Skip to main content.

Back to Web Site

Zumbrota, MN
Bridging the Past and the Future

June 19, 2008 Council Minutes






Thursday, June 19, 2008, 6:00 P.M.    



Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, Mayor Rich Bauer called the Zumbrota City Council to order at 6:05 p.m.  PRESENT:  Mayor Rich Bauer; Council members Doug Borgschatz, Bill Eberhart, Michael Feil, Betty Jo Grothe. 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, City Engineer Bill Angerman, Library Director James Hill, NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler, Dave Grimsrud, Jay Erickson, Brian Haugen, Gene Peterman, Brian Wichmann, Todd Lexvold, Paul Myran, Chuck Sturm, Jim Wedge.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



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



Approval of the 6-5-2008 minutes was tabled.



Motion Borgschatz, second Eberhart to approve the accounts payable of $32,616.77. 

Approved 5-0-0.




Public Hearings/MeEtings: 


Unfinished Business:




8-A.  Minor Subdivision Approval Ponderosa Park



8-B.  Bitter Creek Retaining Wall Discussion

The 400 remaining lineal feet of the old wall Bitter Creek wall has fallen into disrepair with cracks appearing in various places.  Councilmember Feil asked if it would be possible to repair half this year and half next year. Council member Eberhart asked if the entire wall needed to be replaced right now and added the creek may need to be cleaned out as well.  Eberhart also cautioned against spending a large amount of money on a short term solution and asked the repair be part of the budget discussion. City Engineer Bill Angerman said the project could be broken down into as many pieces as the Council wants but there are economies of scale to be considered.  The City may not be able to do anything unless the property owners consent so the Mayor suggested the property owners be invited to a public hearing to discuss what can be done.  Mayor Bauer would also like to investigate other funding sources to pay for the repair because not all the water going through Bitter Creek is the City’s water. 


Motion Grothe, second Eberhart to direct city staff to send a letter to affected owners and invite them to next Council meeting.  Approved 5-0-0.  


8-C.  Road Access Highlands Subdivision Report/Discussion

Mayor Bauer stated this was not a decision item but was on the agenda to bring the Council up to speed.  Several years ago the land became available for golf course expansion at which time the City of Zumbrota donated $570,000, Bigelow donated 68 acres and $150,000 cash for lots sold, the Golf Course needed to raise $300,000.  The agreement stated upon building the first house in subdivision there would be two year temporary road.  That time expired and about a year ago a letter was sent to Highlands property owners saying the road would be closed.  At that time the City became involved in negotiating an agreement in which Bigelow would pay $2,000 per month to keep the access open.  To solve the access problem Bigelow asked if there could be a road constructed between the front and back nine of the Golf Course which would run in back of the current golf sheds and follow the current road path.  It seemed to be a good idea for all parties so the Mayor and City Administrator were asked to mediate.  At the original meeting the Golf Course Board had a list of items they would like to see accomplished with the construction of the road.  The negotiations have been going on for nearly a year and there has been no resolution.  Currently approximately $93,000 is owed by Bigelow to the Golf Course for the lot sale portion of the obligation.  Golf Board wants $93,000, the sheds removed, as well as a new paved parking lot with estimated costs for this work at $150,000.  Bigelow has countered with $102,500 and the Golf Course would be responsible for their buildings.  No vote has occurred at the Golf Course but Board members have said they want their demands met.  Mayor is personally frustrated and disappointed with where discussions are at because without an agreement the City has several property owners sitting on an island.  The Mayor stated mediation cannot happen because there is no spirit of compromise.  Council member Feil said Bigelow has to bring a road to 435th street and no matter what it cost it is Bigelow’s responsibility because it is in the development agreement.  Borgschatz asked the Golf Board if the mayor’s recollection of the events preceding this meeting was fairly accurate.  Golf Board President Todd Lexvold said the Golf Board wants $93,000, a parking lot; the land put to existing grade and does not want to incur cost on parking lot side.  Council member Feil didn’t think a road could be discussed until the flooding problem at the Fair Grounds is resolved.  To which Mayor Bauer said there isn’t enough money to build a road for every major rain event which may occur.  Borgschatz didn’t think the road would affect water flow in any way and asked if the issue of the road had been brought back to full membership and if the committee voted.  When asked for a dollar amount the Golf Course would be willing to agree to, Gene  Peterman of the Golf Board said there was no way to know because there are so many details to be worked out but a loose estimate would be $50,000 in addition to the $93,000.  The Golf Board was reminded that Bigelow would provide for any work the right of way and that it is in the City’s best interest if the road constructed correctly to the specifications of all parties.  When asked if this road is the best thing for the Golf Course Todd Lexvold agreed it would be good for the Golf Course.  Peterman questioned what the costs of out of the right of way would be because that is a sticking point.  The Mayor said north side costs would be limited at best and that Bigelow had set the stakes so there would be a reference for the Board to look at.  Dave Grimsrud asked about the city’s responsibility is for 435th street.  It is estimated the City’s cost would be about $250,000 but until there are homes built up there the road is not going to be constructed.  Grimsrud is concerned that traffic using 435th would be an accident waiting to happen. Mayor Bauer suggested possible alternate access road could end up going to the south of 435th and that it is not right to deny property owners access to their properties.  Feil asked what the City is planning to do.  Bauer replied the issue would have to wait until next meeting and come back with ideas.  Borgschatz stated the golf course is good for the community but he believes both parties have made mistakes along the way.  A well constructed road would bring a lot of positive things about and a compromise needs to be reached.  Feil questioned why the road is important today when it wasn’t six years ago.  Mayor Bauer explained that when the original plan happened the Rings were still on their home place and there was no available access for the subdivision from there.  In hindsight, if the whole piece of property had been purchased at one time then the plan may have looked different.  Eberhart agreed that if no compromise is reached then the access will have to go to 435th street and he asked the Golf Board to weigh out what will happen positively and negatively for the golf course regarding the road construction.




City Engineer Bill Angerman;

Reported that the Warren Avenue reconstruction is underway with the sewer being done today.


Police Chief Gary Selness;

Reported tobacco compliance checks had been done and Matthees Midtown had failed the check.


Mayor Rich Bauer;

Reported about his trip to Washington DC.  He was with a delegation of 12 people and a coalition of three counties attended.  It was a positive experience centering on the Highway 52 project.  . 


Meeting adjourned 6:53 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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