City Council Meeting – January 4, 2021

MINUTES
ORGANIZATIONAL/REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2021

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, an organizational/regular meeting of the Redwood Falls City Council was called to order in the Municipal Chambers on Monday, January 4, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

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

Also present were City Administrator Keith Muetzel, City Attorney Trenton Dammann, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, and Council Secretary Caitlin Kodet. Director of Finance & Administrative Services Melissa Meyer was present via electronic means.

Mayor Quackenbush administered the oath of office to Council Member – First Ward, Denise Kerkhoff.

Mayor Quackenbush administered the oath of office to Council Member – Second Ward, Matt Smith.

Mayor Quackenbush administered the oath of office to Council Member At-Large, John Buckley.

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 Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the December 15, 2020, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush called for nominations for Council President for 2021.

Council Member Sandgren nominated Council Member Arentson.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to elect Council Member Arentson as Council President. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

AYE: Council Members Buckley, Sandgren, Smith, Arentson, and Kerkhoff
NO: None

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the following 2021 Commission Appointments. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Airport Commission
Reappoint Jim Tersteeg to 2nd full term.
Reappoint Ernie Fiala to 2nd full term.

Housing & Redevelopment Authority
Reappoint Galen Meyer to 1st full term.

Library Commission
Reappoint Robin Stegner to 2nd full term.
Appoint Sandra Swartz to 1st full term.

Parks & Recreation Commission
Reappoint Travis Fluck to 2nd full term.
Reappoint Bob Kaupang to 2nd full term.

Planning Commission
Reappoint Mike Kaufenberg to 3rd full term.
Appoint Anne Johnson to 1st full term.

Police Commission
Reappoint Mike Mohr to 2nd full term.

Port Authority
Reappoint Jackson Koster to 2nd full term.

Public Utilities Commission
Reappoint Mike Davis to 2nd full term.
Appoint Jody Radel to 1st full term.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the following 2021 Council Committee Appointments. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Standing Committees:

Budget: John Buckley, Matt Smith, and Tom Quackenbush
Personnel: John Buckley, Matt Smith, and Tom Quackenbush
Public Works Larry Arentson and Jim Sandgren
Port Authority: Denise Kerkhoff and Jim Sandgren

Issues:
Environmental (garbage, compost, wetlands): Jim Sandgren and Denise Kerkhoff

Individual Assignments:

Joint Powers/School: Larry Arentson
Airport Commission Liaison Jim Sandgren
Library Commission Liaison Denise Kerkhoff
Parks & Recreation Commission Liaison Larry Arentson
Police Commission Liaison Matt Smith
Public Utilities Commission Liaison: John Buckley
Housing & Redevelopment Authority Liaison: Denise Kerkhoff

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to appoint John T. Buckley and Melissa Meyer to the Redwood Falls Firefighter’s Relief Association Board of Trustees for 2021. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to continue meeting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. for the City Council Meetings in 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to designate the City’s official newspaper to be the Redwood Gazette in 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to designate the City’s official depositories pursuant to MN Statutes 118A.02 and the City Investment Policy for 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to designate the City’s official electronic funds transfers policy pursuant to MN Statutes 471.38, subdivision 3 for 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to designate Bolton & Menk as Consulting City Engineer for 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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

1. Approve KLGR Advertising Exchange

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush opened a public hearing at 5:11 p.m. to discuss delinquent utility accounts.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Meyer introduced Resolution No. 1 of 2021 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts.

Ms. Meyer stated the proposed Resolution is to adopt assessments for delinquent utility accounts that are more than 30 days past due. Similar resolutions are brought to the City Council on a quarterly basis in order to improve the time between the delinquent billing and the ability to disclose the information to new property owners. The delinquent account resolutions will be presented each year at the first meeting in January, April, July, and October.

Ms. Meyer further explained the delinquent process. Delinquent letters are first mailed to the utility account holders. Delinquent letters are then mailed to the property owners if not collected from the account holders. Electricity consumed by a tenant is not assessable to the property. Any unpaid balance is then brought to the Council to be approved by resolution. Any pending assessments passed by resolution and still outstanding as of November 1st will be charged a $50.00 fee and are then transferred to Redwood County to be assessed on the tax rolls.

No one was present to voice any concerns.

Mayor Quackenbush closed the public hearing at 5:13 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 1 of 2021 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 1 of 2021 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Attorney Dammann introduced Ordinance No. 68, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances §9.20 and §9.21 and Adding §9.22.

Mr. Dammann stated the proposed Ordinance was introduced at the December 15, 2020, Council meeting. Due to the new construction of publicly available electric vehicle charging stations at the Redwood Area Community Center, City staff believes it is necessary to add a new section addressing allowable and prohibited use of such spaces to Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances Chapter 9: Parking Regulations. Without a section addressing these parking spaces, law enforcement would be unable to address any complaints of misuse. The inclusion of the new section is meant to reserve these spaces for members of the public who will use the charging station equipment while parked in these spaces and prohibit non-electric vehicles from using those spaces.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Ordinance No. 68, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances §9.20 and §9.21 and Adding §9.22. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

AYE: Council Members Buckley, Kerkhoff, Smith, Arentson, and Sandgren,
NO: None

Zoning Administrator Tim Hanna was present to introduce the Variance Request – 206 West 11th Street.

Mr. Hanna stated the City received a request for an after-the-fact variance from Northwest Drywall to reduce the side yard setback from 10’ to 5’ for an enclosure attached to the north side of the building for the air conditioners and chillers. This area was included in a recent renovation to the building and while the original approved plans showed a 6’ privacy fence, which is allowable under ordinance, the owner elected to construct a lean-to from the current building with a mesh roof and solid wall. Since this structure can no longer be considered a fence under ordinance, it does not meet the setback requirements and does require a variance to remain in place.

Mr. Hanna further stated this structure is in harmony with the neighborhood and does not alter the essential character. Due to these circumstances, Planning Commission recommends approval of the variance request.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the Variance Request for 206 West 11th Street. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Zoning Administrator Hanna introduced the Conditional Use Permit Request – 707 Sunrise Boulevard.

Mr. Hanna stated the City received a request from Malori Blare for a conditional use permit to operate a single chair hair salon at 707 Sunrise Boulevard, Knollwood Fifth Addition, Lot 7, Block2, Parcel 88-520-0260. Ms. Blare operated a single chair salon at her previous residence in Redwood Falls without any complaints from other residents.

Mr. Hanna stated under section 7.28, home occupations require a conditional use permit prior to commencing operating a business in a residential district. A hair salon is specified by ordinance as an acceptable home occupation under the following conditions:

1. Only persons residing on the premises may be engaged in the conduct of the home occupation.
2. Home occupations, including but not limited to hair-styling and tanning salons, may provide no more than one (1) station.
3. Accessory structures may not be used as part of the home occupation.
4. Client visits to the premises shall be limited to three (3) clients on the premises at any one (1) time.
5. The operation of the home occupation, as it is apparent to adjacent residential uses, shall begin no earlier than 7:00 a.m. and end no later than 9:00 p.m. on weekdays.
6. The required off-street parking area provided for the principal use shall not be reduced or made unusable by the home occupation.
7. The home occupation shall not generate excessive customer or client traffic that is detrimental to the character of surrounding properties or the neighborhood.

Mr. Hanna further stated in reviewing the application, it appears the owner intends to comply with all the provisions outlined in the ordinance. Planning Commission recommends approval of this request with the listed conditions.

Cale Blare was present on behalf of the applicant, Malori Blare.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the Conditional Use Permit Request with Stated Conditions at 707 Sunrise Boulevard. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins was present to introduce Resolution No. 2 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Agreement with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency to Pay for Delivery Costs of the City’s Western Area Power Contract.

Mr. Heins stated the City’s Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) contract is changing, effective January 1, 2021. WAPA will no longer be providing a one (1) mill per kilowatt-hour wheeling discount or up to seven (7) percent in transmission losses. Both of those items in the past have been used by Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) to offset the cost of delivering the WAPA allocation contracted to Redwood Falls customers.

Mr. Heins stated SMMPA has agreed to continue handling the WAPA allocation as they previously did. However, they will start billing Redwood Falls the actual costs of moving the energy and capacity, which they are billed for, from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). This billing will be graduated at 20% per year until it reaches 100% (1st 20%, 2nd 40%, 3rd 60%, 4th 80%, and 5th 100%). This will allow the City time to adjust rates to accommodate the increase in costs. The step increase has been included in the approved 2021 electric rates. The increase will be approximately $122,250 per year and should max out at $612,000. This cost is calculated based on the current MISO rate schedules, which are subject to change.

Mr. Heins further stated this agreement will run until the current SMMPA contract expires on April 1, 2050. The agreement does include early termination language in the event a future administration chooses to end the contract. Staff recommends to approve the agreement.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 2 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Agreement with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency to Pay for Delivery Costs of the City’s Western Area Power Contract. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 2 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Agreement with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency to Pay for Delivery Costs of the City’s Western Area Power Contract. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 3 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Master Agreement for Professional Services 2021 City of Redwood Falls and Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Mr. Doering stated Resolution No. 3 executes the Master Service Agreement for 2021. The Master Service Agreement lists responsibilities for both parties and outlines basic services to be provided by Bolton & Menk Inc. as assigned by the City of Redwood Falls. This will be done on a project by project basis that is to be outlined by individual task orders presented to Council for subsequent approval throughout the year. The agreement has been reviewed by Bolton & Menk Inc. and staff recommends approval.

Mr. Doering further stated the term for this Master Service Agreement will have a starting date of January 1, 2020 and an expiration date of December 31, 2021. The previous agreement with Bolton & Menk, Inc. had an expiration date of December 31, 2019 but the approved task orders carried on into 2020 extending its coverage. New task orders approved in 2020 referenced the 2019 Master Service Agreement and were signed by both parties. By design, each individual task order amended or extended the term of the 2019 master agreement.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 3 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Master Agreement for Professional Services 2021 City of Redwood Falls and Bolton & Menk, Inc. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 3 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Master Agreement for Professional Services 2021 City of Redwood Falls and Bolton & Menk, Inc. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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 Buckley to adjourn the meeting at 5:35 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.