The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. 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. Also in attendance was Cara and Raheim Lewis. Mayor Finken presided thereat. The Council then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Klasen and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as submitted.
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 Council’s June 17 Regular Meeting
b. List of bills in the amount of $322,719.41
c. List of investments for the month of June
d. Office Assistant III Felicia Mundis will complete three years of service with the City on July 18. Police Chief Maus has conducted Ms. Mundis’ review and it is favorable; therefore, recommends she receive a step increase from Step 5 to Step 6.
e. Madison Honer has submitted her letter of resignation from the Melrose Police Reserve effective June 15, 2021. Logan Waldvogel has submitted his letter of resignation from the Melrose Police Reserve effective July 1, 2021.
The Council to accept the resignation of Ms. Honer and Mr. Waldvogel.
f. The Fire Department is looking to hire McKahl Long, Carter Feldewerd, and Nora Becker. All three individuals have passed their required pre-employment physicals and drug screenings. Ms. Becker would be hired contingent upon a clean background check, which is required due to her living out of state within the past five years.
g. Resolution No. 2021- 24 Donation from Waste Management for Garbage Collection Services for the Riverfest Celebration.
h. 1) Gambling Resolution No. 2021-25 Resolution Approving Gambling License to CentraCare Health Melrose for an exemption from lawful gambling license to conduct a raffle on October 2, 2021, at the Melrose American Legion located at 265 County Road 173, Melrose MN.
A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Klasen and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda items.
Mayor Finken opened the hearing at 6:01 p.m. Chief Maus provided an overview of the police reports regarding the dangerous dog designation. Cara and Raheim Lewis addressed the Council regarding the Melrose Police Department deeming of their dog as dangerous. Ms. Lewis stated that they have already met most of the criteria if a dog is deemed dangerous. She stated that they believe they have time to work with their dog and asked to be given another chance. Council members Justin Frieler and Mark Hill expressed concern of potential future attacks. City Attorney Dymoke provided an overview of the process. Chief Maus reviewed the actions that would need to be taken by the owner if the dog were to be deemed dangerous. There being no further comments a motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried to close the public hearing at 6:25 p.m.
Police Chief Craig Maus presented the Police Department’s June report. He noted there were 282 calls for service during that month, compared to 292 for June 2020. A total of 11 citations were written for the month of June. There were 41 verbal warnings and 0 written warning. The year-to-date number of calls is 1,926 compared to 1,764 in 2020. For the month of June 2021, the Department received 41 agency assist calls.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke reported on projects he has been working on for City:
• 2021 Nuisance Actions – Received and reviewed nuisance violation reports from Chief Maus. Performed initial research to determine identities of additional interested parties.
• Nuisance Ordinance – Prepared initial draft of proposed amendment to nuisance ordinance addressing unlicensed vehicles. Forwarded to city staff for review and comment.
• Dangerous Dog – Prepared information for staff regarding the dangerous dog.
Nick Guilliams with WSB presented the City Engineering Report
WSB Project No. R-017073 2021 Chip Seal Project: Contracts have been signed by the City and will be forwarded to the contractor. Contractor is planning to start construction in early August.
WSB Project No. R-017370-000 -2021 Street Improvements: A preconstruction meeting was held on June 23, 2021. Construction is scheduled to begin on July 19th. Centerpoint Energy is scheduled to begin relocation of shallow gas mains on July 14th. Construction is anticipated to be complete in late August.
WSB Project No. R-015456-000 2020 Street Improvements (including 5th Street N, 4th St. N & 3rd Ave N): WSB to schedule a final walk-through with Gary and send a final punch list to the contractor. Punchlist work will be scheduled in late July when the contractor mobilizes out for the 2021 Street Improvement Project.
2nd Street S and 3rd Ave SE Flooding Issue -5th Avenue Storm Sewer System: The preliminary plan has been completed and has been reviewed with staff. Staff is getting quotes to install a new 18” pipe at the intersection of 5th Ave SE and Kraft Drive SE as temporary to measure to reduce flooding impacts until funding is available to complete drainage improvements in the entire neighborhood.
WSB Project No. R-015500-000 Melrose Road, Dam, and Bridge:
Roadway: • Ongoing coordination with the City and private utilities on the watermain and utility crossings and the required easements to encompass those facilities. They will fall within City and County RW, however, RW and a permanent easement will likely need to be dedicated for roadway and utility purposes. City is working directly with CenterPoint Energy on the required easement.
• 60% roadway plans – City and County comments have been received. 60% plan continues progressing towards the 90% stage. o Ongoing discussion regarding the location of the pedestrian crossing across CSAH 13. Locations being evaluated are 1st Street, the north end of the bridge, and the south side of the intersection of the park entrance.
• Open house meeting held on June 17th. • Meeting with property owners regarding temporary easements ongoing. Structures:
• Awaiting revised Geotech report in order to resubmit the preliminary bridge plans MnDOT State Aid Bridge. Preliminary plan resubmittal expected by 7/13/2021. Final design is being checked and will be submitted following acceptance of the preliminary plans.
• Draft Dam Preservation Plans and an update to the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Plan were submitted on June 28 to the City, County and DNR.
Permitting: • DNR Public Waters Work permit and USACE permit applications were submitted on May 24. o DNR 30-day reviewer comment period 6/17/2021-7/4/2021. DNR Technical Review started on 7/4/2021.
o USACE notified us of the intent to process the 404 permit as an Individual Permit. The public notice for this began on July 1 and will end on July 16th. This will also require separate coordination with MPCA for Section 401 Certification.
o MPCA Section 401 Certification request for a pre-filing meeting was submit on June 30th and a pre-filing meeting will occur in the next week or two.
• CLOMR application submitted on 6/21/2021.
• City must send notification letter to impacted property owners.
Grant: • Submitted the LCCMR Grant application on 4/2/2021.
• No Lessard Sams grant application will be submitted per City input.
City Administrator Winter provided an update on the following:
Legislative Update – The fire remediation grant dollars and sales and use tax exemption were included in the tax omnibus bill. The legislature did not pass a bonding bill; however they did approve 14 million for local transportation projects. If our bridge project ranks high enough, we could still get funding to proceed yet this Fall. The County is taking the lead on this part of the project.
MADA – We continue to work on Housing and have engaged with additional landowners and are putting together cost estimates.
Utilities update: WWTF – Staff was informed that as part of our WWTF project we qualify for $578,346 under the Green project reserve program. This is a principal loan forgiveness and part of the funding that we will receive from the PFA. Initially when we received the budget from PFA there was no green project reserve funds at that time. So, we eliminated some items from the project. At their regular meeting on July 12th, the PUC added the centrifuge back into the project.
North Water tower – work is progressing on the tower and this project is expected to be completed in two more weeks.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke provided the Council with the definition of what classifies a dog as dangerous. Attorney Dymoke reviewed with the Council the actions the owner must take should the dog be deemed dangerous. Mr. Dymoke stated that the Council must make a determination to upholding, modifying or rescinding the order. Councilor Justin Frieler stated his biggest concern is the “ what ifs” and the potential of another attack. Council Member Hill stated that unfortunately with the two incidents there is no guarantee that this will not happen again. After further discussion, a motion as made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried upholding the dangerous dog classification.
An offer was extended to Daniel Harrington for the City Planner position subject to City Council approval and background check. Interviews took place on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. 3 out of 4 (one was a no show) candidates were interviewed from an overall applicant pool of 6. Mr. Harrington will be relocating from Ohio. He is a recent graduate of Ohio State University with a masters in city and regional planning. Mr. Harrington received the highest T&E score and the most points during the interview and was unanimously recommended by the interview team. Interview team members were Bunker Hill, Jason Seanger, Colleen Winter, and Gary Middendorf. Mr. Harrington has accepted the position. It is the Committee’s recommendation to hire Daniel Harrington at Step 1 of 7 with the standard benefit package. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried approving the hire of Daniel Harrington at Step 1 of 7 with the standard benefit package.
WSB has submitted a proposal for the demolition of the building located at 501 Main Street E. This proposal is for engineering costs only. Stearns County is the lead on this project, and we would be responsible for ½ of the contract $20,325.00. This is outside the scope of the RDB contract. Councilor Klasen stated that upon reviewing the scope of the project he does not believe the city should pay for the vibration equipment and vibration monitoring of the project. A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried authorizing the city portion of the engineering costs of the demolition of 501 Main Street E not to exceed $10,000.
The Council at its February 18 Regular meeting authorized the Melrose Fire Department to seek bids for a tanker truck. This was a budgeted item at $250,000. Bids were opened on Wednesday, June 23 at 8:30 a.m. One bid was received from Midwest Fire in the amount of $237,764.00. The lead time on the tanker truck is 16 months. Fire Chief Budde stated that the fire department is contemplating going from three tankers to two, depending on what affect it would have on the ISO rating. Due to the mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities, it may be redundant to house three tanker units. A motion was made by Mr. Klasen, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried approving the purchase of the tanker truck from Midwest Fire in the amount of $237,764.00.Council Member Klasen left the meeting at 7:15 p.m.
Per the recommendation of the City Attorney revisions have been made to section 93.19 of the Melrose City Code. The changes allow the police department to site residents who store unlicensed or inoperable vehicles, watercraft and other articles outside on residential property. The Council concurred with the revisions. This amended ordinance will be brought back before the council for consideration to adopt at its next regular meeting. In addition, there are a number of changes that have been requested by various staff – police department, planning and administration to city code, and zoning. These changes will be compiled and staff is asking that consideration be given to reviewing these changes with the Council and Planning Commission at a special joint meeting. This is an informational item only and something that could be planned in the Fall once the new Planner has had an opportunity to start his position.
The following informational items were then reviewed: The minutes from the Utilities Commission’s June 14 Regular Meeting.
Staff is working on the budget and as a reminder the first budget workshop for the Council will be at 4:30 pm on August 19, 2021, prior to the regular Council meeting. Staff and AdHoc will also be meeting with both AFSCME and LELS (unions) in July.
The following are schools and/or conferences where registrations were made:
1. Greater Minnesota Cites Summer Conference July 29 and 30. Attending: City Administrator Winter.
A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried that the meeting be adjourned at 7:25 p.m.
Patricia Haase, City Clerk