Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

January 21, Council Minutes






JANUARY 21, 2010 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 Doug Borgschatz, Betty Jo Grothe, Dale Hinderaker and Sara Nygaard. 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, Library Director James Hill , Jim Wedge, Officer Gene Leifeld, Dean Tiedemann, Chuck Burdick, Erin Logan, Steve Groth, Lois Scharpen, Myron Scharpen, Daniel Lohmann, Larry Pederson, Sue Hinrichs, Mark Hinrichs, Tim Hinrichs, Billy Gifford, David Grimsrud, Wayne Gadient, Jim Wedge, Mike Lohman, Sara Nord, Daniel Stussy  and NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



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



Motion Borgschatz, second Hinderaker, to approve the regular meeting minutes of  

January 7, 2010.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Grothe, second Nygaard to approve the accounts payable of $487,469.81. 

Approved 5-0-0.


Public Comment: 


Public Hearings/MeEtings: 


Unfinished Business:




8-A.  2009 Audit Engagement Letter

Auditing firm Scanlon, Neitz and Murch proposed auditing the City for the year 2009 for a cost of $19,020.  This is the same cost as the audit for 2008. 

Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to approve the audit engagement letter from Scanlon, Neitz and Murch for the 2009 audit at a cost of $19,020.  Approved 5-0-0.




8-B.  Resolution 2010-04 MNDOT Storm Sewer Maintenance Agreement

When the new Highway 58 Bridge is constructed there will be a storm water system mandated to reduce sediment running into the Zumbro River.  In order to do this a sump will be installed in the drainage area which will require periodic cleaning.  Public Works Director Lohmann has been in discussion with MNDOT and understands the required cleaning and maintenance.  There will be no cost to the City for installation of the storm water system. 

Motion Hinderaker, second Nygaard to approve Resolution 2010-04 A Resolution Approving a Storm Sewer Maintenance Agreement with the MN Department of Transportation. 

Approved 5-0-0.


8-C.  Employee Promotion WWTP

With the retirement of Greg Swarthout, senior WWTP operator a vacancy has been created.  Public Works Director Lohmann suggested Ken Lee be promoted to Senior Wastewater Operator at step 4.  Then to fill the vacancy, Lohmann suggested part time employee, Paul Zielsdorf be hired at full time to fill the wastewater operator spot.  Zielsdorf already holds a Class D Water License, a Class D Wastewater License and a CDL Driver’s License. 


Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to approve the promotion of Ken Lee to Senior Wastewater Operator at a pay rate of Step 4, effective 1/25/2010 and to hire Paul Zielsdorf at starting wage as Wastewater Operator with a start date of 3/22/2010.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-D.   Approve Board of Equalization Meeting April 7th at 5:30

Motion Hinderaker, second Grothe to approve the Board of Equalization Meeting for April 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-E.  Resolution 2010-05 Public Comment PUC (Goodhue Wind Project)

The Goodhue Wind Project has been in the planning stages for a long time.  Originally there was no concern to Zumbrota because the project did not come within a two mile buffer of the City.  However, the project area has changed and is now one mile from the City limits.  The project area includes properties within the two mile buffer.  The Public Utilities Commission needs to hear City input by January 22, 2010.  The City had not been contacted directly about the changes in the boundaries of the project and only recently found out about them which led to a quickly put together discussion on the matter.  A number of property owners, both for and against, were present to hear the City’s position on the project.  Mayor Bauer pointed out there would be no discussion on the pros and cons of wind energy.  Rather, the discussion would be on whether or not the City should stand firm about the two mile buffer around the City to protect the future growth of the City.  


Chuck Burdick, a senior project developer from National Wind, was on hand to explain the development.  He said the project is in the public comment portion of the process.  Approximately 12000 acres are in the project in Belle Creek and Minneola Townships.  The project is proposing 1500 foot setbacks from non participating property owners.  471 acres of the project are within the two mile buffer zone of the City.  He stated the City would take a long time to spread out and develop to the buffer zone.  He suggested the Council table the matter to allow for sufficient discussion.  Erin Logan, an opponent to the development, presented a handout to the Council.  She feels the Council should be concerned about the impact on travel flow and roadways.  She also stated the City of Goodhue passed a 2 mile setback and in Belle Creek Township there is a half mile setback for non participants.  She also said this project seems to be quite fluid and questions whether the boundaries and parameters of the project will continue to change.


Mayor Bauer asked Burdick why the City of Zumbrota had not been notified about the boundary of the project since the City of Goodhue had been contacted over a year ago.  Burdick apologized.   He added it hadn’t been a year since Goodhue had passed a resolution.  Originally a resolution was passed by Goodhue in April 2009 and then revised to a two mile setback in August of 2009.


Council Member Borgschatz asked Burdick why there had been an expansion to the project.  Were they not getting enough sites elsewhere?  Burdick replied that there were interested landowners that fell within the buffer.  Borgschatz also asked Burdick to expand on his comments to the Council about not rushing into a decision.  Burdick explained that he believed easements could be drafted which were shorter term (instead of the 50 year easements proposed) which would better suit the City’s needs.  However, this would take additional time. 


Council Member Hinderaker stated the deadline to reply to the Public Utilities Commission was the next day.  He said he would feel remiss if the Council did not address the issue by resolution tonight.  Burdick said he did not know why the documentation had not been received.  He also said sending restricted comments to the PUC and then reworking those later sends a mixed message.  Logan said she felt the City should have been directly contacted by the project and a mailing was not adequate.


Borgschatz said this is an important decision.  He would have liked more time to make a detailed contact and would consider doing so at a later date but the Council needed to act immediately,


Motion Hinderaker, second Borgschatz to approve Resolution 2010-05 Regarding Goodhue Wind Site Permit Review Public Utilities Docket Number IP-6701/WS-08-1233 asking the Public Utilities Commission to restrict the project area to two miles from the Zumbrota Corporate Limit.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-F.   Safe and Sober Grant Equipment Purchase (Police)

The Zumbrota Police Department has received a mini grant for a radar purchase from the Safe and Sober Grant.  Chief Selness presented two options for the purchase of a radar unit to replace one of the radar units purchased in 1999.  One was from Stalker Radar for $1,871 and one from Kustom Signal for $1484. He recommended purchasing the unit from Kustom Signal.   Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to purchase the radar unit from Kustom Signal for a cost of $1484.  Approved 5-0-0.



Mayor Rich Bauer;

Handed out performance reviews for City Administrator Jensen and asked the Council to fill them out and return to him.  He also reported he had attended the annual Fire Board Meeting.  The Fire Fee will remain the same for 2010. 


Council Member Dale Hinderaker;

Informed the Council the EDA was in the process of recommending another board member.  He also asked if the snow emergency process was going well.  Chief Selness said it was.


Meeting adjourned 6:44 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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