City Council minutes of June 26, 2017

Date: 
June 26, 2017

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JUNE 26, 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 June 26, 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 Engineers Domras and Loose.

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

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Brand, seconded by Pfeifer, to approve the minutes of the June 12, 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 12, 2017 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-100 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. 2017-100 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Veteran’s Memorial Park Sidewalk Improvements 2017 Bid Rejection – Public Works Director Moulton recommended rejection of the lone bid from Nielsen Blacktopping in the amount of $215,555 for the Veterans Memorial Park Sidewalk project as the bid was well over the $100,000 available to finance the project.  Moulton further recommended Bolton and Menk, Inc. be authorized to provide for a reduced scope of work that will be bid as a base bid and alternates to better align with the funding sources.  Moulton noted that the project, which was originally approved in 2015, had come in at about 20% higher than expected due to increases in concrete costs and staff felt rebidding the project with a reduced scope, construction in the fall,  and the alternates would result in better bids.

Councilmember Carlin expressed her belief that the portion of sidewalk along North Fifth Street was a higher priority than other portions due to the slope of the area and the number of children walking along that side of the park. 

Councilmember Parras agreed with Carlin and questioned why the bid was over twice the estimated amount if concrete costs had only gone up twenty percent (20%).  Moulton indicated his belief that the contractor didn’t understand that the City would be doing a large portion of the shaping and seeding work for the project, the costs of which was reflected in the bid price and that the timeline may have contributed to the price as all the area concrete contractors being already booked.

City Administrator Prafke noted that rebidding a re-designed project might result in really good bids and if not, the recommendation would be to do only the base portion of the project and to reject the alternates. 

Mayor Zieman questioned if the delay in awarding this portion of the overall sidewalk project would put the entire project behind schedule by a year.  Prafke indicated it could, but the project at Veterans Memorial Park could still be done this fall.

In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2017-101 entitled “Resolution Rejecting Veterans Memorial Park Sidewalk Improvement Project – 2017 Bids“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-101 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2016 Traverse Acres Street And Utility Improvements Change Order #1 –   Public Works Director Moulton requested approval of Change Order #1 for the 2016 Traverse Acres project.  (City Administrator Prafke noted the title of the subdivision has since been changed to Traverse Green Subdivision; however for continuity of the City’s records the original contract will still be referred to as pertaining to Traverse Acres.) 

Moulton indicated the change order, which totaled $38,460.61, included grading corrections, topsoil and sediment removal from the storm basin; filling the depression area between the rain garden and Nicollet Avenue; detention basin shaping; rain garden construction; and miscellaneous changes.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-102 entitled “Resolution Approving Order No. 1 For 2016 Traverse Acres Subdivision Street And Utility Improvements Project“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-102 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Community Education Lease Renewal – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval for execution of a five year lease with School District #508 (Community Education) for rooms 206, 207, 208, 209 and 210 in the Community Center.  Prafke noted the leased space is slightly decreased from prior leases (ECFE will be relocating in September) and the initial monthly rent is $3,217.20 per month with a 2% increase each year of the lease term.  Councilmember Kvamme questioned the provision for use of the gym and asked who determines how many hours the tenant can use the gym.  Prafke noted the details are worked out by staff using the Community Center space utilization policy that had previously been adopted by the City Council.   In motion by Brand, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2017-103 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Lease For Rooms #206, 207, 208, 209, And 210 At The Community Center With School District #508 (Community Education)“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-103 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2017-2018 Water Fund Budget – Finance Director O'Connell and Public Works Director Moulton recommended approval of a two-year budget for the Water Fund in the amounts of $4,012,542 for 2017 and 3,283,232 in 2018.  O’Connell noted that there was no rate increase recommended and reviewed the expenditures and expected revenues proposed in the budget documents.  Councilmember Parras questioned why a two-year budget was being proposed.  O’Connell and City Administrator Prafke noted that it is already mid-year for 2017 and staff was proposing an experiment with budgeting so that the Council can look further ahead during the budget process. 

O’Connell also pointed out that there would be no transfer from the Water Fund to the General Fund, which previously was done in the amount of 6.5%, and the amount which would have been transferred by the Water Fund would instead be transferred from the Wastewater Fund for the next two years as the Wastewater Fund would have reduced requirements for debt service payments. 

Councilmember Kvamme asked for further discussion at a workshop session on the transfer issue and suggested that future Councils may find it difficult to restart the transfer to the General Fund, if it hasn’t been occurring for a number of years.   City Administrator Prafke indicated that discussion can be scheduled for a future workshop or goal session.  Prafke also noted that the capital plan for the Water Fund would be revisited with the City Council at the end of the year goal session.

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-104 entitled “Resolution Adopting 2017-2018 Water Fund Budget“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-104 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2017-2018 Wastewater Fund Budget – Finance Director O'Connell and Public Works Director Moulton recommended adoption of the 2017-2018 Wastewater Fund budgets in the amount of $3,632,643 and $3,718,456 respectively.  O’Connell indicated that like the Water Fund, there was no rate increase proposed.  O’Connell also pointed out that the Wastewater Fund budgets included transfer of 6.5% and $200,000 (in lieu of the Water Fund transfer) to the General Fund each year.  Moulton noted that debt service for the Wastewater Fund would decrease by $731,000 in 2022 and $513,000 in 2023.

In motion by Parras, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2017-105 entitled “Resolution Adopting 2017-2018 Wastewater Fund Budget“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-105 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2017-2018 Electric Fund Budget – Finance Director O'Connell and Public Works Director Moulton recommended adoption of the 2017-2018 Electric Fund budgets in the amounts of $12,498,782 and $12,032,458 respectively.  O’Connell also indicated they were recommending an increase in electric rates to be effective with service provided November 1, 2017 to compensate for an across the board increase from SMMPA.  O’Connell reviewed the anticipated revenues and expenditures in the Electric Fund, the reserve levels, and the proposed impact of the rate increase on different categories of rate payers. 

Councilmember Grams expressed his belief that it was short sided to use cash reserves instead of raising rates and that the projected reserve in the Electric Fund was extremely low for a budget of this size. 

City Administrator Prafke noted that eighty percent (80%) of the Electric Fund budget is the cost of power.

Councilmember Parras asked if the revenues currently being paid by SMMPA for the City’s electric generation plant, the contract for which expires in 2022, would need to be made up.  Moulton indicated that unless a contract is renewed with SMMPA, those revenues would need to be replaced, but noted that the City would own the plant and would have options related to the plant.

Councilmember Grams objected to the Electric Fund budget and rate increase “because we’re not covering our operational costs.” 

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-106 entitled “Resolution Adopting 2017-2018 Electric Fund Budget“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye; Councilmember Grams voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-106 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2017-107 entitled “Resolution Adopting Electric Rates“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye; Councilmember Grams voting nay the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-107 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Sunday Liquor Sales Modification – City Attorney Brandt presented a proposed modification to the City Code to allow Off-Sale Liquor License holders to operate on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. as recently authorized by State law.  Brandt noted that following the initial change in State law, additional action was taken that would allow cities the option of restricting the hours and days of sale further, but pointed out that if the Council chose to do so, the action would also apply to sale of 3.2 beer in grocery stores and convenience stores.  Brandt noted the change, if approved, would be effective July 1st. 

Mayor Zieman pointed out that if the Ordinance was approved, that did not require business owners to be open on Sunday, but it did give them the option to do so. 

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Ordinance No. 33, Third Series entitled “An Ordinance Amending Saint Peter City Code Chapter 3 ‘Alcoholic Beverages’, Article III ‘Liquor Licenses’ And Adopting By Reference Saint Peter City Code Chapter 1 Section 1-6, Which, Among Other Things, Contain Penalty Provisions“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Ordinance was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Ordinance No. 33, Third Series is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Ordinances 2.

Master Government Access Agreement – City Administrator Prafke recommended authorization be provided for execution of an agreement with the State of Minnesota Court Administration Office that would allow the Police Department and City Attorney’s Office access to court data services for governmental purposes.  Councilmember Grams questioned what additional information the Police Department and Attorney’s office was able to access that the public couldn’t see on the website.  Brandt indicated that the public can only see charges and the like and officials using the service are allowed to see details of actions before the courts.   In motion by Brand, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2017-108 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Execution Of Master Subscriber Agreement And Minnesota Government Access Request Form For Minnesota Court Data Services Between The City Of Saint Peter And The State of Minnesota, Office Of State Court Administration“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-108 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

New Business  License Application – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a Tree Worker license for Radel Tree, LLC.  Prafke noted the background investigation had revealed nothing that would prohibit issuance of the license.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2017-109 entitled “Resolution Approving New Business License“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2017-109 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

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

Solar Program Event – City Administrator Prafke reminded everyone of the public information event for the City’s solar subscription program which will be held in the Senior Center on June 29th at 5:30 p.m.

Workshop Cancellation – City Administrator Prafke noted the July 3rd City Council workshop has been cancelled.

Fourth of July Closures -  City Administrator Prafke pointed out the closures occurring due to the Fourth of July.

Goal Session (May 30, 2017) Report – City Administrator Prafke noted the goal session report contained in the City Council packet.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.