City Council Meeting – July 7, 2020

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, JULY 7, 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, July 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 present via electronic means.

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

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the agenda. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the June 16, 2020, minutes as presented. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

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

1. Approve KLGR Advertising Exchange

Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Mayor Quackenbush opened a public hearing at 5:03 p.m. to discuss delinquent utility accounts.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 30 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts.

Mr. Muetzel 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.

Mr. Muetzel 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.

David Widmer was present to address Council regarding concerns over the process to assess utility charges. Mr. Widmer requested further investigation into the proposed assessment to parcel #88-423-1600 from account #02-01870-97.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to strike account #02-01870-97 from Resolution No. 30 of 2020 for further investigation into the amount of $366.64 and proceed with Resolution No. 30 of 2020 with the four remaining accounts. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Mayor Quackenbush closed the public hearing at 5:35 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 30 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts with the removal of account #02-01870-97. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 30 of 2020 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts with the removal of account #02-01870-97. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

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

Mr. Muetzel stated staff received a letter from James & Kathy Baker, utility account holder at 706 East 2nd Street requesting that $337.51 in sanitary sewer charges be waived. The letter stated the excessive water use was due to a hose left on in the back yard. 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 Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the request to waive $337.51 in sanitary sewer charges. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 31 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 City 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 August 11, 2020, Primary Election and November 3, 2020, General Election with the understanding that amendments can be made by the Election Administrator to the appointments in order to fill vacancies and meet party requirements: Nicole Elzenga, Daniel Faugstad, Julie Faugstad, Kay Hoeft, Amy Kerkhoff, Caitlin Kodet, Thomas Latterell, Lonnie Leske, Mary Liebl, Jenifer Manthei, Janelle Medrud, Dorie Oja, Sandra Schrank, Marcee Stromberg, Anna Vannelli, Stephen Vannelli, and Mary Wetmore.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 31 of 2020 – Appointing 2020 Election Judges. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 31 of 2020 – Appointing 2020 Election Judges. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Mayor Quackenbush introduced the evaluation of the performance of a City of Redwood Falls employee under Minnesota Statutes, section 13D.05, subdivision 3, clause a. The employee is Dana Woodford. Ms. Woodford received written notice of this meeting. Ms. Woodford is not requesting to open the meeting.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to close this portion of the meeting to the evaluation of performance of Dana Woodford as a City of Redwood Falls employee under Minn. Stat. sec. 13D.05, subd. 3(a). Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Mayor Quackenbush stated the City of Redwood Falls City Council will go into a closed session at 5:47 p.m. Only authorized City of Redwood Falls representatives may be in attendance at any portion of the closed session.

Mayor Quackenbush stated following a closed meeting for evaluation of the performance of a City of Redwood Falls Employee, Dana Woodford, under Minnesota Statutes, section 13D.05, subdivision 3, clause a, the City of Redwood Falls City Council meeting is open at 6:20 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff that Dana Woodford be removed from employment with the City of Redwood Falls, effective July 7, 2020, for non-disciplinary reasons as specified in City Administrator Keith Muetzel’s letter to Dana Woodford of July 2, 2020 and City administration provide Dana Woodford with any appropriate notices related to this decision. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

City Administrator Muetzel gave an update regarding the installation of the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Pedestrian Crosswalk System at MN Hwy 19 and Lincoln Street. The equipment has been ordered and is expected to arrive around July 20th. The Loock’s Total Performance sign, located on the corner, has been removed and the surveyor will arrive on Friday, July 10 to stake the location for installation. Public Utilities is preparing for installation as soon as the equipment arrives.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the CARES act funding the City can receive is to be used for reimbursable out-of-pocket expenses only. The CARES act funding cannot be used for loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The City qualifies for approximately $400,000 in funding. The City may be able to offer small business grants with a portion of the funding. City staff is in the process of auditing qualifying expenses.

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff reported the Aquatic Center opening went well and the capacity is set at 200 patrons. Council requested an update regarding the capacity limits currently set. Parks & Rec Director Ross Nachreiner will provide an update.

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 Smith to adjourn the meeting at 6:36 p.m. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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