Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

January 22, 2009 Council Minutes






Thursday, jANUARY 22, 2009   6:00 P.M.    



Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, Mayor Rich Bauer called the Zumbrota City Council to order at 6:03 p.m.  PRESENT:  Mayor Rich Bauer; Council members Doug Borgschatz, Betty Jo Grothe, Dale Hinderaker and Sara Nygaard. Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, Community Development Director Dan King, City Accountant Kim Simonson, Police Chief Gary Selness, Officer Gene Leifeld, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Library Director James Hill, Jim Wedge, NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler, Wayne Radke, Leah Wichmann, Investment guy.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Grothe, second Hinderaker to adopt the agenda with the addition of

Item 8I - DFA notification of change of permit. Approved 5-0-0 as amended.



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

January 7, 2009.  Approved  5-0-0.



Motion Grothe, second Nygaard to approve the accounts payable of $555,739.72. 

Approved 5-0-0.


Public Comment: 


Public Hearings/MeEtings: 


Unfinished Business:




8-A.  Council and Board Appointments EDA, Library, Planning and Zoning


Mayor Bauer presented the Council with his list of annual appointments for their consideration and approval.  The list is as follows:





Acting Mayor

Doug Borgschatz                                                                      annual appointment


Streets & Sidewalks                

Dale Hinderaker, Sara Nygaard                                                annual appointment


Water Department/WWTP and Collection System                                           

Doug Borgschatz                                                                      annual appointment      



Richard Bauer                                                                          annual appointment


Fire Board

Richard Bauer                                                                          annual appointment


City Owned Buildings and Property

Mayor and Entire Council                                                         annual appointment


City Attorneys

Matt Rockne - civil                                                                   annual appointment

Goodhue County - criminal                                                       annual appointment      


Community Adult Education and Recreation Board

Dale Hinderaker                                                                       annual appointment


Area Ambulance Association

Rich Bauer                                                                              annual  appointment


Memorial Day Directors

Rich Bauer -Chair                                                                     annual appointment

Organization Representatives                                                    annual appointment      


Emergency  Management 

Emergency Services Board                                                       annual appointment                                                                  

Cable Board

Mayor and Entire Council                                                         annual appointment


Rubbish Disposal & Recycling

Mayor and Entire Council                                                         annual appointment


Animal Control                                                

Public Works & Police Department                                          annual appointment


Safety Director

City Administrator                                                                    annual appointment


Garbage, Weed Control

Police Department                                                                    annual appointment


Park Board

Doug Borgschatz, Council Liaison, ex-officio                 annual appointment

Tom Steger, 2nd Term                                                              12-31-09

Brittney Thomforde                                                                               12-31-09

Brad Drenckhahn                                                                                 12-31-10

2 open seats


Economic Development Authority (EDA)

Rich Bauer, Council                                                                        12-31-12

Chuck Sturm    Citizen at Large                                                      12-31-09

Scott St. Marie, Citizen at Large                                                     12-31-10

Allan Falk, Citizen at Large                                                             12-31-11

Jim Wedge, Citizen at Large                                                           12-31-12

Dale Hinderaker, Council                                                                12-31-12

Bill Eberhart,    Citizen at Large                                                      12-31-14

Dan King, Comm Dev Dir/Zoning Admin, ex-officio                 

Neil Jensen, Executive Director- ex officio                                            


Library Board

Sara Nygaard, Council Liaison                                     

Mae Eckert 1st Term                                                                      12-31-11

Janet Fisher, 2nd Term                                                       12-31-10

Catherine Friend, 2nd Term                                                            12-31-09

Evelyn Hoover, 2nd Term                                                               12-31-11

Andrea Kienholtz 2nd   Term                                                         12-31-09

Ann Goplen, 1st Term                                                                     12-31-10

Tom Meyer, 1st Term                                                                     12-31-09

Virginia Schmidt, 3rd Term                                                             12-31-10


Planning Commission

Matt Rockne                                                                            annual appointment

Betty Jo Grothe                                                                        annual appointment

Beverly Weness                                                                        annual appointment

Lowell Olson                                                                            annual appointment

Richard Myran                                                             annual appointment

Jim Wedge                                                                               annual appointment

Chuck Rohe                                                                             annual appointment

Dan King, Comm Dev Dir/Zoning Adm, ex-officio                                                                   

Neil Jensen, City Administrator - ex officio       


Emergency Services Board (formerly 911)

Richard Bauer, City Council                                                      annual appointment

Ron Horsman, Fire Department                                                annual appointment

Gary Selness, Police Chief                                                        annual appointment

Ambulance Service Director                                                     annual appointment

Neil Jensen - City Administrator, ex officio                                annual appointment


Building Inspector

Tom Thompson                                                                        annual appointment


Motion Hinderaker, second Nygaard to approve the Mayor’s appointments.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-B.  2009 Budget Discussion

Mayor Bauer recapped the work session discussion on the budget cuts which will need to be made in the upcoming years.  Since the State has not given the City an LGA number there is no way to predict what the effects will be in the future.  Council’s consensus was to avoid digging into reserves at this point.  Those monies may be needed in future years.  Council would like staff to implement cuts discussed at work session if possible, remembering that the entire budget is in a state of flux. 


8-C.  Washington Fly-In Highway 52 Funding


Mayor Bauer has attended the Washington Fly-In for the past two years.  In light of budget issues he asked the Council to look at whether or not they thought someone representing the City should attend.  He said it is hard to measure how effective the lobbying efforts have been.  If a representative is unable to attend other things could be done such as sending letters to congressional leaders emphasizing the City’s support of the Highway 52 project.   Council member Borgschatz said he was leaning towards no because of the economic condition and because of the budget dilemma.  Hinderaker asked if other members of the alliance would be attending.  There will be other representatives from the area.  After discussion it was decided to take a break for a year in light of budget issues.  Motion Borgschatz, second Grothe to forgo the Washington Fly-In this year.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-D.  Covered Bridge Task Force Update (Wayne Radke)

Wayne Radke and Leah Hinz-Wichmann from the Covered Bridge Task force were in attendance at the meeting.  Mr. Radke gave a brief report on the task force.  They have developed and completed the initial endowment phase.  The committee sent out a brochure.  And approximately $10,000 was given.  Signs have been installed which make the Covered Bridge easy to locate.  An article has been published in Today magazine about the bridge and there has been positive feedback on that.  2009 will be the 140th birthday of the bridge and they are in the process of putting together a celebration plan.  They are developing a video and have hired MLT group of Rochester to put this together.  There are also people writing and producing an original play involving the history of the bridge.  Some other ideas were to host a wine cheese and music night on the bridge, a day for artists on the bridge and a birthday party on the bridge.  The task force would like the City to provide the birthday party but no decision has been made by the Council as of yet.  They also have long range plans that the land adjacent to the bridge could somehow be developed into a park and welcome center.  The Mayor thanked Radke and Hinz-Wichmann for their hard work.


8-E.  1 Day 3.2 Beer License (Rotary Club)

This license is for a yearly event the Rotary holds at the State Theatre.  The scheduled date of the event is February 28th.  Motion Grothe, second Nygaard, to approve the 3.2 beer license.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-F.  WWTP Repairs (Trickling Filter)

Public Works Director Lohmann had hoped to have three quotes for the trickling filter repair for the meeting.  He had one written quote, one verbal and was waiting on another. The written quote was from Walker Process for $29,200 and an additional cost to have a field representative present at the install and initial running of the filter.  The verbal quote was in the neighborhood of $100,000.  There are 12 to 14 weeks of delivery time at the present.  Lohmann said he could wait for the quote to come in and then bring it to the next Council meeting or Council could authorize him to accept the best bid.   He has to have two bids before he can proceed.  Motion Borgschatz, second Hinderaker to approve whichever quote is deemed in the City’s best interest by the City administrator, not to exceed $29,200 for the filter equipment.  City staff is also authorized to spend up to $3500 on a field technician to assist with the install.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-G.  2008 Community Development Annual Report

Community Development Director King presented the annual report to the Council.  Ten new residential building permits were issued in 2008.  There were some significant improvement projects at the school, the building with houses Guchi Salon and the Zumbrota Health Care.  The small cities grant is being utilized by area business.  Motion Hinderaker, second Grothe to approve the annual report.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-H.  Refinance bonds 2002A and 2003A approval

Significant savings over the lifetime of the 2002A and 2003A bonds can be made if the bonds were to be refinanced at a lower interest rate.  Paul Donna of Northland Securities was on hand to discuss the possibility of refinance with the Council.  The only thing which would change with the refinance was the interest rate.  The duration of the bonds would remain the same.  The new issue would be the 2009A General Obligation Sewer Utility Refunding Bonds.   Potential savings over the life of the bond could amount to $117,981.15 depending on the interest rate which is locked into. 


Motion Grothe, second Borgschatz to authorize the Mayor and City Administrator to approve the sale of the Bonds in an aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $1,600,000 and to execute a bond purchase agreement for the purchase of the Bonds with Northland Securities, Inc (“NSI”), provided the total net savings is at least $100,000.00.  Approved 5-0-0.



8-H.  DFA Notification of Change of Permit

Odors in town have been bad lately and there have been numerous complaints at City Hall.  Lohmann briefed the Council about the penalty status of DFA.  There have been many days of permit violations over the last month which currently total over $10,000.  Lohmann had called DFA and had received no answer to explain the increase in BODs and odor.  He asked the Council to consider raising penalties to make a stiffer fine for non-compliance.  DFA must be notified 60 days prior to any change in their permit and Lohmann would like to make the change as soon as possible.  Right now the City charges $1.50 per pound when limits are over.   Council agreed there was no feeling of raising revenue; it was that something had to be done to bring DFA into compliance with the terms of their permit.  The odor had been controlled for approximately five months and then the past month had been terrible.  Besides the smell, the increased loadings greatly increase the wear and tear on the WWTP and shorten the life of the equipment.  Nygaard asked what kind of message the Council wants to send to DFA.  She also said this is the number one complaint and topic she hears about in the town.  She questioned whether the current rate structure made it cheaper for DFA to dump the product rather than stay in compliance. Nygaard would like to see the 60 day time frame changed in the future.  It was again stressed the City doesn’t want the fines but wants to keep the air clean.  Compliance means DFA isn’t damaging our equipment and isn’t creating odors.  Currently every piece of equipment at the WWTP is running in order to stay on top of the problem.  Mayor Bauer and Council member Hinderaker thought the rates should be increased and proper notice of the change should be given notification of change.  Grothe, Nygaard and Borgschatz  stated they would like to see the fines doubled.  Motion Grothe, second Nygaard to increase penalty to $3 per pound over limit and send the notification to DFA.  Approved 5-0-0.




Community Development Director Dan King;

Informed the Council about an issue the Planning and Zoning Commission has been working on.  Xcel Energy would like to install a tower on a pole next to their property for the purpose of transmitting signals for meter readings.  City ordinance requires any utility desiring to install a tower use an existing location if possible.  If not, a conditional use permit (CUP) would be necessary. The suggested location is the water tower.  Xcel contend it is unfeasible to locate on water tower and want an exemption citing safety and access concerns as well as financial hardship.  The Planning Commission requested more specific and detailed responses.  Community Director King requested the council grant an additional 60 day extension to stay in compliance with 60 day rule.  Motion Grothe, second Hinderaker to grant a 60 day extension.  Approved 5-0-0.


Police Chief Gary Selness;

Reminded staff and Council about DARE graduation.


Mayor Rich Bauer;

Will be meeting with townships.  The first meeting is in February with Zumbrota Township.  Mayor Bauer was also asked to be on Goodhue County Planning Commission and is now a member. 


Meeting adjourned 7:17 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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