May 26, 2020

Minutes of Regular Meeting May 26, 2020
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, May 26 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 Assisant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, Public Works Director Steve Jahnke, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, and City Clerk Daphney Maras.

ABSENT: City Manager David Todd

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 Recognizing Rick Ashling For Years of Service As Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent

Mayor Rasmussen read the proclamation regarding Ashling’s excellent service to the City of Albert Lea as a business and community. He thanked Ashling for his commitment and congratulated Rick Ashling on his 26 years of service to the City Of Albert Lea.
B. 2019 Wastewater Treatment Facility Operational Award

Mayor Rasmussen congratulated the Wastewater Treatment Plant Facility Staff and Utility Department for recently being awarded a certificate of commendation from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. During 2019:
o The facility was overseen by a properly certified operator or skilled professional.
o The facility did not exceed the effluent limits contained in the permit.
o The required monthly and annual reports were timely and complete.
o The facility did not experience any unauthorized releases, enforcement actions or inspections identifying significant compliance concerns.

This award recognizes the hard work and dedication of these City Employees.

C. Acceptance Of The 2018 CAFR Award – Certificate of Achievement For Excellence In Financial Reporting
Mayor Rasmussen stated A Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the City of Albert Lea by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report for the year ended December 31, 2018. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The City of Albert Lea has received this Certificate of Achievement since 1983 for 36 consecutive years.

PUBLIC FORUM – None

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda.

A. Approve Minutes Of The May 11, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Licenses & Permits (None requested)
C. Resolution 20-090 Authorizing An Agreement With Albert Lea Improvement LLC

The South Broadway Urban Renewal Grant is intended to assist property owners in making façade and site improvements that preserve the architectural character of the property and improve the curb-side appeal for the South Broadway corridor. Eythan Frandle, as Manager for Albert Lea Improvement LLC, applied for a matching grant for façade restoration under the South Broadway Urban Renewal Grant Fund. He owns the building located at 1811 Broadway Avenue Southeast in the City of Albert Lea. The project has been approved by the City’s Building Official. They are requesting a grant of up to $30,000.
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.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

A. RESOLUTION 20-091 ACCEPTING DONATION OF LABOR AND MATERIALS FOR WORK TO BE PERFORMED ON THE LAKEVIEW PARK WARMING HOUSE

The attached resolution would accept a donation of paint, supplies and labor to paint the warming house at Lakeview Park. The work will be performed by Holly Karsjens and Shane Koepke, who both attended the Blandin Community Leadership Program. Karsjens attended this Zoom council meeting and provided details of this project. She explained community members will be invited to help paint a mural on the building. Karsjens stated she looks forward to promoting more community projects such as this.

Motion made by Councilor Howland, to approve the consent agenda as read, 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 20-091 Included with these minutes)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None

NEW BUSINESS

A. RESOLUTION 20-092 AND PUBLIC HEARING DECLARING EXCESS CITY PROPERTY AND AUTHORIZING SALE OF PROPERTY AT FAIR MARKET VALUE

Gabrielatos explained the City owns the real property at 712 Main Street East. The property was purchased as part of the consolidation of the Albert Lea Fire Department and the Albert Lea Township Fire Department. The City has no current municipal purpose for this parcel. The sale of the real estate is reasonable and would further public purpose within the City. Profits would go towards the new fire hall.
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 20-092 Included with these minutes)

B. RESOLUTION 20-093 AND PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSAL TO ADOPT A STREET RECONSTRUCTION PLAN AND 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 2/3 vote of the membership present.

Chris Mickelson of Ehlers was present and detailed background of the GO Bond.
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 20-093 Included with these minutes)

C. RESOLUTION 20-094 PROVIDING FOR THE SALE OF $4,885,000 GENERAL

OBLIGATION BONDS, SERIES 2020A

Per the 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. Staff recommends the sizing of the bond to be $4,885,000 to finance City improvement projects, including the Bridge Avenue Project, the 2020 Neighborhood and Overlay Project, the Clark Street Project and the Newton and College Parking lot. The proposed bond would have a term of 10 years and be sold competitively. Chris Mickelson of Ehlers & Associates will be in attendance to review the bond sale.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Olson. 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 20-094 Included with these minutes)

D. RESOLUTION 20-095 CLOSING MUNICIPAL POOL FOR 2020 SEASON

The Governor’s Executive Orders requires social distancing and compliance with OSHA standards, MDH/CDC guidelines and prohibits the opening of the pool. Because no date is projected for lessening these restrictions, the City of Albert Lea has decided to close the municipal pool for the 2020 season. Several factors, including the safety/patron monitoring requirements, expense of implementing MDH/CDC guidelines, and the operational costs, were considered. Also, the shortened season would leave the City with an operational revenue shortfall. Closing the pool would be in the public’s best interest.
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, Olson, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-095-Included with these minutes)

E. RESOLUTION 20-096 IDENTIFYING FUNDS TO BE USED TO ESTABLISH THE FREEBORN COUNTY / CITY OF ALBERT LEA / ALBERT LEA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY RECOVERY & RELIEF GRANT PROGRAM TO AID BUSINESSES DIRECTLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY COVID-19 ECONOMIC IMPACT

The City has been and continues to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants, bars/pubs, salons/spas, fitness centers, small retail businesses and tourist-related businesses within the City have experienced significant amount of economic loss due to the various Emergency Orders put in place to help protect the health and wellness of the community. Several small businesses in the City did not receive aid and are in need of some type of financial assistance to continue providing employment opportunities, goods, and services to the community. The City of Albert Lea designated $150,000.00 to be utilized specifically for “eligible businesses” that meet the requirements of the Freeborn County/City of Albert Lea/Albert Lea Economic Development Agency Recovery and Relief Grant Program to aid local small businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ALEDA Executive Director Phillip Johnson, presented details of this program.

Motion made by Councilor Howland, 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 20-096 Included with these minutes)

F. RESOLUTION 20-098 APPROVING THIRD EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND ORDINANCE

The City Council convened a special meeting on March 17, 2020 and adopted the City of Albert Lea Proclamation and Declaration of Emergency No. 2020-1 and the Mayoral Declaration Ordinance 20-232 in response to Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-01 Declaring a Peacetime Emergency and Coordinating Minnesota’s Strategy to Protect Minnesotans from COVID-19. On May 13, 2020 Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-53 extending the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency through June 12, 2020 and Executive Order 20-56 to safely reopen Minnesota’s economy during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency.

Multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 exist in Freeborn County. In light of the ongoing crisis, it is necessary to extend the Declaration and Ordinance. The extension of the Emergency Declaration and accompanying Ordinance allows the terms and conditions contained within to remain in full force and effect through June 22, 2020 or upon expiration of Governor Walz’s Peacetime Emergency. Approval to extend the Declaration and Ordinance requires approval by five members of City Council. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Olson, 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 20-098 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting. Worked with Phillip Johnson on the recovery and relief grant program and spoke with the participants in the Leadership program.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Commented on the importance of supporting local businesses.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported;
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Suggested since the City pool will be closed for the summer, perhaps this would be a good time to make the necessary repairs to the walls. He mentioned the Farmer’s Market is opening on June 3rd.

Park & Rec is hosting a virtual talent show, and they will also be offering a drive-in music concert at the City Arena. A community bike ride is in the works for a 50 and 100 mile route. Work has also partnered with CVB on a community hub to find activities and events in Albert Lea.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting and provided an update on the elevator project.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – Working on ward items.
• Committee Update – Attended an Airport meeting where they discussed projects at the airport.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Spoke about the alley from 9th Street to S. Shore Drive. He asked if perhaps estimates could be obtained in 2021 to determine if the alley could be asphalted or concreted and assess to the property owners. Inquired about the status of the licensing credit to restaurants that was presented at a previous council meeting. Gabrielatos explained the loan program could be used to help offset these business license.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT:

• Thanked Gabrielatos for getting him setup doing the Facebook live to answer questions from the community.
• Invited restaurants that may be considering opening outdoors to contact City staff.
• Reminded the community of the Census.
• Read City Manager David Todd’s resignation. Mayor Rasmussen thanked Todd for his service. Mayor requested a motion from the council to accept Todd’s resignation.

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.

Councilor Baker thanked David Todd for the time spent with the City.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:
Gabrielatos thanked David Todd and Rick Ashling for their service to the City.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. RESOLUTION 20-097 APPROVING CLAIMS

Gabrielatos 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 Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #75204 through #75326 in the amount of $331,504.67. Seconded by Councilor Olson. 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 20-097 Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:56 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 8, 2020. 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