Minutes of the City Council Meeting

Date: 
April 23, 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 April 23, 2012.

A quorum present, Mayor Strand called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Carlin, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Eichmann, Zieman, Brand, 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 Carlin, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Eichmann, to approve the minutes of the April 9, 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 9, 2012 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 18.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2012-52 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. 2012-52 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19.

Blighted Housing Program Extension –  City Administrator Prafke recommended that the deadline for receipt of applications for the Blighted Housing Program, which was originally slated to end in June, be extended to December 31, 2012.  Prafke indicated there would be no other changes to the program and no additional funding allocated.  Prafke also noted that the funds allocated for rehabilitation had been expended and only demolition funding remains.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2012-53 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Extension Of Blighted Housing Program“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-53 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Sunrise Substation Utility Bill Payment –  Public Works Director Giesking requested authorization for Change Order #1 for the Sunrise Substation Project which would allow the City to pay the utility bill for the structure beginning September 1, 2011.  Giesking indicated the construction was completed by Hooper Construction on August 31, 2011, but they were unable to energize the substation because the transformer originally ordered for the project was diverted to the Front Street substation when a transformer failed.  Giesking also indicated there was a delay in Century Link installing the required phone line to the substation and that left Hooper unable to complete the project last fall which led to the recommendation for the City to pay the utility bill in the amount of $2,812.52.  City Administrator Prafke suggested the resolution be modified to indicate approval of a project change order rather than just authorization to pay the utility bill.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Pfeifer, Resolution No. 2012-54 entitled “Resolution Approving Change Order #1 For The Sunrise Electrical Substation Project“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-54 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

Traffic Study Request – Public Works Director Giesking requested authorization for Bolton and Menk, Inc. to prepare a traffic study of the intersections of Union Street with Highway 169 and Union Street with Old Minnesota Avenue for a not to exceed fee of $24,400.  Giesking indicated the study was requested by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) as part of an effort to find a solution to correct the intersections to make them safer.  Giesking noted that the intersections have unique issues because of the elevation difference between Highway 169 and Old Minnesota Avenue.  Giesking pointed out that there is concern related to traffic backup on the Highway and having the appropriate “holding” lanes on both roadways.  Giesking stated the traffic study would include all thru and turning traffic in all directions including the intersection of Old Minnesota Avenue and West St. Julien Street and, because access to the fairgrounds on Union Street is important, the study would also be conducted at a time when there was an event at the Fairgrounds.  Giesking reported that once the study is completed and a solution is developed based on the study results, a meeting would be scheduled with property owners in the area.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2012-55 entitled “Resolution Authorizing A Traffic Study At The Union Street/Highway 169 Intersection“, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2012-55 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 19. 

 

Reports

Mayor’s Reports – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included attending Region Nine Development Commission meetings, the Council goal session, a tour of the community with MHFA Commissioner Tingerthal, a Sister City committee meeting, a League of Minnesota Cities board meeting, a Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities board meeting, and attending the retirement party of Gustavus Adolphus College employee Sandy Grochow who retired after 48 years at the College.

City/School/Gustavus Meeting Discussion – Councilmember Brand reported on discussion at the City/School/Gustavus meeting which included student housing off campus; recreation fields; a community recreation center; performing arts space; theater; funding for facilities not owned by the organization; demographics; problems with the School District diving pit; a task force for facility development; child care issues; including the Hispanic population in sports organizations; and hiring a truancy officer for the School District.

Council Goal Session Discussion – City Administrator Prafke indicated the Council goal session discussion included long term planning and shared facilities.  Councilmember Kvamme indicated the sandwiches the Council had for dinner from Jake’s Pizza were outstanding.

City/County Meeting Discussion – Councilmember Eichmann reported discussion at the City/County meeting included a lot of cooperative efforts and the regular list of discussion topics.

North Field Development Meeting – Public Works Director Giesking reported six area residents attended the meeting at North Intermediate School regarding additional development of the baseball field at the school. Giesking indicated the property owners were concerned about the location of a portable toilet.  Giesking informed the Council the work should be able to start the first week of June with financing being provided by the St. Peter Baseball Association and work by the Public Works Department.  Giesking also noted that improvements to the field would allow actual games to be played there and not just practices.

Board of Appeals and Equalization Meeting – City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers of the Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting scheduled for April 24th at 6:00 p.m. at the Nicollet County Government Center.

Mayor's Task Force Meeting – City Administrator Prafke also reminded Councilmembers that the first meeting of the Mayor's Task Force on the Minnesota Square Park pavilion was at 6:00 p.m. on April 25th in the Senior Center.

Councilmember Kvamme asked about progress on the dog park and when it was expected to open.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the fencing purchase had been authorized by the Council and work was being done in the area.  Public Works Director Giesking reported staff was waiting for Le Sueur county approval for signage and layout, and the park may be open by May.

Councilmember Carlin noted that a program would be provided at the Traverse des Sioux History Center on May 6th from 4-8 pm about the Sister City Program and the recent Gustavus trip to Petatlan.

Councilmember Brand asked if the Arbor Day tree planting ceremony was still happening.  City Administrator Prafke indicated it would be at the Mill Pond on Friday (Arbor Day) and City Forestry staff would assist local Girl Scouts in planting a tree.

Public Works Director Giesking provided information on electrical work being done in the community by Excel Energy, GRE and SMMPA to energize the new underground transmission line on the west side of the community and to begin switching some load to the line by the end of the week.  City Administrator Prafke stated the new line would provide improved redundancy and reliability for the City’s electric system.

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 7:51 p.m.