Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

August 4,2011 Council Minutes






AUGUST 4, 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, and Brad Drenckhahn. Absent: Council member Tina Hostager.  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, Officer Rob Jarrett, Roxanne Bartsh, Carol Schumann and NewsRecord Reporter Sandy Hadler.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Drenckhahn, second Durhman to adopt the agenda.  Approved 4-0-0.



Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman, to approve the regular meeting minutes of July 7, 2011.  Approved 4-0-0.


Motion Drenckhahn, second Bauer, to approve the special meeting minutes of July 15, 2011.  Approved 2-0-2 (Hinderaker and Durhman abstaining).



Motion Drenckhahn, second Hinderaker to approve the accounts payable of $73,304.77.  Approved 4-0-0.


Public Comment: 

Officer Gene Leifeld took a few minutes to thank the Council for their support of National Night Out which took place Tuesday.  It was very successful and well attended.  The Council thanked Leifeld as well for all of his hard work in coordinating the event.


Public Hearings/MeEtings: 


Unfinished Business:

7-a.  2012 General Fund Budget Preview

Mayor Bauer said there has not been much change to the previously presented budget and asked for Council comment.  Council member Drenckhahn said he was happy to see the budget move away from dependence on state money.  Bauer reminded the Council the final draft will be presented at the next meeting.  The levy will need to be adopted at the first meeting in September.




8-A.  Performance Measurement Meeting the Citizen Survey Review

The State of Minnesota is requiring cities have a survey to measure citizen satisfaction.  The League of Minnesota Cities has drawn up a sample survey.  Motion Durhman, second Drenckhahn to adopt the performance measurement meeting the Citizen Survey Review.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-B.  Goodhue County Fair Board 150th Anniversary Parade Route Request

Carol Schumann from the Goodhue County Fair Board was present to request permission to have a parade from the Fairgrounds south on County Highway 6, south onto State Highway 58, west onto Fifth Street, north down Mill Street and east on Fourth Street on Sunday, August 14th.  There is no additional City police on duty as the City was unaware of the parade until recently.  Administrator Jensen asked if there would be cleanup after the horses.  Schumann assured him there would be.  She was directed to contact Goodhue County for additional policing help as the majority of the parade will be on State and County roads.  Goodhue County Fair staff will be responsible for posting “No Parking” signs as well.  Motion Durhman, second Drenckhahn to approve the Goodhue County Fair Board 150th Anniversary Parade route request. 

Approved 4-0-0.


8-C.  Covered Bridge Park Trailhead Plan

Community Development Director King reported he and Councilmember Durhman met with Wayne Radke of the Covered Bridge Task Force and Roxanne Bartsh of the Goodhue Pioneer Trail to discuss the addition of a travel information kiosk and trail head near the Historic Covered Bridge.  A grant has recently been received to add surveillance cameras and fire suppression sprinkling system on the Bridge.  A structure for water pumps will need to be erected near the Bridge and the thought is to incorporate the travel information display cabinets onto the water pump structure.  As the meeting progressed the group decided it may be prudent to look at a more ambitious project and pursue grants, etc.  King asked if the Council would direct City staff to form a subcommittee to look at options for the trailhead and information kiosk.  Members would be made up from the Covered Bridge Task Force, Pioneer Trail Committee and the business community.  Council member Hinderaker agreed it would be a good project to see move forward.  Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to approve the formation of a subcommittee to put together a Covered Bridge Park Trailhead plan.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-D.  Ottem/Benson Minor Subdivision Request

The Ottems and Bensons are requesting to split off a 5’ x 120’ parcel from 584 East Fifth Street and add this to neighboring property 582.  The parcel losing the five foot strip is a double lot and therefore has ample available area so it will not adversely impact it nor make it nonconforming.  The Planning and Zoning Committee is recommending the Council approve the subdivision request.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Hinderaker to approve the minor subdivision as proposed.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-E.  Zoning Code Amendment: Section 22 Administration, Subdivision 12 Variances

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 regulation 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 legislature amended the law which regulates local variance authority to more closely resemble the previous interpretation.  Essentially, in order for an applicant to receive a variance, it must be shown there are “practical difficulties” in complying with the official controls. Practical difficulties means that the applicant proposes to use the property “in a reasonable manner not permitted by the official controls”.  The remaining criterion is consistent with past requirements.


The draft ordinance is taken verbatim from State Law and therefore entirely consistent with their interpretation. 


Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to approve Zoning Code Amendment: Section 22 Administration, Subdivision 12 Variances.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-F.  Mid Year Transfers


The Water Revenue Bonds of 2000 (Fund 609) have been retired and there remains a residual balance in the account.  Accountant Kim Simonson is recommending the residual balance be transferred to Fund 600 - Water Restricted as follows to close out Fund 609: 


Water Restricted (600)                                     $   8,130.53

            2000A Water Revenue Bonds (609)                                         $ 8,130.53


Motion Durhman, second Drenckhahn to approve the transfer.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-G.  Resolution 2011-10 City of Zumbrota HRA Agreement

This issue is a bookkeeping issue to approve the Health Reimbursement Account agreement and formalize earlier actions.  Eide Bailly, the HRA provider, needs this resolution on file.  This agreement matches the plan year to the calendar year and has language stating the plan is not subject to COBRA.  Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to approve Resolution 2011-10 City of Zumbrota HRA Agreement.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-H.  Hiawathaland Transit Bus Replacement

In 2012 the Hiawathaland bus in Zumbrota is scheduled for replacement.  In previous years $20,000 had been earmarked for this eventuality.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Durhman to approve funding for the Hiawathaland Transit Bus Replacement in 2012.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-I.  Crosswalk Approval

The trail system along Jefferson Drive is moving to the south side of Jefferson Drive by West Avenue then crossing Highway 58 proceeding along the Kwik Trip property.  The City needs Council approval of the crosswalk and then to apply for a permit from MNDOT to put in the handicap ramps.  The Council has already approved the blacktop portion.  Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to approve crosswalk.  Approved 4-0-0.


8-J.  Streets Mill and Overlay Project

Public Works Director Lohmann requested he be allowed to go out for quotes for five blocks of mill and overlay for four blocks of Warren Avenue 5th to 1st Streets and one block of 14th Street East between Main Street and East Avenue.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Durhman to have Lohmann go out for quotes for the five blocks of mill and overlay.  Approved 4-0-0.




City Administrator Neil Jensen

Informed the Council that the Chemical Health Initiative will be at the September 15th meeting to introduce some ordinances.  He also thanked Officer Leifeld for his coordination of the National Night Out.  The Southeast Minnesota League of Municipalities (SEMLM) is having a meeting in Chatfield.  He asked any council members interested in attending to contact him.


City Accountant Kim Simonson;

Reported a sales and use tax audit had been conducted by the State of Minnesota.  Things went smoothly and she will apprise the Council of the results when they are made available.


Public Works Director Rick Lohmann;

Filled the Council in on the alley project.  He was happy to report they had not needed to sub cut as deeply as originally though.  A fabric will be added under the base and a tile line has been run to address the roof run off from Ace Hardware.


Community Development Director Dan King;

Told the Council there is a newly formed group of cities along the Zumbro River valley from Zumbrota to Wabasha to look at possible marketing and branding ideas for the area.


Police Chief Gary Selness;

Thanked Officer Leifeld for all of the volunteer time he put in coordinating National Night Out. 


Mayor Rich Bauer;

Asked the Council to turn in evaluations for Administrator Jensen.  He also said he had looked at the new street forming the entry to SuperAmerica, Subway and the Dairy Queen.  He is hoping it will cut down on wrong way traffic on the Highway 52 exit ramp.


Meeting adjourned 6:47 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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