Open Public Forum
No public comment was provided.
K. Goebel moved and C. Goebel seconded a motion approving the Consent Agenda which included the following: Approval of the agenda; approval of the minutes from the May 29, 2012 Regular Council Meeting; approval of the claims distributed May 21, 2012 through June 18, 2012; Resolution 2012-042: Donations; Resolution 2012-042: Zoning Permits Issued; and Resolution 2012-038: Preliminary Election Judges. Motion carried 5-0.
Centerpoint Energy Grant
Scott Lehner, Area Manager with Centerpoint Energy presented the City with a check for $2,500 as a part of the companyâ€™s 2012 Community Partnership Grant Program. The City will use the grant proceeds to purchase two 800 MHz radios, a laptop computer for the emergency management program, weather radios for distribution within the City, flashlights and professional assistance with the preparation of an emergency management plan.
Public Hearing: Ordinance 2012-005 Interim Use Ordinance
Mayor Worms excused himself from the Council Chambers before the Public Hearing was opened due to a conflict of interest with Freeport State Bank.
Hennen moved and K. Goebel seconded a motion to open the Public Hearing at 7:10 P.M. Motion carried 4-0.
Job asked for a summary of the Ordinance. Holthaus read aloud the proposed Ordinance and explained that the Public Hearing was not to address Freeport State Bankâ€™s request, in specific. Holthaus noted that in addition to considering the impact of the Ordinance on the bankâ€™s request, Council needed to consider the Ordinance, generally, and its impact on the community. Holthaus noted that the proposed Ordinance had requirements beyond what was required of a conditional use application. Holthaus suggested keeping the requirements similar to a conditional use permit.
Jim Hemker, representing Freeport State Bank offered to discuss the banks proposed private drive at 112 2nd St NE. Hemker described his plans to construct a private drive on the residential lot and stated that regardless of whether the Ordinance was approved, he would proceed with the demolition of the existing single-family residence on the property. Hemker commented that the Cityâ€™s Zoning Ordinance, as pointed out by the Cityâ€™s attorney, was vague and did not adequately address his request.
Resident Leona Funk stated her concern with the safety of residents and stated that safety was not a priority under the proposal. Funk said the lot would not be patrolled and there was nothing to prevent the general public from using the proposed drive. Funk said the sole purpose of the drive would be to provide access to the alley, not the bank. Heidgerken said traffic is already an issue in the alley, without the new drive. Osendorf said increased traffic was not the issue, because the former Corner Store likely created more traffic and that the alley has always been busy. Osendorf said the issue is the creation of an additional access point that doesnâ€™t presently exist. Holthaus clarified that there was no action contemplated by Council, at present, to make the alley a one-way, noting that both staff and the City attorney would not advise. Heidgerken asked how property values would be impacted. Holthaus provided information from the County Assessor stating that the impact to property values would be minimal or none. Assessor Jeff Johnson noted that the block had already experienced diminished value from the presence of commercial traffic in the alley. Funk asked about parking on the north east side of the commercial lot. Hemker noted that parking there would have to cease after construction begins.
Zimmerman suggested that Council modify the proposed Ordinance to lessen what is required of an applicant, similar to what is required for a conditional use permit by changing the language from must to may.
Hennen moved and Ritter seconded a motion to close the hearing at 7:41 P.M. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 2012-039: Ordinance 2012-005 Interim Use Ordinance
C. Goebel moved and K. Goebel seconded a motion on Resolution 2012-039: Ordinance 2012-005 Interim Use Ordinance with a text change under Subd. 3 stating the zoning administrator may require the listed information accompany a site plan. Motion carried 4-0.
Resolution 2012-040: Order Public Hearing on Interim Use Permit for Freeport State Bank
Holthaus explained that the Resolution was to order a public hearing for July 9, 2012. Hennen said he felt the City Code lacked justification for limiting the request by Freeport State Bank. Resident Funk asked whether safety or progress was the priority of the Council. Hennen said Councilâ€™s responsibility is to weigh the varying needs of the community. Willenbring noted that his read of the Ordinance and the attorneyâ€™s opinion led him to believe the vagueness of the Ordinance would be problematic in addressing the bankâ€™s request. Furthermore, Willenbring felt the attorney stretched the definition of lot to cause the proposed private drive to be accessory to the commercial lot. Willenbring stated that it was a private property ownerâ€™s right to allow others to access their property.
Hennen moved and Ritter seconded a motion on Resolution 2012-040: Order Public Hearing on Interim Use Permit for Freeport State Bank. Motion carried 4-0.
K. Goebel stated that if he was opposed to the proposed private drive. Holthaus stated that Freeport State Bank needed to be afforded their due process and an opportunity to present their proposal at the hearing.
Hennen called a five minute recess. After the recess Worms returned to the Chambers and presided over the meeting.
Resolution 2012-037: Order Public Hearing TIF 2-1 (Swany White) Plan Modification
Holthaus explained that the Office of the State Auditor provided comments to Northland that an administrative correction would need to be made to the TIF Plan approved for Swany White. The language in the Plan needs to reflect that the pay-as-you-go note is considered a bond.
Hennen moved and K. Goebel seconded a motion on Resolution 2012-037: Order Public Hearing TIF 2-1 (Swany White) Plan Modification. Motion carried 5-0.
Resolution 2012-039: Order Public Hearing for Vacation of 6th Street Northeast
Holthaus reviewed the information provided by the Stearns County right-of-way specialist on the Dan & Carrie Roering property. It appears as though the Roeringâ€™s own the property known as 6th St NE and it provides access to their property. The Roeringâ€™s deed reflects ownership of the property. It is believed that the City placed signage to mark the property as a street without properly securing an easement or right-of-way. Attorney Dymoke recommended the City follow the vacation process to ensure the Cityâ€™s non-interest in the property is publicly disclosed and validated.
K. Goebel moved and Hennen seconded a motion on Resolution 2012-039: Order Public Hearing for Vacation of 6th Street Northeast. Motion carried 5-0.
City Engineer, S.E.H. â€“ Scott Lange, Dave Blommel
Blommel noted that the tower had been filled and shut off to allow bacteria testing to take place. The controls system has not been installed and the tower will not be placed on-line until it the controls system is complete. The access road would be paved later in the week.
The pavers would be back to complete CR-11 the second week of July. The milling over the bridge will pose a slight inconvenience, but the project will be complete before the Sacred Heart Festival.
Public Works Report, Jon Stueve
Stueve had nothing new to report.
City Clerk/Treasurerâ€™s Report, Vicki Holthaus
Robert Hoeschen was present to discuss the ownership of a parcel of land north of I-94. Holthaus reviewed the title opinion provided by Attorney Scott Dymoke noting that the deed recorded when the property was transferred from the City to the Hoeschens in the 60â€™s included that section of land north of the interstate. Furthermore, the City requested a sanitary sewer easement from the Hoeschens at a later date. Dymoke believes the mix up was due to a clerical error at the County in which the City was listed as the fee owner of the property, although the deed shows the land was transferred to the Hoeschens. Dymoke requested a letter from the City acknowledging the City has no interest in the property so that he can get the record straight with the County Auditor. Worms said the issue came up when the City was investigating potential locations for the water tower. Worms said the County showed the land owned by the City at that time; however the City had no prior knowledge of the ownership.
Hennen moved and K. Goebel seconded a motion ordering Holthaus to send a letter to Dymoke stating the City has no interest in parcel 54.32015.0500. Motion carried 5-0.
At 8:16 P.M. Worms moved and C. Goebel seconded a motion to adjourn the regular meeting. Motion carried 5-0.