City Council Meeting Minutes - August 12, 2013

Date: 
August 12, 2013

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

AUGUST 12, 2013

 

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 August 12, 2013.

A quorum present, Mayor Strand called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Zieman, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Eichmann, Brand, Carlin and Mayor Strand.  The following officials were present: City Administrator Prafke, City Attorney Brandt, and City Engineer Domras.

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

Public Hearing:  MnDOT Highway 169 Project Layout – Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on approval of the layout for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Highway 169 Flood Mitigation Project at 7:01 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke provided a review of the Council’s public hearing process.  MnDOT Project Engineer Zachary Tess provided an overview of the proposed design of the Highway 169 Flood Mitigation Project which would elevate portions of Highway 169 above the 100 year flood level and would include additional safety design to minimize crash rates at the Highway 169 intersections with West St. Julien Street and Highway 22 (Dodd Avenue) both of which had enough crashes in a ten year analysis to be considered “critical crash rates”.  Tess indicated a special flood mitigation funding package had been allocated from the State that would fund MnDOT’s portion of the project.

Tess also reported the intersection with Union Street would be redesigned in a proactive measure to reduce crash probabilities in light of the retail development that is currently occurring in the area along Old Minnesota Avenue and the projected future developments.  Tess indicated that if nothing was done at the Union Street intersection at this time and a substantial problem occurred in the future, Union Street would be closed to Highway 169, or the City would be required to make and fund the improvement to keep the intersection open.

Tess pointed out that the proposed “R-Cut” design that would be utilized at the Union/Dodd/St. Julien intersections would eliminate left turns onto Highway 169 which, in turn, would reduce serious injury and fatality crashes at the intersections.  Tess also reviewed the proposed changes to the Highway 169 intersections at Ritt Street and Dranttel Street.

Community Development Director Wille reviewed the proposed projects the City will undertake at the same time as the MnDOT project which is expected to result in lowered costs for both projects by bidding the projects together.  Wille indicated sidewalks would be installed on the west side of Old Minnesota Avenue from St. Julien Street to Union Street and from Old Minnesota west to Hallett’s Pond with striping of Old Minnesota being done to delineate two lanes with a center turn lane.  Wille also reported the intersection of Old Minnesota Avenue and St. Julien Street is projected to have 10,300 vehicles a day by the year 2030 (versus the current 2,500 vehicles per day) and staff was recommending a round-a-bout be installed when the traffic patterns warrant to provide better safety at the intersection and that the median on the 100 block of St. Julien be extended when the round-a-bout is constructed so that access from the businesses on that block will then be restricted to right-in/right-out.  Wille noted that staff has had ongoing discussions about the proposed changes with the owners/managers of McDonald’s, Holiday and Carquest and the discussions were going smoothly.  Wille and Tess also noted that McDonald’s would be taking advantage of the Highway project to tear down their building and build a new restaurant.

Wille also noted that the service road at the Union Street intersection would be left open to provide easy access to the Dairy Queen and Nelson Printing, but staff was recommending against making any improvements to the alley behind those businesses.  Wille pointed out that traffic on North Third Street was expected to increase but not exceed the design capacity of the roadway.  Wille also stated that staff would continue to monitor traffic on North Third Street using traffic counts and if the situation warranted further action staff would provide recommendations to the Council for further action.

Ken Dahlgren, owner of St. Peter Homes, addressed the Council to express his strong support for the Highway 169 project and efforts to development of the north end of the community.  Dahlgren stated that 50 years ago when the current Highway 169 was installed no one could have imagined the amount of traffic that would now be using the highway and that he felt the proposed changes were moving in the right direction for the future.

Kirsten Arbeiter, Property Manager for McDonald’s, addressed the Council to express her appreciation for staff’s recommendation to leave their access from St. Julien Street open for now and for efforts to create a safe environment for McDonald’s customers.

Kip Lager, President of Lager’s, Inc., addressed the Council to express his concern over plans for the Union Street intersection and questioned the traffic study projections for traffic growth into the year 2030.  Lager stated staff had increased the projections provided by Shopko officials without justification and expressed disbelief that the St. Julien intersection will have traffic rates above 10,000 by 2030.  Lager used City of Mankato traffic count figures from the intersection adjacent to the main River Hills Mall entrance as the basis for his belief.  Lager also reported he has not been provided with an analysis of cost savings to be achieved by the City and MnDOT bidding projects jointly.

There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:56 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Carlin, to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2013 regular City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the July 22, 2013 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

Consent Agenda – Mayor Strand reviewed the consent agenda including the addition of compost site grading by Southern Minnesota Construction to be funded by environmental services funds and changing the funding source for the compost site fencing and installation to environmental services funds.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-112 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  Councilmember Brand questioned the bill for decals on a Police vehicle.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the vehicle was a Jeep that was seized from a DWI arrest and would be used by the Police and the decals are used on the black vehicle in lieu of painting the vehicle in the black/white pattern of police cars.  Councilmember Zieman questioned whether the purchases for fencing and grading for the compost site were the last expenditures for the project and if the project was under budget.  Prafke indicated there were still some permit fees outstanding, but the project continued to be under budget.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-112 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.

North Third Street Improvement Project Change Order – City Engineer Domras reviewed his recommendation to approve a change order to the 2013 North Third Street Improvement Project contract for an additional amount of $21,326.52 which included rock excavation, insulation of a watermain, relocating a storm sewer pipe and removal of the existing underlying concrete pavement along a portion of Old Minnesota Avenue.  Domras indicated the rock work included removal of 30 boulders that ranged in size from 1-10 cubic yards.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-113 entitled “Resolution Approving Change Order For 2013 North Third Street Improvements Project”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-113 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Property Sale Clarification:  Park Row Crossing – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a resolution providing additional detailed information on the two parcels of land to be sold to SWMHP Park Row Crossing LLC for the Park Row Crossing housing development.  Prafke indicated the development agreement already contained the same information, however the title company was asking for a separate resolution identifying the parcels to be sold.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-114 entitled “Resolution Providing Clarification Of Resolution No. 2013-93 Authorizing Sale Of Property To SWMHP Park Row Crossing LLC”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-114 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

MnDOT Highway 169 Project Layout –  Following the public hearing City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of the layout of MnDOT’s Highway 169 flood mitigation project.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Eichmann, Resolution No. 2013-115 entitled “Resolution Approving Final Layout Of Minnesota Department Of Transportation Highway 169 Project In Saint Peter”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-115 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.  Councilmember Kvamme requested further discussion at a workshop session on the information presented during the public hearing by Mr. Lager about the intersections of Union Street and St. Julien Street with Old Minnesota Avenue.

Unbudgeted Repairs – Fire Station Roof –  City Administrator Prafke recommended Schwickert’s be retained to repair three leaks at the fire station roof in the amount of $7,150.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Eichmann, Resolution No. 2013-116 entitled “Resolution Approving Unbudgeted Purchase Of Fire Station Roof Repairs”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-116 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

City Assistance Request:  Rock Bend Folk Festival – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a request by Rock Bend Folk Festival to provide City assistance for their September event in Minnesota Square Park.  Prafke reviewed the list of assistance being recommended and the contingencies to approval.  Councilmember Zieman asked if the amount of the Arts Board grant to the Festival is public information and Prafke indicated he would ask Rock Bend officials for the information.  Councilmember Brand expressed concern about what appeared to be a lack of enforcement of the “no dogs allowed” rule at last year’s festival as well as concerns about the Police Reserves huddling together and not actually patrolling the park.  City Administrator Prafke indicated that staff had discussed similar concerns and would work with the Reserves to make sure there is better enforcement of the dog prohibition.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2013-117 entitled “Resolution Authorizing City Assistance For Rock Bend Folk Festival”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-117 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Reports

Mayor’s Reports – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included attending various events including the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities conference in St. Cloud; the Family Fresh Market ribbon cutting ceremony; the annual town-gown luncheon with Gustavus and the quarterly Fire Relief Association meeting.

City Council Filing – City Administrator Prafke reported the filing period for seats on the City Council closes on August 13th and candidates have until August 15th to withdraw.

Seal Coating – City Administrator Prafke updated the Council on the seal coating project which was to begin on August 13th and would include over 100 blocks.  Prafke encouraged residents to comply with the temporary “no parking” signs.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.