October 10, 2016

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, October 10, 2016, 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, Assistant City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos, City Attorney Lee Bjorndal and City Engineer Steven Jahnke.

ABSENT: Councilor Larry Anderson, City Clerk Shirley Slater-Schulte

CEREMONIAL ITEMS
Rasmussen announced that the City received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. He then read proclamations celebrating National Planning month and General Aviation Appreciation month.

PUBLIC FORUM

Nick Ronnenberg, 1123 Frank Hall Drive, thanked the Council. He reiterated that residents in his neighborhood are requesting a three-way stop at Frank Hall Drive and 8th. He informed Council how many people signed a petition and follow this issue on Facebook. He contested the results of an engineering study performed in response to a traffic fatality at the intersection. He asked Council to approve the permanent installation of the three-way stop at the intersection of 8th and Frank Hall.

Helen Gold recounted an incident in which items belonging to her tenants were removed from her property at 815 Minnesota Avenue at the City’s request by Thompson Sanitation. She questioned why certain items were taken away and others were not.
Terri Melton, 1918 Bimelich Lane, read a statement in support of installing stop signs at 8th and Frank Hall.

Kari Fjeldberg, 1030 Cedar Avenue, spoke on behalf of her mother who lives on Frank Hall Drive. She relayed that drivers often speed on Frank Hall Drive and encouraged Council to install a stop sign along the corridor.

Steven Steele, 19475 660th Avenue in Alden, owns property along Broadway where construction was recently performed. He relayed that more right-of-way was captured than was promised before construction. He also added that a parking space for the disabled needs to be reinstalled by the Government Center.

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

A. Approve Minutes Of The September 26, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The September 22, 2016 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits (See attached list.)
D. Resolution Appointing Election Judges For November 8, 2016 General Election
E. Resolution Supporting Grant Application To The Minnesota Department Of Public Safety’s Sex Trafficking Investigation And Training Grant

MOTION: Move to approve the consent agenda.

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, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Anderson was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-208-16-209
included with these minutes.)

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Resolution 16-210 Approving Installation Of Stop Sign On 9th Street At The Frank Hall Drive Intersection And Approving Six Month Stop Sign Trial Installation At All Corners Of The Intersection Of 8th Street And Frank Hall Drive

Schulte asked Jahnke if it was typical to install signs on a six-month trial basis. Jahnke replied it is usually 90 days, but because of winter, this would be installed for six months.
Baker said that he understood the opinion of staff and recognized that the neighborhood would like the installation of the stop signs. He would prefer a permanent installation and supports this resolution.
Brooks said he would prefer to install the stop signs permanently, but would like staff to feel comfortable with the installation.
Marin remarked that he agreed with Brooks that it would be wise to proceed in an orderly manner. He disagreed with Ronnenberg’s contention that voting against this would be voting against public safety. He noted that there are other areas in the community where traffic fatalities have occurred. He said he hoped the City takes the lead on a bike safety initiative, citing his observations of use along Front Street. He suggested the City examine traffic safety in a comprehensive manner and be prepared for residents who bring similar concerns in other neighborhoods. He thanked Jahnke.
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, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Anderson was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-210
included with these minutes.)

NEW BUSINESS

A. Resolution 16-211 Adopting Assessments For The 2016 Neighborhood Improvement Project (Job 1601)

Adams summarized the project which involved the bituminous overlay, reconstruction, miscellaneous and total curb replacement and miscellaneous sidewalk replacement of streets in the north and central parts of the City. He noted that final costs came in approximately 16% lower than the initial estimate; therefore, staff proposed that the final assessment rates be reduced proportionally. As per the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 3.42%. Jahnke highlighted the costs of the 2016 Neighborhood Improvement Project.
Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 7:34 p.m.

Mary Oman, 409 E. 6th Street, mentioned she was pleased with the construction of the curb and gutter. She said she called the City about placing lime rock in a rut before winter. Jahnke responded that the item is on a punch list and will be completed before winter.

Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 7:36 p.m.

Brooks requested that the work Oman noted be completed before it is assessed.

Baker asked if the City could develop a policy that would encourage the contractor complete the punch list as the project is completed. Adams stated these issues arise every year. Should the City put more restrictions in the contract, the amount of the bid could increase. Jahnke said the City retains payments to ensure these items are completed.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-211
included with these minutes.)

B. Resolution 16-212 Adopting Assessments For The Edgewater Drive And Parking Lots Reconstruction Project (Job 1606)

Adams reviewed the project which involved the reconstruction of the bituminous surfaces on Edgewater Drive from Lakeview Boulevard, through Edgewater Park, to where the new pavement terminates near the west pavilion. Included in this project were reconstructing and/or overlaying the parking lots for the east Edgewater Park pavilion, the Edgewater Park bandshell, and the shared user trail from the bandshell to the lower Edgewater Park parking lot. As per the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 3.42%. Jahnke provided a breakdown of the costs.

Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 7:43 p.m.

Brian Burkhard, 2124 W. Edgewater Drive, clarified the costs.

Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 7:43 p.m.

Motion was made by Councilor Schulte and seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Anderson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Anderson was absent.
(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-212
included with these minutes.)

C. Resolution 16-213 Adopting Assessments For The Park Avenue, Grace Street, Mariners Lane & Harriet Lane Reconstruction Project (Job 1565)

Adams summarized the project which was a complete reconstruction involving Park Avenue, East Park Avenue, West Park Avenue, Mariners Lane, Harriet Lane, and Grace Street. Grace Street is a concrete street approximately 870 feet in length. Park Avenue, Harriet Lane, and Mariner’s Lane are bituminous streets approximately 3,144 feet, 412 feet, and 205 feet, respectively. These streets form a peninsula which juts from the southern shore of Fountain Lake and also borders the Albert Lea campus of Mayo Clinic Health Systems at the southeast corner of the project. Adams explained that final costs came in higher than the original estimate; therefore the estimated final cost of the project is above the amount used to calculate the assessments. Staff proposed that final assessment rates match those of the preliminary estimate using the same price per foot prices as originally proposed.
Jahnke provided a breakdown of the costs, noting the increased cost if Mayo Clinic is not assessed. Adams reminded the public that this is the last chance to offer a written objection to the assessment.

Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 7:46 p.m.

Adams entered into the record that the City received a letter from Shirley Brownlow.

Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 7:47 p.m.

Baker noted the number of people interested in the project. He thanked Engineering staff for keeping people informed during the construction process. He then asked Jahnke why Grace Street is half concrete and half bituminous. Jahnke replied that concrete holds up better with the soils in the area.
Motion was made by Councilor Baker and seconded by Councilor Olson. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Anderson was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-213
included with these minutes.)

D. Resolution 16-214 Adopting Assessments For The Northwest Sewer and Water Extension – St. John’s Lutheran Home Extension Project (Job 9432 and 1556)

Adams reviewed the project involving the construction of a sanitary sewer lift station, water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and bituminous and gravel street construction to service the St. John’s Lutheran Home Facility. The groundwork was also laid for infrastructure to a subdivision called the Stables Area north of Edgewater Park and provides future service to properties along Country Club Road. The design would also accommodate future extension of the sanitary sewer and water main north along CSAH 20 to the West Plaza Street area. Adams noted that there are three property owners being assessed for this project. Staff is recommending a reduction in the assessment to parcel 341520030 due to a recent upgrade to the septic system and well; this would require Council approval. There are two property owners along West Edgewater Drive. The assessment for these properties will be over ten years at 3.52% interest. The terms with St. John’s Lutheran home were included in a development agreement. Jahnke provided a breakdown of the costs, noting an expected appeal from a property owner along the corridor.

Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 7:54 p.m.

Brian Burkhard, 2124 W. Edgewater Drive, stated his opposition of an assessment of an empty lot he owns and subsequently submitted a letter with his objection. He mentioned that he approached Council previously to juxtapose the costs of empty lots across the street. Burkhard expressed sentiment that he is paying more than his fair share. He also brought up a development fee for which he was assessed that he does not believe he has to pay.

Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 8:00 p.m.

Schulte said he spoke to Burkhard and Jahnke. He mentioned the reason the assessment was reduced was because the policy allows for a cap. Brooks thanked Schulte. Marin asked if the City felt like it could defend against potential lawsuits. Adams said the City believes there is justification for the assessment. Rasmussen said the Council encourages the public to appeal assessments if one feels they are unfair.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-214
included with these minutes.)

E. Resolution Adopting Assessments For The 2016 Lake Chapeau Drive Improvement Project (Job 1602) – TABLED

Adams reviewed the project which involved the recycling of bituminous pavement by reclamation, new bituminous pavement, shouldering, and the installation of a centerline culvert for the main entrance road to the City Arena and the Lake Chapeau residential subdivisions. Underdrain was also added to the roadway north of the railroad. Drainage work included the replacement of the centerline culvert near the storm water pond. There are eleven private properties to be assessed for the street improvement work. The assessments depend on the width of the adjoining properties. Engineering recommended capping the frontage widths at 300 feet for all properties. The City’s assessment policy allows the capping of residential properties at 300 feet. Due to the current zoning, and non-commercial use of Lake Chapeau Drive by the adjoining properties, all properties are proposed to be capped at 300 feet. Council must take action on the recommendation. The project came in approximately 11% lower than the proposed assessments; this is reflected in the final assessments. Following the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 3.42%. Jahnke provided a cost breakdown and commented about traffic patterns in the area. Jahnke said neighbors expressed concern that because the arena draws traffic to the area, the cost should be shared among more people. Jahnke said that the same could be said of other streets in the city on which an attraction is near or directly located. Adams stated a majority of the residents along the corridor submitted written objections and that the Council could delay the matter.

Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 8:08 p.m.

Henry Savelkoul, 1634 Oakhurst Road, said his family owns property along the street. He said he did not receive written notifications about the work being performed. He compared the annual tax payment to the assessment. He stated that he does not believe the assessment is reasonable.

Tony Hill, 2520 W. Main, read a letter signed by nine of the 11 property owners, detailing the history of Lake Chapeau Drive. He disagreed with Jahnke’s contention about traffic patterns.
Hugh O’Byrne, 72897 220th Street, said he built a subdivision along Lake Chapeau Drive for which he previously paid assessments. He said he did not think that was fair. He contrasted the assessments of the subdivision he built with that of the Tiger Hills subdivision.
Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 8:18 p.m.
Adams asked Jahnke how the corner lot would be affected. Jahnke answered that the corner lot would be credited for O’Byrne.
Marin stated that he has debated this matter with Council, and unable to convince Council to change its assessment policy with regard to this job.

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

F. Resolution Adopting Assessments For The Virginia Place From 4th Street To 7th Street And 5th Street From TH-65 To St. John Avenue Reconstruction Project (Job 1557) – TABLED

Adams noted that this project involved the total reconstruction including removal and replacement of concrete curb and gutter, subgrade correction, granular base material, bituminous surfacing, water main replacement, sanitary and storm sewer replacement, sidewalk replacement and the installation of drain tile of Virginia Place from 4th Street to 7th Street, a distance of approximately 1,400 feet, and the total reconstruction of a 1,200 foot, four block section of 5th Street from TH-65 (South Broadway) to St. John Avenue. Virginia Place remained the same driving width of 30.6 feet back of curb to back of curb from 4th Street to the east-west portion and approximately 27.5 feet from the east-west portion to 7th Street. Fifth Street remained at 37 feet back of curb to back of curb from Broadway Avenue to Newton Avenue and 31 feet back of curb to back of curb from Newton Avenue to St. John Avenue. Because of the poor soils in the area, the final wear course of bituminous will be placed in the spring of 2017 in order to ensure any movement that occurs over the winter will be corrected.

The final costs came in higher than the original estimate. Staff is proposing that the final assessment rates match those of the preliminary estimate. As per the assessment policy, the assessments will be over 10 years at 4.52% interest. Jahnke provided a breakdown of the costs and informed the Council of objections.

Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 8:24 p.m.

Merle Andresen, 216 E. 5th Street asked why interest rates are higher than other projects. Rasmussen answered that the bond for this project was sold at a higher interest rate. Andresen stated that he believed bituminous could have been placed this year, did not believe the substance would be sustainable and commented about the project. Jahnke replied sewer patterns and costs were reasons construction was performed in the manner it was. Andresen then requested a tree stump near his home to be ground. Jahnke answered that a contractor has been identified to grind the stump and will do so.

Karl Milliron, 1105 S. Broadway, said his property is divided into three different parcels and described their configuration. Two of the parcels are impacted by this job. He said that he previously objected to the assessment. He questioned how the assessments will improve the value of his property. Rasmussen advised Milliron could object to the assessment again this year in writing, which was submitted.

Adams mentioned that the City received a written objection from Troy Christensen at 1207 Virginia Place.

Elaine Malakowsky, 1209 Virginia Place, asked how to make payments for the assessment. Adams said a form would be provided by Finance staff. Marin asked if there was a 30 day period for which one could submit a hardship form. Bjorndal said the form could be completed at any time.

Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 8:35 p.m.

Brooks asked if staff could determine if the assessments could be paid over 15 years instead of 10 years.

Bjorndal noted that he received an objection and asked Adams to bring the letter he wrote which was supplementary information.

In response to a question from Brooks, Jahnke clarified how the City assessed Milliron’s property.

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

G. Resolution 16-215 Adopting Assessments For The Delinquent Water/Sewer Accounts And Miscellaneous Delinquent Accounts Receivable

Rasmussen opened the public hearing at 8:39 p.m.

Mayor noted the concerns of Helen Gold.

Rasmussen closed the public hearing at 8:39 p.m.

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

Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Anderson was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-215
included with these minutes.)

H. Resolution 16-216 Authorizing Storm Sewer Easement Agreement (Bill Hay)

Adams explained that Bill and Kay Hay are requesting vacation of a drainage and utility easement which is the location of a storm sewer pipe crossing through their property at 1500 Bay Oaks Drive. They are proposing to relocate said pipe to another location on their property in order to facilitate future development of a new home on the north end of their parcel. City staff is working with the property owner to assure that an agreement is in place so that the vacation will not go into effect until after the new sewer pipe is constructed, at the applicants cost.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-216
included with these minutes.)

I. Public Hearing On Easement Vacation (Bill Hay)

Adams informed Council that staff recommends extending the public hearing until spring. Marin requested that staff verify the infrastructure is in place. Bjorndal clarified why the hearing took place in this fashion.

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

J. City and Township Fire Department Consolidation

1. Joint Resolution 16-217 Approving Agreement To Consolidate Albert Lea Township Fire Department Equipment/Property With City Of Albert Lea And Memorandum Of Understanding Regarding Employees And Agreement For Fire Protection

2. Joint Resolution 16-218 Approving Purchase Of Real Estate From Albert Lea Township By The City Of Albert Lea

Adams provided background on the proposed consolidation; explaining that the Albert Lea Township has its own fire department. After study and negotiations, the Township seeks to consolidate its resources with the Albert Lea Fire Department. The City of Albert Lea Fire Department will provide fire service coverage to the Township. The Township will transfer its equipment and its real estate at 712 Main Street East to the City for $209,799.95. Payment to be made as follows: Township will pay 50% of its tax mill rate for fire protection. City will also be credited that amount against the unpaid balance on annual basis. City will notify Township annually regarding what is owed on the balance. The Township firefighters will become paid on call firefighters and paid on call officers. The City will pay their pension contributions in the amount of $2,500 per year starting in 2016. The township employees will become City employees effective October 12, 2016. It is anticipated that the Township will approve the joint resolutions at its meeting of October 11, 2016.
Bjorndal noted that there is a one-month change in the agreement.

Baker questioned how long it will take the City to repay the Township for equipment and assets. Adams responded that it would be 10 years

Ken Spellman, an attorney from the Township spoke, informing the Council that the City will have to pay retirement benefits for four people.

Baker asked if the money the City will be paying for the retirement will be included with the aforementioned payment. Deputy Chief Laskowske answered that it was not. Marin applauded Laskowske for his presentation and work.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-217
included with these minutes.)

Motion was made by Councilor Brooks and seconded by Councilor Schulte to approve the purchase of real estate from the Albert Lea Township. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Councilor Anderson was absent.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-218
included with these minutes.)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS

First Ward, Councilor Schulte V:
• Received calls regarding residential tax abatement as follow-up to a program already in place; was also notified about a sewer back-up in the Valley neighborhood.
• Attended HRA Board meeting; discussed general business items and held conversation about the director’s on-site/off-site work hours which will continue to be monitored. No changes were recommended at this time.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker:
• No updates.

Third Ward, Councilor Marin
• No updates.

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson:
• Olson said he was also contacted about the sewer back-up in Valley Park neighborhood.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Anderson: (Absent)

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks:
• Attended Port Authority meeting where guest Tim Penny of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation presented information on the Early Childhood Education program.
• Ward Items – Brooks reported on the Virginia Place project and advised that the homeowner who stated that the new sidewalk did not benefit him has received credit for a portion of assessments.

Mayor Rasmussen:
• Attended the Freeborn County League of Cities meeting where they discussed the Drug Task Force and building a fund to help with some of their projects.

CITY MANAGER REPORT

• Adams said he has had several speaking engagements to talk about various city projects and the city budget. He invited the public to attend the October 11th open house at the Senior Center to review and discuss the 2017 budget and proposed projects.
• Adams reminded the public about the last sales tax education forum on Sunday, October 16th at the Edgewater Pavilion.

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

A. Resolution 16-219 Approving Claims
(1). Presentation of Claims Over $25,000

The resolution directed the Mayor and City Clerk to issue the payment of claims as presented in the Detail of Claims report. Adams highlighted the claims over $25,000.

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

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 16-219
Include with these minutes.)

ADJOURNMENT – 8:58 PM

Motion made by Councilor Books, seconded by Councilor Olson, 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, October 24, 2016. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Schulte V, Baker, Marin, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Anderson was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed and the meeting adjourned.
_______________________
Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr.

___________________________
Jerry Gabrielatos
Council Secretary Pro Tem

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.