City Council Minutes of April 24, 2017

Date: 
April 24, 2017

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

APRIL 24, 2017

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 24, 2017.

A quorum present, Mayor Zieman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Grams, Brand, Carlin, Pfeifer, Parras, Kvamme, and Mayor Zieman.  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 Brand, seconded by Carlin, to approve the minutes of the April 10, 2017 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 10, 2017 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Public Hearing:  Rezoning Request 1115 South Minnesota Avenue – City Administrator Prafke provided an overview of the process adopted by the City Council for conducting public hearings.

Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on a request to rezone the property at 1115 South Minnesota Avenue at 7:03 p.m.  Community Development Director Wille provided an overview of the petition submitted by Raymond and Ramona Buttenhoff of 1115 South Minnesota Avenue (Lot 9, Block 194 Amended Plat), to rezone their property from RP-1 (Residential and Professional Office) to C-4 (Highway Service Commercial) to allow for sale of the property to be developed along with the former Mary’s Flowers property directly to the south.  Wille noted the Planning and Zoning Commission had reviewed the petition for compliance with the 2016 Comprehensive Plan and the Commission recommended approval.  Wille also reviewed the issues considered by the Planning Commission which included the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan, the amount of available land for commercial development, utility accessibility, traffic patterns, nearby land uses, location on high traffic streets oriented away from residential areas; and the aesthetics of the community and the Highway 169 corridor.  Wille also stated that during the 2009 Minnesota Avenue median project, the project advisory committees did not include a median in the area in question in anticipation of continued commercial use and development along South Minnesota Avenue.

Councilmember Parras arrived at 7:05 p.m.

Councilmember Kvamme stated his belief that the Comprehensive Plan also stipulates a need to preserve the residential properties along Highway 169 and encouraged staff to present both sides of the issue.  Wille noted that he was simply presenting the Planning Commission recommendation related to the requested rezoning.

Mayor Zieman read into a the record a letter submitted by Walter Janske of 104 Elm Street opposing the rezoning and expressing concerns about the project lowering the value of his home and trash generated by commercial properties.

Kelly Allen, 111 West Pine Street, indicated she had not received notice of the public hearing and questioned whether the rezoning would affect her property taxes and/or resale value.  Ms. Allen indicated she had purchased her home six months earlier and may not have bought the house if she knew a commercial property was being built adjacent to her home.  Mayor Zieman indicated that in similar situations the property value had not been impacted by rezoning and the City was unable to determine if property taxes would be impacted.  Allen questioned whether construction of a Dunkin Donuts was a “certain” if the rezoning was allowed, whether there would be a drive thru, and whether the developer would be required to put up a safety barrier at the alley.  Wille indicated that the City was unsure of any particular business being developed on the property and no site plan had been submitted.

Jim Halbur, 1258 Baker’s Bay Road, Kasota, addressed the City Council as a representative for the applicants.  Halbur indicated if the rezoning was approved the property owners would sell their property at higher than market value and encouraged the Council to rezone the 70’ parcel as a way to take something and make it better to be a brand new gateway into the City.  Halbur encouraged the Council to look at the benefits of the rezoning.

Chamber of Commerce Director Ed Lee addressed the Council to report the Chamber had received more positive comments about the rezoning than negative comments.

Jennifer Chelladuria, 1109 South Minnesota Avenue, stated her belief that the rezoning was already a “done deal” and proposed requiring the property owners to construct a privacy fence as she didn’t want to see a business when she looked out her window.  Chelladuria also encouraged use of some kind of barrier between the commercial area and where children play.  Mayor Zieman ensured Ms. Chelladuria that the rezoning was not a “done deal” and stated he had no idea how the Council would vote.

Kelly Henry, 516 South Third Street, addressed the Council as a new member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and expressed her belief that if the Commission members knew that the zoning was requested for construction of a Dunkin Donuts, they would have all voted “no”.  Henry expressed her belief that the gateway to the City should not be a strip mall.

There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda – City Administrator Prafke asked that the appointment of McKenzie McCann be removed from the consent agenda and stated another candidate’s name would be corrected by staff.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-63 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. 2017-63 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Rezoning Request:  1115 South Minnesota Avenue – Community Development Director Wille encouraged the City Council to provide the same consideration in the rezoning request as was provided in 1999 when the former Kind Vet Clinic was rezoned for Mary’s Flower’s directly south of the subject property.  Councilmember Kvamme questioned whether that meant the Council should approve every request by a non-conforming use.  City Administrator Prafke stated every request should be considered on its own merit.

Councilmember Parras asked what the vote was on the Planning Commission action.  Wille indicated the vote was 4-1 in favor of approval.  Councilmember Carlin indicated she had been told there was some confusion on the Planning Commission as to what the vote was with members thinking the final vote was 5-0 in favor of approval.

Councilmember Pfeifer stated his belief that if the City wanted to encourage new business in the community, those businesses must have somewhere to go.

Councilmember Carlin thanked those who spoke at the public hearing and those in attendance at the meeting.  Carlin also expressed her concern that future City Council’s will see approval of the rezoning request as a precedent causing further encroachment into the residential areas along the highway.  Carlin encouraged the Council to explore future options for how development would occur and look for ways to complement the aesthetics of the properties along the highway.

Councilmember Brand stated his belief that the Council should consider the future versus just the current situation and encouraged the Council to change the rules to prevent this situation from happening again.

Community Development Director Wille noted that in consultation with City Attorney Brandt, he had confirmed that State Statute requires a two-thirds vote of the City Council (5-2) to pass the rezoning request.

Councilmember Kvamme reported that the old homes along Highway 169 give Saint Peter its identity and indicated he would vote for the proposed rezoning if the Council would consider additional restrictions so that the next time a similar situation comes up the City Council would have more control over any development that takes place.

City Administrator Prafke reviewed the findings contained in the ordinance that stipulated the property in question is uniquely situated based on its’ location directly east of a commercial property that is separated from homes by a platted alley and in a block that is currently zoned with residential, commercial and industrial lots.  Prafke offered that the City Council could begin to have more control over aesthetics of future commercial development by making a modification to the Comprehensive Plan.

Councilmember Pfeifer called for the question.

In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Ordinance No. 31, Third Series entitled “An Ordinance Amending Saint Peter City Code Chapter 24, ‘Land Use Regulations And Zoning’ And Section 24-6 ‘Official Map” To Rezone Certain Property As C-4 Highway Service Commercial, And Adopting By Reference Saint Peter City Code Chapter 1 Section 1-6, Which, Among Other Things, Contain Penalty Provisions“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Ordinance was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Ordinance No. 31, Third Series is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Ordinances 2.

Broadway Water Tower Project Bond Sale – David Drown Associates representative Shannon Sweeney addressed the Council to recommend approval of the negotiated sale of $495,000 in General Obligation Water Revenue Bonds to Nicollet County Bank (NCB) at 2.75% interest for a ten year issuance.  Sweeney indicated he had reviewed other possible financing options including the PFA Credit Enhancement Program and the MIDI Loan Program offered by Minnesota Rural Water and while the interest rate was slightly higher for the NCB sale, it was the most efficient cost of borrowing with the lowest overall cost as the issue is relatively small and was sensitive to issuance costs.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-64 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Issuance And Sale Of $485,300 General Obligation Water Revenue Bonds, Series 2017A And Pledging Net Revenues For The Security And Payment Thereof“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-64 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Request for City Assistance:  Gustavus Alumni Event – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a request for City assistance submitted by the Gustavus Adolphus College Alumni and Parent Engagement Office for an event on June 3, 2017 in Municipal Parking Lot #5.  Prafke noted the event would include music, liquor, food, and drink sales and would be open to the public.  Prafke stated staff had met with representatives of Gustavus to address issues such as security, restrooms, lighting, severe weather plans, traffic control and closure of the east one-half of the 200 block of West Grace Street during the event.  Prafke recommended approval contingent upon the conditions outlined in the resolution including receipt of the certificate of insurance naming the City as an additional insured which is required of all community events.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2017-65 entitled “Resolution Approving City Assistance For Gustavus Adolphus College Alumni Event“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-65 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2017 Equipment Certificate Purchase:  Used Roller – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to purchase a used nine-tire nomadic roller from Road Machinery and Supplies in the amount of $37,850 to be used for street maintenance and repair.  Moulton noted that previously the City has rented a roller for this work at a cost of approximately $3,000 per year.  Moulton also noted that used rollers are difficult to find and staff expected the proposed equipment would have 15-20 years of useful life and the equipment could be rented out to area contractors.  Moulton indicated that $20,000 was budgeted in the 2017 Equipment Certificate for the purchase; however, additional savings generated in previous equipment certificates could be utilized to fund the higher cost.  Councilmembers Grams and Parras questioned the process followed when an equipment certificate contains unused funds.  City Administrator Prafke indicated that when there are unused funds in a prior year’s issuance and the debt service on that issuance is paid, the funds would often be used to “buy down” the debt on a subsequent year’s issuance or it could be used for purchases such as the roller.

In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-66 entitled “Resolution Authorizing 2017 Equipment Certificate Purchase:  2012 Nine Tire Nomadic Roller“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-66 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Zieman reported he had attended the Vietnam Day Ceremony at the Community Center and the World War II “Last Man’s Club” ceremony at the American Legion.

Greater Mankato Growth Real Estate Investment Summit – City Administrator Prafke reported on his participation in the Greater Mankato Growth Real Estate Investment Summit in Golden Valley to educate realtors about the Saint Peter community.

Parks Opening/Dog Reminder – City Administrator Prafke reported the nice spring weather had led to an early opening of the City’s parks facilities.  Prafke reminded dog owners that May 1st was the first day that dogs could be in additional park areas and that owners must pick up after their dogs, have them licensed and be on a leash and under control of the owner at all times in these areas.

Road Construction Projects/Detours -  City Administrator Prafke provided an update on the May 1st start date for the Broadway Avenue reconstruction west of Sunrise Drive.  Prafke also noted that the Jefferson Avenue/Gardner Road project would be starting soon.  In response to a question about sidewalks in the areas of the roadway work Public Works Director Moulton indicated the sidewalks would be close, but may reopen before the projects are completely done.

City Administrator Prafke also reported that the gym and track at the CCC would be closed for a period of time while the gym floor undergoes annual maintenance.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:14 p.m.