June 25, 2018

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA

Monday, June 25, 2018, 7:00 P.M.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr., Councilors Rich Murray, Larry Baker, Jason Howland, Robert Rasmussen, Reid Olson, and Al Brooks.  Also present were Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos and City Attorney Kelly Martinez.

ABSENT: City Manager Chad Adams

PUBLIC FORUM

Mayor Rasmussen read each item on the agenda.  He noted item “G” under the Consent and Approval Agenda has been removed.  This item will be re-submitted for the July 9th council meeting.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

  1. Approve Minutes Of The June 11, 2018 Regular Council Meeting
    1. Approve Minutes Of The June 11, 2018 Work Session
    1. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
    1. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City of Albert Lea
    1. Resolution Approving Albert Lea Fire Rescue Mutual Aid / Auto Aid Agreement Addendum
    1. Resolution Amending 2018 Fee Schedule Regarding An Increase To Off-Sale Liquor License Fee
    1. Resolution Approving Lot Reconfiguration Through A Certificate of Survey For Property Described As Lots 2, 3 & 4, Blk. 6, Summer Dale Addition 
    1. Resolution Authorizing An Agreement With Adam Janisch D/B/A Albert Lea Furniture Inc. and Al Larson D/B/A Albert Lea Commercial Rentals, LLC

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Rasmussen to approve the agenda as described with the removal of item “G.” 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 18-106 thru 18-109

included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS

  1. RESOLUTION 18-110 ENTERING INTO MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT WITH SHELL ROCK RIVER WATERSHED DISTRICT FOR ONE WATERSHED – ONE PLAN 

Courtney Phillip’s of the Water Shed was present and spoke about the One Watershed One Plan.  The attached resolution would authorize entering into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with four entities including the Shell Rock River Watershed, Freeborn County, Freeborn Soil and Water, and the City of Albert Lea.  She mentioned these are all identified government entities with each of their own plans and own statutes.

The goal of the 1W1P is to combine/consolidate multiple water plans into one master plan for the watershed. Currently there are three separate watershed plans, SRRWD, Freeborn County, and Freeborn Soil and Water which all have plans by political boundaries. 1W1P will transform these boundaries into one master watershed plan for the Shell Rock River Watershed District. 

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 18-110

included with these minutes)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

  1. PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 18-111 APPROVING TAX ABATEMENT FOR SCHOOLHOUSE LLC

A public hearing is being held to receive input on the granting of a property tax abatement on the Schoolhouse, LLC property project which will provide market rate workforce rental residential housing units.  The project will consist of 12 market rate units.  Proposed retaining of abatements of up to $75,000 will be for ten years.   Due to the Workforce Housing Grant being received for this project from the State of MN in the amount of $150,000, the City is required to match $75,000.  The School District and Freeborn County are also being approached to retain the tax abatement for this project.  Each taxing jurisdiction would be abating approximately 75% of new taxes on the property over the next 10 years rather than 100%.  (Note: As background, 85% was abated over 10 years for the Wedgewood market rate rental apartments a few years ago). Staff is seeking to either advance the $75,000 from our Economic Development Fund, to be reimbursed by Tax Abatement; or, to rebate the developer through Tax Abatement on a pay-as-you go basis for the next 10 years from taxes paid.

To Howland’s question, Martinez provided detailed explanation of the Tax Abatement to the Schoolhouse, LLC.

Baker asked how much money will be put into this building. Mayor responded 1.2 million dollars in renovation costs is anticipated.

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

Baker asked if there is a timeline for the construction process. Martinez detailed the construction timeline.

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 Resolution 18-111

included with these minutes)

  1. Resolution 18-112  Approving Loan Agreement With Schoolhouse LLC

Agreement for Loan of City of Albert Lea Workforce Housing Development and Economic Development Fund Programs to Schoolhouse, LLC – The State of Minnesota is empowered to award deferred loans to eligible projects areas to be used for qualified expenditures. City shall match the loan funds requested, at a minimum, of one dollar for every two dollars requested.  Schoolhouse, LLC has made application to the City for the purpose of administering a Workforce Housing Development Program Project in the manner described in its Application.  The project is the Ramsey School located at 204 4th Street South, Albert Lea, MN 56007.  The project is a two-story concrete structure.  The proposed concept maintains the feel and character of a school building and incorporates the original classroom sizes.  The hallway floor will be retained and will include bench seating.   Ceiling will retain loft-type ceilings in the exiting 13,600 square foot building.  The proposed concept will preserves the historic building to its original character as a school.  The building will have 2 stories and will provide 12 market rate units.  Schoolhouse, LLC represents that it is duly qualified and agrees to perform all activities described in the Deferred Loan Agreement to the satisfaction of the City. 

Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 18-112

included with these minutes)

  • RESOLUTION 18-113 APPROVING ACQUISITION OF PARCEL – RIGHT-OF-WAY EASEMENT PURCHASE (JEPSON)

In late 2017, the City of Albert Lea was approached by the owners of property located at 21362 775th Avenue to see if there was interest in purchasing a roadway and utility easement.  The roadway is a dead end and the City had used this property as a temporary roadway when 770th and 775th Avenue were being constructed.  Purchasing an 80 ft. easement would allow the City to eliminate two dead end roadways and would allow the looping of the watermain.  Robinson Appraisal was hired to complete an appraisal and Council authorized negotiations with the homeowner and a price of $16,000 has been agreed upon pending Council approval.

Jahnke described the location of this area and how the City will benefit from acquiring this property. Baker asked for explanation of how the purchase price of $16,000 was determined. Jahnke explained the value of the land is $9000 and $7000 was appropriated to allow the homeowners to landscape and create a buffer.

Howland asked if the City has a plan in place as far as construction of this new road.  Jahnke said there is nothing in the budget for this year, however long term plans may include building a road.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 18-113

included with these minutes)

  • RESOLUTION 18-114 PERMITTING AN AGREEMENT FOR LOAN WITH JENSEN EXCAVATING AND TRUCKING, LLC

The City has an Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund Program seeded with Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) dollars.  The fund is used, among other things, to create and retain good jobs, leverage private investment and increase the local tax base.  The City seeks to enter into an Agreement for two $50,000 loans at 2% interest with Jensen Excavating & Trucking, LLC.  The first loan is a traditional loan to pay for retention of the existing business and creation of tax base.  The second loan is a forgivable loan based upon the creation of five new private sector jobs within three years.  Should the five jobs be created and maintained over five years, the loan will be forgiven.  If the jobs are not created, the loan will need to be repaid.

Jamie Jensen owner of Jensen Excavating was present and said they are excited to move their business to Albert Lea.  He provided information regarding the new location as well as the construction timeline. Murray thanked Mr. Jensen for bringing in five new jobs to the City.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 18-114

included with these minutes)

  • RESOLUTION 18-115 AUTHORIZING ACTION ON TAX FORFEITED PROPERTIES

Attached for Council review and approval is a resolution to authorize action on tax forfeited properties.  The City and the County reviewed the tax and assessment balances on the new and prior tax forfeited properties. In order to clarify the sale of these properties by the County in September, after reviewing the property values, the sales prices were set to include all or a portion of the outstanding assessments.  In the past, sales of the properties were confusing as the purchaser would have to call the City to verify the amount of the assessments and if those amounts could be lowered in the future if the prospective buyer was interested in the property. The City does receive any outstanding assessments first from the sale proceeds and the remaining balance would go to the County to cover delinquent taxes etc.

The City is also requesting a six month hold on 625 Main St W., as permitted under State Statute.  This area may be looked at in the future to develop. There are a number of Tiger Hills’ lots that remain owned by the State of Minnesota; prior and current year forfeitures.  In order to increase interest in these properties, staff is proposing that the sales price be set at $3,000.  The $3,000 will be deducted from the assessment balance and the remaining assessment balance be assessed over five years at 2% interest. 

Finance Director Kristi Brutlag was present and answered questions from council. She also clarified that the sales prices listed are not set prices.  If there is more than one person interested in a property, the price could be higher.

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 Resolution 18-115

included with these minutes)

  • RESOLUTION 18-116 ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT FOR BAY OAKS (JOB 1810)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, June 19, 2018 for the Bay Oaks Drive & Sundance Lane Reconstruction project. The project involves the removal and replacement of the bituminous surface and aggregate base along Bay Oaks Drive and Sundance Lane.  One bid was received.  Engineering recommends the low bid of $332,534.20 as submitted by Ulland Brothers, Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The Engineer’s estimate was $356,070.60. 

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 Resolution 18-116

included with these minutes)

  • SOLUTION 18-117 ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT FOR LAKEVIEW BLVD. (JOB 1605)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened June 19, 2018 for the Lakeview Boulevard Pavement Reconstruction/Rehabilitation project. The project involves improvements along Lakeview Boulevard from The Fairway to Martin Road.  The improvements include a bituminous overlay, a section of concrete pavement and two additional storm sewer inlets.  One bid was received.  Engineering recommends the low bid of $270,704.42 as submitted by Ulland Brothers, Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The bid abstract is attached.  The Engineer’s estimate was $168,352.00.

The bid is significantly higher than the engineers estimate.  It is approximately 60% higher.  Bolton & Menk and Engineering reviewed the estimate and the items which were significantly higher than the engineers estimate were mobilization ($24,000 higher), traffic control ($9,000 higher), and all items associated with installation of the storm sewer.  Bolton and Menk had estimated storm sewer costs at approximately $14,750.00.  The bid came in at $60,875.02, or over 4 times higher than the estimate.  In discussions with Ulland Brothers, they were only able to get one storm work bid and the contractors were concerned with the high water table and poor soils.  Engineering is currently evaluating having the utility department perform the installation of the storm sewer and removing this item from the project.  This would have to occur after award of the bid.  

To Murray’s question, Jahnke explained the term “mobilization” is the process of transporting and putting the equipment in place. 

Howland asked if it is normal to have the City’s Utility Department perform this work.  Jahnke explained by completely removing the contractor from the project not only costs less, but will allow staff to perform the work in a timely fashion and less inconveniences to the neighborhood.

Mayor asked if it would be reasonable to postpone this section until it needs to be completely restructured. Jahnke explained the Street Department currently spends several days each year patching.  If it continued that route, the City would be spending a significant amount of money on maintenance alone.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 18-117

included with these minutes)

  • RESOLUTION 18-118  ACCEPTING BID AND AWARDING CONTRACT FOR ST. MARY/ W. MAIN STREET (EAGLES) PARKING LOT AND ST. MARY / WILLIAM STREET (DHS) PARKING LOT (JOB 1809)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened June 19, 2018 for the Downtown Parking Lot Reconstruction project.  The project involves the removal of the existing bituminous pavement, regrading of the existing aggregate base and paving of the new bituminous surface.  New sign posts, spot aggregate base reconstruction, and spot concrete sidewalk replacement will also take place where warranted.  The parking lots are located at the corner of St. Mary Avenue & West Main Street and at the corner of St. Mary Avenue and William Street.  One bid was received.  Engineering recommends the low bid of $216,859.60 as submitted by Ulland Brothers, Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota.  The Engineer’s estimate was $193,782.24.

Howland had questions regarding the construction interfering with parking. Jahnke explained the contract was set up so that only one area can be worked on at a time to allow for available parking space during the construction.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, 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 18-118

included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:

  • Ward Items –  Had discussions with people about the Lakeshore Dr. walkway
  • Committee Update – Attended a JOBZ meeting.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items –  None
  • Committee Update – Attended WDW

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:

  • Ward Items – Addressed nuisance grass calls.
  • Committee Update – Attended Park & Recreation meeting.  He reported the residents in the Lake Chapeau area are working on a plan to install a park in that area. They hope to receive funding from different entities.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Reported the search for an HRA Director is in process.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:

  • Ward Items – Following up on ward items.
  • Committee Update – Attended an Airport Board meeting. 

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – Reported he has received several nuisance complaints. Spoke of concerns of a manhole on East Fifth Street and Frank Hall Drive. He asked Jahnke to look into it.
  • Committee Update –  None

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Rasmussen mentioned the upcoming events in the community:

  • Fri, June 30th – 3rd Annual Independence Run
    • The American Legion Riders sponsor an evening event that includes food and beverage vendors, a silent auction and bands in the N. Broadway parking lot.   
  • Tue, 3rd of July Parade – the parade starts at 5 PM and makes the route down Bridge Ave. and Fountain Street, ending at St. Mary Avenue. 
  • Tue, July 3rd – Freedom Festival – this event is sponsored by the “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon’ organization to thank the community for their support.  There will be free hotdogs and beverages at New Denmark Park starting at 4PM.

ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER REPORT:

Reported Jon Ford Director of HRA will be leaving the City.  His last day of work is Friday.  Gabrielatos commended Ford for all of his work over the 16 years of employment with the HRA in Albert Lea.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 18-119 APPROVING CONTRACT WITH COUNCILMEMBER BROOKS

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $304.95 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, 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.  Brooks abstained.  Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 18-119

included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 18-120 APPROVING CLAIMS

Gabrielatos explained that the attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #68173 through #68342 in the amount of $1,208,741.97 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 18-120

Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT – 7:43 PM

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 9, 2018.  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