June 22, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, June 22 2020, 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 Acting City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, 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 – None
PUBLIC FORUM – None
CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda. He mentioned there is an addition to the agenda under new business designating the Acting City Manager.

A. Approve Minutes Of The June 8, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The June 8, 2020 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Authorizing City of Albert Lea To Execute Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Memorandum of Agreement for Remote Communications Outlet (RCO)
F. Resolution Approving Lot Division Through A Certificate of Survey
G. Resolution Approving State of Minnesota Joint Powers Agreement With City of Albert Lea On Behalf of Its Fire Department
H. Resolution Declaring Unclaimed And Abandoned Property And Authorizing City Sale Following Published Notice
I. Resolution Approving Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation Easement Agreement For Sondergard Park
J. Bancroft Township Reduced Garbage and Demolition Rate for Cleaning Ditches
K. Approval of Position Profile For City Manager

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda as read, 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 20-106 through 20-111 Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution 20-112 And Public Hearing Authorizing Housing Tax Abatement For Certain Property Pursuant To Minn Stat. 469.1813

A Public Hearing is being held to receive input on the granting of a housing tax abatement for property located at 1814 Hale Drive in the City of Albert Lea, for the construction of a new single family home. The abatement will assist in property improvement and increase tax base for the community. The School District and Freeborn County have also agreed to retain the tax abatement for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen explained he will hand the gavel to Mayor Pro tem Baker for this item and abstain from voting due to the applicant for this tax abatement is his brother.

Mayor Pro Tem Baker opened the public hearing. Gabrielatos stated no public comments were received. Baker closed the public hearing.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-112
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 20-113 And Public Hearing Adopting A Modification To The Development Program For Development District No. 5; And Establishing Tax Increment Financing District No. 5-26 Therein And Adopting A Tax Increment Financing Plan Therefor

A public hearing is being held regarding the request for Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) from Unique Opportunities, LLC (the “Developer”) for construction of a 48-unit apartment building to be located on a portion of the Blazing Star property. Citing a financial gap in the project, the Developer requested 26 years of tax increment from the City totaling $600,000. Rebecca Kurtz from Ehlers presented the project. She explained that after working with the developer and reviewing the impact of the total project, Ehlers is recommending providing $474,000 in tax increment for Phase I. Noting that if Phases II and or III were to be developed at a later date, additional financing would need to be reviewed and approved by council at that time. She also mentioned that the City may reimburse itself for the cost of site prepping the 12 acres for the development. Kurtz also explained that approval for this item tonight is for establishing the TIF District only and that the final agreement will be presented at a later date for council approval. Kurtz stated that the resolution approving the elimination of the parcel from District 5-13 located within the development district would be required in order to approve this financing as two parcels cannot be within the same district. Kurtz answered questions presented by council including detailing what tax incrementing financing means and how it affects the City.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. Gabrielatos stated no public comments were received regarding this item. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 20-113
Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 20-114 Approving The Elimination Of A Parcel From Tax Increment Financing District No. 5-13 Within Development District No. 5

The City desires to amend the TIF Plan to remove a portion of the parcel from the TIF District, thereby reducing the size and including the portion of the parcel in TIF District No. 5-26.

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 Resolution 20-114
Included with these minutes)

D. Resolution 20-115 Granting Approval Of A Partial Conditional Use Permit Amendment – 504 Lake Chapeau Drive

The Planning Commission conducted a Public Hearing on May 29, 2020 to consider amending the existing Conditional Use Permit for The Wedding Barn located at 504 Lake Chapeau Drive. The Commission addressed several matters including the structure and its uses, alcohol and permits, noise levels and hours of operation. The full report is attached for council review. The Planning Commission recommends denial of amending Section 2 (Hours of Operation) based on findings that the overall public health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood could be impacted by weekday evening hours of operation that are incompatible with a residential neighborhood where residents have next day job requirements and school age children.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. Gabrielatos read six separate email comments received from Abby Leach, Todd Ulve, Cyndy Bartness, Beverly Grotsun, Dori Klocek, and Jayne Iverson. All comments were in support of allowing the Wedding Barn extended hours and also supporting the owners to obtain an on-sale liquor license.

At Howland’s request City Planner Megan Boeck explained the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the request to extend the hours to 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. She described the unique situation of this commercial venue being situated in a residential neighborhood, which contributes to the decision made by the Planning Commission. Brooks spoke of his support for the extended hours given the type of venue.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks to approve the request for extending the hours of operation Sunday through Thursday from 8 am to 11:30 pm. Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 12 am midnight, and December 31st each year to 12:30 am January 1. 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 20-115
Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 20-116 Approving The Extension Of March 17, 2020 City Of Albert Lea, Minnesota Proclamation And Declaration Of Emergency No. 2020-1 And Ordinance 20-232

The City Council convened a special meeting on March 17, 2020 and adopted the City of Albert Lea Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency No. 2020-1 and the Mayoral Declaration Ordinance 20-232 in response to Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-01 Declaring a Peacetime Emergency and Coordinating Minnesota’s Strategy to Protect Minnesotans from COVID-19. On June 12, 2020 Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-75 extending the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency issued by Executive Order 20-01 and further extended by Executive Orders 20-35 and 20-53 through July 13, 2020.

Multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 exist in Freeborn County. In light of the ongoing crisis, it is necessary to extend the Declaration and Ordinance. The extension of the Emergency Declaration and accompanying Ordinance allows the terms and conditions contained within to remain in full force and effect through July 13, 2020 or upon expiration of Governor Walz’ Peacetime Emergency. Approval to extend the Declaration and Ordinance requires approval by five members of City Council.

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 20-116 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Working on items with Acting City Manager Gabrielatos
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting last week where discussion surrounded repairs and maintenance items. Encouraged small businesses that have been affected by the shut down due to COVID-19 to take advantage of the Freeborn County Relief Forgivable Loan Fund Program.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting last week.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – Responded to calls and emails from residents regarding the proposed Wedding Barn amended CUP
• Committee Update – Attended the Parks & Rec meeting last week. A Drive-in movie is scheduled at the City Arena parking lot on June 26th. Snyder Fields are open. Ice at the City Arena should be ready early September. Rec On The Go started last week in collaboration with the schools.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Commented that he received a question from residents on Richway Drive asking if the Mosquito truck sprayed that area. Jahnke said no spraying was done last week due to the weather.
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA Meeting.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items.
• Committee Update – None

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Requests a meeting with staff regarding a project on Milo Avenue. He also received calls on mosquito spraying. Thanked Finance staff for their assistance in helping him with a resident call.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT: None

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
• Commented on the increased number of people walking and biking in the community and reminded people to be mindful and courteous of one another when passing on the sidewalks.
• Also explained the parts of the Library that are open.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-117 APPROVING CLAIMS

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

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #75431 through #75589 in the amount of $846,036.50. 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 Resolution 20-117
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 8:10 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Baker. 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 July 13, 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/__________________________
Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council