August 20, 2007
Meeting called to order by Mayor Weimerskirch at 5:00 p.m.
Upon Roll Call: Mayor J.P. Weimerskirch, Councilmembers Leon Bowman, Bruce Brinkman, and Charlie Andring were present. Councilmember Dick Ledebuhr was absent.
The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Mr. Tim Flaherty, President of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, was due to give a presentation to the Council but was cancelled and will be re-scheduled for a later date.
The Mayor gave the Council a review of the day, the first day after the flood that went through six counties in southeastern Minnesota late Saturday (August 18, 2007) night and early Sunday (August 19, 2007) morning.
10:00 a.m., County officials gave a status update. Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand, Goodview Police Chief LaVern Hauschildt, and Goodview Assistant Police Chief Kent Russell gave a synopsis of the reaction and rescue effort that took place at the on-set of the flood.
10:30 a.m., the Winona County Board met in emergency session to adopt an Emergency Action Plan which is a requirement to qualify for any FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assistance.
Noon, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Tim Walz briefed all officials in attendance on the steps in the process for assistance. This starts with the Governor declaring a disaster area, and doing an appraisal of the disaster. Then the Federal government comes in when it is apparent the Local and State governments can't handle the situation alone. The FEMA minimum threshold before entering a disaster is $6 million. This calculation of this threshold will be aided by the work of the Winona County Assessor's office. Once they compile their information it will be forwarded to the Governor in order for him to ask the President to declare the area a federal disaster, after which FEMA will be called in.
Mid-afternoon, Governor Pawlenty toured the Goodview and Minnesota City areas accompanied by Mayor Weimerskirch and Chief of Police Hauschildt, after which he held a news conference at the Winona County Government Center.
The Mayor informed the Council the City has been in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard concerning reducing the level in Goodview Lake. According to Director of Public Works, Mr. Greg Volkart, the City is looking into pumping the flood waters from Goodview Lake to WinAgg Pit. This procedure would start as soon as tomorrow, Tuesday, the 21st, and would entail setting up six individual pumps obtained from either the Corps or locally. It was mentioned by the Mayor that Canadian Pacific railroad is estimating to be back running by next Monday, the 27th of August. Mayor Weimerskirch expressed his most sincere thanks to all entities involved in the rescue, including but not limited to, the Goodview Police and Fire Departments, and the maintenance personnel of the City. Chief of Police Hauschildt reviewed some of the safety procedures, including establishing a curfew for Sunny Acres and Cedar Bay, and having National Guard personnel at the entrances to those same areas along with Lake Side Manor Apartments. The City is continuing to work with the management of Lake Side Manor as to when their tenants will be allowed back in. Assistant Police Chief Russell updated the Council on the extent of damage to specific areas; 34 businesses were affected, 44 houses in Sunny Acres had damage, all of Cedar Bay town homes were affected, and Angst Motors had 279 motor vehicles affected. He also pointed out all secondary searches were done in all areas. Greg Volkart indicated to the Council all of the City's lift stations are keeping up with the demand, and any pumping of Goodview Lake the City does will only help that situation. Once again the Mayor reiterated the City's water supply is fine and it is good to drink. Mr. Volkart also informed the Council his staff will start with street cleanup early tomorrow (Tuesday, the 21st) morning. City Administrator Dan Matejka asked the Council to consider the suspension of water and sewer bills for those residents affected by the flood; namely Sunny Acres, Cedar Bay, Lake Side Manor, and the businesses in Hub Mill. Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to suspend water and sewer billings for the affected areas as presented until a time to be determined. All voted aye, and the motion carried.
Consent Agenda: Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. The
agenda included the minutes of both the August 6, 2007 regular
meeting and the August 13, 2007 special meeting of the Goodview
City Council. It also included claims in the total amount of
$667,392.01 for the following operating funds;
General Fund $123,523.83
Revolving Projects Fund 21,282.52
2007 Street & Utility Impr. 465,428.22
Water Service Fund 44,615.12
Sewer Service Fund 12,542.32
The Consent Agenda also included Pay estimate #2 for the 2007
Utility and Street Improvement Project of $269,592.99, and the
final pay estimate for Brom Woods at $14,069.80. All voted aye
to approve the Consent Agenda, motion carried.
Mayor Weimerskirch introduced newly elected State Representative Steve Drazkowski, and personally thanked him for his help in contacting Senator Norm Coleman's office to ask for assistance. Representative Drazkowski reviewed what the Governor said concerning the steps in the process needing to take place to get as much help for the area as possible. He indicated there will be a flood staging area set up in Winona somewhere for donations and volunteers. He also informed the Council there will be a public meeting for all flood victims on Thursday, August 23, 2007, at 4:00 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene located at 469 Orrin Street in Winona. The Mayor indicated the governor is expected back in the area later this week. He also invited Representative Drazkowski to attend Goodview City Council meetings at least twice a year to give updates on what is happening at the State level, and to hear concerns from the Council on local issues.
Councilmember Bowman indicated he has heard from a few residents in We Valley concerning the minor landslides taking place from Biesanz Stone Company. The City Administrator informed the Council the City's Director of Public Works has already spoken with officials from Biesanz and they are aware of the problem and are trying to fix it. Mayor Weimerskirch once again expressed his compliments to the Fire Department, the Goodview Business Association, and the Winona State University football team for all they did the day after the flood (Sunday, the 19th of August).
Mayor Weimerskirch reviewed with Council what happened at the special budget meeting held on August 13, 2007, emphasizing they went through the proposed 2008 budget line-by-line. Now if they would like to see additional adjustments to the proposal they should direct the department managers to make those decisions/recommendations. The City Administrator described for the Council the relationship between the Consumer Price Index and actual salary increases. Councilmember Brinkman inquired if donations were accounted for in the budget in any way, of which the City Administrator said he doesn't budget for any donations either on the revenue side or expenditure side. Councilmember Bowman asked if the budget proposes adding a Building Inspector position, of which he was told, it is the Administrator's thought process of this issue is it would be revenue neutral. Meaning the City would increase its building permit fees to off-set the cost of somehow having a building inspector, either internal or contracted out. Councilmember Brinkman also asked what the minimum requirements are to fill a position within the City. Mr. Matejka indicated, per the League of Minnesota Cities, the recommended minimum is to at least post internally. Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the proposed 2008 revenue and expenditure budgets for both the General Fund and the Debt Service Fund as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.
City Administrator Matejka reviewed both the possibilities of obtaining funding through the Safe Routes to School Grant, and the proposal from Yaggy Colby Associates to work with the City through the application process. Ms. Christina Peterson of Yaggy Colby was present to answer any questions. Mr. Matejka talked about various preliminary ideas of projects to fund through the grant, including the possibility of adding sidewalks to the City system to get students to school safer. Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the contract between the City and Yaggy Colby Associates. All voted aye, motion carried.
State Senator Steve Murphy was in attendance. He indicated his support for the City's participation in the Safe Routes to School Grant. The Council expressed to the Senator their desire to have the stoplights at the intersection of Highway 61 and 54th Avenue become permanent, of which the Senator said he would look into it.
Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to adjourn the meeting at 6:47 p.m. All voted aye, motion carried.