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Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

April 15 Council Minutes

 

 

 

 

CITY OF ZUMBROTA COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

APRIL 15, 2010 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 Rich Bauer; Council members Doug Borgschatz, Betty Jo Grothe, Dale Hinderaker and Sara Nygaard. Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Community Development Director Dan King, City Accountant Kim Simonson, Police Chief Gary Selness, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Library Director James Hill, City Engineer Bill Angermann, Gene Leifeld, Jim Wedge, Officer Gene Leifeld, NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler, Betty Olson, Barbara Mrozek, Lois Scharpen, Nate Holst, Clyde Hinrichs, Sue Hinrichs, Scott Logan, Erin Logan, Barb Stussy, Charles Zupfer, Sara Linker Nord, Laurie Anderson – Wilson, Jim Wilson, Paul Kalass, Wayne Gadient, Myron Scharpen and others.

 

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

AMENDMENTS/ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to adopt the agenda.  Approved 5-0-0.

 

MINUTES

Council Member Borgschatz’s name needs to be deleted from the reports section of the April 1, 2010 meeting.

Motion Hinderaker, second Nygaard, to approve the regular meeting minutes of April 1, 2010, with corrections.  Approved 5-0-0.

 

Motion Hinderaker, second Borgschatz, to approve the Board of Equalization meeting minutes of April 7, 2010.  Approved 5-0-0.

 

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

Motion Nygaard, second Grothe to approve the accounts payable of $147,219.24. 

Approved 5-0-0.

 

Public Comment: 

 

Public Hearings/MeEtings: 

 

Unfinished Business:

7-a.  2010 Budget Discussion

The City will not know when the final LGA numbers will be decided upon.  Currently the proposed cut in LGA could be less than anticipated. 

 

 

7-b.  Buffer Agreement Goodhue Wind

Administrator Jensen, Community Development Director King and Council member Borgschatz gave a short background on a meeting they had with a manager from Horizon Wind.  This project is being proposed for the southern side of the city.  One leg circles around the Highway 60 East interchange.  17,000 acres are already signed up.  When Horizon was asked if they would infringe upon Zumbrota’s two mile radius they replied they were going to move forward and not exclude any land owners.  Borgschatz expressed his displeasure about the meeting and said the wind companies were being divisive and it was disheartening because the well being of small cities was not being considered.  Mayor Bauer also expressed his disappointment in the lack of leadership on the state level.  He stated the City of Zumbrota has invested $250,000 to get utilities across the road and this Horizon wind project could halt future development along Highway 52.  Bauer also mentioned the current plans with the County to put in a $1,000,000 road project in by Versacold.  These wind projects could infringe upon this. 

 

Borgschatz said communities and the rural sector need to have a conversation about where they are willing to allow these projects.  It is not about the merits of wind power but more about a city’s rights to protect its boundaries.  Mayor Bauer again expressed his disappointment at the shameful lack of state leadership.  Council Member Nygaard said she had read the statutes for the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and they are very vague. 

 

Ben Kerl, from Goodhue Wind, informed the Council the dockets in front of the PUC had been passed and the project was moving on to the next level.  Kerl also said he had advised Horizon to meet with the City and he apologized for the oversight of not meeting with the City before land was signed up.  He stated he believed the resolution in front of the council would address their concerns and show the State that cities and wind companies can work together, possibly setting precedence. 

 

Wayne Gadient addressed the Council.  He said he thought the resolution would set a positive precedence.  The two mile setback would be acknowledged by Goodhue Wind which is more than anyone else has done.  He stated if the City didn’t ratify this resolution then they would have nothing. 

 

Borgschatz said it amounted to deciding whether the City would be run over or a player at the table.  Unfortunately, he felt the request by the City for a two mile buffer was a moot point because no one seemed to want to uphold it.  Nygaard stated she thought the City needed to find out and decide what the boundaries were and stick firm to it.  Borgschatz asked Administrator Jensen to talk about his thoughts.  Jensen said he felt the City needed to focus on the potential growth of the city and its boundaries.  Horizon made him nervous with the proposed encroachment on the Highway 60 East interchange.  Also he doubted whether the agreement would even be upheld by the PUC once it was made.  He told the Council this was one for the most political motions they would make.  The meetings that he and others on the Council have been to have been addressing the merits of wind power.  None of them have been about the potential harm to city growth.  Small cities are not being respected.   If a project like this was proposed by Rochester it would never happen.  Borgschatz asked if the easement agreements would be off the table if the new resolution was passed.  Jensen replied they would. 

Council Member Hinderaker acknowledged that no matter the outcome, the City of Zumbrota would be setting precedence.  Is it wise to butt up to the fastest growing highway in the State of Minnesota?  It boils down to getting along with neighbors and he would vote in favor of the new resolution. 

 

Barb Stussy, encouraged the Council to stand firm on their boundaries.  Bauer said if the resolution was approved the City would know its neighbors to the north but would not know any of the other borders.  Borgschatz stated he did not want to rescind or revoke the original resolution.  He felt nothing would be upheld.  Ben Kerl said, in his opinion, the City of Zumbrota may be successful with establishing a one mile buffer but most likely not a two mile buffer. 

 

Motion Hinderaker, second Bauer to approve the buffer zone agreement with Goodhue Wind.  Failed 2-3-0 (Nygaard, Grothe and Borgschatz against).

 

NEW BUSINESS;

 

8-A.  2004 Squad Car Sale Approval

A bid of $5,003.00 from Jay Brewer for the 2004 Chevrolet Impala had been received.

Motion Nygaard, second Borgschatz to approve the sale of the 2004 Chevrolet Impala to Jay Brewer for $5,003.00

 

8-B.  Sanitation License Renewal

The sanitation license with Waste Management is up for renewal at the end of the year.  Jensen had met with Waste Management this week to discuss concerns.  Businesses had received a three year service agreement from Waste Management.  This had been sent out in error and the local businesses should disregard it.  The Council will need to decide whether they want to extend the contract or go out for bids.  This will take place later in the year as this was just a first meeting to get the process started.  Jensen also said that the Waste Management sponsored spring cleanup will be held May 15th. 

 

8-C.  Ordinance 2010-02 Establishing Street Light and Storm Water Utility

The proposed $4.25 per month street light and $0.75 per month storm water fees would begin May 1, 2010.  Council Member Borgschatz said he would like the street light and storm water fee looked at yearly and would like it voted on separately. 

 

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to approve Ordinance 10-02, an ordinance amending  Zumbrota City Code Chapter 50: Street Light and Storm Water Fee with yearly review for extension.  Approved 5-0-0. 

 

8-D.  Approve Resolution 2010-09 Accepting Bid 1st Avenue Street and Utility Project

Eleven bids were received for the First Avenue Street project.  They were as follows:

Schumacher Excavating, $242,067.50

Fitzgerald Excavating, $257,230.10 

Minnesota Dirt Works, $260,936.40

Griffin Construction Co. Inc., $267,588.30

Pember Companies, $268,500.50

Skyline Construction Inc., $271,986.50 

S.L. Contracting Inc., $276,662.00

Winona Mechanical Inc., $280,206.85 

Kuechle Underground Inc., $288,184.41

Hesselton Construction LLC., $293,695.50 

Elcor Construction, $308,926.00 

The start date for the project is set for June 21st.

 

Motion Grothe, second Nygaard to award the bid for the 1st Avenue Street and Utility Project to Schumacher Construction for $242,067.50.  Approved 5-0-0.

 

8-E.  Well House Repair Approval

The remodeling project at Pump House #3 is almost complete.  Public Works Director Lohmann is requesting the door be replaced. 

 

Motion Borgschatz, second Hinderaker  to approve the purchase of a new steel door for Pump House #3 from Wedge Lumber for $1,994.29 plus hardware.  Approved 5-0-0.

 

8-F.  Benson Utility Easement Vacation

There is an unused easement under 584 East 5th Street.  The owner, Michael Benson, is selling the property and would like to clean up the title.  Motion Grothe, second Hinderaker to approve Resolution 2010-10 Vacating unused drainage and utlity easement in part of Lot 8, Block 1, Willowmere addition.  Approved 5-0-0.

 

Reports;

 

City Administrator Neil Jensen

Reported he had contacted MNDot regarding posting a speed limit sign on 435th Street.  MNDot does not regulate gravel roads.  Public Works Director Lohmann is going to see if there is a slow sign at the City Garage which can be put on 435th Street.

 

City Accountant Kim Simonson;

Informed the Council the field work for the audit would be happening next week.

 

Public Works Director Rich Lohmann;

Told the Council there has been continuing brush site problems with dumping of garbage.  The brush site had been closed at 3:30 p.m. but the Police are willing to lock it up later.  He is asking citizens to follow rules and report on any unauthorized dumping.  Lohmann also asked for suggestions for a weekend flower waterer.

 

Community Development Director Dan King;

Reported he had attended a downtown business owners meeting.  The downtown businesses are looking at strategies to promote sales while the bridge is out and beyond.  He also reported the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a one year moratorium on small wind energy conversion systems. 

 

Library Director James Hill;

Informed the Council the Library was in the process of receiving a mural which had been sponsored by the Legacy Grant.

 

Mayor Rich Bauer;

Commended the Council on their handling of issues.

 

Council Member Doug Borgschatz;

Encouraged staff and Council to continue using the resources available to make the City’s voice heard in regards to the buffer zone.

 

Meeting adjourned 7:43 p.m.

                                                                                    ________________________

                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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