City Council Meeting – September 15, 2020

MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 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, September 15, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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

City Administrator Muetzel stated staff is requesting three changes to the agenda. The changes include: Agenda Item 9I – Refinance of the 2008A & 2013C General Obligation Bonds – Resolution #45 be moved to earlier on the agenda due to time constraints of the presenter, Agenda Item 9K – Library Director Hiring Update (verbal) would include a Library Director Employment Offer, and add Agenda Item 9L – Fire Department MN DNR Grant – Resolution #46.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the agenda with the requested changes: Agenda Item 9I – Refinance of the 2008A & 2013C General Obligation Bonds – Resolution #45 be moved to earlier on the agenda due to time constraints of the presenter, Agenda Item 9K – Library Director Hiring Update (verbal) would include a Library Director Employment Offer, and add Agenda Item 9L – Fire Department MN DNR Grant – Resolution #46. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the September 1, 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 City Assistance with Redwood Area Chamber and Tourism Fall Festival.

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Council President Smith read a Proclamation declaring September 14th – 18th, 2020 as “Girl Scouts is a Force for Good Week”. A group of Redwood Falls Area Girl Scouts and Leaders were present for the reading of the proclamation. Tammy Freese with Girl Scouts River Valley was present to thank Council for recognizing the Girls Scouts proclamation.

Council President Smith read a Proclamation declaring October 15, as “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day”.

Shannon Sweeney with David Drown and Associates was present to introduce Resolution No. 45 of 2020 – Providing for the Issuance and Sale of $854,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2020B, Pledging for the Security Thereof Special Assessments and Net Revenues and Levying a Tax for the Payment Thereof.

Mr. Sweeney stated a few weeks ago staff initiated a discussion regarding the refinance of the 2008A General Obligation Improvement Bonds and the 2013C General Obligation Utility Revenue Bonds with staff. The 2008A bonds were issued to finance the Ponderosa Business Park improvements and the 2013C Bonds funded the West River Street utility reconstruction and trunk sanitary sewer and watermain improvements that serve the regional materials handling facility. R.W. Baird acting as placement agent received a proposal from Security Bank & Trust, Co. for the refinance of the $825,000 in remaining principal balance of the two issues.

Mr. Sweeney stated Security Bank & Trust, Co. has offered to refinance the obligations at a net effective interest rate of .9363% which produces net present value savings (net of issuance costs) of $57,938 over the same term as the original issues. The City will also save approximately $800 per year by serving as its own paying agent on the new issue. If the Council determines that it is appropriate to approve the refinance of bonds as proposed, the total cost to refinance would be $854,000.00. The funding sources to be utilized to refinance the bonds is the 2020B GO Refunding Note in the amount of $854,000.00.

Mr. Sweeney further stated the City of Redwood Falls will be required to pledge a tax levy, water revenues, and sanitary sewer revenues for the repayment of this bond issue. Annual payments on the new bonds will average approximately $6,700 less than the payments being made on the old bonds. Additionally, the City will not be able to prepay the new bond until 2/1/2027 but due to the interest rate and overall savings staff is not concerned about prepaying the bond.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 45 of 2020 – Providing for the Issuance and Sale of $854,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2020B, Pledging for the Security Thereof Special Assessments and Net Revenues and Levying a Tax for the Payment Thereof. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 45 of 2020 – Providing for the Issuance and Sale of $854,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2020B, Pledging for the Security Thereof Special Assessments and Net Revenues and Levying a Tax for the Payment Thereof. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Meyer introduced Resolution No. 39 of 2020 – Resolution Setting Fee Schedule for 2021.

Ms. Meyer stated staff reviewed the proposed fee schedule. Proposed changes to the 2021 Fee Schedule are indicated in red, fees in purple are set by City Resolution or City Ordinance, and the fees in blue are set or limited by State Statute. Staff is recommending approval of the proposed 2021 Fee Schedule.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 39 of 2020 – Resolution Setting Fee Schedule for 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 39 of 2020 – Resolution Setting Fee Schedule for 2021. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Director of Finance & Administrative Services Meyer gave an overview of the preliminary levy and budgets for 2021 as addressed in Resolution No. 40 of 2020 – Setting Proposed Certified Levy Ad Valorem Taxes for the Year 2021 and Resolution No. 41 of 2020 – Approving 2021 Preliminary Budgets.

Ms. Meyer stated state law requires local units of government to establish the preliminary levy for the coming tax year and certify the levy to the County Auditor by September 30, 2020 and to set the dates for the discussion and adoption of the final levy and budgets.

Ms. Meyer stated additional budget development will occur until December to enable the Budget Committee to make a recommendation to the City Council for the final levy and budgets. The final levy and budget will be presented at the Council Meeting on December 15, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building City Council Chambers.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 40 of 2020 – Resolution Setting Proposed Certified Levy Ad Valorem Taxes for the Year 2021. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 40 of 2020 – Resolution Setting Proposed Certified Levy Ad Valorem Taxes for the Year 2021. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 41 of 2020 – Resolution Approving 2021 Preliminary Budgets. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 41 of 2020 – Resolution Approving 2021 Preliminary Budgets. Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 42 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Agreements for Farmland Rental.

Mr. Doering stated the Redwood Falls Land Rental Request for Bids were opened on September 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Bids were solicited for 152.66 acres of farmland comprised of 73.95 acres around the Airport and 78.71 acres known as the “Gilwood Haven 80”. Five bids were received. Dale and Jason Mathiowetz provided the high bid of $240.00 per acre for the Gilwood Haven 80 or an annual payment of $18,890.40. Gronau Farms LLC provided the overall high bid for the Airport acreage consisting of $50.00 per acre for field #5 (2.6 acres) and $100.00 per acre for the acreage abutting the runways- field #s 7, 8, 9, 25 consisting of 71.35 acres and combined total annual payment of $7,265.00.

Mr. Doering stated staff recommends the acceptance of the overall high bids provided by Dale and Jason Mathiowetz (“Gilwood 80”) and Gronau Farms LLC (Airport Farmland) for the cropping years 2021-2023.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 42 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Agreements for Farmland Rental. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 42 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Agreements for Farmland Rental. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 43 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Agreement for Professional Services.

Mr. Doering stated the Redwood Falls Snow Removal Request for Bids were received and opened on September 10, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. One contractor submitted a bid, Perennial Lawn and Landscaping of Clements, Minnesota. Perennial Lawn and Landscaping provided per push and annual lump sum bids for the Liquor Lodge and Redwood Falls Library and fell within projected budgeting for snow removal for 2020.

Mr. Doering stated staff recommends the contract approval on a per push basis rather than the annual lump sum. Staff does not expect republishing the Request for Bids would garner any more competitive rates. Perennial Lawn and Landscaping is familiar with both sites and held the previous contract at the Liquor Lodge. The contract will reflect the 2020-2021 snow season for both locations and is eligible for an extension for up to two additional snow seasons pending annual service reviews and negotiated pricing.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 43 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Agreement for Professional Services. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 43 of 2020 – Authorization to Execute Agreement for Professional Services. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Public Works Vacuum Truck Purchase.

Mr. Muetzel stated the 2020 Central Garage Operating Budget includes $325,000 to replace the existing vacuum truck. During the summer months, the public works and electric departments use the vacuum truck on a daily basis. The primary uses of the truck include cleaning storm and sanitary sewers, utility excavations, and cleaning catch basins. The public works department provides annual cleaning and maintenance to 940 catch basins, 375 storm manholes, and 125 storm culverts. There is also 39 miles of sanitary sewer lines and 763 sanitary manholes that require annual cleaning and maintenance. This truck would improve safety for staff and increase efficiency.

Street Superintendent Darrell Bowers was present to give an overview of the benefits of the proposed truck purchase.

Mr. Bowers stated staff participated in a demonstration of three trucks from three different vendors and determined the Vactor 2100I from MacQueen Equipment is the best fit. Staff recommends approval of the quote from MacQueen Equipment for the following reasons:

1. The Vactor is the only truck brand with a rapid deployment boom that telescopes out and down which allows the truck to be driven from one utility structure to another without assembling and disassembling the vacuum tube. Staff estimates this feature will reduce the amount of time it takes to perform annual catch basin cleaning by two weeks.

2. The Vactor utilizes a single control panel which allows for complete operation of the power take-off, transfer case, and water system from the exterior of the vehicle. This feature eliminates the need for an operator to frequently enter and exit the vehicle cab which reduces the potential for a slip or fall.

3. The Vactor has the highest efficiency water filtration system which, when compared to other brands, allows for the longest running distance and use time between fills.

4. Unlike the other vendors, MacQueen Equipment offers ongoing staff training and will train future staff on proper operating techniques.

Mr. Bowers stated all the vendors have indicated the equipment being proposed is being sold under the terms of the State of Minnesota Cooperative Purchasing Venture. Staff received the State Contract number from MacQueen Equipment. However, staff was not provided with the State Contract numbers from other vendors, Flexible Pipe Co. and Elliott Equipment. Staff is proposing to use a combination of cash on hand in the Central Garage Fund and the issuance of an equipment certificate to fund the purchase.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Public Works Vacuum Truck Purchase in the amount of $437,217.00 and declare the 2013 Camel vacuum truck as surplus property. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 44 of 2020 – Declaring the Official Intent to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from the Proceeds of Bonds to be Issued by the City.

Mr. Muetzel stated staff is in the process of reviewing financing options for the following equipment purchases that will be finalized in 2021: Vactor Truck in the amount of $438,000; Toro Mower in the amount of $52,000; and One Ton Truck w/ Dump Box in the amount of $65,000. The first step in this process is the adoption of a Reimbursement Resolution. The Reimbursement Resolution states our intent to issue bonds and that we intend to reimburse ourselves for any expenses incurred prior to the bond issuance.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 44 of 2020 – Declaring the Official Intent to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from the Proceeds of Bonds to be Issued by the City. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 44 of 2020 – Declaring the Official Intent to Reimburse Certain Expenditures from the Proceeds of Bonds to be Issued by the City. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel discussed the agenda for the Tuesday, September 29, 2020, City Council work session.

Mr. Muetzel stated Council Members suggested several agenda items for the Council work session. To prepare for the meeting, and to ensure adequate time is allowed for each agenda item, staff is requesting the Council formally establish a work session agenda.

City Council Work Session Agenda Topics
1. Delinquent Utility Assessment Policy
2. Property Maintenance Code
3. Stray and Feral Cat Regulations
4. Hospital Redevelopment RFP Process

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the City Council work session agenda for Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Library Director Employment Offer.

Mr. Muetzel stated the hiring committee for the Library Director position consisting of City Administrator Muetzel, Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Stage, Library Commission Member Joyce Johnson, and Library Commission Member Royce Heffelfinger interviewed three candidates. There were four candidates that were invited to interview from a pool of 15 applicants. The hiring committee offered the Library Director position to Connie Lechner and she has accepted the offer and terms of employment. Ms. Lechner’s terms of employment include a six-month probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, Ms. Lechner will be eligible for a step increase upon a satisfactory job performance evaluation.

Mr. Muetzel stated the current Library Director Teri Smith will be retiring in October and Ms. Lechner’s tentative start date will be October 12, 2020. Ms. Smith will work with Ms. Lechner in order to job shadow for a few days before her retirement begins.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the employment offer for Library Director to Connie Lechner. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 46 of 2020 – Resolution to Accept Matching Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Mr. Muetzel stated the Fire Department received a 50% matching grant of up to $5,000 from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in order to purchase Wildland Personal Protective Equipment and Structural Turnout Gear for each firefighter. The total cost of the gear would be approximately $10,000 to $12,000. The Fire Department is requesting approval of the grant in order to purchase the equipment.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 46 of 2020 – Resolution to Accept Matching Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 46 of 2020 – Resolution to Accept Matching Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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 6:28 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.