City Council Minutes Of August 8, 2016

Date: 
August 8, 2016

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

AUGUST 8, 2016

 

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 August 8, 2016.

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

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Carlin, seconded by Pfeifer, to approve the minutes of the July 25, 2016 regular City Council meeting.   With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the July 25, 2016 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Parras, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-117 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. 2016-117 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Transit Cooperative Resolution With Le Sueur – City Administrator Prafke recommended adoption of a resolution stating the City’s intent to work with the City of Le Sueur to form a joint transit system.  Prafke stated the goal of the action was to provide notice to the State of Minnesota of the action by the two cities which will occur after the deadlines for the normal transit grant award cycle.  Prafke also stated the second resolution would designate elected official representation on a steering committee that would help finalize what is expected to be a Joint Powers Agreement for operation of the joint system.  Prafke noted that the steering committee members may end up being on the Joint Powers board in the future.  Finance Director O'Connell indicated working with Le Sueur was going very well and a joint system would allow staff members to be more focused on federal rules and procurement processes.  Prafke stated the joint system would provide efficiencies in operation and expenditures and meet the Department of Transportation’s goal to consolidate some systems within the state.  Prafke noted the joint system should augment services for riders and allow for shared costs for capital purchases like a dispatching system.   Prafke and O’Connell both noted that the funding for capital and operational needs of the joint system would still be provided eighty percent (80%) by the State and twenty percent (20%) by local fare revenues.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-118 entitled “Resolution Stating The City Of Saint Peter’s Intent To Work With The City Of Le Sueur On Formation Of A Cooperative Transit System“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-118 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Prafke recommended adoption of a resolution that would designate Councilmembers Grams and Carlin as the elected official representatives on the steering committee for Saint Peter and Councilmember Parras as the alternate.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-119 entitled “Resolution Appointing Councilmembers To Joint Transit System Steering Committee“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-119 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Transit Service Agreement With Gustavus – Finance Director O'Connell requested authorization for execution of an agreement for the City to provide transit services to Gustavus students during the school year from September, 2016 through May, 2018 at the rate of $37.50 per hour per bus.  O’Connell noted the agreement included a thirty-day termination notice provision.  Councilmember Parras, on behalf of absent Councilmember Grams, expressed concerns over the hourly rate for service and asked what the fee was based on.  O’Connell stated the charge included driver wages, fuel costs and wear and tear on the bus.  O’Connell noted that should fuel costs change dramatically, the termination notice will allow the City to terminate the existing contract and renegotiate the fee if needed.  City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers that the grant funds still pay 80% of the City’s costs even for service provided under the Gustavus contract.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-120 entitled “Resolution Approving Execution Of Transit Services Agreement With Gustavus Adolphus College“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-120 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

MMUA Safety Agreement Renewal – Public Works Director Moulton requested approval for execution of a renewal contract with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to provide safety training for City Public Works and maintenance employees.  Moulton noted the cost was $25,433.22 for the period October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017 and an additional $3,000 for specialized training for the City’s Linemen.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-121 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Renewal Safety Contract With Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA)“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-121 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Request for City Assistance:  Rock Bend Folk Festival – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a request for City assistance for the Rock Bend Folk Festival to be held in Minnesota Square Park in September.  Prafke reviewed the proposed recommendation and the contingencies associated with the approval.  Councilmember Brand requested that City policies be changed to make it mandatory for organizers of community events to provide recycling containers and collection at the event site.  Councilmember Carlin questioned the Rock Bend request for a ramp to be installed for one of the event performers.  Prafke noted the Rock Bend officials will be renting a ramp and the City doesn’t need to take any further action regarding that portion of the request.  Councilmembers discussed the need for handicap parking spaces for the event and Prafke noted additional spaces were being provided along Elm Street.   In motion by Carlin, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-122 entitled “Resolution Authorizing 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. 2016-122 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Historic Loan Program Modifications – Community Development Director Wille reviewed the proposed changes to the Central Business District Renovation/Accessibility Enhancement Loan Program (previously referenced as the Historic Preservation Loan Program).  Wille noted the changes included an increase to the loan amounts, changes to the loan security provisions; expansion to allow loans for interior renovations to make the property more compliant with ADA regulations; changing amortization amounts to longer periods for larger loans; and a provision for partial loan forgiveness (up to 50% for loans under $10,000 or $5,000 maximum for loans above $10,000). 

Councilmember Pfeifer objected to any portion of the loans being forgiven citing his belief that providing loans at 0% interest that can be paid off over up to 10 years should be incentive enough for property owners to consider the program.  Pfeifer suggested that loan money cannot be obtained any cheaper and the “forgiveness” of any portion of a loan is not good business practice.  Pfeifer encouraged the Council to be frugal with taxpayer money.

Pfeifer made a motion to delete the loan forgiveness portion of the guidelines.  The motion died for lack of a second.

Councilmember Brand asked if Councilmember Pfeifer would be more comfortable with a grant program versus a loan program.  Pfeifer reiterated that at 0% interest there should be no forgiveness of any portion of the loan.

City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers that the goal of modifying the loan program was not to encourage more people to borrow money, but rather to encourage property owners in the Historic Preservation District to maintain their buildings.  Prafke also noted that the cost to make the historically accurate repairs like window replacement is often more expensive than non-historically accurate repairs would be.  Prafke noted that if the City Council believes it is important to maintain the downtown historic properties, it “might be appropriate for the community to share in the costs”.

Councilmember Carlin asked what the fund balance for the loan program was.  Wille stated the revolving loan program had an approximately $1.5 million fund balance although Finance Director O'Connell noted that the amount designated for this particular program was $60,000.

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-123 entitled “Resolution Amending The Historic Preservation Revolving Loan Fund Guidelines And Renaming The Loan Fund As The ‘Central Business District Renovation/Accessibility Enhancement Loan Program’ Guidelines“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Pfeifer voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-123 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Purchase of Transit Bus – Finance Director O'Connell requested permission to purchase a 2017 Ford E450 Elkhart Coach transit bus from North Central Bus and Equipment at a total cost of $73,959.  O’Connell indicated the City’s capital transit grant had included funding for purchase of a bus and if approved, the bus wouldn’t be delivered until February of 2017.  O’Connell reported the bus purchase would allow graphics/decals to be installed once the new bus is delivered which would allow it to be marked under the new joint transit system graphics.

Councilmember Parras questioned who would own the bus if a joint system is developed.  O’Connell stated that the formation of the Joint Power Agreement would include a provision for ownership of the assets.  O’Connell also noted that once the new bus is received one of the older buses would be declared surplus property as recommended by the City’s Mechanic.

In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-124 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Purchase Of A New Transit Bus“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-124 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Zieman reported on the Night To Unite event which had been very well attended and reminded the public of the upcoming Nicollet County Fair and the Smithsonian “Water Ways” exhibit being featured at the Treaty Site History Center through September 25th.  City Administrator Prafke also noted that as part of the “Water Ways” event, public tours would be provided at the City’s water and wastewater plants.

Park Naming Process -  City Administrator Prafke reported that the Council would be conducting a contest to solicit names for the two new City parks (Traverse Green Subdivision and next to the new High School).  Prafke stated additional information on the contest would be publicized in the near future.

Primary Election – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public to vote in the August 9th primary election.  Prafke thanked Election Judges for their work and stated they were the “Keepers of Democracy”.

Seal Coating Update – Public Works Director Moulton reported the annual seal coating project was underway and 100 blocks had been completed with 50,000 gallons of oil applied and 2000 tons of rock used for a total cost of $126,500.  Moulton noted seal coating is done to extend the life of the roadway and to seal out moisture which deteriorates the road surface.

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 8:09 p.m.