City Council Minutes of March 12, 2018

Date: 
March 12, 2018

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

MARCH 12, 2018

 

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 March 12, 2018.

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

Approval of Minutes – Mayor Zieman noted a correction to the minutes to indicate the Mayor pro tem was Councilmember Carlin rather than Councilmember Grams.  A motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Kvamme, to approve the minutes of the February 26, 2018 regular City Council meeting with the correction.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved as corrected.  A complete copy of the minutes of the February 26, 2018 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Grams, seconded by Johnson, Resolution No. 2018-35 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. 2018-35 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Street Vacation Request:  Myrtle Street – Community Development Director Wille presented the Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation for approval of a request submitted by Nicollet County for vacation of the Myrtle Street right-of-way lying easterly of South Front Street.  Wille noted the action was the first of three proposed actions that would eventually allow the County to turn the former residential properties into a parking facility for County operations.  Wille also stated that subsequent requests for rezoning of the property to Central Business District would come before the Council in the near future and the Board of Appeals was expected to be asked to consider a Conditional Use Permit for the property.  Mayor Zieman questioned if the garage that is currently located in the area would be removed.  Nicollet County Administrator Ryan Krosch indicated that the structure is used by the Sentence to Serve program and the current plan was to keep the garage on site.  Krosch also addressed a question related to stormwater runoff from the proposed parking lot and indicated the County was working with ISG Engineers and City staff to address stormwater control issues.

Councilmember Grams questioned if flood plain property was developable.  Wille noted that residential uses would not be allowed; however, a parking lot may be constructed under certain conditions such as raising the lot.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Johnson, Resolution No. 2018-36 entitled “Resolution Approving The Vacation Of A Portion Of Myrtle Street Right-of-way As Petitioned By The Nicollet County Board Of Commissioners“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2018-36 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Tobacco Regulations – City Administrator Prafke stated that a draft resolution directing staff to prepare an ordinance modification to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 contingent upon the cities  of Mankato and North Mankato taking action to raise the age had been prepared as directed by the City Council.  Prafke indicated the Council had expressed a desire for the City to “not be in island unto itself” and that the draft resolution would sunset at the end of 2019 (the end of the term for the current City Council) if Mankato and North Mankato had not made the change.  Prafke also noted that the Code changes that could eventually be adopted would make it illegal to sell tobacco products to those under 21 years of age, but would not criminalize possession or use by those under 21.

Karl Larson, 1302 Rockbend Parkway, addressed the Council to encourage the City Council to take the lead on raising the age to purchase tobacco and expressed his belief that reducing access to tobacco products will result in reduced use of tobacco.

Dr. Robert Gazzola, 1901 Orchard Ridge, expressed support for raising the age to purchase tobacco products and encouraged the Council to do what they can to stop younger people from having access to tobacco which would help stop addiction.  Gazzola indicated his belief that it was not wrong for the community to take a stand on the issue.

Cecili Polzin, 416 West Myrtle Street, addressed the Council in support of raising the age to 21.  Polzin indicated she had a strong commitment to the health of the Saint Peter community and she believed that raising the age is best for not only the children of today, but future generations and raising the age would save lives.

Dr. Keith Stelter, 355 North Welco Drive, encouraged the City Council to raise the age to 21 which he felt would provide a substantial benefit to the public.  Stelter also indicated his belief that tobacco addiction was one of the reasons why opiod addiction is difficult to treat.

Helen Baumgartner, 1214 Pine Pointe Curve, read a statement on behalf of the St. Peter Area League of Women Voters on the organization’s positon to support chemical health efforts for area youth.  Baumgartner encouraged the City Council to “be a leader” to protect the public health of youth.

Dr. Susan Klenk, 1011 Timber Ridge Trail, Eagle Lake, encouraged the Council to raise the age for tobacco purchase as she believed it was necessary to start early to prevent smoking.  Klenk also provided information on increased tobacco use by teenagers (chewing and vaping) and indicated that e-cigarettes were the most commonly used form of tobacco.  Klenk indicated the City of Saint Peter was “very progressive” and encouraged the Council to do everything they can to protect youth.

Nissa Fell, 225 West College Avenue, encouraged the City Council to approve the higher age requirement because “it’s the right thing to do” and not to make a decision based on what area communities do.  Fell also announced that the Gustavus Adolphus College campus will become tobacco free next year.

Gustavus Senior Leah Moat encouraged raising the age to 21 to keep her generation tobacco free and indicated her belief that 90% of smokers start before the age of 21.

Mary Hildebrandt, 204 North Fifth Street, expressed her belief that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and encouraged the Council to lead the way for the region and adopt the higher purchase age.

Erin Simmonds, 52698 Valley View Circle of North Mankato, appeared on behalf of the American Lung Association to encourage the Council to “start saving lives” by raising the age to 21.  Simmonds asks that the Council do better for the next generation and not wait for Mankato and North Mankato to take action.

Councilmembers had extensive discussion on whether the action should be contingent upon action by Mankato and North Mankato and possible action at the State legislature to make the change to 21 years of age a state-wide mandate.  Mayor Zieman also expressed concern about the financial impact on area businesses if a change were put in place. 

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2018-37 entitled “Resolution Directing Staff To Place On A Council Agenda A City Code Modification Increasing The Allowed Tobacco Purchase Age To 21“ was introduced with modification to direct staff to prepare an ordinance for Council consideration that would move forward with raising the purchase age to 21 without regard for any action that an area community might take, but taking into consideration the requirements in State Statute for notification to licensed tobacco holders and the general public notifications for any ordinance changes.

Upon roll call, with all in favor of the modified Resolution, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as changed.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2018-37 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Job Description Modifications – City Administrator Prafke recommended creation of position descriptions for two Recreation and Leisure Services Department part-time positions (Noon-Time Basketball Clerk and Certified Fitness Instructor – Older Adults).  Prafke noted that there are currently people in the jobs, but the descriptions had never been formally adopted.  Prafke also pointed out that there would be no fiscal impact to the action and no changes were being made to the wages for the current employees.  Councilmember Kvamme asked why vaccinations like flu shots and others were not required of the Fitness Instructor position since the employee would be working with seniors.  Prafke indicated he would research the question and provide an answer when he had more information.

In motion by Brand, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2018-38 entitled “Resolution Adopting Job Descriptions For Certified Fitness Instructor-Older Adults And Noon-Time Basketball Clerk“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2018-38 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Hallett’s Pond Project DNR Grant Application – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to submit another grant application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Grant Program for a project to construct an asphalt trail and a handicap fishing pier at Hallett’s Pond.  Moulton noted the 2017 application for the project had not been funded.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2018-39 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Submission Of Grant Application To The Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Grant Program“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2018-39 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Reports

“Vietnam Veterans Day” Proclamation – Mayor Zieman proclaimed March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day and encouraged the public to attend the ceremony on that day at the American Legion beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Zieman thanked Councilmember Kvamme for chairing the February 26, 2018 Council meeting in his absence.  Zieman also reported he and Councilmember Kvamme had attended a League of Women Voter’s roundtable discussion.

Tornado Commemoration Event – City Administrator Prafke reminded everyone of the 20th anniversary tornado commemoration event that would be held on March 29th at 5:15 p.m. in the High School auditorium.  Prafke noted the event was a time to celebrate the progress made in the community since the tornado and to thank all those who came to our assistance.

APPA Legislative Rally – Mayor Zieman and Councilmember Carlin reported on their attendance at the American Public Power Association legislative rally held in Washington D.C. along with Public Works Director Moulton.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Carlin, seconded by Johnson, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.