Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

April 4, 2013 Council Minutes






APRIL 4, 2013 6:00 P.M.    



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 Sara Durhman, Dale Hinderaker, Brad Drenckhahn and Tina Hostager.   Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Community Development Director Dan King, City Accountant Kim Simonson, Police Chief Gary Selness, Officer Rob Jarrett, Officer Gene Leifeld, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Library Director James Hill, Sandy Hadler and Brian Haugen.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Hostager, second Drenckhahn to adopt the agenda with the additions of  “Fire Board Meeting Minutes 4/2/13” and item “ 8-C.  Fire Board Agreement”.   Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman , to approve the regular City Council meeting minutes of March 21, 2013.  Approved 5-0-0.


Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to approve the joint Fire Board/City Council meeting minutes of April 2, 2013.   Approved 4-0-1 (Bauer Abstaining).



Motion Hostager, second  Durhman to approve the accounts payable of $327,690.75.

Approved 5-0-0.


Public Comment: 

Officer Leifeld presented the Council with the 2012National Night  recognition certificate.  The 2013 National Night Out is scheduled for August 6th.



8-A.  Street Closure Request (VFW)

The VFW is requesting to close the First Street in front of their business for the Covered Bridge Festival on June 15th.   Motion Hinderaker, Second Hostager to approve the closure of First Street in front of the VFW on June 15th.   Approved 5-0-0.


8-B.  MnWarn Mutual Aid Agreement Discussion

Public Works Director Lohmann requested the Council approve the City’s participation in MnWARN.  MnWARN is  Water and Wastewater based mutual aid which can be activated in case of emergency.  It was begun after the St. Peter tornado.  Basically if a disaster strikes, public employees in other communities can be activated to come and help the disaster stricken community.  If a member city activates the system a regional coordinator will activate the aid.  If it becomes a FEMA emergency the outside resources are reimbursed.  Currently if there is a FEMA disaster local staff does the cleanup and that is non-reimbursable.  This would allow some of the stress to be taken off local staff.  There is no cost to join MnWARN.  Motion Hostager, second Drenckhahn, to approve resolution 2013-10 Authorizing Governmental Unit to Be a Party to Minnesota Water Agency Response Network (MnWARN).  Approved 5-0-0.


8-c.  Fire Board Agreement Discussion

The Council attended the April 2nd Fire Board meeting.  At the last Fire Board meeting the consensus was to go forward with using estimated market value to set the participation percentages.  Representatives from Zumbrota Township wanted to take that back to their constituents.  At this meeting Zumbrota Township stated their constituents were unwilling to move forward to these percentages.    Hinderaker stated the two options suggested at that meeting were percentages based on 1/3 property, 1/3 land value,, 1/3 population or 50% estimated market value and 50% population.   Hinderaker stated Zumbrota Township wants a lower priced option for their township and doesn’t want land value to be a major factor because the cost of agricultural land keeps increasing.  Hinderaker went on to state that he feels this is a non-issue because percentages will be reviewed every five years thereby smoothing out any large increases or decreases.  The original plan is based on today’s values and not the future and that is what the parties involved should be focused on.   Mayor  Bauer expressed his frustration that there were changes now at this point in the discussion.  He reminded the Council the reason estimated market value was decided on was because the townships did not want to purchase or pay rent on the fire hall within in the Fire Board budget. Hinderaker stated he felt the City made concessions by not asking the Fire Board, and thereby the townships, pay for the fire hall.  He also said the City had gained some ground by having the Fire Board budget cover utilities, insurance and maintenance of the hall.  He was not in favor of a formula change and said if the agreement had to go forward with four members instead of five he was comfortable with that.    Bauer added he did not understand the population aspect and that taxes are not based on how many people are in your household.  He thought there was no basis for the percentages but rather there was some number being looked for.  Durhman stated  there was discussion that although the Fire Department was not first responders they are called on to do first responder duty and that is why some were in favor of using population.  Hinderaker added he didn’t think the formula is ever going to be agreed upon unless the City pays more and the townships pay less.  Drenckhahn said a vote was taken approving the joint powers agreement with the percentages given.  The City’s part is taken care of and now the townships need to decide what they will do.  The Council requested staff  get some information on how the Goodhue Fire Department calculates their dues.  Hinderaker requested the May 7th 6:00 pm Fire Board budget meeting be posted so Council could attend and be in compliance with the open meeting law.  The Council will continue to discuss this issue and try to come to a consensus before the next Fire Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th at 7 pm.




City Administrator Neil Jensen:

Reminded the Council there will be a Board of Equalization meeting on April 23rd at 5 pm.  He also reminded the Council there was a SELM meeting on April 27th.


Library Director James Hill:

Reported he and Bauer had met with official from Goodhue Council regarding funding.  He felt the meeting was very positive.  He is hopeful of a summer agreement.  He passed out fliers for the community reading project taking place.  It is called “Zumbrota Reads the Great Gatsby”.  The Library received a Legacy Grant to fund this project. 

Great Gatsby. 


Mayor Rich Bauer: 

Also reported on the library meeting with Goodhue County.


Council Member Sara Durhman:

Stated the art banner project for Main Street is progressing.  There is artwork for 28 banners.


Council Member Dale Hinderaker:

Also spoke about the banners.  He added there are currently 14 sponsors for the banners.  He also said he has not reviewed the Benson property but will try to do so before the next meeting. 


Meeting adjourned 6:42p.m.



                                                                                    NeilJensenCity Administrator

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