City Council Meeting Minutes - May 27, 2014

Date: 
May 27, 2014

 MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

MAY 27, 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 May 27, 2014.

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

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Zieman, seconded by Parras, 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 May 12, 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 May 12, 2014 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

Visitors – Ricky Toumala, 908 Menk Drive, addressed the Council to express his displeasure at truckers using “jake brakes” along Highway 99.  Toumala indicated MnDOT had removed the jake braking sign and asked the Council to put up a new sign showing jake braking is not allowed.  City Administrator Prafke indicated staff would review his concern and report back to the Council.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Parras, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2014-74 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced. Councilmember Zieman expressed concerns about the Temporary Dance License for the Red Men Club and noise levels and complaints received in 2013 for the Red Men Fourth of July outdoor dance.  Zieman asked that staff take steps to ensure he does not receive complaints this year.  City Administrator Prafke indicated he would visit with the Red Men Club officials again.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-74 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) Resolution of Support – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a request from Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) for a resolution of support for their project to purchase the Maplewood Apartment complex in Saint Peter and for the City to serve as grantee for SWMHP’s Small Cities Development Program grant application.  Prafke indicated the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency had asked SWMHP to purchase the property after the current owners indicated their intent to withdraw from the USDA Rural Development 515 program which would allow the current rents in the building to revert to market rate. 

SWMHP Executive Director Rick Goodemann indicated SWMHP would provide over $1.2 million in upgrades to the property and the purchase price was based on an appraisal.  Goodemann also indicated the funding for the project would be from the low income tax credits program and the application was due on June 10th.

Councilmember Zieman expressed his concerns about the high price of the property and made a motion to table action until the Council could have additional discussion on the request.  Zieman stated he felt it might be more appropriate to let the free market dictate the purchase price and future use of the building.  Zieman moved to table action on the proposed resolution until the Council could have discussion at a workshop session.

Councilmember Brand quoted from a Minnesota Public Radio article that indicted there was a crisis in affordable housing and indicated he was supportive of the SWMHP proposal which he felt was good for the community.

Councilmember Parras stated he felt the Council needed to be good stewards of tax dollars even if local taxes weren’t being spent on the project and the Council should always ask questions.

Councilmember Grams questioned information that had been provided indicating the “median” rent was $1,611 per month.  Goodemann indicated that figure had been provided by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for the census tract that included Maplewood Apartments.

Councilmember Parras seconded the motion made by Zieman to table action until further Council discussion.  With Councilmembers Zieman, Parras and Grams voting aye, Councilmember Brand and Mayor Strand voting nay, the motion carried and action was tabled until further Council discussion at a workshop session.

School District #508 Memorandum Of Understanding – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval be provided for execution of a renewal memorandum of understanding with School District #508 that would require the City to continue to administer several youth programs for the District for which the District would pay the City $10,200.  Prafke noted that although the agreement had been in place for a number of years following a State funding cut that left the District unable to provide the programs, should School funding be cut even further, it might put the City in the position of having to discontinue the programming or subsidize the School’s programming. In motion by Brand, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2014-75 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Youth Development Memorandum Of Understanding”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-75 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Hazardous Building Action – City Attorney Brandt presented a proposed resolution that would order the removal or repair of the hazardous building located at 214 South Minnesota Avenue.   Brandt indicated the resolution was the next step in abating the hazardous structure and it was preceded by an inspection by a structural engineer.  Brandt also noted that a contractor had also evaluated the building and determined it was so hazardous he would not allow his crew to enter the structure.  Community Development Director Wille provided information on the process to be followed including his belief that the property owner would submit a demolition permit within days after Council action and the permit would be denied until the completion of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet process was completed which would include a 30 day comment period.  Wille noted the EAW process would be followed by the Heritage Preservation Commission being asked to take action to approve demolition of the structure.  Wille noted the entire process should be completed by the end of July.

In motion by Grams, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-76 entitled “Resolution Ordering Repair Or Removal Of Hazardous Conditions Located At 214 South Minnesota Avenue, Saint Peter, Minnesota”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-76 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included participating in the Memorial Day ceremony at Minnesota Square Park.

SMMPA Update – Due to Public Works Director Giesking’s absence, the SMMPA report was delayed.

Consumer Confidence Report – City Administrator Prafke reported the annual consumer confidence report on the City’s water quality has been issued and is available on the City’s website or at City Hall or Public Works.

Family Pool Passes – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public that family pool passes are only $35.  Prafke also noted the pool will open on June 7th at 1:00 p.m. and admission is free on opening day.

Executive Session:  Land Purchase Negotiations (213 West Nassau Street) – City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session to discuss land purchase negotiations for the property at 213 West Nassau Street as allowed under State law.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2014-77 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. 2014-77 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

The Council adjourned to closed session at 7:49 p.m. in the Governors' Room.  (Note…the original action called for the closed session to take place in the Traverse des Sioux room, however the Council remained in the Governors’ Room.)

The Council returned to open session at 7:59 p.m.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Brand, seconded by Grams, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m.