January 7, 2008
Ms. Michelle Quandahl of Camp Companion and Ms. DeDe Olson of the Winona County Humane Society were present to discuss the feral cat issues in Goodview. Ms. Olson pointed out to the Council this is a national problem, not just one for Goodview. She explained these feral cats are essentially wild animals, much like possums and skunks, and not feeding them will not solve the problem. She went on to describe the Trap, Neuter, and Release program sponsored by the Winona County Humane Society and Camp Companion out of Rochester, MN. This program has been used for approximately three years in the Goodview area, and has altered over 50 feral cats in that time - all at no cost to the City. Ms. Quandahl expressed the main purpose of the program is to stop future generations of cats from being born by eliminating the possibility of reproduction. She went on to explain the fact that neutered feral cats have a shorter life span and the population of each colony will decrease through natural attrition over time - usually about seven years. Two residents were in attendance; one to advocate for the program, the other to ask for help. Mr. Tim Boyd believes the program works as he has seen the size of the feral cat colony in his neighborhood drop significantly over the past three years. Ms. Sandy Erdman doesn't want the cats euthanized, but indicates she can't continue to feed the cats and needs help. Ms. Olson indicated the Humane Society will be more than happy to help Ms. Erdman by providing food for the cats. Ms. Quandahl indicated if it is the City's wish, Camp Companion could do one major roundup to try to run as many feral cats as possible through the program in one day. The question was raised to Ms. Quandahl if instead of releasing the cats back to the area they trapped them in, do they release to other areas. She indicated the program is not in the business of re-locating feral colonies after going through the program. Councilmember Bowman expressed his thoughts this will take a cooperative effort between the City and the Humane Society to educate the general public. Mayor Weimerskirch indicated the Council appreciates Ms. Quandahl and her program's assistance to the City, and it never was the intent of the Council to have non-licensed cats euthanized.
Consent Agenda: Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Brinkman seconded to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. The agenda included the minutes of the special City Council meeting on December 12, 2007, along with the minutes to the regular
Goodview City Council meeting on December 17, 2007. All voted aye, motion carried.
Councilmember Bowman questioned if the City had issued any citations for un-shoveled sidewalks along Sixth Street. The Mayor asked when the City reacts to these sidewalks. Councilmember Brinkman indicated he has heard nothing but good things about the fireworks on New Years Eve. Councilmember Andring commended the Maintenance Department staff for the snow plowing during the last storm. He also asked for an update from the City Administrator, Dan Matejka, on the status of the grant for potentially providing utility services to the Saehler-Anderson and Gunderson sub-divisions. Mr. Matejka gave the Council an overview of the information he has received to date, and will continue to work with Homeland Security. The Mayor informed the Council he attended a meeting, called by Representative Steve Drazkowski, at the State Legislature to discuss the pros and cons of the QuickStart flood relief program. Others in attendance were the MN Department of Housing, Representative Gene Pelowski and Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes from Winona, and Winona County Recorder Bob Bambenek. The main focus of the meeting was how the State could help those homeowners now that were affected by the flood.
Councilmember Bowman questioned if the City still plans to hold a neighborhood meeting for the residents of WE Valley about the water treatment plant that will be built in 2008. He was informed the intent is still there, and it will take place once the plans are finalized. Councilmember Andring asked for an update on the roof repair for the Police Department building, and if there was any damage inside to the new construction. Mr. Greg Volkart, Director of Public Works, indicated there was no damage to the main level. Councilmember Ledebuhr asked for more details on the re-modeling plans for City Hall, and possibly finding an outlet for Lake Goodview. The City Administrator gave an overview of the plans for the re-modeling, and stressed the main goal was to provide more room for the office staff and storage. He also indicated the City has only had an initial meeting with local officials to start a brain-storming process on creating an outlet for the lake, but he will bring more information as the process proceeds.
The report on building permits through December, 2007 was reviewed by the Council. Councilmember Bowman asked for an update on the status of the City exploring the position of a Building Inspector. City Administrator Matejka informed the Council the City is having a meeting with a company from Rochester who performs these services for municipalities. Also, Winona County is possibly still looking into creating a county-wide inspector position. The Mayor suggested Winona County Commissioner Dwayne Voegeli attend the next Council meeting to have a general discussion with the City Council on various topics.
The Council had a discussion on what procedure they wanted to use in 2008 to review the claims. Each Councilmember indicated they like the concept of being able to review the actual documentation attached to each check. The Council elected to continue reviewing the claims in 2008 as they did in 2007. Mr. Matejka will send out a review schedule to each Councilmember when developed.
The January, 2008 Maintenance Department On-Call schedule was reviewed by the Council.
The Council reviewed the briefs from the Coalition of Greater MN Cities. It was determined not to include these in future Council packets, because each Councilmember received them by e-mail.
The Council reviewed the article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the ordinance that the city of Plymouth, MN has concerning having cats leashed.
The Council reviewed the chart of rainfall amounts during the flood of August 18, 2007 as compiled by the MN Department of Natural Resources.
The City Administrator presented the 2008 Water and Sewer budgets to the Council. The recommendation was to increase the basic water rates from $7.87 to $9.51 for the first 3,000 gallons, along with an increase from $2.35 to $3.17 for each 1,000 gallons over the original 3,000. For sewer, the City Administrator proposed an increase from $15.87 to $17.80 for the base cost up to 5,000 gallons, then an increase from $2.97 to $3.56 for each 1,000 gallons over the base gallons. The Mayor pointed out this is the second incremental increase in a possible four increment scenario to have the user-fees of the water fund pay for the radium removal project. Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to approve the 2008 Water and Sewer revenue and expenditure budgets as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.
Councilmember Ledebuhr moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to approve the 2008 City Fee Schedule as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.
Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve the Final Plat design for the Brom Woods Estates sub-division as presented by Mr. Dennis Ellefson. All voted aye, motion carried.
Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve the Mayoral Appointments as presented. The list reflects no change from the 2007 appointment list. All voted aye, motion carried.
The City Administrator presented to the Council a first draft of the City's ordinance dealing with cats. Mayor Weimerskirch indicated he believes the draft meets the accountability issue to current cat owners, but there might be an enforcement issue of the ordinance per the Police Chief. The Mayor's recommendation is to table the ordinance until further information can be obtained. Councilmember Bowman agreed with the suggestion to table the ordinance, as he believes there are needs to educate the general public and to try to incorporate some of the suggestions of the staff from Camp Companion. The Council agreed to table the ordinance until further notice.
Councilmember Ledebuhr moved and Councilmember Brinkman seconded to approve the conditional use permit for John and Kathy Pinski at 755 46th Avenue for two more years. All voted aye, motion carried.
Councilmember Andring moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to adjourn the meeting. All voted aye, motion carried.
Adjournment at 7:03 p.m.