Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

November 17, 2004 Council Minutes


REGULAR MEETING      NOVEMBER 17, 2004   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 Dave Benson, Doug Borgschatz, Betty Jo Grothe, Deb Wilkinson.  Others present:  City Administrator Ron Johnson, City Accountant Mary Rohe, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Police Chief Gary Selness, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Bill Eberhart, Jim Wedge.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.




It was suggested to add agenda item 8e- Snow removal contract.

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




Motion Wilkinson, second Borgschatz to approve the November 4, 2004 regular meeting minutes.  Carried 5-0-0.




Motion Bauer, second Grothe to approve the accounts payable of $64,252.17.  Carried 5‑0‑0.




There were no public comments.




1.  Mike Schweyen, MN/DOT District Traffic Engineer, informed staff that it may be possible to relocate the Main Street/TH58 crosswalk lights from 7th Street to 9th Street, but it would likely be entirely at the city’s expense.  Mr. Schweyen was going to get back to staff with additional information.  Councilmember Wilkinson suggested that this might be a project for which special legislative action may need to be requested.  


2.  Administrator Johnson informed Council that the city received a purchase agreement on the 257 West 4th Street house with an offer of $82,000, with the purchaser requesting that the city contribute $2,000 toward the buyer’s closing costs- resulting in a net sale price of $80,000.  Based on the authorization given at an earlier closed session, Administrator Johnson said he verbally accepted the offer, but that Council, by statute, has to formally accept the offer. 



Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to accept the offer of Teresa Swarthout for purchase of the house at 257 West 4th Street as follows:   Purchase price of $82,000 with the city contributing $2,000 toward the buyer’s closing costs (at closing)- resulting in a net sale price of $80,000, and authorize the Mayor and City Administrator to execute the purchase agreement.  Carried 5-0-0.




1.  Resolution 2004-30, a Resolution Authorizing Summary Publication Of Ordinance 2004-07, An Ordinance Establishing A 180-Day Moratorium Regarding Applications For Building Permits For Wireless Telecommunications Facilities was presented for consideration.

Motion Wilkinson, second Benson to adopt RESOLUTION 2004-30, a Resolution Authorizing Summary Publication Of Ordinance 2004-07, An Ordinance Establishing A 180-Day Moratorium Regarding Applications For Building Permits For Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.  Carried 5-0-0.


2.  David Drown, city’s Public Finance Advisor, submitted a letter stating that legislative changes in the property tax system over the past few years have significantly reduced revenues in many TIF Districts across the state.  For most of Zumbrota’s TIF districts, these changes have not posed significant problems.  However, the two TIF districts associated with the Coolstor development – Districts #10 and #12 – clearly will not have sufficient tax increment revenues to fund all of the obligations of the districts.  He stated that there are essentially three (3) financial obligations associated with Coolstor TIF districts- 1) City G.O. TIF bond and an internal loan for frontage road improvements.  The City keeps a portion of TIF revenues for these payments, 2) “Pay-as-you-go” payments due to Coolstor ownership, and 3) Payments on a TIF Revenue Bond issue which was purchased by the Zumbrota Agency, the parent corporation of the Bank of Zumbrota.  The current structure of the development agreements will cause the majority of the revenue shortfall to be absorbed by the TIF revenue bond – a result that is not particularly fair, given the Bank’s support for this development.  Mr. Drown stated that he has been in contact with all parties to this transaction many times over the past 18 months to discuss possible solutions to the problem.  A recent meeting at city hall concluded with an agreement to reshuffle payment priorities, such that the revenue bonds would receive a greater percentage of available tax increments and Coolstor ownership would receive less- pending Council approval.  Mr. Drown included a copy of a proposed letter of agreement, and recommended approval of same.  Council approval will not result in any reduction in revenue to the City, but simply spread the shortfall more equally between Coolstor and Zumbrota Agency.

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to authorize execution of a letter of agreement relating to reallocation of payments of Tax Increment Financing Districts #10 and #12.  Carried 5-0-0.


3.  Tax Increment Financing (Housing) District Number 6 (Highland Villa Estates), is set to expire on December 31, 2004 as per the related Tax Increment Financing Plan and development agreement. 

Motion Wilkinson, second Grothe to adopt RESOLUTION 2004-31, a Resolution Decertifying Tax Increment Finance District #6.  Carried 5-0-0.




4.  City Accountant Mary Rohe presented Council with a proposed Capitalization Policy to assist in the implementation of GASB34 for the 2004 Annual Audit, utilizing guidelines from the Office of the State Auditor and the Government Finance Officers Association. 

Motion Grothe, second Wilkinson to approve the Capitalization Policy to assist in the implementation of GASB34 for the 2004 Annual Audit, utilizing guidelines from the Office of the State Auditor and the Government Finance Officers Association.  Carried



5.  Garry Timbeross submitted proposals to contract for snow removal of certain city sidewalks.  The first proposal included the snow clearing of the following sidewalks:  Library, city hall, both sides of Hwy 58 to the Rodgers property and Harris Rude property, bridge on 3rd St by Jim’s Barbershop, West 4th St across from (former) Grover lot, West 4th St along Grover lot, West 3rd St Grover Auto property both sides, West 4th St Old Page Welding building, East Park East Ave,     West 3rd St Old Church, South Park across from Zumbrota Ford, between State Theater and Crossings, parking lot sidewalk across from Zumbrota Liquors.  This would be done for $120 per time.  There would be an additional charge for more than one clearing at the library and/or city hall.  The second proposal included the snow removal from Main Street business sidewalks- only in the event that a snowfall occurs after the downtown businesses have closed for the day.  This saves the public works department from removing snow from Main Street a second night.  Mr. Timbeross proposes to do this for $125 per time.

Motion Wilkinson, second Borgschatz to accept the proposals of Garry Timbeross to remove snow from certain city sidewalks, and authorize staff to draft contracts for execution.  Carried 5-0-0.




3.  At the October 7, 2004 City Council meeting, a discussion took place regarding the potential costs if the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department were to conduct the city’s policing.  It was suggested, at that meeting, to remove this item from the next agenda, but to place the discussion of the 2005 budget on the November 5 regular meeting agenda.  It was subsequently placed on this meeting agenda.  Administrator Johnson presented the following information for Council review:  tax rate comparisons of surrounding cities, 2004 to 2005 tax capacity information from the Goodhue County Auditor’s Office, and COPS grant(s) information.  Comments/questions received included the following:  1) aren’t the city’s taxpayers paying two entities for law enforcement?; 2) do we need 6 officers? If not, shouldn’t one of the COPS programs be discontinued?; 3) is the reason to consider a reduction in officers related to a personnel issue rather than for budgetary purposes?  4) if it’s related to a personnel issue, this should be handled at a separate meeting- perhaps even a closed session;  5) discussion of the original acceptance of the two COPS grants took place; 6) Chief Selness strongly recommended maintaining a force of 6 officers. 

Motion Benson, second Borgschatz to discontinue one of the COPS grant programs.  Defeated 2-3-0 (Bauer, Grothe, Wilkinson opposed).







-City Accountant Mary Rohe-

-Requested approval to certify special assessments to Goodhue County.

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to approve certification of special assessments to Goodhue County.  Carried 5-0-0.


-Police Chief Gary Selness-

-Reported that his department was awarded second place in the MN Safe and Sober Traffic Safety Challenge and will receive a grant of $2,000. 


Mayor Bauer adjourned the meeting at 7:05 p.m.




                                                                        Ronald S. Johnson, City Administrator 

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