City Council Meeting – August 3, 2021

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2021

 

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, August 3, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

Roll call indicated Mayor Tom Quackenbush and Council Members John T. Buckley, Matt Smith, Larry Arentson, and Denise Kerkhoff were present constituting a quorum. Council Member Jim Sandgren was absent.

Also present were City Administrator Keith Muetzel, City Attorney Trenton Dammann, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, and Council Secretary Caitlin Kodet.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the agenda. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the July 20, 2021, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the following items on the Consent Agenda.

1. Tobacco License Application – Redwood Tobacco, Inc.
2. Fire Department Appointment

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel gave an update regarding the Finance Director Hiring Process.

Mr. Muetzel stated the hiring committee interviewed three applicants for the Finance Director position. The applicants completed three small group interview stations with a combination of Council Members and City Staff as well as a formal interview with the hiring committee. Kari Klages has been offered the position and has accepted the employment offer. Ms. Klages is currently the Finance Director for the City of Olivia, MN and has experience with the City’s current financial software, Incode. Ms. Klages’ tentative start date is August 23, 2021.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Finance Director employment offer to Kari Klages. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Building Official Position.

Mr. Muetzel stated the hiring committee completed the selection process for the Building Official position. The committee interviewed three applicants and recommends approval of the employment offer to Matthew Johnson. Matt is a licensed building contractor and a resident of Redwood Falls. Matt is also a member of the Redwood Falls Fire Department, and his fire department training is directly applicable to the fire marshal responsibilities of the position. Matt will tentatively start November 1, 2021 with an annual starting salary at Grade 8, Step 4 with annual compensation for his roles on the Fire Department and as Fire Marshal.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the Building Official employment offer to Matthew Johnson. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 42 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement.

Mr. Muetzel stated on March 16, 2021, Council approved the purchase of a fire department ladder truck in the amount of $1,150,692.00. The approved purchase price includes a prepay discount in the amount of $38,908.00. Payment in the amount of $1,150,692.00 was initiated to the truck vendor (MacQueen Emergency) on March 31, 2021, however, the payment has been delayed due to a bank wire fraud investigation.

Mr. Muetzel stated on June 14, 2021, the City of Redwood Falls issued a press release regarding the wire fraud investigation. The press release stated “Through the course of the investigation, funds have been located, secured, and are currently in the process of seizure to be returned to the City of Redwood Falls. The City of Redwood Falls is expecting a net financial loss of less than 1% of the funds as a result of the crime.” At this time, the seized funds remain in the custody of the United States Secret Service and the timeline to return the remaining funds is estimated to take another 90 days. In the meantime, the truck is in production and the truck manufacturer (Pierce) has requested receipt of the delayed payment. In order to maintain our prepay discount, the truck vendor is requesting the City enter into a 1-year equipment lease with PNC Equipment Finance. This action will allow the truck vendor and manufacturer to receive payment for the truck while maintaining our original purchase price of $1,150,692.00 and not have any delays to production.

Mr. Muetzel stated under the terms of the lease, the City will make an upfront payment of $541,197.32 and a final payment in the amount of $609,494.65 in August of 2022. The total of the two payments are equal to the original invoice amount of $1,150,692.00. By taking this action the City does not incur any cost associated with the delayed payment. The proposed lease has been reviewed and is recommended for approval by City’s financial advisor and bond attorney.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 42 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 42 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Lease Agreement. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Council Member Kerkhoff expressed enthusiasm about filling two department head positions with strong candidates.

Mayor Quackenbush reminded Council of the upcoming City Council Work Session.

City Administrator Muetzel stated Vantage Point Marketing will be presenting at the Work Session regarding the progress on the housing and industrial development projects and recent marketing meetings.

Mayor Quackenbush encouraged Council Members to be prepared to utilize the marketing tools that are being developed.

Council Member Buckley requested an update on the former hospital site remodel. City Administrator Muetzel stated the City has not received a recent update from the developer for the former hospital site remodel. The original plan was to start the interior remodel this fall and winter.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering gave an update regarding the Lake Redwood dredging project. A pre-construction meeting will be held at the Redwood Area Community Center on August 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. led by the Redwood-Cottonwood Rivers Control Area (RCRCA) and Brennen Industries. The pre-construction meeting is open to the public and by invite to approximately 85 residents living near the lake. Mayor and Council members are also invited to attend the meeting.

Bills and Claims were presented to Council for informational purposes. No questions, comments, or concerns were raised.
There being no further business, a motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to adjourn the meeting at 5:41 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.