City Council Meeting – Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Redwood Falls City Council was called to order in the Municipal Chambers on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.

Roll call indicated Mayor Corey Theis and Council Members Jim Sandgren, Matt Smith, Larry Arentson, John T. Buckley and Paul DeBlieck were present, constituting a quorum.

Also present were City Administrator Keith Muetzel, Director of Finance & Administrative Services Melissa Meyer, City Attorney Amy Busse, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, and Council Secretary Amy Kerkhoff.   

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith approving the agenda as presented.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Buckley approving the October 3, 2017, Regular City Council Meeting minutes as presented.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson unanimously approving the following items on the Consent Agenda.

1.    Approve KLGR Advertising Exchange

2.    Accept Resignation of Parks & Recreation Director

Mayor Corey Theis presented Assistant Chief Jason Cotner, Officer Dana Woodford and Officer Steve Schroeder with a Chief’s Commendation Award.

Mayor Theis stated on August 15, 2017, at 3:11 p.m., officers of the Redwood Falls Police Department including Assistant Chief Jason Cotner, Officer Dana Woodford, and Office Steve Schroeder assisted in the rescue of an individual who had been severely injured after jumping off the waterfall at Ramsey Park. 

Mayor Theis stated the officers arrived at the Ramsey Falls Overlook and located the victim who was unresponsive and laying in the water approximately 75 feet below.  The officers determined due to the steep and rocky terrain it would be unsafe to attempt to climb directly down to the victim.  The officers found an alternative route to the riverbank approximately 200 yards away.  Once they arrived at the victim, they pulled him out of the water and provided medical aid.  While the officers stabilized the victim, the Redwood Falls Fire Department and North Memorial Ambulance readied and lowered a rescue basket to them.  Once placed into the rescue basket the victim was raised out of the overlook area and flown to the Twin Cities for advanced medical care.  At last report, the victim suffered paralysis in his legs but was expected to survive his injuries.

Mayor Theis stated that while responding to this incident the three officers displayed dedication and ingenuity in reaching a critically injured victim located in a particularly difficult area to access.  Once the victim had been safely evacuated from the scene, the officers also required medical attention for injuries sustained while traversing the water and rocky terrain.  Assistant Chief Cotner and Officers Woodford and Schroeder should be commended for their potential life-saving actions during this incident.  The officer’s actions and dedication to rescuing a severely injured person reflect highly on themselves, the Redwood Falls Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

Parks & Recreation Coordinator Ross Nachreiner was present to discuss necessary slide maintenance at the Redwood Falls Aquatic Center.

Mr. Nachreiner stated SplashTacular completed a site visit at the aquatic center and has suggested a variety of maintenance and restoration services.  Staff is recommending to pursue Item D of the quote, which will include sanding and preparation of the seams as needed, align and caulk, clean, buff and wax both sides of the slides.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member DeBlieck approving the Item D portion of the SplashTacular quote in the amount of $23,545.00 for slide maintenance at the Redwood Area Aquatic Center.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Resolution No. 45 of 2017 – Authorization to Submit a Local Road Improvement Program Grant for the Courthouse Square Reconstruction Project was presented by Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering.

Mr. Doering stated the resolution would authorize the submittal of the Local Road Improvement Program Grant (LRIP) application for the reconstruction of the roads around the Courthouse.  The current engineering estimate is set at $1,438,693.44 provided by Andy Kehren with Bolton and Menk.  The grant would fund up to a maximum of $1,000,000.00.  The application is due on November 3, 2017.

Mr. Doering stated that City Administrator Keith Muetzel presented the project to the Redwood County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, October 3, and requested a 50% match of the remaining costs.  The Redwood County Board approved the request and committed to providing $219,346.00 for funding the project. 

Mr. Doering stated the City is also required to match the remaining $219,346.00.  The break down by construction percentage would allocate 87% or a $190,831.02 levy to the street fund, 5% or $10,967.30 to the stormwater fund, 6% or $13,160.76 to the water fund and 2% or $4,386.92 to the sanitary sewer fund.

Mr. Doering stated staff is recommending the approval of Resolution No. 45 that will enable the submission of the grant application to secure the state funds.  It is expected that there will be high demand for the grant dollars.  In the event the City is not awarded the grant, the project will not move forward in 2019, and the City will wait until the next LRIP grant solicitation in hopes to obtain grant funding at that point in time.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member DeBlieck to waive the reading of Resolution No. 45 of 2017 – Authorization to Submit a Local Road Improvement Program Grant for the Courthouse Square Reconstruction Project.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley approving Resolution No. 45 of 2017 – Authorization to Submit a Local Road Improvement Program Grant for the Courthouse Square Reconstruction Project.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Resolution No. 46 of 2017 – Authorizing Execution of an Engagement Letter for the Redwood Area Hospital Project Financing was present by David Drown Associate (DDA) Shannon Sweeney.

Mr. Sweeney stated the City recently sent out a Request for Qualifications to six underwriters to assist with placing bonds and notes with investors for the Redwood Area Hospital Master Plan Project.  All six underwriters responded with two firms submitting a joint proposal.  The respondents were reviewed based on seven criteria that include overall experience, experience working with the USDA, fees for both the temporary and long-term financing, strategy for involving local investors, additional issuance expenses required to implement the finance plan, operating covenants that would be imposed, and finance options available.

Mr. Sweeney stated, based on the review of the submittals by City staff, DDA recommends that the City engage the team of Baird/Lancaster Pollard to serve as underwriter for the proposed project financing.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Resolution No. 46 of 2017 – Authorizing Execution of an Engagement Letter for the Redwood Area Hospital Project Financing.  Motion was passed by the following roll call vote:

AYE:    Council Members Sandgren, Smith and Arentson

NO:      Council Member DeBlieck

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley approving Resolution No. 46 of 2017 – Authorizing Execution of an Engagement Letter for the Redwood Area Hospital Project Financing.  Motion was passed by the following roll call vote:

AYE:    Council Members Sandgren, Smith and Arentson

NO:      Council Member DeBlieck

Resolution No. 47 of 2017 – Declaring the Official Intent to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from the Proceeds of Bonds to be issued by the City was presented by David Drown Associate (DDA) Shannon Sweeney.

Mr. Sweeney stated IRS regulations require that if a unit of government intends to reimburse capital project costs with the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds, the unit of government must declare its intent to do so within 60 days of incurring the capital project costs.

Mr. Sweeney stated as the construction of the Redwood Area Facility Master Plan Project could potentially be initiated prior to the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, it is recommended that the City approve a reimbursement resolution declaring its intent to reimburse capital project costs with the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds.

Mr. Sweeney stated the resolution does not obligate the City to issue bonds or incur capital costs, it merely provides additional flexibility within the project timeline for implementation of construction and project finance.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Resolution No. 47 of 2017 – Declaring the Official Intent to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from the Proceeds of Bonds.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley approving Resolution No. 47 of 2017 – Declaring the Official Intent to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from the Proceeds of Bonds.  Motion was passed by the following roll call vote:

AYE:    Council Members Sandgren, Smith and Arentson

NO:      Council Member DeBlieck

Resolution No. 47 of 2017 – Providing for the Redemption and Prepayment of the Gross Revenue Hospital Crossover Refunding Bonds, Series 2005B was presented by David Drown Associate (DDA) Shannon Sweeney.

Mr. Sweeney stated the financing plan for the Redwood Area Facility Master Plan Project includes the refinancing of outstanding hospital debt.  The reasons for refinancing and prepayment are due to current interest rates being lower, and savings can be achieved through refinancing the existing obligation. In addition, covenants on existing debt will likely pose a conflict with the new financial plan that involves temporary construction financing.

Mr. Sweeney stated the 2005 Gross Revenue Hospital Crossover Refunding Bonds can only be called on interest payment dates which occur on December 1 and June 1 of each year.  As portions of the project financing will be implemented prior to the June 1, 2018, payment date.  David Drown staff recommends that the remaining principal balance on the 2005B Bonds be called and prepaid with cash reserves on December 1, 2017.  Council action is required to implement the prepayment of the bonds remaining maturities balance of $860,000.00.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 47 of 2017 – Providing for the Redemption and Prepayment of the Gross Revenue Hospital Crossover Refunding Bonds, Series 2005B.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith approving Resolution No. 47 of 2017 – Providing for the Redemption and Prepayment of the Gross Revenue Hospital Crossover Refunding Bonds, Series 2005B.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Resolution No. 49 of 2017 – Authorizing Execution of a Master Services Agreement and Addendum with Voyant Communications, LLC for Voice and Data Services at the Redwood Area Hospital and the City of Redwood Falls was presented by IT Manager Linda Maas.

Ms. Maas stated the IT Department began a search to identify a replacement for the PBX phone system currently in place at the Hospital.  Staff included the needs of the City in the criteria when Toshiba, the manufacturer of the City’s phone system announced they would exit the phone market in 2017, requiring the City to plan for a replacement system.  Adding Voice and Data Services (VOIP) on the top of the network services already in place makes the most sense financially, and Voyant has a proven track record with the Hospital as a reliable service provider.

Ms. Maas stated the Master Services Agreement and Addendum with Voyant are based on the fact that Voyant currently provides VOIP phone service at the Redwood Area Hospital Pavilion and has provided phone services for ACMC in Redwood Falls for over 13 years.  Voyant has held demonstrations for the Hospital and City staff showing the Voyant system can fit multiple needs.  Voyant’s past performance as the network provider for internet and data services has been exceptional.

A motion was made by Council Member DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 49 of 2017 – Authorizing Execution of a Master Services Agreement and Addendum with Voyant Communications, LLC for Voice and Data Services at the Redwood Area Hospital and the City of Redwood Falls.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member DeBlieck approving Resolution No. 49 of 2017 – Authorizing Execution of a Master Services Agreement and Addendum with Voyant Communications, LLC for Voice and Data Services at the Redwood Area Hospital and the City of Redwood Falls.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

 Director of Finance & Administrative Services Melissa Meyer discussed the Minnesota Investment Fund State Funded RLF Request for One-Time Exception.

Ms. Meyer stated the Legislature passed legislation in 2017 that allows cities, counties, and townships that have revolving loan funds (RLF) seeded by state-funded Minnesota Investment Fund loan repayments to use 80% of the uncommitted balance for any lawful purpose if 20% of the balance is returned to the State of Minnesota.  The City has $39,931.10 of such funds as a result of the state-funded Minnesota Investment Fund loan to RVI in 2007, where a portion of each repayment was returned to Minnesota DEED, and the balance was retained to create an RLF.

A motion was made by Council Member DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Sandgren approving staff’s request for a one-time exemption to return 20% or $7,986.22 of the Minnesota Investment Fund (RLFs) to the State of Minnesota, and the City retains the remaining 80% or $31,944.88.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

United Community Action Transportation Director Cathleen Amick was present to discuss the preliminary Community Transit bus route in the City of Redwood Falls.

Ms. Amick stated Community Transit is a public transportation program that is partially funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Redwood Falls, and Redwood County.  United Community Action currently provides dial-a-ride service, which requires people to contact a dispatch center in advance to schedule their transportation. 

Ms. Amick stated through a special grant from MnDOT, funding was awarded to add a route in Redwood Falls.  The route will allow people to get a ride from designated stops at set times throughout the day.  This type of service will allow residents to plan their travel without having to call ahead.  Route stops are planned at West Falls, Lakeside Manor, Downtown, the Post Office/Government Building, the Library/Homestead, Country Village, ACMC, the Community Center, Wal-Mart, and Tersteeg’s.

Ms. Amick stated the Redwood Area Transit Advisory Committee has been involved in the design of the route.  The committee has contacted all the businesses and residential building facilities along the route.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member DeBlieck approving the City’s support of the United Community Action Partnership Community Transit bus route and for the Street Department to provide passenger stop road markings, installation of sign posts, and ongoing maintenance of the passenger stop areas.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel discussed the Redwood County Historical Society Funding request.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Sandgren approving a one-time contribution to the Redwood County Historical Society in the amount of $500.00 from the Economic Development Fund.  The motion was amended by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to change the one-time contribution from $500.00 to $1,000.00.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel discussed the proposed City Council work session meeting with the Public Utilities Commission regarding the proposed utility rate increases.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Melissa Meyer stated every three years DGR reviews the cost of service calculations.  Mr. Metzger with DGR will attend the work session to discuss the proposed options for the rate structure for 2018 and possibly for 2019.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson to schedule a joint City Council and Public Utilities work session on Monday, October 23, 2017, at 5:30 p.m.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel requested the City Council schedule a work session to review the Police Candidates.  The position posting closed on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, and a total of 37 applications were received.  David Drown Associate Greg Weiers, City Administrator Keith Muetzel, and Human Resource Coordinator Sheila Stage scored all the applicants to determine a ranking and have developed a pool of 12 candidates.  The selected candidates have been notified they will progress to the next step which is a video interview.

Mr. Muetzel stated staff is looking for a possible alternative date to schedule a City Council work session since the normal work session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 31, 2017.  The City Council will review the 12 video interviews and narrow the candidates to a group of finalists to be invited for face to face interviews.    

The City Council determined it would work best to hold the City Council work session on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. and have an alternate date of Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at 3:00 p.m.  The interview dates will continue to be held for Monday, November 20, 2017, and Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel discussed the Meadow Lane sanitary sewer smoke testing results.  There are no breaks or ruptures in the sanitary sewer and overall is in good condition.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel discussed the Redwood County Commissioners decision to do nothing at the current intersection of Cook and DeKalb Streets.  The DeKalb Reconstruction Project will move forward in 2018 with no change to the road design.   

There being no further business, a motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member DeBlieck to adjourn the meeting at 7:01 p.m.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

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