City Council Minutes of December 14, 2015

Date: 
December 14, 2015

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

DECEMBER 14, 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 December 14, 2015.

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

Public Hearing:  Vista View Townhomes Bond Issuance Request  -   Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on the request by Vista View Townhomes for the City to serve as a conduit as authorized under State law and issue $2,000,000 in bonds for the purchase and rehabilitation of the Vista View Townhome complex at 7:01 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke reviewed the process for conducting a public hearing.  Finance Director O'Connell presented the request by Vista View Townhomes for the City to serve as a conduit bond issuer for the project and noted that there would be no cost to or obligation of the City for the action.  There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:04 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Carlin, seconded by Parras, to approve the minutes of the November 23, 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 November 23, 2015 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Visitors – Aaron Baxa, 1003 South Minnesota Avenue, addressed the Council to request consideration of his idea to name the second Monday of October “Indigenous Peoples Day” rather than Columbus Day.  Baxa, who was working on a project on Christopher Columbus for school, suggested that “given Saint Peter’s complicated history with the native people”, it would be appropriate to consider the change.  Councilmember Kvamme questioned whether Baxa had contacted any State officials regarding making a state-wide change.  Baxa indicated he had not.  Councilmember Carlin questioned how the City picks holidays to observe.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the holidays are those recognized by the State of Minnesota for government offices.  Mayor Strand indicated the Council would take Baxa’s request under advisement.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-165 entitled, “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  With all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-165 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

Vista View Bond Issuance Request – Finance Director O'Connell requested approval of the request by the owners of Vista View Townhomes for the City to serve as a conduit for issuance of up to $2,000,000 in bonds for the purchase and renovation of the Vista View property.  City Administrator Prafke indicated the proposed resolution had been written by Briggs and Morgan attorneys who were acting as bond counsel on the issuance.  Councilmember Zieman questioned how much of the issuance was for purchase and how much was for rehabilitation.  Mike Podawiltz, CEO of the Vista View partnership, indicated the partnership was undergoing a change of investors with an investor from Boston leaving and a new investor from New York joining.  Podawiltz indicated approximately $428,000 would be used for rehabilitation of the 32 units in the project including new roofs, windows, boilers, water softeners and heaters and drainage corrections; $150,000 would be for fees; and the remainder would be used to buy out the Boston investor and pay off existing debt on the property.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2015-166 entitled “Resolution Approving The Issuance And Sale Of Multi-Family Rental Housing Development Revenue Note, Series 2015A and Multifamily Rental Housing Development Revenue Note, Series 2015B (Vista View Townhomes II Project) And Authorizing The Execution Of Documents Relating Thereto”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-166 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

2015 Tax Levy/Payable 2016/Budget Adoption –  Finance Director O'Connell reviewed the proposed tax levy and general and special revenue fund budgets for 2016.  O’Connell reported the final levy of $2,284,308 was the same as the preliminary levy and would be a 5.25% increase over the prior year for a tax rate of 48.06.  O’Connell also reviewed various line items of the proposed budgets and the projected fund balances at the end of both 2015 and the projected balances at the end of 2016.  Councilmember Grams questioned how much property in Saint Peter was tax exempt.  City Administrator Prafke replied that approximately thirty percent (30%) was tax exempt.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2015-167 entitled “Resolution Adopting Final 2015 Tax levy Collectible In 2016”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-167 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2015-168 entitled “Resolution Approving General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, Debt Service Funds, Capital Funds, And Agency Funds For the 2016 Fiscal Year”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-168 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

2016 Non-Union/Non-Contract Employee Wages – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of wage modifications for all non-union/non-contract employees effective January 1, 2016.  Prafke recommended the percentage wage increases be stratified based on pay equity points.  Prafke also recommended modifications to several wage scales to ensure compliance with minimum wage laws.  In addition, Prafke recommended extra market rate wage increases for the positions of Accountant, Computer Services Technician II and Public Works Director.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2015-169 entitled “Resolution Establishing 2016 Wage For Non-Union, Non-Contract Employees”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-169 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Senior Citizen Services Contract – City Administrator Prafke recommended authorization be provided for execution of a renewal contract with Nicollet County for County staff to provide senior citizen programs through the City’s Recreation and Leisure Services Department at an approximate cost of $26,000.  Prafke stated the contract was for calendar year 2016, but noted the sixty (60) day termination clause.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2015-170 entitled “Resolution Approving Execution Of Senior Citizen Contract Between The City And Nicollet County”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-170 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Land Purchase Agreement:  St. Peter Mobile Homes – City Attorney Brandt recommended approval of two land purchase agreements for land that will be used for construction of a stormwater detention basin.  Brandt indicated he had negotiated the purchase of parcels totaling approximately two (2) acres from St. Peter Mobile Homes (1.6 acres) and William and Tracy Cunningham (.4 acres) for a total price of $203,590.  Brandt indicated that in order to construct the basin, both properties were necessary and recommended both agreements be approved.  City Administrator Prafke pointed out that although the Council had asked staff to find alternates that did not involve land between Old Minnesota Avenue and Highway 169, the two parcels were the most cost efficient option for providing stormwater in the area and construction of a pond at the sites would meet the State’s MS4 standards for stormwater treatment. Councilmember Grams asked how deep the pond would be.  Public Works Director Moulton reported the normal depth of water in the pond would be about four feet (4’) with an overflow depth of ten feet (10’).  Councilmember Kvamme questioned the total cost to construct a pond (estimated at $500,000) and noted the City was willing to spend a lot of money to avoid stormwater going into Hallett’s Pond.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-171 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Purchase Of Land From St. Peter Mobile Homes”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-171 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Land Purchase Agreement:  Cunningham –  Prafke recommended approval of the purchase of land from William and Tracy Cunningham as recommended by City Attorney Brandt.  Prafke also noted the proposed purchase from Cunningham included authorization to lease back a portion of the land for a billboard for a term of 17 years.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-172 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Purchase Of Land From William H. And Tracy A. Cunningham”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015- is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

2014/2015 Equipment Certificate Purchase:  Jaws of Life –  City Administrator Prafke recommended approval be provided for purchase of a demo refurbished Hurst extrication tool (“Jaws Of Life”) for the Fire Department at a price of $26,310.  Prafke noted the price would be a savings of $8,000 over a new model and would come with a full warranty.  Prafke also pointed out that the original plan for purchase of the equipment was to fund with 2016 general fund dollars, but staff was recommending utilizing excess funds from the 2014 Equipment Certificate ($7,762 which would close out the fund) and 2015 Equipment Certificate ($18,548).  In motion by Brand, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-173 entitled “Resolution Approving Purchase Of Jaws Of Life Tool Funded By 2014 And 2015 Equipment Certificate Funds”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-173 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Winter Trail Maintenance Policy –  Public Works Director Moulton recommended the Council once again designate approximately 5.8 miles of trails and sidewalks as “no winter maintenance” areas for the period December 15, 2015 through May 1, 2017.  Moulton indicated the proposed locations for trails that would not be maintained are areas where trails/sidewalks also exist on the other side of the roadway and/or there is little traffic during winter.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2015-174 entitled “Resolution Establishing ‘No Winter Maintenance’ Trails For The Winters Of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-174 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand reported on his recent activities which included attending the City Council goal session on November 30th; a lunch with Chamber members where he was recognized for his service to the community; and the Gustavus President’s dinner and Christmas in Christ Chapel event.

Holiday Closures – City Administrator Prafke reviewed the schedule for closures of City offices and services for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Council Goal Session Discussion – City Administrator Prafke directed Councilmembers to the packet memo providing an overview of discussion at the last Council goal session.

City Administrator Evaluation – City Attorney Brandt provided information on discussion at the last closed session regarding the City Administrator’s evaluation results.  Councilmembers also congratulated City Administrator Prafke on obtaining his Masters of Public Administration degree from Hamline University.

Outgoing Mayor Recognition –  Councilmember Kvamme presented outgoing Mayor Strand with a clock in appreciation for his years of service to the community.  Kvamme praised the professionalism exhibited by Mayor Strand during Council meetings; his ability to keep Councilmembers respectful to each other during discussions; and the many activities Mayor Strand was involved in that the public was not aware of such as serving on committees of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, Region Nine Development Commission, and the League of Minnesota Cities.  Kvamme asked the audience to provide a standing ovation for Mayor Strand. 

Strand stated his service as Mayor had been the second greatest thing to happen in his life and that he hoped to be remembered for what he did for the City and for his diligence, honesty and integrity in the position.

Closed Session:  Active Litigation Discussion Covered Under Attorney-Client Privilege – City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session as allowed under State law to discuss active litigation issues covered under attorney-client privilege.   In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-175 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. 2015-175 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

The City Council adjourned to closed session in the Traverse des Sioux Room at 8:39 p.m. for discussion of active litigation issues covered by attorney-client privilege.  The Council returned to open session at 9:20 p.m.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m.