City Council Meeting Minutes - January 13, 2014

Date: 
January 13, 2014

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JANUARY 13, 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 January 13, 2014.

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

Oath of Office – City Administrator Prafke administered the oath of office to incoming Councilmembers Stephen Grams and Roger Parras.  The meeting recessed at 7:03 p.m. to allow the new Councilmembers time to take photos with their families.

The meeting resumed at 7:08 p.m.

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Parras, seconded by Zieman, 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 December 9, 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 December 9, 2013 regular 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. 2014-01 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  Councilmember Kvamme asked for more information on the “auto scrubber” that was being purchased.  City Administrator Prafke indicated it was a machine to clean floors at the Community Center.  Councilmember Zieman questioned his appointment as liaison to the Hospital Commission.  Mayor Strand indicated Zieman’s appointment was only until the return of Councilmember Carlin who would then serve in the position.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-01 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.

Revolving Loan Request:  JAEL Properties, LLC –  Community Development Director Wille presented the Economic Development Authority (EDA) recommendation for approval of a $65,008 revolving loan to JAEL Properties LLC which is the real estate holding company for River Valley Birth Center located at 526 West Park Row.  Community Development Director Wille reported that in response to Councilmember concerns about the level of owner equity in the project, the loan was being restructured to require that $10,813 of the owner’s money must be spent before the final $15,000 of revolving loan funds was disbursed to the applicant.  Wille indicated the loan would be amortized over a period of 20 years with a balloon payment due at 10 years at three percent (3%) interest.  Wille also pointed out the loan would be secured by a second mortgage on the property, liens on the furniture, fixtures, equipment and accounts receivables and personal guarantees by the applicant and her spouse.  Wille further noted the loan will be due and payable if the business closes or relocates out of the community and the applicants will be required to submit an annual year-end business report until paid in full.  Wille suggested that interest only payments be required until all expenditures were made by the applicant and then the loan would be amortized as recommended by the EDA.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-02 entitled “Resolution Approving $65,008 Revolving Loan To JAEL Properties, LLC To Partially Finance Acquisition, Remodeling, and Reconstruction Of Property At 526 West Park Row”, was introduced with the addition of the following language:

“The EDA loan funds and owner equity related to the remodeling of the structure shall be drawn down proportionally as invoices are submitted.  The applicant shall demonstrate that the $10,813 committed to paying miscellaneous expenses has been expended prior to the applicant’s access to the working capital funded by the EDA loan dollars.”

Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as modified.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-02 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Electric Generation Sets Maintenance Agreement –  Water Utilities Superintendent Moulton presented Public Works Director Giesking’s recommendation for acceptance of the low quote from NCummins for a five year maintenance contract for the City’s emergency generators in the amount of $60,836.08 per year.  Moulton reported the agreement covered 17 emergency generators that all together could produce 17 MW of electricity and the budgeted amount for the contract was $100,000.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-03 entitled “Resolution Approving Execution Of Maintenance Contracts For Broadway Generation Plant Generators And The City’s Emergency Generators”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-03 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Sidewalk/Trails “No Winter Maintenance” Designation – Water Utilities Superintendent Moulton presented Public Works Director Giesking’s recommendation to extend the “no winter maintenance” designation for specific trails and sidewalks for the winters through May 1, 2015.   City Administrator Prafke indicated that the designation would reduce the mileage of trails being cleaned by City crews after each snowfall by 35%; one side of the road would always have an open trial/sidewalk; and the designation would allow City crews to clean trails/sidewalks that were the City’s responsibility in a timely fashion which would allow enforcement of the rules for private sidewalks.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-04 entitled “Resolution Establishing ‘No Winter Maintenance’ Trails For The Winters Of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-04 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Polar Bear Plunge Request –  City Administrator Prafke recommended approval be provided for the Sheriff’s Department to use Hallett’s Pond for the February 1st Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge.  Prafke noted there was some City cost involved in the request as City staff provides 4-8 hours of labor to make cuts in the ice for the event.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-05 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Use Of Hallett’s Pond For Polar Bear Plunge”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-05 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Council Out Of State Travel Request – City Administrator Prafke presented a resolution that would authorize out of state travel by Councilmember Kvamme and Mayor Strand to attend the March American Public Power Association (APPA) legislative rally in Washington DC at an approximate cost of $6,500.  Prafke also noted that Public Works Director Giesking would be attending the event.  Councilmember Zieman questioned whether it was necessary to send three people to the event, at a very high cost, in light of the need to raise electric rates in the future.  Prafke noted that the travel was discussed as part of the budget discussions in the fall of 2013.  Zieman asked to have additional discussion about any future travel earlier in the budget process.  Mayor Strand expressed his belief that it is important to support the efforts of Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), as they make presentations to Minnesota’s congressional delegation at the time of the APPA rally.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-06 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Elected Official Travel”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, Kvamme, Brand, Parras, and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Zieman voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-06 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Purchasing Agent and Purchase Request – Police Chief Peters requested authorization for the City to serve as purchasing agent for the River Valley Tactical Team (RVTT) and authorize City participation in purchase of a replacement armored vehicle and a new robot for use by the team at a City cost of approximately $55,711.28 ($334,267.65 total cost) with the City’s portion being funded by the 2014 equipment certificate.  Peters reported the vehicle is used to transport personnel and equipment to scenes where the Tactical Team is needed and to provide protection in the event the suspect shoots at the team and/or neighboring individuals need to be evacuated from the scene.   Peters reported the member jurisdictions had pursued grant funding and other options for funding the purchase but no funding was available and each member jurisdiction had budgeted for their share. 

Peters further explained that the robot, which has audio and video capabilities, would be used to allow the team to explore dangerous locations without entering the area.  Peters also noted the robot could be used to enter suspected meth labs and determine which chemicals were present which may reduce or eliminate the need for protective gear.

Councilmember Parras questioned how many times per year the armored vehicle was used.  Peters reported it was used on every call the team responded to which averaged 17 per year since 2002.  Peters also pointed out that with Le Sueur County joining the team the call-outs would increase.

Councilmember Grams questioned whether the amounts paid by each jurisdiction could be divided based on population or calls to that jurisdiction.  Peters responded that those options had been discussed many times by the jurisdictions, but it was determined that there was no good and equitable way to determine those amounts as small towns like Mapleton would not be able to afford the cost and Mapleton actually had a large number of calls in the previous year.

Councilmember Zieman questioned the maintenance costs for the vehicle.  Peters replied that most of the regular maintenance was done by City of Mankato staff and if there was a big expense, it would be funded by the RVTT budget.    Zieman also questioned what would be done with the current vehicle and Peters and City Administrator Prafke suggested it may have to be returned to the U.S. Army which had originally provided the vehicle to the team when it became Army surplus.

A motion was made by Parras, seconded by Brand to table action on the agenda item until further discussion at a workshop.  With Councilmembers Parras and Brand voting aye, Councilmembers Kvamme, Zieman, Grams and Mayor Strand voting nay, the motion failed.

In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-07 entitled “Resolution Approving City Service As Purchasing Agent And Approving Purchase Of Armored Vehicle For River Valley Tactical Team”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, Kvamme, Brand, Zieman, and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Parras voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-07 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Taxi License Application – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a taxi license application submitted by Kato Cab.  Prafke indicated nothing was found in the background investigation that would prohibit issuance of the license.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brandt, Resolution No. 2014-08 entitled “Resolution Approving Taxi License”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-08 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand thanked former Councilmember Pfeifer for serving in his place during the December 2013 meeting.  Strand also reported on his recent activities which included attending a Region 9 Development Commission board meeting.  Strand indicated he would be attending a board of directors meeting for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (COGMC).

City/County Meeting Discussion – City Administrator Prafke reported discussion at the January 8th City/County meeting included transportation issues; Highway 169 project;  the new County building; senior services contract; housing; and commercial and retail development.

Fire Truck Donation – City Administrator Prafke reported the City fire truck donated to the city of Petatlan Mexico had arrived.

City Office Closure – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public that non-emergency City offices will be closed on Martin Luther King, Jr. day and the Council workshop would be rescheduled to Tuesday, January 21st.

Deer Feeding – City Administrator Prafke asked that anyone within the community who is feeding deer refrain from doing so. Prafke indicated more information on the dangers and problems associated with feeding wild deer would be included in the Hot Sheet and on the City’s website.

Snow Storm Preparations – City Administrator Prafke reported the Streets crew was pre-treating collector streets in anticipation of a snowstorm that was forecast and encouraged property owners to make sure their sidewalks were cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of the snow ending.

Councilmember Kvamme reported that as the newly elected Vice Chair of the Regional Economic Development Alliance (REDA), he would have a seat on the Greater Mankato Growth board of directors.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Brand, seconded by Parras, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.