Minutes of the May 14, 2012 City Council Meeting

Date: 
May 14, 2012

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 14, 2012.

A quorum present, Mayor pro tem Carlin called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Carlin, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Eichmann, Zieman, and Brand.  Absent was 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 Zieman, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Public Hearing:  Rental Certificate  212-214 South Minnesota Avenue  -  Mayor pro tem Carlin opened the public hearing at 7:02 p.m.  City Attorney Brandt stated the hearing had been scheduled due to violations of City Code Section 10-108 regarding rental certification of the property owned by Kasota Properties LLC at 212-214 South Minnesota Avenue.  Brandt indicated the violations were failure to obtain a residential rental certification for the property; failure to arrange for inspections by the City Building Department for health and safety issues; and failure to address violations by tenants of nuisance and noise complaints as evidenced by reports from the Saint Peter Police Department.  City Building Official Dean Busse addressed the Council to review the history of several unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with the property owner to discuss abatement of the violations including a letter that was sent to Kasota Properties after the first noise violation on October 22, 2011; subsequent phone calls to the property owner; an additional letter on February 17, 2012 after a public nuisance and unlawful assembly violation by the tenants; and a certified letter regarding a failure by the property owner to renew the rental certification for the property.  Busse indicated that the property owner did not respond to any of staff’s attempts to contact him until he was served with notice by the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Department on March 14, 2012.  Busse also reported that the Police Department had served notice to abate exterior nuisances on the property including unlicensed vehicles, tires, refuse containers being placed on neighboring properties.  Busse noted that some of those items had been cleaned up.

Andrew Tatge, attorney with Gislason & Hunter, appeared on behalf of Kasota Properties.  Mr. Tatge also appeared with Terri Goebel of Coldwell Banker Commercial Fisher Group, the company hired to serve as property manager for the rental property.  Tatge claimed the March 14, 2012 notice was the first notice received by the property owner regarding the violations and Mr. Olson had immediately sent in a check for $720 for the rental certificate and late fees.  Tatge stated his client was working with the City to remedy the issues identified and most of the items on the notice to abate had been completed.  Ms. Goebel stated she had been hired on May 1st and had just recently been provided with the list of items identified by the City Building Inspector as needing to be addressed and most of the items has been corrected.  Goebel stated she was waiting to hear from contractors as to whether the doors and windows needed to be replaced or if they could be repaired and indicated that if replacement was necessary it could take six weeks or more to receive the materials. She also indicated that the property owner may consider adding siding to the building at great expense.  Tatge indicated the payment of the $720 showed his client’s intent to resolve the issue and move forward; that they were working to evict the “trouble” person; had revised leases with language suggested by the City Attorney and his client was undergoing great expense to resolve the issues.  Tatge suggested that the City Code did not provide for implementation of a fine on his client for City administrative costs and suggested the Council take no action on the proposed resolution and allow Kasota Properties time to complete the remaining issues and then the Council should dismiss the action completely.  Tatge asked to have the petition dismissed and indicated the issues did not set a precedence for Kasota Properties and his client had “learned their lesson”.

City Attorney Brandt asked Tatge if he would acknowledge receipt of the February 29, 2012 letter from the City of Saint Peter.  Tatge indicated he could not do so.  Brandt asked if the property owner had applied for a rental certificate.  Tatge indicated he was unaware if the application had been completed.  Brandt stated that the property owner had simply sent in funds but even after one more month had done nothing further to get the property certified and Brandt offered that if the property owner had responded and followed through with the rental certification process, the City Council would not be taking the proposed action.

Tatge suggested that the Council look forward and not at past issues.  City Administrator Prafke stated that the property has not yet even been scheduled for an inspection and all the preliminary work to indicate to the property owner what would need to be abated before a rental inspection was completed did not provide for a rental certificate to be issued.

Councilmembers questioned what would happen if the resolution was adopted.  Prafke indicated Kasota Properties would then have thirty days to apply for a rental certificate, schedule an inspection, pass the inspection and pay the fine and if all that occurred before the thirty day timeline, the issue would be resolved.  Prafke cautioned that if the issues weren’t resolved in the thirty day timeline, the City could take additional action or move the violation to District Court.

Councilmember Kvamme questioned whether the property owner and Fisher Group were aware of the need for Heritage Preservation Commission approval for exterior and window replacements as the property is located in the Heritage Preservation District.  Goebel indicated she was unaware of that requirement.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was declared closed at 7:30 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Pfeifer, to approve the minutes of the April 23, 2012 regular City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the April 23, 2012 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18.

A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, to approve the minutes of the April 24, 2012 Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the April 24, 2012 Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2012-56 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  Councilmember Brand questioned the purchase of B & L Utility for painting City utility boxes.  Public Works Director Giesking indicated the painting is done every 20 years or so and 54 of the boxes were starting to rust.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-56 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.

Rental License Requirements:  212-214 South Minnesota Avenue –  City Administrator Prafke asked for a modification to the fine amount contained in the resolution and indicated the correct amount should be $3,302.86.  Councilmember Kvamme requested change to language in the resolution to better clarify that it is “…unlawful for any person to occupy or allow to be occupied the residential rental property….”  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Eichmann, Resolution No. 2012-57 entitled “Resolution Establishing Requirement For Receipt Of Rental Certificate By Kasota Properties LLC“, was introduced with the two requested modifications.  Councilmembers questioned whether the language of the resolution meant that no one was allowed to live in the building at this time.  Prafke stated the people who are tenants at this time can continue to live there, but the property owner was not allowed to rent any of the other apartments until the issues are solved and they can pass inspection.  Prafke also suggested that the property owner not rent any more units until the exterior water penetration issues are resolved.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Zieman, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin and Eichmann voting aye, Councilmember Brand voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-57 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Water Tower Bond Sale Authorization –   Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates addressed the Council to recommend approval be provided for competitive negotiated sale of $745,000 in general obligation water revenue bonds to finance maintenance work at the Greenhill Water Tower.  Sweeney recommended applying for the Credit Enhancement Program from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority which would utilize the State’s credit rating to receive lower interest rates and less costly issuance costs for the bond issuance.  Sweeney also noted repayment of the bond would be over ten years with equal annual payments expected to be $74,000 and estimated the interest rate on the issuance would be approximately 2.2%.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Pfeifer, Resolution No. 2012-58 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Competitive Negotiated Sale Of $745,000 General Obligation Water Revenue Bonds, Series 2012C“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-58 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Fire Truck Bid Request – Fire Chief Quade and Fire Department Maintenance Engineer Neary appeared before the Council to request authorization to receive bids for the purchase of a replacement pumper truck for the Fire Department.  Quade indicated the Department’s truck committee had developed specifications for the new truck and chassis which would provide for a truck that was very similar to the current fleet. Quade indicated the current 1978 Ford Pumper Truck (#501) worked well, but had pumping capabilities slightly below the minimum requirements for certification as a fire pumper.   Quade also reported the Department expected two or three companies within 100 miles of Saint Peter would bid on the truck and it would be delivered in early 2013.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the truck, with an estimated cost of between $500,000-$550,000, would be funded by a special equipment certificate.  Councilmember Kvamme asked if the specifications requiring a Peterbuilt chassis and Waterous pumps and other company specific items would eliminate bidders from participating in the bid process.  Quade indicated that the products are available to all companies to include in their bids and no one would be eliminated as the specifications are currently written.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Eichmann, Resolution No. 2012-59 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Receipt Of Bids For Pumper Truck Purchase For Fire Department“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-59 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Fire Department Tracked Vehicle Purchase –  Fire Chief Quade also requested authorization for the purchase of a Ranger Tracked vehicle to be used for fire suppression of peat and grass areas.  Quade indicated the equipment purchase would be funded with an $8,000 grant from the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department; a five year, 0% loan in the amount of $9,000 from the City  to be repaid with bingo receipts from the American Legion and Red Men Club; and $13,452.46 in unbudgeted funds from the Fire Department budget.  Quade also noted that the vehicle must be purchased by June 1st to qualify for the grant funds.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2012-60 entitled “Resolution Approving Purchase Of Tracked Vehicle For Fire Department Use“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-60 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

City Assistance Request:  Livestock –  City Administrator Prafke reviewed the request by the organizers of Livestock for City assistance for their event to be held in Minnesota Square Park on June 2nd.  Prafke recommended approval of their requests with the exception of the request for assistance for the 5K fun run which has not been provided in previous years.   In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Pfeifer, Resolution No. 2012-61 entitled “Resolution Approving Request For City Assistance For Livestock Event“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-61 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

2012 Street Maintenance Plan –  Public Works Director Giesking requested approval for the 2012 street maintenance plan in the amount of $315,480.  Giesking noted that asphalt and other material costs had doubled in the last five years while the street maintenance budget was continually being reduced.  Giesking also pointed out that the plan for 2012 did not include crack sealing due to the mild winter and the funds originally planned to be used for crack sealing would be used for asphalt patching and seal coating.  Councilmembers questioned how long the work would take and Giesking indicated the goal was for completion by early August. In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Pfeifer, Resolution No. 2012-62 entitled “Resolution Approving Revised Street Maintenance Program For 2012“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-62 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Construction Standards – Public Works Director Giesking reported the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been modified which resulted in the need for changes to the City’s construction standards to ensure compliance with ADA regulations.  Giesking also recommended the adoption of one new standard for concrete trails.  Giesking pointed out that all handicap ramps in the community had been completed and were in compliance with 2011 ADA standards and as repairs or replacements are needed, they would be constructed to the 2012 standards. In motion by Brand, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2012-63 entitled “Resolution Adopting Revised Construction Standards“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-63 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Business License Application –  City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a Tobacco License application submitted by Family Dollar Inc.  Prafke noted the background investigation had revealed nothing that would prohibit issuance of the license.  In motion by Eichmann, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2012-64 entitled “Resolution Approving Business License“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-64 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

 

Reports

Mayor's Task Force Meeting Discussion – City Administrator Prafke and Councilmembers reported the first Mayor's Task Force meeting had resulted in good discussion.  Councilmember Kvamme reported the participants were very engaged in the discussion.  Prafke indicated information from the Mayor's Task Force would be included on the Minnesota Square Park Facebook page and information would be distributed to Task Force members before the next meeting which was scheduled for May 30th.

 

There being no further business, a motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, to adjourn the meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.