Alexandria_ Minnesota by taoyni


									                                          Alexandria, Minnesota
                                            February 9, 2009

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, Miller, Benson, Frank
The following members were absent: None
Two news media representatives were present.


        A. Approve Minutes of January 26, 2009 Council Meeting
        B. Approve January Bills and Authorize Issuance
        C. Approve License Applications and Authorize Issuance
                      Heating:                        The Jamar Company (renew)
                      Peddlers:                       Hafner’s Greenhouse (new)
                      Sign Hanger:                    Metro Sign Services LLC (new)
                      Fireworks:                      K-Mart (inside store)
                                                      Mills Fleet Farm (inside store)
                      Temporary On-Sale Liquor:       St. Mary’s Church (event on 9/20/09)
                      Massage:                        Therapeutic Massage by Tara (renewal – located
                                                      at 1307 Highway 29 North)

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:     Bigger, Carlson, Miller, Benson, Frank
                        NO:      None


EDC Executive Director Jason Murray noted the Economic Development Board (EDB) met to review the
changes to the Tax Increment Financing Policy. One major change is the section regarding housing
policy. The income restrictions were always in the policy but not rental rate restrictions. This policy sets
a clear direction for both income and rental restrictions. The income restrictions will remain the same in
that at least 20% of the units must be occupied by tenants whose income is 50% or less of the area median
income or 40% of the units are occupied by tenants with income of 60% or less of the area median
income. Rental restrictions have been added but are flexible by family size or bedroom size. A developer
may do a proforma analysis on them. The second major change is the application fee has been increased
to $1,500. The fee includes the legal review and recognizes the need to get some of that work done up
front, prior to any public presentation. The TIF application was updated about a year ago.

Mayor Ness noted another major change was changing the number of tax increment years available from
13 years to 26 years. Mr. Murray stated that was correct for housing TIF. They have reviewed other
cities and the City needs to change the years available to be competitive with other cities.

Council Member Frank wondered where it stated anything about a yearly review. Mr. Murray advised the
State Statutes require annual reports on income verification or job wages, and it is mandatory. Council
Member Carlson stated she was at the EDB meeting and the HRA Board had a discussion on item no.
4.a., and talked about the trouble she had with the word “compliance”. Council Member Miller noted the
City Council has the opportunity to change that language. A motion was made by Miller and seconded by
Carlson to adopt the Economic Development Authority Tax Increment Financing statement with the
deletion of 4.a. and also with the reinclusion of item d which states all housing districts may be available
for review by the Alexandria HRA. Council Member Bigger felt the City Council needs to consider this
item separately and not in the same motion, if the wording is changed. She strongly feels it is very
appropriate that the HRA looks at the TIF projects, and where the projects are located. Council Member
Bigger stated she would like two motions instead of one.

Council Member Miller reiterated his original motion concerning the wording and to delete 4.a. and re-
incorporate 4.d. Council Member Carlson seconded the motion. Discussion continued with Council
Member Miller pointing out that in 4.d., the City Council is willing to have the HRA review the TIF
application but it is not a demand type wording. Council Member Bigger stated the language issue was
discussed and written after the EDB meeting. Mr. Murray noted the word “compliance” was discussed
after the meeting. The motion carried by the following vote:

                      YES:       Carlson, Miller, Benson, Frank
                      NO:        None
                  ABSTAIN:       Bigger
                                           Alexandria, Minnesota
                                             February 9, 2009

A motion was then made by Carlson and seconded by Frank to approve the amended TIF Policy
Statement. The motion carried by the following vote:

                         YES:     Bigger, Carlson, Miller, Benson, Frank
                         NO:      None


A.      Street Department Job Descriptions – Public Works Coordinator Bryan Bjorgaard noted the job
        descriptions for the Street Department have not been updated for ten years. The job descriptions
        reflect what the workers are currently doing, and also include a mechanic position, which is a new
        description but the pay is not changing, just has more guidance.

B.      Public Works Standard Details Policy – Mr. Bjorgaard noted a packet of Public Works Standard
        Details Policy would be for all the building for street construction. He added that with this policy
        there should be no questions as it will be in black and white. Hopefully this will take many of the
        questions out of dealing with the contractors. It will be available for the public by having copies
        at City Hall, and also Mr. Bjorgaard will be working on getting it on the City’s website. A
        motion was made by Carlson and seconded by Bigger to approve the Standard Design Policy.
        The motion carried by the following vote:

On another item, Council Member Carlson noted the City had received an email from someone at the
Tech College about the help they needed with snow removal, and indicated Mr. Bjorgaard was there
promptly to help them with the situation. That individual thanked Mr. Bjorgaard for personally helping
them. Ms. Carlson mentioned it is nice to get information coming in from the public praising the City’s
departments. She felt Mr. Bjorgaard, along with his street workers, should be commended for that. Mr.
Bjorgaard noted he appreciated it and his department’s job is to serve the great City of Alexandria. It is
the goal of the Street Department to get there quickly when needed. Council Member Benson noted the
refreshing thing is Mr. Bjorgaard is out doing hands-on-work, so he is more aware of what is going on
with the streets. Mr. Benson stated Mr. Bjorgaard is setting a good example. Mayor Ness noted there
have many people that have commented in appreciation for the good job the City crew has been doing this
winter with all the snow removal.


City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven noted at a previous meeting in January, the City Council directed him to
prepare a feasibility report for the Phase III, Part 1B and Part 2 Orderly Annexation Area watermain. The
estimated cost is $2,893,767. He pointed out going through a project such as this there are certain steps
the City has to following according to Chapter 429. Phase III, Part 1A project is the City’s portion on its
own. It will be bid February 25th. However, Part 1B is a City/County joint project, with the County
doing the road and the City doing the water.

Council Member Bigger questioned the “projected amount” and the City paying for the debt service on
the bond. Mr. Schoonhoven noted by working with the County on the project there is a significant
savings. Ms. Bigger stated it would be nice to see the cost savings so the City Council can say this is why
the City is doing the project now. Mr. Schoonhoven noted he will come back with actual numbers versus
estimates. City Administrator Jim Taddei stated the City needs to coordinate its efforts with the County.
Council Member Miller wondered if there was another part. Mr. Schoonhoven stated he meant Phase 3 of
the annexation, not the watermain in this phase. The City is obligated for Parts 1 and 2. Mr. Taddei
noted the City cannot proceed with Phase IV annexation until the water for Phase III is completed. This
will be paid for by bonding. Mr. Schoonhoven is hoping the bids will come in low, and get some very
good costs. Following discussion, a motion was made by Frank and seconded by Bigger to adopt
carried by the following vote:

                         YES:     Bigger, Carlson, Miller, Benson, Frank
                         NO:      None

The full text of this Resolution appears in the Resolution file.


Assistant City Attorney Tom Jacobson attended the City Attorney’s conference in the cities and felt it was
an outstanding conference. He will prepare a memo for the City Council reviewing the conference. He
noted some one of the topics was budgeting and how City Attorney’s can help with that.
                                          Alexandria, Minnesota
                                            February 9, 2009


    1.      Ordinance Amending Chapter 10 - Shoreland Alteration Permits – 2nd Reading – City
            Administrator Jim Taddei noted the City Council approved a first reading of this ordinance at
            the January 26, 2009 City Council meeting and now a second reading is in order. Following
            discussion, a motion was made by Bigger and seconded by Carlson to adopt Ordinance No.
            Discussion on the motion continued with Council Member Miller stating in 40a, the sentence
            should not end with the word “like”. He then made a motion to amend the original motion by
            changing the wording to “like materials”. Council Member Carlson seconded the amended
            motion. Council Member Bigger asked City Planner Mike Weber about the wording. Mr.
            Weber stated it was up to the Council and indicated it was not that big of a change. The
            amended motion carried by the following vote:

                         YES:    Bigger, Carlson, Miller, Benson, Frank
                         NO:     None

The original motion then carried by the following vote:

                         YES:    Bigger, Carlson, Miller, Benson, Frank
                         NO:     None

The full text of this Ordinance appears in the Ordinance file.

    2.      ALASD Correspondence – Mr. Taddei mentioned at the January 26, 2009 meeting, the City
            Council directed City staff to contact Bruce Nelson, Executive Director of ALASD, regarding
            ALASD participation in the costs associated with local lateral sewer construction. Council
            Member Bigger asked what the bottom line was. Mr. Taddei stated the bottom line was that
            ALASD will not participate. Council Member Frank stated much of the correspondence
            received from Bruce Nelson was about what projects ALASD has previously done. Mr.
            Taddei stated there is a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the term “interceptor” in
            the enabling legislation for ALASD. Mr. Frank felt the interpretation should be reviewed.
            Mr. Taddei mentioned that the ALASD Board can make a determination on what is an
            interceptor. The Council wondered if this was Mr. Nelson’s personal opinion that the
            ALASD would not participate in lateral line costs, or if he actually presented this issue to the
            ALASD Board. Mr. Taddei mentioned he thought it was Mr. Nelson’s personal opinion
            based on historical perspective. Council Member Carlson felt there needs to be a meeting
            with Mr. Nelson and/or the City representative on the ALASD Board, and to have the City
            Attorney to look at the correspondence since it is now 20 years old. The City is a huge
            contributor to the ALASD and it needs to sit down and look at the agreement because it is
            probably long overdue. Ms. Carlson indicated she wants to schedule a meeting with all those
            players and get those questions answered. The Council directed the City Administrator to set
            up a meeting between the City Council and ALASD. Mayor Ness also felt ALASD needs to
            be advised that the Budget Committee will not accept the huge increases in contributions
            without some advancement during this time of constraints. The Council also directed Mr.
            Taddei to set up a Council work session.

    3.      Alexandria Light and Power (ALP) Project – Mr. Taddei has been advised that ALP would
            like to meet with the Council to review their $5 million project.


There was no old or other business.


Craig McMillan, 1217 Van Dyke Road, stated he was confused because he is on the Economic
Development Board and that the Board voted on the Tax Increment Financing Policy Statement issue to
leave it is as is. He noted apparently there was some discussion after the meeting with Council Member
Carlson, the Mayor and Jeff Hess. He did not know there was a meeting after the EDB meeting. He then
stated now those members bring it to the Council meeting and change it. He does not understand how
they can have a meeting after the EDB meeting on this issue. He wanted somebody needs to explain that.
Mayor Ness noted the EDB makes a recommendation to the City Council, and that is what proceeded.
Mr. McMillan stated he is disgruntled with the process. Mayor Ness and Council Member Carlson both
                                           Alexandria, Minnesota
                                             February 9, 2009

warned Mr. McMillan that he is accusing the City officials of having a secret meeting. Council Member
Carlson stated HRA Director Jeff Hess sat by her during the EDB meeting, and when he questioned her
about the word “compliance”, she told him she was offended by that particular word in the TIF Policy.
Mr. McMillan then mentioned he believes citizen voices need to be heard during discussion on items
during the Council meeting, and does not like the public comments until the end of the meeting. He is
wondering why that word change in the TIF policy was not presented to the EDB Board at that time it
was being discussed at the EDB meeting. Council Member Carlson stated the public did not have a
chance to participate in the discussion. She feels the HRA and EDB Boards should not be interactive.
She also pointed out the Mayor was not involved in the discussion with Jeff Hess, Council Member
Miller and herself. She was at the EDB meeting, and Jeff Hess asked if she found the word “compliance”
offensive, and she indicated she did, and then Mr. Hess stated that she could change the word at the
Council meeting. Mr. Hess said he understood her concerns, and she has the authority to change that at
the Council level.

John Widmark, 1407 Scenic Heights Road, thanked Mr. Murray for his work on the TIF policy. He
commented on the word “compliance”. It takes a look at something to make sure it meets the needs of
Section 42 and the rules. He liked the accountability of it. He wondered at what point they look at the
price per unit. Is there any point a project where the City will look at it and say this is not that practical
and does not meet the needs of rental units. The Housing Study states the City does not need additional
market rate units. He felt that somehow the public needs to get involved in the reviewing process of TIF.
He again thanked the Council for the changes made to the TIF policy statement.

There being no further business a motion was made by Bigger, seconded by Benson, and carried
unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 p.m.

                                                           H. Dan Ness, Mayor

ATTEST: _______________________________
       James P. Taddei, City Administrator

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