Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

May 1, 2008 Council Minutes






Thursday, May 1, 2008   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, Bill Eberhart, Michael Feil, Betty Jo Grothe. Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Community Development Director Dan King, City Accountant Kim Simonson, City Attorney Matt Rockne, City Engineer Bill Angerman, NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler, Library Director James Hill, Children’s Librarian Flora Burfeind, Library Board Chair Catherine Friend, Roxanne Bartsch (Goodhue County Pioneer Trail), Leah Wichmann (Covered Bridge Task Force), Wayne Radke (Covered Bridge Task Force), Brian Haugen.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



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



Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz, to approve the regular meeting minutes of April 17, 2008.  Approved 5-0-0.


Motion Borgschatz, second Eberhart, to approve the Board of Equalization minutes of April 24, 2008.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Grothe, second Feil to approve the accounts payable of $7,779.25.  Approved 5-0-0.




8-A.  Library 2007 Annual Report

Library Director James Hill presented the yearly library figures in a report to the Council.  Hill wanted to address what has happened and what he would like to do in the future.  Circulation increased approximately 12%.  Inter-Library loans were up 16%.  Hill would like to be more aggressive about items which are lost.  He has begun billing other libraries for items they borrow from us and lose so the cost of the items will be recovered.  He wants to streamline processes across the library financial and work practices.  He is planning ahead and trying to set an annual budget item for future improvements to the Library.  At the beginning of the year he began doing gate counts on the building and getting about 150 people in the Library daily.  There had been concerns about the high energy usage in the building.  He is having an energy audit done to get ideas on how to improve energy efficiency.  For 2008 he would like to work with the City to strengthen relationships.  He would like to do more community family oriented programs in the library.  The first one was last week and approximately 40 people attended.  The Library also began a website.  It has been successful.  Hill has begun a demographic study of hits to the library website and has found many hits come from Pine Island.  He is also going to be helping the City with their website.  The Mayor stated he was very impressed with the packet and appreciated the innovation coming from the Library.  Council complemented James on his stewardship of the Library. 


8-B.  3.2 Beer License (Covered Bridge Riders)

Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to approve the 3.2 Beer License for the Covered Bridge Festival sponsored by the Covered Bridge Riders.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-C.  Pioneer Trail Update

Roxanne Bartsch was on hand to give a PowerPoint presentation about the Pioneer Trail.  She told the Council there will be a dedication on May 31st in Hay Creek to dedicate the section of the trail from Hay Creek to Red Wing.  The committee is still focusing on major land acquisition.  They have partnered with Parks and Trails because land acquisition has slowed way down for the DNR.  Parks and Trails can go out and buy the land and sell it to the DNR.  The next link of the Pioneer Trail to be completed will be either from Hay creek to Goodhue or Zumbrota to Goodhue. 


The Pioneer Trail will be sponsoring the annual Covered Bridge Festival Fun Run to highlight the trail.  This year’s run will be dedicated to Jane Bowman Nigon.  The trail committee is looking for community support for the trail.  The Pioneer Trail Committee is going to each community to look for a donation for the trail so when they approach the legislature they can show community support.  There is also talk of a County trail committee.


Borgschatz asked if the County had a specific line item for the trail.  Bartsch thought there may perhaps be funding at the County level for the Cannon Valley Trail but at this time there was no funding for the Pioneer trail.  There was $500,000 bonded for land acquisition previously.    A loose projection is that $2 million could get the trail from Zumbrota to Hay Creek.  No bonding money was received this year.  At this time the Pioneer Trail Committee is looking for donations from communities, businesses and individuals to show support of the trail.  All their other paperwork and processes are in order and they are hoping for additional funding for trail completion at the next legislative session.  Council Member Borgschatz asked if this was a one time or yearly donation.  Council Member Feil brought up the City had set a policy of committing to yearly donations at budget preparation time.   He also asked Bartsch why the City should fund the trail.  Bartsch stated it is a win/win situation.  All cities with trails benefit economically from the trail.  Zumbrota has great parks out and would greatly benefit from the trail. Eberhart stated he cannot vote to send money out of the City when there is infrastructure here to deal with.  He didn’t feel this is a top priority.  Bartsch suggested if the City could move the requested $500 support to 2009 for the next budget.  Mayor Bauer stated most of the other donations were an annual stipend and this was a one time donation.  He thought it would benefit the community in a big way. 


Motion Grothe, second Bauer to approve a $500 donation for the Pioneer Trail.   Failed 2-3-0. (Borgschatz, Eberhart, and Feil).


8-D.  Robert Hall Sidewalk Removal Approval

This sidewalk is designated as a removable sidewalk.  Eberhart state he is not opposed to taking out the sidewalk but is concerned there will be a precedence set.


Motion Eberhart, second Grothe to approve the Robert Hall sidewalk removal request.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-E.  Snow Blower Purchase Approval

The snow blower being replaced is 24 years old and if it is not replaced it will need to be overhauled.  The last time it was rebuilt it cost $3,000-$4,000.  The bid is for $13,715.90 for a 2008 SnoCrete blower from Trueman Welters.  The money would be taken out of the capital equipment fund.


Motion Borgschatz, second Feil to approve the purchase of the SnoCrete snow blower from Trueman Welters for $13,715.90.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-F.  Community Development Director Computer Approval

Two bids were received for a computer for the Community Development Director.  The bid from Business Computer Solutions was for $1,124.97 and the bid from J’s Computer was $1,154.38.


Motion Feil, second Borgschatz to approve purchase of the computer from Business Computer Solutions for $1,124.97.  Approved 5-0-0.




City Administrator Neil Jensen

Reminded Council the ribbon cutting ceremony is at 1:00 p.m. May 2nd for Midwest Fabrications and Water Filters Direct           


City Accountant Kim Simonson;

Reported that field work for the 2007 audit is complete.


Public Works Director Rich Lohmann;

The Waste Water Treatment Plant had looked at the wet well and the possibility of replacing an auger and pump last year.  It had been decided to wait a year.  Unfortunately the piece of equipment is failing rapidly.  The WWTP needs to look at replacing that piece of the classifier and having the pump rebuilt.  A new pump is $12,000-$15,000 and the auger system is about $35,000.  He will be bringing prices and quotes to the Council at a future date. 


Community Development Director Dan King;

Recognized the Covered Bridge task force member present at the meeting.  Wayne Radke stated a mailing list and letters will be going out to people interested in preservation of historic items.  He also appealed for funds from the general public. 



City Engineer Bill Angerman;

The Warren Avenue project is scheduled for June.  There will be a May 19th public meeting.


Mayor Rich Bauer;

Reminded those present about the ribbon cutting.  He has been meeting with the townships.  He has spoken with Jim Wendt of the School Board about attending a meeting.  He asked for Council input for discussion items for the School Board.


Council Member Michael Feil;

Reported he had attended the Ambulance Board annual meeting.  The Ambulance is doing well financially.  They are looking at replacing an ambulance at the end of the year.   The new ambulance garage will probably be approximately $100,000 over budget.    


Meeting adjourned 7:10 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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