CITY OF NOWTHEN
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
(Meeting will be taped for transcribing purposes only.)
Present: Bill Schulz Jeff Pilon Harlan Meyer
Jim Scheffler Mary Rainville
Others: Bob Ruppe, Attorney Christian Peterson, Attorney
Dean Kapler, Fire Chief
Approve/amend the meeting agenda – Scheffler moved item 6.a as item #1. Schulz
added the Mayor’s Trail Ride as Council Item e. Meyer made a motion to approve
the amended agenda; Rainville seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
1). Prosecution Fee Ordinance – Attorney Ruppe and Attorney Peterson explained
the prosecution process and that they are working at recouping as much of
prosecution fees as they can during court proceedings. Ruppe stated that when
you adopt ordinances, you need to be mindful that there is a cost involved with
enforcing those ordinances. Ruppe stated that the City could incorporate
prosecution fees into the ordinance and the judge may be mindful of that, but
there is no guarantee that the judge will order them to pay our fees. Ruppe and
Peterson will continue to try and recoup prosecution fees.
2). Floor Items: -
Dale Ames of 22176 Sugar Bush Road NW stated that he had a fire in December
and in checking with the County, if you have over 50% damage on your home
then your taxes the following year are assessed accordingly based on how much
time you spend out of the home. In talking with Anoka County, Nowthen and
Ramsey don’t contact the County and most people wouldn’t know to check into
this. He doesn’t know if they need to make this a policy or not. Kapler stated
that he would respond as soon as Ames was finished.
Ames also stated that he sees the City Council is changing the Ordinance for
Planning and Zoning and going down to seven members; it is nine now. The
City is also going to have up to two Council Members on the Commission and
this bothers him. It bothers him because the decisions are going to be cut and
dry before they even get to the City Council. The recommendation is going to
have a lot more influence that it does now. He doesn’t have a problem with
Council Members that have been appointed to the Commission because they are
both qualified, but he is concerned about this.
City of Nowthen
Regular City Council Meeting March 12, 2013 Page 2
Ames had another Planning Commission Member come to him and stated that it
really bothered them that there was going to have two Council Members on the
Commission. He thinks they are both qualified, but are they voting it up a little bit
before a decision by the Council. That is a question he has to ask.
Chief Kapler said that they report every major fire to the Anoka County
Assessors office every year.
3). Sheriff Update: - Lieutenant Ron Bouley provided an update of the Sheriff‘s
report for February 2013.
4). Fire Engine Bonding – Chief Kapler said that the current fire engine is plagued
by ongoing maintenance issues. They looked at the minimum needs and came
up with the following minimal requirements of a new engine; it can carry 1000
gallons of water, it needs to maintain at least a 1250 gallon per minute pump,
carry at least four fire fighters and the ability to draw water from the front of the
truck. Some of the roads in Nowthen are not the widest and if you are going to
purchase a truck and not spec that out, you are going to be drawing water from
the side, taking up a majority of the road. Having a front draw you can typically
have a lane of traffic open. The fire engine needs a generator and emergency
lighting and needs to be NFPA Compliant. The vehicle that the City Council
looked at meets all the minimal needs, plus it seats 5 fire fighters and it has a
Bruce Kimmel gave a quick overview of proposed GO Equipment Certificates in
the amount of $165,000 to purchase a new Fire Engine. With this proposal, the
City would contribute $100,000 towards the purchase of the $256,890 Fire
Engine and bond for the remaining balance.
Pilon stated that in the City’s investigation on this, we have been putting money
aside for fire equipment for a number of years. Therefore, the City does have
cash on hand to support the City’s contribution, as presented. The City has
additional cash on hand that will stay within the equipment fund. We are not
depleting the fund and saving the additional funds for future fire equipment as
needed. The payments that are structured in the proposed GO Equipment
Certificates come out of funds that are already budgeted yearly and have been
for quite some time. They have been budgeting money and that is within the
amount that they have been putting in the equipment fund every year.
City of Nowthen
Regular City Council Meeting March 12, 2013 Page 3
Pilon stated that by keeping the payments at $20,000 or under per year, it would
not cause a raise in the current tax levy. This is money that they have already
budgeted the last couple of years. In the work to get this done, they have done it
within the budget the City already has for the planned fire engine. This is
planned so the monies are not above what was already budgeted. The 2014
payment is already in the 2013 budgeted amount. This is a reasonable proposal
and doesn’t put an undue burden on the City. It allows the City to have reliable
equipment that isn’t costing additional funding. If the City acts tonight, we could
have the truck by September.
Meyer made a motion to move forward with the funding of the fire engine
through G.O. Equipment Certificates with a contribution from the City’s Fire
Equipment Fund; Pilon seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
Meyer made a motion to approve the contract with Rosenbauer for the
purchase of Stock Pumper #16140, upon attorney review; Schulz seconded.
All in favor; motion carried.
5). Review Duties and responsibilities of Committee Members:
a. Adopt Ordinance 2013 – 02 – Amending Chapter 2 of the City Code –
Pilon commented about the issue that was raised under the open forum.
The decision to have more than one Council Member on the P&Z
Commission has been talked about before. It is within the legal realm to
have the Council as the Planning and Zoning Commission. It is not
uncommon for Council Member to be in attendance at the
Commission/Committee Meetings. Pilon said that having two members on
the Commission does not constitute as a quorum. He thinks that it is very
helpful if the Council Members are at the meetings to get the first hand
information so they can make informed choices. Pilon thinks that they the
way they run the City and meetings; he does not see a conflict.
Ruppe stated that there are many communities that he represents where
the City Council or Town Board is also the Planning and Zoning
Commission. There is nothing prohibiting that in the State Statutes. It is
more of a policy call within that community.
Pilon stated that the Commission and Committees are recommending
bodies, they are communicating bodies.
City of Nowthen
Regular City Council Meeting March 12, 2013 Page 4
Schulz said that the issue has been brought up many times about the
number of voting members. Based on the way the Ordinance reads, they
would be working with seven voting members on the P&Z Commission.
Pilon said that they have been operating under seven for a number of
years and it has been effective.
Rainville made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2013-02, An
Ordinance Amending Chapter Two of the City Code to Allow Two
City Council Member to be Voting Members of the Planning and
Zoning Commission with one Designated as Liaison; and to
Establish Standards for the Appointment and Functioning of the Park
and Recreation Committee and the Road and Bridge Committee;
Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
b. Adopt Resolution 2013-08 – A Resolution Making Appointments –
Rainville made a motion to adopt Resolution 2013-08, A Resolution
Making Appointments to Certain Office and Positions within the City
of Nowthen for the 2013 Year; Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion
6). Planning and Zoning:
a. Tony Elfelt – Auctions on City property – Scheffler made a motion not
to take any additional action on this matter until Elfelt submits a
formal request; Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
b. Approve request for Public Hearing on Ordinance Amendments –
See February 25, 2013 Planning and Zoning Minutes – Scheffler made a
motion to approve the request by the Planning and Zoning
Commission to move forward with a Public Hearing on the
amendments to Chapter 10 (subdivision) and Chapter 11 (zoning) of
the Nowthen City Code ; Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion
c. 2030 Transportation Plan – Scheffler said this is a lot of money to spend
on something that is not real clear. He doesn’t see a gain with this. It is a
guideline that is subject to change. Pilon thinks the discussion should be
held until the next workshop to discuss the advantages and how it figures
into our long range plan. The Council did discuss sending the 2030
Transportation Plan Map to the County for review and the City can adopt it
as a guide.
City of Nowthen
Regular City Council Meeting March 12, 2013 Page 5
Pilon made a motion to send the 2030 Transportation Plan Map, as
presented by TPC, to the County for review and comments; Scheffler
seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
7). Attorney Updates:
a. Moratorium in Commercial Retail District – Ruppe said that all the
roads and access points are county roads and the City would not have
jurisdiction on those roads. We do have a right to put a moratorium on to
study this, but the issue is that we have no jurisdiction.
Pilon said that they need to review the frontage and backage roads. We
need some plan in our retail district. Right now we have private frontage
roads that are serving as parking lots/frontage roads. They are part of the
City structure, but we are unable to regulate and maintain them because
they are private roads. The City wants the planners to come in before the
developers do to determine how we are going to connect the City roads
and businesses within there. We want a plan before the businesses come
Ruppe said that the City does have a right to put a moratorium on for up to
a year. If you put a moratorium on, you would have to do a study because
you need reason why you put a moratorium on. Ruppe suggests that the
City speak to the County about the concerns the City has. Sending the
2030 Transportation Plan to the County would be beneficial to start
discussions on this matter.
Meyer made a motion to contact Dan Licht immediately to get his
input and recommendation on a moratorium to study the frontage
and backage service roads in the retail district; Schulz seconded. All
in favor; motion carried.
8). Park and Recreation:
a). Approve purchase of message board – Nowthen Park – Rainville said
that the message board is coming from Pennsylvania and the weight of
the board is why the shipping costs are so high. The message board is to
be installed on the East side of the pavilion in the Nowthen Memorial Park.
Schulz made a motion to approve the purchase of a message board
for $780.89; Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
City of Nowthen
Regular City Council Meeting March 12, 2013 Page 6
b). Approve an April 2nd 2013 Meeting date – No need for approval due to
the adoption of Ordinance 2013-02.
c). Park and Rec. Secretary – Judy is doing the minutes and is willing to do
this, but it takes her out of the conversation. Pilon made a motion to
have staff put together a job description for meeting secretary for
$10 per hour and post at the Spectrum High School and School of
Business, if needed; Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
9). Consent Agenda: Items in the Consent Agenda are approved with one motion without
discussion/debate. The Mayor will ask if any Council member wishes to remove an item. If no
items are to be removed, the Mayor will then ask for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda
1.1 Approve the February 12, 2013 CC Minutes.
1.2 Approve All Audited Bills Claim #7976 through Claim #8025, plus Net
Distribution reports dated February 11th, 12th, & 25th, 2013
1.3 Financial Report
1.4 Adopt Resolution 2013-09- A resolution supporting tax exemptions
1.5 Approve Safe Assure 2013 Contract
1.6 Approve 2012 Audited Financial statements
1.7 Approve Mayor to attend the Minnesota Mayors Annual Conference
1.8 Approve $230 contribution to Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce
1.9 Adopt Resolution 2013-10 – A Resolution accepting donation
Rainville wanted to comment on the Resolution accepting the donation from
Alerus Mortgage. She stated that when people do close on a mortgage, some of
the mortgage companies do offer a donation to a City or non-profit agency. If
anyone knows of someone who is getting a mortgage or refinancing that they ask
the mortgage company if they participate in the donation program and they can
donate it to the City.
Scheffler made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, as presented;
Pilon seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
10). Council Items:
a). City Logo – Rainville is asking for input from the Council Members on the
Logo. She thinks that the City should use a font that is easily read. The
question came up if the Council still wants to use the current slogan as
well. The Council is to submit ideas to Rainville.
City of Nowthen
Regular City Council Meeting March 12, 2013 Page 7
b). Part-time Snowplowers – The Council discussed using the part time
employees for hauling gravel and mowing in the park as well.
Rainville made a motion to approve hiring two additional on-call part
time employees for snowplowing, maintenance, hauling gravel and
mowing parks at a rate of $12.00 per hour and that Glaze provide
orientation and training and to document any training they receive;
Meyer seconded. All in favor; motion carried. As far as the union,
seasonal employees can work full time, but are capped at working 120
days per year.
c). Approve Recycling Program Agreement – Pilon made a motion to
approve the Recycling Program Agreement with a monthly drop off
open the 1st Saturday of each month from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, with
the first Saturday of May and the third Saturday of September being
regularly scheduled Spring and Fall Clean Up Days, offer municipal
park recycling, community event recycling and the recycling
enhancement grant for a total eligible allocation of $27,724.00;
Rainville seconded. All in favor; motion carried.
d). Chamber of Commerce Newsletter article due April 1st – Rainville will
put something together and run it past Scheffler.
e). Mayor Trail Ride – Schulz stated that he received $416 from the Mayor
Trail Ride, which he donated to the Nowthen Lions for a scholarship
11). Introduction of New Items: No new items were introduced.
Schulz made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:35 PM; Meyer seconded. All in
favor; motion carried.
Respectively submitted by:
Corrie LaDoucer, City Clerk William Schulz, Mayor