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Zumbrota, MN
Bridging the Past and the Future

August 21, 2003 Council Minutes

                         CITY OF ZUMBROTA CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

REGULAR MEETING           AUGUST 21, 2003   6:00 P.M.           TOWN HALL

 

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, Mayor Rich Bauer called the Zumbrota City Council to order at 6:00 p.m.  PRESENT: Mayor Bauer;  Councilmembers David Benson, Doug Borgschatz, Betty Jo Grothe.  ABSENT:  Councilmember Deb Wilkinson.  Others present:  City Accountant Mary Rohe, Community Development Director Tricia Hinckley, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Reporter Sandy Hadler, David Drown (David Drown Associates), Steve Fenlon (Midwest Healthcare Capital), Paul Qualy.

 

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

AMENDMENTS/ADOPTION OF AGENDA

 

It was suggested to add to the agenda item 7g- Truth-in-Taxation hearing; 7h- Final plat approval- Trelstad First Addition; and 7i- South side water booster station- change order summary.

            Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to adopt the agenda as amended.  Carried 4‑0‑0.

          

MINUTES

 

Motion Benson, second Grothe to approve the August 7, 2003 regular meeting minutes.  Carried 4‑0‑0.

 

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

 

Motion Bauer, second Grothe to approve the accounts payable of $56,905.69.  Carried 4‑0‑0.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

1.  David Drown, David Drown Associates, was present to review the results of the bids received earlier in the day for the $1,000,000 General Obligation Utility Revenue Bond issue.  United Bankers Bank submitted the lowest of five bids at a Net Interest Rate of 4.4528%.  He said that Moody's re-affirmed the city's Baa bond rating.  A resolution awarding the bid was presented for consideration.

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to adopt Resolution 2003-21, a Resolution Providing for the Issuance and Sale of $1,000,000 General Obligation Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2003A and Pledging for the Security Thereof Net Revenues of the Water and Sewer System.  Carried 3-1-0 (Benson opposed).

 

2.  There was nothing to report on the St. Paul Road Public Improvements Project.

 

3.  There was nothing to report on the 5th Street W/Jefferson Drive storm sewer study.

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS/MEETINGS

 

1.  6:15 p.m.-  Mayor Bauer opened the hearing to consider the petition to vacate all easements contained in Lots 4, 5 and 6, Block 5 and Outlot A, as platted in Trelstad First Addition, excepting therefrom the existing power line easement (described in Book 107, Page 329) over the easterly 75 feet of the above described property.  Tricia Hinckley stated that this was a technicality needed to assist in the completion of the formal final plat approval process.  Mayor Bauer closed the hearing at 6:16 p.m.

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to adopt Resolution 2003-22, a Resolution Vacating All Easements Contained in Lots 4, 5 and 6, Block 5 and Outlot A, as Platted in Trelstad First Addition, Excepting Therefrom the Existing Power Line Easement (Described in Book 107, Page 329) Over the Easterly 75 Feet of the Above Described Property.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

2.  6:23 p.m.-  Mayor Bauer opened the public hearing to consider preliminary approval to 1) the issuance of Health Care Facilities Revenue Obligations for a project under MN Statutes, Ch 469 and 2) a Multi-Family Housing Development Program under MN Statutes, Ch 462C, both by St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc. to assist the financing of St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc.'s purchase of the hospital, physical therapy building, nursing home and Bridges apartments.  The proposed notes would not be an obligation of the City and no assets of the City would be pledged for payment of the notes.  A resolution giving said approval was presented for consideration.  Mayor Bauer closed the hearing at 6:29 p.m.

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to adopt Resolution 2003-23, a Resolution Giving Preliminary Approval to a Project Under MN Statutes, Sections 469.152 Through 469.165; Referring the Proposal to the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development for Approval; Approving a Housing Program; and Authorizing Preparation of Necessary Documents.  Carried 4-0-0.

      

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (Continued)

 

4.  At the last meeting, Administrator Johnson suggested some additional changes that could be made to the personnel policy before September 1.  These changes include deletion of the probationary period, immediate eligibility for the city's health insurance plan, immediate accrual of vacation and sick leave benefits immediately accrue including the ability to utilize starting 30 days after date of employment, immediate eligibility for holiday pay (rather than reimbursement for holiday pay after probationary period).  Johnson stated that, after reviewing the existing Personnel Policy further and reviewing the League of MN Cities info related to "Probationary Employees", he recommends to remove the Probationary Period for new employees as their employment is considered "employment-at-will".  The League of MN Cities, in their Human Resources Reference Manual states "It is usually not in the city's best interest to establish a probationary period in situations that would otherwise be "employment-at-will".  Johnson added that as veterans do not serve a probationary period as per law, it creates some inconsistencies in having non-veterans serve a probationary period.  Deletion of the Probationary Period would allow employees to use sick leave during their initial employment- not currently allowed under this section of the Personnel Policy.  He also suggested, after further review of the LMC Salary Survey, that the method of treating sick leave when an employee leaves in good standing seems to be a fair method and should help prevent any potential abuse of sick leave. 

Motion Benson, second Grothe to eliminate the Probationary Period for employees.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to allow new full-time employees to be immediately eligible for the city's health insurance coverage.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

Motion Grothe, second Benson to approve the sliding scale for payment of accrued sick leave (960 hour maximum) if an employee leaves in good standing: :  3-5 years- 30% payment; 6-10 years- 40% payment; 11-15 years- 50% payment; and 16 years plus- 60% payment.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

5.  City Administrator Johnson informed Council that Michael Schweyen, MN/Dot Traffic Engineer, contacted him to discuss the potential crosswalk signage in the middle of Main Street.  Johnson stated that he spoke with the Public Works Director for New Prague related to the same item.  New Prague has taken their signs down as they were a continual nuisance- being knocked down and damaged by farm equipment, vehicles and vandals.  Mr. Schweyen stated that the signs are not allowed on State highways, but MN/Dot has not yet been directing cities to remove them.  He did state that this would likely happen if there is an increase in the quantity of said signs.  Johnson stated that a request was submitted to put crosswalk identification signs on 4th Street East/CSAH 10, between Zumbrota Theatre and Zumbrota Towers.  Johnson said he will discuss with Goodhue County.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

1.  Administrator Johnson requested approval for Angie Bersaw, Community Development Director, to attend the MN American Planning Association (MnAPA) Annual Conference in Alexandria, September 24-26.

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to approve the attendance, and related expenses, of Angie Bersaw, Community Development Director, to attend the MN American Planning Association (MnAPA) Annual Conference in Alexandria, September 24-26.  Carried

4-0-0.

 

2.  A resolution supporting legislation to provide improved funding options for city street improvements was presented for consideration.  The League of MN Cities is encouraging cities to adopt said resolution.

Motion Grothe, second Bauer to adopt Resolution 2003-24, a Resolution Supporting Legislation to Provide Improved Funding Options for City Street Improvements.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

3.  Joel Bigelow Enterprises and Sons submitted a petition to vacate 17th Street East. 

Motion Benson, second Borgschatz to conduct a public hearing at 6:15 p.m., September 18, 2003 at city hall to consider the vacation of the public thoroughfare described as follows:  That part of Seventeenth Street as dedicated on the Original Plat of Zumbrota being described as follows:  Beginning at the southwest corner of Lot 5, Block 54 in said Original Plat; thence easterly along the north line of said SEVENTEENTH STREET, 442 feet more or less to the southeast corner of Lot 5, Block 57 in said Original Plat; thence southerly 66 feet to the northeast corner of Lot 2, Block 56 in said Original Plat; thence westerly along the south line of said SEVENTEENTH STREET, 442 feet more or less to the northwest corner of Lot 2, Block 55 in said Original Plat; thence northerly 66 feet to the point of beginning.  Carried 4-0-0.

                                                                                                                                               

4.  Tricia Hinckley presented information related to the Job Opportunity Building Zone (JOBZ), and explained that this is an economic development initiative of the Pawlenty administration to provide tax free zones in economically depressed areas.  While Zumbrota is not economically depressed, the area does qualify because it lies outside of the 10-county metro area.  Region 9 Development Commission (in Mankato) is applying for zone designation, which will include Goodhue County.  Hinckley recommended that the City/EDA include at least one relatively small area so that we have something to offer those companies who will be “shopping” for these particular zones.  The parcel she recommended was the 13-acre, industrially zoned, area just south of DFA and west of the Kennedy Bus Garage and City Maintenance Facility.  She also pointed out that even if the EDA, School District, City Council and County Board approve the application, the DEED Commissioner may still red line our community from the application.  Resolutions were presented for consideration.

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to adopt Resolution 2003-25, a Resolution of Approval to Authorize the JOBZ Sub-Zone Application and Authorize the Related Tax Exemptions.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to adopt Resolution 2003-26, a Resolution of Approval to Authorize the JOBZ DEED Application, Contract Signature, and Tax Exemptions.  Carried

4-0-0.

 

5.  Tricia Hinckley, Community Development Director, briefly reviewed the points of a proposed development agreement between the City of Zumbrota and Zumbrota Golf Course Properties, LLC, developers of the Highlands of Zumbrota residential subdivision.  Council was asked to review and be prepared to discuss at the next regular meeting.

6.  Administrator Johnson informed Council that the City of Zumbrota will be losing approximately $130,000 in Local Government Aid in 2004.  The City is able to levy back 60% of this lost aid (or approximately $80,000).  The County Auditor estimates that Zumbrota's tax capacity for 2004 will increase by approximately 6-7%.  Johnson stated that by levying the maximum amount allowed, and estimating a tax capacity increase of 6%, the local tax rate will increase from .4872 to .5093, or about 4.5%.  A family with a $175,000 house will pay (all else being equal) approximately $39 more per year in property taxes.  Johnson asked if he should proceed with the completion of the proposed budget assuming a maximum levy.  Council agreed that this needed to be done.  Johnson stated he will attempt to have a rough budget done by the next regular meeting, with the major item that needs to be approved be the levy amount.  The line items can always be modified by the time of final budget/levy approval.  The final levy cannot be higher than the proposed levy adopted.  A special meeting could be called for September 11 if need be.  The proposed levy needs to be adopted by September 15.

 

7.  Tricia Hinckley reviewed the Trelstad Addition final plat recently submitted for approval.

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to approve the Trelstad Addition final plat contingent upon approval by Bill Anderson,Yaggy Colby Associates.  Carried 4-0-0.

 

8.  Administrator Johnson informed Council that there will be a formal change order (with add-ons and deducts) submitted for approval on the water booster station with exact numbers.  Presently approval is needed to 1) proceed with the Supervisory Controls, and 2) order a generator smaller than the one specified.

Motion Benson, second Grothe to 1) proceed with the Supervisory Controls, and 2) order a generator smaller than the one specified for the water booster station project.  Carried

4-0-0.

 

REPORTS

 

-Public Works Director Rick Lohmann-

-Presented information related to the potential replacement of the crosswalk lights at the intersection of Main Street and 4th Street/CSAH 10.  One of the lights was damaged some time ago, and it appears that there are no replacements available today.  Staff will check with MN/Dot to see if they would have a problem with the installation of new lights.

 

-Mayor Rich Bauer-

-Reminded Council of the Goodhue County Comprehensive Plan Update meetings on 8/21 and 8/28, both related to Economic Development.

 

Mayor Bauer adjourned the meeting at 7:20 p.m.

 

                                                                                    ______________________________

                                                                                    Ronald S. Johnson, City Administrator

 




City of Zumbrota; 175 West Avenue; Zumbrota, MN 55992