Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

June 16, 2011 Council Minutes






JUNE 16, 2011 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 Dale Hinderaker, Sara Durhman, Tina Hostager and Brad Drenckhahn. 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, Jerry Mosley, Officer Gene Leifeld and NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Durhman, second Drenckhahn to adopt the agenda.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Durhman, second Hostager, to approve the regular meeting minutes of June 2, 2011.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Durhman, second Hinderaker to approve the accounts payable of $54,552.74. 

Approved 5-0-0.


Public Comment: 


Public Hearings/MeEtings: 


Unfinished Business:




8-A.  2012 General Fund Budget Introduction and Discussion

Administrator Jensen presented the Council with an initial look at the 2012 budget.  City staff is seeking direction from the Council regarding their philosophy.  Mayor Bauer said local government aid and the uncertainty is a big part of the puzzle.  In past years councils had decided to reduce LGA in the budget at a steady rate in order to prepare for possible elimination of the program in the future.  Council member Hostager asked what would happen if the City received more LGA than was budgeted.  Jensen explained there were many places any additional monies could be spent.  He highlighted the fact that much maintenance and street work has been deferred due to budget cuts.  Council member Hinderaker added that he thought it was prudent to expect LGA reductions.  Property tax is the only avenue cities have to raise taxes.  He also asked if the street lighting fee would be eliminated.  Jensen replied that is an option.  Durhman asked if the street lighting fee could be reduced by half in 2012 and phased out in 2013.  Jensen stated the decision would be up to the Council.  Jensen also reminded the Council there were a few items which will need to be addressed in the future such as 435th Street and County Road 168.

Community Development Director King also gave the Council a sheet showing the impact of levy increase on taxpayers.  A $100,000 increase in the levy would increase the taxes on a $150,000 home by approximately $57 per year.  The levy doesn’t have to be certified until September and Jensen asked the Council to look at the numbers and come in with any questions.


8-B.  Sale of Forfeited vehicle (1994 Mercury)

One bid for the 1994 Mercury van was received.  Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to approve the bid of $325 from Kevin Poncelet for the 1994 Mercury Villager van.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-C.  Request to Use Public Parking Lot

Hilde Stee sent in a request to use the parking lot behind the Anderson Building on Main Street on the evening of July 23, 2011 for a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-Mile Walk.  Motion Durhman, second Drenckhahn to approve the request by Hilde Stee to use the public parking lot behind the Anderson Building on the evening of July 23, 2011.  Approved 5-0-0.




City Accountant Kim Simonson;

Informed the Council the audit will be presented at the next Council meeting.


Community Development Director Dan King;


Stated in 2010, the MN Supreme Court made a ruling that significantly limited local governments’ discretion in granting variances to zoning regulations.  The main aspect of the Supreme Court action was the interpretation of “undue hardship”.  Previous interpretation allowed local authority to approve a variance to specific zoning regulations if an “undue hardship” existed and the proposed development was reasonable in the zoning district.  The new interpretation of undue hardship shifted to whether or not there was a reasonable use of the property without a variance.  This presented a challenge because an argument could be made that any current use is reasonable and therefore a variance could not legally be made.


The 2011 MN Legislature amended the law which regulates local variance authority to more closely resemble the previous interpretation.  Therefore, our zoning code should be amended to comply with the revised state statute.  He stated the Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing in July to review the proposed amendments and will then bring it to the City Council for official action in August.


Police Chief Gary Selness;

Gave an update on the Safe and Sober Program and said there will be upcoming events in June and July.


Council Member Sara Durhman;

Told the Council the downtown business will be having an event one Thursday per month this summer called “Zumbrota Rocks the Block.  She had attended the EDA meeting this week to talk about it. 



Meeting adjourned 6:54 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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