March 22, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, March 22, 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, 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

Glen Parsons provided an update on the process of the Marion Ross bronze statue to be installed in front of the Marion Ross Theatre. Over $65,000 has been raised towards this project. Marion Ross invited Henry Winkler to attend this statute unveiling scheduled on July 2nd, 2021.

Tung Bui represents the owner of the property that houses the Verizon Cell Tower. He shared comments regarding the removal of the tower from the owner’s property and relocating to the City’s proposed new water tower in the future.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The March 8, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The March 8, 2021 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Donations As Presented To The City Of Albert Lea – Parks & Recreation Event
E. Resolution Approving Donation Of Memorial Bench
F. Resolution Approving Application To Conduct Off-Site Gambling – Hayward Fire Relief Association
G. Resolution Approving Replacement Of Playground Equipment At Memorial Park and Sondegaard Park
H. Resolution Granting Approval Of An Interim Use Permit For Verizon Wireless At 105 N. Newton Avenue
I. Memo Regarding Marion Ross Bench Installation and Approving a ‘Work in Right-of-Way’ Permit At 147 N. Broadway

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 21-044 through 21-048
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Presentation by Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association

Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association is based out of Lake Mills, Iowa. Mark Thoma CEO presented background and history of the company. WCTA provides fiber technology delivering broadband services for its members. WCTA has been in operation for over 70 years currently serving 28 communities in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. They are a member owned cooperative giving dividends back to their members. WCTA is currently providing services to parts of Albert Lea and are offering to extend their fiber technology operations throughout the community to residents interested in taking their services. Thoma stated the company is committed to bringing fiber internet to all of the Albert Lea area.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

A. Ordinance 21-056 Amending Zoning And Land Use Map From Light Industrial (I-1) To Planned Development District (Pd) For Property Located At 423 Adams Avenue (1st Reading)

Rigg explained Turning Point Real Estate has made application to re-zone the property at 423 Adams Avenue (three separate parcels) from Limited Industrial (I-1) to Planned Development (PD) to accommodate an adaptive reuse housing development. The properties are currently situated between Residential Preservation, Planned Development and I-3 zones. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on March 2, 2021 in regards to the request to rezone; and recommends approval based on findings that the request is compatible with the surrounding area and will provide the highest and best use of the property.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 Ordinance 21-056
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-049 Approving A Commercial Purchase Agreement For The Purchase Of Real Estate From BRHB Incorporated By The City of Albert Lea (Job 1806)

Rigg stated as part of the TH-65 construction project, a road raise with stormwater ponds was determined to be included in the 2022 construction project. This item authorizes the commercial purchase agreement for the purchase of real estate from BRHB Incorporated by the City of Albert Lea. The property is 509 Main Street East (former Godfathers). The purchase will be reimbursed with state bonding funds.
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 21-049
Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 21-050 Accepting Bid And Awarding Contract For 2021-2022 Biosolids Removal (Job 2106)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, March 16, 2021 for the ‘2021-2022 Biosolids Removal’ project. This project involves the removal of biosolids (or sludge) from the storage tanks at the WWTP and land applying them on approved land near the WWTP. The City received one bid. Engineering recommends the low bid of $230,000 as submitted by Oyer Trucking, Hayward, Minnesota. The total is for both contract years or $115,000 per year. The previous one year contract totaled $115,000.00. The bid summary is as follows:

Bidder Total
Oyer Trucking $230,000.00
Hayward, MN

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 21-050
Included with these minutes)

D. Resolution 21-051 Approving Repair To Aerial Apparatus
Rigg said Aerial Apparatus 916 was purchased used, and was about 10 years old at the time of purchase. The purchase saved the city $700,000. The total cost of the apparatus was $500,000.00 and the CIP for purchasing a new Aerial Apparatus was budgeted for $1.2 million. Recently the apparatus has been having issues with different functions malfunctioning and failing in the aerial device. Through months of troubleshooting and attempting to repair it was found that the wiring harness in the boom is failing (shorting out). The best course of action is to replace the entire wiring harness as we are not sure what will fail next if we start to splice the system. While the apparatus is apart, it was decided to replace the failing waterway seals and the main water trunk lines. All the work has to be done at E-ONE Bronto in Florida as they are the proprietary company and the only ones allowed to do the work. The cost of the repairs will be less than $100,000.00.

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 21-051
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Received calls regarding opening up the Library.
• Committee Update – Attended HRA meeting last week.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items –
• Committee Update – Attended Heritage Preservation Committee meeting, a Lake Front Development meeting and HRA meeting.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – Thanked the Street Department for plowing after the last storm.
• Committee Update – Parks & Recreation meeting. Announced Jennifer Davis has resigned from Parks and Rec.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended HRA Meeting

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

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Consulted staff on a couple of ward items.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Commented on the Retreat meeting and extended his appreciation to staff for their efforts in moving the City forward.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

• Spoke of the Food trucks popping up and encourages the community to support them.
• Will be meeting with County staff to discuss the Rail Trail.
• Spoke of business opportunities continuing to arise.
• Signed an agreement with an architect to provide a preliminary assessment to determine the best use of the old Fire quarters.
• Working on guidelines to reopening City Hall.
• Bridge Avenue construction will resume this week.

Clean-up Day Update – Per Resolution 16-59, the Spring Hometown Pride Clean-up Day would be held April 24, 2021. Due to COVID, staff is pushing this date back until the event can occur safely. Namely when enough employees are vaccinated to manage the clean-up site. Given the unknowns of when that may be with the lead time for advertisement we cannot be certain the date of April 24 would work. Once we have enough staff with their first shot, we will advertise a date that will proceed their second shot appointments.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 21-052 APPROVING CLAIMS

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 Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #77982 through #78102 in the amount of $498,538.51. 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 21-052
Included with these minutes)

B. CLOSED SESSION

Mayor Rasmussen announced the closed session is under the attorney-client privilege pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 13D.05, subd. 3(b), to discuss the following pending litigation: Melissa Lynn Hanson v. State of Minnesota, et al., Court File number 24-cv-21-253; Melissa Lynn Hanson v. State of Minnesota, et al., Court File number 24-cv-21-257; Melissa Lynn Hanson v. Kelly Dawn Martinez, et al., Court File number 24-cv-21-285; Melissa Lynn Hanson v. Joseph A. Bueltel, et al., Court File number 24-cv-21-380

Motion made by Councilor Baker to move into closed session. Seconded by Councilor Murray. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion.

Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and moved into closed session at 7:42 p.m.

Council moved out of closed session at 8:04 p.m. Mayor Rasmussen reported the above pending litigation was discussed.

ADJOURNMENT: 8:05 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Howland. 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, April 12, 2021. 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