September 28, 2020

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
TELECONFERENCE ZOOM MEETING, CITY OF ALBERT LEA
Monday, September 28, 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Mayor Vern Rasmussen, Jr., Councilors Rich Murray, Larry Baker, Jason Howland, 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.

COUNCILOR REID OLSON ARRIVED AT 7:06 P.M.

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 – 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 14, 2020 Regular Council Meeting
B. Approve Minutes Of The September 14, 2020 Work Session
C. Approve Minutes Of The September 10, 2020 Special Council Meeting
D. Licenses & Permits (None)
E. Resolution Approving Contract With Minnesota Public Employees Association (MNPEA) Representing Police Sergeants
F. Resolution Accepting Donation Of Labor And Materials For Work To Be Performed On The Academy Park Warming House
G. Resolution Approving Upgrades To The Electronic Permitting Capabilities Of Development Services
H. Resolution Approving Use Of The Cares Act Funding To Replace Computer Work Stations With Mobile Work Stations
I. Resolution Approving Upgrades To Council Chambers Audiovisual Equipment

Motion made by Councilor Baker 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, 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 20-161 through 20-165
Included with these minutes)

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS – None
UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. ORDINANCE 20-245 AMENDING ZONING AND LAND USE MAP FROM COMMUNITY BUSINESS DISTRICT (B-2) TO SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE DISTRICT (R-1) LOCATED AT 300 10TH AVENUE NORTH (2ND READING)

In September 14, 2020, Council approved the first reading of Ordinance 20-245 Amending the Zoning & Land Use Map, from Community Business District (B-2), to Single Family Residence District (R-1). Located at 300 N. 10th Avenue, this property’s existing use is residential in nature. It is included in this meeting agenda for a second and final reading.

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, Rasmussen, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed. Absent: Councilor Olson.

(See Secretary’s Ordinance 20-245
Included with these minutes)

B. RESOLUTION 20-166 PERMITTING PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCE SUMMARY OF AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ZONING AND LAND USE MAP FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 300 N. 10TH AVENUE.

An Ordinance Summary may be published if it reasonably informs 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 this ordinance amending Zoning & Land Use Map will be September 28, 2020. This must pass by a four-fifths vote by Council.

Motion made by Councilor Howland, 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 Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-166
Included with these minutes)

NEW BUSINESS

A. 2021 PRELIMINARY TAX LEVY
1. RESOLUTION 20-167 ADOPTING THE 2021 PRELIMINARY BUDGET AND PROPERTY TAX LEVY (INCLUDES EXHIBIT A)

Brutlag displayed slides outlining the preliminary budget and property tax levy in addition to a slide outlining the HRA preliminary property tax levy levy for year 2021. She provided detailed information relating to the possible changes in the tax levy from last year including a proposed increase in the debt levy of 6.78% and a total overall preliminary general fund debt levy in 2021 of 7.94%. She noted $150,000 reduction in the debt levy is the final amount remaining from the $750,000 that was set aside in 2017 to reduce the debt levy. Staff is seeking approval of the above referenced resolution. (Exhibit ‘A’ is available for publice review).

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, and Mayor Rasmussen. The following counciler opposed: Councilor Brooks.

Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-167
Included with these minutes)

2. RESOLUTION 20-168 APPROVING ALBERT LEA HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY PRELIMINARY PROPERTY TAX LEVY FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021 (INCLUDES EXHIBIT A)

Staff is seeking approval of the above referenced resolutions. (Exhibit ‘A’ is available for public review.)

Brutlag stated that although the HRA levy remains at $190,000 for several years in a row, there is a request in allocation of funds to include $59,000 for the brick stabilization project, a reduction in the housing operating fund with no change to the Section 8 operating fund.

Mayor Rasmussen reminded council that, although the preliminary budget indicates a potential tax levy increase, it has been eight years since the City of Albert Lea has imposed a tax levy increase. Mayor Rasmussen continues to encourage staff to work diligently in finding ways to reduce costs at every level.

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 20-168
Included with these minutes)

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, and recommends approval of the first readings of each ordinance, as follows:

B. ORDINANCE 20-246 AMENDING CHAPTER 54-9 – DIVISION AND CONSOLIDATION OF LOTS OF RECORD (1ST 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 ROW.
Howland reiterated his comments from the work session describing his interpretation of the explanation given from City Planner Boeck, that this amendment will save not only time but cost to the applicant.
Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Brooks. On roll call vote, the following councilors voted in favor of said motion: Murray, Baker, Howland, Olson, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

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

C. ORDINANCE 20-247 AMENDING CHAPTER 74-18 – ACCESSORY BUILDINGS, FENCES AND SITE APPURTENANCES (1ST READING)

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

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

D. ORDINANCE 20-248 AMENDING CHAPTER 74-256 – OFF-STREET PARKING AND LOADING (1ST READING)

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

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

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

E. ORDINANCE 20-249 AMENDING CHAPTER 74-982 – PROHIBITED USES (1ST READING)

This amended ordinance will 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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Ordinance 20-249
Included with these minutes)

F. RESOLUTION 20-169 APPROVING EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WITH PATRICK IAN RIGG AS CITY MANAGER

The City of Albert Lea conducted a search for a City Manager and an Employment Agreement was offered. Patrick Ian Rigg has executed the Employment Agreement.

Mayor Rasmussen mentioned he escorted the newly hired City Manager Ian Rigg and his wife through the community last week as they searched for housing. He stated City Manager Rigg is scheduled to begin his duties in Albert Lea on November 9, 2020.
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, Brooks and Mayor Rasmussen. Councilor Rasmussen was absent. Mayor Rasmussen declared the motion passed.

(See Secretary’s Original Resolution 20-169
Included with these minutes)

MAYOR AND COUNCIL REPORTS:

First Ward, Councilor Murray reported:
• Ward Items – Mentioned that Jahnke assisted in questions from residents in the Stables area.
• Committee Update – Attended the HRA over a week ago and the City Manger interviews.

Second Ward, Councilor Baker reported:
• Ward Items – Inquired about the Library opening. Mayor Rasmussen suggested staff seek answers.
• Committee Update –None

Third Ward, Councilor Howland reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended the Parks and Recreation Board meeting outdoors at the Edgewater Pavilion where the discussion surrounded the next mural to be completed by a local young artist. The City Arena opened on September 1st.
Fourth Ward, Councilor Olson reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended an HRA meeting and reported the recent audit is much better than in past years.

Fifth Ward, Councilor Rasmussen reported:
• Ward Items – None
• Committee Update – Attended an Airport Board Meeting and reported they reviewed an array of improvements to be addressed.

Sixth Ward, Councilor Brooks reported:
• Ward Items – Mentinoned the property at 2022 Milo Avenue and the on-going concerns that have been addressed. He suggested a personal meeting with himself and other staff members to resolve matters in question. Brooks also requested clarification on a zoning ordinance on the agenda.
• Committee Update – None

MAYOR’S REPORT: None

APPROVAL OF CLAIMS

RESOLUTION 20-170 APPROVING CLAIMS

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

Motion made by Baker payment of claims as presented for checks #76367 through #76506 in the amount of $1,302,909.41. 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 20-170
Included with these minutes)

ADJOURNMENT: 7:35 P.M.

Motion made by Councilor Murray, seconded by Councilor Baker. 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 12, 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