City Council Meeting – January 7, 2020

MINUTES
ORGANIZATIONAL/REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2020

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 Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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 Buckley to approve the agenda. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to
approve the December 17, 2019, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush called for nominations for Council President for 2020.

Council Member Buckley nominated Council Member Smith.

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

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

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve
the following 2020 Commission Appointments. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Airport Commission
Reappoint Al Lothert to 3rd full term.

Housing & Redevelopment Authority
Reappoint Jeannette Mertens to 1st full term.

Library Commission
Appoint Royce Heffelfinger to 1st full term.

Planning Commission
Appoint Brad Franklin to 1st full term.

Port Authority
Reappoint Craig LaBrie to 2nd full term.

Public Utilities Commission
Reappoint Tony Madsen to 2nd full term.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the following 2020 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 2020. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to continue meeting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. for the City Council Meetings in 2020; cancel the Tuesday, March 3, 2020 City Council Meeting due to Presidential Nomination Primary Election, cancel the Tuesday, November 3, 2020 City Council Meeting due to General Election, and schedule a special meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to designate the City’s official newspaper to be the Redwood Gazette in 2020. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to designate the City’s official depositories pursuant to MN Statutes 118A.02 and the City Investment Policy for 2020. 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 2020. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to designate Bolton & Menk as Consulting City Engineer for 2020. 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. Approve Pay Equity Compliance Report
2. Approve Fire Department Appointment
3. Declare Library Microfilm Reader as Surplus Property

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush opened a public hearing at 5:14 p.m. to discuss delinquent utility accounts & maintenance charges.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Meyer introduced Resolution No. 1 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts and Resolution No. 2 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Unpaid Maintenance Costs.

Ms. Meyer stated the proposed Resolutions are to adopt assessments for delinquent utility and maintenance cost charges 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 5:18 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 1 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 1 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 2 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Unpaid Maintenance Costs. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 2 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Unpaid Maintenance Costs. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Chief of Police Jason Cotner introduced Police Officer Position – Authorization to Hire.

Chief Cotner stated during the budget process in the Fall of 2019, Redwood Falls Police Department (RFPD) was approved to add one full-time police officer to the roster. In November 2019, the hiring process was started and six applicants applied for the position. Of those six, five participated in the written test. All five passed the written test and were invited to interview. Four applicants accepted the invitation to interview. An interview panel consisting of City Administrator Keith Muetzel, Chief of Police Jason Cotner, Assistant Chief of Police Steve Schroeder, and Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Stage was established and the four applicants were interviewed.

Chief Cotner stated after compiling the test scores and discussing the interviews, the panel identified Nicholas Esping as the most qualified candidate. A conditional job offer was provided to Mr. Esping and he accepted. Since then, he successfully passed a background investigation, physical agility test, and firearms qualification. Mr. Esping is scheduled for an employment physical on January 10th and a psychological exam on January 13th. Pending successful completion of these final steps, Mr. Esping will be qualified to begin work with an anticipated starting date of Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Staff recommends Council approve an official employment offer to Nicholas Esping that would be contingent upon successful completion of the employment physical and psychological testing.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Police Officer Position – Authorization to Hire Nicholas Esping, contingent upon successful completion of the employment physical and psychological testing. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Airport Seal Coat Project – Final Pay Estimate.

Mr. Doering stated staff is recommending for approval the Final Pay Reimbursement No. 1 to Asphalt Surface Technologies (ASTECH) for the “2019 Airport Seal Coat Improvement” for the final contract price of $14,516.00. This action will also set the maintenance period and final acceptance date of December 03, 2021.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Airport Seal Coat Project – Final Pay Estimate in the amount of $14,516.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Ordinance No. 67, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Enacting and Adopting a Supplement to the Code of Ordinances for the City of Redwood Falls.

Mr. Muetzel stated as part of the Supplement Service Plan with American Legal Publishing Corporation for the City’s Codification Services Agreement, staff received the Tenth Supplement to the Code of Ordinances. The Ordinances that were passed by the City Council in 2019 along with amendments are now incorporated into the code and ready for Council adoption.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Ordinance No. 67, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Enacting and Adopting a Supplement to the Code of Ordinances for the City of Redwood Falls. Motion passed by unanimous vote. The Ordinance will be placed on the January 21st Council agenda for consideration and final approval.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 3 of 2020 – State of MN Workforce Housing Development Program Grant Application – Normandale Mobile Home Park Redevelopment Project.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the owner of the Normandale Mobile Home Park is proposing a significant renovation of the property and is requesting funding from the State of MN Workforce Housing Development Program and the City of Redwood Falls to assist with the project. The proposed project consists of adding 30 new modular homes to the property that will be operated as rental housing units. Other improvements include removing and disposing of abandoned homes, infrastructure upgrades, landscaping improvements, and other amenity upgrades. The total estimated cost of the renovation is $3,615,540. The proposed sources of funds are:

Sources of Funds:
First Mortgage $2,169,270
General Partner Investment $ 299,867
Workforce Housing Grant $ 761,313
City of Redwood Falls TIF $ 385,000

Mr. Muetzel further stated the State of MN Workforce Housing Program provides grant funds to housing projects that increase the available inventory of workforce housing. One of the program requirements is that local municipalities provide a $1.00 match for every $2.00 in State grant funds. To meet this requirement, staff is proposing the creation of a tax increment financing (TIF) district to serve as the source of the required match. If the State grant is not approved and/or the project does not move forward, the City will have no obligation to create the tax increment financing district.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 3 of 2020 – State of MN Workforce Housing Development Program Grant Application – Normandale Mobile Home Park Redevelopment Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 3 of 2020 – State of MN Workforce Housing Development Program Grant Application – Normandale Mobile Home Park Redevelopment Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the Authorization to Solicit Quotes for Sanitary Sewer Service Line Televising.

Mr. Doering stated Council approved the “Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Process” at the December 03, 2019 meeting requiring all sanitary sewer service connections to be televised. Also, in the approval, the initial televising will be paid for by the City at a pre-determined set rate. Staff requests authorization to solicit quotes for televising private sanitary sewer connections from licensed plumbers on a per-service average lump sum cost along with an hourly fixed labor rate for any repairs needed while conducting the inspection (materials and equipment would be extra).

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Authorization to Solicit Quotes for Sanitary Sewer Service Line Televising. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Dekalb Street Cooperative Agreement with Redwood County.

Mr. Muetzel stated Redwood County is requesting approval of a Cooperative Agreement for the DeKalb Street Reconstruction Project. The agreement addresses the City and County responsibilities relating to project costs. In addition, the agreement assigns responsibility for sidewalk snow removal to the City.

Mr. Muetzel stated staff has been in contact with Redwood County regarding the details of the agreement. Staff is recommending Council table this agreement until further conversations can be had with Redwood County.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to table the Dekalb Street Cooperative Agreement with Redwood County. 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 Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to adjourn the meeting at 5:53 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.