City Council Meeting Minutes of June 8, 20156

June 8, 2015



JUNE 8, 2015

 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 June 8, 2015.

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

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

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Parras, seconded by Zieman, to approve the minutes of the May 26, 2015 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 26, 2015 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Visitors – Mayor Strand introduced CenterPoint Energy representative Barry Hager.  Mr. Hager presented a check for $2,500 to Fire Chief Quade from CenterPoint’s Community Partnership Grant Program to be used for purchase of a thermal imaging camera and replacement tanks for the Fire Department.  Mr. Hager indicated the grant program has awarded over $1.38 million dollars for over 700 safety projects and programs in communities served by CenterPoint Energy.  Chief Quade thanked Mr. Hager and CenterPoint Energy for their support of the Fire Department’s safety needs and their continued partnership with the Saint Peter community.  Mayor Strand also expressed the City Council’s appreciation for the grant funds and the company’s continued support in Saint Peter.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-81 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  With all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-81 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

2006B Electric Revenue Bond Refinancing – Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates appeared before the City Council to recommend acceptance of the lowest cost bid submitted by Piper Jaffray for $3,540,000 in electric revenue refunding bonds with a net interest rate of 2.7959%.  Sweeney noted that only one of the two electric revenue bonds (2010C and 2006B) for which the City Council had authorized refunding had been sold due to changes in the market place following Council approval for the action and there no longer being enough savings to justify refunding of the 2006B bonds. Sweeney reported five bids had been received ranging in net interest cost of $637,855 to $748,778.13 which showed purchasers had a lot of interest in the City’s issuance.  Sweeney also reported the lowest cost proposal would save $223,764 (net of issuance costs discounted) over the remaining life of the bonds and that Moody’s had affirmed the A3 bond rating which has been in place on City electric bonds for a number of years.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2015-82 entitled “Resolution Relating To $3,565,000 Electric Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2015A, Authorizing The Issuance, Awarding The Sale, Fixing The Form And Details, Providing For The Execution And Delivery Thereof And Security Therefor”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-82 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Hallett’s Landing Apartment/Solace Project Support – City Administrator Prafke indicated Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership was requesting a letter of support for the Hallett’s Landing Apartments/Solace Project at 1000 North Third Street which would have included a commitment by the City to rezone the property and to establish a housing Tax Increment Financing district for the property.  Rick Goodemann of Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) and Sue Serbus, Nicollet County Social Services Supervisor, provided an overview of the revised project which would be located west of Shopko near Hallett’s Pond.  Goodemann indicated the revised project would be a 48 unit general occupancy housing facility with 10 units set aside for Drug Court participants.  Serbus reported the project had received push back from the Minnesota Department of Human Services over non-compliance with the Federal Olmstead Act which does not allow for a concentration of individuals with disabilities in any one corporate facility which would allow individual choice for housing options disabled persons.

Councilmember Zieman indicated he felt the revised project was “settling” and indicated while he did not approve of the previous location near the City’s Sunrise Water Tower, he was in favor of the Solace project.  Zieman asked if 30-40 units were previously needed for the Solace project and only ten units were being provided in the proposed building, would that mean three more buildings were needed?  Zieman indicated he would expect conflicts between the residents needing the services and those who did not when the population was mixed.  Goodemann replied that the counseling and other services would no longer be provided in-house in the revised project.

Councilmember Brand questioned how the mixed use being recommended would lead to a safe and secure environment for everyone involved and asked what the developers would do to ensure everyone’s safety.  Serbus indicated that Drug Court staff performs random checks on participants and that the Saint Peter Police Department has done an admirable job working with apartment owners to clean up problem properties.

Councilmember Parras expressed concerns that while the old model project provided controls for access to the building by non-residents of the tenants, the revised project did not.  Parras also questioned what guarantees the Council would have that the developers wouldn’t revert more of the general occupancy units to drug court units.  Goodemann indicated that the project would not be financially feasible if more of the general occupancy units were converted to Solace use and the investors were guaranteed 15 years before any changes could be made to the facility.

Councilmember Kvamme reminded everyone that drug court participants are already living in Saint Peter and any problems they might be causing were already being dealt with.  Kvamme indicated he felt the project was a very positive step.

A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, to approve a resolution entitled “Resolution Supporting Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership Proposed Hallett’s Landing Apartments/Solace Project”.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Kvamme, Carlin, and Mayor Strand voting aye; Councilmembers Grams, Zieman, Brand and Parras voting nay, the Resolution was defeated.

City Council Wage Modification – City Administrator Prafke presented a draft ordinance that would provide for a wage increase for City Councilmembers effective January 1, 2016.  Prafke noted that the Mayor’s wage would increase to $8,000 per year and the Councilmember’s wages would be 75% of the Mayor’s wage.  Prafke also noted that as per State law, the wage increase could not take effect until January 1st following a general election.  Mayor Strand stated that although the percentage increase was quite large, the dollar amount of the increase was not much.  Councilmember Carlin expressed her belief that the provision for a $25 payment per special meeting was unneeded as special meetings occur so infrequently.   In motion by Carlin, seconded by Zieman, Ordinance No. 20, Third Series entitled “An Ordinance Amending Saint Peter City Code Section 2-32 Entitled ‘Salaries Of Mayor And Councilmembers’ And Adopting By Reference Saint Peter City Code Chapter 1 And Section 1-6, Which, Among Other Things, Contain Penalty Provisions”, was introduced with Subdivision 2 (special meetings) being removed from the language.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Ordinance was declared passed and adopted as modified.  A complete copy of Ordinance No. 20, Third Series is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Ordinances 2. 


Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included attending  Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities board meeting and the tour of the Arts Center of Saint Peter taken by the City Council at the last workshop.

Arts Center Tour Recap – City Administrator Prafke indicated he would not be recapping the Arts Center tour as the Mayor had already reported on the same.

Councilmember Grams expressed appreciation for the new base materials installed by the City at the TREEmendous playground.  City Administrator Prafke noted two volunteer groups would be working in the near future to repaint and reseal the playground.

Closed Session:  Land Purchase Negotiations –  City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session for discussion of land purchase negotiations for future development as allowed under State Statute.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2015-83 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. 2015-83 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.  Mayor Strand noted the closed session would take place in the Traverse des Sioux Room of the Community Center and the meeting would be adjourned following that closed session.

The Council adjourned to closed session in the Traverse des Sioux Room at 8:02 p.m. to discuss land purchase negotiations for future development. The Council returned to open session at 8:19 p.m.

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 8:20 p.m.