June 14, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, June 14, 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, Human Resource Director Mike Zelenak, Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, City Planner Megan Boeck, and City Clerk Daphney Maras

NOTE: This council meeting was conducted via teleconference as provided by Minnesota Statute 13D.021 Sub (1).

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – Mayor Rasmussen read the ‘Proclamation Proclaiming June 19th as JUNETEENTH.’

PUBLIC FORUM – Lisa Hanson owner of the Interchange joined the meeting utilizing the raised-hand method. She spoke of her disapproval of the City terminating her lease agreement at the Jacobson Building, 211 S. Broadway. She requests the lease agreement be reinstated.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes Of The May 24, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The May 24, 2021 Work Session
C. License & Permits
D. Resolution Approving Donation of Marion Ross Statue at Marion Ross Performing Arts Center
E. Wastewater Treatment Plant High Voltage Testing and Maintenance Three Year Contract Award
F. Resolution Declaring NW Sewer & Water Project Phase 2 Complete and Accepting Project (Job 1702)

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda as read, 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 21-091 through 21-092 Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS
A. Resolution 21-093 Approving Funds Transfer

Rigg explained the attached resolution would authorize a transfer of $800,000 from the General Fund to be distributed as follows: $300,000 to the Economic Development Fund for future economic incentives, $300,000 to the Building Maintenance Fund to fund future projects and $200,000 to the Debt Service Fund to reduce the 2022 debt service levy.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Murray. 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 21-093 Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-094 Supporting Grant Application For Minnesota Housing Owner Rehab Loan Program

The attached resolution would support a grant application to the Minnesota Housing Owner Rehab Loan Program. The programs offered would provide viable financing to homeowners needing repairs to their property in order to maintain value and improve safety without a payment requirement until their mortgage burden is relieved. The State portion has to be a loan that is deferred for 30 years or until it is sold at 0%. This loan would not theoretically add to the mortgage burden to those mentioned in the Housing Analysis recently adopted. The City’s portion of $100,000 forgiven would come from our housing fund if unencumbered or the general fund reserves if otherwise encumbered with other grant or program requirements. It is assumed the intent of the fund created for housing was to leverage money for grants such as this.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Olson. 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 21-094 Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 21-095 Authorizing City of Albert Lea To Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement For Airport Improvement Project Excluding Land Acquisition (Job 2114)

Rigg said attached for Council’s review and approval is a resolution authorizing the City to execute a Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for an Airport Improvement project. This project will relocate approximately 1,572 feet of chain-link perimeter fence west, approximately 215 feet to outside the primary surface to meet new safety regulations. In addition to the fence relocation, tree obstructions will also be cleared from the primary surface. The trees are primarily south and west of the runway. Work will be completed in the fall after the golf season is complete. The work will also impact the disc golf course and three holes will need to be relocated. The total estimated cost of the project is $81,355.27. The grant is a 70/30 split with State funds not to exceed $56,948.69. The City portion is estimated at $24,406.58. Engineering recommends entering into the agreement.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, 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 21-095 Included with these minutes)

D. Resolution 21-096 Accepting Bids and Awarding Contract For The Blazing Star Apartment Building Response Action Plan Implementation Project (Job 2065)

Engineering and Braun Intertec have reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, May 25, 2021 for the Blazing Star Apartment Building Response Action Plan Implementation Project. The project involves excavation and disposal of contaminated soil, and import and placement of clean soil throughout the Site. Engineering received five bids. Engineering is recommending the low bid of $1,598,846.90 as submitted by Larson Contracting Central LLC of Lake Mills, Iowa. The bid abstract is attached. The Engineer’s estimate was $1,973,250.00.

To Baker’s question, Jahnke described what the bid interview process entailed on behalf of Braun Intertec. Baker also extended appreciation for the five bids received, and that the accepted bid has been awarded to a local business.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Olson. 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 21-096 Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 21-097 Of Support To Secure State Bonding Funding For Albert Lea Wastewater Treatment Facility Regulatory Updates

Rigg said the Albert Lea Wastewater Treatment Facility is a critical piece of infrastructure for ensuring the vitality and growth of the City of Albert Lea and its extensive food, agricultural and manufacturing businesses. New regulations have required the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to include a phosphorus limit in the City of Albert Lea National Pollutant Discharge (NPDES) Permit for the vital protection of the environment. The City of Albert Lea is committed to protecting and improving the natural resources in the State of Minnesota while concurrently encouraging a strong economy. This commitment will require significant upgrades and infrastructure updates at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The original facility was constructed in 1983 and numerous facility components need rehabilitation or replacement to support community industry, meet new limits, protect the environment and provide sustainable wastewater treatment for area residents and businesses. Without significant funding assistance the cost associated with the improvements will have a significant negative economic impact on the residents, industries and businesses that rely on the WWTP, as well as the State of Minnesota and beyond that benefit from the food that is developed and processed in the community.
The estimated cost to complete the facility upgrades in order to meet project goals and new permit limits is approximately $60 million. The City of Albert Lea supports and is requesting a state appropriation of $30 million from Minnesota State bonding proceeds for the wastewater treatment facility to support community industry and business, and address phosphorus treatment and facility upgrades in order to protect and improve the State’s natural resources. Upgrades and improvements to the facility is the City of Albert Lea’s number one and only priority for state bond funding.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, 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 21-097 Included with these minutes)

F. Resolution 21-098 Authorizing An Agreement With Northwest Development Group, LLC

The City of Albert Lea and Northwest Development, LCC have negotiated the terms of a Contract for Private Development which includes rehabilitation of 1916 West Main Street into a 50-unit market rate apartment complex. Construction activities which include added greenspace and new bituminous are scheduled to begin in June-July 2021. Included in the Development Agreement is the issuance of a pay-as-you-go TIF note in a not-to-exceed amount of $750,000.00.

Mayor Rasmussen spoke of the commitment as a Council to continue to search for housing opportunities to not only assist the maintenance of current housing, but to also secure new housing.

Motion made by Councilor Howland, 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 21-098 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:

  • Ward Items – Resolved three separate ward items with the assistance of City staff.
  • Committee Update – Attended the ALEDA/JOBS meeting where they reviewed the audit. Attended the E. Main Street reconstruction project information meeting presented by MNDOT at Riverland College.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – Working on a ward item with staff
  • Committee Update – Will attend an HRA meeting tomorrow night. Asked for an update on the central water tower replacement. Jahnke reported the bid opening was on Tuesday. The bids all came in higher than anticipated therefore, the bids will be reviewed to determine how to move forward.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;

  • Ward Items – Asked if a City wide cleanup date has been set. Rigg stated it has tentatively been rescheduled to July 24.
  • Committee Update – Attended the MNDOT open house presentation at Riverland College where the E. Main Street construction project was reviewed.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:

  • Ward Items – Working on a ward item.
  • Committee Update – Will be attending an Airport Board meeting tomorrow night.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:

  • Need 3 more members for the Board of Appeals, this board meets as needed. (Contact Wendy Flugum for an application, 377-4330.)

EVENTS COMING UP IN JULY!

    • Parade & Fireworks
    • The 48th Van Nationals are coming to Albert Lea!
    • Marion Ross Statue Unveiling
    • Rock ‘N Roll The Lakes Bike Ride
    • Thursdays on Fountain will also be extended to this Wednesday at the Gazebo
  • Attended the ALEDA/JOBS meeting
  • Announced the Varsity Baseball team will be heading to the State Tournament to participate in a single elimination game. The Community is encouraged to attend the sendoff at 9:20 a.m. at the Hammer Complex.
  • Mentioned the new High School boys and girls Rugby teams in Albert Lea

CITY MANAGER REPORT

  • Continues to work with partners on attracting new businesses and reviewing grant opportunities.
  • Staff are reviewing certain City assets for development and reuse.
  • Staff have been busy with a variety of projects.
  • The recreation staff has been busy with the warmer weather. Received compliments from the Pickle ball club on the improvements at the Pickle ball courts
  • Have also received encouraging words from the public on the road construction improvements

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. Resolution 21-099 Approving Contract With Councilmember Al D. Brooks dba Brooks Safety Equipment

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $247.48 on behalf of the City for a claim from Brooks Safety Equipment, and issue payment for filing the affidavit of official interest by the interested official, Councilor Brooks.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 21-099
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-100 Approving Claims
(1). Presentation of Claims Over $25,000

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.

Motion made by Councilor Murray to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #78672 through #78802 in the amount of $1,658.833.87. 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 21-100 Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:34 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Brooks. 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, June 28, 2021. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion.

Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.

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Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr.

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Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council