February 24, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, February 24, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr., Councilors Rich Murray, Larry Baker, Jason Howland, Reid Olson, and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager David Todd, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, Public Works Director Steve Jahnke, and Assistant City Manager, Jerry Gabrielatos.

ABSENT: City Clerk Daphney Maras

PUBLIC FORUM – Steven Overgaard is a Supervisor of the Bancroft Township. Overgaard reiterated his objection to the proposed annexation on tonight’s agenda. He requested to clarify, what he believed was misinformation presented at the Work Session earlier tonight.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda:

A. Approve Minutes Of The February 10, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The February 10, 2020 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Supporting State Investment In A Corridor Study To Restore Regional Passenger Rail Service
F. Resolution Approving Replacement Of Utility Department Skid Loader (Unit 787)
G. Resolution Approving Plans And Specifications And Ordering Advertisement of Bids For The 2020 Neighborhood Improvement Overlay And James Avenue Reconstruction Project (Job 2050)
H. Resolution Approving Drinking Water Revolving Fund Loan Application (Job 2056)
I. Motion Approving The 2020-2021 City of Albert Lea Pesticide Application Agreement (Job 2054)

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda, 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 20-038 through 20-042
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
A. Shell Rock River Watershed Updates – Andy Henschel, Administrator

Henschel thanked council on behalf of the entire Watershed Board for the City’s continued support of the Fountain Lake restoration project. He provided updates on their legislative efforts which included their request for $7.5 million to continue with Phase III of the restoration project. Phase III would consist of everything from the City Beach over to the Fountain Lake Dam and limited dredging in the Bancroft Bay area. Phase II will begin again this spring. The entire restoration project is projected to be complete in 2023. Henschel described the Watershed’s funding sources and allocation. He also spoke of other shoreline restoration on Fountain Lake performed by the Watershed as well as restoration efforts in other nearby lakes.
Baker asked Henschel to provide an update on the One Watershed One Plan program. Henschel explained the project is ahead of schedule at this time. In addition, at Baker’s request, Henschel described the project at Upper Twin Lakes, which consists of the Watershed controlling the water levels. Howland asked if boats will be able to continue to utilize the channel on Fountain Lake during the dredging this spring, to which Henschel replied they would.
Henschel reported the older dredge has finally been sold.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Ordinance 20-228 Annexing an Unincorporated Area and Conferring Jurisdiction over Said Area to the Municipal Boundary Adjustments Office of Administrative Hearings Pursuant To MINN. STAT. § 414.033 (1st Reading)

On August 23, 2019, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services submitted a petition for annexation to the City of Albert Lea. This annexation is necessary for development of a 97,000 sq. ft. commercial facility, in addition to connecting to City Water and Sewer services. This ordinance has been prepared setting forth the terms and conditions of annexation.

Mayor Rasmussen mentioned the public hearing for this Ordinance was held during the Work Session tonight prior to this Council Meeting.

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

(See Secretary’s First Reading of Ordinance 20-228
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 20-043 And Public Hearing Ordering Improvement and Preparation of Plans For The Clark Street And James Avenue Reconstruction Project (Job 2051)
A public hearing is being held for public input on the Clark Street, Ermina Avenue to First Avenue, reconstruction project – City Job No. 2051. The proposed project includes the removal of existing concrete and overlaid concrete pavements, repairs to the existing utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements, sidewalk replacement and reconstructing the roadway to meet State Aid/Federal Aid standards from 1st Avenue to Ermina Avenue. The new street is proposed to be constructed using bituminous pavement.

The proposed improvements include reconstructing the existing roadway to meet Municipal State Aid Standards. The sidewalk along both sides of the street is proposed to be replaced as part of this project. The proposed utility improvements include the replacement of 1,002 feet of watermain, and 680 feet of storm sewer. The sanitary sewer was televised by the City Utilities Department and was found to be in relatively good condition given its age, with the exception of approximately 90 feet from North Ermina Avenue to the east. Engineering would replace this section using open trenching methods, and slipline the remainder using cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) methods.

Engineering is proposing to change the existing street widths along this corridor. The street is currently a 45-ft. wide roadway with parallel parking on both sides. Engineering proposes to narrow the street to 40 feet for the entire project length. This will meet State Aid standards while maintaining parking on both sides, as well as saving on construction costs while providing a wider boulevard. Engineering evaluated the corridor both for the addition of bike lanes and/or widening one of the sidewalks into a 10-ft wide shared user path. There is inadequate right-of-way to expand either sidewalk into a 10-foot shared user path. Stormwater opportunities were also evaluated.

Freeborn County currently owns the land occupied by the abandoned railway that crosses Clark Street in the middle of the project area, with future plans to construct a shared user path that would connect to the Blazing Star Trail and continue on to the City of Hartland, connecting points in between. Installation of bike lanes would require either widening the street or eliminating parking on one or both sides of the street. Engineering feels that bicyclists will be adequately served by the sidewalk provided and/or the on-street space available to bicycles, therefore is not recommending bike lanes with this project.

Assessments will be levied to the benefiting properties based upon constructing a 33 ft. (face-to-face) residential street with 4-inches of bituminous over 8-inches of aggregate base. The proposed preliminary assessment rate for this project is $132.96 per front foot. Twenty-five percent of the sidewalk costs will also be assessed to the properties on the north side of the road. The proposed assessment rate for the sidewalk is $1.83 per square foot. There are 23 properties proposed to be assessed as part of the project. A preliminary assessment roll is attached to this report. Following the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years. The interest rate will be based on bonding in 2020.

The estimated project cost is $1,187,691.26 and would be paid for with assessments, Municipal State Aid funds, and water and sewer funds. A neighborhood meeting was held on February 13, 2020 to discuss the project with affected residents.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Paul Nielson spoke of his opposition to this project and the costs involved.

Steve Godtland spoke of his opposition to this project.

Mayor Rasmussen called a third time. No one spoke. He closed the public hearing.

Baker mentioned he spoke with another resident in that area who is also opposed to this project. Baker said, at a future meeting, he will recommend the number of years to pay the assessments be extended from 10 years to 15 years.

Howland asked how old the road is. Jahnke replied the road is a concrete road and was constructed between 1961-1964 and a portion of it was overlaid in 1987. The utilities are from 1911-1951. Howland questioned why a part of the road is being narrowed. Jahnke said the State aid funds are based on the 40 foot standard, which provides adequate parking and driving lanes. Baker asked if the roads remained at 44 feet wide, would funding be jeopardized. Jahnke replied the funding would only support 40 feet with the additional 4 feet not covered within this funding.

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 20-043
Included with these minutes)

C. Ordinance 20-229 Amending Chapter 42, Article II – Docks, Sections 42-31 Through 42-38 (1st Reading)

The City seeks to amend the Dock Ordinance. The City enacted the dock ordinance to regulate the use and placement of docks, moorings, and other fixed or floating structures in public waters in order to promote the full use, safety, and enjoyment of Fountain Lake. The amendment provides enhanced definitions and clarifies the process for issuing dock permits to both property owners abutting the lake shore and community members at large. Property owners with title to property abutting the lakeshore, also known as riparian property owners, will have the right of first refusal for the dock space tied to riparian properties. Property owners with title to multiple riparian properties may be issued one dock per riparian property. Whereas members of the same household and/or owners of the same property will be issued only one permit. All permit holders from the preceding year may renew their dock permits between March 1 and April 1. All remaining dock permits and/or dock permits that were not timely renewed will be made available to the community starting on April 16 at 6:00 a.m. No applications for dock permits will be accepted between April 2 and April 15. Applications and renewal for a dock permit must be submitted to the Recreation Office during the times provided and shall be accompanied by the current fee schedule and a certificate of insurance naming the City as an additional insured and demonstrating a policy of maximum liability pursuant to Minn. Stat. 466.04.

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

(See Secretary’s First Reading of Ordinance 20-229
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Bridge Avenue informational meeting. Reminded the public Phillip Johnson, Director of ALEDA will be providing a presentation at Wedgewood Cove this Thursday and encourages everyone to attend.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Board of Appeals meeting last Wednesday, where a variance was approved. Will be attending a Planning Commission meeting and a Heritage Preservation Committee meeting. He also attended a One Watershed One Plan meeting.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Park and Recreation Board Meeting last week. Two new board members were welcomed. Steve Ball was named the new Chairman of the Board. The Board meetings will be moved to the third Monday of each month at 5:45 to accommodate board members’ schedule.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:
• Had the opportunity to meet the National Commander of the American Legion
• Spoke about the importance of everyone participating in the Census

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
• Encouraged the public to attend ALEDA’s presentation at Wedgewood Cove this Thursday. Phillip Johnson will present the Strategic Plan which also encompasses a wide range of stakeholders.
• Will be attending a meeting in St. Paul with MNDot regarding bond funding for the East Main Street project.
• Will be attending 2020 Legislative Day at the Capital on March 11th.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-044 APPROVING CLAIMS

David Todd 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, Todd displayed a list of claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency and education.

Motion made by Councilor Howland to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #743801 through #74501 in the amount of $969,770.51. 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 19-244
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:57 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Olson. 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 9, 2020. 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/__________________________
Jerry Gabrielatos
Secretary Pro Tem