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Goodview City Council Minutes (07/20/2008)

July 7, 2008

Rep. Steve Drazkowski addressed the Council on various topics including the final results of the past legislative session. The number one major issue was the transportation bill, which will generate approximately $6.6 billion over the next 10 years. He indicated the one item of the bill which probably will have the most direct effect on car owners is the fact the license tab for any new car purchased after September 1, 2008 will increase $125. He followed the Governor's lead and voted against the bill. He went onto say the Republicans created their own transportation bill that would have generated $7.5 billion, but it was never allowed to be brought forward by the majority party. The second issue was the bonding bill of nearly $900 million. The Governor vetoed certain line items of the original bill, including monies for amateur sports facilities and a brass band museum in Chatfield. Drazkowski pointed out his belief of bonding is that it should be for absolute essential projects like infrastructure, universities, and veterans homes. The legislature had to also resolve a budget deficit of $935 million. The majority of this was accomplished by using about $500 million of the State's rainy day fund. Cities and Counties will receive more Local Government Aid (LGA) in 2009 due to the tax bill passed during the session. The City of Goodview will receive approximately 13% more in LGA for 2009, which translates into about $17,000 over what was expected. He pointed out due to the economy; the State is projecting a budget deficit between $1 and $2 billion at the start of the next biennium. On the subject of current transportation issues, he indicated the first phase of the Highway 43 bridge repair should be completed by the end of July. This would open the bridge to truck traffic. Also, the re-surfacing of Highway 61 from County Highway 248 north to State Road 42 will be completed in 2009. He expressed the number one issue being talked about in the public is energy. An organization called CapEx2020 is exploring a potential new way of increasing electrical energy capacity to the State by running transmission lines from the Dakotas to the Twin Cities to Rochester and then on to LaCrosse. The Public Utilities Commission will decide if the project will proceed at the beginning of next year. If passed, the decision of which actual route it will follow will take place sometime in mid-2009. His belief to increasing energy to the State is that the State should lift its self-imposed moratorium on generating nuclear energy, as he believes this is the cleanest and safest energy alternative. Councilmember Brinkman expressed his belief the State should put more emphasis in bonding for investment into the future towards an education in technology and energy. The Representative went on to speak about various topics on the flood of August 2007. He still strongly believes that all victims should have received some aid, and it should not have been based on a needs or mean-tested approach. He went on to say he thought all Winona County officials did an excellent job in administering the various programs which provided help to the County's businesses and homeowners. Mayor Weimerskirch expressed his belief there are too many State Representatives and Senators, and the State of Minnesota should look seriously at reducing the number of politicians throughout the State. There are too many who feel the need to bring back "pork" to their constituents. He also said he thinks the elected officials aren't listening to their constituents as much as they should, and are following party lines more and more in recent times. The Mayor also expressed his displeasure about the new law of levy limits being imposed on local units of government as a form of property tax relief.

Dan Scharmer of 1255 Sherry Drive asked for an update of the street and utility project for the Connaughty-Gunderson and Saehler-Anderson sub-divisions. The City hopes to start calling for bids within a few weeks, with actual construction starting late August. Also the City did put a bid in to buy one of the abandoned properties to use as a site for a lift-station.

Councilmember Ledebuhr mentioned he received a few complaints about noise coming from the garage located at 860 49th Avenue. Anyone with a complaint should file a formal complaint with the Department. Ledebuhr pointed out people are not getting charged set rates each time they use the compost facility. Matejka said he will look into the matter. Councilmember Bowman pointed out he has observed numerous cases of speeding on 48th Avenue in We Valley. He also mentioned the camper trailer at 1365 49th Avenue had not been moved lately. Matejka will refer the issues to the Police Department. Bowman also mentioned the letter each Councilmember received from Linda Pfeilsticker asking to meet. It was decided to inform her she is more than welcomed to attend any Council meeting and speak to the entire Council during the Community Comment/Input part of the meeting.

The Mayor questioned Fire Chief Bambenek if storage is really an issue at the Fire Hall, of which the Chief indicated it is not a problem at this time. Brinkman asked if the Department has explored the idea of using satellite pictures, instead of having a laptop, to show residences and fire hydrants. The Chief said they will look into it as this would certainly be much more cost efficient. Brinkman once again expressed his desire to have a database created of the location of each hydrant, and an address and resident name connected to each. The City Administrator will talk with Aaron Lofgren about completing this project. Bowman asked if fire hydrants have been considered in the specifications for the upcoming street and utility project, of which he was told yes. The Fire Chief asked if his department could review the preliminary plans once they are created.

The City Council reviewed the 2007 audited budget update.

The City Council reviewed the 2008 budget update through May 31, 2008.

The City Council acknowledged the increase in the federal mileage reimbursement rate from 50.5 cents to 58.5 cents per mile effective July 1, 2008.

The Maintenance Department on-call schedule for July, 2008 was reviewed by the Council.

The thank you letter from the Winona County Dive/Rescue Team was acknowledged.

The letter from the League of Minnesota Cities was reviewed by the City Council.

The Consumer Confidence Report/2007 Drinking Water Report was reviewed by the Council.

The City Administrator informed the Council the City has received a 100% reimbursable grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $1,171,662.60 to be used for two flood mitigation projects. The first is to create an outlet for Lake Goodview, with the second project being a redirection of Old Minnesota City Road in the west part of the community right past the entrance to the Country Meadows sub-division. This would have created a natural dike, along with making the road a safer and straighter route. However, since the annexation of the Connaughty-Gunderson and Saehler-Anderson sub-divisions, the City wants to explore all options to keep all residents safe, along with working with both the City of Minnesota City and Rollingstone Township. The City has hired the engineering firm of Yaggy Colby to do a study of both projects to help determine the best alternatives. The engineering firm hopes to have a proposal, and possibly some preliminary ideas, to the City early next week.

Council approved Personnel Policy Handbook revision #2 of Section 18 "Resignations, Retirements, Terminations, or Death" as presented. Council approved Personnel Policy Handbook revision #2 of Section 6 "Vacations, Sick Leave, Holidays" as presented.

Council approved an exemption to lawful gambling license for Winona County Ducks Unlimited on Sept. 6 and Sept. 13.

Fire Chief Bambenek presented Ordinance 52.05, an ordinance regulating open fires and open burning and repealing Ordinance 52.04. He wanted to add teeth into the enforcement for a violation of the ordinance. The new added language is right from the International Fire Code Book, and it pertains specifically to apartment buildings. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Brinkman seconded to approve Ordinance 52.05 as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.

Council approved all of the drainlayer's license applications as presented. All voted aye, motion carried.

City Administrator Dan Matejka asked the Council to provide some guidance on the level of tax levy amounts they wish to present to the public for the 2009 budget.

The Mayor informed the Council the City received three applicants for the Chief of Police position.  


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