The Melrose City Council met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, October 15, 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. Travis Frieler to approve the agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Mr. Justin Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Justin Frieler, Hill, Klasen, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
The following items were considered for approval under the Consent Agenda
a. The minutes from the Council’s September 17, Special Joint Meeting and the September 17 Regular Meeting
b. List of bills in the amount of $ 444,317.35
c. List of investments for the month of September
d. Gambling Resolution:
1) Resolution No. 2020-49, Resolution Approving Gambling License to the Melrose Area Chamber of Commerce for an exemption from lawful gambling license to hold a raffle on November 27, 2020 at 223 Main Street E, Melrose, MN
e. Resolution No. 2020-50 Resolution Designating Polling Place. Per Minnesota Statute section 204B.16, Subdivision 1 the governing body of each municipality must annually designate a polling place for each election precinct.
f. Donation Resolutions
1) Resolution No. 2020-51, donation in the amount $5,000 from the Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits Charitable Fund towards the Melrose Fire Department.
2) Resolution No. 2020-52, donation in the amount of $1,500 from the Melrose Lions towards the Melrose Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Kick-Off Fireworks
3) Resolution No. 2020-53, donation of design, material and labor for the emblem in the front lobby.
g. Streets/Parks Worker Roman Bertram has submitted his Notice of Retirement effective October 9, 2020. Mr. Bertram will have 27 years of service with the City of Melrose.
h. Ambulance Coordinator Jenn Tschida is requesting approval be given to the appointment of Tessa Goihl and Jeff Eggert to the Ambulance Department, contingent upon passing the pre-employment physical and drug test.
A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler to approve the Consent Agenda items. The motion was seconded by Mr. Klasen with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Justin Frieler, Klasen, Hill, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
The Melrose City Council held a Public Hearing to abate nuisances pursuant to Melrose City Code Section 93.21 on the following property:
• 121 Third Street SE, Melrose, Minnesota,
Attorney Scott Dymoke provided an overview of the nuisance violation and the process of abating the nuisance. There being no further comment the public hearing was closed at 6:11 p.m.
Elizabeth Wefel with Flaherty and Hood presented the CGMC 2020 Goals and Achievements.
Police Chief Maus presented the Police Department’s September 2020 report. Chief Maus noted there were 452 calls for service during that month, compared to 330 calls for September 2019. A total of 35 citations were written for the month of September. There were 139 verbal warnings and 0 written warning. The year-to-date number of calls is 2,915 compared to 3,353 in 2019. For the month of September 2020, the Department received 43 agency assist calls. The police department has received federal aid to conduct DWI, seat belt, and distracted driving enforcement.
City Attorney Scott Dymoke reported on projects he has been working on for the City:
• Nuisance Abatement: Prepared proposed Council resolutions ordering abatement of nuisances.
• Relief Grant Application: Reviewed proposed Relief Grant Application and prepared revisions providing for guarantee of payment of reimbursements.
Community Development Director Atkinson provided an update on the year to date building permits. Ms. Atkinson also reported on the Small Business Assistance Grant Program.
Mike Nielson with WSB & Associates provided an update on the various city projects.
Pavement Management: Pavement cores are scheduled to be completed on Friday October 9, 2020. The results and recommendations should be ready within one week. Estimates will be completed and presented at the November council meeting.
WSB Project No. R-014036-000 – CR 65 Drainage Improvements -Contractor: Anderson Underground.
Anderson Underground has contracted with Molitor Excavation to make the necessary repairs. I contacted Molitor Excavating again and he has the work scheduled for October but has no specific date at this time.
WSB Project No. R-015456-000 2020 Street Improvements including 5th Street N, 4th St. N & 3rd Ave N
At this time there are 2 items with one being a section of cracked sidewalk and the other being a section of curb and sidewalk that was supposed to be removed and replaced and was missed. These corrections will be completed in the spring of 2021 just in case there are more sections of concrete that crack this winter.
WSB Project No. R-015524-000 Casey’s South Site Inspection –
The fence construction was the last item to be completed and on my way through town I stopped at the site and the work has been completed.
I did talk to Roger indicated that the row of evergreen trees planted on the west side of the fence at the west property line is within the electric easement but did not see the need to move any trees at this time. More attention needs to be paid to work within easements during plan review.
Multi Family Site Evaluation:
I ran into Mitch Rengel and he asked when we were going to find them a spot to build.
2nd Street S and 3rd Ave SE Flooding Issue -5th Avenue Storm Sewer System
We have provided a proposal to complete a feasibility study to alleviate the flooding in this area.
WSB Project No. R-015500-000 Melrose Road, Dam, and Bridge –
– Moving forward with grading of the proposed river section between the dam and the bridge based on COE acceptance.
– Looking at alternatives to provide gentle slope along the embankment that will allow access for fishing opportunities. Currently we have rip rap under the bridge so it moving under the bridge will be difficult. Once we get confirmation, we can finalize grading for the segment between the dam and bridge and move forward with bridge hydraulics and bridge structure design.
– Meeting with DNR on 9/9/2020 to discuss updates to rivermorph proposed conditions downstream of the bridge based on their comments from 9/23/2020.
Structures: – No update since 5/14/20 project update.
– Submitted draft O&M to City on 3/16/2020.
– Dam inspection in October
– 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 the inspection. We plan on inspection the dam between October 5 and 15. If you want a City representative present, please let us know right away for scheduling.
– Need approval of the stream alignment and typical section prior to moving forward with detailed design.
– Coordination with the DNR is moving forward on the channel typical section at the bridge, as well as setting the channel bank typical section, i.e. pedestrian bench and creature crossing under bridge.
– Proposed grading plan between the dam and bridge is in process.
– We have initiated the discussions with MnDOT on the new bridge number. It should be the same as the previously designed bridge.
City Administrator Winter provided a brief update on current city projects.
Fire Chief Tom Budde noted that the Melrose Fire Department in 2012, and the City of Melrose, as the guarantor for the Melrose Fire Department Retirement Program, entered into an agreement with PERA to manage the retirement program and funds for the Department. At that time, there was a five-year lock at the $1,500 benefit level per firefighter. The program is funded by three primary areas: Fire State Aid, Investment Income and Municipal Contribution (if required). The City of Melrose has agreed to make an annual contribution of $8,200. As per the PERA bylaws, there is a five-year vesting into the program where no changes to the benefit level can occur. In 2017, the Melrose City Council approved an increase from $1,500 to $1,900. During 2018, the Council approved the increase in benefit to $2,200 per year. During 2019, the Council approved the increase in benefit to $2,300 per year. A review has been conducted again in 2020 by PERA Volunteer Firefighter Retirement Plan, and reviewed by the Fire Chief, Finance Director, and City Administrator for contribution levels of $2,400, $2,500, $2,600, and $2,700. The funding ratios for those benefit levels would be 113%, 110%, 107% and 104%, respectively. Based on this review, the fund would support all four options without a required contribution by the City. It is the Fire Chief’s recommendation to support a $300 increase to $2,600. Council Member Justin Frieler introduced Resolution No. 2020-40 A Resolution Option to Increase the Benefit Level for Firefighters Who Are Vested in the Voluntary Statewide Volunteer Firefighter (SVF) Retirement Plan. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Members Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, and Klasen; AGAINST: None; ABSTAIN: Council Member Hill, and Mayor Finken due to a potential conflict of interest
The Council reviewed and gave consideration to ordering the abatement of nuisance conditions on 121 3rd Street SE. Melrose MN
Council Member Mark Hill introduced Resolution No. 2020-55, Ordering the Abatement of Nuisance Conditions Located at 121 3rd Street SE Melrose MN. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Hill, Travis Frieler, Justin Frieler, Klasen, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Mayor Finken stated that the City is in the process of administering small-business assistance grants, largely utilizing CARES Act funds. A total of 24 applications were submitted of which 23 were eligible for grant funding. The City received $276,197 in CARES funding. Of this, the City retained $16,955 to reimburse for COVID-19 expenses “to make the City whole.” An additional $4,802.32 in funds, a portion of the City’s larger indirect reimbursable costs, is being retained by the City at this time. The entire remainder of the City’s CARES related funds, ($259,242) are being distributed to small businesses. Melrose Township has allocated their CARES Act funding to the City of Melrose to help our small businesses ($18,875). Stearns County has agreed to provide an additional $82,500 of their CARES Act funds but requires a subrecipient agreement with the City. The combined total of funds that will be allocated to Melrose businesses is $355,815. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler authorizing the City to enter into the Subrecipient Agreement with Stearns County. 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
Mayor Finken noted that Fire Chief Budde is seeking approval to purchase 12 radios for the Fire Department. A quote was received from Motorola Solutions in the amount of $31,046.76. The Fire Department has received $13,000 in grants and donations to be used towards the purchase of these radios. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler to approve the purchase of the radios for the Fire Department. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Klasen, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
The Fire Department has a tanker replacement in the capital plan scheduled for 2022. Fire Chief Budde has received information that it is taking approximately 18 months to get trucks due to COVID-19. Chief Budde would like to start the process now with the plan of receiving the tanker by May 2022. The tanker is estimated to cost approximately $250,000. A motion was made by Mr. Travis Frieler approving to seek bids for the replacement tanker. Mr. Justin Frieler seconded the motion with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Travis Frieler, Justin Frieler, Klasen, Hill and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None
Council Member Klasen left the meeting at 6:20 p.m.
Mayor Finken stated that WSB has prepared a proposed scope of services, engineering fee and time schedule for providing professional engineering services to complete a flood study for the area adjacent to 5th Avenue and Kraft Drive. The goal of the project is to reduce flood potential by evaluation stormwater storage options and storm sewer sizing in the area. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler approving the Feasibility Study for the area adjacent to 5th Avenue and Kraft Drive. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hill with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Justin Frieler, Hill, Travis Frieler, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None; ABSENT: Council Member Klasen
Mayor Finken noted that at the Council’s first meeting in January 2021 consideration will be given to making appointments to the various boards and commissions. A notice regarding same will be published in the Star Post on October 21 and November 4 informing residents that those interested in seeking appointment should submit their application to the City Clerk by no later than Friday, November 20, 2020. Applications are available at the Melrose City Center. Terms are expiring on the following boards and commissions:
• Planning and Zoning Commission – One member (four-year term) Term expiring: Dave Berscheit
• Melrose Area Development Authority: one member (6-year term) Term expiring: George Jensen
• Melrose Housing and Redevelopment Authority: one member (five-year term) Term expiring: Nancy Roering
The Holiday Kick – Off Committee is requesting that the City of Melrose/Melrose PUC please consider making a donation this year. The Committee wants to make the Kick-off, bigger and better as many Summer events had to be cancelled. The following is being considered:
1. Ferris Wheel;
2. Merry – Go – Round;
3. Food; Looking to add more vendors;
4. Parade; looking for more floats;
6. Warming Stations; and of course
7. The Light Parade.
They want to make the Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round free to all who want to ride. The total cost for these two rides is: $6800.00. The committee is extending the parade route to go past the bowling alley and spreading out all of the events to comply with social distancing requirements. City Administrator Winter stated that the Melrose Area Chamber returned to the City the $2,000 donation for the Riverfest Celebration. The Riverfest Celebration was cancelled due to COVID. Council Member Justin Frieler recommended that since the Riverfest donation of $2,000 was returned, that the City donate that money along with an additional $1,000 to the Melrose Area Chamber for the Holiday Kick-Off. Mayor Finken stated that it should be noted that in the future the City would continue to donate $2,000 to Riverfest and a $1,000 donation to the Holiday Kick-Off. A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler to donate $3,000 to the Holiday Kick-Off. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None; ABSENT: Council Member Klasen
The following informational items were then reviewed:
a. Melrose Ambulance Department Quarterly Report
b. Utilities Commission’s September 14 Regular Meeting.
A motion was made by Mr. Justin Frieler to adjourn the meeting at 7:07 p.m. The motion was seconded by Mr. Travis Frieler with a roll call vote recorded as follows: FOR: Council Member: Justin Frieler, Travis Frieler, Hill, and Mayor Finken; AGAINST: None; ABSENT: Council Member Klasen
Patricia Haase, City Clerk