MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2022

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, March 1, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

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

Also present were City Administrator Keith Muetzel, Finance Director Kari Klages, City Attorney Trenton Dammann, Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering, and Council Secretary Caitlin Kodet.

City Administrator Muetzel requested agenda items 9H - Award Drew Street Reconstruction Bid – Resolution #14 and 9L - 2022A Street Reconstruction & Utility Revenue Bonds – Resolution #16 be moved to the beginning of the Regular Agenda due to a scheduling conflict for Shannon Sweeney with David Drown and Associates.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the agenda with the requested agenda change to move 9H and 9L to the beginning of the Regular Agenda. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve the February 1, 2022, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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

1. 2021 Fixed Asset Disposal List

Motion passed by unanimous vote.
Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering introduced Resolution No. 14 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contract for the 2022 Drew Street Improvement Project.

Mr. Doering stated bids were submitted and received on Tuesday, February 22, at 2:00 p.m. for the 2022 Drew Street Improvements. Four (4) bids were received, and the results of the bids were tabulated and provided for Council consideration. Staff recommends awarding the full contract to Duininck, Inc. of Prinsburg, MN, in the amount of $2,684,596.41 which is 7% below the Engineer’s estimate of $2,875,248.00.

Mr. Doering stated in accordance with Minnesota Statues §16C.285, Duininck Inc. has furnished the executed Responsible Contractor Verification and Certification of Compliance form and provided a list of subcontractors. It is unlikely that re-bidding the project would result in more bids or more competitive bids. It is Staff’s understanding that Council desires to proceed with the project. Therefore, Staff recommends that the contract be awarded to Duninck Inc. of Prinsburg.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 14 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contract for the 2022 Drew Street Improvement Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 14 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Award of Contract for the 2022 Drew Street Improvement Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Shannon Sweeney with David Drown and Associates was present via electronic means to introduce Resolution No. 16 of 2022 – Providing for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $3,495,000 General Obligation Street Reconstruction and Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2022A.

Mr. Sweeney stated Resolution No. 16 initiates the competitive sale of bonds to finance the Drew Street utility and street reconstruction project. Construction bids have been received and that information has been incorporated into the recommendations. The estimate of all costs to be included in the proposed project financing totals $3,500,305.64.

Mr. Sweeney stated the funding sources to be utilized to finance the costs include 2022A General Obligation Bonds of $3,495,000.00 and Construction Fund Earnings of $5,305.64. The City of Redwood Falls will be required to pledge tax levies for the repayment of the street reconstruction portion of the bond issue, approximately $1,845,000. Those payments will average approximately $120,000 per year for the 20-year life of the bond issue. Annual payments on the utility revenue bonds, approximately $1,650,000, will average approximately $108,000 per year with the water fund contributing 27% of the payment, the sanitary sewer fund contributing 48% of that payment, and the storm sewer fund contributing 25% of the annual payment. The repayment term on the utility portion of the bond issue has been structured over a 20-year term as well.

Mr. Sweeney stated alternative sources of funding were considered. The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority and USDA-Rural Development are governmental sources of loan and grant funds available for projects like this. However, based on affordability calculations made for grant awards, it is anticipated that the project would not be grant eligible and program participation would have an impact on project costs based on regulations applied by the State and Federal Government.

Mr. Sweeney further stated if Council chooses to finance the projects and acquisition as proposed, David Drown Associates, Inc. recommends the following terms: 20-year term on project financing; Bonds callable any time after 2/1/2029; Sale of bonds utilizing a competitive sales process; and purchasing a Standard & Poor’s Rating. If approved, the proposed schedule for the competitive sale of bonds would begin today, March 1, 2022, with the authorization of the sale process, followed by awarding the sale of bond issue on April 19, 2022, and closing on May 3, 2022.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 16 of 2022 – Providing for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $3,495,000 General Obligation Street Reconstruction and Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2022A. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 16 of 2022 – Providing for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $3,495,000 General Obligation Street Reconstruction and Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2022A. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Finance Director Klages introduced Resolution No. 10 of 2022 – A Resolution Accepting a Donation to the City.

Ms. Klages stated on February 2, 2022 a citizen of Redwood Falls, who wished to remain anonymous, presented the Redwood Falls Police Department (RFPD) with a donation in the amount of $1,000.00. Designated uses for the donation were discussed with the donor and the citizen requested the funds be put towards the purchase of a new Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). RFPD currently has three AEDs which are due for replacement and requires two additional units so each squad will have an AED.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 10 of 2022 – A Resolution Accepting a Donation to the City. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 10 of 2022 – A Resolution Accepting a Donation to the City. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering introduced Resolution No. 11 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Task Order No. 2022-1 For Engineering Services for the 2022 Seal Coat Project.

Mr. Doering stated Resolution No. 11 authorizes Task Order No. 2022-1 with Bolton and Menk, Inc. (BMI) to provide a listed scope of services for 2022 in the amount not to exceed $9,850.00 without further Council approval. Resolution No. 11 also approves the solicitation of bids once the bid documents and specifications are ready for publishing. The date of completion for the project scope is anticipated for August 2022. The 2022 Seal Coat Improvement Project has a construction estimate of $250,000.00 for streets, alleyways, and parking lots.

Mr. Doering stated staff is recommending the approval of Resolution No. 11 of 2022. This area was previously bid in 2017 and bids came in under $163,000.00. The project area is the same area from 2017, which includes the area south of Broadway and west of the Highway 19 MnDOT Bridge.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 11 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Task Order No. 2022-1 For Engineering Services for the 2022 Seal Coat Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve Resolution No. 11 of 2022 – Authorization to Execute Task Order No. 2022-1 For Engineering Services for the 2022 Seal Coat Project. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Garnette Gardens Land Purchase Proposal.

Mr. Muetzel stated the City of Redwood Falls owns the land upon which Garnette Gardens is built. When Garnette Gardens was developed, the City purchased the building site from the School for $60,000 and entered into a ground lease, granting Garnette Gardens lease access to the land. The land lease was utilized to minimize the upfront development costs incurred by Garnette Gardens. Garnette Gardens is in the process of refinancing with a HUD insured loan which requires the borrower to own the land that is occupied by the facility being refinanced. The existing land lease includes a provision that states if Garnette Gardens is sold to a third party, the lease agreement terminates, and the third party shall be required to purchase the land from the City of Redwood Falls for a predetermined purchase price of $120,000.

Mr. Muetzel stated with the existing ground lease establishing a predetermined land purchase price, Garnette Gardens is requesting to utilize the “buyout” provision of the lease to acquire the site on which the building is located for $120,000. Doing so allows Garnette Gardens to access attractive financing terms and removes the City from any future liability or issues relating to the land that is subject to the ground lease.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Garnette Gardens Land Purchase Proposal in the amount of $120,000.00. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 12 of 2022 – Authorization to Enter Into Purchase Agreements and Development Agreement For Real Property Located At 205 Veda Drive And 400 Veda Drive.

Mr. Muetzel stated in an effort to develop additional affordable housing in Redwood Falls, Redwood Falls Industries is proposing to partner with the City of Redwood Falls to renovate two vacant structures and convert them into viable single-family housing units. The City’s primary responsibility will be to acquire and/or transfer ownership of the two structures to Redwood Falls Industries. Redwood Falls Industries will be responsible for renovating and marketing each structure for sale or occupancy. Redwood Falls Industries will acquire 205 Veda Drive and 400 Veda Drive at no cost and renovate the properties by December 31, 2022. Redwood Falls Industries shall comply with all building permit and construction code requirements as well as other requirements specific to each property as specified in the Development Agreement.

Mr. Muetzel stated by entering this partnership with Redwood Falls Industries, the City will avoid all demolition and/or renovation costs associated with either parcel while increasing the availability of affordable housing in the community and expanding the property tax base.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to waive the reading of Resolution No. 12 of 2022 – Authorization to Enter Into Purchase Agreements and Development Agreement For Real Property Located At 205 Veda Drive And 400 Veda Drive. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 12 of 2022 – Authorization to Enter Into Purchase Agreements and Development Agreement For Real Property Located At 205 Veda Drive And 400 Veda Drive. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Parks & Recreation Director Ross Nachreiner was present to introduce the Dog Park Project.

Mr. Nachreiner stated during a Council Work Session on June 29, 2021 staff received support from Council to continue working on a concept for a dog park to be located within the City. City Staff has completed site evaluations based on the needed criteria of access to water, access to shelter or shade trees, parking, whether the property is currently owned or maintained by the City, and the amount of available space. The proposed Dog Park would need to include two separate areas to segregate smalls dogs from the larger ones. After completing site evaluations, City staff concentrated their efforts on utilizing the open play space at Knollwood Park.

Mr. Nachreiner stated the total budget for the project is $39,260 for fencing, concrete pad, water lines bored to the site, Agri-lime used under the fence, trees, and benches. The 2022 operating budget includes $10,000 for the dog park project contingent on raising $30,000 through donations. In January 2022, a donation of $30,000 was received by City Staff.

Mr. Nachreiner further stated City Staff has reached out to local homeowners around Knollwood Park. Concerns of those citizens include the lack of available parking, barking or loose dogs, garbage and dog feces, traffic enforcement, and an overall increase in activity in the area. The Dog Park Committee and City Staff feel the concerns can be addressed. Based on the information gathered, City Staff is looking for approval of the project as well as approval of the fencing quote from Oberg Fencing in the amount of $30,260. Upon approval, Oberg Fencing would order fencing immediately and start construction as soon as weather allows.

Members of the Dog Park Committee were present to show support for the project.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Dog Park Project and fence quote from Oberg Fencing in the amount of $30,260. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Finance Director Klages introduced Resolution No. 13 of 2022 – A Resolution Accepting A Donation To The City.

Ms. Klages stated Minnesota Statute 465.03 gives the city authority to receive donations and requires them
to be formally accepted by resolution, adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Council. Resolution No. 13 authorizes the acceptance of a financial donation in the amount of $30,000. The donation will be used to help build the dog park upon approval from the City Council.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 13 of 2022 – A Resolution Accepting A Donation To The City. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Arentson and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 13 of 2022 – A Resolution Accepting A Donation To The City. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Parks & Recreation Director Ross Nachreiner introduced the 2022 Joint City-School Projects.

Mr. Nachreiner stated the Community Center Board met on Thursday, February 3, 2022, to review a list of project requests. The Board recommends approval of the 2022 Joint City-School Projects as presented and requests to disperse the 2022 Joint City-School funds to the Independent School District #2897.

Mr. Nachreiner stated the money that is not spent each year will carry over to the next year allowing for larger purchases to align with the Community Center Board’s Capital Improvement Plan. The School District holds the funds and is responsible for the purchases.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the Community Center Board’s project requests and purchases as presented, the disbursement of the 2022 Joint City-School Funds in the amount of $10,000 to ISD #2897, and the Community Center Board’s request to declare surplus and authorize the trade or sale of the presented equipment, two treadmills. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Finance Director Klages introduced the Request to Waive Sanitary Sewer Charges – 507 S. Mill Street.

Ms. Klages stated staff received a written request from Dianne Reck, utility account holder at 507 South Mill Street, requesting $70.05 in sanitary sewer charges be waived. The pipe to the outside faucet of her home had frozen and burst causing a leak. Staff reviewed the request and was able to determine the water did not enter the sanitary sewer system and therefore recommends waiving the sanitary charge in the amount of $70.05.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the request to waive sanitary sewer charges in the amount of $70.05. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering introduced the Approval of Plans and Authorization of Bid for Reflection Prairie Addition and Reflection Ridge Business Park.

Owen Todd, Bolton & Menk, Inc. Principal Engineer was present.

Mr. Todd stated the total engineer’s estimate for construction and engineering for the Reflection Prairie Addition and Reflection Ridge Business Park Phase 1 Improvements is estimated at $11.4 million. As requested by the Council approved Task Order 2021-5, Bolton & Menk Inc. have put together the advertisement for bids, bid specifications, and plan set for the project. The anticipated due date for bids to be received will be 2:00 p.m. on March 29, 2022. A planned recommendation of award would be presented to Council at one of the scheduled meetings in April, either April 5th or April 19th. Staff recommends approving the plans and authorization for the advertisement for bids, for the Reflections Development Projects, which include Phase I of the Reflection Prairie Addition and Reflection Ridge Business Park.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve the plans and authorization of bid for Reflection Prairie Addition and Reflection Ridge Business Park. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Jim Doering introduced Resolution No. 15 of 2022 – Authorization to Approve Hazard Mitigation Grant Funding.

Mr. Doering stated rainstorm events over the past seven years have caused flooding, property damage, and landslides. Resolution No. 15 approves the grant agreement (AHMGP-DR4442-RDWDFLSCI-022) through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). This is offered by FEMA and administered through the State of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) office. The HMGP program has the objectives of mitigating hazards, preserving life and property, and reducing risk from future disasters. The City of Redwood Falls administered a previous HMGP grant that aided in relocation of two local businesses and one residential home from sliding into the Redwood River.

Mr. Doering stated Council approved the grant application on April 21, 2020, with a total project cost of $634,016.00. The award is for 75% Federal funding totaling $475,512.00. The remaining 25% or $158,504.00 will be covered by the current owner of the mitigated property. This is a voluntary participation program, and the owners can choose to participate or make the decision to opt out at any step throughout the process.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 15 of 2022 – Authorization to Approve Hazard Mitigation Grant Funding. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Arentson to approve Resolution No. 15 of 2022 – Authorization to Approve Hazard Mitigation Grant Funding. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the LELS Contract Amendments.

Mr. Muetzel stated in December of 2021, the City of Redwood Falls reached a tentative contract agreement with the Police Union (LELS) membership. However, an apparent contract negotiation misunderstanding was discovered prior to
either party signing the agreement. The prior contract allowed officers to carry over 80 hours of vacation from one year to the next and a tentative agreement was reached to increase the carry over to 160 hours. However, the payroll system software has been inadvertently carrying over 80 hours above the officer’s accrual rate which has resulted in higher carry over amounts than what should have been permitted under the prior contract. For example, if an officer accrued 120 hours of vacation per year, the payroll system allowed them to carry over 200 hours instead of cutting off the carry over at 80 hours. Thus, for the past three years, the officers have been allowed to carry over 80 hours of vacation above the accrual rate. This is the same carry over formula that is in place for our two other bargaining units and non-union employees. To be consistent, staff requests Council approval to amend the LELS vacation carry over language to allow for the carry over of 80 hours of vacation above the accrual rate.

Mr. Muetzel further stated City Administration would also like to explore the use of part-time officers as a potential recruiting tool to help fill full-time vacancies. The City of Redwood Falls does not currently employ any part-time police officers. The current LELS contract allows for the employment of part-time officers; however, the wage schedule has not been updated since 2010 and provides for a starting wage of $13.06 per hour which is not adequate to attract part-time officers. Staff requests Council approval to set the part-time officer wage at step 1 of the full-time wage schedule which is $26.91.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve the LELS Contract Amendments. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Council Member Smith requested an update on the power outage that occurred the evening of Monday, February 28.

City Administrator Muetzel stated a fault in a Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) transformer caused a low voltage event, also known as a “brown out”, creating a reduction in power on the north side of the City. The fault did not occur on a City line however, City crews worked with SMMPA to restore the feed. Property owners should contact their insurance company if there is any property damage due to the low voltage event.

Council Member Smith requested clarification on the snow removal contracts for the Liquor Lodge and the Library.

City Administrator Muetzel stated the snow removal for the Liquor Lodge and the Library have been contracted out to a snow removal company to allow the City Street Department the time to focus on City streets and alleyways instead of the snow removal at City owned businesses. Snow removal contracts are reviewed annually for financial efficiency.

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 Smith to adjourn the meeting at 6:35 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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