May 10, 2021

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, May 10, 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, Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, City Planner Megan Boeck, Building/Zoning Official Wayne Sorensen, 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
A. Proclamation Declaring May 2021 As Mental Health Awareness Month
Mayor Rasmussen read aloud the Proclamation Declaring May 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month.

PUBLIC FORUM
Clerk Maras confirmed no letters or emails were received and there are no raised hands in this call.
Mayor Rasmussen read each item on the consent and approval agenda.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes Of The April 26, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The April 26, 2021 Work Session
C. License & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Bids for 2021 Bituminous Material
E. Resolution Amending Agreement With Minnesota Department of Transportation For Local Bridge Replacement Program – Plaza Street Culvert Replacement (Job 1913)
F. Resolution Authorizing Broadway Ridge Grant Agreement With Albert Lea Community Theatre
G. 7th Street Yellow Curb No Parking Authorization At Alleys

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve the consent agenda as read, 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 21-074 through 21-076 Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Ordinance 21-059 Amending The Zoning And Land Use Map From Community Business (B-2) To Interstate Development District (ID) For Property Located At 2501 Main Street East (2nd Reading)

Rigg explained the second reading of this ordinance would finalize the rezoning of 2501 Main Street; the property is owned by Freeborn Mower Electric Cooperative and is for sale. Planning Commission and staff recommend approval.
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 Ordinance 21-059 Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS
A. Resolution 21-077 Awarding the Sale of General Obligation Bonds, Series 2021A
Rebecca Kurtz from Ehlers & Associates reviewed the bond sale and congratulated the City for sustaining the Standard and Poor’s rating affirmation of AA-. Kurtz commended City staff and council for their continued efforts in maintaining a strong financial position and good standing affirmation.

Per City Charter, the City of Albert Lea has the authority to issue General Obligation Improvement Bonds to provide financing for assessable public improvement projects undertaken by the City. Kurtz reported seven bids were received and the lowest bid was accepted from Baird located in Milwaukee, WI. The proposed bond would have a term of 10 years and be sold competitively at a true interest cost of 1.01%. Staff recommended the sizing of the bond to be $2,325,000 to finance City improvement projects, including the 2021 Neighborhood Improvement Project, the Edgewood Avenue, St Peter Avenue, Stanley Avenue and Ulstad Avenue Reconstruction Project and the Washington Avenue and Water Street Parking Lot Reconstruction. However, Kurtz explained a premium bid was received providing more funds than are needed to complete both the utility projects and the street projects. This allowed the City to reduce the size of the bond by $100,000 to $2,225,000. Kurtz recommends the sizing of the bond be approved at $2,225, 000.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-077 Included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 21-078 Approving Contract for Private Development and Final Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreement with Vortex Cold Storage

The City of Albert Lea and Vortex Cold Storage, LLC have negotiated the terms of a Contract for Private Development, which includes the issuances of Tax Increment Financing, pending Vortex Cold Storage completes all of the responsibilities outlined in the attached agreement and summarized in the attached terms sheet. Construction activities are scheduled to begin June 1, 2021 and once the project is completed, the developer will submit documentation of eligible TIF expenses equaling $1,375,474 and the City will issue the TIF Note. If for some reason the developer does not achieve $1,375,474 in eligible costs, the final amount of the TIF Note will be adjusted to reflect the amount of actual qualified TIF Costs. Rebecca Kurtz of Ehlers and Associates detailed the terms of the agreement.

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 21-078 Included with these minutes)

C. Resolution 21-079 Accepting Bid and Awarding Contract for Blazing Star Reclamation Project (Job 2053
Engineering has reviewed the bids opened Tuesday, May 4, 2021 for the Blazing Star Reclamation project. The project involves bituminous reclamation and resurfacing of portions of the Blazing Star Trail between the “Figure 8” and State Park Road (CSAH 38). Engineering received one bid, and is recommending the low bid of $191,078.70 as submitted by Ulland Brothers Inc. of Albert Lea, Minnesota. The Engineer’s estimate was $158,692. The primary differences are the bituminous cost, common excavating and seeding. Staff recommends approval.
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, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-079
Included with these minutes)

D1. Public Hearing Regarding Order for Removal – 405 Court Street, Albert Lea, Minnesota
Mayor Rasmussen announced a public hearing is being held to consider the removal of the hazardous structures located at 405 Court Street.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Clerk Maras confirmed no emails or letters have been received and there were no raised hands to speak during the hearing. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

D2. Resolution 21-080 Authorizing Order for Removal of Hazardous Structures and Abatement of Nuisance at 405 Court Street, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Building/Zoning Official Wayne Sorensen utilized PowerPoint slides to display photos of the structures at 405 Court Street. He explained the main residence and the detached accessory building on the above property have structural and minimum housing deficiencies and violations. The main residence has structural compromise and deterioration of the roof structure, the wall structures surrounding windows, as well as extensive foundation concerns. An accessory building is extremely deteriorated and is in danger of collapse. Staff opinion is that both structures cannot be reasonably rehabilitated to meet safety and health concerns, and does meet the definition of “Hazardous Structure” as defined in Minnesota State Building Code.

Murray asked how many homes are in this condition in Albert Lea and of that number, how many are able to be rehabbed. To which Sorensen replied, 85 homes are currently placard as hazardous structures. Of that number, Sorensen estimates approximately one-third could potentially be rehabilitated. Murray asked how many of the 85 homes are still occupied. Sorensen estimates half are still occupied.

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 21-080 Included with these minutes)

E. Resolution 21-081 Withdrawing MPCA Contested Case (Job 1705)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (“MPCA” or “Agency”) has completed a draft Shell Rock River Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”). The public comment period concluded on September 25, 2020. The City of Albert Lea has significant interest in the TMDL and WRAPS draft reports, as our community is located within the Watershed and our Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) discharges to the Shell Rock River.

On September 4, 2020 the City of Albert Lea authorized the filing of a contested case petition in the matter of the Shell Rock River Total Maximum Daily Load Study and the City filed a contested case petition with the MPCA challenging the TMDL on September 25, 2020. Since September, the MPCA and City have been in discussions to resolve the contested case petition and related concerns regarding the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Permit. The MPCA has agreed to make amendments to the TMDL and address the City’s critical concerns with its NPDES permit.

City staff, experts and legal counsel agree that based on the concessions made by the MPCA related to the TMDL and the City’s permit, that further pursuit of the contested case hearing on the TMDL is not in the City’s best interest and is recommending to withdraw the petition for a contested case hearing with the MPCA in the matter of the Shell Rock River TMDL.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 21-081
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Working on a ward item with City Manager Rigg
• Committee Update – Attended the ALEDA meeting as well as the MPCA meeting.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None. Extended condolences to Library Director Peggy Havener on the loss of her husband, Craig Havener. Mr. Havener served as a board member on the City’s Planning Commission Board of Directors.
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

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

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

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:
• Echoed condolences to the Havener family
• Asked residents in the Greenwood Ave. area to provide names of any of the businesses whose drivers are using this route unlawfully
• Attended the event re-naming Water Street to Marion Ross Street
• Announced the Freeborn County Fair is back on August 3rd-8th after being cancelled due to the Pandemic.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
• Staff is working on grants to assist in downtown restoration projects
• Requests for proposals for the Comprehensive Plan have been published
• City Hall is now fully opened although some staff have been approved to continue to work remotely and will be available by appointment
• Interest in housing and business developments continue to be received
• Charter Commission met today. Amendments to the Charter were discussed and will be brought forward for approval at a future Charter Commission meeting
• Zoning ordinance changes will be brought forth at a future council meeting, as well as a resolution approving a grant application.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 21-082 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 Brooks to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #78390 through #78528 in the amount of $807,308.79. 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 21-082
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:42 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, June 14, 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