Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

December 4, 2003 Council Minutes


REGULAR MEETING           DECEMBER 4, 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, Deb Wilkinson.  Others present:  City Administrator Ron Johnson, Community Development Director Angie Lohmann, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Police Chief Gary Selness, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Reporter Sandy Hadler, Michael Feil, Paul Qualy.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.




It was suggested to modify agenda item 6b by deleting "setting a public hearing", and add agenda item 7f- Quality Window & Siding request, item 8e- Resolution conveying real property to St. Francis Medical Services, and item 8f- Usage of the brush site.

            Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to adopt the agenda as amended.  Carried 5‑0‑0.




Motion Bauer, second Grothe to approve the November 20, 2003 regular meeting minutes.  Carried 5‑0‑0.




The accounts payable was presented.  It was noted that the $8,100 payment to Dakota Wood Grinding included $1,000 for the grinding of the leaf pile.

Motion Bauer, second Grothe to approve the accounts payable of $399,642.26.  Carried 4‑1‑0 (Benson opposed).




1.  Michael Feil commented that he had heard that none of the lots, single-family or townhome, in the Zumbro Woodlands Subdivision and the Highlands of Zumbrota Subdivision are for sale to other builders.  Administrator Johnson stated that the developer is selling single-family lots to other builders, and may sell blocks of townhome lots, but is not selling individual townhome lots  to other builders due to potential complications related to the establishment and maintenance of the association(s) that they will be setting up.  Administrator Johnson suggested that Mr. Feil or others interested in the availability of building lots within these two subdivisions contact Tony Bigelow to discuss.




1.  6:15 p.m.-  Mayor Bauer opened the public hearing to consider adoption of a resolution authorizing a tax abatement on certain properties within the city of Zumbrota for the purpose of funding golf course improvements.  David Drown, David Drown Associates, was present to describe the abatement process.  He said that it is similar to Tax Increment Financing in that you are utilizing property taxes of a certain area for a specific purpose.  In this case, the property taxes in this area will be used to facilitate the funding of $570,000 of improvements to the Zumbrota Golf Course.  In this project, however, it is not the intention to capture the school district or county portion of the new property taxes.  In fact, either the school district or the county have to decline to participate to extend the life of the abatement from 10 years to 15 years as per state statute.  It was suggested to modify the resolution that was presented to delete the wording "the City has received a letter from the Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District declining to provide abatements " and add "the city expects to receive a letter from the Z-M School District declining to participate in the abatements, or the term of the abatement will go from 15 years down to 10 years".  Mayor Bauer closed the hearing at 6:35 p.m. 

Motion Wilkinson, second Grothe to adopt Resolution 2003-37, a Resolution Authorizing a Tax Abatement on Certain Properties (the N 1/2  of the NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 25, Township 110 N, Range 16 W, and the entire SE 1/4 of Section 24, Township 110 N, Range 16 W) Within the City of Zumbrota For the Purpose of Funding Golf Course Improvements.  Carried 4-1-0 (Benson opposed).


2.  6:45 p.m.-  Mayor Bauer called the public hearing to order to consider adoption of a resolution approving a business subsidy to the Zumbrota Golf Club.  David Drown briefly explained the State of MN's Business Subsidy Act.  He said that the Business Subsidy Act does not apply to housing projects, and, although Mr. Drown believes this is really a housing project, he recommends compliance with the Business Subsidy Act as a business development project.  As a requirement of the receipt of $570,000, the Zumbrota Golf Club must agree to hire the equivalent of one new full-time employee.  Mr. Drown stated that he felt approval of this resolution formalizes previous Council action, assures compliance with the Business Subsidy Act, and would be attached as an exhibit to the original development agreement with the Golf Club.  Mayor Bauer closed the public hearing at 6:58 p.m.

Motion Grothe, second Wilkinson to adopt Resolution 2003-38, a Resolution Approving a Business Subsidy to the Zumbrota Golf Club.  Carried 4-1-0 (Benson opposed).




1.  David Drown presented a resolution related to Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-14, adopted on July 24, 2003.  The adopting resolution approving the TIF District included a provision for up to $10,000 of internal funding to be repaid, with interest, from tax increments.  Mr. Drown recommends that this amount be increased to $85,000 to include the costs of street improvements serving the development, and the related administrative expenses, within this TIF District.

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to adopt Resolution 2003-39, a Resolution Approving the Utilization of an Interfund Loan for Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-14.  Carried 5-0-0.




1.  At the November 20 meeting, Police Chief Selness requested approval to call for quotes for a 2004 mid-size squad car as budgeted.  Chief Selness recommended that the 1994 Chevrolet Caprice be sold outright.  At that meeting, questions were asked about the rehabilitation completed on the 1994 Caprice some time ago, and staff was directed to obtain additional information related to the rehab.  Chief Selness subsequently submitted a memo to Council providing the additional information as requested.  

Motion Wilkinson, second Grothe to call for proposals for the purchase of a 2004 mid-size squad car.  Carried 5-0-0.


2.  There was nothing to report on the 5th Street West/Jefferson Drive Storm Water Study.


3.   City Attorney Matt Rockne informed Council that there are property ownership issues that should be resolved before proceeding with the next step in the St. Paul Road Public Improvements Project.


4.  There was nothing to report on the agreement with Don and Pat Webster related to the cost of installation of a water line under CSAH 6.


5.  Councilmembers Deb Wilkinson and Dave Benson, who volunteered to bring a 2004 wage recommendation back to Council, recommended a 2.4% cost of living increase for all part-time and full-time employees effective January 1, 2004. 

Motion Wilkinson, second Benson to approve a 2.4% cost of living increase for all part-time and full-time employees effective January 1, 2004.  Carried 5-0-0.


In addition, Councilmembers Benson and Wilkinson volunteered to conduct an employee benefits review.


6.  At an earlier meeting, Council was asked to look at the north side of Quality Window & Siding, 319 East Avenue, due to a request submitted by said business related to a water problem the business is having.  There is no curb & gutter on the north side of the building (on 3rd Street East) and the water from the street flows to the north side of the building, onto their sidewalk and then runs inside the building.  They requested to work with the city on a project that would include the installation of curb & gutter, removal of sidewalk, and placement of landscaping (grass) between the curb & gutter and building (approximate distance of 7 feet between the building and curb & gutter).  They propose to pay for the sidewalk removal and the landscaping (grass) installation if the city pays for the curb & gutter.  This would provide additional diagonal parking spaces for the downtown area.  Further, this portion of sidewalk is listed in the sidewalk plan as being able to be removed.

Motion Borgschatz, second Benson to install curb and gutter on 3rd Street East, on the north side of the building at 319 East Avenue, if the property owner agrees to pay for the removal of the sidewalk and placement of landscaping between the new curb & gutter and building (approximate distance of 7 feet) along the entire depth of the building.  Carried



NEW BUSINESS (Continued)


2.  Conway and Kathy Jacobson requested approval of a Minor Subdivision to accommodate the sale of additional property to Grover Auto.  The original purchase of property by Grover Auto from Conway and Kathy Jacobson was for 5.05 acres.  Mainly because of wetland issues, the property lines needed to be adjusted to the south/southeast that resulted in a parcel of  6.66 acres.  This Minor Subdivision request formalizes the new property description. 

Motion Grothe, second Wilkinson to approve the Minor Subdivision request of Conway and Kathy Jacobson to accommodate the sale of additional property to Grover Auto (5.05 acres originally purchased; acreage for new parcel would be 6.66 acres).  Carried 5-0-0.


3.  The city's employee deferred compensation plan needs to be updated, by resolution, to conform with Section 457 regulations of the Internal Revenue Code, issued in July of 2003. 

Motion Grothe, second Wilkinson to adopt Resolution 2003-40, a Resolution Adopting an Amendment to the Deferred Compensation Plan.  Carried 5-0-0.


4.  Administrator Johnson suggested that the regular Council meeting dates for January, 2004 be scheduled for Thursday, January 8 and Wednesday, January 21, as the first Thursday in January is New Year's Day.

Motion Benson, second Borgschatz to schedule the January, 2004 regular Council meetings for Thursday, January 8 and Wednesday, January 21.  Carried 5-0-0.


5.  St. Francis Medical Services, Inc. requested execution of a quit claim deed to clear a restriction on the abstract of the physical therapy building, at one time owned by the city of Zumbrota.  City Attorney Rockne recommended approval of the request.

Motion Grothe, second Wilkinson to adopt Resolution 2003-41, a Resolution Approving Conveyance of Real Property to St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc.   Carried



6.  It was suggested to have Public Works Director Rick Lohmann discuss usage of the brush site with the Mathias Buck and Arnie Groszbach, brush site attendants.  No action was taken.            




-Mayor Bauer-

-Informed Council that he has several Excel spreadsheets relating to city expenditures, provided by the League of MN Cities, that he will discuss at a future Council meeting.


-Councilmember Benson-

-Suggested that staff have some involvement in the benefits study that Councilmember Wilkinson and he will be conducting.  Council was asked to think of ideas as to how this could be accomplished.


-Councilmember Wilkinson-

-Informed Council that Community Development Director Angie Bersaw, Police Chief Selness, Administrator Johnson and she attended a MN/DOT District 6 "District Plan Update" meeting in Red Wing on December 2.  She informed Council that one of the items discussed was the request for a downtown traffic light.  She suggests that we discuss this topic with MN/DOT from the perspective that we need help with a traffic management problem in downtown Zumbrota.  Although the installation of a traffic light may be the solution, there may be other actions we could take to alleviate the problems downtown.


Mayor Bauer adjourned the meeting at 7:40 p.m.




                                                                                    Ronald S. Johnson, City Administrator


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