MINUTES

REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING

CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA

TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2022

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, an organizational/regular meeting of the Redwood Falls City Council was called to order in the Municipal Chambers on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

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

Also present were City Administrator Keith Muetzel, City Attorney Trenton Dammann, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, and AR/Customer Service Coordinator Amy Kerkhoff.  Finance Director Kari Klages was present via electronic means.

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

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the December 21, 2021, minutes as presented.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush called for nominations for Council President for 2022.

Council Member Buckley nominated Council Member Kerkhoff.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to elect Council Member Kerkhoff as Council President.  Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

AYE:   Council Member Smith, Kerkhoff, Sandgren, Buckley

NO:      None

Council Member Arentson was absent.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the following 2022 Council Committee Appointments.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Standing Committees:

Budget:                                                John Buckley, Matt Smith, and Tom Quackenbush

Personnel:                                            John Buckley, Matt Smith, and Tom Quackenbush

Public Works:                                      Larry Arentson and Jim Sandgren

Port Authority:                                     Denise Kerkhoff and Jim Sandgren

Issues: 

Environmental (garbage, compost, wetlands):    Jim Sandgren and Denise Kerkhoff

Individual Assignments:

Joint Powers/School:                                        Larry Arentson

Airport Commission Liaison                             Jim Sandgren

Library Commission Liaison                             Denise Kerkhoff

Parks & Recreation Commission Liaison           Larry Arentson

Police Commission Liaison                               Denise Kerkhoff

Public Utilities Commission Liaison:                 John Buckley

Housing & Redevelopment Authority Liaison:   Matt Smith

            A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to appoint John T. Buckley and Kari Klages to the Redwood Falls Firefighter’s Relief Association Board of Trustees for 2022.  Motion was carried by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the 2022 Commission Appointments as presented.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to continue meeting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. for the City Council Meetings in 2022.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to designate the City’s official newspaper to be the Redwood Gazette for 2022.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to designate the City’s official depositories pursuant to Minnesota Statutes §118A.02 and the City Investment Policy for 2022.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to designate Bolton & Menk as Consulting City Engineer for 2022.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the following item on the Consent Agenda.

Thriveon Statement of Work – PC Refresh

Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush opened a public hearing at 5:16 p.m. to discuss delinquent utility accounts.

Finance Director Kari Klages introduced Resolution No. 1 of 2022 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts.

Ms. Klages stated the proposed Resolution is to adopt an assessment for delinquent utility accounts 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. Klages 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.  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 1, 2022, 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 5:17 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 1 of 2022 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 1 of 2022 – Resolution Adopting Assessments for Delinquent Accounts.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Mayor Quackenbush opened a public hearing at 5:17 p.m. to discuss the Drew and 4th Street Reconstruction Project Funding.

Shannon Sweeney, a representative with David Drown Associates, was present via electronic means to introduce Resolution No. 2 of 2022 – Resolution Adopting a Street Reconstruction Plan and Approving the Issuance of General Obligation Street Reconstruction Bonds.

Mr. Sweeney stated in previous discussions regarding the financing of the Drew Street Reconstruction Project,  David Drown Associates recommends using the street reconstruction financing authority granted under Minnesota Statutes to fund the street components of the proposed project.  The City Council previously adopted a Street Reconstruction Plan to utilize the authority to fund the project.  Since adopting the previous Street Reconstruction Plan, the estimated cost of the Drew Street reconstruction has increased and street reconstruction costs associated with the 4th Street Reconstruction Plan have been identified.

Mr. Sweeney stated David Drown Associates recommends the Street Reconstruction Plan be updated and adopted following the procedure outlined per Minnesota Statute, Section 475.58, subd. 3b.

No one was present to voice any concerns.

Mayor Quackenbush closed the public hearing at 5:21 p.m.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 2 of 2022 – Resolution Adopting a Street Reconstruction Plan and Approving the Issuance of General Obligation Street Reconstruction Bonds.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 2 of 2022 – Resolution Adopting a Street Reconstruction Plan and Approving the Issuance of General Obligation Street Reconstruction Bonds.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Attorney Trenton Dammann introduced Ordinance No. 74, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls Code of Ordinances §2.21, §2.41, §2.42, and §2.55 and Repealing Ordinance No. 55, third Series, adopted on December 5, 2000, Titled “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 by Adding New Subsection and Revising 2.55 – Hospital Commission.”

City Attorney Dammann stated the proposed Ordinance was introduced at the December 21, 2021, City Council meeting.

Mr. Dammann stated in July of 1942, the first hospital board was created by Ordinance No. 112 after the City purchased the hospital from local physicians.  Pursuant to Section 3.04 of the Home Rule Charter of the City of Redwood Falls, Minnesota, effective September 5, 1974, the City Council was granted the power to establish commissions to investigate any subject of interest to the City and to operate utilities, parks and public services or to perform quasi-judicial functions.  In February of 1975, under the new City Charter, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 261, renaming the hospital board, creating the Hospital Commission and outlining the Commission’s powers and duties.  Pursuant to Ordinance No. 55, Third Series, adopted on December 5, 2000, the City Council revised §2.55 relating to the Hospital Commission of the City of Redwood Falls and adding new subsections to Chapter 2, namely §2.41, which established a Hospital Department and §2.21 which established a Hospital Fund.  Effective January 1, 2019, the City transferred ownership of the City Hospital to Carris Health-Redwood, LLC.  As the City no longer owns or operates a Municipal Hospital, it is Staff’s opinion that there is no reason for the Hospital Commission, Hospital Department, or Hospital Fund to remain established within City Code.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Ordinance No. 74, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls Code of Ordinances §2.21, §2.41, §2.42, and §2.55 and Repealing Ordinance No. 55, third Series, adopted on December 5, 2000, Titled “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 by Adding New Subsection and Revising 2.55 – Hospital Commission.”  Motion passed by the following roll call vote.

AYE:   Council Member Smith, Kerkhoff, Sandgren, Buckley

NO:      None

Council Member Arentson was absent.

City Attorney Trenton Dammann introduced Ordinance No. 75, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 261, Adopted on February 20, 1975, Titled “An Ordinance Relating to the Redwood Falls Municipal Hospital Establishing a Hospital Commission and Prescribing the Powers and Duties Thereof.”

City Attorney Dammann stated the proposed Ordinance was introduced at the December 21, 2021, City Council meeting.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Ordinance No. 75, Fourth Series – An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 261, Adopted on February 20, 1975, Titled “An Ordinance Relating to the Redwood Falls Municipal Hospital Establishing a Hospital Commission and Prescribing the Powers and Duties Thereof.”  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

AYE:   Council Member Smith, Kerkhoff, Sandgren, Buckley

NO:      None

Council Member Arentson was absent.

Finance Director Kari Klages introduced Resolution No. 3 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Business Development Infrastructure Application.

Ms. Klages stated the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has the authority to make grants to counties and cities to provide up to 50% of the capital costs of public infrastructure necessary for an eligible economic development project.

Ms. Klages stated the City’s Reflection Ridge Business Park Project qualifies as an eligible project for DEED’s Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant program.  A resolution indicating eligibility, approval of the project and the commitment of matching funds to complete the project is a requirement of the grant and must be submitted with the application.  The proposed BDPI grant application requests $1,350,549.00 from DEED with a City match of $1,575,550.00.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 3 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Business Development Infrastructure Application.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 3 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Business Development Infrastructure Application.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Keith Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 4 of 2022 – Resolution Approving Submittal of MN Housing Workforce Housing Development Grant Program Application for the Red Skye Lofts Redevelopment Project.

Mr. Muetzel stated the owner of the “old hospital” is proposing a significant renovation of the property and is requesting funding from the State of Minnesota Workforce Housing Development Program to assist with the project.  The proposed project consists of creating 57 market-rate apartment units and the total estimated cost of the renovation is $6,759,401.00, with $559,401.00 being requested from the Workforce Housing Development Grant Program.

Mr. Muetzel stated the State of Minnesota Workforce Housing Program provides grant funds to housing projects that increase the available inventory of workforce housing.  One of the program requirements is that local municipalities provide a $1.00 match for every $2.00 in State grant funds.  On June 15, 2021, the City of Redwood Falls and Redwood County approved a tax abatement to assist with the project’s redevelopment costs.  The existing tax abatement will serve as the source of the required match and there is no additional financial commitment from the City.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 4 of 2022 – Resolution Approving Submittal of MN Housing Workforce Housing Development Grant Program Application for the Red Skye Lofts Redevelopment Project.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 4 of 2022 – Resolution Approving Submittal of MN Housing Workforce Housing Development Grant Program Application for the Red Skye Lofts Redevelopment Project.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Attorney Dammann introduced Resolution No. 5 of 2022 – A Resolution of the City of Redwood Falls Providing for the Summary Publication of Ordinance No. 74, Fourth Series, an Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls Code of Ordinances §2.21, §2.41, §2.42, ad §2.55 and Repealing Ordinance No. 55, Third Series, Adopted on December 5, 2000, Titled “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 by Adding New Subsections and Revising 2.55 – Hospital Commission.”

Mr. Dammann stated State law requires that all ordinances adopted be published prior to becoming effective.  Due to the size of Ordinance No. 74, Fourth Series, Minnesota Statutes, Section 412.191, subd. 4, allows publication by title and summary in the case of lengthy ordinances or those containing charts or maps.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 5 of 2022 – A Resolution of the City of Redwood Falls Providing for the Summary Publication of Ordinance No. 74, Fourth Series, an Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls Code of Ordinances §2.21, §2.41, §2.42, ad §2.55 and Repealing Ordinance No. 55, Third Series, Adopted on December 5, 2000, Titled “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 by Adding New Subsections and Revising 2.55 – Hospital Commission.”  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 5 of 2022 – A Resolution of the City of Redwood Falls Providing for the Summary Publication of Ordinance No. 74, Fourth Series, an Ordinance Amending Redwood Falls Code of Ordinances §2.21, §2.41, §2.42, ad §2.55 and Repealing Ordinance No. 55, Third Series, Adopted on December 5, 2000, Titled “An Ordinance Amending Chapter 2 by Adding New Subsections and Revising 2.55 – Hospital Commission.”  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering introduced Resolution No. 6 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Master Agreement for Professional Services 2022 City of Redwood Falls and Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Mr. Doering stated Resolution No. 6 executes the Master Services Agreement for 2022.  The Master Service Agreement lists the responsibilities for both parties and outlines basic services to be provided by Bolton & Menk as assigned by the City of Redwood Falls.  This will be done on a project-by-project basis that is to be outlined by individual task orders presented to Council for subsequent approval throughout the year.  The agreement has been reviewed by Bolton & Menk Inc. and staff recommends approval.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to waive the reading of Resolution No. 6 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Master Agreement for Professional Services 2022 City of Redwood Falls and Bolton & Menk, Inc.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 6 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Master Agreement for Professional Services 2022 City of Redwood Falls and Bolton & Menk, Inc.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced an update to Personnel Policy Section 6.9 – Residency Requirements.

Mr. Muetzel stated section 6.9 of the Personnel Policy establishes residency requirements for certain city personnel.  During a recent police officer hiring process, it was determined that some potential applicants did not apply because of the 20-minute response time residency requirement.  Those potential applicants reside within the area but are outside the 20-minute requirement.  In an effort to attract additional applications, staff recommends amending the Personnel Policy to grant the city administrator the authority to approve reasonable exceptions to the residency requirement.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to amend the current Personnel Policy Section 6.9 – Residency Requirements.  All sworn police personnel shall live and reside at a location in which they can respond to their department’s location within 20-minutes for emergencies.  All Utility, Public Works, and Park and Recreation employees shall live within a 20-minute response time for emergencies or weather-related needs.  Other department response requirements may be required for specific positions deemed as essential due to responding to alarms, fires, miscellaneous mechanical emergencies, etc.  Any exceptions must be approved by the City Administrator.  Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel updated the City Council on the Minnesota OSHA adoption of the Federal COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which requires all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that all employees are either fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or provide a weekly negative test and wear a face covering while working.  The US Department of Labor has indicated OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any of the requirements until January 10, and it will not issue citations for the testing requirements until February 9, so long as employers are making “good faith” efforts to implement the rules.

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 Kerkhoff to adjourn the meeting at 5:59 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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