City Council Meeting Minutes - June 24, 2013

Date: 
June 24, 2013

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JUNE 24, 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 June 24, 2013.

A quorum present, Mayor Strand called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Pfeifer, Kvamme, Zieman, 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:  Ewing Street Vacation Request –Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on a request to vacate a portion of Ewing Street at 7:05 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke reviewed the process for conducting public hearings.  Community Development Director Wille reviewed the petition to vacate a portion of Ewing Street and reported a 16’ access drive would continue to be maintained by agreement with abutting property owners.  Wille stated the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the street vacation. There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:09 p.m.

Public Hearing:  Rezoning Request – Nicollet County - Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on a request by Nicollet County to rezone property they own which is located along South Front Street from RP-1 (Residential/Professional Office) to CBD (Central Business District) at 7:09 p.m.  Wille noted the Planning Commission recommended approval.  Nicollet County Administrator Ryan Krosch addressed the Council and indicated a 45,000 square foot two-story office building would be built on the property and the building would house Human Services, Public Health, Veteran’s Services, and Brown/Nicollet County Environmental Services.  Krosch indicated the County hoped to have construction begin late this year.  Krosch also noted the Morton building that is currently on the site would be moved to the County Public Works facility.  There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:14 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Eichmann, to approve the minutes of the June 10, 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 June 10, 2013 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

Visitors – Christa Wolner of the Drummer Corporation presented a $10,000 donation from the company and its’ employees to be help fund delivery of the fire truck to Petatlan, Mexico ($5,000) and for ongoing maintenance costs for the TREEmendous playground ($5,000).  Ms. Wolner indicated the company was currently constructing rental housing units in the Orchard Ridge Subdivision and she thanked City staff for their assistance with their project.  Mayor Strand thanked Ms. Wolner and the Drummer Corporation for the generous donation.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-92 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. 2013-92 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.

Park Row Crossing Development Agreement – City Administrator Prafke introduced Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates who recommended approval of the development agreement with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) Park Row Crossing LLC.  Sweeney indicated the development agreement called for the City to sell the lot to SWMHP for $1.00 and stipulated the “pay as you go” tax increment financing would extend to a maximum expenditure of $647,000 plus 2.7% interest over twenty-six (26) years.  Councilmember Carlin asked for additional information on how tax increment financing works and the philosophy for use of tax increment funds for a housing development.  Sweeney reported providing the tax increment subsidy allowed the developer to develop a very nice facility that is affordable and keeps rents lower for tenants because 95% of the increments generated by the project will be returned to SWMHP.  City Administrator Prafke pointed out that Park Row Crossing was the only project in Minnesota to receive tax credit funding this year from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-93 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of A Development Agreement Between The City Of Saint Peter And 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. 2013-93 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

G.O. Tax Increment Bond Sale Authorization – Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates presented a recommendation to authorize the competitive sale of $890,000 in general obligation tax increment bonds that will be used to finance the public improvements being constructed along North Third Street.  Sweeney recommended a Standard and Poor’s rating be purchased and reported the $8,000 cost to purchase the rating would reduce interest rates on the bond issuance significantly enough to offset the cost.  Sweeney pointed out that tax increment bonds were being used because it was difficult to assess the improvements that are being made to any one property and the Tax Increment Financing District was created to allow for refurbishing of infrastructure in the area to serve a higher use which would be the retail development (Shopko) which was already under way.  Councilmember Kvamme questioned why the tax increment plan being used for this project was different than a “pay as you go” plan.  Sweeney and City Administrator Prafke indicated that the public improvements were difficult to attach to a particular property and would serve a broader purpose and ultimately the assets being funded (sewer, water lines, etc…) will belong to the City versus something like Park Row Crossing which will be belong to a private developer.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-94 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Competitive Negotiated Sale Of $890,000 General Obligation Tax Increment Bonds, Series 2013B“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-94 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

2012 Audit Presentation/Acceptance – Auditor James Eichten of Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich & Company, the City’s audit firm, presented his findings from the 2012 audit of the City’s finances.  Eichten provided an in-depth review of his management report and stated he had issued an unqualified (clean) opinion.  Eichten noted two findings involving segregation of duties, which is a very common finding for cities with small staff sizes and which has been a finding in several previous audits, and reimbursements of both monthly vehicle allowances and mileage being provided to certain employees.  Eichten noted paying both is not allowed under State law and the practice has been discontinued.  Eichten stated there had been a slight increase in the City’s taxable market value which was a dramatic improvement compared to the rest of the state which had experienced a substantial decline in market value.  Eichten also noted an increase in the governmental funds balance of $900,000. 

Eichten reported staff had adhered to the budgets adopted by the Council and reported the City’s net position had increased by almost $961,000 compared to a $1.8 million decrease in net position in 2011.  Eichten also reviewed several of the City’s enterprise funds and suggested the City continue to monitor the water fund and review water rates on an annual basis.  Eichten commented on the impact grant funds such as the grant for the ARMER radio system have on the City’s budget and noted an impact from costs associated with demolition of the old hospital site. 

In summary Eichten reported he had issued a clean opinion, that staff had adhered to the adopted budgets and the City’s administrative staff were doing an excellent job of managing the City’s finances.  

Councilmember Kvamme questioned whether the City’s debt was considered a lot for a City like Saint Peter and asked how Saint Peter compared to other communities.  Kvamme noted that the City had approximately $64 million in total debt which would equate to $6,000 per person, but that only $7 million was general fund debt (payable by property taxes) which equated to $600 per person.  Eichten reported the City’s governmental fund expenditures on a per capita basis were only $136 compared to $196 in cities of similar size state-wide.  Eichten also noted that it was difficult to compare Saint Peter to other cities for the enterprise funds because Saint Peter has more types of activities (long term care facility, medical office building., etc…) that most similar size cities.  Eichten stated he will do further analysis on each of the enterprise funds and will provide information on that analysis to staff at a later date.

In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2013-95 entitled “Resolution Accepting 2012 Financial Statements Together With Independent Auditor’s Report“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-95 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Ewing Street Vacation Request –  Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to approve the request to vacate a portion of Ewing Street.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-96 entitled “Resolution Vacating The North Forty-Four Feet (44’) And The South Twenty Feet (20’) Of Platted Ewing Street Lying Between North Fifth Street And The North-South Alley Within Block 27, Skaro & Evenson Addition“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-96 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Rezoning Request:  Nicollet County – Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to approve a request to rezone property owned by Nicollet County from Residential/Professional Office to Central Business District.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Ordinance No. 11, Third Series entitled “An Ordinance Amending Saint Peter City Code Chapter 24, ‘Land Use Regulations And Zoning’ And Section 24-6 ‘Official Map’ To Rezone Certain Property As Central Business District And Adopting By Reference Saint Peter City Code Chapter 1, Section 1-6, Which, Among Other Things, Contain Penalty Provisions“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Ordinance No. 11, Third Series is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Ordinances 2. 

Housekeeper Job Description Modification –  City Administrator Prafke recommended approval be provided for the proposed modifications to the Part-time Housekeeper job description.  Prafke noted the changes were minor in nature, but would ensure the description accurately outlined the essential qualifications and duties of the position.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2013-97 entitled “Resolution Approving Modification To Part-time Housekeeper Job Description“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-97 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Donation Acceptance – Drummer Corporation –  City Administrator Prafke recommended the Council formally accept the $10,000 donation from Drummer Corporation to be used $5,000 for delivery of the fire truck to Petatlan, Mexico and $5,000 for ongoing maintenance costs at the TREEmendous play structure.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2013-98 entitled “Resolution Accepting Donation From Drummer Corporation”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-98 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Reports

Mayor’s Reports – Mayor Strand thanked Councilmember Pfeifer for serving as Mayor pro tem during his recent absence.  Strand also reported on his recent activities which included Region Nine Development Commission meetings, attending a meeting of the Veteran’s Last Man’s Club; the Council goal session and the League of Minnesota Cities conference in St. Paul.

Council Goal Session – City Administrator Prafke reported the Council had recently had a goal session and he would be distributing some information to Councilmembers in the near future based on their goal session discussion.

City/County Committee Meeting Discussion – Councilmembers Eichmann and Pfeifer reported on discussion at the City/County committee meeting of June 12th which included compost facilities, Gardner Road, updates on activities of the City and County, Welco West Subdivision, and other topics.

League of Minnesota Cities Conference – City Administrator Prafke and Mayor Strand reported on the League of Minnesota Cities conference and sessions they attended as well as the celebration event for the 100th anniversary of the League which was held during the conference at the newly renovated Union Depot in St. Paul.

Hospital CEO Recruitment – City Administrator Prafke reported the public was invited to a “meet and greet” event on June 26th to meet the candidates who will be interviewed for the Hospital CEO position.

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 8:26 p.m.