5-11-09 City Council Meeting Minutes.doc - Sauk Rapids -- Welcome

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5-11-09 City Council Meeting Minutes.doc - Sauk Rapids -- Welcome Powered By Docstoc
					REGULAR MEETING SAUK RAPIDS CITY COUNCIL City Hall Council Chambers, 115 2nd Ave N. Monday, May 11, 2009 6:00 PM MINUTES 6:00 PM 1. Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance Mayor Campbell called the meeting to order at 6:00p.m. Members present: Brad Gunderson, Paul Weber, Jared Gapinski, and Dave Saunders. Others present: Tim Sime, City Attorney, Ross Olson, City Administrator, Todd Schultz, Community Development Director, Perry Beise, Police Chief, Terry Wotzka, City Engineer, Jon Halter, City Engineer, Roger Schotl, Public Works Director, Jack Kahlhamer, Finance Director, and Dana Furman, Administrative Assistant. 2. Additions or Changes to the Agenda Ross Olson requested to add Yellow Ribbon Community Event Invitation as item 11-C. 3. Approve the Agenda Motion: Moved by Councilperson Gunderson and seconded by Councilperson Gapinski to approve the Agenda as amended. Motion carried unanimously. Approve Minutes A. 4-27-09 Regular Meeting Minutes Motion: Moved by Councilperson Weber and seconded by Councilperson Gapinski to approve the 4-27-09 Regular Meeting Minutes. Motion carried unanimously. 5. Receive and File A. 4-7-09 Regular HRA Minutes Motion: Moved by Councilperson Saunders and seconded by Councilperson Weber to receive and file the 4-7-09 Regular HRA Meeting Minutes. Motion carried unanimously. B. 1-5-09 Regular Planning Commission Minutes Motion: Moved by Councilperson Weber and seconded by Councilperson Gunderson to receive and file the 1-5-09 Regular Planning Commission Minutes. Motion carried unanimously. C. 4-6-09 Regular Planning Commission Minutes Motion: Moved by Councilperson Gapinski and seconded by Councilperson Saunders to receive and file the 4-6-09 Regular Planning Commission Minutes. Motion carried unanimously. 6. Mayor’s Communications None 7. Audience Items/Visitors Total Time Limit 10 Minutes for Items NOT on the Agenda Page 1 4.

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Steve Ertle, 1221 E. St. Germain Street, questioned why he had heard that the City had awarded a bid to Design Electric for the electric work at the park if the paper stated that the electric work was going to be included in the bid process. Tim Sime noted that this question appeared to be in reference to agenda item 10-A. He noted that the Council could address this question when this agenda item is up for discussion. Jim Dobos, 920 1st St. S., stated that he understood the reason for the City’s break away poles but he questioned the purpose for the boulders along 2nd. Dobos stated that the recent accident in which a woman ran her vehicle in to a boulder was a real shame in that he feels the boulders contributed to this accident. 8. Public Hearings A. Applicant City of Sauk Rapids

Purpose To Consider Approval of a Resolution Ordering the 2009 10th Street North and 4 ½ Avenue North Improvements and Authorizing the Preparation of Plans. 1. Open Public Hearing Terry Wotzka informed the Council that Jon Halter will be conducting tonight’s presentation. Halter advised the Council that an informal public meeting took place on Thursday, May 7th to inform affected residents of the proposed reconstruction project that includes street, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main improvements at 10th Street North and 4 ½ Avenue. Halter said that this project is included in the City’s 5-year Capital Improvement plan for construction to take place this year. He noted that the plan is for the project to be financed with a combination of assessments and City taxes. Halter cited the Feasibility Study that was presented by SEH at the April 13th City Council meeting. Halter advised the Council that a large reason behind the need for these improvements is due to water main breaks and other sanitary sewer problems. The Public Works Department has received many fix and repair calls in this particular area. He said that this project includes the reconstruction of the sanitary sewer and water mains as well as a relining of an existing sanitary sewer that is in the alley between 4th and 4 ½ Avenue. The relining would go from 11th Street North to 8th Street North. Halter noted that a new sidewalk would be added on the east side of 4 ½ Avenue North. He said that the reason for the new sidewalk is primarily due to its proximity to Pleasantview Elementary School. Property owners on both sides of the street with the new sidewalk will be assessed the costs of the new sidewalk. Halter noted that the total estimated construction cost for this project is $1,356,023 with a ten percent adjustment allowance. He said that in conformance with current City assessment policy for street reconstruction, all lots adjacent to the roadway will be assessed 25% of the street, sidewalk, curb, and gutter costs. For properties included in the storm sewer assessment area, the entire parcel will be assessed for the storm sewer improvements. Property that has been previously assessed for storm sewer improvements will not be included in the storm sewer assessment for this project. Halter stated that of the total cost of $1,356,023 that $352,409 is proposed to be assessed to the affected residents. The estimated costs of these improvements for the City are $1,003,614. Halter noted that services are being assessed at 100%. 5-11-2009 Page 2

Halter informed the Council and those in attendance that a revised assessment sheet is now available. He said that the revised assessment worksheet was created following the informational meeting held last week with affected residents. The revised assessment worksheet discusses calculations on odd shaped parcels (cul de sac properties). Halter said that the original assessment included 112 feet for a cul de sac property, which came from parcels 21, 22, and 23. He said that the revised assessment worksheet uses an average lot depth of 150 feet, which is the depth of all the parcels fronting 4 ½ Avenue North. Halter noted that the amount of assessments is a fixed number. He said that the total assessed cost has stayed the same but the revised assessment worksheet has allowed for things to be reallocated more fairly. Halter informed the Council that the projected schedule for the improvement project, if it moves forward, would have the Council approving plans and specs at a June meeting. He noted that following the approval of the plans and specs the Council would need to award the bid, so he is estimating an August 1st start date. Halter noted that the only problem with this proposed timeline is that the construction would be in full swing as the new school year begins. He said that the construction could still be done with school in session but it would require collaboration between the construction company and the school. Jack Kahlhamer said that there will be no legal or financial costs associated with this project, so the fee will be reduced by about $70,000. Kahlhamer noted that the City’s portion of this project will be paid for using gas and electric franchise fees, enterprise funds, and the Permanent Improvement Revolving (PIR) fund. Kahlhamer said that an interfund loan may be needed for the PIR fund. Halter noted that in order for the proposed resolution for improvements to pass a 4/5 vote is needed. Calvin Syvertson, 468 10th Street North, stated that given the current economy it is hard for residents already to maintain living in the City of Sauk Rapids. Severson said that while it is already hard for many to maintain their current level of taxes this additional assessment will likely cause an additional burden. Gerald Hinkemeyer, 477 10th Street N., stated that he cannot question the need for these improvements from an engineering perspective, but he said that he would like to echo the previous statement regarding the current economy and the timing of this sort of project. Hinkemeyer questioned if it would be possible for the City or the residents to get some sort of help from a stimulus package of some type. He concluded by saying that it would be hard for residents living in the area to handle this type of expense at this time. Jon Halter said that he wanted to note that in this economic downturn many bids are coming in much more competitively, which makes now a good time to complete the project in that aspect. Halter stated; however, that the more competitive bidding environment does not solve the timing issue on this subject when it comes to the economy. Art Daniels, 1137 4 ½ Ave N, stated that he is sort of bothered by the fact that the School District is going to be hit with the added expense of a new sidewalk when they have no money and then the City who also has no money is also going to be hit with the expense of these improvements. Daniels also questioned the rationale behind the dimensions of the new sidewalk. 5-11-2009 Page 3

Pam Squires, 965 41/2 Ave. N., agrees with the safety that the new sidewalks will provide. Squires stated that she also would like to see a stop sign put in at this location as well to protect school children and pedestrians. Tim Carlson, 478 N. 10th St. N, stated that he understood the comments being made about the problems that residents will have in making these payments. He also questioned what the interest rate would be if residents opted to have the assessments go on their tax roll for a ten year period. Jack Kahlhamer said that the interest rate last year was at approximately 5.5%. Darrin Protolipac 980 4 ½ Ave N, questioned if the City could consider other alternatives in the bid process regarding the hard economic times. Bill Cote, 1002 4 ½ Ave N , commented that he did not feel that there was a real need for the new sidewalk. He said that from where he lives he sees very few kids actually walking to and from school in the area in question. Cote stated that he considered the installation of a sidewalk to be more of a hassle than anything, but he did agree with the request that a stop sign be added in this area. Pat Zenner, 1001 4 ½ Ave. N., questioned how many times the water main has had to be repaired in the area. Roger Schotl noted that the Public Works Department has made around seven repairs. He said that most of the repairs have taken place between lots 15 and 16. Schotl stated that with one repair that was needed Pleasantview Elementary School had to be closed down for the day. He said that this pipe is 40+ years old and so even in areas where there have not yet been breaks there more than likely will be a break coming in that the pipe has reached the end of its life. Halter stated that the request for a stop sign could likely be incorporated in to the project. Harvey Moulzolf, 1031 4 ½ Ave N, questioned why this project cannot wait a year or two. Halter said that waiting to do this project for a year or two is an option that the Council could choose to take. He noted though that should the Council wait and the economy improves the bidding process may be less competitive and likely more expensive for the residents. 2. Close Public Hearing Motion: Moved by Councilperson Saunders and seconded by Councilperson Gunderson to close the public hearing. Motion carried unanimously. 3. Consider Action Mayor Campbell questioned Halter as to what staff is requesting in terms of action for tonight’s meeting. Halter said that the action requested is to approve a resolution ordering the 2009 10th Street North and 4 ½ Avenue North improvements and authorize the preparation of plans. Mayor Campbell noted that the next objective in terms of this project would be to award a bid of contract to the lowest responsible bidder. Tim Sime said that the action requested tonight is just the first step in a process. He noted that the City always has the ability to cancel the project at anytime. 5-11-2009 Page 4

Councilperson Gunderson questioned if the plans could be prepared with and without the addition of the new sidewalk to get an idea of the possibilities. Councilperson Gunderson said that he did not support adding the new sidewalk. Halter said that the plans could be prepared with the new sidewalk as an alternative with minimal effort. Councilperson Gapinski questioned if it would be possible for the bid process to begin now with the work portion of the project not scheduled to start until the end of the next school year. Halter noted that often there are certain time frames as to how long the contractor will honor the bid. Tim Sime said there are times where theoretically it makes sense to award the bid and then have the work take place at a later date, but given the volatile environment it would be difficult for contractors to make a bid today that will need to be honored a year from now. Halter stated that this approach may make the bids higher in that the contractors will more than likely bid higher to protect themselves from the many unknowns in regard to things such as the price of oil. Councilperson Saunders questioned if the process could be delayed a bit to accept bids in the fall for an early spring start. Saunders said that he is unsure about the need for the sidewalk as well. Terry Wotzka said that the sidewalk was added as part of the safe routes to schools endeavor that the City has played a part in. Wotzka said that there is no master plan in regards to safe routes to school. Wotzka said that although the sidewalk might look like the white elephant right now it will more than likely make a lot of sense that it was added years down the road. Councilperson Saunders stated that the sidewalk could always be added at a later date, which could cut the current cots of this project down a bit. Wotzka said that the sidewalk could be put in at a later date in that there does not appear to be an issue here in terms of right-of-way. Councilperson Weber questioned legally how the assessments affect the value of the property. Tim Sime said that when the City assesses a project it is capturing the added value of improvements to the property. In order to pay for construction costs of a project, the City can capture the costs of 25% per City policy. Sime said that by law the City cannot assess more than the special benefit to the homeowner. Councilperson Weber stated that in a nutshell the assessments should increase the value of the home. Councilperson Weber questioned if the problem here is caused by the storm water than runs through Pleasantview. Halter said that that the storm water running through Pleasantview is not the problem here. Instead, the problem here is dealing with aged water mains. Councilperson Weber questioned the comment made by a resident about buying new versus repairing the old. Wotzka said that the City has done many repairs over the years and the repairs are costly and time consuming given the age of the water mains. Councilperson Weber noted that the action tonight is to commit to design, but at any point from here on out the Council can choose to stop this project. Terry Wotzka said that the Council may want to try to match the bid opening time to the project start time to minimize uncertainty. Mayor Campbell said that this feels like déjà vu in that the Council faced a similar project last year with 3rd Avenue South in which the Council chose not to move forward on. Mayor Campbell said 5-11-2009 Page 5

that this is a difficult situation in that as noted this is a challenging time in terms of the economy but at the same time the Council members understand the wear and tear taking place. He said that as a council member he can view things from the resident’s perspective in that he does not like to be assessed either, but he also understands that improvements are needed and often times there is no “good time” to assess improvements. Mayor Campbell said the difficult thing in these situations is that one does not know exactly how far these improvements can be put off and he does not want to see the Council putting off improvements only to have something catastrophic happen. Mayor Campbell reiterated that the action requested tonight is just the first step in a process and that there are two additional steps required before the project can start. Mayor Campbell noted that authorizing plans and specs is a cost assumed by the City and does not kick in assessments to the residents. Councilperson Saunders said that he regrets not moving forward on the 3rd Avenue South improvements. He stated that keeping up with infrastructure is part of what is required by the City. Councilperson Saunders said that he will be voting in favor of moving forward on this improvement project in that he feels it is one of those things that the Council needs to keep up on. Councilperson Gapinski said that even in good times assessments are hard to stomach, but sometimes the City has no other choice but to make the necessary improvements. He agreed with Mayor Campbell that improvement projects during these times are a difficult decision for the Council to have to make. Councilperson Weber said that he sees three differences with the project in question tonight and the project that the Council voted not to move forward on last year in terms of 3rd Avenue South. He said that the assessments in terms of 3rd Avenue were double the costs of those being looked at tonight, the funds for the current project have been earmarked for this project and so no bonds will be required, and thirdly, there are problems occurring in this location where at 3rd Avenue there was the potential for problems. Motion: Moved by Councilperson Weber and seconded by Councilperson Saunders to approve a resolution ordering the 2009 10th Street North and 4 ½ Avenue North improvements and authorizing the preparation of plans with the sidewalk listed as an alternative. Discussion: Mayor Campbell reminded residents to stay tuned to Council agendas regarding this topic as the next steps will be discussed at upcoming City Council meetings. Motion carried unanimously The Council recessed for a two minute time period. Mayor Campbell called the meeting back to order. 9. Consent Agenda A. 2009 Plumbing Contractor License B. Approve and Authorize Farmers Market Amusement Permit and Waive the License Fee--Pulled C. Approve Liquor Store Sign Replacement Page 6

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D. Approve & Authorize Award of Quote to C&L Excavating for Lift Station at Municipal Park E. Approve Payment to Bonestroo/DSU F. Award 2009 Seal Coating Bids Motion: Moved by Councilperson Gunderson and seconded by Councilperson Gapinski to approve consent agenda items A, C-F. Motion carried unanimously. 9-B. Approve and Authorize Farmers Market Amusement Permit and Waive the License Fee Motion: Moved by Councilperson Saunders and seconded by Councilperson Gunderson to suspend parliamentary procedures and allow representatives from the Farmers Market to speak. Motion carried unanimously. Julie Kime, vegetable grower for the Sauk Rapids Farmer’s Market, informed the Council that there is no longer a steering committee in place for the Farmers Market. Instead, the market has a newly formed Farmers Market Board that governs it. Kime thanked the Council for its continued support and reminded residents that the Farmers Market will be open Thursdays beginning May 28, 2009 until October 22nd. The hours of operation for the Farmers Market will be 3-6p.m. Vangie Thompson, Treasurer for the Farmers Market, noted that new to the market this year Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards will now be processed for all Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns County residents. Motion: Moved by Councilperson Saunders and seconded by Councilperson Gapinski to approve and authorize the farmer’s market amusement permit and waive the license fee. Motion carried unanimously. Regular Agenda A. Approval of Plans and Specs for Riverfront Parks Improvements & Authorize Staff to go Out for Bids Roger Schotl noted that the plans and specs for Riverfront Parks improvements were distributed to the City Council at the April 27th City Council meeting. Schotl said that the cost estimate is $583,446.88. He said that the e-mail attached to the plans and specs from Kate Moorman Lamers, Bonestroo, explains some of the phasing aspects of the price and how Bonestroo calculated the price that they are proposing. Schotl noted that an open air structure shelter has been added as an alternate on the plans and specs. He said that the most important thing to discuss in moving forward with this project is how the Riverfront Parks improvements are going to interact with the opening of 1st Street South. Schotl concluded by saying that the landscape portion of the project will extend up to River Avenue. Mayor Campbell asked if Schotl could respond to the question posed earlier by Mr. Ertle. Schotl said that the electrical portion of this project will be included in the bid process. Schotl stated that he felt that the question regarding electrical work posed by Mr. Ertle was more than likely in reference to the Municipal Park bids discussed at a previous City Council meeting. Schotl concluded by saying that the current project requires minimal electrical work but it will be included in the bid process. 5-11-2009 Page 7 10.

Mayor Campbell noted that the electrical work was pulled out for Municipal Park because this move made the most sense due to the substantial amount of electrical work required with the Municipal Park project. Motion: Moved by Mayor Campbell and seconded by Councilperson Gapinski to approve plans and specs and authorize going out for bids for Riverfront Parks improvements. Motion carried unanimously. B. Willow Creek Response to Comments, Finding of Facts, and Negative Declaration Todd Schultz advised the Council that the public comment period has closed for the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on April 23, 2009. Schultz noted that State environmental law requires that the City act on the EAW within 30 days of the closing date by either ordering an Environmental Impact Statement, ordering a negative declaration (meaning that no Environmental Impact Statement is required), or requesting further information that was not provided in the EAW. Schultz noted that the City had received five letters relating to the EAW. He stated that all questions and concerns related to those letters have been addressed in the attached resolution. Schultz said that staff is recommending a negative declaration on this EAW. The Record of Decision and the findings of fact, along with the City’s response to the comments, are incorporated in to the Resolution. Schultz noted that the comments received regarding the EAW were included in the agenda packet. Councilperson Weber noted that all of the comments received were from governmental bodies and he questioned whether or not this was typical. Todd Schultz stated that the responses received were very typical. Councilperson Weber questioned what a ghost plat is. Todd Schultz explained to the Council the concept of ghost platting. Motion: Moved by Councilperson Weber and seconded by Councilperson Saunders to approve the resolution finding no need for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Willow Creek Development. Motion carried unanimously. C. RICE Building Systems Corporate Office & Tenant Building Site Plan (1044 Benton Dr. S.) Todd Schultz advised the Council that the applicant, RICE Building Systems, Inc./Curt and Mary Lou Baumgart, is proposing two new construction buildings totaling 50,622 square feet to be used as office, warehouse, and retail space. Schultz stated that the developer intends the two buildings to be constructed to meet LEED standards. He said that to staff’s knowledge these proposed buildings will be the first two buildings constructed in the City to meet these standards. Schultz noted that the site plans shows that the project will meet all area, height, frontage, and yard ordinance requirements. He said that the plan indicates that all minimum setbacks will be met. The ordinance requires all storage items to be completely enclosed or screened with 100% opaque material and the applicant will meet this requirement using an 8ft chain link fence with slat screening for outdoor storage items and two trash enclosures. Schultz said that the applicant has exceeded the off-street parking spaces required by ordinance. He noted that the site plan indicates two loading docks and the applicant relayed to staff that there will be a number of drive-in doors 5-11-2009 Page 8

serving as off-street spaces. Schultz advised that the landscaping plan meets the ordinance as it indicates vegetation along the yards bordering the surrounding streets. He informed the Council that a portion of the property is located in the 100 and 500 year flood plain as identified on the 2008 revised Flood Insurance Rate Map. Schultz noted that the developer will be applying for a letter of map revision to remove themselves from the floodplain. Schultz stated that staff believes the application meets the district’s requirements and recommends approval with the 16 conditions listed. He said that the Planning Commission unanimously approved the RICE Site Plan. Motion: Moved by Councilperson Gapinski and seconded by Councilperson Saunders to approve the resolution approving the site plan for RICE Building Systems with the 16 conditions as listed. Motion carried unanimously. 11. Other Staff Items A. Municipal Water Fluoridation Issue Roger Schotl noted that attached to the agenda packet was his response to the request for information by Mr. Jason Krueger regarding water fluoridation. B. Quiet Zone Update Terry Wotzka provided an update for the Council on Phase I and II of the City’s Quiet Zone project. Wotzka said that in terms of the Phase I project on the City’s north end all should be quiet. Wotzka noted, however, that Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) has been doing some construction and replacement of railroad ties on the City’s north end, which has required the train horns to blow. He reiterated that the railroad still has the right and ability to blow the horns if the conductor deems necessary. Wotzka felt that after the railroad is finished with the replacement of the ties project there should not be a further need for the horns to blow. Mayor Campbell requested that Wotzka contact BNSF to request that the trains do not blow their horns for construction reasons when there is no construction taking place, such as during evening hours. Wotzka reported that the next step in terms of the establishing the Quiet Zone on the City’s south end is for the City to enter into a Crossing Agreement with BNSF for the switching out of South Broadway for 1st Street South. He stated that a draft of this agreement was sent from BNSF to Ross Olson late last week. Staff along with legal is reviewing the agreement and the plan is to have the agreement ready for approval at the next City Council meeting. Councilperson Gapinski questioned the timeline for completion of phase II of the Quiet Zone project. Wotzka reiterated that the Crossing Agreement will be brought back to the next meeting for approval. Wotzka noted that the anticipated completion right now would be spring of 2010. He stated that the ordering of materials alone can take 8-10 months. C. Yellow Ribbon Invite Yellow Ribbon Community Event Invite Ross Olson stated that he recently received an e-mail from Tim O’Driscoll, City of Sartell Mayor, inviting the nine cities who are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Community Effort to a Yellow 5-11-2009 Page 9

Ribbon Community Event scheduled to take place on May 16, 2009 in Cold Spring. He noted that following the conclusion of the “Old Glory 5k Run/Walk” an awards ceremony and program is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Cold Spring baseball field (Springer Park). Olson extended this invitation to the Council as well as any residents interested in attending. Dana Furman will post this event as a public meeting. Mayor Campbell noted that the National Guard Commander of the Disabled American Veterans will speak as well as other current and past members of the United States Armed Services. Mayor Campbell stated that he will be in attendance at this event. 12. Other Council Items and Communications None 13. Approve List of Bills and Claims Motion: Moved by Councilperson Weber and seconded by Councilperson Saunders to approve the List of Bills and Claims. Motion carried unanimously. 14. Adjournment Motion: Moved by Councilperson Saunders and seconded by Councilperson Gunderson to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Campbell adjourned the meeting at 7:27p.m. Respectfully Submitted,

Dana Furman Administrative Assistant

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