MINUTES
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2021

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 21, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

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

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.

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

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve the September 7, 2021, minutes as presented. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Council President Arentson introduced the Proclamation declaring October 15, as “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.”

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Proclamation declaring October 15, as “National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.” Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Public Works Project Coordinator Doering introduced Resolution No. 48 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition.

Mr. Doering stated this grant contract is required in order for MNDOT Aeronautics to administer the Redwood Falls Municipal Airport Grant in the amount of $84,290.00 awarded to the Redwood Falls Municipal Airport for the wheelchair lift. The FAA AIP Grant No. 3-27-0083-020-2021 awarded on August 31, 2021, will reimburse 100% of the expenses for the installation of the wheelchair lift at the Redwood Falls Municipal Airport. The Minnesota Grant Agreement No. 1048430, State Project No. A6401-58, will allow MNDOT Aeronautics to administer and pass through the funds to cover approved Airport expenses.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to waive the reading of Resolution No. 48 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Smith to approve Resolution No. 48 of 2021 – Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Shannon Sweeney with David Drown and Associates was present to introduce Resolution No. 49 of 2021 – Resolution Providing for the Issuance and Sale of a $1,205,000 Electric Utility Revenue Bond, Series 2021B.

Mr. Sweeney stated David Drown Associates, Inc. is recommending the sale of bonds for electrical improvements being made as part of the Drew Street Project. Bids have been received for components of the project and have been used in structuring the sale for the project. The estimate of costs to be included in the proposed project financing include the Drew Street Electrical Project, Debt Service Reserve, and Finance & Legal for a total project cost of $1,238,184.44. The funding sources to be utilized to finance the costs include the 2021B Electric Utility Revenue Bonds of $1,205,000, Construction Fund Earnings of $612.00, and a Cash Contribution of $32,572.44.

Mr. Sweeney stated alternative financing options were considered. The use of cash for the proposed improvements was considered. As the most recent rate study has recommended the use of financing for large capital expenditures, and given the low interest rate environment, it was ultimately recommended that the Drew Street Project costs be financed over a 15-year term. A placement agent for the sale of bonds was used, R.W. Baird. Baird reached out to all local banks, a national bank, and ultimately to a Minnesota lender that submitted the proposal that offered the lowest overall cost of borrowing, First Independent Bank– Russell. The proposal was considered to be very competitive.

Mr. Sweeney stated if Council chooses to finance the project costs as proposed, David Drown Associates, Inc. recommends awarding the sale of bonds to First Independent Bank – Russell with the following recommendation: 15-year term on project financing, bonds callable any time after 12/1/2029, sale of bonds utilizing a placement agent, and do not purchase a credit rating. The proposed schedule for the sale of bonds would be to award the sale of the bond issue on September 21, 2021 with a proposed closing on October 5, 2021.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Buckley to waive the reading of Resolution No. 49 of 2021 – Resolution Providing for the Issuance and Sale of a $1,205,000 Electric Utility Revenue Bond, Series 2021B. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Sandgren to approve Resolution No. 49 of 2021 – Resolution Providing for the Issuance and Sale of a $1,205,000 Electric Utility Revenue Bond, Series 2021B. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Human Resources Coordinator Sheila Stage was present to introduce the Annual Personnel Policy
Review and Update.

Ms. Stage stated an annual review of the personnel policy has been done with City Attorney Dammann and City Administrator Muetzel. Approval of the changes and updates made to the personnel policy being presented to Council are effective 9/21/2021.

A motion was made by Council Member Buckley and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to approve the Annual Personnel Policy Review and Update. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced the Information Technology Coordinator Responsibilities.

Mr. Muetzel stated for the last several years, the responsibility for coordinating the City’s Information Technology activities was assigned to the Finance Director position. Recently, Information Technology coordination was assigned to the Payroll/Accounts Payable Coordinator because the Finance Director position was vacant. Staff desires to permanently reassign Information Technology responsibilities to the Payroll/AP/IT Coordinator. The proposed permanent reassignment of Information Technology responsibilities to the Payroll/AP/IT Coordinator requires the position to be reclassified to ensure compliance with Pay Equity requirements. The reclassification results in the position being scored at 245 job points which is a Pay Grade 8. The previous job points were 209 points which is a Pay Grade 6. The reclassification of the position reflects the position’s permanent retention of Information Technology responsibilities.

A motion was made by Council Member Kerkhoff and seconded by Council Member Buckley to
approve the Information Technology Coordination Responsibilities. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

City Administrator Muetzel introduced Resolution No. 50 of 2021 – Joint Resolution In the Matter of the Orderly Annexation Between the City of Redwood Falls and Paxton Township Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes § 414.0325.

Mr. Muetzel stated the development sites for the proposed Reflection Prairie Housing Addition and Reflection Ridge Business Park need to be annexed into the City of Redwood Falls. On September 16, 2021, the Paxton Town Board approved the Resolution authorizing annexation of the two development sites. The Resolution language is consistent with prior orderly annexation agreements and includes a formula to reimburse Paxton Township for lost property tax revenue of approximately $3,000.00. The Paxton Town Board requested that the City reimburse Paxton for the entire lost tax revenue as one lump sum payment as soon as the annexation becomes official instead of having the payments spread out over five years. No residents reside within the areas being annexed so the annexation does not create a population change for the City of Redwood Falls or Paxton Township.

A motion was made by Council Member Smith and seconded by Council Member Kerkhoff to waive the reading of Resolution No. 50 of 2021 – Joint Resolution In the Matter of the Orderly Annexation Between the City of Redwood Falls and Paxton Township Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes § 414.0325. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

A motion was made by Council Member Sandgren and seconded by Council Member Buckley to approve Resolution No. 50 of 2021 – Joint Resolution In the Matter of the Orderly Annexation Between the City of Redwood Falls and Paxton Township Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes § 414.0325. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

Council Member Buckley requested the status of obtaining the electric service territory for the new development areas from the Redwood Electric Cooperative. City Administrator Muetzel stated Redwood Electric Cooperative was previously notified that the City had purchased the parcels and intended to annex the parcels for development. The City will begin the process of transferring the service territory from Redwood Electric Cooperative to Redwood Falls Municipal Utilities now that annexation has been approved. There are no current customers being provided service in the annexed parcels which should simplify the transfer process.

Council Member Arentson requested an update regarding the Lake Redwood Dredging Project. Public Works Project Coordinator Doering stated the permits have been obtained and the contractor will begin to lay the pipe and prepare the dredging equipment. The contractor will have a majority of the pipe in place this fall and dredging will begin in the spring of 2022.

Council Member Kerkhoff requested an update regarding the former hospital site remodel project. City Administrator Muetzel stated the owners of the former hospital site have not been in contact with City Staff to provide a tentative start date. Staff will contact the developer and request a project schedule.

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 Sandgren to adjourn the meeting at 5:45 p.m. Motion passed by unanimous vote.

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