May 11, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, May 11 2020, 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 David Todd, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, Public Works Director Steve 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 – None

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

A. Approve Minutes Of The April 27, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The May 5, 2020 Special Council Meeting
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Approving Donation of Memorial Bench In Edgewater Park
F. Resolution Accepting Low Bid For 2020 Bituminous Material
G. Resolution Granting A Variance To Shoreland Management Requirements
H. Resolution Permitting Publication Of Ordinance Summary To Amend Article II – Dogs And Cats
I. Reschedule City Council Regular Meeting From May 25, 2020 to Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Howland provided clarification to the variance to the Shoreland Management requirements, as he had received several calls from consituents in that area requesting further details.

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 20-083 through 20-087
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

A. RESOLUTION 20-088 CALLING FOR A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSAL TO ADOPT A STREET RECONSTRUCTION PLAN AND THE INTENT TO ISSUE GENERAL OBLIGATION STREET RECONSTRUCTION BONDS

Since the Bridge Avenue project is in partnership with Freeborn County, and will be paid solely with taxes (no assessment revenue), the debt needs to be issued under the Street Reconstruction Authority. Using this Authority requires the City to hold a public hearing and then approve a 5-year Street Reconstruction Plan related to the Bridge Avenue project and the bond issuance. Approval of the Plan must be a unanimous vote of the membership present.

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 20-088
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items with the City Manager and staff
• Committee Update – Attended the Port Authority/Jobs meeting and reported they are contininuing with getting information out to small businesses regarding the care act. Also they continue to work on the stratregic plan.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items with the City Manager.
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – Had questions from residents regarding the shoreland variance on the agenda, which he answered for them.
• Committee Update – Has a Park and Recreation Board meeting scheduled next Monday. They have not held a meeting in two months due to the pandemic. He asked the City Manager to inquire if that meeting is going to happen and requested the meeting happen via teleconference if not in person.

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

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Asked Jahnke for clarification of the Airport Advisary Board meeting date.

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

MAYOR’S REPORT:
• Announced that affidavits of candidacy for Wards 1, 3, and 5 will be available beginning May 19th through June 2nd. Contact the City Clerk for an application and/or information.
• Thanked the police officers for their service and encouraged the community to thank them as March 15th marks the day beginning National Police Week.
• He thanked the community for their emails regarding the COVID-19. He stated information and updates will continue to be shared on all the media outlets.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
Todd displayed a powerpoint outlining departments within the City that were especially affected by the pandemic. He summarized layoffs and/or furloughs, cost savings, loss of revenue, cancelled events, and projects put on hold until further notice. Additional highlights included:

• City Arena closed in March and both sheets of ice were removed and events were cancelled.
• Swimming Pool – Todd asked for direction from Council regarding to open or the pool keep it closed for this summer. Many surrounding cities have already made the decision not open their pools.
• Senior Center – Closed March 23rd and all staff have been laid off.
• Recreation Center and Rentals – Working on a partnership with the YMCA to help with programs and share staff.
• Elections – Encouraging absentee voting to reduce the spread of COVID-19
• Public Works – Several projects have been put on hold and no seasonal staff will be hired.
• Library – Several staff have been laid off or furloughed. Starting today remaining staff has been cleaning and preparing for curbside pickup services to being May 26th.

Baker had questions regarding the $20,000 loss of revenue at the City Arena, to which Todd confirmed is loss from the summer months only. Baker also asked if the Splash Pad would remain closed. Todd stated the Splash Pad could potentially open as there is no confined space, restrooms, or concession areas. He emphasized the importance of social distancing if it does open. The opening is still to be determined. Todd also responded to Baker’s question regarding City staff positions. Todd explained the City will continue to operate with minimal staff and maximize all resources.
Murray asked what the total savings amounted to from the highlights Todd displayed, to which Todd stated $300,000 plus. Murray encourages continuing looking at additional ways to find savings. He asked if CIP projects are being reviewed for consideration of being delayed. Todd stated they are thouroughly being reviewed.
Howland asked if there is a date planned for the Library to open for full service. Todd responded the opening is based on the Governor’s orders. Howland suggested hand sanitizer be available to all people coming in to the building once it opens. He also commented on the importance of prolonging CIP projects and eliminate expenditures on items that have not already been purchased or bid out. Todd commented that conversations have already been shared with department heads to scrutinize budgets, and CIP projects will e reviewd with council in the near future.
Todd provided an overview of the revenue the restaurants with liquor licenses have lost. He commented City Clerk Maras suggested providing some relief to these license holders to reflect the months in which they have not been able to utilize the licenses. Council asked questions regarding the cost of the licenses. Howland suggested waiving the liquor license fees for the year. Todd explained that would be a large amount of over $37,000 and could be difficult for the City to cover that loss of revenue. Baker asked if a fomula has been considered to prorate the license, to which Todd offered several scenarios. Murray added the importance of helping these restaurants to avoid the risk of losing any of them. Howland echoed Murray’s comments.

Mayor Rasmussen suggested council give this some thought and contact the City Manager over the next week with any suggestions or comments.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-089 APPROVING CLAIMS

David Todd 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, Todd 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 #75085 through #75203 in the amount of $780,984.02. 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 20-089
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:40 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Rasmussen. 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 Tuesday, May 26, 2020. 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