March 25, 2019

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, March 25, 2019, 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 City Manager Chad Adams, City Engineer Steven Jahnke, City Attorney Kelly Martinez and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

PUBLIC FORUM

CERMONIAL ITEMS

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda.

A. Approve Minutes Of The March 11, 2019 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The March 11, 2019 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See Attached List)
D. Resolution Declaring Unclaimed And Abandoned Property And Authorizing City Sale Following Published Notice
E. Resolution Supporting Grant Application To The Department of Administration Certified Local Government Program
F. Resolution Approving Revisions To The Data Practice Policy
G. Approve Amendment to Lease Agreement By and Between the City of Albert Lea and The Interchange

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda and moving Item F – The Resolution Approving Revisions to the Data Practice Policy under New Business to allow for council discussion. Motion 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 19-044 through 19-045
included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Public Hearing and Ordinance 223,9d Amending Chapter 22, Article XI, Sec. 22-431 Tobacco License Requirements And Regulations (2nd reading)

The first reading of this ordinance was held at the City Council meeting of February 11, 2019. Several community dialogues have been held to give the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed age change (from 18 to 21) for purchasing tobacco. The City also invited businesses who sell tobacco products to an informational meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, 2019. No one attended and Staff has not received any feedback from the businesses as of yet. Staff recommends approval of the second reading of this ordinance.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the Public Hearing.
Dustin Trail asserted his objection to the Tobacco 21 Ordinance. He stated he believes this would deter people from spending money in Albert Lea and will cause an expansive decrease in tax revenue. He said education at the bottom level is where it starts. He pleaded with council to consider voting against this ordinance.
Ellen Kehr provided an update on the communities that are in the process of supporting the Tobacco 21 movement noting School District 241 has provided a letter of support. She recited the new language now required to be on all tobacco products.
Jenny Hendrickson coordinator of Partners and Prevention, provided an overview of the conversation she had with youth. She introduced five youth present this evening.
Logan Howe and Jaedan Koziolek are both high school students and discussed the negative effects of tobacco use.
Chris Chalmers spoke about Tobacco 21 and implored council to support this ordinance.
Alice Englin said her son is enlisted in the Military and described the no-smoking policy they have in place. She thanked council for their consideration in adopting this policy and asked council to vote yes.
Liz Heimer thanked the Mayor and council for listening to the comments from the community regarding Tobacco 21. She pleaded council to approve this ordinance tonight.
Dennis Dieser thanked council for taking time to listen to the conversations regarding Tobacco 21. He is the director of the YMCA and Hotel Director for the State of Minnesota. He described a recent youth school trip where they were staying at a hotel out of town and 21 youth were sent home for vaping. He is also a basketball coach and reports, as a coach, he has to sit in the middle of the school bus to watch for the use of vaping. He reported as a school board member, the school board voted unanimously to support Tobacco 21.
Mayor Rasmusson called two more times. No one spoke. He closed the hearing.
Baker commented on the importance of supporting Tobacco 21.
Howland thanked the people who contacted him regarding this proposed ordinance. He stated this is a choice an adult should have the liberty to make therefore, will not be supporting this ordinance. He added he is doubtful this ordinance would be effective when an 18 year-old can cross over the Minnesota border to Iowa and purchase tobacco. He affirmed his vote is based on what he believes is fundamentally right.
Brooks stated he appreciates the group who attended this evening to talk about Tobacco 21. He said if the age being proposed was 19 not 18, he would consider supporting this ordinance because although there are 18 year-olds in high school, there are not 19 year-olds.
Mayor Rasmussen spoke of his support of this ordinance stating the health of the community is priority. He doesn’t believe the loss of sales is higher than the loss of poor health and even lives. He also believes passing this ordinance will make it easier for youth to make the right choice.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilors Howland and Olson voted Nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 223, 9d (2nd reading)
included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS
A. Resolution 19-046 and Public Hearing Ordering Improvement and Preparation of Plans for the Newton Avenue Reconstruction & Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation Project (Job 1902)

A public hearing is being held for public input on the Newton Avenue Reconstruction Project from Pearl Street to 4th Street (Job No. 1902). Adams read the “what’s behind it” describing this project. Jahnke displayed a slideshow that outlined details. He said this is the same slideshow presented at the neighborhood meeting on March 6, 2019.
Mayor Rasmusson opened the public hearing.

Corey Wood is the Manager of Trailside Apartments on corner of Front Street and Newton Street. He asked, on the owners’ behalf, how the construction would affect the residents. Mayor Rasmussen deferred to Jahnke. Jahnke assured him the Engineering Department will coordinate with them how to get in and out of the property during construction. Wood also spoke of the expense involved in the retaining wall they just put up and asked if that wall would need to be torn down. Jahnke said they will protect the wall but if it needs to be removed, the City will be responsible for replacing it.

Mayor called two more times. No one else spoke. Jahnke responded to Brook’s questions on the assessment policy affecting this project.

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 19-046
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 19-047 Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering of Bids – Clausen Avenue, High Street, Sheridan Street, Giles Place and Alley Reconstruction Project (Job 1901)

Adams said on February 25, 2019 a Public Improvement Hearing for City Job No. 1901 was held and the project was authorized to proceed. The proposed project calls for the complete
reconstruction of several streets in the area bounded by Johnson Street on the south, Hawthorne Street on the north, North Shore Avenue on the west and Valley Avenue on the east (approximately 5,071 feet). Proposed work will include complete removal and replacement of the pavement, curb & gutter, sidewalk, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and watermain. The existing concrete and bituminous pavements will be removed and replaced with a bituminous surface. The streets are:

• Clausen Avenue – Johnson Street to Hawthorne Street
• High Street – North Shore Avenue to Valley Avenue
• Sheridan Street – North Shore Avenue to Valley Avenue
• Giles Place – Lakewood Avenue to Valley Avenue
• Alley west of Clausen Avenue – Johnson Street to High Street

All existing sidewalks are proposed to be reconstructed in the same location and configuration as the existing walks. A new sidewalk is proposed on the south side of Giles Place between Lakewood Avenue and Clausen Avenue where none currently exists. Traffic and soil conditions will require the new road to be built with a 4 inch bituminous surface over an 11 inch aggregate. Plans and specifications have been completed and presented to Council for approval and authorization of bidding. The bid opening would be scheduled for April 16, 2019. Staff recommends approval of the plans and specifications and authorization to bid the project.

Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 19-047
Included with these minutes)

C. Ordinance 224,10d Amending Chapter 2, Article IV, Sections 2-132 – 2-139, Administrative Services Departments And Heads (1st reading)

Adams said as directed by the Council at their goal setting retreat earlier this month, he is attaching the department structure modifications that presently reflect the City’s operating structure that have been working well the past few years. The attached ordinance establishes the Public Safety Department, eliminates the Parks and Recreation Department, and includes some additional or clarified department duties. Staff recommends approval of the first reading of this ordinance.

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 Ordinance 224,10d
Included with these minutes)

D. Resolution 19-048 Authorizing Tax Increment Financing Agreement By and Between the City of Albert Lea and Albert Lea Port Authority for Zumbro River Brand.

On March 27, 2017 the City of Albert Lea modified the previously established TIF District 5-25 and development district program. At the time of establishment of the TIF District, the City agreed to reimburse the Port Authority for the cost of certain improvements incurred by the Port Authority in preparing the Property for development and construction. The Port Authority did incur expenses in connection with the qualifying costs and now the City and Port Authority wish to memorialize and formalize their previous agreement regarding such matters through this agreement. The amount of potential increment to be reimbursed to the Port for the Zumbro River Brand expansion is about $511,000 over a 9-year period as defined in the agreement.

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 19-048
Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 19-049 Approving Revisions to the Data practice policy (this item was moved under New Business from the Consent Agenda at the request of Council to allow for discussion.

Adams stated in 2018, the number of data requests completed by city staff increased to 69, which is 20 more than the previous year. Moreover, the types of data requests submitted to the city have increased in their complexity. The amount of time it takes staff to research, retrieve and compile data also increases. As permitted by State Statute, 13.03. Subd. 3 (c), staff is recommending that language be added to the website and city data practice policy that permits the City to be reimbursed for the time it takes the lowest-paid employee capable of performing the task to search for and retrieve the data. Staff is requesting that this fee only be charged for requests that take longer than 30 minutes to complete. Staff will inform the requestor at the time of the request.

Howland said, initially, he thought this change might stifle press or citizens to request data. However, now that he clearly understands what is involved in data policy information he supports this resolution. He also asked for clarification on the fee, to which Adams confirmed.
Murray asked what kind of data we are providing to the public and asked for clarity how much time has been involved in fulfilling data requests. Adams said although he doesn’t have the specifics available at this time, there have been a handful of large requests where many hours were spent researching over the last year. Mayor Rasmussen added, people are allowed to come in and use the City’s computer to find data on their own at no cost.
Baker asked if staff is present to assist people at no cost, which Adams said there would.
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 19-049
Included with these minutes)

F. Approve Purchase of Zamboni Ice Resurfacer (Model 546) For Albert Lea City Arena

Adams said staff is requesting approval to purchase a new Zamboni Ice Resurfacer (Model 546) for use at the City Arena. This model will replace the current Zamboni, which is a 1999 Olympia machine. The 1999 Olympia will be sold on MNBid. The cost of the new Zamboni is $106,009.60. Although this piece of equipment was included on the Capital Improvement Plan for replacement, staff chooses to bring any item over $50,000 to council for approval and transparency.

Motion made by Councilor Howland approving purchase of the new Zamboni, 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.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Received phone calls regarding flooding and potholes which were addressed by the City Manager and Engineers.
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting earlier tonight where they discussed hiring a new executive director and housing issues.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – First Presbyterian is asking for more parking signs and will be working with Jahnke on this item.
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting earlier tonight. He suggested the council get a copy of the 2008 addendum housing study.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – Spoke of the crippling flooding effects on traffic on Bridge and Clark Street. He pleaded with MNDot to fix these roads in 2021.
• Committee Update – Attended the Watershed District annual meeting last week and attended the Parks & Recreation Board last week. Dan Borland’s family asked if the City would consider getting a memorial plaque to place on a bench in front of the Marion Ross Center. Mr. Borland was a long time board member of the Albert Lea Community Theatre. The Theatre board is willing to pay for this plaque.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Spoke with a constituent regarding a park issue and will discuss with the City Manager.
• Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – Working on one ward item.
• Committee Update – Attended an Airport Board Meeting. He reported just a few minor tweaks are yet to be made to the Arrival / Departure building and landscaping. Two new board members were introduced. The City and FFA are working on a master plan for the Albert Lea Airport. The new Jet Fuel system will be installed later this spring.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA meeting earlier this evening.

MAYOR REPORT –
Asked Jahnke when Main Street might be usable again. Jahnke responded probably next week.

He attended a Watershed Board meeting where some very interesting facts were shared with those in attendance. Attended a Senior Center Board Meeting and encouraged anyone 55 and over to join the Senior Center Board.

CITY MANAGER REPORT – Nothing further to report.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

Resolution 19-050 Approval of Claims

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

Motion made by Councilor to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #71089 through #71230 in the amount of $562,655.54. Seconded by Councilor. 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 19-050
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT –8:20 PM

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor, 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 8, 2019. 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