City Council Minutes of February 13, 2017

Date: 
February 13, 2017

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

FEBRUARY 13, 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 February 13, 2017.

A quorum present, Mayor Zieman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Pfeifer, Grams, Parras, and Mayor Zieman.  Absent were Councilmembers Carlin, Brand, and Kvamme.  The following officials were present: City Administrator Prafke, City Attorney Brandt and City Engineers Loose and Domras.

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

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Grams, to approve the minutes of the January 23, 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 January 23, 2017 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Councilmember Carlin arrived at 7:02 p.m.

Public Hearing:  Rezoning Request – Hallett Pond Addition – Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on a petition to rezone Outlot A (4.6 acres) of the Hallett Pond Addition at 7:02 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke reviewed the process to be followed for a public hearing.  Community Development Director Wille presented background information on the request by Northern Con-Agg LLP to rezone a portion of the Hallett Pond Addition from Highway Service Commercial to Multi-Family Residential.  Wille noted the Planning Commission had considered the proposed rezoning and were unable to provide a recommendation to the City Council on the issue.  Wille also pointed out that regulations would require the City Council to consider whether the proposed rezoning was consistent with the 2016 Comprehensive Plan and if the Comprehensive Plan was “silent” on the matter, as he believed it to be, the Council should consider the request in relation to the suitability of the property for the intended use if the zoning change was approved.  Wille reported the property was adequately served by utility services; however development would necessitate construction of a new stormwater basin and evaluation of vehicular access for the property

Ed Egan, 2824 Mayfield Road, Eagan, Minnesota, addressed the Council as the owner of the property in question.  Egan stated he had owned the property for thirty (30) years and it has been on the market the entire time with no interest shown under the current zoning designation.  Egan indicated he had cleaned the property up and hoped that the development of Shopko would spur interest in his property, but there had been none.  Egan also noted the existing residential properties on the north side of Hallett’s Pond.  Christen Manthe of Coldwell Banker, the realtor for the sale, indicated her belief that the lack of visibility and the low vehicle counts in the area were hampering the ability to attract an interested buyer for the property.  Manthe reported there was currently a buyer interested in the property for development of a multi-family complex.

City Administrator Prafke reported on receipt of letters opposing the rezoning from the St. Peter Ambassadors and the Development Corporation.

Paul Tanis, representing the Development Corporation, spoke in opposition to the proposed rezoning citing all the topics that had been outlined in the submitted letter including:

  • The property being the last large section of commercially zoned property available in the community.
  • North Third Street being improved based on future commercial development in the area.
  • A belief that additional time is needed to develop the area now that the recession is over.
  • The development of residential property in the area being contrary to the comprehensive plan which plans for residential development to the north and west of the community.
  • Residential development was planned for the area near the new high school; and
  • There is existing room for multi-family development in other subdivisions including Traverse Green Subdivision and Apple Tree.

Councilmember Kvamme arrived at 7:15 p.m.

Councilmember Parras asked Tanis if he believed the rights of the property owner should take precedence over the wants of the greater community.  Tanis indicated that in this instance the community should take precedence.

Stacy Yokiel, 912 North Fourth Street, stated her opposition to the proposed rezoning.  Yokiel questioned why residential would be extended into space reserved for commercial development when there were concerns among the City Council when her residential subdivision was developed adjacent to the same commercial property in the 1990’s.

Chad DeBlieck, representing the St. Peter Ambassadors, referenced the letter they had submitted in opposition to the rezoning request.  DeBlieck indicated residential development should be focused on the north and west sides of St. Peter and indicated a multi-housing development would not fit in the area.  DeBlieck also suggested that the property was the last remaining commercially zoned property that would allow for development of 3-5 businesses as a “destination” and that rezoning would detract from commercial growth in the community.

Councilmember Parras noted that rezoning requests for businesses have been done in the past and asked Mr. DeBlieck if he felt the private property owners rights should be considered above the community’s wishes.  DeBlieck indicated in the negative.

Kip Lager, owner of property at 958 and 966 Old Minnesota Avenue, addressed the Council in opposition to the proposed rezoning.  Lager expressed his belief that the rezoning was being considered with “no consideration for the project” and the ramifications changing to residential zoning would have on his commercial property.  Lager indicated his belief that a residential zone doesn’t fit the area and said consideration of the request was “ludicrous” and he was “highly opposed” to the change and “appalled” that the Council was considering it.

Chamber of Commerce Director Ed Lee address the Council to indicate that while he had spoken to many people opposed to the rezoning, the Chamber Board had decided to not have an opinion on the rezoning.

There being no further speakers the hearing was declared closed at 7:31 p.m.

Consent Agenda – Mayor Zieman asked for removal of the purchase of streetlight heads from the consent agenda as the purchase was not yet ready to be made and recommended the appointment to the Hospital Commission for MaryAnn Harty for the term 2016-2020.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-17 entitled, “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“, was introduced with the changes.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as modified.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-17 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Welco West Development Agreement – Community Development Director Wille recommended approval of a request from Mike and Julie Drummer to modify the development agreement for Welco West 2 Subdivision.  Wille stated changes in the building code now require installation of sprinkler systems in townhomes which has made construction and sale of townhomes cost prohibitive for the developer.  Wille reported Drummer’s were asking for modification to change the development agreement to allow for construction of six single family, slab on grade, single story homes in place of the townhomes.   City Administrator Prafke pointed out that should the Council approve the changes to the development agreement, they would be obligated to approve the preliminary and final plats for Welco West 3 Subdivision.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-18 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Amended Development Agreement By And Between The City Of Saint Peter And Mike And Julie Drummer“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-18 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Welco West Replatting – Community Development Director Wille had previously indicated during the development agreement discussion that the Planning and Zoning Commission was recommending approval of both the preliminary and final plats for Welco West #3 Subdivision.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-19 entitled “Resolution Approving Preliminary Plat Of Welco West No. 3 Subdivision“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-19 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-20 entitled “Resolution Approving Final Plat Of Welco West No. 3 Subdivision“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-20 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Revolving Loan Modification:  REST LLC – Community Development Director Wille presented the Economic Development Authority recommendation for approval of a request by the principals of REST LLC for extension of the balloon payment date for their revolving loan to February 1, 2019 contingent upon an increase in the loan interest rate to 3.75% effective March 1, 2017.  Wille noted REST LLC was current on all payments of the loan but were unable to secure refinancing from their primary lender that would allow for payment of the February 1, 2017 balloon payment.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-21 entitled “Resolution Modifying Terms Of REST LLC Revolving Loan To Extend Balloon Payment Date“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-21 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Rezoning Request:  Hallett Pond Addition – Following the public hearing, Community Development Director Wille presented a proposed ordinance providing for rezoning of Outlot A of Hallett Pond Addition.  Wille reminded Councilmembers that their decision must be supported by findings of fact.  Councilmembers discussed the very unusual lack of recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the rezoning.  A motion was made by Kvamme to table action on the rezoning request until the City Council could have further discussion at a workshop session.  Community Development Director Wille pointed out that under State law, a rezoning request that is not acted upon within sixty (60) days of submission is automatically approved and the 60 day deadline for this application was February 13th.  Wille also pointed out that the City could provide a written explanation to the applicant that the deadline was being extended along with a reason for doing so and what the new timeline would be; however Councilmembers questioned whether the 60 days expired at the close of City business (5:00 p.m.) or at midnight.  City Attorney Brandt indicated he was unsure which time applied.

Councilmember Pfeifer suggested that it was unfair to all the people who were in attendance, including the applicant, to delay action on the request.  Pfeifer called for the question.

Mayor Zieman asked if there was a second to Kvamme’s motion to table action.  There being no second, the motion failed.

A motion was made by Grams, seconded by Pfeifer, to approve an ordinance providing for rezoning of Outlot A Hallett Pond Addition from C-4 Highway Service Commercial to R-3 Multi-Family Residential. Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin and Mayor Zieman voting nay, Councilmember Parras voting aye, the ordinance was defeated.

2017 Equipment Certificate Purchases – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to purchase a new Hustler Super Z 72” side discharge mower with flex forks and mulch attachments from Bobcat of Mankato in the total amount of $11,564.22.  Moulton noted funding for the purchase would be from the 2017 Equipment Certificate ($6,500) and from the Stormwater Fund.  Moulton also reported the existing Ferris mower would be declared surplus at a future meeting.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-22 entitled “Resolution Authorizing 2017 Equipment Certificate Purchase Of 2017 Hustler Super Z 72” Side Discharge Mower With Attachments “ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-22 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Moulton also requested authorization for the purchase of a 2018 Freightliner diesel truck chassis from I-State Truck Center in the amount of $113,917.73 and attachments from Towmaster Truck in the amount of $111,042 (both under the State bid program) with funding from the 2017 Equipment Certificate.  Moulton indicated everything would have a one year warranty including the attachments.  Councilmember Grams questioned the 810 hours of annual use on the truck and whether that was a normal amount.  Moulton indicated that 400-450 hours a year would be considered average, but the City’s trucks are used for hauling rock and brush and all kinds of additional activities in addition to plowing which results in more hours of  use.  Moulton also noted that the existing Unit #38 1995 Ford L800 dump truck would be declared surplus at a later date.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-23 entitled “Resolution Authorizing 2017 Equipment Certificate Purchase:  2018 Freightliner Tandem With Attachments“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-23 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Moulton requested authorization for purchase of a Polaris Ranger electric utility vehicle from Vetter Sales and Service in the amount of $11,165.06 under the State bid program with funding from the 2017 Equipment Certificate.  Moulton indicated the City has had great success with the use of electric utility vehicles and technology improvements have resulted in the vehicles being able to be used for 10 hours or forty miles on one charge.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-24 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Purchase Of A 2017 Polaris Ranger Electric Vehicle“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-24 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Job Description Modifications (Library) – Recreation and Leisure Services Department Director Timmerman requested modifications to the position descriptions for Lead Librarian and Assistant Lead Librarian.  Timmerman noted that it was the second step in the restructuring of the Recreation and Leisure Services Department following the resignations of the Program Services Supervisor and the Senior Coordinator in 2016.  Timmerman pointed out that the titles of both positions would be changed (Library Supervisor and Assistant Library Supervisor) as part of the updated descriptions.  City Administrator Prafke noted that Council discussion at the workshop on the proposed changes included a request to include language in the position descriptions indicating accommodations would be made for disabled individuals.  Prafke pointed out that after discussion with the League of Minnesota Cities, he felt the job descriptions were not the place for such language and pointed out that similar language is already included on the City’s job application forms.  Prafke also noted that individuals who need accommodations were most likely also aware of the regulations the City was required to following under State and Federal laws.

Councilmember Grams, who had made the request at the workshop, indicated that after thinking about it some more, he realized he should not have made the request. 

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2017-25 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Modifications To Certain Library Job Descriptions“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-25 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

City of Nicollet Building Inspection Contract – Director of Building Busse addressed the Council to request execution of a renewal contract with the City of Nicollet for City of Saint Peter inspectors to provide building code enforcement in Nicollet.  Busse indicated the permits in Nicollet were higher than normal last year, but his office was still able to provide the service to Nicollet without a negative impact on Saint Peter residents.  Busse also pointed out that it was a good opportunity to meet contractors who don’t normally work in Saint Peter and for them to learn the requirements followed by both cities.  City Administrator Prafke also noted that the funding provided by Nicollet helps cover some of Saint Peter’s building department costs.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-26 entitled “Resolution Approving Execution Of 2017 Contract To Provide Building Inspection Services To The City Of Nicollet“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-26 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Hospital Architect Selection – Hospital CEO Rohrich presented the Hospital Commission’s recommendation to engage the architectural firm of Johnson, Johnson, Crabtree Architects (JJCA) of Nashville, Tennessee to provide design work for a possible hospital expansion project.  Rohrich indicated the contract with the company would be the standard architectural contract which had already been reviewed by the Hospital’s legal counsel to ensure it met USDA standards for the contract.  Councilmember Grams questioned how the architects will be paid if the actual project hasn’t been approved yet.  Rohrich indicated the fee was a percentage of the actual project cost and it was expected that the Hospital Commission would take action to recommend the project to the City Council in the very near future.  Councilmember Kvamme asked if that recommendation would also include information on the Hospital’s ability to finance a project.  Rohrich indicated in the affirmative.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-27 entitled “Resolution Approving Execution Of Contract With Johnson, Johnson, Crabtree Architects (JJCA) For Architectural Services For 2017 River's Edge Hospital And Clinic Expansion Project“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-27 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

SMMPA Meeting –  Public Works Director Moulton provided information on the SMMPA meeting which was held in Saint Peter in February and indicated the discussion included the annual financial review and rollout of a solar package in Rochester, Albert Lea, Saint Peter and Preston.  Moulton indicated Mayor Zieman had provided a welcome for the group.

Traverse Green Subdivision Marketing Efforts – City Administrator Prafke reported City staff would participate in the Mankato Home and Builder show at the Verizon Wireless Center March 17-19 to promote Traverse Green Subdivision.  Prafke asked Councilmembers interested in working in the City’s booth to notify his office.

Goal Session Report – City Administrator Prafke directed attention to the written report on discussion topics at the January 30, 2017 City Council goal session which was included in the City Council packet.

Transit Toll-Free Number – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public of the new toll-free number to use for scheduling a transit ride.

Mayor Zieman reminded everyone that non-emergency City offices would be closed on February 20th for President’s Day.  Prafke noted the City Council workshop would be held on Tuesday.

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 8:33 p.m.