Melrose City August 16, 2018

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The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Melrose City Center pursuant to due notice being given thereof. Present were Council Members Dick Christenson, Josh Thieschafer, Justin Frieler, and Mayor Joe Finken, City Administrator Michael Brethorst, and City Clerk Patti Haase. Council Member Tony Klasen was absent. Mayor Finken presided thereat.
The Council then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Mr. Thieschafer, seconded by Mr. Frieler and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as amended.
Joseph Arceneau with Arce Auto addressed the Council regarding the parking violations that have been brought to his attention at his auto repair business. Mr. Arceneau noted that he has paved the parking lot and has brought in crushed granite where he is currently parking his used car sale vehicles. Due to the unexpected growth in his business, he does not have ample paved parking space for his repair service vehicles. Mr. Arceneau is looking to remedy the situation. One possibility is to request an adjustment to the Conditional Use Permit or request a Variance. Mr. Arceneau requested additional time to address the issue.
The following items were considered for approval under the Consent Agenda:
a. the minutes from the Council’s July 19 Regular Meeting.
b. list of bills in the amount of $612,433.25.
c. list of investments for the month of July.
d. Ambulance Department uncollectible accounts in the amount of $300 has been submitted to Revenue Recapture, collections, or written off. A complete list of accounts is on file at the City Office. There was also a total of $3,266.61 collected from account holders during the second quarter.
e. The Council to give consideration to approval of a Community Festival License – Public Property to the New Munich Jaycees. Police Chief Maus and City Administrator Brethorst have reviewed the Community License Application and recommend approving the application. Approval is contingent upon state approval, receiving fees and necessary liquor liability insurance documentation.
f. On September 7, Office Assistant I Doris Rieland will complete 2.5 years of service with the City. She is eligible for a twelve calendar-month step increase. Finance Director Beuning has conducted a review and it is favorable; therefore, recommends approval of a step increase from Step 6 to Step 7. The Council to take action approving Ms. Rieland’s step increase.
g. Gambling Resolution:
1) Resolution No. 2018-40, Resolution Approving Gambling License to the American Legion Post 101 for an exemption from lawful gambling license to conduct off site gambling of pull tabs on September 7-8 at the Fall Classic Event at 206 5th Avenue, NE Melrose MN.
A motion was made by Mr. Christenson, seconded by Mr. Frieler and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda items.
Elizabeth Wefel with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities provided an update on the organization. Ms. Wefel gave an overview of the Coalition’s activities during the 2018 legislative session.
Police Chief Craig Maus presented the Police Department’s July report. He noted there were 423 calls for service during that month, compared to 299 for July 2017. A total of 32 citations were written for the month of July. The year-to-date number of calls is 3,012 compared to 1,959 in 2017. For the month of July 2018, the Department received 28 agency assist calls. Chief Maus stated that Night to Unite was held on Tuesday, August 7 at the Sauk River Park. Chief Maus thanked the Freeport State Bank for providing the meal and to all those that attended the event. He reminded the public that school begins in two weeks and for people to be aware of the traffic, and children walking and biking. Chief Maus also noted that there have been reports of theft in unlocked vehicles; therefore, he is reminding everyone to lock their cars.
Community Development Director Lisa Atkinson provided an overview of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s August 6 Meeting. Ms. Atkinson stated that the Coborn’s Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezoning have been recommended for approval by the Commission. Public comments were made regarding increasing the area being re-guided/rezoned to include the entire residential block. Both property owners on that block spoke to this regard, one prior to the meeting and one at the meeting. This cannot be included in this request, as rezoning/re-guiding requires a public hearing and would need to be a separately submitted planning application and process. The sign ordinance continued from the June meeting was discussed, and the sign ordinance was recommended for approval by the Commission, subject to getting a legal interpretation regarding freedom of speech as it impacts signage. After the meeting, the City Attorney has recommended that the Commission review the ordinance again before it gets forwarded to the Council for review. After completion of this ordinance amendment, this will be the fourth of five ordinance amendments forwarded to the Council that were published in June. MADA met on July 12 and discussed the City billboards. The billboard designs are nearly finalized, and construction of the replacement billboard will be occurring soon.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke reported on projects he has been working on for the City:
• Charter Cable Franchise: Reviewed Charter’s proposed franchise renewal agreement and proposed amendments to cable franchise ordinance with City Administrator and Charter representatives. Prepared counter proposals to franchise renewal and ordinance amendments.
• Nuisance Actions: Filed Council abatement orders with court and prepared initial drafts of motions and pleading requesting court enforcement of order.
Finance Director Tessa Beuning presented the General Fund Financial Second Quarter Report. The General Fund Revenue is at 27% and the Expenditures are at 45%. Revenues are low because a portion of the first half of property taxes come in July, as well as the first half of local government aid (LGA). Property Tax & LGA together make up 72% of the revenue budget. Police state aid is received in September. The revenues are running low for the MADA fund due to the transfers from the General Fund and TIF funds not yet being made. Expenditures are at 43% of the budget. Miscellaneous expenses have exceeded the budget due to an expense of $2,000 for the 2018 SCDP grant application. Ambulance Revenue is at 57% and the Expenditures are at 50%. Both the revenues and expenditures are on track. The Revenue for the Fire Department is only at 3%. This is because 90% of the budgeted revenue comes from Fire Contract charges from the townships and the City’s contribution and is not collected until December. The Fire Department has adequate reserve funds to meet operational costs until contract revenue is received. The expenditures are at 27% of the budget, due to salaries and building rent not being paid until year end.
Mayor Finken stated that the Council held a Public Hearing for the purpose of giving consideration to a Comprehensive Plan Amendment request to consider amending the Existing and Future Land Use Maps (Figures 2.1 and 2.2) within the City of Melrose 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update. The Existing and Future Land Use Designations of two parcels are proposed to change from Single Family Residential to Downtown Commercial. The amendment is proposed by Rice Companies for Coborn’s Inc. for the two formerly residential parcels west of Coborn’s and located at 18 Riverside Ave NE (Parcel 66.37117.0000) and 14 Riverside Ave NE (Parcel 66.37118.0000) Melrose, MN 56352. The property is described as follows: Lots Two (2) and Three (3), Block Seven (7) of Townsite of Melrose, Subdivision Cd 66031, according to the plat and survey thereof, now on file and of record in the office of the Stearns County Recorder. A copy of the proposed request is on file with the Planning and Zoning Department, Melrose City Center, 225 1st St NE, Melrose, MN. City Administrator Brethorst presented the Affidavit of Publication of the Hearing Notice. Mayor Finken asked if there were any comments. There being none, a motion was made by Mr. Thieschafer, seconded by Mr. Christenson and unanimously carried to close the public hearing at 6:47 p.m.
Mayor Finken stated that the current proposal is a request to amend the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map from Single Family Residential to Downtown Commercial for two vacant, former residential lots immediately west of Coborn’s totaling approximately 15,500 square feet to allow for Coborn’s to add 14 parking spaces, a drive lane and green space. Concurrent with this review is the rezoning request to change the zoning from R-1 to C-1. Council Member Thieschafer introduced Resolution No. 2018-37, Resolution Approving Comprehensive Plan Amendment Requested By Rice Companies For Coborn’s Incorporated (Case No. Comp-7-2018-509). The motion was seconded by Mr. Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Thieschafer, Frieler, Christenson, and Mayor Finken AGAINST: None ABSENT Council Member Klasen
Following its review of the Planning Report, the related information and documents associated with the application from Rice Companies for Coborn’s Inc. regarding the two formerly residential parcels west of Coborn’s and located at 18 Riverside Ave NE (Parcel 66.37117.0000) and 14 Riverside Ave NE (Parcel 66.37118.0000) Melrose, MN 56352, the Council gave consideration on the application to rezone 18 Riverside Ave NE (Parcel 66.37117.0000) and 14 Riverside Ave NE (Parcel 66.37118.0000) Melrose, MN 56352 from R-1, Residential to C-1, Commercial.
Council Member Thieschafer introduced Ordinance No. 08-16-2018-1, An Ordinance Amending City Of Melrose Zoning Ordinance No. 1989-1-A, As Amended, And Adopted By Reference As Chapter 153 Of The City Of Melrose Code Of Ordinances To Rezone Lots 3 And 4, Block 7 Of Townsite Of Melrose, Owned By Coborn’s Inc., From R-1, Residential To C-1, Commercial Downtown (RZ-6-2018-304). The motion was seconded by Mr. Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Thieschafer, Frieler, Christenson, and Mayor Finken AGAINST: None ABSENT Council Member Klasen
Mayor Finken stated that in accordance to the terms and payment agreement between the City of Melrose and Breitbach Construction for work relating to 1st St NE, Pay Voucher #3 is submitted. The project is 87% complete. The total award for said project is $662,680.75. Pay Voucher #3 has been reviewed by WSB Engineering and is hereby recommends approving Pay Voucher #3 in the amount of $281,568.53.
A motion was made by Mr. Thieschafer, seconded by Mr. Frieler and unanimously carried approving Pay Voucher #3 in the amount of $281,568.53.
Mayor Finken noted that in conjunction with the 1st Street NE project, the City approached the abutting property owners of the City parking lot to determine if they would want to replace their paved parking include it in the City project. All property owners have agreed to do so and either paid for the project up front or requested to pay it through a special assessment. Al Vogel of the Dam Bar, Inc. has request to be assessed and agrees to be voluntarily assessed. The assessment is $1,851.36. The following is an extract from the assessment document that outlines the terms of the assessment: Such assessment shall be payable in equal annual installments extending over a period of three years, the first of the installments to be payable on or before the first Monday in January 2019 and shall bear interest at the rate of 4.95 percent per annum from the date of the adoption of this assessment resolution. To the first installment shall be added interest on the entire assessment from the date of this resolution until December 31, 2019. To each subsequent installment, when due, shall be added interest for one year on all unpaid installments
A motion was made by Mr. Christenson, seconded by Mr. Thieschafer and unanimously carried to place an assessment on Parcel 66.36611.0000 and adopt Resolution No. 2018-38, Resolution Adopting Special Assessment for Repaving of The Dam, Inc’s Parking Lot 319 Main Street East Parcel No. 66.36611.0000.
Mayor Finken stated that on July 20, 2017, the City Council passed a resolution creating TIF District No. 9-3. Contained within that resolution was authorization for an interfund loan for up to the amount of the capital costs of the TIF Plan Budget. The obligations of this TIF District include a $60,020 pay-as-you-go Note to Arce Auto that will consume 90% of the increments. The remaining 10% can be used to reimburse the City for documented administrative expenses and the public improvements (sidewalks) that are being contemplated. Staff does not expect the 10% retainage to be significant, but by the City Council setting forth their intent to reimburse themselves, it will be preserving the opportunity to do so.
A motion was made by Mr. Thieschafer, seconded by Mr. Frieler and unanimously carried authorizing reimbursement up to $3,500 of the sidewalk improvements within TIF District No. 9-3 with available increments from TIF District No. 9-3 according to Minnesota Statutes and the terms established by the approving resolution and that this obligation be added to the TIF payment schedules kept by the City Finance Officer.
A motion was made by Mr. Frieler seconded by Mr. Christenson and unanimously carried authorizing the reimbursement up to $2,251.29 of the sidewalk improvements outside of TIF District No. 9-3 with available excess increments from TIF District No. 9-3 if there is excess upon retirement of said District according to Minnesota Statutes and the terms established by the approving resolution and that this obligation be added to the TIF payment schedules kept by the City Finance Officer.
Mayor Finken stated that in environmental review rules, there are criteria that make EAWs mandatory for many different types of projects. These criteria are called “mandatory thresholds” and can be found in MN Rule 4410.4300. If a project’s size is above the mandatory threshold for its category, then an environmental review becomes mandatory. Subp. 26. Stream diversion.For a diversion, realignment, or channelization of any designated trout stream, or affecting greater than 500 feet of natural watercourse with a total drainage area of ten or more square miles.
Pursuant to Minnesota Rule 4410.4500, the City of Melrose has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for the proposed Melrose CSAH 13 Bridge Relocation and Sauk River Realignment. This Record of Decision addresses State of Minnesota environmental review requirements as established in Minnesota Rule 4410.1700. The City of Melrose is the project proposer for this project. The City of Melrose is also the Responsible Governmental Unit (RGU).The EAW was filed with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) and circulated for review and comments to the required EAW distribution list. A Notice of Availability for the initial EAW was published.
The public comment period ended July 25, 2018. Comments were received from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). All comments were considered in determining the potential for significant environmental impacts. Summaries of the comments received and the City of Melrose’s responses to those comments are provided in Section III of the report.
A motion was made by Mr. Christenson, seconded by Mr. Frieler and unanimously carried concluding an Environmental Impact Statement is not necessary for the proposed project and moved to adopt Resolution No. 2018-39, Negative Declaration on The Need For An Environmental Impact Statement For Melrose CSAH 13 Bridge Relocation And Sauk River Realignment And Approval of Distribution of Notice of Decision.
Mayor Finken stated that the Melrose Utilities will be installing security cameras at both substations as part of the 2018 East Substation Project. The City has explored cameras at the pavilion and the parking lot of the Sauk River Park. Annually, the parks see various amounts of vandalism. A permanent security system that would work in conjunction with the Utilities was sought. Two quotes were received for this work which included a remote internet bridge, switch, cameras, digital recording device and remote viewing and recording capabilities. The Parks and Recreation Board has reviewed this and have recommended installing the cameras in the park to deter vandalism.
The funding to pay for this would come from the Parks and General Funds at 50% per fund. The cost share is based on future possible insurance savings on future claims and the fact that the Parks Fund is limited in funding. Of note, the Parks Department has come in under budget by approximately $4,500 for its purchase of picnic tables.
A motion was made by Mr. Thieschafer, seconded by Mr. Frieler, and unanimously carried allocating funds and approving low bid from Haugen Services.
Mayor Finken stated that with the vacancy of the Training Officer position on the Fire Department, Fire Chief Tom Budde wishes to appoint Adam Schmidt to fill the position.
A motion was made by Mr. Christenson, seconded by Mr. Frieler and unanimously carried approving Mr. Schmidt for the Training Officer position.
Mayor Finken noted that Fire Chief Budde reviewed the Volunteer Fire Department Policies, which had last been reviewed and revised in 2012. Minor edits were made to remove the position identification of the Human Resources Technician, as well as updating information on meeting attendance requirements.
A motion was made by Mr. Frieler, seconded by Mr. Thieschafer and unanimously carried approving the revised Volunteer Fire Department Policies.
Mayor Finken noted that on June 27, 2018, the City Attorney directed staff to rewrite the Portable Storage Ordinance in an effort to find common ground between the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council regarding the ordinance. The Commission considered the ordinance at its July 9, 2018 meeting and recommended approval. The name of the ordinance has changed to reflect the more general category of temporary storage structures instead of portable storage structures, which in the new ordinance refers to a structure that is smaller than a semi-trailer in size. The categories for structures are broken into three types. Each type has a different intensity and is allowed in different areas. All residential, commercial and industrial lots are permitted to have a temporary storage structure (TSS), appropriate in type to the zoning district, for the duration of any active building permit. Further, the quantity, location and timeline for temporary storage structures do not apply for 365 days following any catastrophic loss due to fire, flood, or other physical calamity when the owner obtains a demolition permit and/or building permit and when a zoning permit is obtained for the TSS.
Below are the three categories or types of temporary storage containers and a general overview. Consult the draft ordinance for full details. The chart in the ordinance includes additional specifics for each type of TSS.
1. Portable Storage Container (smaller structure)
a. A self-storage container that is delivered to and retrieved from a home or business for long term off-site or on-site storage. Portable Storage On Demand or PODS are a familiar trade name for such containers. These containers are not on a chassis and do not have axles or wheels.
b. PODS are smaller than a semi-trailer. Portable storage containers shall not exceed industry standard for width, height and length, not to exceed 10’ wide by 10’ high by 20’ in length.
2. Cargo Container (similar to a semi-trailer without wheels, not allowed in Residential)
a. A container intended for multi-modal transportation via sea going vessel, train, and truck-trailer. These containers are self-contained without axles or wheels.
b. Cargo containers are permitted for Medical Service or Public Institutional zoned parcels. They would not be able to have a semi-trailer, but they would be able to have a wheel-less counterpart, the cargo container.
3. Semi-trailer (Commercial and Industrial Zoning only)
a. A mobile trailer of fifty-three (53) feet or less in length with a chassis, axles, and wheels that is towed by a truck or tractor.
b. Semi-trailers generally follow the same rules as cargo containers except semi-trailers require Commercial and Industrial zoning and are not permitted for Medical Service or Public Institutional zoned parcels.
The public hearing was published and posted for the June 4, 2018 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, and the public hearing was opened and recessed until the July 2, 2018 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its July 2, 2018 meeting, considered the proposed ordinance. They specifically requested the following revisions, which were incorporated into the draft ordinance:
• Smaller portable storage units should be permitted in any district, not just residential.
• Change the requirements for Industrial to allow two unscreened semi trucks for storage purposes, removing the requirement for screening and removing the 60 day limit.
• Not allow an exemption from the two-semi truck trailer limit for on-premise rentals. Only allow rental temporary storage structures to be stored on-site in larger quantities if the unit was being rented for use off-site, not for storing already rented/in-use units on-site.
Director Atkinson stated that she has canvassed the community and reported on the current status of the temporary storage units on the commercial and industrial properties.
The Council reviewed the draft ordinance along with the Planning and Zoning proposed revisions.
Mr. Thieschafer inquired if staff has contacted the businesses that may be affected by the ordinance. Ms. Atkinson stated that the businesses have not been contacted nor have they reached out to staff regarding the proposed ordinance, although it was published as a public hearing.
Mr. Frieler stated that the number of containers per parcel for commercial business should be grandfathered in at what they currently have located on their property.
Mr. Christenson inquired if the number of containers was per business or per parcel. It was determined the number would be per parcel.
Mr. Brethorst suggested that perhaps an Interim Use Permit could be used for regulating TSS in the Commercial District.
Mr. Thieschafer was in favor of using the Interim Use Permit for those exceeding the proposed number of TSS. He recommended that this be administered by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
After further discussion, the Council, by consensus, determined to allow four cargo containers unscreened and removing the allowance of semi-trailers in the Commercial District. In the Industrial District, any existing semi-trailers are grandfathered in for an unlimited period of time. Going forward, a limit of four cargo containers will be allowed in the Industrial District. If more than four cargo containers, an Interim Use Permit would be required. It was also determined that any temporary storage structure in place on August 16, 2018 will be exempted until January 1, 2020, at which point they will need to be brought into compliance.
Staff was directed to take the Council’s recommendation back to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Staff was asked to reach out to those businesses that would affected by the ordinance.
Mayor Finken noted that the City sought bids for the rent of the Melrose Industrial Park for agricultural land. Public notice was given and posted as well as direct contact with abutting property owners. No bids were received during the outlined process. Butch Bauer has recently approached the City to rent the property and secure the hay off the Industrial Park. Pending the final determination for the taxes on the parcels to be rented, a final settlement will be made. Mr. Bauer is proposing to pay 100% of the taxes on the parcel. He proposed to pay for the hay off the Industrial Park land in CY18 for market costs. He will provide a per acre payment for crop land the remaining calendar years agreement. This amount will be set once final taxes are known. He anticipates paying $50 per acre for taxes and $10 per acre for rent for a total of $60. A final determination / settlement will be set once the taxes are known.
A motion was made by Mr. Frieler, seconded by Mr. Christenson and unanimously carried authorizing staff to enter into an agreement with Mr. Bauer for the rental of the Melrose Industrial Park property for agricultural use.
The following informational items were reviewed:
a. The minutes from the Utilities Commission’s July 9 Regular Meeting.
b. The following is a list of schools and/or conferences where registrations were made:
1) Mental Health First Aid – September 26, 2018. Attending: City Administrator Michael Brethorst
2) Lunch and Learn, HR Labor Laws – August 21, 2018. Attending: Finance Director Tessa Beuning and Office Assistant I Doris Rieland
3) League of Minnesota Cities Regional Meeting – October 4, 2018. Attending: City Administrator Michael Brethorst
A motion was made by Mr. Frieler, seconded by Mr. Thieschafer and unanimously carried that the meeting be adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Patricia Haase, City Clerk

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