City Council Meeting Minutes - April 28, 2014

Date: 
April 28, 2014

 

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

APRIL 28, 2014

 

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Saint Peter was conducted in the Governors' Room of the Community Center on April 28, 2014.

A quorum present, Mayor Strand called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Grams, Zieman, Brand, Kvamme, Parras and Mayor Strand.  Absent was Councilmember Carlin. The following officials were present: City Administrator Prafke, City Attorney Brandt, and City Engineers Domras and Loose.

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Parras, seconded by Brand, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Zieman, to approve the minutes of the April 14, 2014 regular City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the April 14, 2014 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

A motion was made by Parras, seconded by Kvamme, to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2014 Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the April 15, 2014 Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

A motion was made by Brand, seconded by Zieman, to approve the minutes of the April 21, 2014 special City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the April 14, 2014 special City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

Consent Agenda –In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-54 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“was introduced. Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-54 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

St. Peter Community Childcare Revolving Loan Extension – Community Development Director Wille presented the Economic Development Authority (EDA) recommendation for approval of a one year extension on the due date for a balloon payment related to the revolving loan provided to St. Peter Community Childcare Center.  Wille noted that a one year extension was previously approved in 2013 and the Center financials show enrollments are increasing, there is a waiting list, the Center is doing increased publicity and fundraising for the business, and the new Board members are making progress on decreasing their debts while working to collect unpaid enrollment fees from parents. Wille reported the business is current on its monthly payments.  Councilmember Parras questioned if the Center’s rates were comparable to other day cares.  Councilmember Kvamme responded that the rates are higher than a North Mankato daycare that is subsidized by the company that runs the daycare, but is comparable to all other center based day cares in the area.

Mayor Strand asked if the board would request an additional balloon payment extension in another year and if so, suggested the extension be for two years.  Wille reported the EDA members felt it was important to continue to touch base on at least a yearly basis with loan recipients requesting an extension of their balloon payment and one year was the recommended extension.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2014-55 entitled “Resolution Extending Balloon Payment Of Revolving Loan Previously Provided To Saint Peter Community Childcare Center”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-55 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

West St. Julien Street/Old Minnesota Avenue Intersection Land Purchase –  Community Development Director Wille requested authorization for execution of purchase agreements and temporary construction easement agreements with Skrove Automotive ($493.95) and Northern Con-Agg ($28,473.35) and a temporary construction easement with Ryan Wenner (no cost) that would facilitate development of a roundabout or other traffic improvements at the intersection of West St. Julien Street and Old Minnesota Avenue.  Wille reported that staff had also had initial discussions with engineers and other representatives of Car Quest related to the project.  Councilmember Parras questioned why staff would propose acquiring land from Mr. Skrove that was further back from the intersection and expressed his belief that there was no logical reason to acquire the property other than construction of a roundabout and based on that belief, he would not vote for the resolution.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-56 entitled “Resolution Approving Temporary Construction Easements And/Or Purchase Road Right-Of-Way From Northern Con-Agg, Michael Skrove (Skrove Automotive) And Ryan Wenner”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Zieman, Grams, Kvamme, Brand and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Parras voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-56 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

2014 Electric Fund Budget and Rate Increase –  Finance Director O'Connell presented the proposed 2014 electric fund budget and proposed electric rate increase.  O’Connell reviewed the proposed budget which included a 6.5% transfer to the General Fund; the 10 year capital plan for the fund; debt service requirements; and the proposed rate increase.  O’Connell noted the rate increase would generate an additional $75,000 in revenue this year and $150,000 each year thereafter which would help increase the fund reserve balance to an adequate amount.  City Administrator Prafke indicated that the goal of the rate increase is to eliminate the deficit in operations and while the proposed increase does not eliminate the whole amount, it provides a basis for moving in the right direction.  Prafke also noted that 85% of the electric budget is for purchased power costs.  

Councilmember Kvamme stated that based on the additional information that was presented by staff, he would be more comfortable if action on the electric fund was tabled so the Council could have additional discussion at a workshop.  A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, to table action on the electric fund budget and rate increase for two weeks to allow additional discussion at a workshop.   Councilmember Zieman expressed his belief that it was counterintuitive to ask customers to conserve electricity and then “reward” them by raising rates.  With all in favor, the motion to table action for two weeks was approved.

2014 Street Maintenance Program – Public Works Director Giesking requested approval for the 2014 street maintenance program in the amount of $417,000 which would include seal coating (90 blocks), crack sealing, full depth patching, handicap sidewalks, sidewalk replacement on South Third Street, sealing of trails, and installation of a trail along Traverse Road from Sunrise Drive to Edgerton Street.  Giesking pointed out that the budget did not include seal coat rock and staff felt there were adequate amounts of rock swept up from previous years to use for 2014.  City Administrator Prafke noted that should the Council choose to include Gardner Road work in the 2014 program, other things (i.e. seal coating) would need to be removed.  Prafke also reminded Councilmembers that the program is a plan and may be changed depending on material prices and other issues.   In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2014-57 entitled “Resolution Approving The Street Maintenance Program For 2014”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-57 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Jari USA Compressor – Community Development Director Wille recommended the City accept a 15 kw air compressor from Jari USA in lieu of their April 2014 rent payment ($3,282).  Wille indicated Jari was no longer in business and the air compressor was not encumbered by any liens.  Wille also noted the current tenant of the building, Quality Products, had need for the air compressor and had offered to purchase it from the City for $5,000 which would result in a profit of $1,712. In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-58 entitled “Resolution Approving Acceptance Of 15KW Air Compressor From Jari, USA And Authorizing Sale Of The Compressor”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-58 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.  

Transit Bus Purchase – Finance Director O'Connell requested approval for the purchase of two replacement transit buses (2014 Ford E450 Eldorado Aerotech) from Telin Transportation Group, Inc. in the amount of $139,048 with 80% of the cost being funded by the State of Minnesota.  O’Connell indicated the new business would provide improved passenger safety and comfort and easier access for staff to maintain parts on the bus.  O’Connell stated the City’s Mechanic would review the existing buses to determine which two would be sold once the new buses arrived.  O’Connell also noted the State of Minnesota was requesting all buses be equipped with an internal camera system which was included in the new buses and staff was recommending a destination signage system also be purchased to help passengers identify the dial-a-ride bus versus the route bus.  Councilmember Parras expressed his belief that unless the camera system had audio capabilities, the camera system was not worth the cost.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the new buses would offer two wheelchair tie downs versus the one that the current buses offer.   In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-59 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Purchase Of Two New Transit Buses”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-59 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Transit Fee Modification – Finance Director O'Connell recommended a $1.00 per ride fare on the underutilized route bus be established for youth age 5-17 for the period June 9, 2014 through August 29, 2014.  O’Connell reported the fee would provide more opportunity for area youth to get to summer activities and would help familiarize youth with the transit system.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-60 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Reduced Youth Transit Fares On The Route Bus For Non-School Months”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-60 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Business License Application – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval for a Tree Worker License for Ross Pettit.  Prafke noted the background investigation found nothing that would prohibit issuance of the license.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-61 entitled “Resolution Approving New Tree Worker License”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-61 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Reports

“Police Officer Memorial Day/Week” Proclamation – Mayor Strand proclaimed May 15th as Police Officer Memorial Day and the week of May 11-17, 2014 as Police Officer Memorial Week.  Strand noted that as per Federal law, all flags will be lowered to half-staff on May 15th in honor of those Police Officers who have given their lives in service to their communities.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included attending a Region Nine Development Commission committee meeting; the annual Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting; and a meeting with the City’s Auditors.

City/County Meeting Schedule – City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers Zieman and Parras of the April 30th City/County meeting at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Park Opening – City Administrator Prafke reported the City’s parks facilities would officially open on May 1st.

Real Estate Listing Agreement – City Administrator Prafke directed Councilmembers to the report contained in the Council packet on the commission being paid for a realtor to market the 430 Ritt Street building.

Workshop Location – City Administrator Prafke also reported that the May 5th Council workshop would be held in the meeting room at River's Edge Hospital and Clinic and the workshop would include a tour of the Hospital.

Closed Session – Land Purchase Negotiations – City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session to discuss land purchase negotiations as allowed under State Statute.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-62 entitled “Resolution Calling For Closed Session”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-62 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.  Prafke stated the closed session would take place in the Nicollet Room of the Community Center and the Council would come back into session only to adjourn.

The Council adjourned to closed session in the Nicollet Room at 8:25 p.m.  The Council returned to open session at 8:43 p.m.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Parras, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.