City Council Meeting – October 1, 2019

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2019

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, October 1, 2019, 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, City Attorney Amy Busse and Council Secretary Caitlin Kodet.

City Administrator Muetzel requested Consent Agenda Item 6.A. Accept Donation from Redwood Area Hockey Association be moved to the Regular Agenda, 9.D.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the agenda with the following amendment: move Consent Agenda item 6.A. to 9.D. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the September 17, 2019, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush opened a public hearing at 5:02 p.m. to discuss delinquent utility accounts & maintenance charges.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Meyer introduced Resolution No. 33 of 2019 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts and Resolution No. 34 of 2019 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Unpaid Maintenance Costs.

Ms. Meyer stated the proposed Resolutions are to adopt assessments for delinquent utility and maintenance cost charges 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.

Ms. Meyer 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. Delinquent balances that are assessable are also published in the paper as a requirement of the Public Hearing process. 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.

No one was present to voice any concerns.

Mayor Quackenbush closed the public hearing at 5:03 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 33 of 2019 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 33 of 2019 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 34 of 2019 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Unpaid Maintenance Costs. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 34 of 2019 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Unpaid Maintenance Costs. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

City Attorney Busse introduced Ordinance No. 65, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending §10.46 pertaining to Animal Licensing and Regulation.

City Attorney Busse stated the proposed Ordinance was introduced at the September 17, 2019, Council meeting. Ordinance No. 65 proposes to eliminate an annual dog license and instead institute a conditional lifetime license that would remain valid for the life of the dog so long as the owner completes the initial license application, pays a fee and provides proof of current vaccinations to staff prior to expiration of the vaccination. Since discussing the proposed Ordinance and posting notice of the Ordinance 10 days prior to the meeting for final adoption, staff has not received any negative comments or concerns, just a few inquiries regarding the cost of the license and if the fee will be different based on the age of the dog.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Ordinance No. 65, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending §10.46 pertaining to Animal Licensing and Regulation. Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

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

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced the Proposal for Geotechnical Evaluation of the
Power Plant Road.

Mr. Doering stated our annual wet conditions caused an embankment failure to occur next to the only
road down to the hydroelectric power plant. This failure is actively growing and will affect a large part or the entire roadway itself in time. In addition to the roadway, the penstock that supplies water from the dam to the hydroelectric facility also resides under the road section and needs protection.

Mr. Doering further stated staff recommends approval of the quote to provide a geotechnical evaluation of the power plant road from Braun Intertec Corp. of Mankato, MN for $11,963.00. Council’s acceptance of the quote will authorize the Mayor and/or City Administrator to execute the quote for the listed scope of services and negotiate related contracts, agreements, amendments and subsequent specifications development with solicitation of bids pursuant to the Redwood Falls Procurement Policy. A second quote was requested from American Engineering and Testing whom declined (via email) to quote due to seasonally high workloads.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve
the Proposal for Geotechnical Evaluation of the Power Plant Road from Braun Intertec Corp. of Mankato, MN for $11,963.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Street Maintenance Worker Position – Authorization to Hire.

Mr. Muetzel stated after a recent voluntary resignation from a Street Maintenance Worker on September 22, 2019, the interview team consisting of City Administrator Muetzel, Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Stage, Street Superintendent Darrell Bowers, and Water/Wastewater Superintendent Tom Stough met and reviewed the large pool of applicants. Mr. Muetzel stated the City had two other excellent candidates, besides the three that were hired. Instead of advertising and posting again, staff is asking for Council’s approval to hire the next candidate from the first round of interviews held just a few months ago. Therefore, staff requests Council approval to hire Darren Hacker as Street Maintenance Worker at Pay Grade 4, Step 3 which will include a six-month probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, Mr. Hacker will be eligible for a step increase, upon a satisfactory job performance evaluation.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the employment offer of the Street Maintenance Worker position to Darren Hacker. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Street Maintenance Foreman Position – Authorization to Hire.

Mr. Muetzel stated after posting internally for this position, an interview team consisting of Street Superintendent Bowers, Human Resources Coordinator Stage, and City Administrator Muetzel interviewed two candidates. Staff requests City Council approval for appointment of Jerry Mertens as Street Maintenance Foreman. Compensation for the Foreman designation is $1.00/hour over the position’s base wage. This change will be effective September 23, 2019 and will also include a 6-month probationary period.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the employment offer of the Street Maintenance Foreman Position to Jerry Mertens. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Parks and Recreation Director Ross Nachreiner was present to introduce Resolution No. 35 of 2019 – Resolution to Accept Donation of Two White Boards from the Redwood Area Hockey Association.

Mr. Nachreiner stated the Redwood Area Hockey Association would like to purchase two larger white boards (dry erase), approximately four feet tall and six feet wide, for Ice Arena Team Rooms 1 & 2. City staff will assist in hanging the white boards. The project will be fully funded by the Redwood Area Hockey Association.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 35 of 2019 – Resolution to Accept Donation of Two White Boards from the Redwood Area Hockey Association. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 35 of 2019 – Resolution to Accept Donation of Two White Boards from the Redwood Area Hockey Association. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Council Member Smith thanked Police Chief Jason Cotner, the Redwood Falls Police and Fire Departments, as well as Redwood County, for the search efforts and recovery of Thunder Brothersofall. Mr. Smith also thanked the community members for their support during the search.

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff is in the process of evaluating the damage done to Memorial Field following a police pursuit on Friday, September 27. Staff will be looking into options to replace the fence and lights that were damaged. Memorial Field is still available for use for all scheduled activities.

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 5:23 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.