City Council Meeting – Tuesday, September 19, 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, September 19, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.

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

In the Mayor’s absence, Council President John T. Buckley presided over the meeting.

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 DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Smith approving the agenda as presented.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson approving the September 5, 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 DeBlieck approving the September 13, 2017, Special City Council Meeting minutes as presented.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Attorney Amy Busse discussed the proposed Mayor and City Council Guidelines and Procedures Handbook.

Ms. Busse stated the Mayor and City Council Guidelines and Procedures Handbook was presented to the Mayor and City Council at a work session on August 29, 2017. It was discovered the City does not provide newly elected officials with any substantive information regarding the role of the Mayor and City Council as a whole, the role of the individual Council Member, the role of the City Administrator, the statutory obligations and prohibitions, information on open meeting laws, data practices, or conflicts of interest which are all vital aspects of being an elected official.

Ms. Busse stated a motion was made by Council Member Paul DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Matt Smith to table the adoption of the Handbook at the September 5, 2017, City Council meeting due to concerns with the proposed language.  Included in the motion was the creation of a workgroup consisting of Council Member DeBlieck and Council Member Smith to address the concerns.  Due to scheduling conflicts, Council Member Smith was not able to attend the meeting and stated there were no suggested edits to the proposed Handbook.  A meeting was held with Council Member DeBlieck on September 14, 2017, and after discussion, Council Member DeBlieck had no suggested edits to the proposed Handbook.

Ms. Busse stated if the proposed handbook is adopted, the current elected officials will sign the handbook acknowledgment form that will be put in their personnel file.  From this point forward, Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Stage will provide a copy of the Handbook to all newly elected officials during their orientation.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to adopt the Mayor and City Council Guidelines and Procedures Handbook.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Council President John T. Buckley presented Police Officer Chad Zastrow with a Chief’s Commendation Award.

Council President Buckley stated on August 28, 2017, the Redwood Falls Police Department responded to a report of a suicidal male who locked himself inside his residence with a loaded weapon threatening to kill himself.  When Officer Zastrow arrived on the scene, dispatch notified him the male was threatening to open fire if he and other units did not leave.  The male opened a window near Officer Zastrow and began threatening to open fire.  From a position of cover Officer Zastrow employed de-escalation techniques and engaged the subject in conversation.  Officer Zastrow eventually convinced the male to lay down his weapon and come outside.  Once the male came outside, Officer Zastrow continued a dialogue and convinced him to voluntarily get in a squad car for transport to the Redwood Area Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Council President Buckley stated during this incident, Officer Zastrow displayed a professional, calm and open demeanor with the subject while actively communicating with other officers on the scene.  Officer Zastrow’s actions were essential to end this dangerous situation safely.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins discussed the authorization to solicit bids for the proposed South Substation Switchgear Replacement Project.

Mr. Heins stated the South Substation is the last of the overhaul projects.  The South Substation was originally installed in 1968 making it the oldest gear in use.  Staff has had several problems with the gear and new parts are not available to replace the broken parts.

Mr. Heins stated the project was in the 2017 Capital Outlay – Enterprise Fund section of the budget and was shifted to the 2018 budget in the amount of $615,000.00.

Mr. Heins stated on May 3, 2016, the City Council approved DGR to develop the plans and specifications for this project.  Development of the plans and specifications took longer than expected due to the complexity of both the Nordberg generator and the Caterpillar generators, coupled with the fact the blueprints for the Nordberg engine controls could not be located requiring new blueprints being recreated and checked for accuracy.

Mr. Heins stated if staff receives approval to advertise for bids, the plan is to publicly open and read bids at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2017.  Once DGR reviews the bids and determines the lowest responsible bidder the request for approval will be presented at the Tuesday, November 7, 2017, City Council meeting.

A motion was made by Council Member DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Arentson approving the advertisement for bids for the South Substation Switchgear Replacement Project.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins stated the American Public Power Association (APPA) asked for the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to organize electric system mutual aid crews to assist with restoring power to residents affected by Hurricane Irma. 

Mr. Heins thanked the City Council for permitting Public Utilities Linemen Jason Halvorson and Erik Wieneke to volunteer and assist the residents in Kissimmee, Florida.

Resolution No. 41 of 2017 – Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement for Gilwood Haven Farm Land was presented by Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering.

Mr. Doering stated bids were opened on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.  Bids were solicited for the Gilwood Haven tract of land with five bids being submitted.

Mr. Doering stated staff is recommending awarding the 2018 land rental bid to Curt and LeRoy Mathiowetz of Wabasso for a three-year contract of $60,213.15 for 78.71 acres.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Resolution No. 41 of 2017 – Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement for Gilwood Haven Farm Land.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson approving Resolution No. 41 of 2017 – Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement for Gilwood Haven Farm Land.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Resolution No. 42 of 2017 – Authorization to Execute Proposal for Chilled Water System Retro-Commissioning Investigation was presented by Redwood Area Hospital CEO Bryan Lydick.

Mr. Lydick stated Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson (HGA) is working on the design of the new medical office building addition and the Hospital renovation.  During the initial systems review, it was brought to HGA’s attention that the existing chilled water system is not meeting the Hospital’s cooling needs during the hot and humid weather.  To help understand the magnitude of the issues related to the existing system, the Hospital provided HGA with a month of cooling system trend data from the building automation system (BAS).  A brief analysis of the data and the cooling system equipment shows there is a discrepancy between the required and scheduled values.  To address these deficiencies, HGA recommends a chilled water system retro-commissioning investigation.  HGA will provide a specific recommendation to improve the equipment’s efficiency, increase chilled water production capacity, reduce energy consumption, and control operating costs.

Mr. Lydick stated HGA proposed not to exceed a fee of $22,400.00 to complete the investigation phase.  Reimbursable expenses for travel and reproduction costs are anticipated to be less than $500.00.

Mr. Lydick stated the other piece of the project that is an unknown is the electrical service to the Hospital.  Life safety requirements state if the original feed is disrupted and the generator fails, a third source of power is required.  The Hospital currently has an emergency generator that powers the entire Hospital and staff has been working with the HGA engineers to find a third source of independent power to meet the requirement. 

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins stated staff is proposing to add a dedicated line from the south generation station to the Redwood Area Hospital located at 100 Fallwood Road and the Redwood Falls Fire Department located at 900 South Gould Street.

Mr. Heins stated if the primary circuit to the hospital is lost and the generator is down for service, the Caterpillar generators will fire and automatically feed the circuit.

A motion was made by Council Member DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 42 of 2017 – Authorization to Execute Proposal for Chilled Water System Retro-Commissioning Investigation.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member DeBlieck and seconded by Council Member Smith approving Resolution No. 42 of 2017 – Authorization to Execute Proposal for Chilled Water System Retro-Commissioning Investigation.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel stated an invitation was mailed to the property owners in the 600 and 700 blocks of East Meadow Lane for a neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.  City Engineer Andy Kehren, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, and Water/Wastewater Superintendent Tom Stough will be present to provide an overview of how the sanitary sewer works in their neighborhood, discuss possible infrastructure improvements and talk about what the homeowner can do to prevent backups from occurring.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel gave an overview to the City Council of the neighborhood meeting held on Monday, September 18, 2017, which was hosted by Redwood County to discuss the CSAH 101/DeKalb Street Roundabout Project.  The motion failed due to a lack of a second to approve moving forward with the roundabout project. An alternate design option will be proposed on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, by the Redwood County Highway Engineer Keith Berndt. To secure federal funding, a Tuesday, October 17, 2017, deadline has been set to make the plan design decision.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to adjourn the meeting at 5:42 p.m.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

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