January 27, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, January 27, 2020, 7:00 p.m.

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

ABSENT: Councilor Brooks

PUBLIC FORUM – None
CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda:

A. Approve Minutes Of The January 13, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The January 13, 2020 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Authorizing Pay Equity Plan Submission
E. Resolution Appointing Election Judges For March 3rd Presidential Nomination Primary Election
F. Resolution Approving City Of Albert Lea Application For Funding From The Voting Equipment Grant Account
G. Resolution Amending Fee Schedule For 2020
H. Resolution Approving Replacement of Parks Department Utility Vehicle (Unit 585)
I. Resolution Accepting Feasibility Report and Calling A Public Hearing For 7:00 PM, February 24, 2020 for the Clark Street Reconstruction Project (Job 2051)
J. Resolution Granting A Variance To Minimum Lot Width
K. Resolution Approving A Lot Division Through A Certificate Of Survey

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, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-016 through 20-023
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS – Below are six properties listed for a Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure(s). City Manager Todd read the background information pertaining to each of the six addresses as provided by Building/Zoning Official Wayne Sorensen.

A. Resolution 20-024 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure – 210 3rd Street East –On April 10, 2019, the accessory structure, a detached garage, located at 210 3rd Street East was placarded as a hazardous structure. Removal of the structure is recommended because the roof is severely failing and unstable, windows are missing glass and/or boarded, loose and deteriorated trim, and the garage doors are falling and severely deteriorated. Notice of this hearing was mailed to the owners and lien holders. Staff recommends the structure be removed.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-024
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 20-025 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure – 705 Madison Avenue – In 2013, structures located at 705 Madison Avenue were placarded as hazardous structures. City staff have worked with owners multiple times to bring the property into compliance. The property residence and a garage. Removal of the structure is recommended because the structures are unfit for human habitation and is structurally compromised. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed to the owner. Staff recommends the structure be removed.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. The owner Abelardo Trujillo and Maria Juarez were present and spoke of the work done to the home on and off since they purchased it in 2000. He reported that the house has been repeatedly vandalized and tools and supplies have been stolen. In addition his wife was diagnosed with cancer causing a financial setback. Mr. Abelardo explained he now has the means to make the necessary repairs as he and his wife plan to eventually move from their current home on Water Street, to this home on Madison He requests more time to complete the work.

Mayor Rasmussen asked Trujillo what his intended timeline is for the repairs. Trujillo reported he is confident he can make improvements within a two month period. To Howland’ question, Trujillo replied he is hiring a group that is qualified to make the repairs. Howland asked City Attorney Martinez what the legal timeline for improvements is from tonight if the abatement is approved. Martinez detailed the timeframe noting ultimately, 90 to 120 days. The owner assured council he can make the improvements in that required timeframe.

Mayor Rasmussen called two more times. No one else spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Sorensen responded to Baker’s question regarding if it is possible for the owner to complete the repairs in the required timeframe. Sorensen reported neither himself nor staff have been inside the house to inspect the interior. His report is only from the exterior inspections. Because the condition of the inside is unknown, he is not able to confirm if the house could be habitable in the timeframe discussed. However, Sorensen said the owner contacted him this morning and invited him to inspect inside the house this week. Sorensen commented he is more than willing to work with a homeowner who is actively working on improvements.

Olson commented that council supports working with the owner in allowing time if the owner makes significant improvements in the time allotted. Murray echoed Olson’s comments. Baker stated he appreciates the property owner’s presence tonight to provide historical content. Mayor Rasmussen reiterated council’s comments. He mentioned his support to this owner and encourages him to complete the repairs.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-025
Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 20-026 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure – 714 Pillsbury Avenue – In August 13, 2015, the house at 714 Pillsbury Avenue was placarded as unfit for human habitation. Since that date, City Staff has worked with owners to bring the primary structure and garage into compliance with Minnesota Building Code and City Code. To date there has been minimal and/or inadequate corrective actions taken. Temporary bracing and barriers were installed and the foundation has caved in some areas. The back basement addition was not properly weatherproofed for over a year which permitted rain and water intrusion on the entire basement sheathing. The floor sheathing must be replaced and the joist and foundation needs to be re-inspected and may also require replacement. Fasteners not approved for treated wood foundation material were used to anchor stud brackets to top and bottom plates. A large pile of construction and demolition debris is on the lot. There is no gas, electricity or water utilities to the structure. The property is unoccupied. City staff had to secure the property for the safety of the general public. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed. Staff recommends the structure be removed.

Sorensen reported since the original staff report was submitted, there has been some activity at the site. The front porch has been secured and the back basement has been covered and taken care of. He also added the roof and the siding needs complete replacement. This was omitted from the original staff report.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-026
Included with these minutes)

D. Resolution 20-027 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure – 718 Columbus Avenue – On November 14, 2017, the primary and accessory structures located at 718 Columbus Avenue were placarded as hazardous structures. An inspection conducted on December 6, 2019 revealed a compromised foundation, unsafe steps, damaged or missing siding, deteriorated window trim, damaged and broken windows and screens, and no gas or water utilities. The property is unoccupied and unsecured. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed to the owner. Staff recommends the structures be removed.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-027
Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 20-028 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure – 912 Autumn Street – In January 2019, the accessory structure located at 912 Autumn Street was placarded as a hazardous structure. The property is a detached two car garage. Removal of the structure is recommended because the support walls are severely failing and poses an imminent risk of collapse. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed to the owner. Staff recommends the structure be removed.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

To Baker’s question, Sorensen replied the owner volunteered the structure be removed.

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, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-028
Included with these minutes)

F. Resolution 20-029 and Public Hearing Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structure – 938 Jefferson Avenue – On December 10, 2018, the primary and accessory structures located at 938 Jefferson Avenue were deemed unfit for human habitation and placarded as a hazardous structures. An inspection conducted on December 6, 2019 revealed ongoing deterioration of the structures, specifically, a compromised foundation, unsafe steps and landing, deteriorated window trim, damaged and broken windows and screens, and disconnected gas, water, and electric utilities. The property is unoccupied and unsecured. Notice of this hearing has been published and mailed to the owner. Staff recommends the structures be removed.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. No one spoke. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-029
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Reminded residents of the meeting to be held this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. regarding the reconstruction project Job 2050.
• Committee Update – Mentioned the upcoming annual meeting at Greater Jobs this Wednesday

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – City staff is working on his ward item.
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Parks & Recreation Board meeting. There was not a quorum present. Staff presented a report to the board reporting the first Health & Wellness was held. Hockey Day was held on Sunday, January 25th. The Live Barn was streamed, this is a subscription service to be able to watch hockey games from your home. New locations were discussed for the Senior Center.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – He watched his daughter’s hockey game on “Live Barn” and spoke of the asset of this feature.

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

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported: ABSENT
• Ward Items –
• Committee Update –

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to appoint 2020 members to Boards and Commissions:

• Cody Brownlee and Whitney Sauer to the Parks & Recreation Board
• Tom Larson to the HRA Board
• Matt Dorman – Planning Commission
• Craig Hoium reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Baker to appoint the members as noted. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

• Mayor Rasmussen stated another reminder of the upcoming 2020 Contractor Continuing Education Training to be held on Friday, January 31st at Wedgewood Golf Club.
• Announced the State of Main Street Listening Tour to be held in the Council Chambers on Wednesday, January 29th. The Office of the State Auditor will share data and interact with community members.
• Spoke of the importance that every community member be counted in the upcoming 2020 Census
• Attended Hockey Day at the City Arena last weekend

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

Todd asked council to provide him with their three to five top items they feel needs to be addressed and to speak about at the annual retreat this Saturday, Feb 1st from 8:30-12 p.m. at the Albert Lea Airport.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-030 APPROVING CONTRACT WITH COUNCILMEMBER AL D. BROOKS

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Treasurer to make payment in the amount of $44.75 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 Baker to approve payment of claims as presented in the amount of $44.75. Seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Rasmussen and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-030
Included with these minutes)

B. RESOLUTION 20-031 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 #74096 through #74244 in the amount of $4,597,410.44. 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 20-031
Included with these minutes)

CLOSED SESSION – Sale of City Property – Pursuant To Minn. Stat. §13D.05 Subd.(c)(1).

Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to move into closed session to discuss the sale of City property. Motion made by Councilor Baker. Seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

Mayor Rasmussen asked for a motion to move out of closed session. Motion made by Councilor Murray. Seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion. Councilor Brooks was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

Mayor Rasmussen reopened the regular meeting and said council was provided with direction in the closed meeting.

ADJOURNMENT: 7:55 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, February 10, 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.

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Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council