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Goodview City Council Minutes (03/02/2008)

February 4, 2008

Mr. Jay Kruger of Construction Management Services was not able to attend the meeting due to the weather. Due to this the discussion about outsourcing the job of Building Inspector was tabled until the Monday, February 25, 2008 meeting.

Consent Agenda: Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Brinkman

seconded to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. The agenda included the minutes of the January 28, 2008 regular meeting of the Goodview City Council. All voted aye, motion

carried.

There were no comments in the "Petitions, Complaints, or Inquires" portion of the meeting.

Assistant Fire Chief Todd Ives updated the Council on various topics concerning the Fire Department, including the addition of three new members in January, 2008. He did ask the Council to consider devising an ordinance which would require residents to clean snow away from fire hydrants on their respective corners. This would be similar to the ordinance requiring them to shovel sidewalks where they exist. Mr. Greg Volkart, Director of Public Works, will look into this and see if the League of Minnesota Cities may have sample language on the topic. Once again, the Mayor asked the Assistant Chief to express the Council's thanks to the Department and all its members.

State Representative Steve Drazkowski was present to give the Council a review of the upcoming legislative session which begins on February 12, 2008. He announced he has received verbal confirmation from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) that the City's grant application for $3,841,000 to provide utility services to both the Saehler-Anderson and Connaughty-Gunderson sub-divisions was approved for 100%. The Representative pointed out this is a bonding year, and the Governor submitted his bonding proposal for $965 million. Of this figure nearly $400 million is dedicated to transportation, of which $225 is dedicated for local roads and bridges. The House and Senate will both submit their bills, and will hopefully see some compromise with the Governor's. Some of the issues he believes will be addressed this session besides transportation will include health care reform, illegal immigration, Local Government Aid, and how to deal with the expected deficit of $373 million (based on the November, 2007 forecast). Mayor Weimerskirch clearly expressed a need for some compromise between the legislators and the Governor on the transportation bill. Representative Drazkowski also indicated he believes government has gotten to big, and would like to shrink it. Councilmember Bowman questioned if he meant reducing the number of legislators or going unilateral, of which the Representative expressed a belief that government shouldn't pay for things such as the Shakespeare Festival, Eagle Center, and sports arenas. Councilmember Brinkman agreed with the Representative that there should be competition for health care in the United States, and that grants should be given out for forward thinking like new energy solutions and projects that are good for the environment.

Due to the announcement by Representative Drazkowski about the grant through the PFA, the Council decided to hold a special meeting on Wednesday, February 13, 2008, at the Winona Elks Lodge at 7:30 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the residents of those two sub-divisions of the grant, and where do the potential projects go from here.

There was a lengthy discussion by the Council on the procedures they wanted to follow to start the process of filling the position of Chief of Police (the current Chief has submitted a retirement letter effective October 1, 2008). The Mayor will go with whatever procedure the majority of the Council wishes, but believes in promoting from within just as private companies do. Councilmember Ledebuhr expressed his desire the City should follow the same process as they did when filling the City Administrator position in the summer of 2006. Councilmember Brinkman indicated he believes in the external posting and interview process, but would recommend the City only advertise locally in the Winona Daily News as opposed to a regional or national search. Mayor Weimerskirch gave the Council a review of the two previous times the City had to replace its Chief of Police, and indicated that both the Winona County Sheriff and the Winona Chief of Police served on the interviewing committee. The entire Council was okay with this concept this time around also. Councilmember Ledebuhr asked about a timeframe to the process, of which the Mayor indicated the City should begin advertising in late April with interviews in late May or early June.

Winona County Emergency Management Coordinator Mr. Bob Bilder was in attendance to help present, along with Deputy Police Chief Kent Russell, the concept of a Hazard Mitigation Plan specifically for the City of Goodview. Mr. Bilder said the desire of his department is to have each City in the County develop their own plan so they can handle any disaster themselves as if the County didn't exist. This plan would act as a guideline, or recipe/checklist, to set up the process to follow in case of a disaster. It would also have to tie in with the County's plan. City Administrator, Dan Matejka, suggested a committee be established to write these guidelines. The committee would include representatives from all of the departments within the City including the Council, and Winona County. Councilmembers Andring and Ledebuhr volunteered to serve on the committee, with the Mayor acting in an ex-officio manner.

The Council reviewed the request by Minnesota House Minority Leader Representative Marty Seifert to approve a resolution pertaining to releasing bonds for transportation funding in Minnesota. Councilmember Andring moved to approve such resolution, but it failed for lack of a second.

Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded that RESOLUTION NO. 0778, A RESOLUTION APPROVING A PREMISE PERMIT FOR THE WINONA ELKS LODGE NO. 327 FOR THE CONDUCT OF LAWFUL GAMBLING FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS, be adopted. All voted aye. The Resolution was declared adopted.

Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded to adjourn. All voted aye, motion carried.

Adjournment at 7:03.p.m.

MN Public Facilities Authority Grant Special Meeting

February 13, 2008

The special meeting was called to order to discuss the $3.8 million dollar grant awarded to the City from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority. Dan Matejka, City Administrator, Greg Volkart, Director of Public Utilities, Judy Gottschalk, Administrative Assistant, Denise Herber, General Services Clerk and City Engineer Bill Trygstad of Zenk Read & Trygstad Engineering were also in attendance at the meeting.

Mayor Weimerskirch welcomed the residents from the areas that will possibly be annexed into the City to the meeting. The Mayor then stated that shortly after the residents received notification letters of the denial of the grant from Homeland Security/FEMA, the City received confirmation indicating that the City would be receiving a $3.8 million dollar grant from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority, which is expected to cover 100% of the construction costs of water and sewer to the Saehler-Anderson and Gunderson-Connaughty subdivisions dependent on annexation into the City of Goodview.

Dan Matejka, City Administrator, explained that the survey slips given to the residents at the beginning of the meeting were for the purpose of acquiring a total approximate interest level either for or against the water and sewer hookup and annexation into the City.

The Administrator then outlined the issues listed on the informational sheet given to the residents in attendance. Each point outlined possible costs to the residents. The grant amount is expected to cover 100% of construction costs to the residents. Included was a comparison of costs without the grant along with tax comparisons as residents of Rollingstone Township versus annexation into the City of Goodview. Included were hook-up costs to the City water and sewer systems to each individual house, along with monthly water and sewer rates for the City of Goodview. The meeting then was opened for questions from the residents:

Q: At the last meeting was there a vote taken on annexation?

A: The Administrator stated that the last meeting was strictly an informational meeting and there was no vote taken.

Q: Residents questioned the slip received at the meeting and what is its purpose?

A: The Administrator responded that the slip is to be used for evaluation of the annexation and it is a ballot survey only. Greg Kuehntopp, Rollingstone Township Board chairman responded that this would give the Township an accurate idea as to which direction the residents are going in either for or against the annexation. This will give the Board the necessary information to conduct the Rollingstone Township special meeting scheduled for March 5, 2008.

Q: If a ballot were taken, would each person have a vote?

A: The Administrator responded along with Township Board Chairman Greg Kuehntopp that it would not be an individual vote but by each property owner.

Q: At a recent Rollingstone Town Board meeting, construction costs were discussed and a resident questioned whether street, curb and gutter were included in the costs?

A: The Administrator responded that street costs were included but that curb and gutter was not but could be calculated out as a separate bid. The City does have within the grant a contingency amount of $380,000 for any additional unforeseen expenses. There could be a possibility to include the curb and gutter in this amount. Once again this would be a separate part of the project and would be a City of Goodview decision. If costs came in over the estimation, there would be a possibility of an assessment to the residents.

Q: If it is mandatory to hookup to City water and sewer, what requirements would be needed to remove septic systems?

A: The administrator responded that it is not mandatory to hook up to City water and sewer, and the septic system does not need to be removed but needs to be inspected by a licensed plumber and certified in writing that the system is in compliance. The inspections are good for three years. Councilmember Brinkman stated that if the resident preferred to hookup to City water and sewer, septic removal was not necessary and it could be pumped out and filled in compliant with state regulations. Councilmember Brinkman stated that his costs were approximately $1200 - $1500.

Q: Would there be special pricing for residents when hooking up to City water and Sewer?

A: The Administrator stated that there would not be any special hookup pricing.

Q: Would there be streetlights installed in the subdivisions.

A: Greg Volkart responded that the possibility is there for streetlights. The City handles the cost of the operation of the streetlights at approximately $11 per month for each street light installed. If the annexation proceeds, the request for streetlights would need to be received from the residents in each of the annexed areas.

Q: If a resident chooses not to hookup to City water and sewer will they be charged a monthly fee?

A: Administrator Matejka replied that if a resident was not hooked up to the City's system, they would not be charged. Councilmember Bruce Brinkman responded that if a resident's septic did not pass inspection, the resident would have the option to connect to City sewer and retain outside water at no charge to the resident. Metering at the house would then monitor sewer and a monthly charge would be for sewer usage.

Q: Is there an option, once hooked up to City water and sewer of keeping well water for outside watering?

A: Greg Volkart stated that old wells can be hooked to outside faucets for watering purposes, but cannot be interconnected with the City water system piping.

Q: Regarding the third item on the informational sheet, costs for hookup - have labor and materials been figured into the hookup costs?

A: The Administrator stated that labor and materials were included.

Q: Is the City handling the radium issues in the water?

A: Greg Volkart and City Engineer Bill Trygstad responded that the radium plant project is proceeding and the City will be processing bids in approximately one month. The City is required to be compliant with radium processing by July 2009. Two plants will be put into place for radium processing.

Q: It was asked if the bids exceeded the grant amount what affect would this have on the annexed residents?

A: The Administrator responded that there was a possibility of an assessment being incurred on each resident. Each line item in the construction figures would be carefully evaluated before this step would be taken. Mayor Weimerskirch responded that in past construction projects, the engineer's estimates have been conservative and have come in close to the original estimations.

Q: What is the timeline for the start and completion of the project?

A: Preliminary bids and engineering would begin in April or May and construction of the project would follow thereafter with a partially completed project by the end of 2008. Streets would not be completed at that time but would have either crushed rock or a 1st layer of blacktop in place with street completion planned for the early spring of 2009.

Q: There was an inquiry regarding the grant received by Rollingstone Township from FEMA for street repair and blacktopping. What would happen to that money if the township were to annex into Goodview?

A: Greg Kuehntopp responded that that he would have to look into what would need to be done with the money and if it needed to be returned to FEMA.

Q: If there were a negative vote against annexation, what would be the next step?

A: Greg Kuehntopp stated that a decision would not be made until all the surveys are returned and people not in attendance are contacted. This in turn would then give the Township a better sense of what needs to be done next.

Q: If the bids are over, can it then be decided not to annex into Goodview.

A: The Mayor responded that annexation is the first step. He felt that the construction costs should be close to estimation. The state does allow the City to annex a township without the township's permission. He stated that this has not been done in the past and would prefer to have a majority of residents in favor of the annexation. This offer had been presented in 2001-2002 when Sunny Acres water and sewer was established but was rejected. The Mayor emphasized that an offer of this magnitude would not be available to the City again. It is a one-time offer and suggested to the residents to take into consideration all aspects of the annexation and construction and the benefits it could bring to the residents.

Q: It was asked if there was a liberal estimate for curb and gutter construction?

A: Bill Trygstad, City engineer stated that curb and gutter on past projects has been quoted at approximately $10 - $15 a foot. Q: A resident was concerned with his residence being on the opposite side of the Gunderson subdivision and having a longer distance for water and sewer installation. He asked if this had been taken into consideration when estimating construction costs?

A: The City Engineer and Director of Public Utilities acknowledged that these issues have been calculated into the construction costs.

Q:What properties are included in the annexation?

A:The Administrator referred to a displayed map and indicated which areas would be included in the annexation.

Q: It was asked if annexed residents would be required to follow all City ordinances and regulations? A resident was concerned with building ordinances and if projects already completed due to the flood would have to be inspected again and he would have to make changes if the City's ordinances differ from the Township's.

A: Greg Volkart stated that this would be a requirement once annexed, but the City would not re-inspect currently rebuilt areas due to the flood, but residents would need to be in compliance with State regulations.

Q: It was asked why curb and gutter was not included in the original bid estimations?

A: The Mayor responded that curb and gutter was not included, because curb and gutter was not originally located in the subdivisions. This could be part of a separate bid option.

Q: A resident stated that in the previous meeting, when the FEMA grant was a possibility, that the City was willing to pay part of the 25% of the remaining construction costs after the 75% covered by FEMA. Now that the current grant is expected to be 100% paid, could the City pay for the water and sewer hookup costs for the residents? This additional expense would be placing additional financial hardship on the residents.

A: Councilmember Bowman acknowledged that currently this was not in the City's policy but could be evaluated and taken into consideration. Councilmember Brinkman stated that it is not necessary to hook up to the City water and sewer at the current time so the expense for hookup would not be necessary.

Q: A resident stated some concerns with possible development issues on the hillside behind his residence and if the City is planning a development in that area. He was concerned with run-off and mudslides, which have taken place in the area before.

A: Greg Volkart stated that the water and sewer lines would be going by the Kelly property but currently there are no development plans for that area. Q: What is the timeline for annexation?

A: Greg Kuehntopp stated there would be a special township meeting held on March 5 at the Minnesota City School. At the time of that meeting, with the survey results in and all residents contacted, there would be a definite indication if the annexation is or is not a possibility. The Administrator stated than an informational discussion could also be included in the decision-making.

Q: A resident was concerned regarding the money received by residents from FEMA and if it was earmarked for septic repairs and was not used for that, would the money be taken from the resident?

A: A Rollingstone resident answered that the FEMA allotted amount was to be used by the residents for any use necessary. It is not specified for only one use. The maximum amount was $28,200 per resident. If a homeowner did not receive the maximum amount, monies may still be available.

Q: What is the approximate annexation/construction timeline?

A: The Administrator responded that annexation would be the first item. The processing and paperwork would be next and a formal annexation request to become part of the City and then a signed agreement needs to be put in place. Rollingstone Township Board Chairman Greg Kuehntopp stated that if the vote comes back as 50/50 at the March 5th meeting, the meeting would be used for serious discussion on the issues of annexation into the City of Goodview or not. Greg Kuehntopp stated that the Township board would honor the resident's requests. Councilmember Ledebuhr reiterated that if residents decide not to annex into Goodview that the Council would honor their request.

Q: What are the benefits of annexation?

A: Councilmember Ledebuhr stated that with the new requirements in place for septic systems, that there could be the possibility of an area being unavailable for septic replacement. Councilmember Brinkman noted that there would be new streets, fire hydrant availability that could decrease insurance amounts and home value increase due to hookup to City water and sewer. Police and Fire protection would be available along with street maintenance.

Q: What would be done regarding the residents not in attendance at the meeting?

A: Greg Kuehntopp stated that the township board would contact the residents not in attendance at the meeting to get their views on the annexation in order to have a true assessment of the annexation. Less than 30% of the residents were not in attendance.

Q: If annexation passes, are the negotiation sessions required to be open meetings?

A: The Administrator stated that he was not sure and would look into the requirements for these sessions.

Q: Question regarding residents partaking in the negotiations with the City Council. Would they have representation?

A: Until annexation, they would not be included on the City Council, but all Council meetings are open to the public and opinions expressed at the meetings are taken into consideration. The Mayor stated that in the Woodhaven project that a neighborhood committee was formed. The committee was involved in many areas of the construction. This could be used with Rollingstone Township residents in order to have input into the annexation process. Once annexed in, when elections occur and either a Councilmember or the Mayor is up for re-election, the newly annexed members would be able to participate.

Q: Another resident questioned the development of land adjacent to his property. He was concerned that the City would permit a building development in that area.

A: Greg Volkart stated that the developer would need to meet all building requirements, and the option would be available to rule against the construction but would require a justifiable reason for denial. Board Chairman Greg Kuehntopp stated that the area of concern is still township property, so that it would be the township's responsibility.

Q: What type of condition would the driveways and roads be in until the 2009 blacktopping took place.

A: City Engineer Trygstad stated that it would be either a crushed rock surface or possibly a first layer of blacktop.

Q: Would the width of the streets be increased?

A: City Engineer Trygstad answered that the streets would be put back to the original size before the flood took place.

Q: Why are the subdivisions labeled as two separate developments?

A: The Administrator stated that each subdivision is treated as a separate project. If annexation were denied in one subdivision, the other subdivision would have the option of annexation and construction.

Q: Will building requirements change once annexed? Residents also were concerned with garden availability and regulations regarding watering.

A: Greg Volkart stated that the requirements would change. Currently building permits in Goodview are only required when outside dimensions change and does not affect landscaping or interior remodeling or water usage. The Administrator stated that the City is possibly looking into a City building inspector and while it is only in the early stages of development, it could have an affect on City building permits. The Mayor stated that information concerning the City's Ordinances and Regulations are on the City website.

Q: If one subdivision decides not to be included in the annexation will the grant be available for the other subdivision.

A: The Administrator stated that the grant would be available for either one or both of the annexed subdivisions.

Q: What type of bonfire regulations does the City require?

A: Mayor Weimerskirch indicated there are requirements and they are outlined in the City's Fire Ordinance.

Q: Questions of parking ordinance. Would this affect annexed residents?

A: The Administrator responded that it would affect street parking in the winter. Currently off-street parking is in effect from November 1 through April 1 to effectively plow snow.

Q: When are Council meetings held and are meeting agendas available?

A: The Administrator stated that meetings are normally held the first and third Monday of the month unless a holiday falls on one of the days. All agendas are available on the website or can be e-mailed to residents. The Mayor stated that if there is a special meeting it is posted in the Winona Daily News.

Q: If not hooked up to water and sewer - how much are the costs

for septic inspection?

A: Councilmember Brinkman stated that the fee is approximately $300 every three years.

Q: If not hooked up but annexed in, would a resident still be responsible for taxes?

A: The Administrator stated that the resident would be required to pay City taxes.

Q: Ditch concerns in Gunderson. If streets are put in, would ditches be filled in? Could it be included in the contingency amount?

A: City Engineer Trygstad stated that it is not currently included in the construction costs, but could be included as a separate project. If curb and gutter were put into place, then the ditches would be filled.

Q: If a resident did not hookup to City water and sewer what are the requirements needed by the City to assure that a septic system is safe? A resident stated that he had a certificate of compliancy from approximately two years ago. Would that be enough?

A: The Administrator stated that a certificate of compliancy would be required. The Mayor stated that the compliancy certificate would need to be dated after the flood. The two-year-old certificate would not be honored due to flood related issues.

Q: A Township resident questioned snow plowing availability and a time frame of when plowing is done due to driving to work issues.

A: The Administrator stated that currently plowing begins at 4:00 a.m. All plowing is based on the difficulty of each area. The Mayor currently stated that due to the roads, Woodhaven is plowed first as it is one of the most difficult roads. Normally plowing is done by 7:00 a.m.

Q: Is there enough capacity and pressure for the project?

A: The Administrator said there is ample capacity and pressure.

Q: Have cost evaluations taken place and has it been decided where the construction would begin?

A: The Administrator stated that currently the cost evaluations have has not been prepared until annexation is confirmed.

The question and answer session was then completed. Councilmember Brinkman moved and Councilmember Bowman seconded that the meeting be adjourned. The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

 

 

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