City Council Meeting – February 4, 2020

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2020

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, February 4, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff 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 Sandgren to approve the January 21, 2020, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Library Director Teri Smith was present to introduce the Fitbit Grant acceptance from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Ms. Smith stated the Redwood Falls Public Library received a grant for a Fitbit Kit consisting of twenty Fitbits (estimated value of $3,000) from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. The Fitbit Kit will be used for library programming and will then also be available for businesses and groups to use for programming.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the Fitbit Grant acceptance from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins was present to introduce the Final Pay Request for
Downtown Distribution Conversion – Phase 2.

Mr. Heins stated the final contract price for the Downtown Distribution Conversion – Phase 2 was $292,199.78. The final contract price is $3,525.60 less than the original price, but less material and labor were required than the engineers estimated. MP Nexlevel submitted all of the necessary paperwork and DGR signed off on and submitted the final pay request in the amount of $14,609.99.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the Final Pay Request for Downtown Distribution Conversion – Phase 2 in the amount of $14,609.99. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel introduced the Request to Waive Sanitary Sewer Charges.

Mr. Muetzel stated City Staff received a letter from Scott Barber d.b.a. Steel Properties, LLC., utility account holder at 300 Industrial Drive requesting that $184.20 in sanitary sewer charges be waived. Staff review of these requests focuses on whether the water entered the sanitary sewer, which requires treatment. Water introduced into the sanitary sewer system is treated regardless of the cause.

Mr. Muetzel further stated it is not always possible to make a definitive determination as to whether the water entered the sanitary sewer system. In those cases, staff errors on the side of water entering the sanitary sewer system. However, in this case, it was determined the excess water did not enter the sanitary sewer system. Staff recommends waiving the sanitary sewer charge as is consistent with past practice due to the determination that the water did not enter the sanitary sewer system.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the Request to Waive Sanitary Sewer Charges in the amount of $184.20. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 7 of 2020 – Appointing 2020 Election Judges.

Mr. Muetzel stated under Section 204B.21, Subdivision 2 of the Election Laws of the State of Minnesota, the Council of each municipality shall appoint in the manner provided, qualified voters as judges of election. The following qualified voters are hereby designated as Judges of Election for the March 3, 2020, Presidential Nomination Primary Election: Letha Castle, Julie Faugstad, Ernie Fiala, Julie Fiala, Kay Hoeft, Amy Kerkhoff, Caitlin Kodet, Thomas Latterell, Mary Liebl, Janelle Medrud, Dorie Oja, Marcee Stromberg, and Bruce Tolzmann.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 7 of 2020 – Appointing 2020 Election Judges. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 7 of 2020 – Appointing 2020 Election Judges. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the Purchase of Flood Control Backflow Prevention Valves.

Mr. Doering stated the quote from Northwestern Power Equipment Company of St. Paul, MN, for $23,725.00 is for 18” and 30” backflow prevention valves. Council approval will authorize the Mayor and/or City Administrator to execute the quote for materials, shipping services and negotiate related contracts, agreements or amendments.

Mr. Doering stated the large valve is to be installed in the 30” stormwater outlet that travels from Coon Street under the flood berm and outlets into the flood plain. This insert will allow stormwater to pass through by pressure while preventing floodwater from traveling under the berm and breaching the other side. Staff attempted to plug the 30” line over the last three disasters. These attempts have been able to reduce backflow but not stop all of it, backflow seepage still occurs. During the duration of the 2019 flood, staff positioned three six-inch pumps to keep the flow from backfilling on the dry side of the berm through this storm water pipe and simultaneously move collecting stormwater from the City over the berm. Another 18” storm water pipe also travels under the berm that needs to be routinely plugged with plastic and covered with gravel. The collecting stormwater is then pumped over the berm. This is done to prevent collecting stormwater from flooding residential homes.

Mr. Doering further stated this site is extremely vulnerable when rain events occur while the 18” main has been plugged, preventing floodwater from backflowing under the berm but not allowing collecting storm water to move through. A large backflow structure was included in this year’s approved budget. These valves will be in-lieu of that large structure. With the high-water levels going into fall and the current snowpack to the west, spring flooding is a high probability. Staff will install the valves upon arrival. These valves will help increase our resiliency to future flooding events. They will also help reduce emergency pumping efforts and staff hours of tending to multiple pumps. However, the valves will not eliminate all of the need for emergency pumping. Stormwater flows on the dry side of the berm will still require pumping assistance.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Purchase of Flood Control Back Flow Prevention Valves in the amount of $23,725.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel updated the Council of a board meeting staff attended at the Redwood County Government Center today. There was an agenda item regarding the Hike and Bike Trail located in the vicinity of the Redwood County Highway Department located at 635 West Bridge Street. The trail connects Ramsey Park with the County Museum. The County is having an auction on Friday, February 7, 2020, to sell the former Highway Department building. The conversation today was to ensure appropriate measures be made so the trail will stay in place. The board took action by motion to propose a 25’ easement that will be drafted to protect the trail.

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 Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to adjourn the meeting at 5:23 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.