Goodview City Council
December 3, 2007
Consent Agenda: Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. The Agenda included the minutes of the November 19, 2007 regular City Council meeting. All voted aye, motion carried.
The entire Council thanked the City's Street Department for the fine job they did with the recent snowfall. Councilmember Bowman questioned the turn light was out at the 44th Avenue stoplights. Mr. Greg Volkart, Director of Public Works, indicated Bauer Electric is looking into it. Councilmember Andring brought up two issues expressed to him by Mr. Dwight Lange at 3819 West Sixth Street. The first deals with the rope fence between Mr. Lange's property and the empty lot owned by Mr. Dick Todd. The second issue is concerning the broken garage window of Mr. Lange's that he claims was a result of Mr. Todd mowing his lot. Councilmember Andring asked if the Council can do anything about these, or are they strictly a neighbor to neighbor thing. Mayor Weimerskirch indicated both issues are not City issues, but he would talk with Mr. Todd about the fence, and he pointed out the Police have already been involved with the broken window.
The Mayor suspended the regular meeting at 5:10 p.m., and opened the Truth-in-Taxation meeting.
The Mayor pointed out the City is technically raising the levy by 5%, but actually is only raising the tax rate itself by .07%. The increase in revenue raised is due to new homes and increases in existing home valuations changing the entire market value of property within the City. These changes allow the City to raise more money through the levy without increasing the tax rate. Mr. Ken Mann, 4811 West Ninth Street, questioned how are taxpayers suppose to keep up with rising over-all taxes, and with the increase in tax base where does all the new revenue go? Mayor Weimerskirch pointed out the City hadn't increased its staff in a number of years until 2007 when a new Maintenance Department individual was hired. He also indicated the City is trying to increase its fund balance, and at the same time trying to keep expenditures at very nominal increases. Ms. Vicki Monahan, 4790 West Ninth Street, asked how an individual homeowner goes about getting their house valuation changed. City Administrator, Mr. Dan Matejka, reviewed the steps a taxpayer can take including dealing with the Winona County Assessor, and by attending the Board of Review meeting in April. He also announced that Senator Steve Murphy is going to hold a town hall meeting on Thursday, December 13, 2007, at the Goodview Fire Hall, and she may want to talk to him then about the issue. Mr. Matejka also reviewed the correlation between Local Government Aid and property taxes from the standpoint of property tax relief. Ms. Monahan expressed she believes this issue needs to be the voice of a larger group, and not just a few individuals. Councilmember Ledebuhr voiced his belief that change could possibly start with the town hall meeting on December 13th.
The Mayor closed the Truth-in-Taxation meeting at 5:40 p.m. after informing those in attendance the final levy will be set at the next regular City Council meeting on Monday, December 17, 2007.
The Mayor than immediately opened the Public Hearing on the preliminary plat for Brom Woods Estates as presented by Mr. Dennis Ellefson. No residents were in attendance to express any concerns on this matter, but Councilmember Andring questioned the vacation of the drainage easement for the property. Mr. Volkart and Mr. Ellefson reviewed the issue with the Councilmember. Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the preliminary plat as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.
The Mayor than closed the Public Hearing at 5:47 p.m., and re-opened the regular meeting.
Assistant Fire Chief Todd Ives was present to answer questions concerning the Fire Department and their Administrative Report. The Mayor asked if there were any lasting problems from the flood, like turn-out gear, and so-forth. The Assistant Chief indicated the Department lost a few odds and ends, but for the most part came through it okay. The Mayor also questioned if the City should provide waders for Fire personnel, of which he was told the expenditure probably wouldn't be justifiable. Assistant Chief Ives informed the Council the Department has three new members, bringing the total to 32. These three will possibly be trained in-house, saving the City money. Councilmember Andring questioned the FEMA Project Worksheets the City Administrator authorized, and the timing of the cashflow from the State. Mr. Matejka pointed out the timeline given to him by FEMA for reimbursement is usually 30 days. The Mayor asked about the timeline to hear back on the Safe Routes to School grant the City submitted, of which he was told the City should hear something in February of 2008. City Administrator Matejka also pointed out to the Council the need to have a town hall meeting with the residents of the Saehler-Anderson and Gunderson sub-divisions as part of the Flood Mitigation Grant the City is applying for. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to call a Special City Council meeting for Wednesday, December 12, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at the Winona Elks Lodge to discuss this topic. All voted aye, motion carried. Councilmember Bowman questioned how the new water treatment plants will deal with the lead and copper in the City's water. Mr. Volkart indicated the City will continually monitor the system to make sure the readings are acceptable. Mr. Volkart also pointed out when the 69th Avenue railroad crossing is built it will be built with it being a whistle-free zone in mind, but the other two crossings will have to be addressed in the future. Councilmember Ledebuhr asked whose cost is it for the directional boring problem in the Woodhaven I Estates sub-division project, of which he was told it will be all paid for by the contractor. Mr. Volkart also informed the Council of a problem the City has discovered with the 1997 pumper fire truck. He indicated the City believes the problems with the sand and grit found in the pump is due to the flood, and the City is working with the insurance company to get the estimated $14,000 repair cost covered. The City Administrator pointed out the City will pursue a course of action with FEMA if the insurance company denies the claim. Police Chief Hauschildt informed the Council the City used approximately 275 hours of the allotted 4,100 hours of part-time Police officers for the August flood. He also informed the Council his Department has purchased the defibrillator authorized through a grant of $1,500. The total cost was about $1,700, so the balance will come from his regular operating budget.
City Administrator Matejka reviewed the history of the occurrences in which the Fire Department Mutual Aid agreement was used.
Director of Public Works Volkart informed the Council that he and the City Administrator met with the two developers of the Country Meadows sub-division to discuss a formal agreement between them and the City to outline the terms to build the sub-division. Something that should have been done before construction actually began. These points will be forwarded onto Mr. Ron Benson, City Attorney, for drafting an official agreement. Mr. Volkart also pointed out the City would rather extend the utility service lines up Harbor Drive than to try to have those residents on that street hook-up through the backyards of those within the sub-division.
The Council provided guidance with the issue of how long should the City provide a portable bathroom for residents of Sunny Acres. The City currently provides one unit for about 15 houses still in the re-construction phase after the flood. It was suggested to continue this practice of providing one unit until December 31, 2007.
The December, 2007 Maintenance Department On-Call schedule was reviewed by the Council.
The City Administrator reviewed the membership information for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, asking each Councilmember to fill out the appropriate form.
The letter from Commissioner Dan McElroy of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development was reviewed by the Council.
The rate increase letters from both Charter Communications and Hiawatha Broadband Communications was reviewed by the Council.
Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the vacation of the drainage easement in Brom Woods Estates sub-division. All voted aye, motion carried.
The City Administrator reviewed with the Council the request from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities to contribute funds to a lawsuit the Coalition is entering into against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Councilmember Ledebuhr moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to contribute $500 of 2008 budget monies to this cause. All voted aye, motion carried.
The City Administrator presented the proposed 2008 contract with the Dan Brommerich Maintenance Company along with a comparison to the current 2007 contract. The Mayor expressed a concern that the Council was micro-managing to ask that this contract come before the Council, and this should be a function of allowing the Administrative staff to research and approve. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to approve the contract as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.
City Administrator Matejka provided for the Council an overview of the three proposals the City received for auditing services for 2007, 2008, and 2009. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve the contract with Russell and Associates. All voted aye, motion carried.
Mr. Matejka presented to the Council a first draft of a Performance Evaluation Form/Method for the City Administrator position. Councilmember Andring questioned if the topics addressed in the form are too much micro-managing due to the fact he believes some of the items addressed are really specific. The City Administrator pointed out he is comfortable with the items, and doesn't see it being too specific. He also indicated that all Councilmembers won't be able to give a response on all items, but as a whole should be able to complete an entire review. Councilmember Bowman indicated he believes it is at least a very good place to start, and that it is a work-in-progress. Mayor Weimerskirch suggested since the City Administrator is comfortable with the presented procedure, the Council should plan on doing an evaluation around the 18-month anniversary of Mr. Matejka's employment, which should be around March 18, 2008. He also indicated the staff should also conduct their review of the City Administrator at that time, so the Council can take their views into consideration on the over-all evaluation.
Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded that RESOLUTION NO. 0772, A PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION - POLICE OFFICERS DECLARATION RESOLUTION, be adopted. All voted aye. The Resolution was declared adopted.
The City Administrator informed the Council he has been contacted by the Goodview Activity Group (GAG), indicating the fireworks which were due to be fired off on December 1, 2007, will probably be used early the evening of December 31, 2007. He also informed the Council of a luncheon being sponsored by the Winona Chamber of Commerce on Monday, December 10, 2007, at 11:30 a.m. at Beier's Restaurant with the keynote speaker being Congressman Tim Walz.
Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to adjourn. All voted aye, motion carried.
Adjournment at 7:17 p.m.