City Council Minutes of July 10, 2017

Date: 
July 10, 2017

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JULY 10, 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 July 10, 2017.

A quorum present, Mayor Zieman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Brand, Carlin, Pfeifer, Grams, and Mayor Zieman.  Absent were Councilmembers Parras and Kvamme.  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 Brand, 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 June 26, 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 June 26, 2017 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Public Hearing:  Mason Street Vacation Request – City Administrator Prafke provided information on the public hearing process adopted by the City Council.  Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on a petition by the City to vacate the undeveloped portion of Mason Street lying east of the North Sunrise Drive right-of-way at 7:03 p.m.  Community Development Director Wille provided a review of the petition for vacating the roadway which had originally been platted to extend into the Washington Terrace Subdivision, but would no longer be extended. There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:07 p.m.

Visitors – Police Chief Peters presented a Life Saving award to Police Officer Joshua Klaseus for his actions in October, 2016 when he was on patrol, smelled smoke, tracked down the fire at a residential property, and successfully searched the home to evacuate the residents with no injuries or loss of life.  Klaseus thanked his family and members of the Police Department for their support.

The meeting was recessed at 7:11 p.m. to allow Officer Klaseus to take photographs with his family.

The meeting was called back to order at 7:15 p.m.  Mayor Zieman congratulated Officer Klaseus on his efforts to protect the fire victims and commented on “ordinary people responding in extraordinary ways.”

Consent Agenda – In motion by Carlin, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2017-110 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. 2017-110 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Mason Street Vacation – Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning Commission’s recommendation for approval of the City’s petition for vacation of the undeveloped portion of Mason Street lying easterly of the North Sunrise Drive right-of-way in North Industrial Park Subdivision.  Councilmember Brand asked how many similar parcels there might be in the community.  Wille stated he was unsure and City Administrator Prafke indicated that the vacation was being recommended as the roadway would not be extended to the east into Washington Terrace Subdivision as had originally been planned and the action would accommodate development of the Solace housing project on the bigger parcel that will be created if the roadway is vacated.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-111 entitled “Resolution Vacating The Undeveloped Mason Street Right-Of-Way Lying East Of The North Sunrise Drive Right-Of-Way Within The North Industrial Park Subdivision.“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-111 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2016 Audit Presentation/Acceptance – The City’s Auditor, James Eichten of Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich & Co., PA, addressed the City Council to present the result of the City’s 2016 financial audit.  Eichten indicated he had issued an unmodified (clean) opinion on the City’s finances and cited an ongoing finding related to lack of segregation of duties in the Finance Department due to limited staffing levels; and two legal compliance issues concerning  not being able to produce performance and payment bonds or proof of the published notice for the 2016 Seal Coat Bid project.   Eichten indicated staff had put a corrective action in place to eliminate the legal compliance finding in the future.  Eichten then reviewed the City’s general fund and enterprise funds and provided additional information on the City’s debt service levels compared to state-wide averages.  In summary Eichten reiterated his unmodified/clean opinion, his belief that staff was adhering to budget projections and the City was in good financial condition. 

Councilmembers asked additional questions about the amount of debt issued by the City and Eichten, City Administrator Prafke, and Finance Director O'Connell all noted that the state-wide comparisons were for communities that did not have the same level of enterprise funds or the same type of enterprise funds like electric and hospital.  Eichten stated the biggest issue when discussing debt service amounts was whether or not the entity had the revenue sources to pay off the debts and still have a positive cash flow which he felt the City did.

In motion by Brand, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2017-112 entitled “Resolution Accepting 2016 Financial Statements Together With Independent Auditor’s Report“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-112 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Unbudgeted Purchase:  Computer Server – Finance Director O'Connell recommended authorization be provided for the unbudgeted purchase of an exchange server from the lowest submitted proposal by Computer Technology Solutions, Inc. in the amount of $26,942.  O’Connell noted the City’s current server was a 2007 Microsoft version which was three versions behind in software and Microsoft would no longer support the software.  O’Connell stated the plan was to replace the server in a two-step process as Microsoft will only allow for migration of two versions at a time and the purchase would be funded by reserves in electric, water, wastewater, stormwater, refuse, general, library, public access, and Community Center funds.  Councilmembers questioned why the purchase wasn’t budgeted if Microsoft had already announced support was ending for the 2007 version.  O’Connell indicated that staff typically “tries to make due” and the current server is still operational.   In motion by Grams, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-113 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Unbudgeted Purchase Of Exchange Server Along With Software, Installation, And Licensing“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-113 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Revolving Loan Request:  Building Good Communities, LLC –  Community Development Director Wille presented the Economic Development Authority’s recommendation for approval of an application for a $39,834 revolving loan to Building Good Communities for installation of a fire suppression system in the property at 419 South Minnesota Avenue.  Wille indicated the loan would be amortized over twenty years with a balloon payment due at 5 years; have an interest rate of 4.25%; be secured by a mortgage on the property and personal guarantees by those owning 25% or more of the LLC; and require lien waivers from all contractors or subcontractors on the project.  Councilmember Brand asked when the interest rate on the loan is locked in.  Wille indicated the EDA is striving to be consistent when establishing interest rates so the rate is determined by the U.S. Prime rate and the applicant was aware of the interest rate.   Mayor Zieman expressed concern about people coming to the City for solutions to issues that come up after the property has been purchased or construction has begun on an improvement. 

In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-114 entitled “Resolution Approving $39,834 Revolving Loan To Building Good Communities, LLC To Partially Finance The Installation Of A Fire Suppression System At 419 South Minnesota Avenue“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-114 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Tax Increment Financing District Public Hearing – Community Development Director Wille recommended a public hearing be scheduled for August 28th concerning a request from the new owners of the properties at 1115 and 1123 South Minnesota Avenue for Tax Increment Financing for demolition of the existing structures and disconnection and then reconnection of the utilities as the property is redeveloped as a new commercial project.  Wille reported that prior to establishing a Tax Increment Financing District, a public hearing is required and a Tax Increment Financing plan will be developed for future Council action.  Wille noted that any Tax Increment Financing that is approved would be “pay as you go” with no financial obligation of the City if the property owners should discontinue paying taxes on the property. 

Councilmembers Brand, Grams and Mayor Zieman each expressed concerns about properties that are not maintained and Brand and Grams suggested the City should develop ordinances that set minimum standards for maintenance of private property.

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-115 entitled “Resolution Calling Public Hearing On The Creation Of Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-22 Within Municipal Development District No. 1 And The Adoption Of A Tax Increment Financing Plan Relating Thereto“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-115 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Tree Worker License Application – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of an application by Brad Haack for a Tree Worker’s license.  Prafke noted nothing had been found in the background investigation that would prohibit issuance of the license.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2017-116 entitled “Resolution Approving Tree Worker License“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-116 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Zieman reported on the Fourth of July activities in Saint Peter.

Solar Subscription Program Event – City Administrator Prafke reported turnout at the City’s solar subscription event was better than expected and the program was being promoted to the public.  Prafke also noted that residential electric utility customers could sign up for the program at any time.

Minnesota River Valley Transit Board Meeting Schedule – City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers of the Minnesota River Valley Transit board meeting scheduled for July 12th at the Community Center.

July 17th Workshop Location -  City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers the July 17th workshop would be held in the Governors' Room.

Recycling Change – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public that the change to every week recycling would begin on July 10th.

Councilmember Carlin expressed her appreciation for the Saint Peter Police and Fire Departments and relayed a story of a fire that occurred in a neighbor’s home that caused the need for her family to evacuate their home. Carlin noted that with all the national level scrutiny on Police Officers she wanted to remind everyone that when you are in fear for your life and you see a Police Officer there to assist it brings great peace and she is very proud to have Officer’s like Joshua Klaseus in Saint Peter.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.