March 14, 2016

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, March 14, 2016, 7:00 P.M.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., Councilors John Schulte V, Larry Baker, George Marin, Reid Olson, and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager Chad Adams, Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, City Attorney Lee Bjorndal, City Engineer Steven Jahnke, and City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte.
ABSENT: Councilor Larry Anderson

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – None

PUBLIC FORUM

John Forman, 117 Bridge Avenue, had concerns regarding traffic and about the safety of pedestrians trying to cross the street at the intersection of Bridge and Fountain. Forman suggested installation of marked crosswalks.

Charlotte Nelson-Schocker, 1521 W. Clark Street, had concerns about the increase of taxes and franchise fees. She had questions as to what can be done for the seniors within Albert Lea who cannot afford to live in the community. She also had questions about the raised portion of street in front of First Lutheran Church.

LeRoy Schocker, 1521 W. Clark Street, had questions regarding the parking along Edgewater Drive. He stated “No Parking” signs could be installed within this area.

Vicki Lunning, 1887 Paradise Road, presented a check in the amount of $7,000.00 from Virgil and Arlene Thofson for the building of a park shelter within the Tiger Hills area. She stated that the residents within this area have raised dollars to complete this project.

Tony Trow, 522 Park Avenue, presented background on the ½ cent sales tax for the lake clean-up. Mr. Trow requested that the city council follow the bill and supports a change to the language to include some approval of the use of the sale tax dollars by the City of Albert Lea.

Harold Kamrath, 322 Glenn Road, had questions regarding the replacement and purchase of street department vehicles. City Engineer Jahnke informed the council that Public Works is proposing a purchase of 2 vehicles to replace older vehicles.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes of The February 22, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
A1. Approve Minutes of the February 27, 2016 Council Retreat
B. Approve Minutes of The February 18, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See attached list.)
D. Resolution 16-45 Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement of Bids for 2016 Neighborhood Improvement Project (Job 1601)
E. Resolution 16-46 Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement of Bids For 2016 Lake Chapeau Drive Improvement Project (Job 1602)
F. Resolution 16-47 Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement of Bids for Edgewater Drive and Parking Lots Reconstruction Project (Job 1606)
G. Resolution 16-48 Approving Replacement and Purchase of Street Department Vehicles

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda as presented.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Marin. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-45-48
included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS, AND COMMUNICATIONS

RESOLUTION 16-49 ACCEPTING DONATION OF TREE GUARDS FROM INNOVANCE FOR SOUTH BROADWAY (JOB 1464)

In 2014, Innovance constructed 35 tree guards and donated a large portion of them to the City of Albert Lea as part of the first phase of the Broadway Avenue Reconstruction Project. As part of the 2015 South Broadway reconstruction project, Innovance has again constructed and generously donated 18 additional tree guards to the City of Albert Lea at an estimated value of $4,500. The attached resolution would accept the donation from Innovance. A sample tree guard will be presented at the Council meeting.

MOTION: Move to accept this donation.

Motion made by Councilor Marin, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-49
included with these minutes)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX RENEWAL FOR WATER QUALITY

City Manager Adams said that staff is looking for direction to prepare a resolution in support of the renewal of the local option sales tax. Conversation centered on the desire of the council to have input into the priority of projects that the Shell Rock Watershed District has listed in their management plan. Councilors spoke about wanting to work collaboratively with the watershed board. Several councilors expressed their support of having the sales tax renewal on the ballot in November 2016.

NEW BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 16-50 ORDERING IMPROVEMENT AND PREPARATION OF PLANS FOR PARK AVENUE, GRACE STREET, MARINERS LANE & HARRIET LANE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (Job 1565)

A public hearing is being held to receive public input on the proposed improvement. The proposed project is a complete reconstruction involving Park Avenue, East Park Avenue, West 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 Mariner’s 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 Albert Lea 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, Mariner’s 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 south side of Grace Street and a wider sidewalk on the south side of Harriet Lane are proposed.

Access will be very difficult during the 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. A neighborhood meeting was held on March 3, 2016 to discuss the project with affected residents. Staff recommends approval of the resolution ordering the improvement and preparation of plans.

City Engineer Jahnke gave an overview of the proposed project.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Lucas Schuster, 513 Harriet Lane and also representing 3 rental properties located at 511 Harriet, 605 Grace and 524 Park. Schuster encouraged the contractor to work long hours to complete this project in a timely manner. He is in favor of installing underground wires and cables in this area and suggested that the city contact Freeborn-Mower to see if the company would be willing to do that without cost to the homeowners.

City Engineer Jahnke explained that half of the residents who attended the neighborhood meeting were for and half were against the underground placement of wires/cables. Freeborn-Mower is open to discussing that option; the next step would be to talk to residents again.

John Chadwick, Excelsior, MN, representing the property at 407 Park Avenue, had questions on the linear cost of the road and requested that the assessments be assessed over the longest length of time allowed.

Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing after calling three times.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-50 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 16-51 AUTHORIZING AMENDMENT OF ADDENDUM TO PURCHASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN CITY OF ALBERT LEA AND EDWARD AND JEAN SCHLEDE

In 2015 the City of Albert Lea entered into a Purchase Agreement with Edward and Jean Schlede to purchase real estate for a regional storm water retention pond. The original agreement was to have the City of Albert Lea remove the alpaca barn and rebuild a new barn under city contract and at city cost. Mr. and Mrs. Schlede have determined that they can construct a new building at a lower cost than the city; therefore the document is amended to note that the Schledes are contracting to build a new alpaca barn and remove the existing barn. The city and Schledes will split the savings. Staff recommends approval.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-51 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 16-52 PERMITTING REAPPORTIONMENT OF ASSESSMENTS FOR REAL ESTATE – SCHLEDE

The city seeks to purchase 3.85 acres of land from Edward and Jean Schlede for the construction of a stormwater retention pond. The entire Schlede parcel is subject to a deferred assessment from Assessment Roll 0510-043 in the original amount of $10,300.77. The parties seek to reapportion the assessment so that the 3.85 acre parcel has its proportionate share paid, related to the overall size of the Schlede parcel. The Schledes will pay the assessment ($740.16 with interest) at the time of the closing of the sale of the real estate and the residual balance will stay on their remaining 49.73 acres. 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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-52 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 16-53 APPROVING EASEMENT WITH HAWKEYE LAND COMPANY FOR NORTHAIRE REGIONAL STORMWATER POND

The attached resolution would authorize the City Manager to sign an easement agreement for the construction of a storm sewer crossing and related grading and structures near and under the Union Pacific Railroad in order to construct a regional storm water pond to service the Northaire Industrial Park. The fee for this easement is $10,000. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Councilor Olson. 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 16-53 included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Schulte V reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Library has a computer lab that is available for the public to reserve for training.
  • Attended HRA meeting.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:

  • Ward Items – Requested staff to contact the railroad regarding the brush left behind on Clark Street.
  • Committee Update – Attended the Preservation Committee meeting. He reported that the committee is examining the design guidelines and ordinances. Staff has submitted an application for the Historic Preservation State Conference to be held in Albert Lea next year.

Third Ward, Councilor Marin reported:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Update – Attended the Human Rights Commission meeting, welcomed new member Lionel Lopez, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mesa Latina group.
  • Everyone is invited to the Seventh Annual “A Taste of Heritage” Festival at the Northbridge Mall on Saturday, April 9 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. There will be free live entertainment, displays of heritage, food samples and games and crafts for the kids.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:

  • Ward Items – Received an email regarding garbage on a property.
  • Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson was absent

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:

  • Ward Items – Received calls from residents regarding Albert Lea Lake and the sales tax renewal, calls regarding length of special assessments, condition of the alleyways, diseased tree issues, sewer backup on Milo, and the length of times that the railroad crossing were down on Broadway.
  • Committee Update – Reported on the Port Authority meeting. The JOBZ bill will be ending this year. Various members will be attending Legislative Day on March 16th.
  • Attended the CVB meeting and reported that they received 5 grants to fund activities in Albert Lea.

Mayor Rasmussen reported the following:

  • Met with Representative Peggy Bennett.
  • Will be attending Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ Legislative Action Day on Wednesday, March 16th.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

4TH QUARTER/2015 FY-END BUDGET REPORT

Kristi Brutlag, Contract Finance Director gave an update of the 2015 4th quarter general fund budget. Brutlag stated that the actual expenses were near to the amount budgeted. She stated that revenues collected were higher than expected.
MANAGER’S REPORT

Adams reported that he attended a Work Force Housing Summit that Congressman Walz held for all of SE Minnesota. He shared Albert Lea’s story on work force housing needs and the project that the city accomplished with the school district and county on the units that have been constructed in the Wedgewood Cove area.

The city has received two proposals for the Freeborn Bank Building. A review team will be evaluating the proposals and forwarding a report to the council within the next month.

Minnesota Energy Resources has proposed a rate increase of about 5% and will be holding a public meeting on March 29th at City Hall Council Chambers. Adams said that there has been some conversation on the gas franchise tax listed on the homeowner’s bill.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 16-54 APPROVING CONTRACT WITH COUNCILMEMBER SCHULTE V

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $150.00 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 Marin, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Schulte V abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-54 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 16-55-APPROVING CONTRACT WITH COUNCILMEMBER BROOKS

The attached resolution directs the Mayor and City Clerk to make payment in the amount of $269.50 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 to approve made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Marin. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks abstained. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-55 included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 16-56 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 Schulte V, to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #59202 though #59387 in the amount of $1,061,226.98, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-56 included with these minutes)

CLOSED MEETING – Land Acquisition Pursuant To Minn. Stat. §13D.05, Subd. 3(c)

City Manager Adams stated the purpose for the closed session was pursuant to Minn. Stat. §13D.05, Subd. 3(c); the specified parcel to be discussed was 802 E. Main Street and 1016 Madison Avenue

MOTION: Motion to enter into closed session.

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

City Council returned to open session at 9:16 p.m.

Mayor Rasmussen stated that Council discussed potential land acquisition and added that staff was given direction in closed session regarding 802 E. Main Street and 101 Madison Avenue.

ADJOURNMENT 9:17 P.M.
Motion made by Councilor Marin, 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, March 28, 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