October 12, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, October 12, 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 Public Works Director Steven Jahnke, Public Safety Director JD Carlson, City Attorney Kelly Martinez, Finance Director Kristi Brutlag, City Planner Megan Boeck, and 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). In addition, anyone wishing to address the City Council and/or Mayor during the Public Forum or Public Hearing have been offered the following options:

  • Join the meeting via the following attendee link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85804098175. You will have the option to be called upon during the public comment portion of the meeting via the Zoom raise hand feature.
  • Submit comments in writing via email to dmaras@ci.albertlea.mn.us no later than 5:00 p.m., on the day of the council meeting you are addressing. Comments received will be read into the record during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.

CEREMONIAL ITEMS – None

PUBLIC FORUM – None

CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Rasmussen read through each item on the council agenda.

A. Approve Minutes Of The September 28, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The September 28, 2020 Work Session
C. Licenses & Permits
D. Resolution Accepting Donations As Presented To The City of Albert Lea
E. Resolution Approving Tree Donation To The Albert Lea Fire And Rescue Facility
F. Resolution Appointing Election Judges For The November 3rd General Election
G. Resolution Approving Using The Cares Act Funding To Obtain BolaWraps
H. Resolution Approving Using The Cares Act Funding To Obtain Equipment For The Fire Station To Enhance Remote Capabilities
I. Resolution Approving Using The Cares Act Funding To Obtain Mobile Computer Work Stations (Police & Fire)
J. Resolution Approving Using The Cares Act Funding To Obtain Lift Devices
K. Resolution Approving Using The Cares Act Funding To Obtain Cleaning Equipment For The City Arena
L. Resolution Ordering Preparation Of Feasibility Reports Regarding Improvements for 2021
M. Resolution Approving DEED Contamination Cleanup And Investigation Grant Application – Blazing Star Landing Parcel (Job 2065).
N. Resolution Abating Assessments On Certain City And Federal Owned Properties
O. Resolution Granting Approval Of A Conditional Use Permit Amendment For 504 Lake Chapeau Drive
P. Authorize Removal Of Forklift And 20-Minute Parking Signs – 2020 Misc. 325

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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Olson was absent at the beginning of this council meeting. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-171 through 20-182 Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS
As part of an ongoing attempt to clarify and improve various zoning ordinances, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on September 8th in regards to four separate zoning codes. At the meeting of September 28th, Council approved the first reading of each ordinance. Staff now recommends approval of the second and final readings of the following ordinances:

A. ORDINANCE 20-246 AMENDING CHAPTER 54-9 – DIVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF LOTS OF RECORD (2ND READING)

This ordinance addresses lot combinations and/or divisions which are currently approved by the City Council after a long application process and extensive fee. State Statute 462.358 allows MN Cities to approve lot reconfigurations through a Minor Subdivision process that staff can approve and/or deny administratively. Per statute, the process only applies to property that is already platted and serviced by existing right-of-way.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 20-246 Included with these minutes)

B. ORDINANCE 20-247 AMENDING CHAPTER 74-18 – ACCESSORY BUILDINGS, FENCES AND SITE APPURTENANCES (2ND READING)

Ordinance 20-247 simply corrects a scrivenors error that states the setback for an accessory structure is five ft. from the center of the alley. Because most alleys are 10 ft. wide, that would mean accessory structures can be placed on the very edge of the alley. Instead it should be worded that the setback for an accessory structure is five ft. from the alley’s edge.

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, Rasmussen, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 20-247 Included with these minutes)

C. ORDINANCE 20-248 AMENDING CHAPTER 74-256 – OFF-STREET PARKING AND LOADING (2ND READING)

This ordinance adds a hammerhead parking option, instead of just a driveway flare, which is especially important for properties along the Bridge Avenue corridor that need clearer exiting options onto Bridge Avenue. Instead of backing onto the street, property owners would be able to pull into their driveway normally and then back into the hammerhead and then pull forward onto Bridge Avenue.

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

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 20-248 Included with these minutes)

D. ORDINANCE 20-249 AMENDING CHAPTER 74-982 – PROHIBITED USES (2ND READING)

The final reading of Ordinance 20-249 would remove tattoo parlors from the list of prohibited uses in DCD zones.

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 Ordinance 20-Included with these minutes)

E. RESOLUTION 20-183 PERMITTING PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCE SUMMARIES FOR ORDINANCES 20-246, 20-247, 20-248 AND 20-249

Ordinance Summaries may be published if they reasonably inform the public of the effect and intent of the Ordinance. Summaries fulfill all legal requirements as if the entire summarized matter had been published and also directs the public how to obtain the complete Ordinance. The effective date of enactment of these ordinances is October 12, 2020, and must pass by a four-fifths vote by Council. Staff recommends approval to publish Ordinance summaries for Ordinance 20-246, Ordinance 20-247, Ordinance 20-248 and Ordinance 20-249.

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

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 20-183 Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS
A. RESOLUTION 20-184 AND PUBLIC HEARING IN SUPPORT OF A MINNESOTA INVESTMENT FUND APPLICATION IN CONNECTION WITH VORTEX COLD STORAGE

The proposed new construction will result in an increase in local tax dollars as well as additional jobs. In order to apply for rebate and/or reward from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Job Creation Fund (JCF) and Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF), Vortex Cold Storage has requested the City provide the attached Resolutions of Support. In addition, public participation is required in part of the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) application and as such a public hearing was scheduled.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Maras confirmed no one responded with the “raise-hand” signal and no emails or written comments have been received. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor. 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 20-184 Included with these minutes)

B. RESOLUTION 20-185 REGARDING THE SUPPORT OF A JOB CREATION FUND APPLICATION IN CONNECTION WITH VORTEX COLD STORAGE

This resolution also notes the City of Albert Lea’s support for this project and its application for an award and/or rebate through the Job Creation Fund Program.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 20-185 Included with these minutes)

C. RESOLUTION 20-186 AND PUBLIC HEARING AUTHORIZING HOUSING TAX ABATEMENT ON PROPERTY WITHIN THE CITY OF ALBERT LEA FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING DEVELOPMENT COSTS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SINGLE FAMILY HOME

The abatement will assist in property improvement and increase tax base for the community. The School District and Freeborn County have also agreed to retain the tax abatement for this project.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Maras confirmed no one responded with the “raise-hand” signal and no emails or written comments have been received. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Howland, 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 Resolution 20-186 Included with these minutes)

D. RESOLUTION 20-187 AND PUBLIC HEARING LEVYING SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS FOR MISCELLANOUS DELINQUENT WATER/SEWER ACCOUNTS AND MISCELLANEOUS DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

A public hearing is being held to receive input on adopting the final assessments for delinquent water/sewer accounts and miscellaneous delinquent accounts receivable per the Code of Ordinances. These assessments are payable with terms of one year at 2.9% interest.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Maras confirmed no one responded with the “raise-hand” signal and no emails or written comments have been received. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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 20-187 Included with these minutes)

E. RESOLUTION 20-188 AND PUBLIC HEARING ADOPTING ASSESSMENTS FOR THE NW SEWER AND WATER EXTENSION IMPROVEMENTS – STABLES AREA SERVICE HOOOKUPS (JOB 1702)

The attached resolution would adopt the final assessments on October 12, 2020 for City Job No. 1702, the NW Sewer and Water Extension Improvements – Stables Area Service Hookups. Roadways as part of this project include Belgrade Drive, North Trail, East Trail, West Trail, Elm Street and Country Club Road. The City project installed sanitary sewer and watermain to the right of way line for the homeowners. The homeowners are responsible for all work from the right of way line into the property. This includes the private sewer service, private water service, and removal or crushing of the existing septic system. The City hired a contractor to perform this work but found the majority could hire their own plumber to perform this work at a lower cost. The project allows the sewer and water hookups to be assessed to the property. The assessments will be over 24 years at 2% interest.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Maras confirmed no one responded with the “raise-hand” signal and no emails or written comments have been received. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

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 20-188 Included with these minutes)

F. RESOLUTION 20-189 AND PUBLIC HEARING ADOPTING ASSESSMENTS FOR THE 2020 NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT OVERLAY & JAMES AVENUE
RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT ( JOB 2050)

The attached resolution would adopt the final assessments on October 12, 2020 for City Job No. 2050, the 2020 Neighborhood Improvement Overlay & James Avenue Reconstruction Project.

Neighborhood Improvement Overlay and Curb & Gutter Replacement
This portion of the project involved the bituminous overlay of residential streets in various parts of the City. The streets are as follows:
Sunset Street – Lake Chapeau Drive to 127ft east of Meadow Ln
Campus Drive – Lake Chapeau Drive to the cul-de-sac
Campus Lane – Campus Drive to Trollwood Drive
Trollwood Drive – Sunset Street to Campus Lane
Meadow Lane – Sunset Street to Sunset Street
Seath Drive – C.R. 74 to Westwood Drive
Westwood Drive – Ashley Court to Seath Drive
Hale Drive – Quisley Street to the cul-de-sac
Crystal Drive – Hale Drive to 134ft south of Silver Lane
Silver Lane – Crystal Drive to the cul-de-sac
Quisley Street – Crystal Drive to Bridge Avenue
Ekko Avenue – Sykes Street to Plaza Street
Plaza Street – 292ft east of Bridge Avenue to Ekko Avenue
Frank Hall Drive – 7th Street to South Shore Drive
10th Street – Margaretha Avenue to Halverson Elementary School

The project involved milling the existing bituminous street surfacing for a 6-foot width along each concrete gutter line so the new bituminous layer matched the level of the concrete gutter. A 2-inch thick layer of bituminous was laid over the entire width of the street. The project also involved miscellaneous curb & gutter replacement to address drainage problems and to correct severely deteriorated curb. Sidewalk was also replaced where it was damaged or displaced and causing a tripping hazard, as well as at all intersections to bring the pedestrian ramps into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

James Avenue Reconstruction
This portion of the project involved complete reconstruction of James Avenue from 7th Street to 8th Street. Work included removing and replacing the bituminous surface, aggregate base, curb & gutter, watermain and storm sewer. Work remaining this fall includes sliplining the sanitary sewer using cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) methods. Work remaining for next spring will include installing the final lift of bituminous pavement. The assessments for the overlay areas will be over ten years at 2.9%. The assessments for the James Avenue Reconstruction project will be over 15 years at 2.9%.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Maras confirmed no one responded with the “raise-hand” signal and no emails or written comments have been received. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Brooks, 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 20-189 Included with these minutes)

G. RESOLUTION 20-190 AND PUBLIC HEARING ADOPTING ASSESSMENTS FOR THE CLARK STREET RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT (JOB 2051)

A public hearing is being held regarding the proposed assessments for City Job No. 2051. The attached resolution adopts the final assessments for City Job No. 2051, Clark Street Reconstruction Project. This project involved the complete reconstruction of Clark Street from South Ermina Avenue to 1st Avenue. Work included complete reconstruction of the curb & gutter, sidewalk, pavement, watermain and storm sewer. The sanitary sewer manholes were all replaced, and the sanitary sewer pipe will be sliplined using cured-in-place-pipe methods. The existing street was a 44-foot wide roadway, and the new street was reduced in width to a 40-foot street. The assessments will be over 10 years at 2.9% interest.

Council discussed the option of extending the assessment over 15 years. Brutlag provided information related to 10 years versus 15 years. Murray suggested offering the option of 15 years and instructing residents to contact Brutlag by October 30, 2020 should they choose that option. Council concurred.

Mayor Rasmussen opened the public hearing. He called three times. Maras confirmed no one responded with the “raise-hand” signal and no emails or written comments have been received. Mayor Rasmussen closed the public hearing.

Motion made by Councilor Baker to add the option of extending the assessment time frame over 15 years to any resident that contacts Brutlag by October 30, 2020, 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 20-190 Included with these minutes)

H. RESOLUTION 20-191 APPROVING GOVERNOR’S EMERGENCY DECLARATION – SEPTEMBER 14, 2020 EXTENSION OF MARCH 17, 2020 CITY OF ALBERT LEA, MINNESOTA PROCLAMATION AND DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY NO. 2020-1 AND ORDINANCE 20-232

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 November 12, 2020 unless Governor Walz’s Peacetime Emergency expires or is rescinded by legislative authority. Approval to extend the Declaration and Ordinance requires approval by five members of City Council.

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 20-191 Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:
First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the JOBS and ALEDA Board meetings. Staff continues to work on new Housing projects.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Asked if the City Attorney had any further information on the issue on Maurice Ave. Martinez reported a letter has been sent to abate the nuisance.
• Committee Update – Attended an HPC meeting. An application for a certificate of appropriateness was approved. In addition, review of the guideline book was completed.

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – None

Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – Requests an update from staff regarding the re-opening of the Library. Suggested to residents, if they are comfortable, hand out candy to the kids on Halloween.
• Committee Update – None

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Will attend an Airport Board meeting next week.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Working on an item with Jahnke. He also requests an update on the status of the fire that took place on Lee Avenue a few months back. He is still working on the issue on Milo Avenue.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT: None

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 20-192 APPROVING CLAIMS

Sievert 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, Mayor Rasmussen displayed a list of claims over $25,000 for the public’s viewing, transparency and education.

Motion made by Councilor Howland to approve payment of claims as presented for checks #76507 through #76665 in the amount of $865,632.58. 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 20-192
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:49 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, 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 26, 2020. 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.

___/s/_________________________
Daphney Maras
Secretary of the Council