December 10, 2018

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, December 10, 2018, 7:00 P.M.

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

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

A. Oaths of Office & Ceremonial Pinning’s – Public Safety Director JD Carlson of the Albert Lea Police Department announced the promotion of Adam Hamberg to Sargent. He introduced Adam Rasmussen as a new Police Officer and Steve Oman as a new officer with the Police Reserves. City Clerk Maras administered the Oath of Office to each of them.
B. Lifesaving Awards – Public Safety Director JD Carlson presented Officers Megan Evers and Nathan Idstein with lifesaving awards for their efforts in an emergency situation on October 25, 2018. Officer Evers was first on the scene where a man was not breathing. She took over chest compressions from the victim’s wife and used her defibrillator. Officer Idstein and Officer Evers proceeded to give chest compressions for 20 minutes until the victim regained circulation.
C. ALPD Hispanic Citizen Academy Presentation – Lt. Jeffrey Strom presented the participants of the second annual Hispanic Citizens Academy. Strom described the nine week program which was created to help citizens of the community better understand what the Police Department does for them.

Mayor Rasmussen thanked the academy participants for their participation.
PUBLIC FORUM – Gary Hagen asked why three HRA board members were forced to resign and replaced with council members. He also had questions regarding the HRA Levy budget in relation to the staff at the HRA.

Adams responded stating administrative services consisting of Administrative, Financial, Legal and Human Resource services were provided to the HRA after the resignation of the Director. In addition a contract was signed in August to continue to provide services until a permanent director is hired. A combination of city staff has continued to work at the HRA, and an Interim Director was recently appointed under the City’s administration. The monthly fee the City is charging is less than paying three employees that are no longer employed at the HRA. Adams clarified the $109,000 levy is not related to this contract for services, adding the levy includes housing studies, dilapidated housing and Section 8 administrative fees, as well as other expenses. The levy is not used to pay administration staff. Mayor Rasmussen clarified that the three board members voluntarily resigned.

Hagen also spoke of the increase of the boat dock fees. He would like the dock ordinance reviewed.

No one else spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public forum
CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen mentioned each item on the council agenda:

A. Approve Minutes of the November 26, 2018 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes of the November 26, 2018 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (None requested)
D. Resolution Designating Polling Places for 2019
E. Resolution Accepting and Awarding Bids for 2019 Chemicals And Fuel
F. Resolution Supporting Blazing Star ‘State Trail Cooperative Agreement’ Between the State of Minnesota and City of Albert Lea
G. Resolution Approving Non-Union Employee Salaries for 2019
H. Resolution Accepting St. Johns Addition Public Infrastructure
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 18-209 thru 18-213
included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
A. Resolution 18-214 Accepting Donations Presented to the City of Albert Lea

The City of Albert Lea is generally authorized to accept donations pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 465.03 for the benefit of its citizens. Staff recommends acceptance of the following donation/s submitted for Council review and approval:
• $6,786.98 – Total amount donated in 2018 by FRIENDS of the Library.

Adams displayed a slide outlining how the money donated has been spent in 2018.
• $1,000.00 – Donated to the Holiday Lights Fund by ITC Midwest, LLC

Mayor thanked ITC for their donation to the Holiday Lights Fund.
Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 18-214
included with these minutes)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Resolution 18-215 Approving Conditional Use Permit for Hammer Field Complex Improvements And Expansion.

City staff and the Albert Lea School District have come to agreed modifications of the site plan for the new Hammer Field Complex. The new site design addresses the issues raised previously by staff with an improved internal traffic route. Staff is recommending approval of the resolution and conditional use permit; the proposed conditions and findings of fact to support this approval are provided.

Howland asked if all the modifications City staff requested have been made to which Adams responded all the requests have been completed if not entirely, significantly, and staff is pleased with the results. Howland commented that he has concerns of the lack of parking at the complex and believes the School District may be misjudging the public’s reaction when they have to make the walk from the High School to the Complex.

Project Manager Dan Thompson of ICS Consulting was present and described the parking modifications. He commented there was only one event this year that attracted an exceptionally large crowd. Thompson remarked by not adding additional parking this allowed for the other amenities. Howland asked if the parking was cut in half. Thompson confirmed it was. Baker enquired as to the use of the removable bollards. Thompson confirmed they are made to be removed when needed.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-215
included with these minutes)

B. Albert Lea Fire Station
1. Resolution 18-216 Accepting Bid and Awarding Contract for the Albert Lea Fire Station

The City of Albert Lea has reviewed bids opened November 20, 2018 for the Albert Lea Fire Station. Ten contractor bids were received. Staff recommends the base bid of $8,069,000.00 and acceptance of Bid Alternate #1 Deduct of $103,000.00 for a total award of $7,966,000.00 to MOHS Construction of Owatonna for approval. The attached resolution would award the contract for the new Fire Facility project.

Murray asked that Brunton Architect as well as City staff continue to look for ways to reduce the overall cost. Baker asked the status of the purchase of the Freeborn Mower property on S. Newton Avenue. Adams said this property along with the other properties to be purchased are in the stage of finalization.

Baker asked since the emergency management location will be housed at the new fire facility, has there been any more conversation with the County to consider cost sharing this project. Adams said negotiations are still in the works.

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 18-216
included with these minutes)

2. Resolutions Approving Purchase of Real Estate

City staff has prepared resolutions and purchase agreements for the purchase of three real estate properties for the fire station facility. Adams spoke of the purchase agreement price for each of the properties ranging from $45,000 to $52,000 in addition to other details for consideration outlined in the purchase agreement.

Resolution 18-217 Approving Real Property at 408 Elizabeth Avenue – Barry and Jane Braatan.

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 18-217
included with these minutes)

Resolution 18-218 Approving Real Property at 411 S. Newton Avenue – Dolores Dorman

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-218
included with these minutes)

Resolution 18-219 Approving Real Property at 412 Elizabeth Avenue – Irene and Don Jones

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 18-219
included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS
A. 2019 Budget – TRUTH IN TAXATION –
Brutlag led council through a slide presentation.

Adams provided detail of market values in the City of Albert Lea. He noted the overall values reflect an increase of 6.53% however, some of this is for new homes constructed. Adams said although 10% to 15% increases are not uncommon in certain pockets of the City, there are areas that received low to no increase if not small reductions. The overall market value remains at a total of 4.73% increase, majority of which is market value adjustments. Brutlag spoke of the tax capacity and tax rates. The tax rate in 2019 reflects a decrease of -2.91%.

Baker asked with no increase in the tax levy why there is an increase of 3% in the budget. Brutlag described how the revenue sources affect the budget and tax levy. Howland asked if adding the tax base from the Stables area added to the tax capacity. Brutlag highlighted the displayed chart reflects a $38,614 increase in tax capacity from adding the Stables area.

Council and staff discussed particulars of the tax levy and budget.

Brutlag emphasized the 2019 Fee schedule reveals the 7% increase in water rates with no increase in sewer rates, as well as an increase in the boat dock fees from $125 annually to $150, and additional Fire Inspection fees and cell tower fees. She explained based on 800 cubic feet (6,000 gallons) the increase of 7% reflects approximately $1.90 monthly increase in a residential water and sewer utility bill. In comparison with surrounding cities, the rates range from $51.78 to $85.97 monthly. Brutlag cited the City of Albert Lea does not have a storm water fee. A slide highlighting the 2019 budgets for water, sewer and solid waste as well as the Airport and Senior Center budgets was displayed and described for Council.

Review of the 2019-2023 CIP revealed a total of $95,765,500. Some of the projects over $2 million were highlighted such as the new Fire Station, E Main Street project, Snyder Field ballfields improvements, and the Stables are project.

Baker asked if the Watershed would be helping the City fund the Fountain Lake Dam. Adams commented state funding grants are being considered to help fund this project.

Howland spoke of the alarming dollar amount that it will take to renovate the Snyder field ballfield including the restrooms, pavilions and fields.

Adams noted that the CIP projects are not all expected to be City funded since many will be provided with grants.

Howland thanked staff for adding Chapeau Park to the CIP and is hoping for matching funds from the City toward the grant money residents will be applying for.

Mayor Rasmussen opened up the meeting for public comment. No one spoke.

Howland thanked City Staff for the work in keeping the entire levy adjustment at 0%. Mayor Rasmussen stated this is the 7th year in a row that the operating tax levy adjustments has remained at 0% or no increase.

1. Resolution 18-220 Establishing the Tax Levy For 2019

The City Council in September approved a preliminary levy of $6,440,031 for 2019. The levy being recommended for final adoption will be established at $6,310,770 (a lesser amount by $129,261 than what was proposed in September), with $4,758,453 for the General Fund operating levy and $1,552,317 for the debt service levy. Staff recommends approval of the resolution.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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 18-220
included with these minutes)

2. Resolution 18-221 Approving Albert Lea Housing and Redevelopment Authority Final Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2019

The City Council in September approved a preliminary property tax levy of $109,000. The maximum special levy as provided by Minnesota Statute 469.033 is $178,734 (.0185% of Estimated Market Value of $966,127,700) but Staff is recommending $109,000 or 61% of the maximum.

Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 18-221
included with these minutes)

3. Resolution 18-222 Adopting the 2019 General Fund Budget
The proposed 2019 General Fund budget being recommended for approval is $16,490,857 which is an approximate 3.24% increase over 2018.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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 18-222
included with these minutes)

4. Resolution 18-223 Adopting the 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan

Each year a five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is developed by staff for the City of Albert Lea. One of the best approaches to this decision making process is to use long-range planning as a means of identifying needs, available resources and the significance of the impact. The five-year Capital Improvement Plan is a long-range planning tool the City can successfully use in setting priorities for the community’s infrastructure improvement. The attached resolution would adopt the proposed 2019 – 2023 Capital Improvement Plan.
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 Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-223
included with these minutes)

5. Resolution 18-224 Amending Fee Schedule For 2019 – Excluding Water and Sewer Utility Rates

There are two resolutions approving the fees for 2019. The first resolution approves all fees except Water and Sewer rates and the second approves the Water and Sewer Rates. The attached fee schedule is formatted to provide a comparison between the 2018 schedule and proposed 2019. The new fee schedule includes the recommended 7% increase to water rates. Staff recommends approval of the proposed changes.
Brooks commented he disagrees on some of the fees on this schedule and will be voting no.
Motion made by Councilor, seconded by Councilor. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, and Mayor Rasmussen. Brooks voted Nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-224
included with these minutes)

6. Resolution 18-225 Amending Fee Schedule for 2019 – Water and Sewer Utility Rates Only

As noted above, this is a separate resolution to approve amending the fee schedule to add Water and Sewer Utility Rates for 2019.
Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 18-225
included with these minutes)

Brooks commented that he hopes the 2019 water and sewer rate study will project that the water rates will not need to be consistently increased.

Baker asked if there is a target dollar amount to keep in the reserve in order to work on emergency projects. Adams stated although he doesn’t have the specific numbers readily available, the rate study has confirmed the City is at or below the recommended amount in reserves.

Howland asked although the sewer fund maintains a high balance, why are the rates anticipated to be raised in the future. Because Adams was not here prior to the rate study that reflect annual increases, he is unable to explain the history of rate increases prior to his tenure. Adams explained, when he became City Manager a rate study reflected there should be a 25% increase in water rates for two years in a row. It was decided to spread the increase out over a series of years rather than put the burden on homeowners and businesses all at one time or the alternative of applying it to property taxes. He presented an analogy of how the funds are used. He spoke of broken trunk line on Highway 69. Staff has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours trying to find this broken line that desperately needs replacing. Howland commented on the expense of the central water tower dismantle currently on the CIP. Adams said the water tower repainting would cost over $1 million, but replacing makes far more sense. The revenue from the water fund will be used for this project as well.

7. Resolution 18-226 Adopting the Water, Sewer, Solid Waste, Senior Center and Airport Budgets

While the City is not required to formally adopt budgets for other funds, Staff recommends approving the budgets to provide more information and transparency to the public on spending for such funds.
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 Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-226
included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 18-227 Supporting the Small Town and Regional Vitality Investment Act of 2018

The attached resolution states support for the Small Town and Regional Vitality Investment Act of 2018. The act was proposed by Congressman Tim Walz and was designed to address specific challenges in rural communities, such as child care, infrastructure improvement, housing opportunities, reliable internet and an increase in health care services.

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 18-227
included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Referred Ward items to the City Manager
• Committee Update – Attended ALEDA Greater jobs meeting last week. Attended an HRA and Hospital meeting

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Will refer his ward items to the City Manager
• Committee Update – Will attend a Heritage Commission Meeting tomorrow night. He asked if the City will be funding the Broadway Ridge matching fund grant and requested a status update at a future meeting. Baker asked if the City could provide a program or policy to allow residents to sell items for fundraisers.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – Referred items to City Manager. He thanked the City Street Department for moving the snow in a timely manner after the recent storm. He spoke of a recent gas leak in his neighborhood that required the gas company to dig up several yards. He asked Jahnke if the gas company is expected to return in the spring and repair the yards. Jahnke was familiar with the project; assured Howland and his neighbors that the company will come back and repair the yards in the spring. Howland thanked the Holiday Lights Committee for their fundraising efforts. He mentioned the Holiday Bazaar is next Thursday and reported he will be reading Christmas stories to children at the Marion Ross Theatre.
• Committee Update – None

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Referred ward items to staff.
Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting and reported the board is working on a couple of big projects.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – Spoke with residents regarding the recent snow removal.
• Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Reported concerns from constituents regarding the increase of water rates.
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting.

MAYOR REPORT:
• HOLIDAY BAZAAR ON BROADWAY – Mayor Rasmussen invited the community to come and enjoy a special evening in the downtown — a Holiday Bazaar is being held Thursday, December 13th from 4 to 7PM. There will be a Horse Drawn Singing Trolley, Ice Skating, Face Painting, Santa Claus, Sledding, Hot Cocoa/Coffee, the Brass Band, Caroliers and a Live Nativity. Also snow activities at Fountain Lake Park. Everyone is welcome!
• Reminder – the next City Council meeting is Thursday, Dec 20th at 5:30 PM (due to Christmas holiday). No Work Session.
• Informational meeting regarding the Bridge Street Corridor project will be held in the Council Chambers from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11th.
• Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to appoint Councilor Baker to the HRA Board.

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

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
Adams said several City Staff participated in the Emergency Management Mock Tabletop drill last week with state officials as well as other trainers. He mentioned his observation and feedback reaffirms the City is very well prepared for emergencies. He thanked the County for hosting this mock drill and advocated for an active drill to be conducted in the field in the near future.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
Resolution 18-228 Approving Contract with Councilmember Brooks

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $117.11 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 Howland, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen, and Mayor Rasmussen. Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-228
included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 18-229 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. In addition, Adams displayed a list of claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency and education.

Motion made by Councilor Rasmussen to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #70005 through #70158 in the amount of $774,036.20. 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.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-229
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 8:25 PM

Motion made by Councilor Howland, seconded by Councilor Murray, 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 Thursday, December 20th. 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 of the Council