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Goodview City Council minutes - December 18, 2006 (01/24/2007)
Mayor J.P. Weimerskirch, Councilmembers Dennis Meyer, Dick Ledebuhr, and Bruce Brinkman Leon Bowman .

Mayor Weimerskirch inquired about the installation of the street light at the entrance to Cedar Bay. Mr. Greg Volkart, Director of Public Works, told the Council the light should be completely installed within the next few weeks.

Greg Volkart reviewed the current City policies/ordinances on time limits of building permits. Discussion took place on the pros and cons of making the limits more restrictive to project completions.

City Administrator Dan Matejka presented the budget update through November, 2006, for all General Fund revenue and expenditure accounts.

At 5:05 p.m., the Mayor continued the Truth-in-Taxation hearing from December 4, 2006. The Council reviewed the final proposed budget for 2007 noting no changes from the previously proposed budget. The City tax rate is expected to increase by 5.222%. Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Meyer seconded that RESOLUTION NO. 0747, A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE 2007 BUDGET AND MAKING THE PROPERTY TAX LEVY FOR 2007, be adopted. All voted aye (3-0), the Resolution was declared adopted.

At 5:10 p.m., State Representative Steve Sviggum spoke on various topics. He told the Council the State is in very good financial condition with a forecast surplus for the next biennium of approximately $2 billion. He also pointed out Minnesota has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. His main three areas of focus during the upcoming session are going to be education funding, property tax reform, and health care. He informed the Council he is continuing to try to work with Senator Coleman's office on the City's radium issue on both the standard and potential funding sides. Councilmember Meyer pointed out the lack of equalization for Local Government Aid (LGA) is a major blow to the City's budget. Also, the fact Goodview is too big for any financial benefits smaller populated cities receive, and too small (under 5,000) for any increased aid benefit those cities may get. Goodview is basically stuck in-between at a very reduced LGA calculation. Representative Sviggum did indicate he believes LGA will increase, but it won't be ahead of education or health care. Discussion about potential help from the State concerning the Woodhaven utility project took place between Councilmember Brinkman and the Representative. The Representative told the Council there must be compromises and cooperation through out the State in the next legislative session. This part of the meeting finished at approximately 5:45 p.m.

The Mayor informed the Council State Senator Steve Murphy is planning to attend the next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, January 8, 2007.

At 5:47 p.m., Mayor Weimerskirch re-opened the public hearing on the Woodhaven I Estates 2007 Utility Improvement Project. He informed the Council of the updated survey results showing 27 NO and 20 YES votes out of a potential of 48 total votes. He indicated all the Councilmembers had received numerous calls on the issue, and he believes there are still a number of misunderstandings. The Mayor told the Council he felt the City has done more on this project than any other project he can think of in his 22 years of service to the City. Dan Matejka shared the comments of Winona County representative Eric Johnson. Mayor Weimerskirch said it was his belief the Council isn't necessarily ready to make a decision at this point in time, and suggested suspending the public hearing until December 29, 2006. Mr. Dave McCorquodale spoke telling the Council there is a lot more going on in Woodhaven concerning septic systems that aren't meeting codes than the Council knows. Councilmember Ledebuhr asked how much more money the City would have to invest in the project to put it out for bid, and per the City Administrator the amount would be in the neighborhood of $55,000. Councilmember Brinkman raised a concern that the five to nine residents who aren't going to receive water service swung the vote due to the fact they disagreed with the proposed 50% credit the City presented at the initial public hearing, and if four of these nine switched votes the project would then be favorable in the eyes of the residents. He also echoed the Mayor's comments on if it would be fair to the rest of the citizens of Goodview if the Council was to vote this project in, based on the updated survey results. Mr. Arlan Runningen questioned if the street reconstruction was a want or need of the City versus street restoring. Greg Volkart pointed out there is really no difference in restoration or rebuilding of the streets, because 1.5 to 2 inches of overlay won't last on wet clay soils and the City is already paying one-half of the street costs. The Mayor asked Mr. Volkart to go back to the City Engineer and ask where the City might be able to save some costs if the project was to go forward. Mr. Volkart told the Council if they spent the additional $55,000 on engineering costs, it wouldn't be totally wasted as the topography work done could be used by the City in the future whether this project went through or not. Councilmember Bowman told the Council he felt it was time to make a decision, and that he would owe everyone in the City an explanation on why we wouldn't do the project now versus when it costs more in the future. Mr. Al Carlson, 1318 Grandview Court, spoke to the fact that he is one of the potentially nine residents who won't receive water services. He informed the Council he believes the project is way too expensive for him just to receive sewer service, and that he never would approve of a project such as this at this cost. The Mayor indicated he felt the question should be called or the public hearing should be suspended until the 29th of December at which time the Council would make a final vote. Councilmember Meyer moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to move forward with project process of drawing up plan specifications and putting the project out to bids. Councilmember Brinkman expressed concern the vote of the people was discounted with the potential passage of the motion. Councilmembers Bowman, Ledebuhr, and Meyer voted aye, with Councilmember Brinkman and Mayor Weimerskirch voting nay. The motion failed for lack of a four-fifths supermajority vote. Councilmember Bowman questioned if a supermajority vote was legally required due to the fact this was an informational vote, not an assessment vote, and only a simple majority vote was all that was needed. City Administrator Matejka told the Council he would review with the City Attorney first thing Tuesday morning to get legal opinion. The Council agreed the official record of the vote would be so noted based on the decision of legal council. NOTE: After consulting with the City Attorney, the City Administrator informed the Council that only a simple majority was needed for passage of the motion in question, thus the motion passed three to one, with Councilmember Brinkman the lone nay vote. There was no need for the Mayor to vote, because he only votes to break ties. Councilmember Meyer left the meeting at 6:40 p.m.

Councilmember Ledebuhr moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded claims in the total amount of $166,744.31 for the following operating funds be approved for payment. All voted aye, motion carried 3-0.

General Fund $121,332.89

Revolving Projects Fund 10,746.10

Water Service Fund 29,512.80

Sewer Service Fund 5,152.52

Dan Matejka reviewed the proposed 2007 water and sewer rates for the City. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve the rate increases of 15% and 35%, respectively for sewer and water services in 2007. All voted aye, motion carried 3-0.

The City Administrator reviewed the various ordinances in question concerning junk yards within the City. It was determined to have staff report back to Council with an update of Ordinance 43, and penalty language added to Ordinance 87. It was suggested the City meet with the three property owners in question, and ask for their cooperation in the matter.

Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Brinkman seconded that RESOLUTION NO. 0748, A RESOLUTION APPROVING AND ADOPTING ASSESSMENT ROLLS FOR THE 2006 STREET & UTILITY IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT, be adopted. All voted aye (3-0). The Resolution was declared adopted.

Due to the fact he arrived late, Councilmember Bowman asked for clarification on the question concerning building permits. He indicated he would be in favor of requiring renewals of licenses for individuals with prolonged projects. The Mayor expressed that with such language brings to forefront the real need and definition of housing inspections within Goodview.

The Mayor informed the Council he would be absent from the City from Tuesday, December 19, 2006 through Tuesday, December 26, 2006. Councilmember Meyer will be acting Mayor in his absence.

Next meeting is Monday, January 8, 2007, at 5:00 p.m. in the City Office Building.

Adjournment 7:30 p.m.

Goodview City Council minutes

January 8, 2007

At 5:00 p.m. City Administrator Dan Matejka swore in the newly elected officials as follows: Jack Weimerskirch as Mayor, and Bruce Brinkman, Dick Ledebuhr, and Dennis Meyer as Councilmembers.

The official meeting was called to order by Mayor Weimerskirch at 5:03 p.m.

Upon Roll Call: Mayor J.P. Weimerskirch, Councilmembers Dennis Meyer, Dick Ledebuhr, Leon Bowman, and Bruce Brinkman

Minute Approval: Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded that the minutes of the December 18, 2006 regular meeting of the Goodview City Council be approved. All voted aye, motion carried.

Councilmember Meyer informed the Council that due to a change of residence to outside the City of Goodview, he is formally submitting a letter resigning from the City Council effective immediately. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Brinkman seconded to accept the resignation with regrets. The motion carried with all voting aye except Councilmember Ledebuhr. Mayor Weimerskirch informed the Council it is his intent to bring at least one name to the next regularly scheduled Council meeting on January 22, 2007, as a possible replacement for Councilmember Meyer. He also instructed the remaining Council members to do the same.

At 5:10 p.m., State Senator Steve Murphy spoke on various topics. He pointed out that even though the forecast is for the State to have a surplus of approximately $2 billion for the next biennium, over half of the balance will be eaten up by inflation and statutory debt payments the State needs to make over the next two years. The Senator told the Council he believes the priority list of issues to be covered in this session will be property tax relief (some one-time relief & some longer-term), education funding, healthcare reform, transportation funding, and some help for veterans of the Iraqi war. It is his hope the first four issues will get done without a lot of blood and guts. He also believes Local Government Aid (LGA) is certainly on the radar of legislators, and that it will get looked at this session. Mayor Weimerskirch pointed out three specific concerns the City would like the Senator's help on. The first issue deals with the naturally recurring radium in the water, and the illogical standards the Federal government has set for it. The City needs the Senator to be a good/useful source of information for both Congressman Walz and Senator Klobuchar at the national level, and to work with these individuals to help the City with this very expensive issue. Issue number two involves trying to receive some State Aid to obtain a set of semaphores for the railroad crossing at 63rd Avenue. Plus to bolster support for Goodview with the Department of Transportation (DOT) in trying to obtain "whistle free zones" at the three railroad crossings within the City. The final issue is the reduction of LGA for the City, and the fact the City has lost nearly 60% of its LGA since 2003. This astounding cut in State Aid has caused the City to just try to maintain what it currently has with very limited resources, but has now become even more important because of new projects the City has tried to take on and to try to sustain the current infra-structure of the City. The Mayor also mentioned the frustration the City has with un-funded mandates coming down from either St. Paul or Washington. Councilmember Bowman expressed his belief that rebate checks as a form of tax relief is a poor way to distribute surplus funds, especially when cities are going without. Councilmember Brinkman agreed with him on this fact. Councilmember Bowman also feels the "design and build" concept the State is currently using for its highway projects has a few glitches in it, and it may need more accountability with more competitive bidding in place of assignment of jobs. Finally he told the Senator the State should possibly look into supplying a "salary supplement" into the budgets of all governmental agencies across the State. Mr. Kenneth Spittler, 720 39th Avenue, asked Senator Murphy a few questions about the increasing debates concerning fuel supplies and fuel variations. The Senator left the meeting at 6:05.

The Mayor informed the Council he received a big thank you from the residents of Cedar Bay for the street light installed at the entrance to the sub-division. He also mentioned he had a conversation with a resident about the lack of Park Recreation program offerings for the children of Goodview. This individual would like the City to explore some ideas that either the private sector of Goodview, or the organization this individual belongs to could do to help address this concern.

The Council reviewed the letter from Greg Volkart, the City's Director of Public Works, updating the Council on the Woodhaven I Estates project. The City Administrator informed the Council the City will continue to look for areas of cost savings, but at this time the City Engineer will proceed with gathering more information to get the project ready to go out for bids. The Mayor indicated the City will have spent nearly $100,000 in engineering costs to possibly have the project not proceed because of the overall costs to both the City and residents of Woodhaven I being too high. Councilmember Ledebuhr expressed his belief the engineering data the City is currently collecting will not be lost data just because the project may not go through. This is information the City can potentially use to make decisions down the road. Councilmember Brinkman indicated he wanted to make it clear to the residents of Woodhaven that just because the City chose to proceed with gathering more engineering data, to draw up project specifications, and to put the project out for bid, in no way means it is a done deal the project will take place. This step in the process was just to get as much accurate information/data as possible to make a better informed decision in the future. He told the Council he talked with some of the "no" survey voters and its his belief they have very valid reasons for not voting for the project; including the fact some won't receive water service, and some simply just can't afford it. He pointed out City Ordinance #75 is based on "fixed income" and having to meet a certain age to qualify. Dan Matejka informed the Council there currently are no legal provisions to provide deferment of assessments for other residents who don't meet the requirements of Ordinance #75.

The City Administrator reviewed the letter from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development denying the grant the City sponsored on the behalf of the Brom Woods project.

Mayor Weimerskirch expressed great satisfaction in the fact the City has once again received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award for 2005. This is a true reflection of the hard work and dedication the previous City Administrator and current staff have provided in this area.

Dan Matejka, the City Administrator, gave the Council an update on the civil defense siren in We Valley, and what the City is doing to try to fix the problem. The City will have an additional radio board installed in the unit to help prevent the unit from receiving "skips" from other towers. The estimated cost of this additional board is approximately $200.

The report on building permits for October through December, 2006, was reviewed by the Council.

Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to comply with the recommendations of the Winona County Auditor to hold the funds in question with the County to be used to offset the cost of warranty/maintenance agreements on the voting equipment in the future. All vote aye, motion carried.

Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Brinkman seconded to table the ratification of the cleaning contract with Dan Brommerich Maintenance until the City can do further cost analysis, and to investigate the possibility of including the respective duties into the new Maintenance Laborer I position the City is now advertising. All voted aye, motion carried.

The Mayor made suggestions for changes to the Committee and Council Liaison appointments for 2007. These changes will come back to the Council on January 22, 2007 for final approval.

Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve the proposed list of Council meeting dates for 2007. All voted aye, motion carried.

Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve the proposed change to Section 8 of the Personnel Policy. All voted aye, motion carried.

Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the proposed List of Fees for the City for 2007. All voted aye, motion carried.

The City Administrator updated the Council on the City's implementation of direct deposit for payroll. He also informed the Council about two training sessions being offered in the next month, and asked them to let him know if any one of them was interested in attending.

Councilmember Brinkman asked if the date has been set for the annual "State of the City" address by the Mayor. The Mayor indicated he believes it will take place sometime in late February or early March, 2007.

Next meeting is Monday, January 22, 2007, at 5:00 p.m. in the City Office Building.

Adjournment 7:07 p.m. 

 

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