February 22, 2016

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, February 22, 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, City Engineer Steven Jahnke, and City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte.

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – None

PUBLIC FORUM

WATERSHED SALES TAX RENEWAL

Brian Hensley, 1115 Lakeview Blvd, member of the Lakes Foundation, spoke in favor of the sales tax extension. He referred to all of the projects that have been completed by the Shell Rock River Watershed District. Hensley presented a petition with 84 signatures in favor of the sales tax extension and encouraged the council to support the sales tax extension.

Gary Hagen, 501 Albert Lea Street, spoke in favor of the sales tax renewal. He stated concerns about when dredging would begin and whether $15 million would be enough to dredge both Fountain and Albert Lea Lakes.

Ken Petersen, 1716 Bay Oaks Drive, spoke in favor of renewing the sales tax and asked the council to support the sales tax.

Jason Howland, 1133 Plainview Lane, supports the sales tax extension. He stated that he is a fisherman and moved to Albert Lea because of the lakes. Howland said that he has noticed a major improvement in the clarity of the lakes since the Watershed has been in place.

Brett Behnke, District Administrator of the Shell Rock River Watershed answered questions regarding the dredging of the lakes. He stated that dredging will probably begin in late 2017. Behnke invited the public to the Watershed’s Annual meeting to be held at 6 p.m., March 10, 2016 at the Freeborn County Government Center.

Brad Arends, 217 South Lane, spoke in favor of the renewal of the sales tax. He lives on the lake and has served on a committee of the watershed board for Albert Lea Lake. Arends feels that lake improvement will lead to economic development, not just for tourism, but for quality of life.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, stated that the $15 million could be better used on other projects.

BROOKSIDE DOG PARK

Shelia Schulz, 1917 South Shore Drive, representing the Rotary Club, stated that the organization has raised more than $25,000 for the Dog Park project proposed for the Brookside area. She showed a drawing of the location of the park. Schulz stated that Ranch and Pet Store conducted a survey and the majority of people preferred the Brookside location over the Frank Hall Park location.

John Schulz, 1917 South Shore Drive, spoke in favor of the location for the Dog Park at the Brookside site.

Gary Hagen, 501 Albert Lea Street, asked if there could be a control put in place to make sure the dogs are licensed and that owners had an insurance policy in place for liability.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, stated that he wasn’t against a dog park as long as it didn’t cost the taxpayers money.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes of the February 8, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes of the February 4, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See attached list.)
D. Resolution 16-37-Accepting Donations presented to the City of Albert Lea
E. Resolution 16-38-Approving Grant Agreement with Minnesota Department of Transportation – Office of Aeronautics
F. Resolution 16-39-Requesting Approval of Dynamic Sign Installations on Highway 65 & Highway 13
G. Resolution 16-40-Approving Agreement with Emergency Services Consulting International

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda as presented.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, 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 16-37-40 included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS

TAX INCREMENT FINANCING MANAGEMENT PLAN – EHLERS & ASSOCIATES

Rebecca Kurtz, with Ehlers and Associates, gave an update on the TIF Management Plan. She stated that a review was made of the district and a short summary is that,
“The City has adequate cash flow to pay all the outstanding general obligation TIF bonds.”

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

NEW BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 16-41-ORDERING IMPROVEMENT AND PREPARATION OF PLANS FOR 2016 NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (JOB 1601)

A public hearing is being held for public input on the proposed improvement. The proposed project involves the bituminous overlay, reconstruction, miscellaneous and total curb replacement and miscellaneous sidewalk replacement of streets in the east central area of the City. The streets are as follows:

James Avenue – 2nd Street to Frank Ave 2nd Street
Broadway Avenue to Frank Hall Dr.
3rd Street – Newton Ave. to Frank Hall Dr. 4th Street
Frank Avenue to Frank Hall Dr.
Frank Hall Drive – 2nd Street to 3rd Street Frank Hall Drive
5th Street to 7th Street
Newton Avenue – 4th Street to 7th Street
St. John Avenue – 4th Street to 7th Street
6th Street – James Ave. to Frank Hall Dr.

The project will involve milling the existing bituminous street surfacing for a 6-foot width along each concrete gutter line so the new bituminous layer will match with the level of the concrete gutter. A 2-inch thick layer of bituminous would be laid over the entire width of the street. The project would also involve replacing sections of curb and gutter that have settled and are causing drainage issues and replacing sections of sidewalk that are settled or damaged and causing tripping hazards.

Previous overlays on portions of 3rd Street, 4th Street, 6th Street, and St. John Avenue were placed over the existing concrete gutter. Proposed with the project is the replacement of the entire curb and gutter on these streets prior to placement of the overlay.

City costs are for side yard credits; work in intersections, and for work along City-owned property. The sanitary sewer fund costs are for repairs to manholes that will be completed as part of this project and done prior to placement of the overlay. The average age of these streets is 54 years old. Approximately half of the streets have been overlaid in the past. The last overlay was placed in 1996. Typically Engineering has tried to extend the life of the roadways by performing an overlay between year 20 and 30 and every 15 to 20 years thereafter. The goal is to extend the life of the roadway to an approximately 75 year life. This is the estimated life of the underground utilities.

There are 262 properties to be assessed for the overlay portion of this project. The assessments depend on the width of the roadway and range from a low of $25.34 per foot to a high of $27.34 per foot. The additional assessment for the total curb and gutter replacement areas is $34.80 per foot. Following the Assessment Policy, the assessments will be over 10 years. The interest rate will be based on bonding in 2016.

The estimated project cost is $1,326,677.38 and would be paid for with assessments, City funds, and sanitary sewer funds. A neighborhood meeting was held on February 11, 2016 to discuss the project with affected residents. Staff recommends approval.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Gary Warriner, 1126 S. Newton, stated concerns over flooding and expressed frustration over the state of Virginia Place and Fifth Street. He stressed that infrastructure needs to be in place before the city conducts mill and overlay projects.

Larry D. Lawrence, 628 E. 6th Street, had concerns about the driveway and the connection to the street. He had concerns about parking during the construction project and where residents would be able to park.

Miles Pechacek, 524 E. 4th Street, had concerns on the increases of taxes and assessments on the family property.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, requested pictures/slides of this area.

Kim Nelson, representing the Children’s Center, located at 605 James Avenue, stated that the proposed assessments are about $15,000 and they are a non-profit agency. Nelson stated that there is a real need for the improvement to the street and sidewalks. She noted that there are several deliveries and parent drop-offs and pickups and it is very important that one of the two entrances is open at all times.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and then closed the public hearing.

Councilor Brooks stated that he has received telephone calls regarding the replacement of sidewalks in front of private properties by the property owners.

City Engineer Jahnke stated that private property owners can complete this work prior to the project by notifying the city and following the city standards.

Councilor Marin commented on the infrastructure needs in this area, rather than an overlay and the need for sidewalks. He stated that the city needs to request funding from the state.

Councilor Baker had questions regarding the lift station under Virginia Street.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Schulte V. 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 16-41 included with these minutes)

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 16-42-ORDERING IMPROVEMENT AND PREPARATION OF PLANS FOR 2016 LAKE CHAPEAU DRIVE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (JOB 1602)

A public hearing is being held for public input on the proposed improvement. The proposed project involves the recycling of the bituminous pavement by reclamation, new bituminous pavement, shouldering, and the installation of a centerline culvert for the main entrance road to the City Arena and the Lake Chapeau residential subdivisions.

The project will involve bituminous reclamation which is a process of pulverizing the existing bituminous pavement and incorporating the material with the underlying aggregate to create a uniform recycled mixture to be used in the new road as the base material. This process is used on roads that are beyond their useful life. One of the benefits is the absence of reflective cracking that is inherent on mill and overlay jobs. There will then be new bituminous pavement constructed and the shoulders will be brought up to match. No work is planned in the ditch areas except for minor grading work near field drives to improve drainage. Engineering is proposing to add underdrain to the roadway north of the railroad based on a recommendation by the soils engineer that studied the project.

The City has record of one previous overlay being constructed in 1989. City crews have also done periodic chip sealing and crack sealing to preserve the pavement as long as possible. The City costs are for side yard credits; work in the intersections, and for work along City-owned property. There is no utility work planned as part of the street improvements. The utilities are all located outside of the roadway and are currently in good condition. The only drainage work planned is the replacement of the centerline culvert near the storm water pond.

Typically Engineering has tried to extend the life of the roadways by performing an overlay between year 20 and 30 and every 15 to 20 years thereafter. Unfortunately, the pavement has deteriorated beyond the point of rehabilitation and needs to be reconstructed. There are eleven private properties to be assessed for the street improvement work. The assessments depend on the width of the adjoining properties. Engineering is recommending capping the frontage widths at 300 feet for all properties, as allowed by the City’s assessment policy. Due to the current zoning, and non-commercial use of Lake Chapeau Drive by the adjoining properties, all properties are proposed to be capped at 300 feet.

Following the Assessment Policy, the assessments will be over 10 years. The interest rate will be based on bonding in 2016. The estimated project cost is $405,855.50 and would be paid for with assessments and City funds. A neighborhood meeting was held on February 16, 2016 to discuss the project with affected residents. Staff recommends approval.
Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Tony Hill, 2520 West Main, representing Hills Garden and partners of the business, agreed with the 300 foot cap to parcels along Lake Chapeau Drive as this street is not used by their commercial traffic and these lots are currently zoned residential.

Leo Skorin, 3016 Lake Chapeau Drive, stated that he uses the street for hiking and biking and there is a need to widen these streets for this type of activity.
Mayor Rasmussen called three times and then closed the Public Hearing.

Councilor Marin had questions regarding gas tax dollars and could these dollars be budgeted to these types of projects? He stated concerns regarding only one entrance to this area.

Motion made by Councilor Marin, 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 16-42 included with these minutes)

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 16-43-ORDERING IMPROVEMENT AND PREPARATION OF PLANS FOR THE EDGEWATER DRIVE AND PARKING LOTS RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 1606)

A public hearing is being held for public input on the proposed improvement. The project involves the reconstruction of bituminous surfaces on Edgewater Drive from Lakeview Boulevard, through Edgewater Park, to where the new pavement terminates near the west pavilion. Included in this project are reconstructing and/or overlaying the parking lots for the east Edgewater Park pavilion, the Edgewater Park band shell, and the shared user trail from the band shell to the lower Edgewater Park parking lot.

Engineering investigated the feasibility of including a porous pavement mix design for the Edgewater Park area in an effort to increase storm water infiltration. The City holds environmental sustainability as a high priority. The pavement option is becoming more popular and is available in this area from local bituminous contractor, Ulland Brothers. There are limitations to porous pavement which must be considered. Engineering has evaluated the additional cost of porous pavement if used for Edgewater Park Drive, from the west park entrance gate to the Bayside Ski Show site and walking path, at approximately $150,000. The extra cost includes the cost of under drain and the approximate increased cost of the pavement material. This option will be discussed further with the Council to determine if there is interest in proceeding. This additional $150,000 was not shown in the overall cost.

The assessable costs include half of the roadway width on Edgewater Drive from Lakeview Boulevard to the Edgewater Park entrance. All other costs will be City costs. The bituminous surfaces were constructed in the 1960’s and have not had any major maintenance completed on them. The pavements are in poor condition and warrant reconstruction.

Eleven properties are proposed to be assessed for the project at a preliminary rate of $39.86/front foot. The City will be assessing itself for a portion of the project costs. Staff is proposing that the City of Albert Lea be assessed in the preliminary amount of $119,580 and assessments will be assessed over 10 years. The interest rate will be based on bonding in 2016. The estimated project cost is $519,689.90 and would be paid for with special assessments and City funds. A neighborhood meeting was held on February 9, 2016 to discuss the project with affected residents. Staff recommends approval.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Gary Hagen, 501 Albert Lea Street, stated that there is “No Parking” allowed in this area and city needs to address this issue for the safety of people using this area.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, suggested gravel parking lots instead of paved lots.

Orville Goskeson, 1406 Edgewater Drive, stated that the assessments should be assessed on the people using the road. He stated that the speed limit should be reduced, enforced and posted in this area.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and then closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Councilor Anderson. 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 16-43 included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Schulte V reported:

  • Ward Items – Attended the Neighborhood meeting and received telephone calls regarding Project 1606.
  • Committee Update – Reported on the Library Board meeting and that the Foundation has provided funding for 2 Wi-Fi hot spots and devices, new furniture and televisions.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – Property pins need to be placed on properties on Lakeview Blvd.
  • Committee Update – Attended Blue Zones meeting and discussed decks to be placed in front of food establishments. Heritage Preservation Commission meeting updates included future renovation of the Federal Bank Building.
  • Attended continuing education for his contractor’s license presented by the Inspection Staff of Albert Lea and reported that this was an excellent class with over 100 people were in attendance.
  • Congratulations to Doug Johnson as he was honored by the Association of Minnesota Building Officials with the Alvin E. Kleinbeck Award to the Code Official of the Year for 2015.

Third Ward, Councilor Marin reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Human Rights Commission members and Albert Lea Police Department presented at St. Theodore’s for the Latina Community.
  • Residents requesting a stop sign in the Lake Chapeau Road area.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – Received a telephone call regarding Project 1606 – Lake Chapeau
  • Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson reported:

  • Ward Items – Thanked everyone for attending and sharing at the neighborhood meetings.
  • Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – Speed limit signage is needed on Frank Hall Drive.
  • Committee Update – None
  • Update on special assessments policy regarding projects such as installation of sidewalks by property owners, etc.

Mayor Rasmussen reported the following:

  • City Manager Adams and Mayor completed “State of the City Address” in different locations which included St. John’s, Good Samaritan, Thorne Crest, Senior Center, visited with the residents, received good comments, will continue to explore different opportunities to communicate with our residents.
  • Contacted by a Duke University student completing her Master’s Degree who is doing a paper on the Blue Zones.
  • City Manager Adams and Mayor met with some concerned citizens on projects and taxes.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Adams reported the following:

  • Freeborn Bank RFP is available and due back on March 11th, 2016
  • Will be attending the Southeast Minnesota Together Group currently working on the work force project on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 16-44 APPROVING CLAIMS

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to issue the payment of Claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report. City Manager Adams reviewed claims over $25,000.00.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #58866 though #59004 in the amount of $476,936.48, 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 16-44
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 9:17 P.M.
Motion made by Councilor Marin, 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, March 14, 2016. 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/________________________________
Shirley Slater-Schulte, Council Secretary

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.