Minutes of the June 12th meeting were reviewed and approved following a motion by Heidgerken, s/Thelen, by a 4-0 vote.
Carrie Pohlkamp appeared again to seek relief of her utility bills for the period of January through March of this year. After again noting that the charges for these three months totaled some $1,147.59, Heidgerken moved to reduce her amount by the formula originally presented by the mayor. This motion received no second. Humbert then moved to deny any reimbursement, s/Atkinson. On a roll call vote, the motion passed with Humbert, Atkinson and Thelen voting aye, Heidgerken nay. While seeking further clarification, Thelen moved to reconsider the previous motion by allowing for a credit of $148.02 from the March bill of $348.02, with a second offered by Heidgerken. Once again, on a roll call vote, this motion was passed with Thelen, Heidgerken and Humbert voting aye and Atkinson voting nay.
The clerk reported back on the status of the recreation program allowance for certain parties who were involved in transporting students to the St. Cloud "Skatin' Place", after Williams Bus Company had failed to show up for the trip. After hearing that the Williams time and labor cost would have been $135.00 and that the current IRS mileage rate is now $.365/mile, Thelen moved to reimburse the six drivers a flat $25.00 for their time. Humbert seconded the motion and by unanimous vote, the motion passed.
Following the receipt of a complaint from a neighbor, the clerk passed out an incident report that claimed that Dan Elfering was apparently disposing of garbage/refuse on nearby public property while the complaint alleged that Elfering was not having any garbage picked up by a private hauler. The consensus of the council was to have the clerk notify the party that he may be in violation of the city code.
The issue of the final plat for the first phase of the Freeport Industrial Park was discussed, with a July 2nd memo from the clerk to Sam DeLeo of SEH requesting that he provide a checklist of items to address, as promised, so that this plat could be finalized at the last meeting in July. He had replied with a July 8th memo that stated he was awaiting field survey information from Rich Romness and the Bolton & Menk crew. That data, Romness confirmed, was just finalized and included the boundaries for wetlands delineation. Other items mentioned by DeLeo included the need by MNDOT to review the plat, easement and ponding issues and the title opinion which the clerk stated that Scott Hamak should have completed while doing the option agreement work with the Middendorf sale.
Romness and Heinen also re-capped the results of a joint meeting they had with Mark Middendorf about the park construction issues on July 2nd. Middendorf had consented to the parking of contractor's equipment on their land prior to construction and fence removal and/or relocation was addressed as well. Romness pointed out the location of an Underground drainage pipe to handle run-off and Middendorf agreed to having the road remain as an easement, rather than requiring the city to purchase now, but he stated that a five year limit should be imposed at which time the city must acquire, regardless of future lot sale conditions. In the end, all agreed that Middendorfs' and the Ellingson party should all be invited to the preconstruction conference, which the clerk stated he would do.
Resolution No. 2002-16, a "RESOLUTION GRANTING A ZONING VARIANCE TO RICK LEUKAM" was presented for consideration, after approval to prepare this document was granted at the previous meeting. After reading the draft, Thelen moved to adopted the resolution with amendments that would limit the size of the front deck at 22 feet front yard setback to no more than 8' x 17', with the west side of the structure to be flush with the west side of the dwelling, with the steps to be limited to no more than 2 risers with a 4' maximum. Heidgerken seconded the motion with Thelen, Heidgerken and Humbert voting aye, Atkinson nay, with passage on a 3-1 margin.
Molly Thompson of Schlenner Wenner & Co. appeared to review the city's 2001 financial report and indicate that the city was in good fiscal shape with a healthy fund balance in all funds. The firm did have two findings that mentioned that the city was not collateralized at 110% on 12/31/01, as required by law and that some deposits were not being made in a timely fashion. A management letter also indicated that some invoices were not paid promptly; no bank reconciliation was maintained after this was requested last year and the city should adopt an investment policy. Before leaving, she was asked what the fees for completing the 2001 Tax Increment Audit would be since the city was facing a July 31, 2002, deadline without this task being done. She responded that her firm would charge between $600-800.
The condition of the Judy Hoppe property at 207 Main St. E., prompted members to ask for a history of action undertaken by city staff. Clerk Heinen replied that after sending out a certified letter in late May, requesting cleanup of the lot under Section 600.09 of the City Code, he had been in contact with AmeriQuest Mortgage many times over the phone. After earlier approving hiring of a contractor to remove the structure, another division within the company had overruled the legal section and was now delaying any action. As a result, the council authorized seeking current quotes from contractors for its removal and cleanup in case AmeriQuest fails to act in time for the city's annual Community Festival on July 20-21 and track all administrative costs should we need to recover same from this firm.
A written public works report was introduced for all to read from Joel Dasher that pointed out these items:
- the condition of the Ariens riding mower and the repairs made thus far
- purchase of a second trash can near Charlie's CafeĀ“ to handle the heavy traffic
- street repairs that should be made this year
- sewer pond status with MPCA action awaiting
- noxious weed inspection
- the condition of the James Buetz shop
- consideration to employ Mark Middendorf as a backup maintenance person
The council authorized Dasher to check out the cost of adding a second barrel for uptown use but took no action on the other issues.
The EDA Board meeting of 7/08/02 resulted in this action for this special session, with Traci Ryan of David Drown Associates present:
- approved the change requests by the attorney representing Pat Ellingson for the pending purchase agreement that included stretching out the assessment payments for up to 10 years at an interest rate consistent with city policy
- approved the principal party name to read "Central MN Energy"
- deferred action on the grading/filling requests until such time as the city's engineer could respond to his statements to Ellingson about excess fill
- discussed the pending financing of the Industrial Park project with bond proceeds that will now require revisions since Ellingson would not pay for special assessments up front, as anticipated
- addressed the matter of creating a second TIF District but took no action on this issue until the council hears more specifics
The need to retain an outside firm to conduct the 2001 TIF audit was addressed at this time. After reviewing a proposal from David Drown Associates that would impose a fee of $1,500 for the first district and being aware of the Schlenner Wenner quote earlier in the evening, Heidgerken moved to accept the Schlenner Wenner quote of $600-800, with a second introduced by Atkinson. By a voice vote, the motion carried without dissent.
A statement of the annual city appraisal cost for the entire city from the Stearns County Assessor's Office was studied by all. It revealed the basis for imposing a fee of $2,140.78 for the year 2001 and Thelen moved to accept, s/Humbert. With few comments, the motion was adopted by unanimous vote, 4-0.
The city clerk presented comments on the first half year building/zoning permit summary that included new valuation of $280,794 with $1,962 in fees collected. Of this amount, $1,574.70 was forwarded to the building official and $115.40 sent into the state as surcharges. The election calendar and the fact that the city would be receiving a new ballot counting machine were also mentioned.
In a final issue, the pending payables, amounting to $4,434.48, was presented for review and payment. After studying the list, Heidgerken moved to pay the bills, s/Humbert, and by a vote of 4-0, the motion carried.
With no further business to come before the group, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 A.M. by general consent.