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Zumbrota, MN
Bridging the Past and the Future

November 21, 2013 Council Minutes






NOVEMBER 21, 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 Dale Hinderaker, Brad Drenckhahn and Tina Hostager.  ABSENT: Sara Durhman.   Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, City Accountant Kim Simonson, Community Development Director Dan King, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Police Chief Gary Selness, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Library Director James Hill, Sandy Hadler, Officer Gene Leifeld, Officer Rob Jarrett, Jim Wedge, Barb Stussy, Marie McNamara, Erin Logan, Sandy Hadler, and NewsRecord Reporter Tara Chapa.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Drenckhahn, second Hostager to adopt the agenda.  Approved 4-0-0.



Motion Hinderaker second Drenckhahn, to approve the regular City Council meeting minutes of November 7, 2013.  Approved 4-0-0.



Motion Hinderaker, second Drenckhahn to approve the accounts payable of $84,820.29.

Approved 4-0-0.



Barb Stussy read a statement to the Council expressing concern about a proposed solar panel project which could be constructed on 30 acres west of Highway 52.  She urged the Council to not issue a letter of support until there were more details available about the project.


Unfinished Business:

7-A.  Fire Board Meeting Discussion

The Fire Board met on Tuesday and the City and townships came to a tentative agreement.  The agreement is for three years with the City’s participation percentage to be 49%.  The contract has been sent out and there is time for minor revisions.  Hostager thought the discussion about finances and capital equipment was a very positive result of the ongoing negotiations. 



8-A.  Rip Rap Pond #3 Wastewater Treatment Plant

Lohmann requested the Council approve rip rapping Pond #3 at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Pond #3 isn’t currently used but keeping it in good repair will allow the City to use it if needed plus it would be quite expensive to decommission it.  The MPCA had questioned why it hadn’t been repaired at their last visit.  Motion Hinderaker, second Hostager to approve the rip rapping of Pond #3 by Schumacher Excavating for a cost of $10,780.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-B.  Fund Transfer 435th Street Improvements

Simonson requested the Council approve a transfer from the Municipal Reserve Fund to Fund 430 – 435th Street.  $109,000 of this amount will be paid back as special assessments over the next ten years.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Hinderaker to approve the transfer of $220,000 from the General Municipal Reserve Fund (104) to Capital Projects Fund – 435th Street (430) for $220,000.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-C.  Highlands Easement Approval

An easement was needed to install a sewer in the Highlands addition.  Motion Hostager, second Drenckhahn to approve and accept the Highland Utility Easement.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-D.  Certify Delinquent Utility Bills to Goodhue County

City Accountant Kim Simonson asked the Council to certify the following delinquent water bills to taxes:






1145 West Ave




653 West Avenue




412 Park Ave




201 1st Street East




310 Main St. N Apt A




9 Jefferson Drive




493 East 18th Street




529 East 19th Street







If payment is received on these bills before November 30th they will be removed from the list. 

Motion Hinderaker, second Hostager to certify the delinquent utility bills to the County for 2014 taxes.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-E. Geronimo Solar Project

Tena Rytel of Geronimo Energy presented at the last EDA meeting asking for a letter of support for the planned solar project in Minneola Township located west of Highway 52.  The letter of support failed for lack of motion in the EDA.  Mayor Bauer said he felt this was a poor area to put this project and the land there was much better suited to commercial and industrial development because of its proximity to 52.  He stated the City, Goodhue County and the State of MN have invested substantial money in infrastructure for future development of this area and this project would generate very small tax base.  The notification of the project came in late and all expressed their displeasure at not being notified in a timelier manner.  Bauer said this isn’t a done deal but it has a good chance of passage.  Drenckhahn and Hostager said they were not in favor of a letter of support at this time due to lack of information.   Mayor Bauer asked for a motion to draft a letter of support.  This failed due to lack of motion.


8-F. Street Closure Request

St. Francis requested West 5th Street be temporarily closed so they can get a crane in to lift some materials.  The street closure would be from November 27th to December 4th.  Lohmann was asked if he had concern.  He replied he was unconcerned because MNDOT requirements must be followed.  Motion Hinderaker, second Drenckhahn to approve the temporary closure of West 5th Street.  Approved 4-0-0,



City Administrator Neil Jensen:

Gave the Council a proposed project schedule for the upcoming East Avenue project for review.  He reported the seeding had just been done on 435th Street and the 1,000 feet of sewer has been started and will continue until freeze up.  Jensen had also been to a Hiawathaland Transit meeting.  Ridership is slightly down and they are looking for suggestions to increase senior ridership.


Community Development Director Dan King:

Said the Planning Commission is having a public hearing to review a possible rezone in the State Theatre area.  ZAAC is proposing some improvements to the building which would encroach on the existing required setbacks.  All three buildings in this fringe area are currently non-conforming.  The hearing is scheduled for December 10th.


Mayor Richard Bauer:

Stated he and Hinderaker will meet to finalize the pay equity and health insurance issues for 2014.  He also reported there is a SELCO retreat on December 13th which he hopes to attend. 


Council Member Dale Hinderaker:

Reminded those present that this weekend is “Shop the Block”.  He also mentioned the Farmers’ Market will be starting up on Tuesday at the corner of Third and Main in the New River Assembly Church. 


Meeting adjourned 6:47 p.m.


                                                                                    NeilJensenCity Administrator

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