City Council Minutes of July 14, 2014 Regular Meeting

Date: 
July 14, 2014

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JULY 14, 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 July 14, 2014.

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

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

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Brand, seconded by Kvamme, to approve the minutes of the June 23, 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 June 23, 2014 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Zieman, to approve the minutes of the June 30, 2014 special City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the June 30, 2014 special City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18. 

Visitors – Bob Lambert, chairperson of the Veteran’s Memorial Committee, addressed the Council and read a prepared statement regarding the work of the Committee and their request to construct a Veteran’s Memorial in the northeast corner of Minnesota Square Park.  Lambert indicated the final recommendation for the memorial was one-third the size of the original plan (3,600 square feet) which was previously presented to the Council had originally rejected.

Eric Oleson and Eric Sahnow of Oleson and Hobbie architects reviewed the details of the proposal which will represent all six branches of the military and the names of those within a ten (10) miles radius of St. Peter who lost their lives in service.  Sahnow reported the reduced size of the memorial would encompass .07% of the total park area and would include a public art piece symbolizing freedom that would be commissioned at a later date.  Sahnow indicated the memorial would be constructed of durable, low maintenance and vandal resistant materials utilizing Kasota stone, New Ulm Artstone, and Cold Spring granite at an estimated construction cost of $486,000.  Sahnow also indicated the Committee would continue fundraising efforts to create an ongoing maintenance fund for the memorial.

City Administrator Prafke indicated the Council had several options available including putting the request on a future Council agenda, discussing at workshop; creating a committee to consider the request and the location; doing nothing; or even taking a voice vote.

Eric Thomas, Commander of American Legion Post #37, expressed his belief that the public knows very little about veterans and construction of the memorial would provide an educational opportunity for local youth who will be able to learn more about war and better appreciate veterans.

Keith Keogh, 718 North Seventh Street, suggested the Council ask other groups like the Ambassadors and the Chamber what they think about the Memorial in order to help the Council make a decision.  Keogh also complimented City employees on their efforts in keeping City streets fixed and in good condition.

Councilmembers discussed involving others in the decision and Councilmember Kvamme asked that discussion on whether to involve others be scheduled for the next workshop.  Mayor Strand indicated City Administrator Prafke would be on vacation during the next workshop and directed Prafke to schedule the discussion for the workshop following his return.

Bruce Frey, 1103 South Washington Avenue, citing the fact that the Veteran’s in the room were not getting any younger, encouraged the Council to make a decision in the near future.

Dave Johnson, 1419 Winona Street, questioned whether the discussion at a future workshop would be open to the public and how the group would find out when it is scheduled.  City Administrator Prafke indicated workshop sessions of the Council are public and the agendas are posted on the City’s website the Friday before the meeting.  Prafke also noted he would be in touch with Chairperson Lambert about the schedule.

Mayor Strand declared a recess at 7:37 p.m. to allow the large contingent of Veterans in attendance to exit the meeting room.  The meeting resumed at 7:40 p.m.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Grams, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-99 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. 2014-99 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

2013 Equipment Certificate Purchase – Police Chief Peters requested authorization to purchase replacement TASERS for the Police Department to be funded by the 2013 Equipment Certificate.  Peters reported the manufacturing company had ended support (i.e. the Company’s liability insurance would no longer cover the equipment) for the TASERS and they need to be replaced and the existing models returned to the company to be destroyed.   Peters reported staff had been informed TASER would be discontinuing the models and that’s why money was budgeted in the 2013 Equipment Certificate, however, the company had extended the deadline to the end of 2014.  Peters provided additional information to the Council on how TASERS are used by Officers, how often Saint Peter Officers deploy their Tasers, and how information concerning use of a TASER is tracked through software in the unit.  A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, to introduce Resolution No. 2014-100 entitled “Resolution Approving 2013 Equipment Certificate Purchase”, with the addition of language specifying the purchase also includes a data port download kit.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as amended.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-100 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

MS/GS Enterprises Revolving Loan Modification – Community Development Director Wille presented the Economic Development Authority (EDA) recommendation for approval of a request by MS/GS Enterprises to modify the terms of their revolving loan by extending the balloon payment date.  Wille indicated the EDA recommendation was to extend the deadline to June 18, 2016 and to reduce the interest rate from 6.5% to 4.5% while keeping the monthly payments the same which would allow the loan to be paid off faster.  Wille noted MS/GS was current on all obligations to the City and all payments had been made on time.

Councilmember Parras questioned if a request for another extension would be made in 2016.  Wille expressed his opinion that it was possible, but noted that MS/GS and the businesses being housed in the building at 907 North Swift Street (Exceed Packaging and Chippewa Packaging), had made an exceptional recovery with significant improvement in their financial situation since the recession.  Councilmember Kvamme noted the two year extension was being recommended by the EDA because the applicant’s bank had indicated they would be willing to revisit possible refinancing of the bank debt in two years.   In motion by Zieman, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2014-101 entitled “Resolution Modifying The Terms Of A $250,000 Revolving Loan Previously Provided To Mark And Geri Steele (MS/GS Enterprises)”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-101 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Stelter Revolving Loan Applications – Community Development Director Wille presented the Economic Development Authority recommendation for approval of a $5,000 façade renovation loan at 0% interest over five years and a $20,000 conventional revolving loan at 3% interest amortized over 10 years with a balloon payment at five years, for Keith and Carrie Stelter who are purchasing and renovating the property at 213 South Minnesota Avenue to open a fair trade goods and fine chocolates retail business.  Wille reviewed the total financing package for the project which included 70.5% from Nicollet County Bank, 17.7% of owner financing, and 11.7% of City loan funds.  Wille also noted the Heritage Preservation Commission had approved the proposed façade renovations.  Councilmember Grams asked for additional information on the façade renovation loan program.  Wille indicated the fund was developed as an incentive for downtown property owners to renovate their buildings to make the structures more in line with the original historic appearance.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-102 entitled “Resolution Approving $5,000 Façade Enhancement Revolving Loan To Keith And Carrie Stelter To Partially Finance The Exterior Façade Renovation Of 213 South Minnesota Avenue”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-102 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-103 entitled “Resolution Approving $20,000 Revolving Loan To Keith And Carrie Stelter To Partially Finance the Acquisition Of Fixtures And Furnishings For ‘The Fair Emporium’ (213 South Minnesota Avenue)”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-103 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

City Assistance Request:  The Ride Across Minnesota (TRAM) – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a request for City assistance for The Ride Across Minnesota (TRAM) which is a fundraising activity involving approximately 1,000 bicyclists who will be overnighting in Minnesota Square Park as part of this year’s event.  Chamber Director Ed Lee stated TRAM is a great opportunity to showcase the Saint Peter community.  Prafke noted the public was invited to the park for the event which would include music and food vendors.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-104 entitled “Resolution Approving City Assistance For The Ride Across America (TRAM)”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-104 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

City Assistance Request:  Rock Bend Folk Festival – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a request for City assistance for the Rock Bend Folk Festival in Minnesota Square Park in September.  Prafke reviewed the requested assistance which was outlined in the proposed resolution.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2014-105 entitled “Resolution Approving 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. 2014-105 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Public Infrastructure Improvement Acceptance – Public Works Director Giesking recommended acceptance of the wastewater main extension constructed by Michael and Julie Drummer in Orchard Ridge Subdivision and acceptance of a twenty foot (20’) utility easement that will allow for future repairs to the main.  City Administrator Prafke indicated private construction of similar public improvements have been accepted by the City as long as the improvement met City standards and staff had inspected and approved the project.  A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, to introduce Resolution No. 2014-106 entitled “Resolution Accepting Sanitary Sewer Main Extension And Easement Constructed By Drummer Development In Orchard Ridge Subdivision”, with corrections to change every reference of the phrase “sanitary sewer main” to “wastewater main” as Kvamme felt “sanitary sewer” was an antiquated phrase.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as amended.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-106 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Business License Applications – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of the business license application for a tree worker and temporary licenses for a barbeque event that had been relocated to Saint Peter earlier in the month after flooding in a North Mankato park prevented the event from occurring in the original location.   In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-107 entitled “Resolution Approving New Business License Applications”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-107 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Unbudgeted Electric Equipment Purchase –  Public Works Director Giesking requested authorization for the unbudgeted purchase of a 15kv vault switchgear system from WESCO Distribution in the amount of $45,958.  Giesking indicated the switchgear at the intersection of North Washington Avenue and David Street was creating sight line issues with traffic along the new Washington Avenue Link Project and the equipment, while planned for as part of the Project, was not eligible for Municipal State Aid or Federal funds being used for other parts of the project.  Giesking indicated the low bid pricing WESCO provided during a recent bid for similar equipment will be honored and funding is available in Electric Fund reserves.  Giesking also noted there is a long lead time for this type of equipment and delivery would not be made before the end of the year.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2014-108 entitled “Resolution Approving Unbudgeted Purchase Of Electric Vault Switchgear Equipment”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2014-108 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 attending a Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities board meeting; a Region Nine Development Commission budget meeting; the Council goal session; and a full weekend of Fourth of July and All School Reunion activities.

Mosquito Spraying – City Administrator Prafke reported that the City no longer has the capability to spray City-wide to control mosquitos and spraying is only done for certain community events during which people have the option of whether or not to attend.  Prafke suggested that individuals and families provide for personal protection if they so choose.

Councilmember Brand reported the Governor’s Civil War Commemoration Task Force and the Nicollet County Historical Society will host a remembrance event honoring Nicollet County’s Asgrim Skaro, Captain of Company D in the Ninth Minnesota Infantry, who lost his life leading a charge at the Battle of Nashville in Tennessee.  The event will be held at the Greenhill Cemetery on July 19th at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Brand, seconded by Zieman, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.