February 22, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, February 22, 2021, 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 Ian Rigg, Finance Director Kristi Brutlag, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, this council meeting was conducted via teleconference as provided by Minnesota Statute 13D.021 Sub(1).

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

A. Acceptance of the 2019 CAFR Award – Certificate of Achievement For Excellence In Financial Reporting

Mayor Rasmussen reported a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the City of Albert Lea by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report, for the year ended December 31, 2019. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The City of Albert Lea has received this Certificate of Achievement since 1983 for 37 consecutive years.

PUBLIC FORUM
City Clerk Maras read aloud a letter received from resident Gary Hagen regarding his opposition toward the first reading of the Dock Ordinance.

Molly Grimmius spoke urging Council to re-open the Library.

Lynn Huston asked for confirmation if his dock space is affected by the amended Dock Ordinance. Although Rigg responded that it does not appear the location of his dock is affected, he encouraged Huston to contact staff at the Parks and Recreation department to answer his questions. Additionally, Rigg welcomed Huston to call him directly tomorrow to discuss if he so chooses.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The February 8, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The February 8, 2021 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Feasibility Report And Ordering Improvement & Preparation of Plans For Washington Avenue And Water Street Parking Lot Reconstruction Project (Job 2104)
E. Resolution Approving Purchase Of One Single Axle And One Tandem Axle Truck
F. Resolution Granting Approval Of A Conditional Use Permit For 2440 Becker Drive
G. Resolution Authorizing Fire And Police 2021 Purchases
H. Resolution Approving Myre Big Island State Park Wastewater Treatment Facility Maintenance Cooperative Agreement Renewal
I. Resolution Authorizing An Agreement With Nick Hanke
J. Resolution Approving SCDP Program and Local Income Plan

City Manager Rigg explained item I – Resolution Authorizing an Agreement with Nick Hanke authorizing the City of Albert Lea to enter into an Agreement with Nick Hanke, Hankedoodle LLC for renovation of a building located at 206 West Clark Street. The City has authorized up to $8,000 to complete the remodel of two rental units, and an ADA Type B bathroom, which is required in buildings with four or more rental units. The loan document is in review and development to meet grant guidelines. Rigg suggests adding language to clarify the project shall meet the grant requirements of improving LMI Rental Housing “under SCDP guidelines.”

In addition, Rigg noted item J – Resolution Approving SCDP Program and Local Income Plan will be removed from the agenda and presented at a later date.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda with the added language as presented in Resolution item I, and the removal of Resolution item J, 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 21-026 through 21-031
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

A. Ordinance 21-051 Amending Chapter 48, Article II – Docks, Sec. 46.019 Through Sec. 48.026 (1st reading)

Rigg explained the ability to provide dock use from public shoreline is unique as is our balance between what would have been the abutting property owner’s riparian rights and the greater good of allowing greater public access. This ordinance is meant to correct some poor or outdated definitions, establish procedures to handle appeals, and provide some assurance for permit holders and riparian property owners their ability to return to their dock space the following year. Early last week a letter was sent to riparian property owners on record and 2020 dock space permittees.

Rigg responded to Howland’s question regarding the timing of the appeal process. Howland also noted an incorrect reference where and a spelling error. Rigg assured council the corrections will be made. Howland acknowledged this amendment is simply to change the language and the processes to be clear and not so much to change the policies. Rigg concurred with the exception of some minor added features such as the appeal process and defining the separation between the riparian and community docks.

Olson spoke of his disagreement with the details involving riparian rights of property owners with over 100 feet of shoreline space.

Motion made by Councilor Howland to approve Ordinance 21-051 with the corrections as noted, 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 Ordinance 21-051 Included with these minutes)

B. Ordinance 21-052 Amendment Sec. 50.0224 – Conditional Permitted Uses in R-1 Single Family Residential District (1st reading)

Rigg stated as part of an ongoing attempt to clarify and improve different zoning ordinances, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on February 2, 2021 in regards to two separate zoning codes that work to clarify permitted conditional uses in both the Single-Family Residence (R-1) and Residential Preservation (R-P) District. Questions have been raised in regards to the meaning of the word private and as a result, staff’s interpretation is that public and commercial recreational uses (meaning for public benefit) such as country clubs, golf courses, swimming pools and similar comparable uses are permitted; and, that private uses are not. The proposed ordinance amendments would reflect this interpretation.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve Ordinance 21-052, 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 Ordinance 21-052 Included with these minutes)

C. Ordinance 21-053 Amendment Sec. 50.0345 – Conditional Permitted Uses in R-P Residential Preservation District (1st reading)

Rigg said as noted in the above report, the Planning Commission’s February 2nd public hearing and clarification to the permitted conditional use, also applies to this Ordinance Amendment.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve Ordinance 21-053, 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 Ordinance 21-053 Included with these minutes)

D. Ordinance 21-054 Repealing Part II, Chapter 6 – Amusements and Entertainments, Article IV – Dances, Division 1. – Generally, Sec. 6.064 through Sec. 6.066 and Division 2. – License, Sec 6.091 Through 6.095 (1st reading)

Rigg explained the Dance Hall Ordinance is one that was created at a time when dance halls were prevalent and regulation was required to ensure safety. The City of Albert Lea wishes to eliminate the requirement of a license to conduct public dances as a business or as an incident to a restaurant, dancehall or other business.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve Ordinance 21-054, 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 Ordinance 21-054 Included with these minutes)

E. Ordinance 21-055 Repealing Chapter 4, Article VI – Cabarets, Part Of Sec. 4.151, All Of Sec. 4.152, And Sec. 4.154 And Repealing The Article VI Title – Cabarets (1st reading)

Rigg said the Cabaret Ordinance is one that was created at a time when public venues, by law, required a “Cabaret license” to allow public dancing in the State of Minnesota. The State of Minnesota no longer requires such license.
Motion made by Councilor to approve, seconded by Councilor. 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.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve Ordinance 21-055, 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 Ordinance 21-055 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:

  • Ward Items – Received several phone calls encouraging the Library be re-opened and received calls regarding the Interchange. Encourages the community to continue supporting all local businesses.
  • Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting last week and the Special Closed Council meeting regarding the Waste Water Treatment issues.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – Working with Rigg on a couple of his ward items.
  • Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting as well as the Special Closed Council meeting regarding the WWTP. Shared an article he read related to outdoor activities in Albert Lea.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:

  • Ward Items – Spoke of an email he received from a local bar owner requesting refunding liquor license fees to on-sale liquor licensees.
  • Committee Update – Attended the Park and Recreation Board meeting last week. He noted the seasonal jobs are now posted on the Albert Lea website. Announced May 28th is the tentative date for the first Thursdays on Fountain. Also detailed the St. Patrick’s Day event “Lea the Leprechaun” to be held March 1st through the 15th.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – Extended his appreciation for Peggy Havener for her presentation at the work session and supports the Library opening to the public.
  • Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting last week. Spoke of the required repairs necessary to the façade at the HRA building.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:

  • Ward Items – Received emails from residents encouraging the re-opening of the Library. Also received emails from local bar owners requesting license refunds. He supports consideration of refunds
  • Committee Update – Attended the Airport Board meeting where they discussed adding hangers, runway approaches and taxi way reconfiguration. Also attended the Library Board meeting and curbside pickup is going well, and reported on the additional programs they’ve added.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – Has met with bar owners. Supports refunds to liquor licenses. Has received calls and emails requesting re-opening the library.
  • Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:

  • Supports the re-opening of the Library and Library Director Peggy Havener’s proposed process presented at the work session tonight.
  • Received calls from liquor license holders. Supports further discussion and consideration on refunding or reducing liquor license fees as well as refunding 2:00 a.m. 2020 liquor license fee.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

  • Reviewing loan documents between the City of Albert Lea and other business(es)
  • Extended appreciation to Library Director Peggy Havener for her presentation at the Work Session.
  • Communition in progress with a prospective new business.
  • Parks and Recreation is extending the hours of business open to the public.
  • Outlined the staff meeting attended this morning in-person at the Fire Station by a large majority of staff.
  • Spoke of the items Parks & Recreation are purchasing to be utilized at the beach.
  • Reminded that service levels at the Library may require continued use of curb-side service and may need to consider how to continue to offer that service.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. Resolution 21-032 Approving Contract With Councilmember Al D. Brooks dba Brooks Safety Equipment

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Treasurer to make payment for $358.90 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 to approve payment of claims as presented for $358.90. 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. Councilor Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-032
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-033 Approving Claims

Rigg explained that the attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Treasurer to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report. In addition, Rigg displayed a list of claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency and education.

Howland questioned why insurance did not cover the expenses incurred from the active shooting incident. Rigg explained all avenues were explored to cover the expenses including both insurance companies. Carlson added the damages did not meet the insurance deductibles and detailed the extent of damages.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #77726 through #77856 in the amount of $683,309.59. Seconded by Councilor Brooks . On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Howland voted Nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-033 Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 8:10 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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 8, 2021. 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