City Council Minutes of July 24, 2017

Date: 
July 24, 2017

 

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JULY 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 July 24, 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, Kvamme, Parras, Grams, 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 Brand, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Grams, seconded by Parras, to approve the minutes of the July 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 July 10, 2017 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Public Hearing:  Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-21 – City Administrator Prafke provided information on the public hearing process adopted by the City Council.  Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on a request to establish Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-21 to facilitate construction of the Solace Housing Project in North Industrial Park Subdivision at 7:04 p.m.  Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates addressed the Council to provide background information on the creation of a 26 year housing Tax Increment Financing district that would reimburse 90% of the tax increments generated by construction of the Solace Project back to the developer.  Sweeney noted that the estimated $26,901 in increments which would be generated each year would be tied to specific improvements on the property and under the terms of the development agreement the developer would be guaranteeing on an annual basis that at least 40% of the units in the facility were rented to those with 60% or less of the median income level in Nicollet County.  Sweeney also noted that the proposed resolution would include authorization for execution of a development agreement with Solace Apartments Limited Partnership.  Councilmember Parras questioned what guarantees the City would have that the facility would not be used for regular residential housing which is not allowed under the current zoning regulations.   Community Development Director Wille and City Administrator Prafke replied that the facility is allowed only as a “guidance services” use and should that use change to just residential multi-family housing, it would no longer be approved under the Zoning Code.

There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:15 p.m.

Visitors – Emily Bruflat and Nathan Koster, 317 West Grace Street, addressed the Council to request permission to keep bees in hives at their property after being contacted by the Police Department and being informed that beekeeping was not allowed in Saint Peter.  Bruflat and Koster provided background information on the keeping of bees and indicated they currently have a hive in their backyard containing anywhere from 30,000-100,000 bees which they felt was a benefit not only to their family from the honey provided, but to the entire Saint Peter community because of the bees work to pollenate gardens.  Bruflat and Koster indicated they felt the risk to people from the bees was “incredibly minimal”.  Councilmembers Carlin and Parras expressed their support for keeping of bees.  Councilmember Grams questioned whether the couple had looked at relocating the hive outside of the City limits; whether pedestrians walking along Grace Street could be stung; and how close to the property line the hive was located.  Bruflat and Koster indicated they would prefer not to move their hive which was located 25-30’ away from the property line and placed in a manner to encourage the bees to fly up from the hive as they leave the areas.

Mayor Zieman informed Bruflat and Koster that the City Administrator would be in touch with them at a later date and would inform the Police Department of the Council’s consideration of their request.

Consent Agenda – Councilmember Kvamme questioned how many fire hydrants were left to be painted after doing 100 per year for several years and whether the process would be ongoing every year.  City Administrator Prafke indicated he was unsure of the number remaining to be painted, but the process would continue depending on how well the paint stands up to the elements.

Councilmember Grams asked for additional information related to the wetland credit purchase.  City Engineer Domras provided information on the wetland credit bank system which was created after adoption of the Wetland Conservation Act and indicated that the amount of wetland impacted by construction of the trail at Hallett’s Pond was such a small area, that purchasing the credits in lieu of creating another wetland to replace the impacted area was more economical for the City.  Councilmember Brand objected to the purchase without first exploring non-wetland impacting alternatives (i.e. a bridge over the wetland) or creating a new wetland for the trail system which he felt would be a “teachable moment” for people in Saint Peter.

City Administrator Prafke noted that Councilmembers have the option to ask for removal of any item from the consent agenda if they so choose.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-117 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye; Councilmember Brand voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-117 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Veterans Memorial Park Sidewalk Improvement 2017 Bid Award – City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers they had previously rejected the single bid received for the project and authorized staff to re-advertise the bid with a base bid and alternates.  Prafke recommended award of the bid for the base bid and Alternates #1 and #2 to low bidder OMG Midwest (Chard) in the total amount of $104,216.80.  Prafke noted that with a $100,000 budget for the project, staff would find other ways to reduce costs to ensure funding for the overage and that Alternate #3, which was sidewalk along the western portion of the park on North Fifth Street, would be added to next year’s bid.

Councilmember Carlin, Parras, and Brand objected to not awarding the bid for Alternate #3 which they felt was a bigger pedestrian safety concern than park interior sidewalks which, while convenient, did not provide for improved safety.

In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2017-118 entitled “Resolution Awarding Bid For Veterans Memorial Park Sidewalk Improvement Project 2017“ was introduced.  A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, to modify the resolution to award the base bid and all three Alternates to OMG Midwest in the total amount of $142,044.  With Councilmembers Grams, Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Pfeifer voting nay, the motion carried.

Upon roll call of the modified Resolution, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-118 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Tax Increment Financing District NO. 1-21/Solace Project – Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates reported he had visited with the developer about the comments raised by Councilmember Parras during the public hearing regarding the development agreement not addressing any future use of the property.  Sweeney indicated the developer was amenable to modifying Development Agreement Section 6.1 “Restrictions on Use” to read, “…during the term of this Agreement the Developer and such successors and assigns shall operate, or cause to be operated, the Project as guidance services and shall devote the Development Property to, and in accordance with, the uses specified in this Agreement.” 

Rick Goodemann, Executive Director of Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, addressed the Council to provide information on the Solace Project including why it was created, how it will work, and that it is considered a national model for how to help people succeed using strong community partners.

In motion by Parras, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-119 entitled “Resolution Approving Establishment Of Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-21 Within Municipal Development District No. 1, And The Adoption Of The 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. 2017-119 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Minnesota Department of Transportation Master Partnership Contract – City Administrator Prafke recommended execution of a renewal Master Partnership Agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation which outlines shared professional and technical services and mutual aid issues.  Prafke noted the agreement has worked well in the past and the City Engineer would be the City’s representative for signing documents related to the agreement.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-120 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Minnesota Department Of Transportation Master Partnership Contract For 2017-2022“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-120 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Jaguar Communications Agreement – City Administrator Prafke recommended execution of an agreement with Jaguar Communications for use of the City’s conduit system in exchange for 12 fiber strands to be used for City business such as the AMI program.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-121 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Fiber Optic And Conduit Networking Sharing Service And Maintenance Agreement Between Jaguar Communications, Inc. And The City of Saint Peter“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-121 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Municipal Lot #5 Parking and Loading/Unloading Zone Requests – Community Development Director Wille presented the requests from Daniel Dinsmore of The Capitol Room event center to establish a thirty-five foot (35’) loading/unloading zone in front of the building at 419 South Minnesota Avenue and to remove the overnight parking restrictions in Municipal Parking Lot #5 at the intersection of West Grace Street and South Minnesota Avenue. 

Wille indicated the loading/unloading zone was a condition of the conditional use permit granted to Dinsmore by the Board of Appeals and Adjustments and would allow for pick up or drop off of event center attendees without causing safety issues along Highway 169.  Wille recommended that Dinsmore be responsible for putting the loading zone signs out during events at the Capitol Room and removing them after the event.  Councilmembers had extensive discussion about the operation of a loading zone and Mayor Zieman recommended that the zone be established along the south side of the block next to the property at 429 South Minnesota Avenue which is also owned by the 419 South Minnesota owner and which would be safer than a zone established along the highway.  Councilmembers expressed their belief that should the zone be established elsewhere, people would continue to drop off attendees in front of the building anyway.

City Administrator Prafke suggested that if approved by the Council, staff would monitor use of the loading zone and report back on its’ operation at a later date.

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-122 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Establishment Of Temporary Loading/Unloading Zone Along The South Minnesota Avenue Curb Line During Public Assemblies At 419 South Minnesota Avenue“ was introduced with the condition that staff monitor the operation of the zone and report back to the City Council in January.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Parras, Brand, Carlin, Kvamme, Pfeifer, and Grams voting aye, Mayor Zieman voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-122 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Community Development Director Wille recommended approval of a request to eliminate the overnight parking restrictions in Municipal Lot #5 as requested by Mr. Dinsmore.  Wille noted that, if the request was approved, the only remaining municipal lots that would have parking restrictions would be City Hall and the Community Center.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-123 entitled “Resolution Removing Certain Parking Restrictions In Municipal Parking Lot No. 5“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-123 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 by the organizers of Rock Bend Folk Festival for City assistance for the Rock Bend event in Minnesota Square Park at the beginning of September.  Councilmember Brand questioned whether it would be expensive to issue parking permits for vehicles in the park and noted that on a recent Saturday two cars were parked in Veterans Memorial Park by the ice skating rinks.  Prafke stated that should the Council wish, staff could develop a policy to enforce restrictions on vehicles in the parks. 

In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-125 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. 2017-125 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Business License Applications – City Administrator Prafke indicated that nothing had been found in the background investigation that would prohibit issuance of On Sale Liquor, Sunday Liquor and Soft Drink licenses to Daniel Dinsmore for the Capitol Room at 419 South Minnesota Avenue.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-126 entitled “Resolution Approving New Business License Applications“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-126 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

Council Filing Period – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public the filing period for City Council positions is August 1st through August 15th.

Peddlers – City Administrator Prafke reported that all salespeople from companies without a permanent, fixed location in Saint Peter who go door to door in residential areas need permits from the City.  Prafke cautioned the public not to purchase from an unlicensed peddler and to notify the Police Department if an unlicensed peddler comes to their door.

Goal Session – City Administrator Prafke reminded the Council of the July 31st goal session.

“Night To Unite” Event – City Administrator Prafke reported the annual Night to Unite event will take place on August 1st at the swimming pool at Veterans Memorial Park.

Solar Subscription Program – City Administrator Prafke encouraged anyone interested in the Solar Subscription program to contact the City’s Finance Department.

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 8:38 p.m.