REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, May 24, 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, and Public Safety Director JD Carlson.
ABSENT: 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 – Mayor Rasmussen read the proclamation proclaiming the month of May as National REACT Month (Radio Emergency Associating Communication Teams).
PUBLIC FORUM – Rod Johnson spoke of the Food Truck parking at the City Beach. Johnson reports the Food Trucks have loud generators and play music too loud. He believes their presence could cause a hazard due to crowding. He suggests the Food Trucks park in front of the beach house to ensure safety of kids running to the food trucks, lessen the traffic in the parking lot, and buffer the noise to the homes in that area.
CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
A. Approve Minutes Of The May 10, 2021 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The May 10, 2021 Work Session
C. License & Permits
D. Resolution Amending Approval of Conditional Use Permit for 1619 West Main Street
E. Resolution Authorizing Agreement With City of Manchester For Enforcement Of Certain Ordinances
F. Resolution Declaring Unclaimed And Abandoned Property And Authorizing City Sale Following Published Notice (Ackland)
G. Resolution Declaring Unclaimed and Abandoned Property and Authorizing City Sale Following Published Notice (Fernandez)
H. Resolution Granting Authorization to Execute a Minnesota Department Of Transportation Grant Agreement for Federal Airport Expenses Reimbursement
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 21-083 through 21-087 Included with these minutes)
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None
UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None
A. Resolution Adopting A Rental Housing Needs Analysis
Rigg explained attached is a rental housing needs analysis conducted by Maxfield Research & Consulting that evaluates the City’s existing rental housing stock, rental conditions and assesses housing affordability. The findings of the overall report identify shortages of both market rate and subsidized rental units that the City will continue to prioritize in coming years. Rigg noted this study took into consideration both the proposed Unique 48 unit complex at the Blazing Star Landing as well as the proposed 50 unit complex at the Market Place.
Murray commented the surprising conclusion of this study that reports a need for over 300 rental units over the next nine to ten years to keep up with the need in the community. Mayor Rasmussen spoke of the concern regarding the lack of housing for employers in Albert Lea, as the lack of housing limits their ability to obtain employees.
Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 Ordinance 21-088 Included with these minutes)
B. Resolution In Support Of State Capital Projects Grants-In-Aid
City staff is working on a State Capital Projects Grants-in-Aid application to help pay down the anticipated façade restoration at 211 S. Broadway (Jacobson Building) which includes repairing/replacing the terra cotta tiles and eroded mortar joints. The grant program requires a one-to-one match, meaning the City of Albert Lea would have to commit to an amount equal to the award amount. The current minimum grant amount is $10,000 with no cap. The pre-application deadline is May 28, 2021.
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 21-089 Included with these minutes)
MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Reminds the Community that Shine Fest is working out of Valley Park this week. This group consists of several churches and AS-1 Group helping the residence in that area with house painting and misc. repairs.
• Committee Update – Attended a tour of Minnesota Freezer in Albert Lea last week.
Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Toured MercyOne new construction
Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – Received correspondence from a resident regarding pets on the loose
• Committee Update – None
Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Spoke to Mr. Rod Johnson regarding his concerns with the Food Vendor Parking in the beach parking lot.
• Committee Update – None
Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items
• Committee Update – Attended the Library Board meeting. He reported the Library is looking to hire part-time staff and are also reviewing the 2022 budget.
Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Discussion with staff regarding the alleys on 7th Street
• Committee Update – None
• Thanked council for completing the six-month review of City Manager Rigg.
• Received several emails this week and will discuss with Rigg.
• June 3rd is the Open House for the Main Street construction project. This will be held at Riverland College. MNDot will be present to provide an overview.
CITY MANAGER REPORT
• Clarified the Library hour signs will be changed to note the correct hours which are Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for unlimited browsing and no appointment necessary. Expansion of hours and days will be re-evaluated when more staff are hired.
• Working on two economic development incentive packages
• Continues to review the use of funds that will be received for the American Rescue Plan
• Will be reviewing housing grant opportunities
• Staff continue to work on blight issues
• Changes have been made to the COVID policy. The policy will be re-assessed in a couple of weeks.
• Proposes in-person council meetings resume in August. Hybrid meetings are allowed if council chooses.
• Met with the Lions and Kiwanis clubs over the last two weeks. Remarked on the good things these groups continue to do in support of the community.
APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
A. RESOLUTION 21-090 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 Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #78529 through #78671 in the amount of $610,073.84. 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 21-090 Included with these minutes)
ADJOURNMENT: 7:25 P.M.
Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 14, 2021. On roll call vote, all councilors voted in favor of said motion.
Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.
Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr.
Secretary of the Council