The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Melrose City Center pursuant to due notice being given thereof. Present were Council Members Justin Frieler, Mark Hill, Travis Frieler, City Administrator Colleen Winter, and City Clerk Patti Haase. Council Member Tony Klasen and Mayor Joe Finken were absent. The Council then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried appointing Justin Frieler as the Presiding Officer.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as amended.
Mr. Justin Frieler 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 20 Regular Meeting.
b. List of bills in the amount of $510,681.28.
c. List of investments for the month of June. (See attached list)
d. Streets/Parks Worker Keith Dobmeier’s will complete four years of service with the City on August 10. Streets/Parks Supervisor Gary Middendorf has conducted Mr. Dobmeier’s review and it is favorable; therefore, recommends he receive a step increase from Step 6 to Step 7.
e. Office Assistant III Felicia Mundis will complete two 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 3 to Step 4.
f. Donation Resolution:
1) Resolution No. 2019-40, donation from the various sponsors and contributors towards the City of Melrose Parks and Recreations Capital Fund from the Golf Scramble Fund Raising Event.
g. Gambling Resolution:
1) Resolution No. 2019-41, Resolution Approving Gambling License to St. Mary’s Church for an exemption from lawful gambling license to conduct a bingo and a raffle on October 27, 2019, St. Mary’s School at 320 5th Ave SE in Melrose.
h. Part-time Police Officer Chance Kostreba has submitted his letter of resignation. His last day of employment was July 1, 2019. The Council to accept the resignation of Officer Kostreba.
i. The Council to give consideration to Pay Voucher No. 2 from Riley Bros. Construction for the 2019 Street Improvements. The total due on Pay Voucher No. 2 is $75,871.71, less retainage of $3,793.59 for an amount due of $72,078.12. Pay Voucher No. 2 has been reviewed by WSB Engineering and is hereby recommended approving Pay Voucher No. 2 in the amount of $72,078.12.
j. The Council to give consideration to Pay Voucher No. 7 from Breitbach Construction for the 1st Street NE & 4th Avenue NE Improvements. The total due on Pay Voucher No. 7 is $53,187.22. Pay Voucher No. 7 has been reviewed by WSB Engineering and is hereby recommended approving Pay Voucher No. 7 in the amount of $53,187.22.
k. Ambulance Coordinator Jenn Tschida is requesting Council approval to hire Nathan Budde contingent upon passing his EMT test, successful background and pre-employment physical.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda items.
Police Chief Maus presented Police Officer Assistant Felicia Mundis with the Circle of Excellence Certificate. Ms. Mundis has been awarded the Circle of Excellence Certification for 2019 from the Professional Law Enforcement Assistants Association.
Police Chief Craig Maus presented the Police Department’s June report. He noted there were 347 calls for service during the month, compared to 463 for June 2018. A total of 33 citations were written for the month of June. The year-to-date number of calls is 2,320 compared to 2,589 in 2018. For the month of June 2019, the Department received 42 agency assist calls.
Chief Maus stated that when the Council adopted the Golf Cart Ordinance in 2018, it removed the permitting for all four-wheelers and ATVs. However, if the Council wants to allow ATVs on City streets, the existing ordinance will need to be amended to allow ATVs by permit, basically, return to the prior ordinance, but with an updated definition of ATVs. This will allow City residents to use their ATVs on both City streets and county roads. Out-of-towners would not need a permit to use their ATVs on county roads running through Melrose, but would need to obtain a permit if they plan on leaving the county roads and riding on City streets. This only applies to Class 1.
Chief Maus reminded residents that Tuesday, August 6 is Night to Unite. The event will be held at the Sauk River Park from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Hotdogs and chips will be served, sponsored by Freeport State Bank.
Chief Maus also reminded the public that the hands-free driving law goes into effect on August 1, 2019. The law no longer allows one to talk, text or do anything with video messaging, while having your phone in your hand. The hands-free additions to the law will still allow you to talk, receive and send text messages with a voice activated feature on your phone or through your vehicle. There is an exception for making calls for emergency situations.
Chief Maus stated that he has received a request for one-hour parking at the Stearns County building – Area Learning Center. They will be expanding the use of the building. This building will be used by West Central Area Learning Center; therefore, creating more parking constraints. This will be further discussed and researched and may be brought back before the Council.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke reported on projects he has been working on for the City:
• St. Mary’s Church: Met with City staff and representatives from St. Mary’s Church to discuss status of EAW, procedures for processing the EAW, and estimated timelines to complete City review.
• ATV/Golf Cart Ordinance: Reviewed state statutes and current ordinance to determine if ATVs are allowed on City streets. Advised City staff that ATVs are permitted on county roads within Melrose, but not on City streets.
City Administrator Winter reported on behalf of City Engineer Mike Nielson. Ms. Winter along with Mike Nielson, representatives from the DNR, representatives from the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation, along with Ms. Nash and Ms. Lennon from the LCCMR Board held a conference call to discuss the Rock Arch Rapids. At this time, the City does not have the work plan that is needed to move forward; therefore, at this point, City Administrator Winter is recommending putting a pause on this project while staff does additional research without spending any additional engineering dollars.
City Administrator Winter stated that she has now been with the City for one month. During that time, Ms. Winter has had the opportunity to meet with several business owners and plans to meet with several more in the next few weeks. Ms. Winter met with Gerry Gilbertson and Julie Baum from CentraCare and toured the facility. They discussed the housing needs that exist and how important that is in their recruitment efforts. City Administrator Winter met with Stearns County HRA and talked about the need for housing of all kinds. They discussed workforce housing specifically as an area that Stearns County HRA is interested in developing in the City. Ms. Winter noted that the Letter of Intent regarding the Kraft lot has expired. She has been in contact with a couple of different development groups. She will also be meeting with Matt Imdieke (Central MN Realty) to talk about how the City can work on marketing available housing in the City.
The contracts have been signed for the following upcoming projects:
a. Telephone system for all of City of Melrose buildings – should begin in the next 45 to 60 days.
b. HVAC system at City Center – to begin in September.
c. Worms concrete for sidewalk on Hwy 65 – has started clearing and grub work.
Ms. Winter stated that she has also met with the Soccer League organizer and the team captains on July 6 to discuss with them the condition of the fields and provided a printout of the park rules. The City will continue to work with them for the rest of the season.
Presiding Officer Justin Frieler stated that Stearns County HRA has been handling the administration, reporting and closing out of the City of Melrose’s reporting on past Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grant projects. There has not been an Memo of Understanding (MOU) in place for this practice and City Administrator Winter is requesting that the Council enter into the MOU that is presented to formalize the process and meet the requirements of the SCDP program. Cost: $250 annually for all reporting and administration and $100 per satisfaction until the grant is closed out. This is not something that can be done in-house as the City does not have the system set up or the expertise.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried authorizing entering into the MOU with Stearns County HRA.
Presiding Officer Justin Frieler noted that in conjunction with the 2019 Street Improvement projects and Turkey Lane repaving, Mr. Vargas and Ms. Molina have requested to have their property’s parking lot repaved and has requested to be assessed and agrees to be voluntarily assessed. The assessment is $6,000. 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 2020 and shall bear interest at the rate of 3.95 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, 2020. To each subsequent installment, when due, shall be added interest for one year on all unpaid installments. Council Member Travis Frieler introduced Resolution No. 2019-39, Resolution Adopting Special Assessment for Repaving of the Vargas and Molina Parking Lot, 412 ½ Main Street East, Parcel No. 66.37176.0000. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows FOR: Council Members Travis Frieler, Hill, and Justin Frieler; AGAINST: None; ABSENT: Council Member Klasen and Mayor Finken
Staff reposted the Part-time Streets/Parks Maintenance Worker position. Two applications were received. Staff interviewed candidates on July 15. It was recommended to hire Bob Boeckermann at Step 3 on the wage scale. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried approving the hire of Mr. Boeckermann at Step 3.
Presiding Officer Justin Frieler stated that Sophie Sabinash with the New Munich Jaycees has contacted City staff regarding the Fall Festival. Ms. Sabinash is requesting utilizing the Sauk River Park for a rodeo and other festivities the weekend of September 6-8. The rodeo will not work in the park but will work on the Kraft lot. So, at this time that is what is planned with the other activities taking place in the park. Ms. Sabinash provided a summary of the three-day event. The Fall Festival organizers will be hauling in gravel on the Kraft lot. The New Munich Jaycees carries their own insurance as well as the rodeo. The band will be performing at the Sauk River Park. Ms. Sabinash is anticipating needing at least six camping spaces at the Sauk River Park and may require all 12 campsites. The event organizers are working to determine the number of campsites needed. In 2018, the Council approved to reduce the fees from approximately $1,575 ($1,200 campsite and $375 pavilion) to $500 and allowing the organization to reserve a maximum of six camp sites and use of the pavilion for the days of September 5-9.This year, the Parks and Recreation Board is recommending a $1,000 damage deposit. Mr. Hill supported moving ahead with the event. After further discussion, a motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried to charging $1,000 damage deposit plus the $500 fee allowing the organization to reserve a maximum of six campsites and use of the pavilion for the days of September 6-8.
Presiding Officer Justin Frieler stated that due to the new hands-free law beginning on August 1, 2019, City Administrator Winter recommends the Council adopt the revisions to the City Personnel Policy, Cellular Device Policy as presented. A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried adopting the City Personnel Policy, Cellular Device Policy as presented.
Presiding Officer Justin Frieler stated that City Administrator Winter is requesting that the Council consider holding a Work Session on the evening of August 15, 2019 to discuss the upcoming 2020 Budget. The agenda would include an overview of the budget and operations of the City, along with an overview of tax increment financing, tax levy process, and Local Government Aid. It would also be an opportunity for the Council to hear from the Department Heads on their projected Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan and potential new budget items. No action would be taken by the Council at this meeting .A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried changing the start time of the August 15 Regular Meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and to schedule the Budget Meeting for 6:00 p.m. that same evening.
City Administrator Winter stated that during the vacancy of the Part-time Street/Parks Maintenance Worker, the Seasonal employee has been working additional hours. In recognition of the work he has done and because of experience, City Administrator Winter is recommending he be moved to Step 7 on the wage scale. Ms. Winter stated that she contacted the Ad Hoc Committee and they are in support of the wage increase. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Hill and unanimously carried approving the wage adjustment for the Seasonal employee for the Streets/Parks Department to Step 7.
The following informational items were reviewed:
a. The minutes from the Utilities Commission’s June 10 Regular Meeting.
b. 2nd Quarter Ambulance Report.
c. The following are schools and/or conferences where registrations were made:
1) Civic Symposium – September 11-13, 2019 in Wisconsin. Attending: Office Assistant II Sharon Blaskowski.
A motion was made by Mr. Hill, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried that the meeting be adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
Patricia Haase, City Clerk