March 8, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, March 8, 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
Lucas Schuster attended via zoom. He is a member of the Planning Commission Board. He asked council to consider raising the per diem for all City Board and Commission Members. He suggests this could attract members and increase engagement.

City Clerk Maras read aloud an email received from Michael Frazier regarding the amended dock ordinance. That letter is included with the minutes. City Manager Rigg will respond with a personal phone call to Mr. Frazier.

City Manager Rigg read each item on the consent and approval agenda and provided background. Rigg noted the addition of Item B under New Business Extending the Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency Order No. 2020-1 and Ordinance 20-232.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes Of The February 22, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The February 22, 2021 Work Session\
C. Approve Minutes Of The February 18, 2021 Special Closed Meeting
D. Licenses & Permits
E. Resolution Approving Plans And Specifications And Ordering Of Bids For The Washington Avenue And Water Street Parking Lot Reconstruction Project (Job 2104)
F. Resolution Approving Purchase of Street Department Pressure Washer and Walk Behind Saw Replacement
G. Resolution Approving Agreement For Construction Services At City of Albert Lea Aquatic Center
H. Resolution Approving SCDP Program and Local Income Plan
I. Motion To Approve Letter In Support of State Bonding For Fountain Lake Dredging

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda as read with the addition of Item B under New Business: “Extension of March 17, 2020 City of Albert Lea, Minnesota Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency No. 2020-1 and Ordinance 20-232 to April 14, 2021, 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 21-034 through 21-037
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
A. Ordinance 21-051 Amending Chapter 48, Article II – Docks, Sec. 46.019 Through Sec. 48.026 (2nd reading)

Rigg stated to date, most of the inquiries about the dock ordinance have been about what the changes may mean to those seeking permit renewal. We have received only one request to cancel the limit of one permit per household/riparian property owner and one concern about noise and garbage from people “day camping” at their dock location.

On February 22, 2021, Council approved the first reading of Ordinance 20-051 Amending Chapter 48, Article II – Docks, Sec. 46.019 through Sec. 48.026. It is included in this meeting agenda for a second and final reading. The second reading reflects corrections that were noted by Councilor Howland during the first reading at the February 22nd Council Meeting. These corrections have been made to the first reading and are redlined for reference in the ordinance included in Council’s packet.

In addition, since the first reading, information was brought to our attention regarding some regulatory obligations the County has on buoys and non-land tethered devices in the water. To avoid confusion between the docks and any buoy that may be set out in the water, the following amendment to Sec. 48.019 – Definitions includes adding the term “land tethered” and striking out the words “buoys” or “floats” throughout the ordinance. These changes are redlined for reference in the ordinance included in the council’s packet.

Rigg explained the process to be put forth should council approve this amendment to Ord. 21-051, applying the Robert’s Rules of Order for proper Parliamentary Procedure as adopted by the City of Albert Lea.

Olson stated he disagrees that a homeowner is not allowed to have two dock spaces if they own over 100 feet in front of their property. For that reason, he will be voting no.

Motion made by Councilor Howland to add the term to Sec. 48.019 – Definitions “land tethered” and striking out the words “buoys” or “floats” throughout ordinance 21-051 and approve this second reading as read. Seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Rasmussen, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Olson voted Nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 21-051
Included with these minutes)

A2. Resolution 21-038 Permitting Publication of an Ordinance Summary Amending Chapter 48, Article II – Docks, Sec. 46.019 through Sec. 48.026

Ordinance Summaries may be published if they reasonably inform the public of the effect and intent of the Ordinance. Summaries fulfill all legal requirements as if the entire summarized matter had been published and also directs the public how to obtain the complete Ordinance. The effective date of enactment of the ordinance is March 8, 2021, and must pass by a four-fifths vote by Council.

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

(See Secretary’s Resolution 21-038
Included with these minutes)

B. Ordinance 21-052 Amending Chapter 50, Article III, Division 2, Sec. 50.0224 – Conditional Permitted Uses (2nd reading)

As part of an ongoing attempt to clarify and improve different zoning ordinances, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on February 2, 2021 in regards to two separate zoning codes that work to clarify permitted conditional uses in both the Single-Family Residence (R-1) and Residential Preservation (R-P) District. Questions have been raised in regards to the meaning of the word private and as a result, staff’s interpretation is that public and commercial recreational uses (meaning for public benefit) such as country clubs, golf courses, swimming pools and similar comparable uses are permitted; and, that private uses are not. The proposed ordinance amendments would reflect this interpretation.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 21-052
Included with these minutes)

B2. Resolution 21-039 Permitting Publication of an Ordinance Summary Amending Chapter 50, Article III, Division 2, Conditional Permitted Uses

The attached resolution approves publication of a Summary for Ordinance 21-052 in regards to the permitted Conditional Uses.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Resolution 21-039
Included with these minutes)

C. Ordinance 21-053 Amending Chapter 50, Article III, Division 6, Sec. 50.0345 Conditional Permitted Uses (2nd reading)

As noted in the above report, the public hearing held by the Planning Commission on February 2nd may also amend this ordinance to permit the conditional uses in the R-P Residential Preservation 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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 21-053
Included with these minutes)

C2. Resolution 21-040 Permitting Publication of Ordinance Summary Amending Chapter 50, Article III, Division 6, Conditional Permitted Uses

The attached resolution approves publication of a Summary for Ordinance 21-053 in regards to the permitted Conditional Uses.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Resolution 21-040
Included with these minutes)

D. Ordinance 21-054 Repealing Part II, Chapter 6 – Amusements and Entertainments, Article IV – Dances, Division 1. – Generally, Sec. 6.064 through Sec. 6.066 and Division 2. – License, Sec 6.091 through 6.095 (2nd reading)

The Dance Hall Ordinance is one that was created at a time when dance halls were prevalent and regulation was required to ensure safety. The City of Albert Lea wishes to eliminate the requirement of a license to conduct public dances as a business or as an incident to a restaurant, dancehall or other business.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 21-054
Included with these minutes)

E. Ordinance 21-055 Repealing Chapter 4, Article VI – Cabarets, Part Of Sec. 4.151, All Of Sec. 4.152, And Sec. 4.154 And Repealing The Article VI Title – Cabarets (2nd reading)

The Cabaret Ordinance is one that was created at a time when public venues, by law, required a “Cabaret license” to allow public dancing in the State of Minnesota. The State of Minnesota no longer requires such license.

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

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 21-055
Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS
A. Resolution 21-041 Accepting Bid And Awarding Contract For The Edgewood Avenue, St. Peter Avenue, Stanley Avenue And Ulstad Avenue Reconstruction Project (Job 2102)

Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, March 2, 2021 for the Edgewood Avenue, St. Peter Avenue, Stanley Avenue and Ulstad Avenue Reconstruction Project. The project involves the complete reconstruction of several streets throughout the City (approximately 3,406 total feet). Work will include complete removal and replacement of the pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalk, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and watermain. The existing concrete and bituminous pavements will be removed and replaced with a bituminous surface. Engineering received seven bids and is recommending the low bid of $1,828,950.30 as submitted by Wencl Construction Inc. of Owatonna, Minnesota. The Engineer’s estimate was $2,743,882.50.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks, and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Resolution 21-041
Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-042 Extending March 17, 2020 Proclamation And Declaration Of Emergency No. 2020-1 And Ordinance 20-232

Section 5. This Ordinance hereby invokes the City’s Emergency Operations Plans and Pandemic Response Plan. The portions that are necessary for response to and recovery from the emergency are hereby authorized, including but not limited to, all appropriate community containment and mitigation strategies. Staff reads this to mean that keeping a restriction on public access and holding electronic meetings are part of the “containment and mitigation strategies.” This ordinance gives staff the ability to use our mitigation plan including masks, social distances, and meeting by appointment, and electronic hearings as a means to protect operations and the public under the direction of the Council.

Rigg expounded on key provisions of continuing this ordinance including maintaining social distancing by holding meetings such as this council meeting via Zoom as well as being able to maintain services in a way that staff may stagger work schedules. This allows for proficient preparation to quarantine should a staff member become ill. Some departments and the Library will be open to the public two days a week beginning March 30th.

Murray stated although he appreciates the efforts on behalf of staff to work towards a partial opening, he disagrees with many aspects of the Governor’s Order and will vote no.

Howland spoke of the vaccine soon becoming more readily available and looks forward to seeing his friends and family in person again.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-042
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Answered calls from constituents regarding opening up City Hall and the Library.
• Committee Update – Attended a JOBS and ALEDA meeting last week. He mentioned there are many exciting things happening in the community this summer.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Extended his appreciation to City Manager Rigg for taking time to discuss the Dock ordinance with him. Thanked Lucas Schuster for calling him to discuss the public comments he made at this meeting.
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – Supports consideration of refunding the bars/restaurants liquor license fees.
• Committee Update – None

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Echoed Howland’s comments. Encourages supporting the bars/restaurants. Reminds the community that the weather is getting nicer so watch for children on bicycles
• Committee Update – None

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

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Disagrees with the Governor’s Orders, but understands the City Manager’s processes and decisions to keeping City Hall and the Library closed part time. Appreciates the work staff has put into the dock ordinance amendments. Implores council and staff to consider refunding liquor license fees to the restaurants/bars including the 2:00 a.m. fees.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:
• Received a call regarding the proposed overlay project of the pickle ball courts. Jahnke responded the overlay is scheduled to on or before June 15th.
• Ask staff to put together information to consider refunding liquor license fees.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
• Reiterated specific City Hall departments and the Library will be opening up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning March 30th. The Library will offer express browsing by appointment only. The third floor and first floor windows will be open. All other staff are available to the public by appointment.
• Will be meeting with the County Administrator on Thursday to discuss the Rail Trail way.
• Working with staff and businesses to either relocate or expand their business.
• Staff is preparing for the retreat on Saturday
• He and Steve Jahnke will be meeting with Engineers to review options at the WWTP for future capabilities.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 21-043 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 Howland to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #77857 through #77981 in the amount of $791,254.12. 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 21-043
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:44 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, March 22, 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.
_____/s/_______________________
Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council