November 9, 2015

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, November 9, 2015, 7:00 P.M.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., Councilors John Schulte V, Larry Baker, George Marin, Reid Olson, Larry Anderson and Al Brooks. Also, present were City Manager Chad Adams, City Engineer Steve Jahnke, Engineer Phil Wacholz, and City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte

CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

CEREMONIAL ITEMS

MAYOR PROCLAMATION DECLARING SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – Mayor Rasmussen read the proclamation declaring “Small Business Saturday” on Saturday, November 28, 2015, and urged Albert Lea and communities across the country to support small businesses and merchants on “Small Business Saturday” and throughout the year.

PUBLIC FORUM

Joy Schwab, 212 N. Broadway Avenue, had concerns regarding the gambling permit to be issued to the Albert Lea Hockey Association. The permit allows the organization to conduct raffles at the City Arena. Ms. Schwab questioned if the association could consider another form of fund raising instead of gambling.

Schwab stated positive comments about the improvements to South Broadway and the bike lanes that were recently installed.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes of the October 26, 2015 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes of the October 22, 2015 Work Session
C. Resolution 15-231-Accepting Donations Presented to the City of Albert Lea
D. Resolution 15-232-Approving Lawful Gambling Premises Permit for Albert Lea Hockey Association
E. Resolution 15-233-Accepting Grant Award from Minnesota Historical Society
F. Resolution 15-234-Supporting Grant Application to Minnesota Department of Public Safety For Shared Fire and Rescue Services
G. Resolution -Waiving Current and Delinquent Assessments and Taxes for 820 Freeborn Avenue – Removed from agenda
H. Resolution 15-235-Approving Gas Easement between the City of Albert Lea and Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation
I. Resolution 15-236-Accepting Quotations for Recycled Aggregate Production (Job 1564)
J. Resolution 15-237-Approving Grant Compliance Agreement with the Shell Rock River Watershed District for the Albert Lea North Industrial Park Regional Stormwater Pond and Flood Mitigation Project
K. Resolution 15-238-Consenting to Change of Control over Cable Franchisee

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda with the removal of Item G – Resolution Waiving Taxes, Current and Delinquent Assessments for 820 Freeborn Avenue, addition to New Business of Item 8 F –Special Bow Hunting for Deer Only in the Goose Lake area, and Special Closed Session for Land Acquisition of 802 Main Street East and 324 S. Broadway. The Closed Session is allowed under MN Statues §13D.05, subd.3c.
Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-231-238
included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

DOG PARK COMMUNITY PROJECT – SHEILA SCHULZ, ROTARY CLUB

Sheila Schulz, President of the Rotary Club of Albert Lea, introduced Club members Donna Olson and John Forman. The three serve on the Dog Park Committee within the Rotary Club. Ms. Schulz stated that the Rotary Club had been searching for a community service project. City staff identified potential projects. A dog park was chosen by the board. Ms. Schulz explained that the Rotary Club is willing to solicit donations from business members and raise funds for the materials, if the city will donates land for the park.

City Manager Adams stated that in October, the Park Board reviewed and recommended support of the fund raising campaign and would continue working with the Rotary Club to identify a site for the dog park. Ms. Schulz stated that the Rotary Club is willing to commit to 1/3rd of the cost ($15,000) for fencing based on the original estimate.

John Forman, 117 Bridge, stated that a dog park is an important part of this city. Forman commented that it is important to select a site before the Rotary Club starts raising funds for this project. Forman suggested that when completed a sign would be displayed recognizing the businesses and citizens donating money towards the project.

Councilor Olson mentioned the following potential locations for the dog park:
• Behind Brookside School
• Blazing Star Landing near the channel
• Eberhardt Park
• Property near the wastewater plant

MOTION: Move to support the Rotarians on their fund raising efforts and request the Park Board to move forward on the recommendation of the site for the future dog park.

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

NEW BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 15-239-APPROVING SUBMISSION OF PART II OF WELLHEAD PROTECTION PLAN AMENDMENT TO THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Engineer Wacholz explained that a public hearing is being held to receive input regarding the Part II of the Wellhead Protection Plan Amendment that has been prepared by the City of Albert Lea and the Department of Health. Wacholz stated that this plan is required by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health. Staff recommends that Council approve the plan for submission to the Minnesota Department of Health for final review and approval.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, had questions regarding the grant money available from the State of Minnesota for the closing of wells.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and then closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Anderson, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-239
included with these minutes)

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 15-240-ADOPTING A MODIFICATION TO THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT NO. 5 AND A MODIFICATION TO THE TAX INCREMENT FINANCING PLAN FOR TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT NO. 5-13 THEREIN

City Manager Adams explained that a public hearing is being held to receive input on modifications to the Development Program for Development District No. 5 and the Tax Increment Financing Plan which was introduced by Rebecca Kurtz, Ehlers & Associates, Inc.

Rebecca Kurtz reviewed the proposed changes to TIF 5-13 (also known as the Larson Project). A budget modification will be completed to ensure compliance with the actual budget expenses. Kurtz stated that the tax increment is being used to repay the City for a $150,000 interfund loan used for environmental cleanup, and a loan to the Port Authority for $1,750,000 for reimbursement for a land write-down. Kurtz explained that this plan would remove two parcels that could be used for the Blazing Star site and future development.

Kurtz gave a review on TIF 5-15, the Development District of the Downtown area and discussed the potential removal of parcels that are not generating any increment. These parcels may have declined in value. Consequently, the current value of these parcels is lower than when the district was established.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

Harold Kamrath, 326 Glenn Road, had questions regarding the difference between tax increment and tax abatement.

Ryan Nolander, Executive Director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, provided brief history of the two TIF Districts. Nolander stated that after a fire in 2001, there was special legislation that created a 25-year TIF District in both the Blazing Star and Larson’s sites. Nolander explained that it is important to decertify these parcels at this time, so that the city has that availability to provide an incentive for future investment.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and then closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-240
included with these minutes)

PUBLIC HEARING AND RESOLUTION 15-241-ADOPTING A MODIFICATION TO THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT NO. 5 AND A MODIFICATION TO THE TAX INCREMENT FINANCING PLAN FOR TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT NO. 5-15 THEREIN

City Manager Adams explained that a public hearing is being held to receive input on modifications to the Development Program for Development District No. 5 and the Tax Increment Financing Plan. Adams explained that an additional parcel needs to be added to the removal list, a parking lot, located behind the 300 Block, PID 34-601-2100.

Rebecca Kurtz reviewed the changes to the TIF Plan. The modification includes the removal of parcels from the district that are creating “negative drag” on the district, a limit to the potential amount of increment to pay back the City’s interfund loan to the district. The parcels can be added back to the district if a positive cash flow for the district is created Staff recommends approval.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing.

No one spoke to this issue.

Mayor Rasmussen called three times and then closed the public hearing.

MOTION: Move to approve this resolution with the addition of PID 34-601-2100.

Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Councilor Baker. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-241
included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 15-242-APPROVING THE DECERTIFICATION OF TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT NO. 5-18 OF THE CITY OF ALBERT LEA

City Manager Adams explained that Tax Increment Financing District No. 5-1 was created in September 2008 in conjunction with the development of Prairie Senior Cottages, an assisted living memory loss facility.

Rebecca Kurtz explained that when an obligation is paid off, the Council needs to decertify a TIF District. The property could then be placed back on the tax rolls at full value. Kurtz stated that all bonds and obligations to which tax increment from this district were pledged have been paid in full, along with all other costs of the development district. All property taxes generated by property within this TIF District will now be distributed in the same manner as all other property taxes. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Baker, seconded by Councilor Anderson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-242
included with these minutes)

RESOLUTION 15-243-APPROVING THE DECERTIFICATION OF TAX INCREMENT FINANCING DISTRICT NO. 6-1 OF THE CITY OF ALBERT LEA

City Manager Adams explained that Tax Increment Financing District No. 6-1 was created in September 1999 to assist with the development of the 24-unit, Pickerel Park townhouse project for low and moderate-income persons.

Rebecca Kurtz stated that all bonds and obligations to which tax increment from this district were pledged have been paid in full, along with all other costs of the Development District. Kurtz explained that all property taxes generated by property within this TIF District will now be distributed in the same manner as all other property taxes. Staff recommends approval.

Motion made by Councilor Schulte V, seconded by Councilor Anderson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-243
included with these minutes)

BOW HUNTING FOR DEER POPULATION

City Manager Adams explained that the City received a request from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow a “Special Bow Hunt for Deer” to be conducted on two private properties north of Goose Lake. Adams stated that the City has allowed “Special Public Hunts” on city properties in the past and emphasized this request is for private land. The property owners have consented and will have complete control as to who can hunt on their land.

MOTION: Move to approve the request from (DNR) to allow a “Special Bow Hunt for Deer” through the end of this 2015, on two private properties north of Goose Lake.

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

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Schulte V reported:
• Ward Items – Received letter from a resident in support of the Dog Park and questions regarding the Blazing Star Landing.
• Committee Updates – Attended the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) meeting. The HRA has completed the Recovery Action Plan Report to HUD, and also completed the “Smoker’s Shack” next to the Shady Oaks Building.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Referred to city staff
• Committee Update – None

Third Ward, Councilor Marin reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended a Special Meeting of the Human Rights Commission. The commission has three vacancies on the board. Marin encourages residents to apply to serve on this commission.

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

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee update – Reported that he attended the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) meeting in Rochester along with the City Manager and staff. The MPCA is considering unfunded mandates to cities, townships and counties to comply with waste discharge amounts.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Received a request for “Children at Play” sign, an ice skating pond at Sondergaard Park, located at Gene Ave. and 17th St.
• Committee Update – Attended the Port Authority Meeting and there was discussion of the retention pond near Mrs. Gerry’s, reported that Ruby’s Pantry may be moving into a building located in the Industrial Park, reviewed the report from the Southern Minnesota Work Force.

Mayor Rasmussen announced the following event:
• Idea Splash an event to be held Saturday, November 14, 2015, from 9 to 1 p.m. at Wedgewood Cove. Mayor Rasmussen encouraged everyone to participate in this event and bring forth ideas for the city.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Adams stated he attended a meeting with Councilor Larry Anderson, City Engineer Steve Jahnke, and Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Rick Ashling, regarding clean water standard and non-funded mandates presented by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Adams informed the council that consent agenda item 5-G was removed as more documentation is needed regarding assessments, also, encouraged residents to sign-up for the weekly city Email newsletter.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 15-244 APPROVING CLAIMS
City Manager Adams explained that the attached resolution directs the mayor and city clerk to issue the payment of claims as presented in the detail of claims report.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #57808 though #57945 in the amount of $776,867.06, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Councilors Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 15-244
included with these minutes)

CLOSED SESSION – 8:10 p.m. – Land Acquisition Pursuant To Minn. Stat. §13D.05, Subd. 3(c)

City Manager Adams stated the purpose for the Closed Session was pursuant to Minn. Stat. §13D.05, Subd. 3(c); the specified parcels to be discussed are:
802 Main Street East
324 S. Broadway

REOPENED THE REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

Mayor Rasmussen stated that Council discussed potential land acquisition and added that staff was given direction in Closed Session regarding properties located at 802 Main Street East and 324 S. Broadway.

ADJOURNMENT – 8:44 p.m.
Motion made by Councilor Marin, seconded by Councilor Schulte V, 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, November 23, 2015. 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.
Dated this 9th day of November, 2015

______/s/___________________
Secretary to 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.