City Council Meeting – March 16, 2021

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2021

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, March 16, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

Roll call indicated Mayor Tom Quackenbush and Council Members Jim Sandgren, John T. Buckley, Matt Smith, 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.

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 Sandgren to approve the March 2, 2021, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Redwood Falls Fire Department Chief Jeff Bommersbach was present to introduce Resolution No. 16 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of Fire Department Ladder Truck From MacQueen Emergency.

Chief Bommersbach stated the Redwood Falls Fire Department (RFFD) is requesting approval for the purchase of a new Aerial Truck for the RFFD. Staff obtained a proposal from MacQueen Emergency for a 2022 Pierce Impel PUC 107’ Ascendant Ladder Truck in the amount of $1,150,692.00. The ladder truck currently owned by the department is a 1992 Mack General 75’ Ladder which does not currently meet the needs of the department. The Fire Department would like to use a ladder truck as the first truck on the scene of a fire. The new ladder truck would fit those needs and the department requirements to be a first-line truck for any fire call. The department feels this is a great investment in protecting property and public safety for the City of Redwood Falls and its surrounding communities.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 16 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of Fire Department Ladder Truck From MacQueen Emergency in the amount of $1,150,692.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 16 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of Fire Department Ladder Truck From MacQueen Emergency in the amount of $1,150,692.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Shannon Sweeney with David Drown and Associates was present to introduce Resolution No. 17 of 2021 – Providing for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $2,860,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificates and Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2021A and Resolution No. 18 of 2021 – Resolution Determining the Necessity to Issue a $1,200,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificate Series 2021A.

Mr. Sweeney stated Resolution No. 17 initiates the competitive sale process. That process includes drafting an offering document that reflects the total amount to be borrowed, total debt outstanding for the City, sources of repayment that are pledged, and audit information on the community. The purchase included in the offering document is a new ladder truck for the fire department and the project financing included is for the North Redwood Watermain Loop and the Sanitary Sewer Lining. Bids and quotes have been obtained at this time for all items included in the proposed project financing. The estimate of all costs to be included in the proposed project and acquisition financing includes the following:

– North Redwood Water Loop $1,150,692.00
– Sanitary Sewer Lining $516,276.00
– Fire Truck Purchase $1,110,676.00
– Underwriter’s Discount $34,320.00
– Finance & Legal $30,750.00
– Rating Agency $12,500.00
– Capitalized Interest $8,032.81
TOTAL PROJECT COST: $2,863,246.81

Mr. Sweeney stated the funding sources to be utilized to finance the costs include 2021A General Obligation Bonds of $2,860,000.00 and Construction Fund Earnings of $3,246.81. The City of Redwood Falls will be required to pledge tax levies for the repayment of the equipment certificate issued for the purpose of funding the fire truck acquisition. Those payments will average approximately $139,000 per year for nine (9) years. Annual payments on the utility revenue bonds will average approximately $103,000 per year with the water fund contributing 68% of the payment, and the sanitary sewer fund contributing 32% of that payment. The repayment term on the utility portion of the bond issue has been structured over a 20-year term. The equipment certificate is subject to reverse referendum during a 10-day period following the publication of the resolution.

Mr. Sweeney stated alternative sources of funding were considered. The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority and USDA-Rural Development are governmental sources of loan and grant funds available for projects like this. However, the issuance of bonds is currently a competitive alternative due to the relatively small project sizes, interest rates that are presently available in the private market which are lower than those available from the USDA-Rural Development, the lack of grant eligibility, and the additional project expenses incurred using those programs.

Mr. Sweeney further stated if Council chooses to finance the projects and acquisition as proposed, David Drown Associates, Inc. recommends the following terms: 10-year term on fire truck financing and 20-year term on utility project financing; Bonds callable any time after 2/1/2028; Sale of bonds utilizing a competitive sales process; and purchasing a Standard & Poor’s Rating. If approved, the proposed schedule for the competitive sale of bonds would begin today with the authorization of the sale process, followed by awarding the sale of bond issue on April 20, 2021, and closing on May 6, 2021.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 17 of 2021 – Providing for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $2,860,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificates and Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2021A. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 17 of 2021 – Providing for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $2,860,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificates and Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2021A. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Resolution No. 18 of 2021 – Resolution Determining the Necessity to Issue a $1,200,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificate Series 2021A. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 18 of 2021 – Resolution Determining the Necessity to Issue a $1,200,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificate Series 2021A. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the Drew Street Phase 2 Construction Schedule Update.

Mr. Doering stated the project is in the design process listed in the scope of Task Order 2021-1 approved by Resolution No. 6 of 2021 with Bolton & Menk Inc. Street designs must meet current American Disability Act (ADA) standards at the time of construction. This requirement has caused radius changes at the cross-street intersections to allow for ADA sidewalk transitions. These radius changes have caused a conflict with light poles and overhead power line poles that run along Drew Street. The radius changes have put the pole locations out into intersections or in the concrete curb and gutter rather than in the boulevard where they are now. This requires Public Utilities to move the poles to facilitate construction. Public Utilities has a concurrent plan to bury the City’s overhead power lines underground in this area as an effort to minimize the risk of power outages due to wind, ice, and tree damage.

Mr. Doering stated staff concluded it is best to push back construction to 2022 to allow Public Utilities the ability to plan, engineer, budget, and move the decommissioning of the Drew Street overhead power lines to 2022. This is the most efficient use of resources avoiding the need to move the poles twice while sacrificing currently planned 2021 Public Utility project completions.

Mr. Doering further stated an engineering utility meeting was held on March 4th where the 95% plan set was reviewed with all utility companies that have assets in the construction area. This is done to identify what will have to be moved or may come in conflict with the proposed construction. During the meeting it was revealed that there are telecommunication lines on the overhead poles that will need to be moved during the decommissioning of those overhead poles. In addition, Great Plains Natural Gas has gas main crossings at each alleyway intersection that they would like to upgrade and have agreed to prioritize the upgrades in 2021 if the construction is moved back to 2022. These additional coordination efforts, reinforce the decision to move the Drew Street construction to 2022. The new schedule will also allow a more opportune bid solicitation in January of 2022 with a bid award by this time next year.

No Council action was taken.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins was present to introduce Resolution No. 19 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute DGR Engineering Task Order #13 Amendment to the Master Agreement for Drew Street Distribution Relocation Project.

Mr. Heins stated Drew Street was in the design process for reconstruction in 2021. However, during this process, the overhead lines along Drew Street have been identified as being in conflict with some of the pre-design plans. City Staff has decided to push back the project to 2022 to allow City utilities and other utilities time to get lines and poles moved to the proper locations permanently, instead of moving temporarily and then having to move them again later when street construction begins. DGR has provided Task Order #13 for the preliminary phase of the Drew Street Distribution Relocation. The cost estimate for this portion is $8,000. There will be an additional cost for this project once the preliminary design is set for Drew Street.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 19 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute DGR Engineering Task Order #13 Amendment to the Master Agreement for Drew Street Distribution Relocation Project in the amount of $8,000. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 19 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute DGR Engineering Task Order #13 Amendment to the Master Agreement for Drew Street Distribution Relocation Project in the amount of $8,000. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 20 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contract for the 2021 North Redwood Falls Watermain Looping.

Mr. Doering stated bids were submitted and received electronically through Quest CDN on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. for the North Redwood Watermain Looping Project. Eight (8) bids were received and the results of the bids are tabulated and provided for Council consideration. If deemed financially feasible, Staff recommends awarding the full contract to Schmidt Construction Inc. in the amount of $830,160.00. In accordance with Minnesota Statues §16C.285, Schmidt Construction Inc. has furnished the executed Responsible Contractor Verification and Certification of Compliance form. Schmidt Construction Inc. has listed four subcontractors for the project. It is unlikely that re-bidding the project would result in more bids or more competitive bids. The engineer’s estimate for construction was $1,076,000.00.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 20 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contract for the 2021 North Redwood Falls Watermain Looping to Schmidt Construction Inc. in the amount of $830,160. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 20 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contract for the 2021 North Redwood Falls Watermain Looping to Schmidt Construction Inc. in the amount of $830,160. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Attorney Dammann introduced Ordinance No. 69, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances Chapter 11, and Repealing Ordinance No. 44, Fourth Series, Adopted on November 7, 2014, and Titled “Adoption of a Unified Development Ordinance Replacing The Entirety of Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 of the City Code of Ordinances.”

Mr. Dammann stated staff introduced this proposed ordinance at the City Council work session on September 29, 2020. This proposed ordinance would create a new Property Maintenance Code within Chapter 11, pulling selected language from certain sections of the City’s current Chapter 10 along with language from the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code. The goal of this change is to centralize the regulations of real property found in City Code, and to allow for more efficient enforcement of these provisions.

Mr. Dammann stated as part of the implementation of this change, the current language found in Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 will be repealed and moved to Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 as part of Ordinance No. 70. Duplicative sections found in Chapter 10, as a result of the adoption of this proposed ordinance, will also need to be dealt with as part of a future ordinance specifically addressing Chapter 10.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Ordinance No. 69, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances Chapter 11, and Repealing Ordinance No. 44, Fourth Series, Adopted on November 7, 2014, and Titled “Adoption of a Unified Development Ordinance Replacing The Entirety of Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 of the City Code of Ordinances.” Motion passed by unanimous vote. The Ordinance will be placed on the April 6th Council agenda for consideration of final approval.

City Attorney Dammann introduced Ordinance No. 70, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Adopting a Unified Development Ordinance Replacing The Entirety of Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 of the City Code of Ordinances.

Mr. Dammann stated staff introduced Proposed Ordinance 69 at the City Council work session on September 29, 2020. This proposed ordinance would create a new Property Maintenance Code within Chapter 11, pulling selected language from certain sections of the City’s current Chapter 10 along with language from the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code. The goal of this change is to centralize the regulations of real property found in City Code, and to allow for more efficient enforcement of these provisions.

Mr. Dammann stated as part of the implementation of this change, the current language found in Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 will be repealed and moved to Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 as part of Proposed Ordinance No. 70, which designates Chapter 14 and 15 as the new Unified Development Ordinance.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Ordinance No. 70, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Adopting a Unified Development Ordinance Replacing The Entirety of Chapter 14 and Chapter 15 of the City Code of Ordinances. Motion passed by unanimous vote. The Ordinance will be placed on the April 6th Council agenda for consideration of final approval.

City Attorney Dammann introduced Ordinance No. 71, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances §4.07 and Repealing Ordinance No. 124, Third Series, Adopted on March 3, 2009, Titled “An Ordinance Adopting the 2006 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code.”

Mr. Dammann stated with the creation of the new Chapter 11 Property Maintenance Code, the language found in the current §4.07 is no longer needed and is in fact, a reference to an outdated version of the International Property Maintenance Code which was adopted by Ordinance No. 124, Third Series. Staff recommends amending the current language found in §4.07 and the reservation of that section for other future use as well as the repeal of Ordinance No. 124, Third Series.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Ordinance No. 71, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls City Code of Ordinances §4.07 and Repealing Ordinance No. 124, Third Series, Adopted on March 3, 2009, Titled “An Ordinance Adopting the 2006 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code.” Motion passed by unanimous vote. The Ordinance will be placed on the April 6th Council agenda for consideration of final approval.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Elm Street Homes Mobile Home Park Funding Request.

Mr. Muetzel stated in September of 2019, Westlake Properties acquired Elm Street Homes which is a mobile home park located at 900 and 1020 East Elm Street. Prior to the transfer of ownership to Westlake Properties, the Elm Street Homes property had been neglected and maintained in a state of disrepair for years. Westlake acquired the property with the intent of redeveloping the park and bringing the property into compliance with building codes and local ordinances. Improvements made to date include the removal of five dilapidated mobile homes and removing abandoned vehicles, junk, and debris, along with improvements to the storm shelter and exterior areas.

Mr. Muetzel stated Elm Street Homes is requesting financial assistance from the City of Redwood Falls and Redwood County to continue with property improvements which will allow for the development of additional housing units. The funding request from the City is in the form of a maximum $50,000, 10-year forgivable loan, with 10% of the loan principal balance being forgiven each year as long as the following performance measures are being met:

1. Elm Street Homes has a valid health department license.
2. Elm Street Homes is current with property tax payments.
3. Elm Street Homes is current with municipal utility payments.
4. Elm Street Homes is compliant with municipal nuisance ordinances.

Mr. Muetzel stated Elm Street Homes will also be required to obtain a building permit for each new housing unit to ensure compliance with building codes and receive a certificate of occupancy from the Building Official prior to receiving the funding. The loan amount of $50,000 is proposed to be in the form of “pay as you go” funding, providing $5,000 for each new housing unit created, up to a maximum of 10 units totaling $50,000 over a two-year period. Redwood County received a request for $15,000 for each new housing unit created, up to a maximum of 10 units totaling $150,000. Redwood County approved the $150,000 request at the County Board meeting on March 16, 2021.

Mr. Muetzel further stated the Budget Committee reviewed the request and recommends approval of a $50,000 forgivable redevelopment loan based on the following reasons:

1. Requests to increase the availability of affordable housing have been received from local businesses.
2. The City Comprehensive Plan establishes the goal of maintaining a high quality of living environment in all residential neighborhoods and encourages improvements when needed.
3. Providing funding creates an opportunity to ensure new housing units are safe and suitable for habitation.
4. The project eliminates slum and blight and is expected to provide general public health, safety, and welfare improvements.
5. Increased tax base through additional units and enhanced property values for the park and surrounding properties.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the Elm Street Homes Mobile Home Park Funding Request. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the 2021 City Deer Hunt Recommendation.

Mr. Doering stated the 2020 Archery Deer Hunt Committee met on March 4, 2021, to review the 2020 results and review the program policies. The Committee and Staff recommend approval of the 2021 hunt application to the DNR with no changes to the previous year’s provisions. The provisions include: set the 2021 fees at $20.00 for the application fee and $40.00 for the hunting fee; 20 participants selected by a minimum proficiency test and lottery draw; a 20-hour minimum in-stand expectation to qualify to participate in the following year; Double Earn A Buck, 20 hunters with a maximum bag limit of 40; season to coincide with the full archery season September 18 – December 31; discretion for the Deer Hunt Coordinator and City Staff to replace a participant if they drop out during the hunting season due to unforeseen circumstances; and continue with Hunt Coordinator, Paul Parsons. The Committee is also recommending to provide education materials for residents to keep deer off their yards and maintain set tending times between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during trapping season to minimize interference between the two activities.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the submittal of the 2021 Archery Deer Hunt application to the Department of Natural Resources with the listed provisions. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the Quote for City Hall Roof Repair.

Mr. Doering stated the membrane and ballast roof on City Hall is more than 20 years old. It has developed various leaks over the years and seams are opening up around roof drains, vents, and around the atrium due to shrinkage from UV light and weathering. Staff solicited three quotes in total per the procurement policy but one service provider declined. Staff recommends Council approve the low quote provided by Laraway Roofing Inc. of New Ulm, MN for the sum of $64,840.00. The roof replacement was listed and approved by Council in the 2021 budget.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Quote from Laraway Roofing Inc. for the City Hall Roof Repair in the amount of $64,840.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 21 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Task Order No. 2021-5 for Engineering Services for the 2021 Southeast Development Project.

Mr. Doering stated Resolution No. 21 Authorizes Task Order No. 2021-5 with Bolton and Menk, Inc. (BMI) to provide a listed scope of services for the 2021 South East Development Project in the amount not to exceed $885,000.00 without further Council approval. Completion of the project scope is anticipated by May 1, 2022. Upon completion of the project, additional task orders may be completed for construction phase services or completion of final plans for any future phases of development and construction.

Mr. Doering further stated the services listed in Task Order 2021-5 are based on previously provided and reviewed draft layout plans for the entire proposed development areas. With those layouts, approximately 14,600 lineal feet of streets were shown in Phase 1 and 7,100 lineal feet of streets in future phases for a total of approximately 21,700 lineal feet of streets and utilities for all phases.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 21 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Task Order No. 2021-5 for Engineering Services for the 2021 Southeast Development Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 21 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Task Order No. 2021-5 for Engineering Services for the 2021 Southeast Development Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers following the City Council Meeting.

City Administrator Muetzel stated Council has been invited by Police Chief Jason Cotner to participate in a Law Enforcement training opportunity. Council members can participate or observe the Multiple Interactive Learning Objectives (MILO) training in Marshall, MN on June 9, 2021.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the recent changes to Governor Walz’s executive order have not had a significant impact on City operations. The only notable change is the increase to the maximum capacity allowed at the Redwood Area Community Center.

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 Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to adjourn the meeting at 6:28 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.