September 10, 2007
Councilmember Bowman questioned a drainage easement in Country Meadows between the property owned by Scott Engler and the addition. Greg Volkart, Director of Public Works, informed the Council the easement is the responsibility of the developer until the subdivision is complete, at which time it becomes the City's responsibility. Councilmember Brinkman informed the Council his private well in Woodhaven I tested fine for contaminants, but others in the subdivision did not. He understands this is a well owner's problem, and not the city's. Councilmember Andring said he received a call about excessive trash build up on 53rd Avenue over the Labor Day weekend. He checked it later in the week, and it was cleaned up. He also asked what the final tally was on the GAG flood fundraiser held on Sunday, August 26, 2007. City Administrator Dan Matejka said the initial figure reported to him was $18,605. The Mayor indicated he and other available Councilmembers attended the last meeting of the Fire Department to express their gratitude to members for all they did in relation to the flood. The mayor also thanked police, street, and administrative departments. The city received two separate $10,000 donations for flood relief from the Prairie Island Indian Community, and Treasure Island Casino. These donations will be set aside in a separate bank fund for the sole purpose of flood relief or community activity. Ms. Darlene Luedtke voiced concerns on behalf of her neighbors about the property at 4745 West Sixth Street. She gave an overview of the past several months and asked what happened once the resident was cited by city police. The city administrator informed her of the next steps in the legal process, and indicated she may want to look at Minnesota Statute #609.748. Councilmember Andring asked if the police receive complaints about a residence on a daily basis what procedures are in place. Deputy Police Chief Kent Russell suggested instead of the City issuing a citation for each offense, they document and compile them to go against the initial citation.
The Director of Public Works gave an overview of the damage done at LaCanne Park. He indicated the kitchen will have to be torn out with all the appliances needing to be replaced, including the in-floor heat and water heater. The walking bridge will have to be inspected before they open any part of the path. The mud and debris on the fields will have to be removed. All of the playground equipment will need to be sanitized, woodchips replaced, and fishing pier fixed. The sprinkler system seemed in good shape. The fields may be reseeded this fall. Mr. Volkart's recommendation is to keep the park closed until at least next spring, and see how it fares over the winter months. The Council agreed, and accepted his recommendation.
Mayor Weimerskirch reviewed the water test results of both Goodview Lake and WinAgg Pit. The MPCA has been involved in analyzing the test results and feel the test results are going down and they are confident they will continue to go down. If so, there may be no need for any contamination cleanup. The MPCA directed the City to discontinue testing for DRO (petroleum), because they are not concerned with these levels. Winona Aggregate has been working with the city on both drawing the samples and analyzing them. Mr. Matejka reviewed conversations he has had with legislators to help create a natural outlet for Goodview Lake. The Mayor expressed his belief the city is not out of the woods yet, but is fairly confident the city won't have a $2 million clean-up bill to cover. He did say according to Winona State University professors, the city should take more samples next spring to bring about more definite results over time.
Seven liquor licenses were approved: Off-Sale 3.2% Beer to Kwik Trip in Minnesota City and Rocco's Pub & Pizza, On-Sale 3.2% Beer to Rocco's Pub & Pizza, On-Sale Club & Sunday to Winona Elks Lodge, On/Off-Sale Liquor & Sunday to The Bar, Off-Sale Liquor to Warehouse Wine & Spirits, and finally On-Sale Beer & Wine to Steve's Anchor Inn.
The mayor indicated the city has received a few inquiries from people outside of Goodview about the possibility of hooking into city water or sewer, or both. The city is not actively approaching anyone about annexation, but has advised those inquiring to contact the Rollingstone Township board to start the process. He indicated there may be help for all involved through the Public Assistance part of FEMA if the need for city water and/or sewer was created by the flood.
RESOLUTION NO. 0764, A PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION - POLICE OFFICERS DECLARATION RESOLUTION was adopted.
RESOLUTION NO. 0765, A RESOLUTION ADOPTING A PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX LEVY FOR TAXES PAYABLE 2008, ADOPTING A PROPOSED BUDGET FOR 2008, AND CALLING FOR A PUBLIC HEARING THEREON was adopted.
Discussion took place on developing a plan when the City should stop the suspension of water and sewer billings for flood victims. City Administrator Matejka informed the Council the city implemented a blue posting system for anyone who is back living in their house in Sunny Acres. Councilmember Brinkman expressed concerns over billing individuals who still are, and will continue to be, very taxed when it comes to finances due to the flood. This is why he indicated he would be in favor of suspending billings for at least one more month. He also asked if FEMA assistance covers lost revenue to a city for water and sewer. Bryan Hegland of the Water Department said a couple of water meters were crushed during the flood. He also said there is now only one meter per building in Lake Side Manor Apartments. Andring moved to start billing residents for their water and sewer usage 30 days after re-occupancy. This motion failed for a lack of a second. Council voted to suspend billing until the next meter reading date of the month following re-occupation. The Council reviewed a letter from Deputy Police Chief Kent Russell exressing his belief the individuals named in the letter deserve a personal thank you or commendation. City administrative staff and Police Department will work together to develop a formal list. The Council directed administration to create an ad on behalf of the City to be published in both the Winona Daily News and Winona Post thanking all of those individuals and groups who assisted the City.
The Mayor appointed Councilmembers Andring and Bowman to serve on the City's Deferred Assessment Review Committee along with the city administrator.