May 23, 2016

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, May 23, 2016, 7:00 P.M.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., Councilors John Schulte V, Larry Baker, Reid Olson, Larry Anderson and Al Brooks. Also present were City Manager Chad Adams, City Attorney Lee Bjorndal, City Engineer Steven Jahnke, Deputy Clerk Daphney Maras.

ABSENT: Councilor George Marin, City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte

PUBLIC FORUM

Roger Swanson, 524 Meadow Lane, expressed concern about expenses that could be incurred with the expansion of the city garage. He juxtaposed the cost of the proposal with other nearby private, municipal and not-for-profit organizations that recently undertook expansions.

City Manager Adams stated that the expansion of the garage is proposed to be done in two phases. The City would not seek to begin the second phase for five to 10 years. The expansion of the building would extend its life and is more cost-effective than constructing a new building.

Swanson later commented that should the City build a fire station, staff from the garage could use the vacated office space at City Hall.

Dustin Trail, 1902 Brookside Drive, expanded on the comments of Swanson, comparing the cost per square foot for the garage to that of other communities that recently expanded or built new garage facilities. He asked how estimated costs were determined for facilities and questioned the cost of the property acquisition associated with the garage expansion.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, asked what entity is responsible for the fish barrier that empties into Albert Lea Lake and questioned the recent assessment of his property.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The May 9, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The May 5, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See attached list.)
D. Resolution Accepting Donations Presented To The City Of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Approving Grant Application To Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) For SE MN Housing Initiative
F. Resolution Accepting Grant From Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) For SE MN Housing Initiative
G. Resolution Approving Plans And Specifications And Ordering Advertisement Of Bids For Airport Arrival And Departure Building Construction (Job 1608)

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-101 thru 16-104 included with these minutes.)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Ordinance 199,6d Amending Chapter 66, Article II, Section 66-63 Prohibiting Private Wells For Domestic Use On Properties Within The City Served By The Albert Lea Water System (2nd reading)

Adams read the ordinance prohibiting private wells. The first reading of the ordinance was held on April 25, 2016. At the May 9th meeting of the City Council, further discussion was held and a motion was made to table the ordinance until this meeting.

Brooks asked about an individual who is considering building a well. Baker answered that he spoke with said individual and noted that the person has elected not to construct a well.

Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Council Brooks to approve the 2nd reading of the ordinance. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 199,6d included with these minutes.)

B. Resolution 16-105 Permitting Publication Of Ordinance Summary 199,6d Amending Chapter 66, Article II, Section 66-63 Prohibiting Private Wells For Domestic Use On Properties Within The City Served By The Albert Lea Water System

Adams read the summary publication, explaining that summaries of ordinances may be published if they reasonably inform the public of the effect and intent of the Ordinance. Publishing summaries decreases cost to the public while the summary still directs the public how to obtain the complete Ordinance. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-105 included with these minutes.)

NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution 16-106 Providing For The Sale Of $3,510,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2016A

Adams explained that per the City Charter, the City of Albert Lea has the authority to issue Permanent Improvement Revolving Fund (PIR) bonds to provide financing for assessable public improvement projects undertaken by the City. Staff recommends the sizing of the bond to be $3,510,000 to finance City improvement projects, including 2016 Neighborhood Improvements, Park Avenue, Grace Street, Harriet Lane, Mariners Lane, Lake Chapeau Drive and Edgewater Drive projects. The proposed bond would have a term of 10 years and be sold competitively.

Bruce Kimmel of Ehlers spoke about issuance of bonds and the City’s strategy to repay them. The bonds are bank-qualified and stated that the City’s bond rating would be reaffirmed. He commented that interest rates are extremely low and it is an advantageous time to issue this bond.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-106 included with these minutes)

B. Resolution 16-107 Authorizing Agreement With City Of Winona For Airport Improvement Program Non-Primary Entitlement Funds For Albert Lea Municipal Airport (Job 1608)

Adams reviewed the proposal to construct a new arrival and departure building at the Albert Lea Municipal Airport. The City receives $150,000 per year in FAA entitlement funds for use on construction projects; the funding can be carried over for a three year period. This leaves the City short of federal funding for the project. The City has requested $123,100 from the City of Winona. Winona has agreed to gift these entitlement funds to the City of Albert Lea. Winona currently does not have a 2016 Federal project. The agreement provides the terms of the funding transfer. The City will also be receiving $176,900 from Houston County, which was previously authorized. City staff is recommending the City enter into an agreement with the City of Winona.

Anderson thanked staff for its coordination with other government entities.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, seconded by Councilor Olson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-107 included with these minutes.)

C. Resolution 16-108 Approving Purchase Of Real Estate From Duane Johnson By City Of Albert Lea

Adams explained that the City of Albert Lea seeks to purchase a 2.52 acre parcel of land at 1016 Madison Avenue for $185,000. In addition, the City would deed the seller a parcel of 250 feet by 160 feet. The purpose of this purchase is to expand the City Garage and have space for a new facility. The parcel adjoins the existing garage property. Council must approve the purchase by a 2/3 vote because it has not been reviewed by the Planning Commission. Staff supports the transaction as being consistent with the Facility Master Plan. Adams added that properties usually sell for higher than the assessed value by the county.

Brooks stated that the purchase price and proposed amenities are too costly. Consequently, he would be voting against the acquisition.

Baker detailed his visit to the garage. He arrived at a time that employees were returning for the day and noted how it may be difficult to maneuver vehicles and equipment at a time of need. He said constituent concerns could be remedied through the potential efficiency gains galvanized by the expansion of the garage. He promised to remain vigilant about spending on the garage.

Schulte clarified that the measure is solely to acquire the property and has value to the City because of its location. Mayor Rasmussen agreed with Schulte.

Motion made by Councilor Schulte, seconded by Councilor Olson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Brooks voted nay. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-108 included with these minutes.)

D. Resolution 16-109 Approving Purchase of Real Estate From Freeborn County

Adams explained that the City has been approached by a private buyer to purchase the lot at 1761 Pride Lane to construct a residential-single family home. The City placed a “hold” on the lot last year as part of the tax-forfeiture process with the intent of assisting the private market to build homes on the lot. Unless the City wants to turn the lot back over to the County for public auction this fall, the acquisition of the lot from the County and immediate resale to a private entity is the quickest way to have the home built this year. Staff is only requesting the principal of assessments and developer’s fees to be reimbursed to the City as part of the acquisition and sale. Interest on assessments accrued to date would be waived. Staff recommends approval.

Anderson applauded the effort to put the property back on the tax roll.

Motion made by Councilor Olson, seconded by Councilor Anderson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-109 included with these minutes.)

E. Resolution 16-110 Approving Municipal Debt Policy

Councilor Baker requested that Bruce Kimmel, Ehlers & Associates, elaborate on the policy. Kimmel stated that a municipal debt policy is a best practice; the rating agencies approve of enacting such policies. He emphasized that transparency is critical for the public and rating agencies.

Brooks commented that staff has become more conscious of debt and believes it is beneficial to the City. Mayor Rasmussen said the City has made a more consistent effort to address infrastructure needs, which resulted in the issuing of debt.

Adams displayed PowerPoint slides comparing the City’s debt, debt-per-capita and enterprise funds to peer cities. Baker questioned Adams about the criteria used to determine a peer city, the status of the enterprise funds and rate projections for them. Adams stated that there are plans to reduce the rate increases of the enterprise funds.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-110 included with these minutes.)

F. Resolution 16-111 Approving Investment Policy

The City Council and Staff have also been discussing the creation and adoption of an investment policy that outlines best practices and internal controls for investing the City’s idle cash in the various funds of the City. Adams explained that the attached policy provides such parameters and procedures to invest the City’s idle cash in accordance with State Statutes. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-111 included with these minutes.)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Schulte V:

  • Ward Item – Spoke about a parking issue within the 2nd ward that he brought to Baker’s attention.
  • Committee Updates: Attended a Library Board meeting and provided the following information:
    • The Library is concluding the pilot phase of the hot spot program.
    • Friends of the Library donated funding to increase the amount of hot spots available for checkout.
    • The Library is applying for a grant for internet-enabled devices that would be checked out with the hot spots.
    • The Library is going to update the teen area with remaining funding from the renovation.

Schulte thanked the Foundation for its efforts and generosity.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker:

  • Ward Items – None
  • Committee Updates – Attended a Planning Commission meeting during which a public hearing was held to discuss a zoning change. The property owner of 1430 Highway 69 applied for a zoning change from R-3 to B-2, which the staff is reviewing. The Commission determined that two properties the City acquired are in conformance with the comprehensive plan.

Baker took a glider ride as part of the Glider Competition.

Third Ward, Councilor Marin (absent)

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson:

  • Ward Item: The demolition of a nuisance home on Garfield Avenue occurred.
  • Committee Updates: Attended a Parks Board meeting. A group of people is beginning to fundraise for a memorial court. The establishment of a small marina was also discussed.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson:

  • No ward items or committee updates.
  • Talked about the Glider Competition and thanked the organizers and participants.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks:

  • Ward Item: Community Service Officers are addressing issues with trash in the ward. He is working with residents who are impacted by construction. He noted a streetlight in need of repair.

Mayor Rasmussen announced the upcoming special events which include the Fireworks Fundraiser, Kids Triathlon, Eddie Cochran Weekend, Take a Kid Fishing, the Heartland Series Marathon and the Flight Breakfast events. The Mayor also apologized to the public for outbursts of meeting attendees.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Adams updated Council on the following items:

  • Should the bill be signed by the Governor, there will be an increase in Local Government Aid. The Minnesota Legislature did not pass a bonding bill, so projects submitted by the City and Riverland Community College remains in jeopardy.
  • The City hosted the 2nd grade Sibley Elementary students for which he held a mock election to determine which projects should receive funding throughout the city.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. Resolution 16-112 Approving Contract with Councilmember Schulte

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Schulte abstained. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-112 included with these minutes.)

B. Resolution 16-113 Approving Claims

Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Marin was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-113 included with these minutes.)

(1). Presentation of Claims Over $25,000

Adams presented the Council with a list of claims over $25,000 each.

ADJOURNMENT – 8:20 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, seconded by Councilor Brooks, 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 13, 2016. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.
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Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr.

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Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council

Minnesota state law (Chapter 156 of the Session Laws of 2005) requires that "a city or county with a population of more than 15,000 must annually notify its residents of the positions and base salaries of its three highest-paid employees." For the City of Albert Lea, titles and salaries as of Jan. 1, 2019, are: City Manager, $138,375.12; Director of Public Works/City Engineer $110,780.80; and Director of Public Safety $103,646.40. Date of publication: January 23, 2019.