City Council Meeting – May 18, 2021

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, MAY 18, 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, May 18, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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

City Administrator Muetzel requested the addition of agenda item 9F – Director of Finance & Administrative Services Search Proposal from David Drown & Associates.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the agenda with the addition of agenda item 9F – Director of Finance & Administrative Services Search Proposal. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the May 4, 2021, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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

1. 2020 Drinking Water Report
2. Water Treatment Facility Reverse Osmosis Membrane Replacement – Toray Industries

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Variance Request for Troy Goblish located at 311 E. Tin Street.

Troy Goblish was present.

Mr. Muetzel stated the City received a request for a variance from Troy Goblish to reduce the side yard setback from 20’ to 8’ for a 13’ addition to his workshop. The owner is requesting the variance for the addition in an effort to clean up the property by storing more equipment and materials inside the shop instead of around the exterior.

Mr. Muetzel stated Planning Commission has reviewed the request and could not determine a circumstance that was unique to this property but did feel that the building design was consistent with other buildings in the neighborhood and would not alter the character of the neighborhood. Planning Commission also determined that the proposed setback is consistent with other buildings on the same block. The lots in this area were re-zoned after the lots were originally platted. The current I-1 zoning district has larger setback requirements than the lots were originally zoned to accommodate. No public comments were heard at the Planning Commission meeting. Due to these circumstances, the Planning Commission recommends approval of the variance request.

No public comments were received.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Variance Request to reduce the side yard setback from 20’ to 8’. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 31 of 2021 – Approving and Authorizing Execution of a Loan Agreement and Related Financing Documents for the Elm Street Mobile Homes Project.

Mr. Muetzel stated on March 16, 2021, the City Council approved a proposal to provide financial assistance to assist the Elm Street Homes Mobile Home Park with property improvements which will allow for the development of additional housing units. The approved funding is in the form of a maximum $50,000, ten-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. Redwood County approved a request for $15,000 for each new housing unit created, up to a maximum of 10 units totaling $150,000.

Mr. Muetzel stated staff worked with our economic development consultant to draft the necessary funding documents. The County approved the same documents at the County Board meeting on May 18, 2021. Staff requests approval of the following related financing documents:

1. Loan Agreement between City and Westlake Properties.
2. Mortgage provided by Westlake Properties.
3. Promissory Note provided by Westlake Properties.
4. Intercreditor and Parity Agreement between City and County.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 31 of 2021 – Approving and Authorizing Execution of a Loan Agreement and Related Financing Documents for the Elm Street Mobile Homes Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 31 of 2021 – Approving and Authorizing Execution of a Loan Agreement and Related Financing Documents for the Elm Street Mobile Homes Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 32 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Federal Airport Expenses Reimbursement.

Mr. Doering stated this grant contract is required in order for MNDOT Aeronautics to administer the Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program (ACRGP) grant of $13,000.00 awarded to the Redwood Falls Municipal Airport. ACRGP Grant No. 3-27-0083-019-2021 awarded on April 8, 2021, will help offset operational and maintenance expenses accrued during the pandemic with a 4-year term. Minnesota Grant Agreement No. 1046846; State Project No. A6401-C2 will allow MNDOT Aeronautics to administer and pass through the funds to cover approved Airport expenses.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 32 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Federal Airport Expenses Reimbursement. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 32 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Federal Airport Expenses Reimbursement. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins was present to introduce Resolution No. 33 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute DGR Engineering Amendment #1 to Task Order No. 13 for Drew Street Distribution Relocation Project.

Mr. Heins stated when DGR Task Order No. 13 was presented to Council on March 16, 2021, it only included the Preliminary Design Phase of the project so we could get started and layout the scope of the project for the engineers. That work has been completed and they are ready to complete the Final Design, Bidding, Construction Administration, and Post Construction phase of the project. DGR is estimating that the cost of the project will be $1,496,000, with the engineering cost not to exceed $131,200.00. This is a rather large project placing 16 city blocks of both overhead primary, secondary, and service lines underground.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 33 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute DGR Engineering Amendment #1 to Task Order No. 13 for Drew Street Distribution Relocation Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 33 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute DGR Engineering Amendment #1 to Task Order No. 13 for Drew Street Distribution Relocation Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Utilities Superintendent Chuck Heins introduced Resolution No. 34 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency Assignment and Assumption Agreement.

Mr. Heins stated Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), one of our wholesale electric providers, has developed a sustainability plan and is implementing more renewable energy options as part of their SMMPA 2.0 program. Part of this program included the promotion of electric vehicles and infrastructure needed for the adaptation of the transportation system to electric vehicles. The SMMPA board

agreed to purchase vehicle chargers for each of the 18 members of the agency. The City received two Level 2 chargers and one DC fast charger as part of this program late last summer. Council gave their approval to have the units installed along with additional parking spaces at the Redwood Area Community Center (RACC). They have been installed and are seeing some usage.

Mr. Heins stated the Assignment and Assumption agreement is the final step in completing the process of SMMPA providing the chargers to the City and addressing ownership and insurance requirements. The value of the SMMPA provided equipment is $38,276.24. The City will own and insure the equipment and intends to maintain a maintenance agreement with SMMPA for the equipment.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 34 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency Assignment and Assumption Agreement. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 34 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency Assignment and Assumption Agreement. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Meyer introduced the Director of Finance & Administrative Services Search Proposal from David Drown & Associates (DDA).

Ms. Meyer announced her retirement effective June 25, 2021. Ms. Meyer thanked Council for the opportunity to serve as the Director of Finance & Administrative Services. Ms. Meyer stated we are blessed to have a dedicated staff that is well-trained, ethical, and hard-working. Staff has prepared a long-term plan which includes the hiring of an executive search firm explained in the proposal from David Drown & Associates (DDA). As well as an interim plan to implement in the short-term. The interim plan divides the current workload amongst four senior staff members as approved by the auditors.

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff is recommending the assistance of an outside agency to fill the senior management position. Utilizing an executive search firm allows staff to give the position the due diligence it requires. DDA will ensure an unbiased, in-depth, and comprehensive search is conducted in order to find the candidate that best meets the needs, goals, and other qualifications established by the City of Redwood Falls. DDA will coordinate all aspects of the hiring process. The cost for services included in the proposal from DDA is $15,000. DDA proposes to begin the process as early as May 27, 2021 and have the position posted as early as June 2, 2021. DDA is proposing to have a selection of finalists by July 8, 2021, and schedule interviews for July 29, 2021 with a projected start date in August or September 2021.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the Director of Finance & Administrative Services Search Proposal from David Drown & Associates in the amount of $15,000. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering gave an update regarding the Northwood Drive sanitary sewer repair work. The work to fully line the interior sanitary sewer on Northwood Drive is complete. The manholes have been lined vertically and work will continue until the remaining manholes are complete. The life expectancy of the materials used to line the sanitary sewer have over a 50-year life expectancy and meet or exceed the original materials used.

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 Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to adjourn the meeting at 5:50 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.