City Council Meeting Minutes - March 25, 2013

Date: 
March 25, 2013

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

MARCH 25, 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 March 25, 2013.

A quorum present, Mayor Strand called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Eichmann, Kvamme, Carlin, Zieman, Brand and Mayor Strand.  Absent was Councilmember Pfeifer.  The following officials were present: City Administrator Prafke, City Attorney Brandt, and City Engineer Domras.

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

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Carlin, to approve the minutes of the February 25, 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 February 25, 2013 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18.  (Note:  There are no Council meeting minutes from March 11, 2013 as the meeting was cancelled for lack of a quorum.)

Consent Agenda – In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-37 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. 2013-37 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.

2013 Equipment Certificate Bond Sale – Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates addressed the Council to recommend awarding the sale of $730,000 in general obligation equipment certificate bonds to United Banker’s Bank working with Hometown Bank for an eight year issuance at an average rate of 1.3254% interest.  Sweeney indicated the interest rate on the issuance was 0.5% less than he had estimated which would result in a $6,000 lower bond payment each year.  Sweeney noted the bonds had been rated by Standard and Poors as A+ with stable outlook which reaffirmed the existing City bond rating.  Sweeny also pointed out that the bonds would be callable February 1, 2020 and would be used, in part, to finance the new fire truck.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Eichmann, Resolution No. 2013-38 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Issuance And Sale Of $730,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificates, Series 2013A, And Levying A Tax For The Payment Thereof“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-38 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

2013 Water Fund Budget/Rates – Finance Director O'Connell reviewed the proposed 2013 Water Fund budget and the accompanying recommendation to increase water rates.  O’Connell stated the water system improvements (new plant and wells) had been in operation for 18 months which allowed staff a more accurate projection on operational expenses and while staff had always pointed out that water rates would need to increase when the plant was built, the projections for water use were substantially different as residents appear to be conserving and utilizing more water saving appliances.  O’Connell recommended adoption of the budget in the amount of $3,348,413 and approval of rate increases that would include, among other changes, increasing the base rate for both domestic and irrigation meters increases in April and October of 2013 and increase the consumption rates in a series of four increases over the next two years.  O’Connell also noted the fund reserve at the end of 2013 was projected to be $870,000 which was less than the goal reserve amount and that $164,000 in capital expenses included in the 2013 budget would be funded from reserves with approximately $55,000 in bond debt for the North Third Street Project.

Councilmember Brand questioned the amount of water treated each year and the amount wasted through the reverse osmosis process (staff indicated 15-18%).  Brand objected to the 44% increase in rates and to “penalizing the whole community for conserving water”.  Brand also questioned why, if the City’s population is increasing, water sales had not increased.

City Administrator Prafke indicated staff was very sensitive to passing on increased costs to residents and indicated staff would continue to do whatever was possible to monitor operational costs at the plant. 

Councilmember Zieman questioned how much of a discrepancy existed between actual sales and projected sales.  O’Connell indicated the amount of water used in 2012 was what had been projected in 2009.

Councilmember Kvamme expressed his belief that the City experienced a “double whammy” when the housing market plummeted at the same time residents began conserving water and that when the economy picked up and housing began to expand, the problem would pass and take care of itself.

Councilmember Carlin stated the proposed increases were, “As fair a way as we can break out the numbers and keep revenues balance for debt payment.”

Finance Director O'Connell requested a modification to the water rates resolution to specify that the fire service line charge was being discontinued for all fire service lines except those that are stand alone services.

In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-39 entitled “Resolution Adopting 2013 Water Fund Budget“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Zieman, Carlin, Eichmann, Kvamme and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Brand voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-39 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Eichmann, Resolution No. 2013-40 entitled “Resolution Adopting Water Rates“, was introduced with the requested change to the resolution about the fire service lines.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Zieman, Carlin, Eichmann, Kvamme and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Brand voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-40 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Washington Avenue Link Project Right-Of-Way Plat – Community Development Director Wille and City Engineer Domras presented the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation for approval of the right-of-way plat for the extension of North Washington Avenue.  Wille stated the goals of the plat were to create a north-south collector street by the realignment of North Washington Avenue which will improve traffic operations; reduce traffic on North Fifth Street by the closure of the Dodd Avenue access on North Fifth Street allowing the roadway to function within the limitation of its design; increase the safety of pedestrians, especially children traveling to or from school, by the addition of sidewalks; and improve the quality of stormwater.

Domras noted the right-of-way would contain approximately six acres of land; would be 120’ wide with 40’ wide roadway; and include 6’ sidewalks on each side.  Domras also pointed out that the plant indicated two sections of 20’ wide parkland that would add approximately one acre to Ramsey Park and a new one block long roadway called Delaney Street that would have a 54’ right-of-way, a 6’ sidewalk on the south side, and a 28’ wide roadway with “no parking” restrictions on both sides of the road.  Finally, Domras noted that flares were included on the plat at the north end of the new section of North Washington Avenue to provide for future inclusion of a round-a-bout should one be constructed and to eliminate the need to replat the section.

City Administrator Prafke questioned why Delaney Street was recommended as the street name.  Wille reported the Planning Commission has adopted a list of proposed street names that are based on historical residents of Saint Peter.  Wille indicated Mr. Delaney was the second Postmaster in Saint Peter and served as County Auditor in the late 1800’s.

Councilmember Kvamme also noted that section 1P1 of the plat would be used for stormwater.  Domras confirmed that it would.

In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2013-41 entitled “Resolution Approving City of Saint Peter Road Right-Of-Way Plat No. 2“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-41 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Ewing Street Vacation Request Public Hearing – Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to proceed with a request to vacate the portion of Ewing Street between the north-south alley in Block 237, Skaro and Evenson’s Addition and the Washington Avenue right-of-way.  Wille reported the street vacation had previously been discussed by the Council in January of 1970, however the Mayor at that time refused to sign the vacation and the Council action was never recorded.  Wille noted that all City records and actions by staff were done under the assumption the roadway was vacated and the City Attorney felt the best way to handle the issue was to begin the process anew.  Councilmembers Carlin and Brand questioned why the other half of the roadway was not being vacated at the same time.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the City was only petitioned to vacate half of the road and could not do the other half without a petition from the affected property owners. 

Wille indicated the next step in the process was for the City Council to schedule a public hearing and recommended the hearing be conducted on April 22, 2013.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2013-42 entitled “Resolution Calling For Public Hearing Regarding Proposed Vacation Of That Portion of Ewing Street Lying Between The North-South Alley In Block 27, Skaro And Evenson Addition And The North Washington Avenue Right-Of-Way“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-42 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Rain Barrel Program Continuation – Water Utilities Superintendent Moulton presented Public Works Director Giesking’s recommendation to continue the rain barrel program in 2013 with funding in the amount of $2,000 from the stormwater fund and a second option to purchase rain barrel kits with a $10 rebate.  Councilmembers expressed their opinion that the program had been very successful in 2012.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-43 entitled “Resolution Establishing Rain Barrel Program And Establishing Funding For Rebate Program“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-43 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Air Pollution Control Equipment Bid Rejection – Public Works Director Giesking recommended the lone bid received from Farabee Mechanical for the provision of air pollution control equipment for the electric generation plant be rejected for failure to meet bid specifications.  Giesking reminded Councilmembers that the equipment was required under EPA regulations to be installed by May 3, 2013 and staff had filed a request for a one year extension that was expected to be granted.  City Administrator Prafke noted that the EPA regulations were finalized in January and everyone with similar equipment was rushing to install the equipment causing a shortage of vendors to do the job.  Giesking indicated the project would be re-bid.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-44 entitled “Resolution Rejecting Bid For Furnishing Air Pollution Control Equipment For A Project At The Broadway Generation Plant“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-44 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Unbudgeted Purchase:  Replacement Boiler – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval be provided for the unbudgeted purchase of a replacement boiler for the Library.  Prafke indicated one of two boilers at the Library was leaking and unrepairable and quotes were received for replacement.  Prafke recommended the low quote from Thermodynamics in the amount of $9,550 be accepted.  Councilmember Zieman and Mayor Strand asked why the boiler only lasted 10-11 years and questioned the wisdom of purchasing the same brand of boiler.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2013-45 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Unbudgeted Purchase Of Replacement Boiler For Library“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Brand, Carlin, Eichmann, Kvamme and Mayor Strand voting aye, Councilmember Zieman voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2013-45 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Reports

Mayor Strand thanked Councilmember Pfeifer for serving as Mayor pro tem during his recent vacation.

Mayor’s Reports - Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included the St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration in Saint Peter.

American Public Power Association Rally –  Councilmembers Kvamme, Eichmann, and Carlin and Public Works Director Giesking provided reports on their recent trip to Washington, D.C. for the American Public Power Association legislative rally.

City/School District #508 Meeting – City Administrator Prafke reported the March 28th meeting had been rescheduled for April 4th to avoid a conflict with the Economic Development Authority meeting.

Goal Session – City Administrator Prafke reminded everyone the Council goal session was scheduled for Monday, April 1st at 3:00 p.m. and there would be no Council workshop that evening.

Councilmember Brand reported that the Tourism and Visitors Bureau held its’ first meeting with new Chamber Director Ed Lee and the Board learned that two grant recipients from 2012 had not completed their paperwork requirements and would not receive the remaining 20% of their grant funds and that two other events in 2013 had missed the deadline to apply for grant funding.

Closed Session – Real Estate Acquisition Negotiations – City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session to discuss real estate purchase negotiations as allowed under State law.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2013-46 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. 2013-46 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

The Council adjourned to closed session at 8:29 p.m.

The Council returned to open session at 8:35 p.m. at which time Councilmember Carlin left the meeting.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Eichmann, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.