The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. via global/GoToMeeting pursuant to due notice being given thereof. Present were Council Members Tony Klasen, Mark Hill, and Travis Frieler, City Administrator Colleen Winter, and City Clerk Patti Haase. Mayor Joe Finken and Council Member Justin Frieler were absent. Acting Mayor Klasen presided thereat. The Council then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler to approve the agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Hill, and Klasen. AGAINST: None.ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Klasen 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 June 18 Special Meeting, and the June 18 Regular Meeting
b. List of bills in the amount of $ 295,929.48
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 4 to Step 5.
e. The Council at its April 16, 2020 approved prorating the On-Sale and Sunday On-Sale Liquor License fees as a result of bars and restaurants closed due to COVID-19. The American Legion has a Club License. The Council to give consideration approving prorating the Club License fee. The annual fee is $200.
g. The Council to give consideration to Pay Voucher No. 1 from Mark Lee Excavating for the 2020 Street Improvements. The total due on Pay Voucher No. 1 is $66,556.12 less retainage of $3,327.81 for an amount due of $63,228.31. Pay Voucher #1 has been reviewed by WSB Engineering and is hereby recommending approval.
h. Police Chief Craig Maus is requesting council approval to put Darren Bettin on our Police Reserve Squad pending a successful background and physical.
i. Fire Chief Tom Budde is requesting Council approval to hire Joshua Leaf, and Dakota Huston. The oral interviews and physical fitness tests have been completed. Hiring of Mr. Leaf and Mr. Huston is contingent upon successful background investigations and passing pre-employment physicals. The Fire Department will be conducting additional interviews next Tuesday, July 15. Staff will provide additional candidates upon notification from Fire Chief Tom Budde. The hiring of these candidates would also be contingent upon successful background checks and passing pre-employment physical. In addition, Fire Chief Tom Budde is recommending the hiring of Dustin Rademacher, Allen Wieling and Matt Joseph pending passing background investigation and passing pre-employment physical.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, to approve the Consent Agenda items. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Hill, Travis Frieler, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
The Melrose City Council held a public hearing to consider the request of Maria DeLourdes Martinez of Martinez Meat and Grocery for an On-Sale 3.2% Malt Liquor License and Wine License. A public hearing is required because of City Code Chapter 113 Liquor Regulations. The regulations require a public hearing before granting a new license or transfer of a license. The City Administrator presented the Affidavit of Publication of the hearing notice which was published. Acting Mayor Klasen asked if there was comment from the Public. There being none the public hearing was closed at 6:03 p.m.
The Melrose City Council next held a Public Hearing to consider a request to vacate portions of existing drainage and utility easements that are no longer needed on the Warrior Boats site at 16 Industry Parkway NW, legally described as follows: Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4, Block 6, Melrose I-94 Industrial Park, according to the plat and survey on file at the Stearns County Recorder’s Office. City Administrator Winter presented the Affidavit of Publication of the hearing notice which was published. Community Development Director Atkinson provided a brief overview of the vacation request for portions of existing drainage and utility easements that are no longer needed on the Warrior Boats site at 16 Industry Parkway NW. Acting Mayor Klasen asked if there was comment from the Public. There being none the public hearing was closed at 6:07 p.m.
Police Chief Maus presented the Police Department’s June 2020 report. Chief Maus noted there were 292 calls for service during that month, compared to 347 calls for June 2019. A total of 26 citations were written for the month of June. There were 47 verbal warnings and 2 written warning. The year-to-date number of calls is 1968 compared to 2320 in 2019. For the month of June 2020, the Department received 23 agency assist calls. The Melrose Police Department has been dealing with noise issues related to dirt bikes. One citation has been issued after having issued 4 warning prior to the written citation.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke reported on projects he has been working on for the City:
• Nuisance properties: Worked with staff on the 4 abatement orders of which 3 have been resolved. One is still moving forward with enforcement.
• Worked with staff on variance requests to ensure that request are appropriate with City ordinances.
• Working with staff on the Rose Park violation. Attorney Dymoke reviewed the current status and provided options for remedying the situation. Attorney Dymoke stated that the City may pursue a civil or criminal process. Attorney Dymoke stated that he prefers the civil process. The Council concurred with city attorney Dymoke to pursue the civil process.
Community Development Director Atkinson provided an update on the year to date building permits. Ms. Atkinson also reported on proposed amendments to Chapters 500, 600, 700 and 1500 of the Zoning Code. Director Atkinson also reported that four businesses have received Emergency Revolving Loan Funds to help mitigate COVID-19 impacts. Also 1 Rehab Forgivable Commercial Deferred Loan in the amount of $5,000 was approved by MADA on June 11, 2020 for the proposed daycare building.
Mike Nielson with WSB & Associates provided an update on the various city projects.
Pavement Management Gary Middendorf and Mike Nielson looked at 12th Avenue from Main Street to Kraft Drive. The road is showing some distress and beginning to pothole in several areas. The 2016 Pavement Management report showed the recommended repairs as a mill and overlay. Streets/Parks Supervisor Middendorf has asked if a Micro-Surfacing would be beneficial as an interim solution to a mill and overlay. WSB has reviewed this segment of street for a possible MicroSurfacing and have a strong opinion that the wear course on this street is beyond a surface application repair. We recommend that pavement cores be taken to determine the condition of the base course to confirm that this street is a good candidate for a mill and overlay project. Based only on the age of the road and a visual inspection Mr. Nielson believes that a mill and overlay is the appropriate solution for the deteriorating surface conditions, but the pavement coring’s would confirm this. The next step would be to complete the pavement coring’s and prepare an estimate of cost to see where this project may fit into the Capital Improvement Program.
WSB Project No. R-014036-000 – CR 65 Drainage Improvements -Contractor: Anderson Underground. No changes from last report. I contacted Molitor again and he still has not confirmed his schedule for this work.
WSB Project No. R-015456-000 2020 Street Improvements including 5th Street N, 4th St. N & 3rd Ave N.To date Mark Lee Excavating has completed removing the bituminous and has begun on the subgrade excavation on the west end of the project and have progressed to just east of 2nd Avenue. The contractor is about 2 weeks behind schedule but have indicated they will be able to meet the August 1st deadline. Roger Avelsgard has added conduit crossings at 5 locations on 4th Avenue and 3rd Street NE. The Melrose Electric Department crew will be doing the digging and Mark Lee Excavating will be backfilling and compacting the trenches. We have agreed to increase the working days by one day.
WSB Project No. R-015524-000 Casey’s South Site Inspection – At my last site visit the work to raise the berm had begun. We are moving forward with the work to eliminate the standing water at the intersection of Country Club Drive and CSAH 13. The work will include removing curb and sidewalk at the SW corner and replacing at grades to allow the water to drain to the curb. This will require the removal of bituminous in the SW quadrant of the intersection from the centerline of Country Club Lane to the thru lane of CSAH 13.
Multi Family Site Evaluation: No work has been done on this since our last update at your request.
WSB Project No. R-015500-000 Melrose Road, Dam, and Bridge –
– USACE stream calculator tool survey, vegetation survey, and extending wetland delineations as needed the week of July 6th.
– Supplemental roadway survey to be completed the week of July 13th.
– The project is approximately one month behind schedule.
– Once we receive the survey data, we will proceed immediately with populating the USACE tool.
Structures: – No update since 5/14/20 project update.
– Submitted draft O&M to City on 3/16/2020.
A conversation is needed between WSB and City to complete information in the document regarding the City’s protocols that will be included in the document. This conversation should occur before mid-September.
– Need approval of the stream alignment and typical section prior to moving forward with detailed design.
City Administrator Winter provided an update on the Minnesota Special Legislative Session. Stearns County Attorney Report was included in the Administrator Report. The State Demographer report shows Melrose population for 2019 is estimated at 3,680 and 1,336 households.
The Council gave consideration to the request for an On Sale 3.2% Malt Liquor License and Wine License to be issued to Maria De Lourdes of Martinez Meat and Grocery. A background investigation has been conducted by the Melrose Police Department on Maria DeLourdes Martinez and no records have been found. Minnesota law requires cities to obtain proof that all licensees provide workers’ compensation 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 documents have been received. Approval of the license should be contingent upon receipt of the necessary certificates of insurance as to dram shop and general liability. A motion was made by Mr. Hill to approve issuing the On Sale 3.2% Malt Liquor License and Wine License to Martinez Meat and Grocery. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Hill, Travis Frieler, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Tony Klasen stated that Warrior Boats has one parcel that was previously four lots. They have requested an easement vacation for the 6-foot easements on each side of the prior shared lines. They will retain the 12-foot easement around the perimeter of the block. There are no known utilities in the interior easement areas. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler to approve the vacation easement. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Hill, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Klasen noted that the Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on June 29 to hear a request for a Variance submitted by Dakota Massmann regarding land owned by William and Karen Massmann. The Variance request pertains to an agricultural homestead parcel proposed to be split into two lots, one of which is smaller than the minimum allowed by lot split. The Variance is requested from the prohibition of metes and bounds conveyance creating a single parcel of land not less than 5 acres in area and 300 feet in width 9Section 152.01(G) of the Subdivision Code. The property, 520 County Road 170 NW is located west of 5th Ave NW and south of County Road 170 extending along the north side of the Sauk River. (Parcel 66.36493.0000).The request relates to real property in the City of Melrose, legally described as follows:
That portion of the North West Quarter of the North West Quarter (NW 1/ NW 1/4) of Section 34 in Township 126 North, of Range 33 W. lying North of Sauk River, Except Deed of flowage and all instruments thereto pertaining. AND Lots 1-6 and 13-24 of Block 3, Lots 1-12 of Block 4, Lots 1-5 of Block 5, and Lots 9-21 of Block 6 all in H.J. Haskamp’s Addition to Melrose according to the Plat thereof now on file and of record in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Stearns County. A copy of the proposed request is available for review at the Melrose City Center during normal business hours. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommends approval of the variance and for the Council to adopt Resolution No. 2020-36. Council Member Travis Frieler introduced Resolution No. 2020-36 Resolution Approving Case No. VAR-6-2020-103 Application for a Variance from the Prohibition of Metes and Bounds Conveyance Creating a Single Parcel of Land Not Less than 5 Acres in Area and 300 Feet in Width per Section 152.01(G) of the Subdivision Code. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member : Travis Frieler, Hill, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Klasen stated that the City of Melrose Public Utilities received the 2021-2050 United States Department of Energy Western Area Power Administration Contract for Firm Electric Service to the City of Melrose, Minnesota. The contract has been reviewed by Kaela Brennan with McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb, Chartered. Ms. Brennan has completed a legal review and provided opinion via email to Administrator Winter dated 6-18-20. MRES has completed the technical review and is recommending execution. Staff has reviewed the contract and is recommending execution. The contract is a 30-year contract which requires the City to execute. In 2012 the PUC approved a similar contract. The Melrose Public Utilities Commission at its June 22, 2020 meeting recommended the Council approve the contract. A motion was made by Mr. Hill approving the Western Area Power Administration Contract. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Hill, Travis Frieler, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Klasen noted that Matt Hill requested a reduction in the assessments for the two Daylight Court lots abutting his lot, which was approved on the June 18, 2020 City Council agenda. He requested the assessment be reduced to $10,500. It was inadvertently and erroneously in the packet and discussed at the meeting as $10,000. The motion below includes the original motion, with a correction of the amount to $10,500 per lot. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler to clarify and correct the June 18, 2020 assessment reduction approval for Parcel Number 66.36668.0003 (Lot 4 Block 1 Daylight Court) and 66.36668.0001 (Lot 2 Block 1 Daylight Court) to $10,500 per lot, to match the request from Mr. Hill, less any previously paid assessment amounts, subject to condition that it is only applicable when the lots are combined with one or more existing abutting lots and the condition that no new home or housing unit may be created. The City reserves the right to collect the original assessment amount plus interest, less any payments made on the assessment, should a new home be created on either of these lots in the future. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Hill, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Klasen noted that staff sent an email to Shaggy’s Towing on June 26 requesting an update on the removal of the tarp covered structure that was put up without a permit. There was no response. Staff sent a follow up email on July 8, 2020 and copied Collins Brothers Towing on the second email. This is what was sent on July 8: As you are aware, Staff sent a notice to Shaggy’s on October 21, 2019 noting a structure appeared to be under construction without a permit and appeared to not conform to building codes. Shaggy’s was given until November 13, 2019 to remove the structure. Staff extended the deadline to June 15, 2020. The structure has still not been removed. The City Council was informed of the non-compliance at their June 18, 2020 meeting as is typical for code enforcement issues. They would like an update on the schedule for the removal of the tarp covered structure. Please contact staff by July 9, 2020 regarding the status and proposed timeline for the removal of the tarped structure. Staff also contacted Collins Brothers Towing; however, they have not responded. Mr. Schneider had spoken with Mayor Finken and stated that the intent is to build a structure on the property. Mr. Finken would be willing to work with Mr. Schneider on an extended deadline to work through the process. The Council by consensus tabled this item until the August meeting.
Acting Mayor Klasen stated staff has been working with Arce Auto regarding bringing the site into compliance with their approved CUP. Surfacing, in particular the timing of acquiring crushed bituminous, reluctance to remove the granite chips before the crushed tar is installed and the conflict regarding removing the cars for sale from the granite chip area, and the lack of soil or plants in the landscape planters are the remaining concerns. Cars parked on the grass continues to be a concern from time to time. Dumpster screening will be resolved when the new building is complete. Ms. Atkinson noted that progress has been made, however the site is still in non-compliance. Mr. Arceneau stated that he will remove the granite and replace with crushed bituminous. He is waiting to hear from MN DOT how the I-94 project bituminous tears up. If the bituminous pieces are too large Mr. Arceneau will look at alternatives. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler to issue the building permit. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Hill, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Community Development Director Atkinson stated that staff has been working on the list of violations related to the mobile home that was moved into Rose Park with without a permit. Staff will continue to pursue this issue.
The Melrose Police Department has been notified that Leedstone will no longer accept stray or abandoned animals. Police Chief Maus has been looking at other locations that would take these animals. Staff looked at other vet services, kennels and doggy day care The St. Cloud Humane society will not take on new animals. Chief Maus stated that the Animal Care Act does impose some issues for city staff to operate an animal shelter. City Administrator Winter has spoken with David Tomsche. Ms. Winter will be meeting with Dr. Overby in the near future to discuss a potential contract with the vet clinic. The Council by consensus directed staff to meet with the vet clinic and to discuss with the Water/Wastewater Supervisor what would be required to meet the Animals Care Act should the City determine to house the stray dogs at the WWTF.
Acting Mayor Klasen stated that at this time the City of Melrose has been allocated $3.5 million from the bonding bill for our WWTF upgrades. This is $2.25 million short of the request that was made , but staff is working through changes to see what we can cut from the WWTF project. The final bonding bill has not been voted on at this time.
City Administrator Winter received a request by the Senior Center Board to reopen the Sr. Center that is located at City Center. It has been closed since March 16th. When City Center was reopened on June 1st, the Sr. Center was not reopened at that time based on guidance from the State of Minnesota. I have been in contact with several area City Administrators and Sauk Centre and Cold Spring are allowing their Sr. Centers to open. I would recommend that if the Sr. Center were to reopen that it operates under a COVID19 Preparedness Plan similar to the one that was put in place for the City. I would also recommend having a provision that holds the City harmless if a Senior were to contract Covid – 19. A motion was made by Mr. Hill approving the opening of the Senior Center under the guidelines of the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and a signed waiver agreement holding the city harmless if they contracted COVID. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member : Hill, Travis Frieler, and Klasen. AGAINST: None.. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Acting Mayor Klasen stated that the City has received $276,154 from the CARES Act, which is to be used on COVID related expenses: Over the past several months, we have asked departments to track their COVID related expenses. In conversations with area City Administrators, many communities are providing grant funds to local businesses that have been impacted by COVID. I would recommend that the COVID funds be allocated as follows:
1. Pay directly for COVID related expenses for City/PUC/Fire/Ambulance. This includes any PPE, cleaning supplies, extra custodial services, HVAC services, additional staff time, coverage of City Administrator, Finance Director salaries specific to COVID.
2. For those businesses that received a loan through our revolving loan fund, I would recommend that that loan be forgiven.
3. Set up 2nd phase of forgivable loans for the business community. City Administrator Winter would like to have this go through MADA for a recommendation.
4. There may also be a provision to give grants to individuals to help pay for utilities. We are still working through this particular item. If we are able to do so, City Administrator Winter recommends utilizing a portion of the funds for utility resident payments.
The Council by consensus directed staff to conduct further research on how the money can be utilized and to work with the local businesses.
The minutes from the Utilities Commission’s June 22 Regular Meeting
Budget Update: Finance Director Beuning is starting the compilation of the 2021 budget. Typically, the City Council meets in August for a budget working group meeting to discuss the preliminary budget prior to its adoption at the September Council meeting. We are proposing to set the working group meeting to prior to the August 20th scheduled council meeting, at 4:30. 2nd Quarter Ambulance Report
A motion was made by Hill to adjourn the meeting at 7:46 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Hill, Travis Frieler, and Klasen. AGAINST: None. ABSENT: Council Member Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken
Patricia Haase, City Clerk