February 8, 2016

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, February 8, 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 Engineer Steven Jahnke, and City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte.

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

APPOINTMENT TO PORT AUTHORITY BOARD

Mayor Rasmussen appointed Sarah Hensley to the Port Authority Board.

MOTION: Move to approve said appointment.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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.
PUBLIC FORUM

WATERSHED SALES TAX RENEWAL

Gary Hagen, 501 Albert Lea Street, stated that he has lived on Fountain Lake since 1972. He is very interested in clean water and clear lakes, but said the Watershed District needs to be accountable to the City Council and taxpayers. Hagen also requested that a renewal referendum be held with the general election in November, instead of a special election.

Laura Lunde, 1204 Cedar Avenue, who currently serves as president of Albert Lea Lakes Foundation, expressed her support for the renewal of the sales tax. She stated that the Watershed District efforts at the state level have been impressive and the district is held in high regard statewide. Lunde stated that the Watershed District has communicated to the public what projects have been completed. She encouraged everyone to support the sales tax extension.

Shell Rock River Watershed District Director of Field Operations Andy Henschel, 214 W. Main, provided an overview of the district’s history and stated that the sales tax has leveraged roughly $25 million for the district. Henschel stated that there are handouts available and displays for the public to review. He stated that the second generation plan has been developed and is available for public viewing on the Watershed’s website or at their office. Henschel invited the public to attend the Watershed’s Annual Meeting to be held at 6:00 p.m. on March 10, 2016, at the Freeborn County Board Room.

Mary Ellen Johnson, 331 Willamor Circle, stated her support and the importance of preserving the lakes in this community. Johnson encouraged the public to support the sales tax.

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Randy Kehr, expressed the chamber’s support of the sales tax renewal and said not renewing would be detrimental to the community. Kehr stated that the city needs to hold a public vote and gain state approval before the sales tax is renewed.

Executive Director of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Susie Petersen, presented the council with material from Tourism and Minnesota’s Economy newsletter and stressed the importance of tourism for Albert Lea. Petersen stated that the lakes are a great asset to the community. Petersen reported that there were 2,350 rentals of canoes, kayaks and paddle boats in 2015.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, had questions regarding the Watershed’s spending of money on electric fish barriers.

Neal Gjersvik, 69992 260th Street, Alden, member of the advisory committee of the Watershed spoke. Gjersvik stated that the Watershed District is doing a good job. He is frequently on the water. He stated that the lakes can bring unique calming to people and the community. He encouraged the city and the community to work together for a good outcome.

PUBLIC FORUM

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Randy Kehr and Executive Director of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Susie Petersen reported on the “Big Freeze” event. They said that about 1,000 lbs. of food was collected for the Salvation Army and community food shelves. They reported that it was a very successful event and thanked the City for its support.

Charlotte Nelson-Schocker, 1521 Clark Street W., stated concerns regarding taxes, and asked questions about the Blazing Star Landing project, purchase of real estate and parking and access to the Government Center.

Leroy Schocker, 1521 Clark Street W., asked questions regarding the Edgewater Park project and stated the need for sidewalks for the safety of children accessing this area.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes of the January 25, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The January 21, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (None attached)
D. Resolution 16-31 Approving Lawful Gambling Premises Permit – Albert Lea Hockey Association
E. Resolution 16-32 Accepting Grant Award From Southeast Service Cooperative
F. Resolution 16-33-Supporting Grant Application To Minnesota Board Of Firefighter Training And Education

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda with the removal of item 6b – Tax Increment Financing Management Plan – Ehlers & Associates.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, 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 16-31-33
included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS

SPLASH PAD PROJECT FUNDRAISING

Crystal Miller, Sarah Stultz and Susie Petersen, community members representing a citizen’s volunteer advocacy group, discussed the implementation of a splash pad to be located just north of the North Broadway parking lot downtown. This area was conceptualized as a splash pad location during the streetscape completion in 2013. The project is also included in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, funded by private donations. The volunteer advocacy group requested permission to proceed with fundraising for the project. The project and site location have been reviewed by the Park Board, which supports the project. Attached is a layout of the concept plan as prepared by a splash pad vendor that has built over 100 such splash pads in Minnesota. As part of the project, the City would commit the land for the splash pad, along with some in-kind labor for construction and on-going maintenance.

Crystal Miller presented a slide presentation. The estimated cost is from $100,000 to $150,000 for the splash pad. Sarah Stultz stated her excitement regarding the splash pad and the draw for families and children. Susie Peterson showed pictures of splash pads in Colorado and Clear Lake, Iowa. Peterson noted that the Albert Lea Fire Department provided a portable splash pad for the Wind Down Wednesday event this past summer, which was a huge success.

City Manager Adams reviewed the potential site by the North Broadway parking lot, with fencing or a barrier along the street for safety. The proposed area for the splash pad would be approximately 1,200 square feet.

Councilor Olson reported that the Park Board was in favor of the project.

Councilor Marin had questions regarding the total cost of the in-kind services, wages, water costs, and maintenance costs. Marin expressed support for the project, but was concerned about the project given water rates are increasing for residents.

MOTION: Move to approve the fundraising project for the proposed Splash Pad.
Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

NEW BUSINESS

RESOLUTION 16-34 RECEIVING FEASIBILITY REPORT AND CALLING A PUBLIC HEARING FOR MARCH 14, 2016 REGARDING PARK AVENUE, GRACE STREET, MARINERS LANE AND HARRIET LANE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 1565)

The attached resolution would accept a feasibility report and call a public hearing for March 14, 2016 regarding City Job No. 1565, the Park Avenue, Grace Street, Mariners Lane, and Harriet Lane Reconstruction Project. This is a complete reconstruction project involving Park Avenue, Mariners Lane, Harriet Lane, and Grace Street. Grace Street is a concrete street approximately 870 feet in length. Park Avenue, Harriet Lane, and Mariners Lane are bituminous streets approximately 3,144 feet, 412 feet, and 205 feet, respectively. These streets form a peninsula which juts from the southern shore of Fountain Lake and also borders the campus of Mayo Clinic Health Systems at the southeast corner of the project. The existing pavements were constructed between 1952 and 1976 and are in very poor condition. The underground utilities were placed between 1910 and 1920 and have reached the end of their service life.

Park Avenue serves as the only access for most of the neighborhood. As such, in order to minimize the disruption, trenchless methods shall be evaluated for replacement of the sanitary sewer and watermain from Fountain Street to the East/West Park Avenue loop. Cast-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) sliplining, Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) and pipe-bursting are all alternatives that will be evaluated. The underground utilities in Park Avenue within the loop, Mariners Lane, Harriet Lane, and Grace Street are proposed to be replaced using open trenching methods. The sidewalk is proposed to be replaced where currently located with the exception of Grace Street and Harriet Lane. A wider sidewalk on the north side of Grace Street and a wider sidewalk on the south side of Harriet Lane are proposed. Access will be very difficult during this project. Every effort will be made to provide access during the project. However, because the roadways are dead end streets there will be periods when access will not be possible.

There are 95 properties to be assessed as part of this project. The assessments depend on the width of the roadway and range from a low of $85.80 per foot to $120.77 per foot. The sidewalk cost is estimated at $3.45 per square 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 $3,272,994.20 and would be paid for with assessments, City funds, water funds and sanitary sewer funds. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, 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 16-34 included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Schulte V reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Received a telephone call from a resident concerned about the overall spending of the city.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA Board’s general business meeting.
• Attended the Mayor’s 1st ‘Community Service Awards’ event.

Third Ward, Councilor Marin reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Human Rights Commission (HRC) meeting and reported that the Mesa Latina, a group of Latino residents living in Albert Lea, is visiting with all city departments. One of the board members from the Mesa Latina group is applying to become a member of the HRC. The HRC Board will be attending a meeting at St. Theodore’s Church on Sunday, February 21, 2016 to explain the role of the HRC. Also, the HRC is researching the workforce issues within the City of Albert Lea.
• Received notice of the retirement of Parks and Recreation Director Jay Hutchison and had questions and concerns regarding the future plan for the Parks and Recreation Department. Marin stated that he does not want to see this department dissolved or absorbed into another department.

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

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson reported:
• Ward Items – Neighborhood meetings for the upcoming projects are scheduled for next week.
• Committee Update – None

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

Mayor Rasmussen announced recipients of the Mayor’s ‘Community Service Awards’ (2015) as follows:

• Volunteer of the Year – Lt. Jeff Strom
• Services by Senior Citizens – Lois Ahern
• Human Services – Kyle Olson
• Good Neighbor – Lanier Pratt, Sr. (Lanny)
• Mayor’s Choice – Al Kaderabek

Reported on Big Freeze event and thanked the community for their support.

Attended the Port Authority meeting and reported that board members are working to attract new business prospects to Albert Lea.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Adams reported the following:

Final map will be presented at the next City Council meeting showing the proposed location of the new dog park at Brookside, southeast of the boat house. Council will be taking more public comments, support or concerns at the February 22, 2016 meeting.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 16-35 APPROVING CONTRACT WITH COUNCILMEMBER

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $385.00 on behalf of the City for a claim from Jones, Haugh & Smith, Inc. and to issue payment for filing the affidavit of official interest by the interested official, Councilor Schulte V.

Motion to approve made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Anderson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen Jr. Councilor Schulte V abstained. Mayor Rasmussen Jr. declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-35 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 16-36 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 Anderson to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #58728 though #58865 in the amount of $781,636.45, 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 16-36
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 8:33 P.M.
Motion made by Councilor Anderson, 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, February 22, 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.