Melrose City • December 17, 2020

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The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. via global/GoToMeeting pursuant to due notice being given thereof. Present were Council Members Tony Klasen, Justin Frieler, Mark Hill, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Joe Finken, City Administrator Colleen Winter, and City Clerk Patti Haase. Mayor Finken presided thereat. The Council then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Mr. Klasen to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Klasen, Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken then opened the floor to public comment. There were no comments.
The following items were considered for approval under the Consent Agenda
a. The minutes from the Commission’s November 19 Special Meeting, the November 19 Regular Meeting, and the November 25, Special Meeting
b. List of bills in the amount of $449,266.78.
c. List of investments for the month of November
d. The Council to give consideration to approval of the following tobacco licenses:
1) Coborn’s Inc. – Coborn’s Store
2) Melrose 1 Stop
3) Casey’s General Store #2650
4) SPIRITZ Liquor, Inc.
5) Coborn’s Inc. – Coborn’s Liquor
6) Dollar General
7) Casey’s General Store #3657
Minnesota law requires cities to obtain proof that all license holders provide workers’ comp insurance for their employees. Also, the City must obtain licensees’ social security numbers, and Minnesota and federal tax identification numbers for the Department of Revenue’s use. The licenses are effective January 1, 2021.
e. Donation Resolutions
1) Resolution No. 2020-64, donation in the amount $300 from James and Nancy Mohs towards the Melrose Fire Department.
2) Resolution NO. 2020-66, donation in the amount of $1,000 from the Greenwald Lions Club towards the Melrose Fire Department
f. City Administrator Winter is requesting that the Council consider renewing the contract with Tri-Cap bus service. The City of Melrose purchases 20 hours of bus service a week from Tri-Cap at a monthly cost. Tri-CAP is not increasing rates for 2021. Tri-Cap ridership has decreased by 53% from October 2019 to October 2020. The ridership counts through October 2020 were 3,477.
g. On January 6, 2021, Receptionist Stephanie Perez will complete one year of service. Finance Director Beuning has completed a review and it was favorable. Therefore, Ms. Perez is eligible to move to Step 2 on the pay scale.
A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler to approve the Consent Agenda items. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Hill, Justin Frieler, Klasen, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken presented MADA Member George Jensen with a Certificate of Recognition and token of appreciation for his 17 years of service on the Melrose Area Development Authority. In addition to serving on the MADA Board, Mr. Jensen also served as a member of the Parks Board and City Council. We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude for Mr. Jensen’s experience, dedication and vision for the City.
Police Chief Maus presented the Police Department’s November 2020 report. Chief Maus noted there were 267calls for service during that month, compared to 320 calls for November 2019. A total of 18 citations were written for the month of November. There were 65 verbal warnings and 10 written warning. The year-to-date number of calls is 3,520 compared to 3,987 in 2019. For the month of November 2020, the Department received 29 agency assist calls.
Mr. Dymoke was not present at the meeting. City Administrator Winter presented projects Mr. Dymoke has been working on:
• Declaration of Local Emergency – Prepared updated Resolution declaring a local emergency due to the COVID pandemic.
• Bonner Nuisance – Received report of possible attempt by Bonner to sell the manufactured home declared a nuisance property. Reviewed the requirements for obtaining a preliminary injunction against a possible sale and forwarded a summary to City staff.
Mike Nielson with WSB & Associates provided an update on the various city projects.
• Pavement Management: The proposal for design and construction services will be presented at the December council meeting.
• WSB Project No. R-014036-000 – CR 65 Drainage Improvements -Contractor: Anderson Underground. I have contacted Nick Anderson and he is reviewing a financial settlement to leave the pipe in place as is to avoid having to dig into CR 65.
• WSB Project No. R-015456-000 2020 Street Improvements including 5th Street N, 4th St. N & 3rd Ave N Punch list items will be completed in the spring of 2021.
• 2nd Street S and 3rd Ave SE Flooding Issue -5th Avenue Storm Sewer System Survey work has been completed on this project. The stormwater model will be completed in January and alternatives will be discussed with staff.
• WSB Project No. R-015500-000 Melrose Road, Dam, and Bridge –
Roadway:
– Evaluating potential alignment shift of 5th Street to remedy the substandard sight line from 1st Street.
– Roadway alignment and profile to be finalized after verification of bridge low member elevation and depth.
Structures: No update since 5/14/20 project update.
• Dam inspection on October 29, 2020 Reviewed O&M manual on October 29, 2020
• HWL elevation to be finalized week of 12/7/2020. Bridge low member finalized week of 12/7/20. Preliminary bridge plan progressing.
• AET under contract to complete foundation boring for bridge. Expect completion in early January.
• Dam inspection report submitted 11/12/2020.
• Dam O&M manual- expected submittal 12/28/2020
Stream Analysis:
– Wildlife bench included under north side of bridge. (small wildlife)
– DNR and USACE coordination is ongoing. No further milestones with these agencies until 60% design stage.
– Formal DNR and USACE permit application submittal following 60% design stage. 60% roadway plans in March 2021.
City Administrator Winter provided an update on city projects. Provided an update on the Minnesota Emergency Relief Funds that will be made available through DEED to assist businesses impacted by COVID
The Council held a public hearing on the 2021 Budget and Tax Levy. The public hearing is to allow public comment and questions. Revised budget information will be available at the meeting. 2021 Budget and Levy/Resolution No. 2020-65, Resolution Adopting the Tax Levy and 2021 Budget/2021-2025 Five Year Capital Improvement Plan Finance Director Beuning delivered the Truth in Taxation presentation.
At the September 11 meeting, the Council first reviewed the proposed 2021 Budget. The preliminary property tax levied to the County at that time was:
Initial General property tax $1,510,518
Debt Levy:
2008 Fire and Ambulance Station Lease Revenue Bonds $90,000
TOTAL LEVY $1,600,518
Since that time, the Council and staff have reviewed the budget to determine adjustments needed to arrive at a more balanced budget, as well as plan for upcoming capital needs, and potential decrease of state funding. Based on those meetings, the general levy is proposed to be $1,400,000, which is a $115,000 over the 2020 levy. The debt levy is proposed to remain at $90,000, for a total levy of $1,490,000. According to the information received from the County, the proposed tax capacity for the City is estimated at $2,499,733. This will result in an estimated tax capacity rate of 59.61%, which is a 1.45% increase over 2019’s rate of 58.15%.
According to law, the City now must certify the levy as set in September or it may reduce the levy. It cannot set a levy higher than the proposed levy, which was certified with the County Auditor in September. The proposed general levy of $1,400,000 plus debt levy of $90,000 results in a total levy of $1,490,000.
Final General property tax $1,400,000
Debt Levy:
2008 Fire and Ambulance Station Lease Revenue Bonds $90,000
TOTAL LEVY $1,490,000
The budget and levy to be adopted at the hearing to meet the State law requirements. After the final levies are adopted, they must be certified with the County Auditor prior to December 31.
Mr. Klasen introduced Resolution No. 2020-65, Resolution Adopting the Tax Levy and 2021 Budget/ 2021-2025 Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. The motion was seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Klasen, Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Hill and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
A motion was then made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried to adopt the 2021-2025 Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. The public hearing was closed at 6:27 p.m.
The Melrose Police Department Policy has been updated to include the mandated changes to be compliant with the new state laws related to Use of Force and Use of Deadly Force. Chief Maus is requesting approval to adopt this to the current policy manual. Chief Maus will review the changes that have occurred from the previous policy. A motion was made by Mr. Hill adopting the revised Melrose Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Hill, Travis Frieler, Klasen, Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken noted that staff has updated the 2021 Fee Schedule as per Council direction at its November 19 Budget Meeting. The Council reviewed the revisions to the 2021 Fee Schedule. Council Member Travis Frieler introduced Ordinance No. 12-17.2020 An Ordinance Summarizing and Reaffirming Fees for City Licenses, Permits and Services, Establishing a Fee Schedule of Fines and Providing for Subsequent Review, Modification and Amendment. Fees to be set as per Exhibit A. The motion was seconded by Mr. Klasen with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Travis Frieler, Klasen, Justin Frieler, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken stated that WSB & Associates have submitted their proposal for the 2021 Street Improvement Project. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler approving the 2021 Street Improvement Contract with WSB and Associates The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Justin Frieler, Hill, Klasen, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
The Council by consensus determined that Street Parks Supervisor Middendorf and WSB to determine where curb and gutter replacement is needed.
Mayor Finken noted that as part of the union negotiations for 2021, the Comp Time policy that is part of the Adopted Personnel Policy 2018 needs to be modified. Administrator Winter recommended adopting new policy language as presented. The Melrose Public Utilities Commission adopted the Comp Time Policy at its December 14, 2020 meeting. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler adopting the Comp Time Policy revisions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Travis Frieler, Hill, Klasen, Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken stated that as part of the union negotiations for 2021, the Cell Phone Policy that is part of the Adopted Personnel Policy 2018 needs to be modified. Administrator Winter recommended adopting new policy language as presented. The Melrose Public Utilities Commission adopted the Cell Phone Policy at its December 14, 2020 meeting. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler adopting the Cell Phone Policy revisions as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Justin Frieler, Hill, Klasen, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken stated that the AFSCME contract for 2021 was negotiated in good faith with the Union, AdHoc and City Administration. Administrator Winter recommended approving the contract as signed by the Union representation and presented. The Melrose Public Utilities Commission approved the AFSCME contract at its December 14, 2020 meeting. A motion was made by Mr. Hill approving the AFSCME contract as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Hill, Travis Frieler, Klasen, Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
The LELS contract has been substantially completed for some time. However, there was one item that the union requested be brought back for consideration before the contract is signed. That item relates to on call time. Administrator Winter recommended approving the contract as presented. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler approving the LELS contract as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Klasen, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken noted that at a Special City Council meeting on November 25, 2020 the Local Emergency Order was put back in place. Council has requested that this Order be brought back before the Council at their subsequent meetings for consideration. Administrator Winter recommended keeping the local Emergency Order in effect. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler to keep the local Emergency Order in effect. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Justin Frieler, Hill, Klasen, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken noted that the annual liquor license renewals will be sent out the first week in January 2021. Due to the COVID pandemic the governor has closed bars and restaurants and other places of public accommodations. The Council discussed prorating or a reduction to the 2021 license fees. Justin Frieler recommended waiving the 2021 License fee for the On-sale, Sunday On-Sale, Wine, and Club license not to include Off-sale license fee. A motion was made by Mr. Hill to reduce the 2021 On-Sale licensing fees to $10 for all 2020 on-sale license holders. Mr. Frieler amended the motion to include all on sale license fees including Sunday On-Sale Liquor be reduced to $10. A motion was made by Mr. Hill to reduce the 2021 license fees for all on sale licenses including the Sunday On-Sale license fees to $10 for all 2020 on sale license holders. The motion was seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Hill, Justin Frieler, Klasen, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
The following informational items were then reviewed:
At the Council’s first meeting in January 2021, consideration will be given to making appointments to the various boards and commissions. Terms are expiring on the following boards and commissions:
Planning and Zoning Commission – one member (four-year term)
Term expiring: Dave Berscheit – Mr. Berscheit is seeking reappointment
Melrose Area Development Authority – one member (six-year term)
Term expiring: George Jensen. Mr. Jensen is not seeking re-appointment
Melrose Housing and Redevelopment Authority – one member (five-year term)
Term expiring: Nancy Roering – Ms. Roering is seeking reappointment
Parks and Recreation Board – one member due to the resignation of Board Member Sophia Sabinash.
Utilities Commission’s November 9 Regular Meeting minutes
Jobs in Demand
A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler to adjourn the meeting at 7:10 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler, with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Justin Frieler, Klasen, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Patricia Haase, City Clerk

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