City Council Minutes of April 8, 2019

Date: 
April 8, 2019
MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING
APRIL 8, 2019
 

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Saint Peter was conducted in the Governors' Room of the Community Center on April 8, 2019.

A quorum present, Mayor Zieman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  The following members were present:  Councilmembers Pfeifer, Johnson, Carlin, Grams, Parras, Kvamme, and Mayor Zieman. The following officials were present: City Administrator Prafke, Assistant City Attorney Grean and City Engineer Domras.

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Grams, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Parras, to approve the minutes of the March 25, 2019 regular City Council meeting.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved.  A complete copy of the minutes of the March 25, 2019 regular City Council meeting is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Proceedings 19. 

Public Hearing:  Pavilion Project Tax Abatement – City Administrator Prafke reviewed the Council’s procedures for conducting public hearings.  Mayor Zieman opened the public hearing at 7:03 p.m.  Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates reviewed the procedure for using tax abatement to fund public improvements.  Sweeney noted the term of the proposed abatement would match the bond issuance term of 20 years and, as required by State law, for this action, the proposed resolution identifies several parcels surrounding Minnesota Square Park that are seen by staff as benefitting by the project.  Sweeney also pointed out that the abatement would impact not just those identified properties, but all properties in the community.  Finally, Sweeney reported that the use of the tax abatement procedures was limited to $200,000 or 10% of the City’s next tax capacity.  There being no further speakers the public hearing was declared closed at 7:09 p.m.

Consent Agenda – In motion by Carlin, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2019-39 entitled “Resolution Approving Consent Agenda“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-39 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Pavilion Project Tax Abatement – Shannon Sweeney of David Drown Associates provided additional information on the proposed tax abatement.  Councilmember Johnson questioned what would happen if a large donation for the project was received after the bonds were issued and the abatement put in place.  Sweeney and City Administrator Prafke indicated that the abatement levy could be cancelled in any given year if enough other funds were received to make that year’s payment and that any donations would be placed in a restrictive fund that would be used only for repayment of the bonds.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2019-40 entitled “Resolution Approving Property Tax Abatement For Certain Property Located In The City Of Saint Peter“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin, Parras, and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Johnson voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-40 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Pavilion Project Competitive Sale Of Bonds – Sweeney recommended competitive negotiated sale of $1,350,000 in General Obligation Tax Abatement Bonds to fund the construction of the Minnesota Square Park Pavilion Project.  Sweeney indicated the term would be 20 years with an expected interest rate of 3.2% that would result in yearly payments of $91,000-$92,000.  Sweeney also recommended purchase of a Standard and Poor’s credit rating at an approximately cost of $9,500 but which would save ten’s of thousands of dollars in interest costs.  In motion by Grams, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2019-41 entitled “Resolution Providing For The Competitive Negotiated Sale Of $1,350,000 General Obligation Tax Abatement Bonds, Series 2019B“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, Councilmembers Grams, Pfeifer, Kvamme, Carlin, Parras, and Mayor Zieman voting aye, Councilmember Johnson voting nay, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-41 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

2019-2020 Environmental Services Budgets and Rate Increase – Finance Director Vogel presented the proposed budgets for Environmental Services for 2019 ($915,288) and 2020 ($952,697).  Vogel indicated that based on the proposed budgets, rate increases were also being recommended for both the refuse/recycling charges and the environmental services fee to be increased effective July 1, 2019.  Vogel provided information on the capital purchases contained in the budgets, increased costs for refuse collection, and City efforts to reduce the tonnage of refuse being hauled by educating residents in an effort to reduce costs.  In motion by Carlin, seconded by Grams, Resolution No. 2019-42 entitled “Resolution Adopting 2019-2020 Environmental Services Fund Budgets“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-42 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

In motion by Parras, seconded by Carlin, Resolution No. 2019-43 entitled “Resolution Adopting 2019 Environmental Services Rate Schedule“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-43 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Taxi Cab License Application – City Administrator Prafke indicated nothing had been found in the background investigation that would prohibit issuance of a Taxi Cab license to BEC Enterprises doing business as Blue Earth Taxi.  In motion by Johnson, seconded by Parras, Resolution No. 2019-44 entitled “Resolution Approving Taxi Cab License Application“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-44 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

DNR Outdoor Grant Application Authorization – Public Works Director Moulton requested authorization to submit an application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Grant Program for a project to remove and replace the playground equipment and ground cover for two playgrounds at Veteran’s Memorial Park.  Moulton indicated the project cost was anticipated to be $280,000 and if funded, the City’s 50% requirement of the costs with funded from the Parks capital improvement budget.  City Administrator Prafke indicated staff had discussed funding the City’s share with funds that had previously been used for retirement of the Community Center debt which would be paid off by 2020.  Councilmember Grams asked how accessibility to the playgrounds would be improved if the project moves ahead.  Moulton indicated that ground cover under the play equipment would be replaced with materials that would allow accessibility by those in wheelchairs, or parents with strollers.  In motion by Pfeifer, seconded by Johnson, Resolution No. 2019-45 entitled “Resolution Authorizing Submission Of Application For The Department Of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Grant Program“ was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted.  A complete copy of Resolution No. 2019-45 is contained in the City Administrator’s book entitled Council Resolutions 22.

Reports

“Arbor Day and Month” Proclamation – Mayor Zieman proclaimed April 26, 2019 as “Arbor Day” and May, 2016 as “Arbor Month”.

Flooding Update – City Administrator Prafke reported that flood waters were beginning to recede and staff would begin the process of cleaning up the park areas impacted by the flooding.  Prafke also reported that mechanical pumps were being used to pump out the excess water in the Mill Pond area.

Minnesota Square Park Pavilion Project -City Administrator Prafke informed Councilmembers that construction fencing had gone up around the Minnesota Square Park Pavilion and demolition would start soon.

Severe Weather Awareness Week – City Administrator Prafke reminded the public of Severe Weather Awareness Week and indicated the State of Minnesota had cancelled the state-wide emergency siren tests scheduled for April 11th due to the forecasted blizzard at the end of the week.  Prafke encouraged families and businesses to have their own personal emergency drills so everyone knew what to do in the event of an actual emergency.

There being no further business, a motion was made by Pfeifer, seconded by Parras, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.