City Council Minutes of November 14, 2016

Date: 
November 14, 2016

 

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

NOVEMBER 14, 2016

 

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 November 14, 2016.

A quorum present, Mayor Zieman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Pfeifer, Parras, Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, and Mayor Zieman.  Absent was Councilmember Grams.  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.

Public Hearing: Assessment of Unpaid Utility Charges – Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on the proposed assessment of unpaid utility charges at 7:02 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke reviewed the process to be followed for conduct of a public hearing.  Finance Director O'Connell provided background information on the proposed assessment of utility bills remaining unpaid as of May 31, 2016 in the total amount of $15,833.18.  O’Connell indicated that $5,905.76 would be assessed and the remainder, which is not assessable under Sstate law, would be written off as bad debt although collection efforts would continue.  City Administrator Prafke read into the record a letter received from Marc Bachmann, owner of 806 South Minnesota Avenue, objecting to the proposed assessment on his property which he felt was the responsibility of the previous owner of the home.  Staff and Councilmembers noted that a title search prior to buying the home would have shown the outstanding debt.  O’Connell indicated that Bachmann had told her he would go back to his title insurance company on the issue. There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:06 p.m.

Public Hearing: Assessment of Unpaid Miscellaneous Charges – Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on the proposed assessment of unpaid miscellaneous charges at 7:07 p.m.  Finance Director O'Connell reviewed the proposed assessments to seven properties for unpaid lawn mowing, property cleanup and improvement projects.  O’Connell also indicated she was recommending the bad debt write-off of a $60 charge for Recreation and Leisure Services Department registration fees that staff had deemed to be uncollectible. There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:08 p.m.

Public Hearing: Maplewood Apartments SCDP Grant Application Review – Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing on the Maplewood Apartments Small Cities Development Program grant application review at 7:08 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke noted the letter from Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) regarding the SCDP grant funded renovation of Maplewood Apartments.  Prafke indicated the funding was a pass-thru to SWMHP and the vast majority of the project had been completed.  Prafke also stated the public hearing was a requirement of the grant program and no further action was required by the City Council.  There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:09 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Carlin, seconded by Parras, to approve the minutes of the October 24, 2016 regular City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the October 24, 2016 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-163 entitled, “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“, was introduced.  Councilmember Brand asked for additional explanation on the DeWild, Grant, and Reckert charges on the bill list.  Public Works Director Moulton indicated the bill was a charge to review a proposed solar connection to the City’s electric system for a City utility customer and the engineering fees are passed on to the customer.  Mayor Zieman noted, in light of the Council’s recent discussion about buying locally even if the price is higher, the purchase from Menard’s for lumber for the new Mechanic’s shop and pointed out the $8,000 difference between the cost and the cost if the purchase had been made at St. Peter Lumber and questioned what defines “close enough” for pricing.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as modified.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-163 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Assessment Of Unpaid Utility Charges – Finance Director O'Connell recommended approval be provided for assessment of unpaid utility charges.  O’Connell noted the assessments would be for a one year period at 1.66% interest and the property owners had thirty (30) days to pay the assessments in full without interest or the full amount would be assessed on the 2017 tax roll with interest through the end of 2017.  Councilmember Parras again questioned whether unpaid utilities would be discovered during a title search.  City Attorney Brandt indicated that title searches normally include unpaid utilities and indicated the City has a very well defined system in place for responding in writing to such requests by title insurance companies and attorneys.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2016-164 entitled “Resolution Adopting Assessment For Unpaid Charges For Municipal Utilities And The Writing Off Of Bad Debt Utility Charges“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-164 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Assessment of Unpaid Miscellaneous Charges – Finance Director O'Connell recommended approval be provided for assessment of unpaid miscellaneous charges and write-off of a $60 recreation program charge as uncollectible.  O’Connell reported there were seven parcels involved for a total of $4,920.97 and the assessments would range in length from one to five years at 1.66% - 2.29% interest as outlined in the City’s assessment policy.  In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-165 entitled “Resolution Adopting Assessments Of Unpaid Miscellaneous Charges And Approval To Write-Off Uncollectible“ was introduced with a modification to specify write-off of the $60 recreation program charge.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted as modified.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-165 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21. 

Councilmember Kvamme noted that the $9,000 being written off from the unpaid utility charges was less than one-half of one percent of the total utility sales.

Revolving Loan Modifications – City Administrator Prafke reported the Economic Development Authority had received applications from four previous recipients of revolving loans asking to be included in the newly revised loan guidelines that would allow for forgiveness of a portion of their principle loan amounts.  Prafke noted the EDA recommendation was to approve the requests by Blaido, Inc. (dba 4 The Team), Chabeans, LLC (dba Patrick’s on 3rd), and Community Core Partners and to deny the request from Stelters (dba Fair Emporium) based on the Stelter loan being approved prior to consideration of the changes in the loan program.  Prafke also noted that the applicants would still need to meet the conditions that allow for partial forgiveness which included making every loan payment as due and in the full amount due.  Prafke also pointed out that the total exposure to the City if the forgiveness provisions were applied to the three loans would be $13,325.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-66 entitled “Resolution Retroactively Applying Partial Loan Forgiveness Provisions Of The Central Business District Renovation/Accessibility Enhancement Loan Program To Loan Previously Approved For Blaido, Inc. (D.B.A 4 The Team)“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Pfeifer abstaining, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-166 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-167 entitled “Resolution Modifying Terms Of Community Core Partners, LLC Revolving Loan To Retroactively Allow Partial Loan Forgiveness As Contained In The Central Business District Renovation/Accessibility Enhancement Loan Program“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Pfeifer abstaining, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-167 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-168 entitled “Resolution Approving Retroactive Application Of The Partial Loan Forgiveness Provision Of The Central Business District Renovation/Accessibility Enhancement Loan Program To Loan Previously Approved For Chabeans, LLC (D.B.A. Patrick’s On Third)“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Kvamme, Carlin, Brand, Parras and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Pfeifer abstaining, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-168 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Comprehensive Plan Update – City Administrator Prafke presented the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation for approval of the updated Comprehensive Plan.  Prafke noted the plan included the small changes recommended by the City Council at the last workshop session and would serve as the long-term land use plan for the City.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-169 entitled “Resolution Adopting Revised 2016 Comprehensive Plan For Municipal Development“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-169 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Parks Master Plan Update – Public Works Director Moulton presented the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recommendation for approval of an updated Parks Master Plan.  Moulton indicated the Board had been working on the update for 18 months and the last plan had been adopted in 2005.  Moulton indicated the plan includes revisions related to a higher demand for open space in the community and more passive uses of those open spaces; the two new parks being developed; expansion of Ramsey Park; future specialty parks like BMX, archery, and skateboard; Americans with Disabilities Act compliance regulations; comprehensive trail system; an increase in population of almost 2,000 people since the last plan was adopted; and the City’s relationship with the various athletic associations.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-170 entitled “Resolution Adopting The 2016 Parks Master Plan“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-170 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Agreements – City Administrator Prafke recommended authorization be approved for execution of agreements with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) that would allow continued access to BCA records by the Police Department and the City Attorney’s office.  Prafke noted that the existing agreements, which were initially entered into in 2011, would expire this year and without new agreements the City’s access to BCA records would be curtailed which would hamper Police and prosecution efforts.   In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-171 entitled “Resolution Approving State Of Minnesota Joint Powers Agreements With The City Of Saint Peter On Behalf Of Its’ City Attorney And Police Department“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-171 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2017 Stormwater Budget – Finance Director O'Connell reviewed the proposed 2017 budget for the Stormwater Fund in the total amount of $813,447.  O’Connell reported the budget was similar to the 2016 budget and did not include a rate change.  O’Connell reviewed the capital projects and purchases included in the budget and indicated that the expected reserve balance at the end of 2017 would be $276,000.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-172 entitled “Resolution Adopting The 2106 Stormwater Enterprise Fund Budget“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-172 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Zieman reported on his attendance at the signing ceremony for the new agreements with Greater Mankato Growth Regional Economic Development Alliance.  Zieman also reported that representatives from Saint Peter’s Sister City of Petatlan, Mexico would be arriving for a visit the weekend after Thanksgiving.

LMC Regional Meetings – Councilmember Parras reported on the League of Minnesota Cities regional meeting he attended which focused on communication, civility and diversity.

General Election – City Administrator Prafke thanked the City’s Election Judges for their service during the Presidential election and indicated the Election Judges were the “stewards of democracy.”

City/County Meeting Schedule- City Administrator Prafke noted that a joint meeting of the City and County committee would be scheduled soon.

City/School Board Meeting Schedule – City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers of the joint meeting between the City Council and the School Board which was scheduled for November 30th at 6:00 p.m. in the Governors' Room.

Goal Session Report – City Administrator Prafke stated the report from the November 7, 2016 goal session would be provided in the next Council packet.

City Administrator Prafke also reported that the newly purchased public access equipment was being used for the first time.

Executive Session:  City Land Sale Negotiations – City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session to discuss negotiations for sale of the City owned land formerly used as the wastewater treatment ponds.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-173 entitled “Resolution Calling For Closed Session“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-173 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.  Prafke stated the closed session would take place in the St. Peter Room of the Community Center and the only action expected to take place when the Council returned to open session would be to adjourn the meeting.

The Council adjourned to closed session in the St. Peter Room of the Community Center at 8:05 p.m.  The Council returned to open session at 8:15 p.m.

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 8:16 p.m.