where there is a considerable amount of pedestrian traffic. He also asked for an update on the status of the project and the possibility of assessments being delayed if the project is not completed in the specified time. Jahnke detailed the timeline of this project. Adams provided further explanation stating this project is expected to be complete this year with the exception of clean up that will be completed in the spring. He added properties will not see assessments on their taxes until next year.

Discussion continued surrounding Baker’s questions regarding the process if a project were not completed by the guaranteed timeline.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and 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: Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, and Mayor Rasmussen. Baler voted Nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-191 included with these minutes)

Resolution Adopting Assessments for the Delinquent Water/Sewer Accounts and Misc. Delinquent Accounts Receivable

A public hearing is being held to receive input on adopting the final assessments for delinquent water/sewer accounts and miscellaneous delinquent accounts receivable per the Code of Ordinances. These assessments are payable with terms of one year at 8% interest. Staff recommends approval.
See attached resolution and assessment listing.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Nicole Linde, 1801 Oakwood Terrace, owns property at 909 Front St. She received an assessment for snow removal that she states she removed. She said she received letters on more than one occasion, but she removed the snow herself before the required 48-hour timeline. She stated she has had conversations with the Park Department, the Engineer, and the Mayor regarding the snow removal process.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and 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: Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-192 included with these minutes)

Baker suggested the City review the snow removal policy. Mayor Rasmussen agreed. Adams said the policy and processes will be reviewed.

Resolution Authorizing Order for Removal – 122 Euclid Avenue

In July of 2017, the house at 122 Euclid Avenue was placarded as unfit for human habitation. The property is unoccupied. The owner is under guardianship. Removal of the structure is recommended because the plumbing and wiring is not to code, there is no functioning water system, the foundation is failing and the base floors, walls and ceiling surfaces are damaged. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed to the owner and the guardian. Staff recommends the structure be removed.

See attached resolution and documentation.

Building Official, Wayne Sorensen, provided a presentation reviewing the inspection process of involving 122 Euclid Ave. including letters sent to the owner, as well as pictures of the inside and outside of this house.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.
Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

John Holt, 421 Ridge Rd., spoke on behalf of the owner of 122 Euclid Ave. He relayed the owner cannot pay the assessments due to financial constraints. The owner would like the home to be sold and rehabbed. Mr. Holt added if the house must be demolished, the owner requests that his brother be allowed to remove the water heater and other items they feel are worthy.

Robert Ackland, 2161 Highland Ave., spoke of interest in purchasing the home. He is confident he can refurbish it at minimal cost. He commented the home includes a new roof and furnace.
Baker asked Mr. Ackland if he planned on making an offer on this house. Ackland stated he is. Bjorndal detailed the timeline if the owner wants to salvage or sell the house beginning with the approval of this order tonight. Baker reiterated the building code requirements Sorensen spoke about earlier.

Olson commented he is supporting this order for removal, as postponing it would not permit a viable outcome. Rasmussen discussed the importance of removal with concern for the safety of neighboring residents.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and closed the public hearing.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-193

Resolution Authorizing Order for Removal – 2021 Stevens Avenue

In November of 2016, the house at 2021 Stevens Street was placarded as unfit for human habitation. The property is unoccupied. Removal of the structure is recommended because a fire occurred at the residence on October 28, 2016. There is no roof and the building has sustained extensive fire damage. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed to the owner. Staff recommends the structure be removed.
See attached resolution and documentation.

Adams reminded the public that this is the last opportunity to appeal an assessment. The assessment must be in writing and presented prior to the close of this meeting.
Building Official, Wayne Sorensen provided a presentation reviewing the inspection process of 2021 Stevens Street including letters sent to the owner, as well as pictures of the remains of this building.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Barbara De Los Santos-Madrigal, 2021 Stevens St., is the owner of this property. She acknowledges the necessity of removal of the remains of this home. She requests using the 30-day order for removal timeframe to arrange demolition on her own accord as opposed to the City arranging the process. Bjorndal detailed the process for Ms. De Los Santos-Madrigal.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and closed the public hearing.

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

Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-194

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – Attended Save Our Hospital Rally.
  • Committee – Attended a Planning Commission meeting regarding the plans for the Sons of Norway Barn now under new ownership.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:

  • Ward Items –Received several phone calls regarding the CUP for the Sons of Norway Barn.
  • Committee – None

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – Received a phone call regarding the CUP for the Sons of Norway Barn.
  • Committee Update –None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – None

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Mayor Rasmussen: Attended a Port Authority meeting and spoke about the 75,000 square foot addition to Zumbro River Brand building. This addition will allow for an additional 20-25 new employees.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

Adams spoke about the Thought Exchange program the Albert Lea School District is currently promoting on the School website. He mentioned there are just seven days remaining to participate, and encouraged the public to take part in the survey.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
RESOLUTION APPROVING CLAIMS
Adams displayed claims over $25,000 providing detail explanation of each.

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 Howland, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #65484 through #65653 in the amount of $1,536,015.40, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, Baker and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 17-195
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 8:24 PM

Motion made by Councilor Howland seconded by Councilor Baker, 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, October 23, 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.

_/s/___________________________
Daphney Maras
Secretary to 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.