City Council Minutes of September 26, 2016

Date: 
September 26, 2016

MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING

SEPTEMBER 26, 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 September 26, 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, 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 Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, to approve the minutes of the September 12, 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 September 12, 2016 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19.

Consent Agenda –  In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-138 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. 2016-138 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Purchase Of Replacement Vehicle:  Electric – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to purchase a replacement pickup truck for the Electric Utility from Wolf Motors in the amount of $33,596.55.  Moulton indicated that as per Council direction at the last Council meeting, staff sought an additional proposal for a similar vehicle from Lager’s of Saint Peter.  Moulton noted the Lager’s proposal was approximately $500 higher than the state bid price vehicle from Wolf Motors.  Councilmember Kvamme questioned whether the $500 difference was significant enough to warrant purchasing a vehicle from an out of town dealer and whether it was more efficient and cost effective to buy locally even with the difference in price.  Moulton noted the recommendation was based simply on lowest overall cost.  Councilmembers discussed the policy to accept the lowest proposal only and how to determine when it might be more prudent to purchase at a slightly higher price in order to buy locally and/or realize savings in time for having to take vehicles out of town for servicing and other repairs.  A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin to approve a resolution that would authorize purchase, but substituting the purchase of a Dodge Ram Tradesman 2500 crew cab, 4 x 4 truck with an 8’ box as proposed by Lager’s of Saint Peter at the cost of $34,115.84.  City Administrator Prafke suggested that the resolution be further modified to include a section explaining the logic for accepting the higher priced quote.

Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution, which was renamed “Resolution Authorizing Purchase Of A Dodge Ram 2017 Tradesman 2500 Crew Cab 4 X 4 With An Eight Foot (8’) Box From Lager’s Of Saint Peter” was declared passed and adopted with all the suggested language changes.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-139 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Purchase of Replacement Vehicle:  Stormwater – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to purchase a replacement pickup truck for the Stormwater Utility from Lager’s Of Saint Peter in the amount of $29,593.85.  Moulton indicated that as per Council direction at the last Council meeting, staff sought an additional proposal for a similar vehicle from Lager’s of Saint Peter.  Moulton noted the Lager’s proposal was approximately $800 less than the state bid price vehicle from Midway Ford which had originally been proposed at the last Council meeting. 

In motion by Carlin, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-140 entitled “Resolution Authorizing The Budgeted Purchase Of A Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab 4 x 4 For The Stormwater Utility“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-140 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

2016 Levy Payable In 2017 – Finance Director O'Connell reviewed the proposed tax levy for 2016 payable in 2017 in the total amount of $2,543,337 which was a 11.34% increase, or  $259,029, over the previous year’s levy.  O’Connell noted the projected increase was based on a 3.5% tax capacity increase which could change when Nicollet County has their final figures available.  O’Connell reported that the tax rate would change from 47.27 to 50.85 if the levy were adopted.  O’Connell reviewed in more detail various line items from the proposed levy and also outlined some items that were not being funded including improvements to Gardner Road; the Minnesota Square Park pavilion; and a new Fire Hall.  O’Connell also noted that when the final levy is adopted at the first meeting in December, the amount can be reduced or stay the same, but it cannot be increased.  

Councilmember Parras indicated his concern that such a large increase was being proposed in light of the increase that taxpayers will have on their bills for the new high school and the increases recently announced for both Nicollet County and School District #508 and the increase in SMMPA rates.  Parras asked for more information on the $150,000 increase in the Police Department budget.

Mayor Zieman expressed his belief that “we need to revisit all or most of this.”

Councilmember Brand encouraged Councilmembers to appear at the State Capital to lobby for improvements in the local government aid program.

In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-141 entitled “Resolution Adopting Preliminary 2016 Tax Levy Collectible In 2017“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-141 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Front Street Substation Project – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization for DeWild Grant and Reckert to provide preliminary engineering work for a project to refurbish the Front Street Substation in two stages.  Moulton indicated DeWild Grant and Reckert would do the work for a fee not to exceed $52,500 which was approximately 12% of the total project cost of $1,600,000.  Moulton reported the project would include replacement of a transformer (stage 2) and switch gear and duct work (stage one) which will minimize the impact on the old transformer and lessen the load until the new transformer is in place.  Councilmember Grams questioned how the work would be funded.  City Administrator Prafke indicated DeWild Grant and Reckert would estimate the costs and 20-30 year revenue bonds could be used to fund the project.  Prafke stressed that it was important that the City do the work as planned repairs rather than being surprised with emergency expenses if the transformer were to fail. 

In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-142 entitled “Resolution Authorizing DeWild Grant And Reckert Engineering To Provide Preliminary Engineering Work For The 2016-2017 Front Street Substation Project“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-142 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Purchase Of Replacement Vehicle:  Water – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to purchase a replacement pickup truck for the Water Utility from Midway Ford Commercial in Roseville in the amount of $24,604.17.  Moulton noted that based on previous requests from the Council, staff also requested a proposal from Lager’s of Saint Peter for the vehicle and Lager’s had proposed a vehicle with a price that was slightly more than $500 higher.  A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Parras to approve a resolution that would authorize purchase, but substituting the purchase of a Dodge Ram Tradesman 1500 regular cab, 4 x 4 truck as proposed by Lager’s of Saint Peter at a cost of $25,114.46.  City Administrator Prafke again suggested additional language be added to the resolution explaining the reason for choosing the higher priced proposal.

Mayor Zieman expressed concerns that local vendors may feel that as long as they are close to other vendors they will get the business even if they weren’t the lowest bid.  Zieman stated that it is “not the role of City government to be awarding bids this way.”

Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution, which was renamed “Resolution Authorizing Purchase Of A Dodge Ram 2017 Tradesman 1500 Regular Cab 4 X 4 From Lager’s Of Saint Peter” was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-143 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Broadway Water Tower Refurbishment Project Engineering – Public Works Director Moulton requested Bolton and Menk, Inc. be retained to provide preliminary engineering work for a project to refurbish the Broadway Water Tower for a fee not to exceed $19,300.  Moulton noted the tower was last refurbished in 2001 and the tank was in very good condition.  Moulton also pointed out staff would be recommending the project be bid as a “best value contract” which was used for the Greenhill Water Tower project in 2013 and which would allow the City to select the best contractor who had the proper equipment, properly trained staff; and resources to do the project rather than the lowest cost bid.  Moulton stated bids would most likely be awarded in January so the contractor can schedule the work.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-144 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Engineering Services For Refurbishing Of Broadway Water Tower“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-144 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Consolidated Communications Cable TV Franchise Agreement – City Administrator Prafke reported Special City Attorney Robert Vose had concluded negotiations with Crystal Communications dba Consolidated Communications on renewal of the cable television franchise in Saint Peter.  Prafke noted changes to the agreement were minimal with the exception of the term of the agreement which would be 10 years (as opposed to the previous agreement which was 15 years) and the five percent (5%) franchise fee was being changed to a total of $30,000 which would be split by all franchise holders.  Prafke also noted that due to a recent law change, the agreement, which had previously been done by ordinance, was recommended to be approved by resolution and suggested changing the resolution title to more accurately reflect that change.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-145 entitled “Resolution Entering Into An Agreement With Crystal Communications dba Consolidated Communications Granting A Cable Television Franchise“ was introduced with the title change included.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-145 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Business License Applications – City Administrator Prafke recommended approval of a Soft Drink license for Nicollet Café and a Temporary Soft Drink license for the St. Peter Trap Team.  In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-146 entitled “Resolution Approving 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. 2016-146 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Park Name Designations – Public Works Director Moulton presented the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board’s top two recommendations for names for the new park at Traverse Green Subdivision and the new park adjacent to the new high school.  Moulton noted the names were the top two from the five that had been suggested by the select committee.  Councilmember Kvamme asked who was on the select committee and City Administrator Prafke indicated it was Bob Sandeen for his historical knowledge, Larry Parks who is a member of the Parks Board, and Chamber of Commerce Officer Peggy Carlson. 

Councilmember Brand questioned why the City wasn’t consulting with School District #508 on the name of the park abutting the school as requested by a member of the Parks Board.  City Administrator Prafke indicated he had discussed the matter with the Superintendent of Schools who indicated that the School District #508 representative on the Parks Board covers their involvement.

Mayor Zieman polled the Council to determine which of the two names, Prairie Ridge Park or Crossing Park, each member preferred.

In motion by Brand, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2016-146 entitled “Resolution Designating Name Of New City Park In Traverse Green Subdivision“ was introduced with the name “Prairie Ridge Park”.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, 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. 2016-146 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Mayor Zieman again polled the Council to determine which of the two names recommended names, West Side Park or Community Spirit Park, each member preferred for the park abutting the high school.

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2016-147 entitled “Resolution Designating Name Of New City Park Adjacent To High School“ was introduced with the name “Community Spirit Park”.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, 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. 2016-147 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Public Works Job Description Modifications –  Public Works Director Moulton and City Administrator Prafke recommended changes to the Public Works department staffing including elimination of the Forestry Foreman and Assistant Forester positions; establishing a position of Forester and approval of the job description; assigning the current Assistant Forester to the position of Forester; and changing the Parks Foreman job description to include supervision of the Forester and adding right-of-way and boulevard oversight.  Moulton indicated the changes were being recommended to allow the staff to be more productive and efficient in their jobs.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Brand, Resolution No. 2016-148 entitled “Resolution Modifying Staffing Levels And Certain Position Descriptions In The Public Works Department“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2016-148 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 21.

Reports

Staff Training – City Administrator Prafke reported non-emergency City offices would be closed on October 4th until 1:30 pm for staff training.

Oktoberfest – City Administrator Prafke reported no problems of significance had been reported associated with the Oktoberfest event.

Brush and Garden Waste Collection-  City Administrator Prafke reminded residents the City’s curbside brush and garden waste collection began on September 26th and the leaf collection would begin on October 24th for properties located south of Broadway Avenue and November 7th for properties located north of Broadway Avenue.

Joint Transit System – City Administrator Prafke updated Councilmembers on the progress in development of a joint transit system with the City of Le Sueur and announced the winning name submitted through the contest to name the joint system was “Minnesota River Valley Transit”.

Councilmember Kvamme reported he had attended the memorial service for former Councilmember Mary Gover who served sixteen years as a City Councilmember.  Kvamme stated Gover was a “remarkable person and an efficient and effective Councilmember.”

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 8:42 p.m.