Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

March 7, 2013 Council Minutes






MARCH 7, 2013 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 Sara Durhman, Dale Hinderaker, Brad Drenckhahn and Tina Hostager.   Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, Community Development Director Dan King, City Accountant Kim Simonson, Police Chief Gary Selness, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Library Director James Hill, Sandy Hadler, Jerry Mossely, Joe Wheeler, Nate Moline, Sam Moline, Kay Kobus, Jim Wedge, Officer Rob Jarrett, Officer Gene Leifeld, NewsRecord Reporter Alicia Hunt-Welch.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman to adopt the agenda with the addition of “8-E Rochester Sales Tax Agreement”.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman, to approve the regular City Council meeting minutes of   February 21, 2013 with correction.  Approved 5-0-0.




Motion Hinderaker, second Drenckhahn to approve the accounts payable of $75,742.14.

Approved 5-0-0.


Public Comment: 


Public Hearings/MeEtings:


Unfinished Business:



8-A.  SEMMCHRA Levy Legislation

In their packets the Council had received a memo authored by Joe Wheeler explaining legislation which is pending that could allow SEMMCHRA to levy up to 25% of its operating budget for the next five years.  Wheeler was present at the meeting to further expound on the memo and to answer any questions the Council had.  He explained this legislation was patterned after legislation for northern Minnesota HRA.  He also stressed although the authority may have the power to levy up to 25% he did not anticipate they would.  Wheeler believes the issue is more of a state than a local issue and would like the counties involved to pay their fair share.  He stated that although Goodhue County pays its share, Dodge County does not.  The money would be used to cover a portion of SEMMCHRA’s shortfalls due to federal and state funding.  Wheeler went on to give examples of how section eight assistance in certain counties had been frozen due to lack of funds.  Wheeler said one of the concerns he heard was that a non-elected official would have the right to levy tax dollars.  He felt this was a weak argument because county commissioners are allowed to appoint and they can appoint themselves thereby having an elected official present.  Any levy increase would need to be approved by 2/3 of the HRA board. Council member Drenckhahn said he was leery of giving levying authority to non-elected officials and questioned if this type of legislation would open the door for similar actions.   Wheeler said although he didn’t agree with Drenckhahn’ s sentiments he could appreciate them.  He asked the Council for no action.  Mayor Bauer asked for a motion and none was made.  Wheeler thanked the Council for their time. 


8-B.  Replacement Street Sign Approval

Public Works Director Lohmann requested the Council approve replacing the City’s street signs.  There have been problems with the signs deteriorating and they have prorated coverage under their 10 year warranty.  He received two quotes for 546 street signs.  The first quote was from Earl F. Anderson for $4,740.83; the second was from Brimar for $11,384.10.  The new signs will be in compliance with the mandated standards.  Motion Hostager, second Hinderaker to approve the purchase of replacement signs from Earl F. Anderson in the amount of $4,740.83. 

Approved 5-0-0.


8-C.  Benson Nuisance Violation Discussion

A written complaint about the Benson property was received at City hall on July 11, 2011.  Since that time Police Chief Selness and City Staff have been trying to work with the property owners to bring the issue to a close.  Although a fence has been erected on a small portion of the property the nuisance has not been abated to ordinance specifications and the property has not come under compliance.  Bauer and Hinderaker suggested a public hearing be held to which the property owner would be invited.  Motion Durhman, second Hinderaker to set a public hearing regarding the Benson nuisance violation on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm. 

Approved 5-0-0.


8-D.  Market Study Review and Approval

At the last meeting staff was directed to get proposals for a pay study.  Since that time Jensen has received two quotes.  One is from Springsted, Incorporated, not to exceed $4,525; and the other was from Trusight, not to exceed $2,225.  Hostager asked why there was such a difference in price.  Jensen said that Trusight was a smaller company and therefore had less overhead.  He also said that Trusight had worked with Rice County, Lake City and Red Wing regarding pay consulting.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Hostager to direct city staff to contract with Trusight for a market study not to exceed $2,225. 


8-E. Rochester Sales Tax Agreement

Wanamingo City Administrator sent the City of Zumbrota a letter requesting the City support the inclusion of Wanamingo, Grand Meadow, Mazeppa and Altura in the Rochester Sales Tax Agreement.  During the legislation session Wanamingo was omitted from the Rochester Sales Tax Agreement; Wanamingo was added in another piece of legislation which was vetoed as part of larger legislation omitting them from the agreement.  Motion Hinderaker, second Hostager to direct staff to draft a letter of support for Wanamingo, Grand Meadow, Mazeppa and Altura’s inclusion in the Rochester Sales Tax Agreement.  Approved 5-0-0.  




City Administrator Neil Jensen:

Reported the Golf Course Agreement and lot purchase are moving forward.  Both mortgages have been released, the plat has been approved by Goodhue County and mylars are being created.  The Highlands 4th Addition mylars will be coming in.  The EDA is considering loaning money to the school so six lots in the development can be purchased for the vocational home construction program.   Jensen also asked the Council to start considering what they would like to see in the 435th Street construction project.  It will be on the agenda at the next meeting.  The City is responsible for 50% of the estimated $339,000 cost of the street. Councilmember Hostager requested crosswalk lights for the downtown area be added to the agenda.



Reminded the Council an issue can be tabled if the Council does not feel adequately prepared to act on it on the night it is being discussed. 


Meeting adjourned 7:05p.m.


                                                                                    NeilJensenCity Administrator

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