The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Melrose City Center pursuant to due notice being given thereof. Present were Council Members Tony Klasen, Justin Frieler, and Travis Frieler, Mayor Joe Finken, City Administrator Colleen Winter, and City Clerk Patti Haase. Council member Mark “Bunker” Hill was absent. Mayor Finken presided thereat. The Council then recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler, seconded by Mr. Klasen and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as amended.
Mayor Finken then opened the floor to public comment. There were no comments.
Approval of the following:
a. The minutes from the Council’s February 20 Regular Meeting, and the February 26, 2020 Special Meeting hosting the German Students
b. List of bills in the amount of $306,115.45
c. List of investments for the month of February
d. Donation Resolution
1) Resolution No. 2020-15, Donation in the amount of $500 from the Minnesota Dark House & Angling Association Heartland Chapter towards the Melrose Fire Department.
2) Resolution No. 2020-16, Donation in the amount of $500 from the Minnesota Dark House & Angling Association Heartland Chapter towards the Melrose Ambulance Department
3) Resolution No. 2020-20, Donation in the amount of $500 from the Roving Hillbillies Snowmobile Club toward the Melrose Fire Development
e.The Council to give consideration to Final Pay Voucher No. 2 from ASTECH Corp for the 2019 Bituminous Seal Coat in the amount $3,301.50. Pay Voucher #2 has been reviewed by WSB Engineering and is hereby recommended approving Pay Voucher #2.
f. The Council to give consideration to approval of a Community Festival License – Public Property to the Melrose Area Chamber of Commerce. Approval is contingent upon state approval, and necessary liquor liability insurance documentation.
g. 1) Gambling Resolution No. 2020-19 Resolution Approving Gambling License to the Melrose Area Chamber of Commerce for an exemption from lawful gambling license to conduct a bingo, sell pull-tabs and hold a raffle on June 27, 2020 at the Sauk River Park located at 206 5th Avenue NE.
h. The Council to give consideration to Pay Voucher #4 from Mission Mechanical for the City Center HVAC Improvements in the amount of $18,238.39 of which is shared 50/50 with the Public Utilities. Pay Voucher #4 has been reviewed by SEH and is hereby recommending approval.
i. The Council to next give consideration to Pay Voucher #5 from Mission Mechanical for the City Center HVAC Improvements in the amount of $34,698.04 of which is shared 50/50 with the Public Utilities. Pay Voucher #5 has been reviewed by SEH and is hereby recommending approval.
A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda items.
Police Chief Maus presented the Police Department’s February 2020 report. He noted there were 288 calls for service during that month, compared to 318 calls for February 2019. A total of 22 citations were written for the month of February. There were 79 verbal warnings and two written warnings. The year-to-date number of calls is 617 compared to 725 in 2019. For the month of February 2020, the Department received 34 agency assist calls. Chief Maus reminded residents that the annual Spring Nuisance Code Inspection Annual inspections will begin in April or early May.
Community Development Director Atkinson reported on the following:
• The City has had 14 building permits submitted, including 6 commercial/industrial and 8 residential. This includes 11 general permits, 2 mechanical permits, and 1 plumbing permit. Of these permits, there was 1 new outdoor pool, 2 non-structural repairs, and 11 maintenance permits. Total valuation is $234,971.
• The March MADA meeting was rescheduled to March 19, 2020 to allow time for information regarding a possible land purchase to be available. An update will be provided at the City Council meeting.
• Ed Zimney with the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership has been administering the City’s federal commercial and housing updates grant. The balance for the funds in the residential program is $112,019. The balance for the commercial program is $80,120. There is one residence in the process of getting approved. There is one residence and one business that have requested applications but not yet submitted them.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke reported on projects he has been working on for the City:
• Hector Property: Prepared opinion regarding Melrose’s easement rights over the Harlan Hector property. Advised city staff that easement rights included right to remove fence constructed in easement.
• Thom-Hennen Development: Revised proposed development and confirmed zoning issues identified by city staff. Prepared proposed right of way easement and parking easement for use with proposed development. Forwarded opinion and drafts of easements to city staff.
Mike Nielson with WSB provided the following information on various city projects.
WSB Project No. R-014036-000 – CR 65 Drainage Improvements-Contractor: Anderson Underground. Nick Anderson is aware the of the issue with the sag in the pipe. The original quote for the work was $32,500. Funds were withheld until the work is corrected. The amount paid to date is $21,833.32. Mike Nielson will follow up with Streets/Parks Supervisor Middendorf and Nick Anderson in May after the frost is out.
WSB Project No. R-015456-000 2020 Street Improvements including 5th Street N, 4th St. N & 3rd Ave N. The plans and specifications are a point where we are recommending the council authorize the ad for bid with a bid with an opening date of May 6th, 2020 at 11:00 AM at the City Centre.
The current Opinion of Probable Cost is $665,000 and includes a 5% contingency, Engineering Fees and approximately $4,500 for advertising and miscellaneous city expenses. The plans do include 600-feet of curb & gutter to use in case it is needed to remove more curb than anticipated due to the depth of the excavations in the road to remove poor soils. The project also includes the installation of 2” conduit for future underground electric service. This installation will require the removal of some sidewalk panels. As noted last month we have met with Street /Parks Supervisor Gary Middendorf on a few occasions and made some additions to the grading on 4th Ave and 2nd Avenue.
WSB Project No. R-015511-000 Public Utilities General Engineering. WSB has staked the ROW for Roger for the extension of utilities to the industrial park. Mr. Avelsgard has not requested any final documentation at this time. We are currently waiting for direction from Roger Avelsgard.
WSB Project No. R-015524-000 Casey’s South Site Inspection – The revised civil drawings have been reviewed and approved. Lisa has informed us that they have decided not to construct a truck scale at this store. We received a construction schedule from Strack today. Not much is happening in the month of March. Work is scheduled to begin again in April.
Multi Family Site Evaluation: WSB has prepared 2 potential site layouts for the Blenker site. We are waiting for approval from the potential developer before moving forward with cost estimates.
RDB PROJECT – RIVER, DAM, BRIDGE
• Kick off meeting with the DNR and USACE held on 2/14/2020 and meeting minutes and action items were distributed to all attendees.
• WSB moving forward with reviewing previous channel information to create the proposed channel typical section for DNR and USACE approval. So far our work has indicated an 80 foot wide channel bottom, not a 60 foot wide bottom, to match areas downstream, in the manner the DNR spoke of in the meeting. I.e. don’t match just one area width but the typical downstream width.
• We anticipate having the typical section sent to the DNR, along with supporting information regarding the width, in the next two weeks.
• WSB will move forward with the existing condition model during the week of March 2nd, 2020.
• WSB will create the draft outline of the Dam operations and maintenance manual, for discussion purposes, within the next two weeks.
• Alison and Amy Anderson (WSB) are working with Jamie Hyslop on stream mitigation protocol. They are gathering information on a rule change that occurred recently that may require additional information. It is new to USACE, so the MN office is learning about current expectations.
• Typical section, along with supporting information regarding width, sent to the DNR on 3.2.20. Earth is following up weekly for approval from DNR.
WSB started work on existing condition model on 3.4.20.
• WSB anticipates sending the draft outline of the Dam operations and maintenance manual (O&M) to city of Melrose by 3.13.20. WSB will schedule a meeting sometime end of March.
City Administrator Winter deferred her report. Her comments will be forthcoming in the Local Emergency Resolution and other items later on in the agenda.
Mayor Finken noted that City Administrator Winter, Finance Director Beuning and WWTF staff met with Susan Danzl and Amy Prok from SEH to go over the 90% design for the WWTF project. The original estimated construction amount was $11.2 million. That amount is now up to $13.4 million the City will be applying to the Public Facilities Authority (PFA) for $11.4 million, with the remaining amount coming from cash reserves. We will discuss this in greater detail at the meeting. Administrator Winter will also be putting out a Friday memo to the Council and PUC with additional information. Council Member Travis Frieler made a motion to adopt Resolution 2020-17 Resolution of Application. The motion was seconded by Mr. Klasen with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member Travis Frieler, Klasen, Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None; ABSENT: Council Member Mark Hill
Mayor Finken noted that the Council at its January 6 meeting determined that they would like to see the Park and Recreation Board restructured to consist of one member from the Planning and Zoning Commission, one member from MADA, one Council Member Representative and 2 members at large. Previously there were two MADA members and two Planning and Zoning Commission members on the Park and Recreation Board. Two applications have been received, and there remains a vacancy on the Planning and Zoning Commission. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler, seconded by Mr. Klasen and unanimously carried appointing Mr. Schiffler and Ms. Sabinash to the Parks and Recreation Board each for a three-year term.
Mayor Finken stated that any political subdivision (city, township, or county) in Minnesota that supports and commits to promote the availability of telecommuting options is eligible for the Telecommuter Forward! Community Certification and may apply through the Office of Broadband Development. The political subdivision must demonstrate compliance with the statutory requirements under Minn. Stat. 116J.9923. The Office of Broadband Development has created a model resolution that satisfies the minimum statutory requirements to assist communities in this effort. Council Member Klasen introduced No. 2020-18 Resolution in Support of Telecommuting Opportunities and Telecommuter Forward Certification. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member Klasen, Travis Frieler, Justin Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None; ABSENT: Council Member Mark Hill
Mayor Finken stated that the State of Minnesota statues requires that municipalities enact an electronic fund transfer policy if such payments are occurring. The City/PUC utilizes electronic payments in some circumstances to pay bills electronically or remotely. These payments are all included for Commission review and approval on the monthly List of Bills report. Staff is recommending approval of the Electronic Fund Transfer Policy to ensure compliance with Minnesota State Statutes. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously concurring with the Melrose Public Utilities Commission adopting the Electronic Fund Transfer Policy.
Mayor Finken noted that plans and specifications have advanced enough for WSB & Associates to be comfortable requesting authorization to advertise for bids for the 2020 Street Improvement Project, with a bid opening date of April 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. The current Opinion of Probable Cost is $665,000 and includes a 5% contingency. Engineering fees and approximately $4,500 for advertising and miscellaneous city expenses. The plans do include 600 feet of curb and gutter to use in case it is needed to remove more curb than anticipated due to the depth of the excavations in the road to remove poor soils. The project also includes the installation of 2” conduit for future underground electric services. This installation will require the removal of some sidewalk panels. A motion was made by Mr. Klasen, seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried authorizing WSB to place an advertisement for bid for the 2020 Street Improvement Project.
The Council next gave consideration to Resolution No 2020-21 Resolution Declaring Local Emergency. Mayor Finken stated with the COVID 19 contagion and concern for the health and safety of our residents’ staff is recommending the Council adopt Resolution 2020-21 Declaring a Local Emergency which allows the Mayor to make decisions rather than convening the entire Council. After further discussion a motion was made by Mr. Klasen, seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried adopting Resolution No. 2020-21 Resolution Declaring Local Emergency. The Council is requesting that this be brought back on a monthly basis.
Mayor Finken noted that on February 20, 2020 Marcy Douglas of MRES facilitated the first step in a Strategic Planning process by going through a Visioning session with the City of Melrose. Present at the meeting were the City Council members and Department Heads less Administrator Winter who unfortunately was sick that day. The question that was asked was – What do we want to see in place in 3-5 years as a result of our actions? This was then broken down into 4 categories as shown on While this is a good first step in the process, there is still more work that can be done. MRES has developed a Strategic Planning format at a very low cost to its members. While it states in their marketing materials it is for member utilities in our case it would be for the City and PUC. The overall cost is $1,000.00 and the process is explained in Questions and items to consider:
1. Does the City/PUC want to continue the Strategic Planning process with MRES?
2. If the City/PUC elects to continue the process it is strongly recommended that we then have a Retreat format (meeting 3-5 hours over a Saturday or an evening).
3. If the City/PUC chooses to not complete the Strategic Planning process through MRES how do we want to develop a Work Plan to implement the Vision?
The Melrose Public Utilities Commission by consensus supported continuing moving forward with the Strategic Planning process. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic the Council by consensus tabled this item to the May Regular Council meeting.
The Local Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. A quorum of the Council is required, at least one member must have Local Board of Appeal and Equalization training. Joe Finken and Justin Frieler, and Mark Hill are member certified. The Council and Commission will meet on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. to receive the 2019 Audit Report and Auditor’s Management Letter.
Mayor Finken noted that on March 24, and 25th the skylight replacement project will take place at the City Center. Due to the large nature of this project and the area that it covers, Administrator Winter is recommending that City Center be closed to the public for the days of the installation. This is worst case scenario and we are working with the company to have the project done in 2 days. This project is also weather related. If there is any rain or snow or high winds they cannot proceed. Administrator Winter will keep the Council apprised of the situation. City and Library staff can enter the building on the west side to access their offices and avoid the construction area. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler, seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried approving the closing of City Center for the skylight installation.
City Administrator Winter has discussed hosting a Town Hall meeting in the past. In light of the COVID-19 situation, Administrator Winter is proposing that the City/PUC consider hosting a Town Hall meeting in the Fall of 2020. This meeting is an opportunity for the public to get to know City and Utility staff and be able to ask questions about various projects. A typical format is displays and department exhibits, a short presentation to discuss the vision and goals for 2020. There will be ample opportunities to ask questions of the City Council/PUC and staff. Sample Agenda:
4:30-6:00 pm City Exhibits/Refreshments
6:00-6:05 pm Welcome and Introductions
6:05-6:20 pm State of the City address by the Mayor
6:20-6:30 pm Vision and Goals by City Administrator
6:30-7:00 pm Open for Public Comments/Questions
Could go into regular meeting after that. The disadvantage to hosting this meeting in the Fall is that the 2020 Street Improvement project will be well underway and or almost finished. If the Council elects to hold the Town Hall meeting in the Fall, Ms. Winter recommends that the City host an Open house for the 2020 Street Improvements or invite the neighborhood in to hear about the project this Spring. The Council by consensus supported the Town Hall meeting however due the COVID 19 pandemic tabled this item.
Mayor Finken stated that the shortage of multi-family housing has been brought to the attention of the City on numerous occasions. Staff has been reviewing options to promote additional multi-family housing within the City. Staff conducted an analysis of available land that would be ideal for multi-family housing. Two areas in particular stood out as possible options. The Council may wish to consider closing the meeting as it discusses the consideration of offers for the purchase of real property. According to State Statutes, there are certain exceptions to the Open Meeting Law, which allow to close meetings. The Council may, by majority vote in a public meeting, decide to hold a closed meeting to determine the asking price for real property to be sold by the public body, review confidential or nonpublic appraisal data; develop or consider offers or counteroffers for the purchase or sale of real or personal property. Prior to closing a meeting under any of the following exceptions, the public body must state on the record, the specific grounds that permit the meeting to be closed and describe the subject to be discussed, and identify the particular property that is the subject of the meeting. The meeting must be tape-recorded, and the property must be identified on the tape. The recording must be preserved for eight years and must be available to the public after all property discussed at the meeting has been purchased or sold or after the public body has abandoned the purchase or sale. A list of Council Members and all other person present at the closed meeting must be made available to the public after the closed meeting. The actual purchase or sale of the property must be approved at an open meeting, and the purchase or sale price is public data. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler, seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler and unanimously carried to close the meeting at 7:20 p.m. Those in attendance were Council Member Tony Klasen, Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Mayor Joe Finken, City Administrator Colleen Winter, City Attorney Scott Dymoke, City Clerk Patti Haase. The two parcels to be considered for potential purchase are PID 66.36486.0000 and a portion of PID number 66.36467.0000. The Council reviewed the costs associated with each proposed parcel and discussed site preference. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler, seconded by Mr. Klasen and unanimously carried to open the meeting at 7:50 p.m. The Council by consensus concluded to cautiously move forward with the project and directed staff to contact the developer to see their level of interest at the present time due to the pandemic and begin discussions with the landowner.
The following informational items were reviewed:
a. Utilities Commission’s February 10 Regular Meeting minutes.
b. Correspondence from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff Joel Brott
c. The following are schools and/or conferences where registrations were made:
1) Safety and Loss Control Workshop April 2. Attending: Police Chief Craig Maus, April 18 Attending Electrical Supervisor Roger Avelsgard, City Administrator Colleen Winter, and Streets/Parks Supervisor Gary Middendorf
2) Seal Coat Operations April 9. Attending Streets/Parks Supervisor Gary Middendorf
d. 4:00 on the 4th has been cancelled
A motion was made by Mr. Travis, seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler and unanimously carried that the meeting be adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Patricia Haase, City Clerk