City Council Meeting – March 17, 2020

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 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, March 17, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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

City Administrator Muetzel requested Council remove agenda item 6B – Approve Show Permit for Stardust Circus and add agenda item 9J – COVID-19 Discussion.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the agenda. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the February 18, 2020, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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

1. Approve 2019 Fixed Asset Disposal List
2. Approve Purchase of Lift Station Variable Frequency Drives

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel stated in order for Council and staff to adhere to the current recommendations provided by the Minnesota Department of Health and Center for Disease Control, due to COVID-19, limited staff members are in attendance and all meeting attendees are seated at least six feet apart.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Fencing Project at the Memorial Baseball Field and Resolution No. 12 of 2020 – Resolution to Accept a Monetary Donation from the Redwood Valley Baseball Association.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the Parks & Recreation Department is requesting to complete two fencing projects at the Memorial Baseball Field. The first project would be to replace fencing in front of the dugouts and along the foul lines on both the first and third baselines. Staff is requesting to replace the current galvanized fencing with black vinyl to match the current backstop which was completed in 2016. This 2020 budgeted item has a project estimate of $11,044.00 from Oberg Fencing.

Mr. Muetzel stated the second project is the repair to the fencing near the parking lot from the damage that occurred on Friday, September 27th as the result of a vehicle accident. Oberg Fencing quoted $4,902.00 to furnish and install 125 feet of six feet high 9- gauge galvanized chain link fence with top rail and one new 12 feet wide double drive gate. No council action is required for the repairs to the damaged fencing.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the Fencing Project in the amount of $11,044.00 at the Memorial Baseball Field. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 12 of 2020 – Resolution to Accept a Monetary Donation from the Redwood Valley Baseball Association. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 12 of 2020 – Resolution to Accept a Monetary Donation from the Redwood Valley Baseball Association. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 13 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of 15 KV Primary Power Cable from Irby Utilities and Resolution No. 14 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of Padmounted Switchgear from Wesco Distribution, Inc.

City Administrator Muetzel stated in response to the invitation for bids for 15 KV Power Cable and a Padmounted Switchgear for the new circuit to feed the new Carris Health-Redwood hospital, the City received two bids from Irby Utilities and Wesco Distribution Inc. Copies of the bids were sent to DGR Engineering for their review and recommendation. DGR Engineering is recommending to accept the bid from Irby Utilities for the 15 KV Power Cable in the amount of $334,244.00 and accept the bid from Wesco Distribution for the Padmounted Switchgear in the amount of $124,812.69

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Resolution No. 13 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of 15 KV Primary Power Cable from Irby Utilities. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 13 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of 15 KV Primary Power Cable from Irby Utilities. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 14 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of Padmounted Switchgear from Wesco Distribution, Inc. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 14 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of Padmounted Switchgear from Wesco Distribution, Inc. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 15 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of SCADA Computer Hardware and Service from Thriveon and Resolution No. 16 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of SCADA Computer Software from ReLab Software.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the City’s current System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software and equipment, installed in 2015, needs updating. Thriveon is recommending the computers for purchase based upon necessary requirements provided by DGR Engineering. The City will be purchasing two new computers that are updated to operate on Windows 10. The computers will cost $3,601.75. Thriveon will also assist with the implementation and managed services going forward which cost $1,922.76. The total amount of equipment and services is $5,524.51. If less time is required to complete the install, the City will only be billed for the actual time involved. The software that runs the SCADA system will also need updating to work on the new Windows 10 machines. The purchase price for the new software, ClearView from ReLab, is $21,106.00.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 15 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of SCADA Computer Hardware and Service from Thriveon. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 15 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of SCADA Computer Hardware and Service from Thriveon. 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. 16 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of SCADA Computer Software from ReLab Software. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 16 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Purchase of SCADA Computer Software from ReLab Software. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Approval of Location of Electric Vehicle Parking Lot at the Redwood Area Community Center.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) announced in 2019 they would provide to all 18 member communities, electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment. That equipment includes a DC Fast Charger and two dual-port level two chargers. Staff explored locations to place the equipment that would best benefit the community and the users of the EV charging equipment. Those ideas were brought to the Public Utilities Commission and after much discussion the location the Commission choose was the Redwood Area Community Center (RACC).

Mr. Muetzel stated in order to add the two EV charging stalls and not take away from the current parking the Public Utilities Commission is recommending to add parking with six additional stalls, including the two EV parking stalls, to the north side of the large parking lot. Bolton and Menk estimated the total cost for the project would be $27,000. The project would include concrete pavement, curb & gutter, striping and a bituminous patch. The project cost does not include the cost of the EV charging equipment, which will be provided by SMMPA. The cost of this project will be paid for by the utilities. Staff added this project as an alternate to a project that the school is going out for bids on in order to get a competitive quote.

Council expressed concerns with only expanding the parking lot by six (6) parking spots. Council suggested staff should investigate the feasibility of further expanding the parking lot to the north before a decision is made. Council is recommending to table the project until staff has had time to research additional options.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to table the Location of the Electric Vehicle Parking Lot at Redwood Area Community Center. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 17 of 2020 – Authorization to Support Managing Water Flows in the Minnesota River Basin Through Increased Water Storage and Other Strategies and Practices.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the Minnesota River Congress is spearheading an initiative to secure significant funding by requesting a bill in the state legislature that would create a pool of money targeted specifically for surface water storage. Participation in this initiative is voluntary. The funding will target the Minnesota River Basin and potentially other Minnesota basins where applicable.

Mr. Muetzel stated scientific data collected over decades shows that we need to create more water storage on the landscape. Additional water storage can protect infrastructure and improve water quality. Diverse water storage practices, such as replacing historically drained lakes and wetlands and promoting soil health, will all help to achieve this goal. The climatic trend and future prediction of increased rainfalls in short periods of time will only exacerbate the issue. Staff is recommending approval of the 2020 letter of support and endorsement for the Water Storage Initiative.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 17 of 2020 – Authorization to Support Managing Water Flows in the Minnesota River Basin Through Increased Water Storage and Other Strategies and Practices. 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 2020 – Authorization to Support Managing Water Flows in the Minnesota River Basin Through Increased Water Storage and Other Strategies and Practices. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 18 of 2020 – Resolution for Approving County Project Within Municipal Corporate Limits State Aid for Local Transportation.

City Administrator Muetzel stated municipalities must review and approve plans of County road construction projects that take place within municipal corporate limits. Redwood County is purposing a project pertaining to a general mill and overlay of CSAH 101 from Jct. TH 19/71 to Jct. MN River, CSAH 101 (Dekalb Street) from Jct. Meadow Lane to Jct. TH 67, and potential project of CSAH 101 (Normandale Road) from Jct. TH 71 to TH 67. Staff supports approval of the Resolution.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 18 of 2020 – Resolution for Approving County Project Within Municipal Corporate Limits State Aid for Local Transportation. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 18 of 2020 – Resolution for Approving County Project Within Municipal Corporate Limits State Aid for Local Transportation. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Application to the Bayer Fund Public Safety Grant.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the Bayer Fund is accepting applications for their Public Safety Grant. The funds are being offered to public safety organizations and are intended for the purchase of equipment, protective gear or project-specific needs. The fifth squad car is currently outfitted with lights and a siren but no computer, squad camera, or ancillary equipment. Those items have been removed and were installed in the squad that was purchased in 2019. The replacement of those items was delayed until forfeiture and budget funds became available.

Mr. Muetzel stated the Redwood Falls Police Department (RFPD) is seeking approval to apply to the Bayer Fund to purchase a laptop for the fifth squad. If approved, and ultimately awarded, the use of those funds to purchase a laptop for the fifth squad will make that vehicle operational, with some limitations without the camera and other ancillary equipment, and ease the City’s replacement costs for the rotation of old RFPD squad computers.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the Application to the Bayer Fund Public Safety Grant. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Request to Waive Water and Sanitary Sewer Charges from RSSA, LLC d.b.a. Westlake Properties MN-A, LLC.

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff received a letter from RSSA, LLC d.b.a. Westlake Properties MN-A, LLC, utility account holder at 900 East Elm Street, requesting that $5,957.18 in water and $3,430.51 in sanitary sewer charges be waived. The letter stated an underground water leak resulted in higher than normal water and sanitary sewer consumption and the property owner is requesting to have the high consumption charges waived.

Mr. Muetzel stated in regards to the high water consumption, the water consumed as a result of the water leak was treated water that passed through the property’s water meter. Being the water was metered, it is considered to be consumed, regardless of how it is was used and the property owner was billed accordingly. Staff recommends denial of the request to waive the high water consumption as the City incurred normal operating costs to treat the water.

Mr. Muetzel further stated in regards to the high sanitary sewer consumption, staff was notified that an underground water leak was repaired at the mobile home park. Staff was not able to verify whether or not the water that leaked entered the sanitary sewer system. Therefore, staff is unable to determine whether or not the water was treated by the sanitary sewer treatment facility. Being staff is unable to verify whether or not the water entered the sanitary sewer system, staff recommends to deny the request to waive the high sanitary sewer consumption.

Council Member Buckley stated it was highly unlikely the water that leaked entered into the sanitary sewer system. Therefore, the sanitary sewer charges above the most recent 12-month average monthly cost should be waived.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to deny the Request to Waive Water Charges and to approve the request to waive Sanitary Sewer Charges above the most recent 12-month average monthly average cost from RSSA, LLC d.b.a. Westlake Properties MN-A, LLC. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the City Council Work Session Agenda.

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff is recommending to cancel the scheduled work session because of the recent recommendations regarding COVID-19. Staff is working on having the ability to meet remotely if that becomes necessary in the future.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to cancel the March 31, 2020 City Council Work Session due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the discussion regarding COVID-19.

Mr. Muetzel stated on Wednesday, March 4, City staff met with representatives from the school, public health, health care, and emergency management regarding COVID-19. At this meeting, school representatives requested the closure of the community center in the event the school closes. The first positive case of COVID-19 was reported in Minnesota on Friday, March 6. On Sunday, March 15, Governor Walz announced a statewide school closure plan. On Monday, March 16, City staff met with school representatives to implement a plan for the closure. City staff began self-quarantining by department and access was restricted to City Hall staff area. All unnecessary meetings and travel are canceled and cleaning frequency is increased. Staff is evaluating remote working arrangements and communication is being directed via email and phone.

As of Tuesday, March 17, City Hall is open to the public but staff is encouraging customers to contact by phone and email. The community center is closed to the public and the library has limited access. Staff is continuing to monitor updates provided by state and federal organizations

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 ¬¬¬¬6:37 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.