City Council Meeting – December 4th, 2018

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, December 4, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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

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

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the November 13, 2018, minutes as presented. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

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

1. Approve KLGR Advertising Exchange
2. Approve 2018 Therapeutic Massage License – Emily Moseng, Redwood Chiropractic PSC
3. Approve 2019 Business License Renewals

CIGARETTE AND OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS:

• Tersteeg’s Inc.
• Wal-Mart, Inc. #1865
• Farmers Coop Company of Renville d.b.a Cenex

OFF SALE 3.2 MALT LIQUOR:

• Wal-Mart, Inc. #1865

ON SALE 3.2 MALT LIQUOR:

• Redwood County Ag Society

ON SALE LIQUOR:

• Las Lomas, Inc. d.b.a. Plaza Garibaldi

ON SALE SUNDAY LIQUOR:

• Las Lomas, Inc. d.b.a. Plaza Garibaldi

SOLID WASTE HAULING – COMMERICAL:

• Southwest Sanitation, Inc.
• West Central Sanitation, Inc.

SOLID WASTE HAULING – RESIDENTIAL:

• West Central Sanitation, Inc.

THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE:

• Mind Body Spirit Wellness Center – Shawn Dixon
• Riverbend Therapeutic Massage – Tammy Tordsen

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 63 of 2018 – Approving Joint Powers Agreement for the Sale of Wetland Bank Credits.

Mr. Doering stated Resolution No. 63 authorizes the sale of 11 wetland credits of the 16.1859 available at $45,000.00 per credit plus additional fees for a total of $515,510.00. The $45,000.00 price per credit is a negotiated market price. The City in turn is required to pay the transfer and stewardship fees of $20,510.00 as required by the wetland bank program.

Mr. Doering stated the Public Works Committee consisting of Councilmen Arentson, Councilmen Sandgren, City Administrator Muetzel and Public Works Project Coordinator Doering reviewed the proposal and reached a consensus to bring the sales agreement to the full City Council for approval. The proceeds are to be used to offset a portion of the pledged matching funds for the Lake Redwood Restoration Project.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 63 of 2018 – Approving Joint Powers Agreement for the Sale of Wetland Bank Credits. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 63 of 2018 – Approving Joint Powers Agreement for the Sale of Wetland Bank Credits. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the Airport Entitlement Repayment Agreement.

Mr. Doering stated that on August 21, 2018 Council approved the acceptance of entitlement funding from the City of Buffalo for the 2018 7-Bay Hangar Project. The request for Federal Aviation Administration Approval of Agreement for Transfer of Entitlements states that the waived apportioned funds, in the amount of $26,000.00, will be made available to repay the City of Buffalo for the funds the City borrowed for the project. This will leave a 2020 carryover balance of $124,000.00. This is the first of seven projected repayments that will be needed.

Mr. Doering stated the federal entitlement funding for the Redwood Falls Municipal Airport is committed out to 2023. The airport will have to borrow additional entitlements in 2020, 2021 and 2022 to meet current commitments.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member DeBlieck to approve the Airport Entitlement Repayment Agreement. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Police Chief Jason Cotner was present to discuss the purchase of a 2019 squad car for the department.

City Administrator Muetzel addressed the possible perception of a conflict of interest regarding the purchase recommendation from Marthaler Chevrolet because Mike Mohr, an employee of Marthaler Chevrolet, is also a member of the Police Commission, however, Mr. Mohr was not involved in reviewing the vehicle quotes. Only City staff reviewed the quotes.

Police Chief Cotner stated the Redwood Falls Police Department is scheduled to purchase a new squad car in 2019. In September 2018, quotes were received from Kohls-Wheelborg Ford for a 2020 Ford Explorer and Scott Preusse Chevrolet, now Marthaler Chevrolet, for the purchase of a 2019 Chevy Tahoe. The quotes came back at $34,514.75 and $34,645.75, respectively.

Police Chief Cotner stated as in 2017 when RFPD pre-ordered the 2018 squad car, no money down is required to pre-order the Chevy Tahoe and no funds will be expended until RFPD takes delivery of the vehicle. Estimated delivery is 6-8 weeks after the order is placed. Pre-ordering takes advantage of all available rebates and incentive savings. Furthermore, early delivery provides ample time for Squads Plus to set up the vehicle which can take 2-3 weeks.

Police Chief Cotner stated staff is recommending the purchase of the Chevy Tahoe despite the increased cost of $131.00. This recommendation is based on several factors. First, the Tahoe is a larger vehicle making it much easier for officers to transport prisoners. Second, during the last 12 months an excessive amount of administrative time has been spent auditing and disputing our current vendor’s billing and work done to the squads that was not ordered nor requested. Third, our squad set up company, Squads Plus, reports a marginal savings for the required equipment for the Tahoe over the Explorer. Lastly, after soliciting one vehicle vendor in the City of Redwood Falls for many years, selecting the Tahoe provides an opportunity for the Redwood Falls Police Department to solicit a second Redwood Falls vendor.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley approving the staff’s recommendation to order the 2019 squad car from Marthaler Chevrolet. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff met with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) bargaining committee to negotiate the renewal of the IBEW contract. The existing IBEW contract covers the Public Utilities linemen and power plant employees. A tentative agreement was reached.

Mr. Muetzel stated the duration of the contract will be for three (3) years and shall expire on December 31, 2021. IBEW members will receive a three percent (3%) wage increase in each year of the contract.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the IBEW Labor Contract Renewal. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

AYE: Council Members Buckley, Sandgren, Arentson, and Smith.
NO: Council Member DeBlieck

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff met with the Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) bargaining committee to negotiate the renewal of the LELS contract. The existing LELS contract covers the Police Department Patrol Officers and Sergeants. A tentative agreement was reached.

Mr. Muetzel stated the duration of the contract will be for three (3) years and shall expire on December 31, 2021. LELS members will receive a three percent (3%) wage increase in each year of the contract. Employees assigned to the position of Field Training Officer shall earn a premium of $1.00 per hour for hours in which they are assigned to perform field training duties. Lastly, the required notice of a work schedule change shall be reduced from twenty-eight (28) days to twenty-one (21) days.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the proposed LELS Contract Renewal for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

AYE: Council Members Buckley, Sandgren, Arentson, and Smith.
NO: Council Member DeBlieck

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff met with the Redwood Falls Public Employee’s Association (RFPEA) bargaining committee to negotiate the renewal of the RFPEA contract. The existing RFPEA contract covers full-time employees in the street, water and liquor departments. At this time a tentative contract agreement was reached and approved by the RFPEA membership.

Mr. Muetzel stated the duration of the contract will be for three (3) years and shall expire on December 31, 2021. RFPEA members will receive a three percent (3%) wage increase in each year of the contract. The RFPEA contract renewal will implement the following severance schedule.

5 – 9 years of service 20% of sick leave hours with a maximum of 125 hours
10 – 14 years of service 30% of sick leave hours with a maximum of 150 hours
15 – 19 years of service 40% of sick leave hours with a maximum of 200 hours
20 or more years of service 50% of sick leave hours with a maximum of 250 hours

Employees will be allowed to increase the employee payroll contribution for their Health Care Savings Plan from $20.00 per pay period to $40.00 per pay period. There is no employer match or contribution. This is a post-employment Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP). It allows employees to invest money in a tax-free account while employed by a Minnesota public employer. When the employee leaves employment, they may access the money for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the RFPEA Labor Contact Renewal. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Stage was present to discuss Resolution No. 64 of 2018 – 2019-2021 Pay Plans for Non-Union Employees including Full-time, Part-time, Seasonal, and for all those other than regular full-time employees.

City Administrator Mueztel stated he was given direction by the personnel committee not to exceed a 3% pay increase, minimal benefit enhancement, a 3-year agreement and consistency amongst the three bargaining units. The same plan is being proposed for the non-union group as the union groups. The Step Structure for Non-Union Full-time Employee’s – Year 2019-2021 reflects an overall increase of 3% to all grades and steps.

Ms. Stage stated it is recommended to increase stipends for licenses for non-union employees who hold them for their specific positions by 3% in 2019-2021.

Ms. Stage stated the Pay Plans for 2019-2021 for all part-time employees (excluding part-time Liquor Store Clerks) is as follows; Seasonal employees will see a .25 cent cost of living increase as we have done in the past. Part-time Park & Rec positions will receive a market adjustment of .25 cents in addition to their .25 cent cost of living increase for years 2019 – 2021. Fire Department changes for 2019 include adding $1.00 to the hourly wage for firefighter’s going from $8.25/hr to $9.25/hr.

It is recommended that the Part-time Liquor Store Clerk Pay Plan increase by .50 cents for each step in the progression. Staff feels this will help with retention of trained employees. No cost of living increase will be given to this group in January of 2019, 2020 or 2021. The 2019 – 2021 pay changes for this group will be their .50 increase in the step pay plan which they will receive on their anniversary date.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 64 of 2018 – Non-Union Pay Plans. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 64 of 2018 – Non-Union Pay Plans. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Human Resources Coordinator Stage introduced the Personnel Policy Updates with an effective date of December 4, 2018.

Ms. Stage stated an annual review of the Personnel Policies was done in consultation with City Attorney Busse and City Administrator Muetzel. It is being recommended that 18 changes be made to the current Personnel Policy. Most of the changes are housekeeping items with no significant changes to benefits.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the Personnel Policy Updates. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Director of Finance and Administrative Services Meyer stated an employee resignation created a vacant Customer Service Specialist Position at City Hall. After posting internally for this position, an interview team consisting of HR Coordinator Stage and Director of Finance and Administrative Services Meyer interviewed one internal candidate. The position has been offered to Marie Evans at Pay Grade 3, Step 2 and will include a six-month probationary period. At that time, Ms. Evans will be eligible for a step increase, upon a satisfactory job performance evaluation. Ms. Evans has accepted the offer and terms of employment.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the offer for the Customer Service Specialist position to Marie Evans. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Council Member DeBlieck submitted his letter of resignation from the City Council 1st Ward to Mayor Theis, effective December 4, 2018.

City Administrator Muetzel stated City staff will verify the next steps that need to be taken to fill the vacancy.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to accept Council Member DeBlieck’s resignation from the City Council. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel presented an invitation from Mayor-Elect Tom Quackenbush to attend the 50th Anniversary of Daktronics on Thursday, December 6, 2018.

City Administrator Muetzel discussed a press release issued by the hospital to enter into a purchase agreement for land east of St. John’s school with the option to purchase additional land from the Schoer family. City staff has been assisting from an engineering standpoint in the planning of city water, sewer and electric for the site.

Bills and Claims were presented to the Council for informational purposes. No questions, comments or concerns were raised.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to adjourn the meeting at 5:56 p.m. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.