Rushford City Council minutes
Thursday, March 02, 2017 11:37 AM
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 13, 2017
Members Present: Mayor Hallum, Council members Bunke, Benson, Honsey, O’Donnell
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Hallum called the regular meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Motion by Honsey seconded by O’Donnell to approve the agenda as presented, with the addition of a request for funding flower baskets and the removal of the HBC funding request. Upon roll call all voted aye.
Motion by O’Donnell seconded by Bunke to approve the January 23, 2017, meeting minutes as presented. Upon roll call, all voted aye.
The Mayor asked if there were any citizens wishing to be heard with no one present wishing to speak at this time.
The following notices and communications were reviewed:
• Local Board of Appeal & Equalization (LBOAE) is set for 6 p.m. April 24, 2017 at the regular Council meeting
• Notification from Acentek on video changes effective 3/1/17
• Letter sent to homeowners regarding the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) tree removal project. Trees have been marked and verified as being boulevard trees. The City will remove the trees, take care of stump grinding and eventually replanting if appropriate. People who wish to take the wood for burning may sign a release form and take from the compost site.
Motion by Bunke seconded by Honsey to approve the consent agenda consisting of the following:
• Approval of Verified Claims and Fund Summary Report for period ending 02/13/17
• Approval of Financial Statement and Investment Report
• Approval of PWD Overtime & Banked Hours Report
• Approval of Police Dept. Revenue & Expense Report
• Approval of Police Dept. Activity Report
• Approval of Utilities Fund Recap Report
• Update on EDA/RLF & Flood Loan Accounts
(1) $292,480.87 was transferred out of the #204 Flood Loan Fund to the #203 EDA Revolving Loan Fund at year end but leaving $69,242.89 to pay the 60% payback to flood loan recipients in March after they have filed their annual report/insurance certificate.
(2) Flood Loan Receivables were reduced $1,529,662.41 by regular principal payment and by forgiveness. End of 2016 Flood Loan Receivable is $6,225,527.23
(3) EDA/RLF net changes during year resulted in decrease of $7,795.00. End of 2016 EDA RLF Receivable is $1,538,933.34. Upon roll call all voted aye.
Public Works Director Roger Knutson and Senior Maintenance Dave Lombard attended the meeting to discuss the upgrade of the excavator and flatbed trailer. A memo and photos of equipment were provided to help detail the proposed purchase of used pieces of equipment and the sale of existing equipment.
The proposal is to sell the current Terex HR 32 on GovDeals.com, the online auction site for governmental equipment, and take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a Kobelco SK135SR LC Excavator from a local contractor.
The proposal also includes selling our existing flatbed trailer on line and purchasing a larger trailer from another local contractor.
This upgrade can potentially be accomplished with minimal cash outlay given the good condition and value of the property we would sell vs. the favorable prices of the equipment for sale.
It was noted the Terex has worked well for the City and has helped in the repair of 17 utility line repairs as well as levee repairs, stump removal, culvert repair and waterway clearing. In an effort to conduct these jobs in an even more efficient manner, as well as in a safer manner, Public Works has found a slightly larger piece of equipment which provides the ability to dig and reach deeper, be able to cut through frost, allow them to load more dirt in a shorter period of time, allow for safer operations and to be on site immediately during the event of an emergency situation.
Council members had several questions and comments regarding this proposal, hearing that this opportunity to upgrade is for a mid-sized rig with 5’ greater reach and double the bucket size.
The equipment intended to be sold is in good condition and the sale will reflect that value.
Following considerable discussion there was a Motion by Bunke seconded by O’Donnell to accept the recommendation and purchase the Kobelco Excavator for $28,000 along with a trailer for $3,500; the Terex will be sold for at least $25,000 and the existing trailer for $4,500. Upon roll call all voted aye.
The annual water report indicating gallons pumped, sold, accounted for an unaccounted for was provided for review. The report is prepared in conjunction with the annual DNR Water Permit Report. Unmetered water is determined by use such as hydrant flushing, filling swimming pool, street sweeping, and so forth. The total unaccounted for water is within industry standards at 10.81%.
It was noted that residential sales have decreased, which is not unusual since the rates were changed to the increasing block grant rates required by the DNR. Recent street projects have helped find and improve water leak issues. Updating of the metering system and remote reads also helps account for usage and address leaks in a timely manner.
A letter was provided for review to the City of Rushford Village and City of Peterson regarding the discontinuation of the existing law enforcement agreement effective 12/31/17. A meeting had been held with both entities to open the discussion on alternate contractual options and to give these two cities time to make other arrangements, either through contracting with the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Rushford or by creating their own department.
The existing contract for services is on an on-call basis and can be discontinued with only 30 days’ notice. Discussion was held on communities such as Canton, Harmony, Mabel, Fountain, all who contract with Fillmore County for services.
Motion by Honsey seconded by Benson to approve sending the attached letter to the City of Rushford Village and City of Peterson terminating the service agreement at year end and expressing a willingness to discuss options for entering into a contemporary contract. Upon roll call all voted aye.
Two lodging tax reports were provided for review. A short version of 2014-2016 and the historical version of 1995-2015 revenues and expenditures. In 2016 the City’s Lodging Tax Ordinance was amended to provide for the remittance of funds directly to the Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Discussion was held on the request from Roger Colbenson for the City to provide funding for the flower basket project. It was felt 120 baskets may be more than necessary, especially given that he intended to increase the price of each basket.
Discussion was held on the new trees planted along Highway 43 and plans for other downtown street scape improvements in the works and he need to place the flower baskets in appropriate locations.
Discussion was also held on other potential suppliers for these flower baskets. Motion by Bunke seconded by O’Donnell to order 110 flower baskets at a cost of $34.00 each from Roger Colbenson, to include providing for fertilizer and spraying three times. Consideration should also be given to bidding out this project in the future. Upon roll call all voted aye.
Mayor Hallum asked that the SE MN Historic Bluff Country Tourism Program funding request be tabled for the next meeting.
It was noted the Library had a successful fund raising event recently, a painting class with 29 people attending.
Motion by Honsey seconded by O’Donnell that the meeting be adjourned at approximately 7:40 p.m. Upon roll call all voted aye.
Kathy Zacher, City Clerk/Treas.