City Council Minutes of November 23, 2015

Date: 
November 23, 2015

 

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

NOVEMBER 23, 2015

 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 23, 2015.

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

Public Hearing:  Assessment of Unpaid Utility Charges  -   Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on the proposed assessment of unpaid utility charges at 7:02 p.m.  City Administrator Prafke reviewed the process for conducting a public hearing.  Finance Director O'Connell presented information on the proposed assessment of $7,667.63 in unpaid utility charges which would be assessed over a period of one year at 1.31% interest as provided for in the City’s assessment policy and $11,584.98 in unpaid charges that would be written off as bad debt due to being unassessable or due to bankruptcy or death of the customer.  Councilmember Zieman asked if the interest rate was standard with area cities.  O’Connell did not have an answer, but pointed out the interest rate had been established at one percent (1%) over the rate of a one year U.S. Treasury bond as provided for in the assessment policy.  There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:05 p.m.

Public Hearing:  Assessment of Unpaid Miscellaneous Charges  -   Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on the proposed assessment of unpaid miscellaneous charges at 7:05 p.m.  Finance Director O'Connell presented information on the proposed assessment of $1,465 in unpaid miscellaneous (frozen water meter and lawn mowing) charges.  O’Connell noted the assessments would be for one year at 1.31% interest.  There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:07 p.m.

Public Hearing:  Assessment of Unpaid Improvement Charges  -   Mayor Strand opened the public hearing on the proposed assessment of unpaid improvement charges at 7:07 p.m.  Finance Director O'Connell presented information on the proposed assessment of $14,591.50 in miscellaneous improvements to sidewalks and drainage projects for which the property owners had previously signed waivers of assessments.  O’Connell noted the assessments would range from 10-15 years with interest rates of 1.62% and 1.98% as provided for in the assessment policy.  There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 7:09 p.m.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Grams, to approve the minutes of the November 9, 2015 regular City Council meeting.   With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the November 9, 2015 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2015-157 entitled, “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  With all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-157 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20.

Assessment of Unpaid Utility Charges – Finance Director O'Connell requested approval for assessment of $7,677.63 in unpaid utility charges as authorized by State law.  Councilmember Grams requested clarification on what portion of an unpaid bill was deemed assessable.  O’Connell stated unassessable charges are electric bills incurred by a tenant and the City also writes off charges under $10, bankruptcy charges and unpaid bills where the customer died.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2015-158 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. 2015-158 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Assessment of Unpaid Miscellaneous Charges – Finance Director O'Connell requested approval for assessment of unpaid miscellaneous charges totaling $1,465.00.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2015-159 entitled “Resolution Adopting Assessment Of Unpaid Miscellaneous Charges”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-159 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Assessment of Unpaid Improvement Charges – Finance Director O'Connell requested approval for assessment of unpaid improvement charges for sidewalk and drainage projects in the amount of $14,591.50 for which the property owners had signed waivers of assessments.  O’Connell pointed out the interest rates ranged from 1.62% on a 10 year assessment to 1.98% on a 15 year assessment as authorized in the City’s assessment policy.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Zieman, Resolution No. 2015-160 entitled “Resolution Adopting Miscellaneous Improvement Assessments”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-160 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Interfund Loan Authorization – Finance Director O'Connell requested authorization for an interfund loan from the General Fund to finance City costs associated with development of a new housing subdivision.  O’Connell reported the costs would be funded eventually by the Nicollet Meadows Tax Increment Financing No. 1-10, but until the end of 2017 the district would not generate sufficient increments to fund the expenses and State law allowed for an interfund “loan” if authorized by resolution.  O’Connell further stated the “loan” would be repaid with three percent (3%) interest and the resolution authorized a loan of up to $150,000.  City Administrator Prafke noted the authorization would allow the City to avoid issuing debt to fund the expenditures.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2015-161 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Interfund Loan For Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-10”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-161 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Cable Television Franchise Extension – City Administrator Prafke provided the recommendation from Special City Attorney Robert Vose to approve a six month extension to the existing cable television franchise agreement with Crystal Communications (now dba Consolidated Communications).  Prafke indicated the extension would allow for negotiation of both the Consolidated agreement and the Mediacom agreement on a coincident timeline which would be a benefit to the City.  Prafke also noted Consolidated had already agreed to the extension and the new agreements for both cable companies were expected to be in place by March, 2016.  In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2015-162 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Agreement For Six Month Extension To Consolidated Communication Cable Television Franchise Agreement”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2015-162 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Business License Applications – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of several new business license applications.  Prafke noted nothing had been found in the background investigations that would prohibit issuance of the licenses. In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2015-163 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. 2015-163 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 20. 

Reports

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Strand reported on his attendance at the fall Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities conference (along with Councilmember Brand); participation in the visit by the Senate Bonding Committee; a donation ceremony at the Fire Department where AgStar presented a donation of $3,000; and cancellation of a meeting with officials from the Regional Treatment Center. 

ICLV Visit – Councilmember Carlin and City Administrator Prafke provided information on their participation in the InterCity Leadership Visit to Columbia, Missouri sponsored by Greater Mankato Growth (GMG).  Carlin reported the visit focused on arts, cultural, agricultural and entrepreneurial issues and collaboration between various groups.  Prafke noted GMG would issue a report on the trip in the next few weeks and copies would be provided to the City Council.

Curbside Leaf Collection – Public Works Director Moulton reported the City’s curbside leaf collection would be finished on November 25th and over 1,200 cubic yards of materials, or 80 truck loads, have been collected so far.  Moulton also reported that the City of North Mankato has allowed use of their equipment when the City’s truck had mechanical problems.

Council Reception – City Administrator Prafke reminded Councilmembers and the public of the reception for incoming/outgoing Councilmembers which will take place in the Governors' Room of the Community Center on Monday, December 7th between 4-5:00 p.m.

Closed Session:  Land Purchase Negotiations and Union Contract Negotiations – City Administrator Prafke requested a closed session as allowed under State law to discuss land purchase negotiations and union contract negotiations with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 70 (Streets, Utilities and Parks) and Law Enforcement Labor Services Local No. 241 (Police Officers) and Local No. 240 (Dispatchers).  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2015-164 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. 2015-164 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council resolutions 20. 

The City Council adjourned to closed session in the St. Peter Room at 7:44 p.m. for discussion of land purchase negotiations and union negotiations with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 70 (Streets, Utilities and Parks) and Law Enforcement Labor Services Local No. 241 (Police Officers) and Local No. 240 (Communications Technicians).

The Council adjourned to closed session in the St. Peter Room of the Community Center at 7:57 p.m. for discussion of land purchase negotiations.  The Council returned to open session at 8:14 p.m.

The Council adjourned to closed session for discussion of Police Officer Union contract negotiations at 8:15 p.m.  The Council returned to open session at 8:31 p.m.

The Council adjourned to closed session for discussion of Communications Technicians (Dispatchers) Union contract negotiations at 8:31 p.m.  The Council returned to open session at 8:32 p.m.

The Council adjourned to closed session for discussion of Streets Union contract negotiations at 8:34 p.m.  The Council returned to open session at 8:59 p.m.

The Council adjourned to closed session for discussion of Parks Union contract negotiations at 9:01 p.m.  the Council returned to open session at 9:07 p.m.

The Council adjourned to closed session for discussion of Utilities Union contract negotiations at 9:09 p.m.  The Council returned to open session at 9:37 p.m.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Brand, seconded by Parras, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.