City Council Meeting – May 19, 2020

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2020

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Redwood Falls City Council was called to order by telephone and other electronic means on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

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

Also present were City Administrator Keith Muetzel, Director of Finance & Administrative Services Melissa Meyer, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, 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 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 Kerkhoff to approve the May 5, 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 Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the following item on the Consent Agenda.

1. Approve Final 2020 Pay Equity Compliance Report

Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Parks & Rec Director Ross Nachreiner was present to discuss the current status of 2020 Park and Recreation Programs, Aquatic Center, and Campground Operations.

Mr. Nachreiner stated within Executive Order 20-56, Order 8:l, camping will not be allowed in Ramsey Park until further notice. Both private and public developed campgrounds will remain closed to recreational camping. Exact date of opening is still undetermined. City Rec staff has canceled all reservations and processed refunds to those patrons through May 31st.

Mr. Nachreiner stated during the May 2nd Council meeting we discussed opening the Aquatic Center or delaying a decision until the following meeting. Over the last two weeks staff has participated in many electronic meetings and webinars. Staff has received very little guidance as to whether the Governor will allow pools to be open this summer. Social distancing and how that defines itself continues to be the biggest challenge and concern amongst many. Other concerns include keeping a clean & disinfected environment to ensure patrons and staff are safe, will swimming lessons be allowed, as well as a decreased bather load, all factor into the decision.

Mr. Nachreiner stated more information is expected to be released in a few days in regards to the recommendations for pools, campgrounds, and fitness facilities. Staff would like to be able to open the pool but it would need to feasible to operate within the restrictions. Once a decision is made, it will take up to three weeks to get staff and the pool ready to be opened to the public.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to open the pool within the parameters recommended by the State.

Council Member Smith reconsidered the motion to open the pool within the parameters recommended by the State. No vote was taken.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to delay a decision in regards to opening the Redwood Falls Aquatic Center in order to receive further guidance and call a special meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Chief of Police Jason Cotner was present to introduce Police Officer Position – Authorization to Hire.

Chief Cotner stated in March of 2020 an officer resigned from the Redwood Falls Police Department creating a vacant position. A hiring process was initiated shortly afterward. Seven applications were received and on April 21st a written test was held at the community center. All seven candidates took the test and all seven achieved passing scores. On May 6th and 7th interviews were conducted by a panel consisting of City Administrator Keith Muetzel, Chief of Police Jason Cotner, Asst. Chief of Police Steve Schroeder, and Council Member Matt Smith. All seven candidates were invited to the interview and all seven participated.

Chief Cotner stated after compiling the test scores and discussing the interviews, the panel identified Nickolas Haupt as the most qualified candidate. A conditional job offer was provided to Mr. Haupt and he accepted. The conditional job offer was made contingent upon the following factors; no disqualifying information found during the background check; psychological testing which finds him suitable for patrol work; physical examination which finds no disqualifying medical conditions; and approval by Redwood Falls City Council. Staff recommends Council approve Nickolas Haupt for employment with the Redwood Falls Police Department contingent upon successful completion of the items listed.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Police Officer Position – Authorization to Hire Nickolas Haupt, contingent upon successful completion of the background check, employment physical, and psychological testing. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Chief Cotner introduced the Police Department Policy Manual Update.

Chief Cotner stated at the City Council work session on January 29, 2019, Chief of Police Jason Cotner presented a draft revision to the Redwood Falls Police Department policy manual. At that meeting Chief Cotner briefed Council on the original creation of the current manual, the need to regularly update police department manuals, and the resources utilized and steps taken to revise and update the draft revised manual. At the conclusion of the work session Council directed Chief Cotner and Redwood Falls City Attorney Amy Busse to identify a firm or expert who could review and advise on the draft revision.

Chief Cotner stated Ms. Busse consulted with the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) who directed her to attorney William Everett of the law firm Everett and VanderWiel. As part of the due diligence, Mr. Everett’s curriculum vitae was reviewed by Chief Cotner and Ms. Busse. Mr. Everett has extensive training and experience in both law enforcement and police department policy. In addition, both the LMC and the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board utilized his services and gave him highly favorable recommendations.

Chief Cotner stated at the June 4, 2019, City Council meeting, Council approved retaining the services of Mr. Everett to review and update the draft revision. From June, 2019 until early 2020, Chief Cotner worked extensively with Mr. Everett on the draft revision. Many of the revisions focused on ensuring verbiage was clear, defensible, and complied with current statutes, case law, and industry standards. The final draft revision of the RFPD policy manual was reviewed and approved by Mr. Everett as well as Ms. Busse before her departure from employment with the City of Redwood Falls. Staff recommends Council approve the final draft revision of the RFPD policy manual. Current officers will be given time to review the new policy manual.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Final Draft Revision of the Redwood Falls Police Department Policy Manual. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering introduced Resolution No. 27 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contracts for the 2020 Electric Vehicle Parking Pad Project with Additional 20 Stalls and Separately the RACC Driveway Reconstruction Project.

Mr. Doering stated originally, quote sheets were being developed to reconstruct the Redwood Area Community Center (RACC) entrance which has required substantial annual maintenance due to failing bituminous and replace the area with concrete. Separately, Public Utilities in conjunction with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) were deliberating the placement of an e-vehicle charging station. A timely opportunity presented itself to add the entrance reconstruction and separate five stall electric vehicle charging station projects to the Redwood Valley High School/Middle School (RVHS/MS) 2020 site improvement bid solicitation as Alternate two (2). RVHS/MS opened bids on April 16. 2020 and Voss Plumbing & Heating was the low bidder with their Voss Masonry division. Alternate two (2) for the entrance and charging station was bid at $91,000.00 which was rejected in light of Council’s desire to increase parking and expand the charging area adding an additional 20 stalls.

Mr. Doering stated based on Council’s decision, staff engaged Voss Plumbing & Heating a.k.a. Voss Masonry to re-quote the expanded 25 stall charging station and expanded parking area and provide second quote for the RACC entrance reconstruction project with the desire to garner better unit pricing in conjunction of Voss being the approved low bidder for the RVHS/MS 2020 Site improvement project. It is unlikely that re-quoting the separate projects would result in more competitive unit pricing with the expanded scope of two projects.

Mr. Doering stated Voss Plumbing & Heating a.k.a. Voss Masonry will be directly adjacent with the school improvements. It is staffs understanding that Council desires to proceed with the parking expansion. Therefore, staff recommends that contracts be awarded to Voss Plumbing and Heating of Paynesville, MN for: The Electric Vehicle Parking Pad Project with 20 extra stalls for $73,103.00 and the Redwood Area Community Center Driveway Reconstruction Project for $64,838.00. General engineering will be provided for both projects by Bolton & Menk Inc. Voss Plumbing and Heating Inc. is considered a sole source provider due to their public bidding of both projects in conjunction with RVHS/MS. The $138,000 combined project will be funded with cooperation from Public Utilities of $29,000, Street Department remaining budget of $61,000 from favorable seal coat bids, and the capital project fund seal coat budget of $48,000.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 27 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contracts for the 2020 Electric Vehicle Parking Pad Project with Additional 20 Stalls and Separately the RACC Driveway Reconstruction Project. 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 Arentson to approve Resolution No. 27 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contracts for the 2020 Electric Vehicle Parking Pad Project with Additional 20 Stalls and Separately the RACC Driveway Reconstruction Project. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Temporary Personnel Policy Amendment to Exceed Maximum Allowable Furlough Leave for COVID-19 Related Reasons for Approval.

Mr. Muetzel stated The City of Redwood Falls Personnel Policy allows for full-time employees to receive up to 80 hours of unpaid leave during a calendar year. Section 11.3.6 Unpaid Leave (Not Medical Related) or Voluntary Furlough Leave states: Any full-time employee will be allowed to take an unpaid leave or voluntary furlough of a maximum of 80 hours during any calendar year.

Mr. Muetzel stated with some departments being closed, or operating at reduced staff levels, it is likely that some employees will be furloughed for more than 80 hours during this calendar year, therefore, staff is requesting approval to allow employees to exceed 80 hours of unpaid leave during calendar year 2020 for COVID-19 related reasons. Staff requests Council approval to allow employees to exceed 80 hours of unpaid leave during calendar year 2020 for COVID-19 related reasons.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the Temporary Personnel Policy Amendment to Exceed Maximum Allowable Furlough Leave for COVID-19 Related Reasons during calendar year 2020. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Proposal for Engineering Services to Complete Development Site Suitability Analysis.

Mr. Muetzel stated the City entered into a purchase agreement to acquire two parcels of land for future housing and industrial development. The purchase agreement includes contingencies for wetlands, soil suitability, infrastructure serviceability, archaeological issues, and other items that may interfere with development activities. Bolton & Menk has provided a proposal to prepare a development site suitability analysis to verify the parcels are suitable for development. The proposed scope of work includes: Phase 1 Environmental Review, Wetland Delineation, Floodplain Review, Cultural Resources Review, Soil Suitability for Construction, and Public Utility Review. The proposed cost of the analysis is not to exceed $9,200. Staff requests approval of Bolton & Menk’s proposal to prepare a development site suitability analysis.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Proposal for Engineering Services to Complete Development Site Suitability Analysis. 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 a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) Pedestrian Crosswalk System at MN Hwy 19 and Lincoln Street. The City Engineer has been in communication with MnDOT regarding the permitting process. MnDOT indicated they have an estimated date of completion for the permit review and issuance by July 1, 2020. The equipment will be ordered and installation can begin once the permit has been issued by MnDOT.

City Administrator Muetzel stated due to COVID-19 restrictions, the scheduled Council meetings on
June 2, 2020 and June 16, 2020 will be by telephone or other electronic means.

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 6:03 p.m. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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