Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the City Council was held in the Council Chambers with those present reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, after which Mayor Dan Ness called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The following members were present: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank The following members were absent: Weisel Also present were three news media representatives.
CONSENT AGENDA A. Approve Minutes of October 9, 2007 Council Meeting B. Approve License Applications and Authorize Issuance Gambling: American Legion Post 87 (conduct bingo on 11/29/07 at Elks Lodge) Temporary Liquor: Eagles Club (11/25/07 and 12/23/07) Wine: Great Hunan (change ownership) Heating: Northern Climate Control (new) John’s Heating and Air Conditioning (new) Massage: Heidi Beissel (new – d/b/a Elite Massage in Salon LaBelle, 410 30th Avenue East) Following discussion, a motion was made by Carlson and seconded by Frank to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
BRUCE KIMMEL, SPRINGSTED INC. – AUTHORIZATION TO BOND FOR $4,435,000 FOR WATERMAIN AND STORM WATER IMPROVEMENTS Bruce Kimmel, Financial Consultant with Sprinstead, Inc., noted he was pleased to be at the City Council meeting to present information regarding the 2007B Bonds, a copy of the recommendation are attached to and made a part of these minutes. He then explained why he is recommending the City proceed with the bonding. The proceeds of the bonds would be used to finance the waterline improvements associated with the City’s Phase II Annexation, and storm water system improvements in the southwest area of the City. The bonds would be sold using a competitive sales method. The bonds are general obligations of the City, secured by its full faith and credit and taxing power. Municipal bonds are some of the most secure investments. He noted after talking with City Administrator Jim Taddei about the projects, they decided it was prudent for the City to bond because of the low interest rate. Short-term rates are higher, and long-term rates are lower. The watermain portion of the bond requires a fairly significant levy requirement, and if the City receives great bids and cost savings, the extra bond proceeds could be used to pay the bonds. The City’s general obligation debt is currently rated “A-3” with Moody’s Investors Service. Council Member Carlson noted the main reason for bonding now is because of the lower interest rate. Mr. Kimmel concurred. Rates could go down or they could go up, but in his opinion this is a good time to bond. Council Member Carlson then noted the majority of this is going for the storm water and the rest for the watermain. If for some reason the southwest storm sewer cost is less, there is no penalty for paying it down or prepaying. Mr. Kimmel noted the City really could not prepay the bond down; but could apply the extra proceeds to the debt service in 2008 and build up the fund balance in the storm water utility. The City has the ability to apply the extra bonds to the debt service on that project. Council Member Bigger noted the levy required would start next fall. Mr. Kimmel is projecting an average levy of about $220,000 per year. She wondered what percentage of this is the total City levy, so the City could be starting off with a 5% increase in the levy before they even get to the budget. Mr. Kimmel noted these numbers are worse case scenario. Following discussion, a motion was made by Bigger and seconded by Frank to adopt Resolution No. 07-67, RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ISSUANCE AND SALE OF $4,435,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION IMPROVEMENT AND UTILITY REVENUE BONDS, SERIES 2007B. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 The full text of this Resolution appears in the Resolution file. HRA DIRECTOR JEFF HESS – RESOLUTION CONSENTING TO TAX LEVY FOR HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (HRA) HRA Director Jeff Hess noted the Alexandria HRA would like City Council’s consent to the tax levy for the HRA for taxes payable in 2008. The tax levy would not exceed 0.01444 of the City’s market valuation and would generate approximately $183,480. The HRA Board approved a resolution authorizing this tax levy at its October 9, 2007 meeting. The primary use of the funds would be for staff salaries and the down payment assistance program. They would be increasing their own buyer GAP program. They started doing the program themselves this year and they are proposing to increase their efforts in 2008. The rest of the breakdown would be if they were submitting a grant and 10% of the levy would be placed into a reserve account. Council Member Frank wondered how far along is “The Trails” project. Mr. Hess noted the affordable portion is almost completed, but the market rate came to a halt in 2007. “The Trails” has significantly slowed down since 2004. The GAP financing they are able to provide themselves has a lot to do with why the properties are able to sell. Council Member Bigger noted there are not many lots available in the City. That is why the HRA purchased some of “The Trails” so they can build homes there. Those properties seem to move well in an established neighborhood. Following discussion, a motion was made by Bigger and seconded by Benson to adopt Resolution No. 07-68, RESOLUTION CONSENTING TO THE TAX LEVY FOR THE ALEXANDRIA HOUSING AND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR TAXES PAYABLE IN 2008. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
The full text of this Resolution appears in the Resolution file. PUBLIC WORKS COORDINATOR BRYAN BJORGAARD – REQUEST AUTHORIZATION TO PURCHASE PAVER, DISTRIBUTOR, AND TRAILER Public Works Coordinator Bryan Bjorgaard indicated he would like to jumpstart the Street Department’s paving operation and repairs. He is requesting authorization to purchase one new Bituminous Tack Tank in the amount of $21,160, and one use Asphalt Paver in the amount of $44,500, and one new 16,000pound trailer for Asphalt Paver in the amount of $69,000. The Bituminous Tack Tank would replace all three of the old units. He pointed out the funds for these pieces of equipment would be coming out of his 2008 Equipment Budget. Council Member Frank wondered if they would be selling or scrapping the equipment. Mr. Bjorgaard noted they would be scrapping it. Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Carlson to authorization the purchase of one new Bituminous Tack Tank in the amount of $21,160. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
A motion was made by Carlson and seconded by Frank to authorize the purchase of one used Asphalt Paver in the amount of $44,500. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
A motion was made by Carlson and seconded by Frank to authorize the purchase of one new 16,000pound trailer for Asphalt Paver in the amount of $69,000. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
CITY PLANNER MIKE WEBER – PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Public Hearing –Conditional Use & Planned Unit Development – UTAH Group, LLC
Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 The applicant is requesting to re-plat existing platted property to allow a commercial Planned Unit Development in a B-1 zoning district. (The building permit is already in place for the 800 building since the PUD approval is not necessary for a single building on a commercial parcel, but is required for the additional buildings.) The property is located at the intersection of Jefferson Street and 30th Avenue, and is comprised of Lots 2-4, Block Two “Jefferson Street Addition” (2311 Jefferson Street, 2321 Jefferson Street, and 2407 Jefferson Street). This is the second phase of the Easton Place II development. RECOMMEND APPROVAL of the Conditional Use application (C-07-017) submitted by UTAH Group, LLC based on the following Findings of Fact: 1. The proposed project is not detrimental to present and potential surrounding land use. 2. Land surrounding the proposed development can be planned in coordination with the proposed development and can be developed so as to be mutually compatible. 3. Streets and sidewalks, existing and proposed, are suitable and adequate to carry anticipated traffic within the proposed project and in the vicinity of the proposed project, in light of the criteria set forth in this Code and in compliance with transportation level of service standards and guidelines contained in the comprehensive plan. 4. Services including potable water, sanitary sewer and storm drainage are available or can be provided by the development prior to occupancy so as to comply with level of service standards or guidelines contained in the comprehensive plan. 5. Each phase of the proposed development, as it is planned to be completed, contains the required parking spaces, recreation spaces, landscape and utility areas necessary for creating and sustaining a desirable and stable environment. 6. The project conforms to the purposes and standards prescribed in Chapter Ten of the City Code. 7. The project conforms to the Comprehensive Plan. 8. The concurrent subdivision application is in conformance with the requirements of City Code Section 11. 9. The request is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan = Commercial 10. The request meets land area, setback, shoreland, floodplain and wetland requirements. 11. The request will not depreciate the surrounding area. 12. The request is consistent with the character of the surrounding area; commercial or vacant, all sides. 13. The existing or proposed utilities are adequate to accommodate the request with main lines in Jefferson. 14. Existing streets are adequate to handle the request; Jefferson & 30th Avenue 15. The request will not place any undue financial burdens on the City AND, the following conditions: 1. Building permit is required 2. Separate sign permit will be required 3. Proposed parking includes 131 standard stalls; plus 10 accessible parking stalls 4. Connect to utilities as per ALP/ALASD 5. Any exterior lighting to be hooded and directed away from residences public street 6. Final drainage plan to be approved by City Engineer City Administrator Jim Taddei noted that water and sanitary sewer connection charges are due if connection is made to the lines in 30th Avenue. Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Carlson to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approve Conditional Use C-07-017 based upon the Findings of Fact and Conditions outlined above. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
RECOMMEND APPROVAL of the Subdivision Application (SA-07-009) submitted by UTAH Group, LLC based on the following conditions:
Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 1. Waiver of the park dedication requirement, since this is a commercial subdivision 2. Connect to utilities as per ALP/ALASD 3. Proper evidence of title to be submitted to the City Attorney’s office at the time of final plat submittal Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Carlson to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approve Subdivision SA-07-009 based upon the Conditions outlined above. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
2. Public Hearing – Street Vacation – Aga Drive Several months ago the City was approached by the owner of commercial property located at the corner of 22nd Avenue and Aga Drive, seeking permission to acquire excess right of way and add it to his parcel. The City’s Highway Committee reviewed the request and recommended Council approval, subject to several surveying and title requirements. The City Council has authorized the sale and the City has executed the deeds transferring the property, but it is necessary to actually vacate the portion of the excess right of way in order to complete the paper trail. The property is located at the intersection of Aga Drive and 22nd Avenue West and is legally described as that part of the Southwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter, Section 30, Township 128 North, Range 37 West, Douglas County, Minnesota, described as follows: Beginning at the southwest corner of Lot 4, Block One, VIKING ADDITION, according to the recorded plat thereof; thence on an assumed bearing of North 00 degrees 23 minutes 12 seconds West along the west line of said Lot 4 a distance of 120.00 feet to the south line of Lot 3, said Block One; thence South 89 degrees 33 minutes 45 seconds West along said south line of Lot 3 a distance of 176.58 feet to the easterly right of way of Aga Drive; thence southwesterly along a nontangential curve, concave to the southeast, radius 1834.86 feet, central angle 04 degrees 22 minutes 35 seconds 140.15 feet, the chord of said curve bears South 30 degrees 57 minutes 35 seconds West 140.12 feet; thence North 89 degrees 39 minutes 13 seconds East 249.47 feet to the point of beginning, containing 0.59 acres more or less. Excepting therefrom the following: That part of the Southwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter, Section 30, Township 128 North, Range 37 West, Douglas County, Minnesota described as follows: Commencing at the southeast corner of said Southwest Quarter of the Northwest Quarter; thence westerly along the quarter line of said Section 30 a distance of 707.40 feet; thence deflecting right 88 degrees 43 minutes 175.50 feet to the east right-of-way line of Aga Drive (formerly Trunk Highway No. 29) and this to be the point of beginning of the land to be described; thence deflecting right 90 degrees 26 minutes 176.90 feet; thence deflecting right 90 degrees 00 minutes 120.00 feet to the northerly right-ofway of 22nd Avenue (formerly a county highway); thence deflecting right 90 degrees 00 minutes on said right-of-way 150.00 feet to the intersection of Aga Drive right-of-way; thence deflecting right 60 degrees 22 minutes on said Aga Drive right-of-way 99.00 feet; thence northeasterly on said right-of-way 40.40 feet to the point of beginning and containing 0.48 acres more or less. RECOMMEND APPROVAL of the Street Vacation (VA-07-002) submitted by the City based on the following Finding of Fact: 1. The right of way in question is excess and does not contribute to either traffic flow or public utility location and is therefore no longer necessary to serve a public purpose. Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Carlson to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approve Street Vacation VA-07-002 and adopt for its first reading an ordinance vacating a street at the corner of 22 nd Avenue and Aga Drive. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 CITY ENGINEER TIM SCHOONHOVEN – 2008 STREET OVERLAY PROJECTS City Administrator Jim Taddei noted City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven was unable to attend the meeting, but he is requesting approval of an engineering agreement for the 2008 Street Overlay Projects in the amount of $38,160. The areas of improvements would include Douglas Street from Fifth Avenue to Fourteenth Avenue; Seventh Avenue from the west end of Bryant Street to Douglas Street; Ninth Avenue from Cedar Street to Fillmore Street; Eleventh Avenue from the west end (Shoreview Drive) to Cedar Street; Thirteenth Avenue from the west end (City limits) to Douglas Street; and Spruce Street from Fifth to Sixth Avenues. The estimated cost of the project is $250,000. Following discussion, a motion was made by Bigger and seconded by Carlson to authorize the Confirmation of Request for Engineering Services in the amount of $38,160. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
CITY ATTORNEY’S ITEMS OF BUSINESS City Attorney John Lervick noted the electronic billboard and/or off-premise signs moratorium ordinance had its first reading at the previous City Council meeting and now a second reading is in order. This would be in effect until the end of the year. He pointed out there will be another Planning Commission meeting, and City staff is planning on meeting with the sign people to see if they can see common ground. This ordinance will give his office until the end of the year to review. Following discussion, a motion was made by Bigger and seconded by Carlson to adopt Ordinance No. 610, 2 nd Series, AN INTERIM ORDINANCE EXTENDING THE STUDY PERIOD AND MORATORIUM ON THE INSTALLATION OF ELECTRONIC CHANGEABLE COPY, GRAPHIC DISPLAY AND/OR VIDEO DISPLAY BILLBOARD AND/OR OFF-PREMISE SIGNS AND THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS THEREFORE, IN THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
The full text of this Ordinance appears in the Ordinance file. CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S ITEMS OF BUSINESS 1. Subordination Agreements – City Administrator Jim Taddei noted the City has received two subordination agreements from two different financial institutions for the City to subordinate their loan position on existing loans. The first is from Bremer Bank, which is providing $75,000 to NDJ Properties, LLC (Alex Brick and Stone) located at 514 22 nd Avenue West to complete their construction at that site. The second request is from Citicorp Trust Bank, which is refinancing the mortgage from Mindie J. Meyer-Mohr for their house located at 1126 Benjamin Drive in “The Trails” subdivision. Council Member Bigger wondered if the City does this often? Mayor Ness indicated it does. City Attorney John Lervick noted the financial institutions request they be in the first position, and the City would become the second lien holder. Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Carlson to approve and authorize execution of the subordination agreement for NDJ Properties, LLC. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
A motion was made by Carlson and seconded by Bigger to approve and authorize execution of the subordination agreement for Mindie J. Meyer-Mohr. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: 2. Bigger, Carlson, Benson, Frank None Weisel
Ann Carrott – Resignation Letter – Mr. Taddei noted the City received a letter from Assistant City Attorney Ann Carrott indicating her resignation as Assistant City Attorney, copy of
Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 which is attached to and made a part of these minutes. Ms. Carrott was recently appointed as a District Judge and therefore she will be assuming her new duties in November. Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Benson to accept with regret Ms. Carrott’s resignation letter and to direct City staff to sent her a letter thanking for her years of service. The motion carried by the following vote: YES: NO: ABSENT: 3. Bigger, Weisel, Benson, Frank None Weisel
Storm Water Utility Fee – Assistant City Planner Marty Schultz explained his memo regarding the Storm Water Utility Fee, which the Storm Water Utility Committee recommends increasing in 2008. He indicated the Committee has been talking about the southwest area project for a number of years. They are looking at a $220,000 bond payment per year for 20 years in order to complete the project. The storm water utility currently has annual revenues of approximately $395,000. The 2008 budget allows for $130,000 for operations and maintenance. The budget approved by the City Council transfers $57,000 from the General Fund to help defray these expenses. Other fixed yearly costs in the budget include ALP administration of $20,000 and street sweeper replacement of $35,000. The fixed costs, including the bond payments, total $348,000. This leaves $47,000 for other large and small projects. He stated that after a great deal of consideration, the Committee is recommending that the City Council adopt a rate increase to provide a level of revenue that will allow for the following: 1. Payment of the bond for the southwest project. 2. Construction of one additional project per year. Staff has identified 14 potential projects totaling over $1.2 million. This does not include potential projects that may be part of the Phase III and Phase IV of the Orderly Annexation Area. 3. Provide additional funds that can be set aside for a comprehensive program that will repair significant problems in the existing storm sewer system as identified during televising of the storm sewer lines. 4. Implementation of the City’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program, which includes adoption of a new stormwater ordinance and a construction site inspection program. 5. Completion of a Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan. The proposed fee increases will generate about $100,000 in revenue per year. The singlefamily residential rate would be increased from $2.50 to $3.50 per month. Duplex units would increase from $1.25 to $1.75 per month. All other rates are billed on a per acre basis and would be raised 15 percent. He pointed out that the Committee does not take lightly the increase in rates. Council Member Bigger noted the Committee has designated 14 potential projects, so she is wondering if the $1.00 increase would be enough? Mr. Schultz noted the Committee could possibly be back in three to four years with another increase. The Storm Water Committee felt $1.00 was reasonable to request at this time. Council Member Frank wondered if the Committee inquired why Bemidji went to $5.73, but yet Fergus Falls is lower. Is the $5.73 for bigger projects that need to be done? He is interested in knowing why Bemidji is charging so much more. He would also like to see the list of projects from the Committee and how they are prioritized. Council Member Carlson would like to know the size of the projects and what they look like. She indicated that obviously the southwest project was one reason the Storm Water Committee was created. Mr. Schultz noted they have been televising the storm water lines in the City. There are a number of clogged lines and collapsed lines. They have asked the Public Works Coordinator to list those lines so they can knock them out, and fix the problems now in some of those lines. Council Member Frank wondered if $1.00 increase is enough and would they get the existing projects done first before doing new areas. The City inherited a lot of problems from the Township with the last annexation. Mr. Schultz noted they would get a list of clogged and dirty lines, and a list of potential projects. Council Member Carlson wondered if this was unanimous or majority decision by the Committee. Mr. Schultz stated it was either a 6-0 vote or 5-1 vote. Council Member Frank noted the Committee is doing a super job. Council Member Bigger stated the Council could basically increase or decrease the fee. She wondered if the public would prefer a large increase now, or to keep raising it a small amount every couple years. Mayor Ness noted the Committee indicated they feel the fee increase would carry them through the next five years. The whole fee schedule is typically
Alexandria, Minnesota October 22, 2007 done by ordinance in December or January and this would be part of that fee schedule. Council Member Frank commended Mr. Schultz for his work and a job well done. 4. Al Bennewitz Retirement Party – Mr. Taddei noted there would be a retirement party for Al Bennewitz at the Alexandria Airport on Friday, October 26 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Fall Conference – Mayor Ness noted it would be great to have some City Council representation at the Conference at Arrowwood in November. Thursday is the busiest day of the conference and he would recommend attending that particular day.
OLD AND OTHER BUSINESS There was no old or other business.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD Virg Batesole, 120 6th Avenue West, stated he would speak for the Storm Water Committee since he is on that board. The Committee is not happy that they do not have enough money to solve the problems in the City. The $47,000 budgeted each year is not very much to spend to fix some of the problems. They are not sure how much the televising project will help. He does not understand the street sweeper and why that funding comes mainly from the storm water fund. They absorbed that since they have been in the Committee and this is the first year they are getting relief from the City on that. They are still putting $35,000 into that fund. The City was paying 100% of that cost before the Storm Water Utility was created. He feels $35,000 would help the Storm Water Committee in those projects. The $200,000 toward the southwest project is a few years away from those residents feeling that relief in the City. When the Committee prioritizes, they are saying “sorry your basement is going to flood for the next five years or so but that is the way it is”, because the Committee cannot allocate more than $47,000 to solving the problem. The City spent $85,000 in Geneva to clean the water, yet they are saying to residents they will have to live with flooded yards and basements. That is the kind of decisions the Committee is making. They have a lot of ponds to clean and they were overflowing again this last rain. The pond by the Museum needs cleaning, or every time it rains it washes the pollution back into the lake. They need to clean those ponds but yet there are flooded yards but they are putting off because they do not have any money. The townships know that they do not need to fix the problems when the City will be taking over the area. The City had that problem with the last annexation. The more we build south the more flooding we get in the north. There are a lot of drainage problems. Mayor Ness thanked Mr. Batesole for the comments. Craig McMillan, 1217 VanDyke Road, wondered why is the community paying this fee but yet nothing is getting fixed. It is important that the City let the public know what projects they are going to be working on. Mayor Ness noted a lot of the projects they are talking about have to do with the southwest project. Mr. McMillian stated when talking about raising the fee is the City going to let the public know what projects they are going to do. Mayor Ness noted that is exactly why the Storm Water Committee was formed. There being no further business, a motion was made by Carlson, seconded by Bigger, and carried unanimously by those present to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m. _______________________________________ H. Dan Ness, Mayor ATTEST: _________________________________ James P. Taddei, City Administrator