City council meeting



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CITY OF BLUE EARTH


MINUTES

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 5:00 P.M.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Hammond called the meeting to order at 5:00 P.M.
ROLL CALL
All Councilmembers were present. Staff members present: City Administrator Kathy Bailey, City Attorney David Frundt and City Engineer Wes Brown.

DETERMINATION OF A QUORUM
Quorum present.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Hammond led the pledge of allegiance.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

At this time Mayor Hammond moved the action items to the front of the Council meeting due to the fact Councilmember Huisman had to leave by 6:00 P.M.


Public Present: Tom Fletcher, Roger Fletcher, Fire Chief Roger Davis, Jim Wirkus, Ann Hanna and County Commissioner John Roper.
Mayor Hammond welcomed those present and asked Tom Fletcher to come forward. Hammond referenced his memo to the Council dated January 13, 2012(see Attachment “A”). Hammond gave recommendation to appoint Tom Fletcher as Police Chief. Hammond explained that there were two areas raised during the course of the interviews. The first one was the fact that depending how the council handled it any officer who took the Police Chief’s position would result in a cut in pay. The main discrepancy was the difference in insurance costs for an officer under the union contract and as a supervisor. To make up the difference we are recommending moving Tom Fletcher to the third step on the Police Chief position.

The second area raised was vacation time. Officer Fletcher has earned vacation days each year in excess of being on entry level Police Chief. Hammond stated it was his opinion if we are going to hire within that we not take the vacation time he has earned each year and make him start over at an entry level. Therefore, Hammond recommended letting Officer Fletcher keep his vacation level at the same rate as when he was an officer. Hammond concluded that he would be appointing Tom Fletcher to be Police Chief for the City of Blue Earth subject to approval by the City Council.

Motion by Gaylord, second by Scholtes to appoint Tom Fletcher as Police Chief with the vacation and the recommendation moving Fletcher to the third step on the Police Chief position. Gaylord called for a roll call vote:
Councilmember Gaylord Aye

Councilmember Huisman Aye

Councilmember Scholtes Aye

Councilmember Erichsrud Aye

Councilmember Gartzke Aye

Councilmember Aukes Aye

Mayor Hammond Aye
The motion passed unanimously.

Hammond reported that Chief Fletcher would be attending a Police Chief course that is being offered. Fletcher registered for the training to be held at the end of the month and was lucky enough to win the lottery for the school, making his tuition free.


Councilmember Gartzke stated that he would like to see one more officer hired not only to replace Fletcher but maybe two full time officers. Fletcher responded that more officers would help with the scheduling difficulties. Councilmember Erichsrud requested to move forward with advertizing to replace Fletcher. Hammond reminded the Council that the position has been budgeted.
At this time Mayor Hammond addressed the appointment of Mark Maher to the Housing & Redevelopment Authority.
Motion by Scholtes, second by Huisman to appoint Mark Maher to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Hammond noted that Gary Jueneman of Express Diagnostics was not present at this time.
PUBLIC HEARINGS

Time being 5:15 P.M., Mayor Hammond opened the continuation Hearing of Ordinance 12-01 Amending the Provisions of Chapter 10 – Zoning relating to Residential Districts.

City Attorney David Frundt made reference to Ordinance 12-01 that reflects the Council’s recommended changes from the last hearing’s discussion.
Council discussion included Scholtes question for R-1 and R-2 for front yard setback requirements are in conflict. Bailey agreed that they should be the same stating each lot shall have a minimum front yard of twenty (20) foot. In the event other dwellings already erected to the side of the proposed dwelling have been set back a distance greater than twenty (20) foot, the front yard requirement for the proposed dwelling shall conform to the average set back of the adjacent dwellings. Bailey agreed with Scholtes that the R-1 and R-2 should match. Council members were comfortable with the suggested wording change.
Councilmember Aukes did not want agree to the suggested change to Section VIII. D. Garage Doors. No garage shall have an access door or other opening that exceeds a height of fourteen (14) feet. Aukes noted that fourteen feet is way too big for a residential garage and recommended leaving the allowed height of 10 feet. Bailey agreed that a 14 foot door would require 16 foot sidewalls. Erichsrud said that it was not our intention to provide a place to park their RVs. That is what you do when you purchase an RV, you need to have a place to store or park it. Aukes said he gets calls from people who are not happy with their neighbor parking their RV in the street or in their back yard. Bailey agreed that parking in the street is a safety concern.
Council discussed a height limit not higher than the house or allowing a 10 foot high door with the roof not higher than 1½ story or 17 feet. All Councilmembers were comfortable with 17 feet.

Councilmember Aukes discussed Section VII, Subsection 1040.02, Subd. 1 Allowing the parking of 40 foot travel trailers. Aukes was not comfortable with allowing a 40 foot to be parked in back yards. Gartzke said that if we make it 30 foot then a person could come to City Hall and get a permit to park a larger trailer/RV. City Attorney David Frundt responded that we do not currently have a permitting process that addressed travel trailers and the like. Aukes noted that our current code allows for a 20 foot utility trailer and small boat. Scholtes comment was that his boat is 20 feet but then you add the length of the trailer and you are at 25 feet. Aukes did not like the idea of having the longer trailers/RV but if that is the direction the rest of the Council wants to take he would agree. Hammond placed the final draft on the next Council meeting agenda and told the Council that if they saw changes they can still be made before the vote. There was no one present from the Public to make comments. Mayor Hammond adjourned the hearing at 5:30 P.M.

At this time Mayor Hammond recognized Fire Chief Roger Davis and Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wirkus. Davis referenced the Blue Earth Fire and Rescue 2011 annual report.
Davis explained the report section by section. The first section of the report details 88 fire calls in 2011. The next section gives the total dollar amount for property loss from the 88 call in the amount of $1,503,047.00. Davis reported that the report is based on Blue Earth’s calls not Elmore. The Primary Action report breaks down of the actions taken upon arrival at each respective call. The next section gives detail for the calls per township. That includes Iowa calls, I-90 and Martin County. The next section breaks down the Elmore Auto Aid and Mutual aid given and received from the Blue Earth Fire and Rescue.
Mayor Hammond questioned what “Good Intent” meant? Davis reported that they were calls that were responded to but did nothing while there.
Davis gave a report from what the Fire Department has made from 1990 through 2011 stating that 2011 was an average year.
Davis reported that a record is kept for each fireman on the number of hours spent on actual fire calls not practice hours. Davis reported that the next report gives the number of hours of training per officer.

Davis reported on the number of Grants received in 2011 that included:

$1,200.00 Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the purchase of fire hose.

$500.00 Grant from Wal-Mart used for Fire prevention

$2,780.00 tuition vouchers for the year which is free money received when firefighters attend sectional schools throughout the state. This tuition will end in 2013.

$7,356.00 received from the Minnesota Board of Firefighters Training and Education for Firefighter training.

Davis reported on the Radio Grant dollars received from the State of Minnesota. As a Department Blue Earth pays 5% of $99,135.00 which is $4,956.79 of the total budget amount of $876,150.00. The overall Faribault County FEMA Grant in the Federal share is in the amount of $832,343.00. The applicant share (Faribault County) in the amount of $43,000.00.
Davis reported that they have applied for a FEMA Grant in the amount of $217,895.00 of which the Federal share would be $207,001.00 leaving our share totaling $10,894.00 to purchase a tanker truck or “Water Moving” vehicle. Davis reported that our share would be split with the 5 townships leaving each township paying $2,178.80.
Davis informed the Council on events that a Firefighter can earn extra hours such as washing trucks, parades, fundraisers and other numerous events.
Davis gave an update to the current equipment.
Davis explained that the elected officers remain the same for 2012 as follows
Davis stated that there were no retirements last year. There was one leave of absence due to military Leave from 1/1/2011 to 11/9/2011. Davis reported that Samantha Mateshek was hired in October 2011 but resigned 12/20/2011. The most recent hire was Dave Vossen in October of 2011. Councilmember Erichsrud questioned how many members are on the roster currently. Davis responded that they currently have 26 members but have a roster of 30. Davis added that the active seniority list goes from 33 1/2 years of service to 3 months of service.
The Fire report concludes with a thank you note from Yankton and Riley Anderson.
Mayor Hammond expressed gratitude for the efforts of the Fire Department’s great service to the community.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Motion by Huisman, second by Erichsrud approving the minutes from the Work Session and Council Meeting of Monday, January 3, 2012. The motion was approved unanimously.

LICENSES AND PERMITS
There were no licenses or permits at this time.
CORRESPONDENCE
There was no correspondence at this time.
REPORTS FROM STAFF
City Attorney

There was no report at this time.


Councilmember Huisman was excused at 5:50 P.M.
City Engineer

City Engineer Wes Brown presented a revised assessment for the Twelfth and Gorman Street reconstruction project. Brown noted that there still can be changes made to the plans. Brown questioned how the Council wanted to handle the sidewalk plans as specified on the plans. Council agreed to leave the sidewalk option on the plans to be presented with the option the sidewalk installation could change.


Liquor Store report.

REPORTS FROM BOARDS AND COMMISSION

Minutes were provided from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority meeting of 12/21/11.


Minutes were provided from the Faribault County Fitness Center Board meeting of 12/21/11.
Minutes were provided from the Board of Public Works meeting of 12-12-11.

REPORTS FROM STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL

Minutes were provided from the Street Improvement Subcommittee meeting of 10/18/11 and 12/12/11.



Motion by Scholtes, second by Gartzke approving the reports of the Boards and Commissions as presented. The motion was approved unanimously.
CONSENT AGENDA
None.

OLD BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS


At this time Mayor Hammond addressed the 4th Quarter donations.
Motion by Gartzke, second by Aukes to accept the 4th Quarter donations as presented. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Hammond addressed the application for Steve Anderson to attend Building Official Continuing Education Training. Bailey reported that the training is for Building Official and will be held February 6-10 in Chaska. Registration for the 5 day seminar is $655.00 and motel is $541.09. This training meets the continuing education requirements of the Building Inspector’s license and is a budgeted line item.
Motion by Scholtes, second by Gaylord approving the request for Building Official Steve Anderson to attend as requested. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Hammond addressed the request of Mark Moore to waive portion of sanitary sewer charge.
Bailey reported that Mark Moore requested the Light Water Department to turn the water off at his property located at 825 east 9th Street shop. The water was turned off at his First Street shop location but was not shut off at the 9th Street shop location. The pipes burst when they froze on east 9th Street. The building did not have a floor drain, so the water was pumped out onto the yard thereby not going down the sanitary sewer. 27,000 gallons were recorded as meter flow for sewage charges of $171.39. A three month average usage is $26.88, but if the water had been turned off there would have been no charges.

Motion by Gartzke, second by Erichsrud to waive the sewer charge billed to Mark Moore for his property located at 825 East 9th Street in the amount of $171.39. The motion passed unanimously.

Work session Agenda of February 6, 2012.


  1. Hiring of extra police officers.

  2. Bonding for Public Works Department Equipment. Bailey

responded that some of the bonding for the equipment purchase is in the works.
Councilmember Gartzke said he would like to tour Express Diagnostics business. Bailey responded that Gary Jueneman of Express Diagnostic was a former Councilmember so he was requesting an opportunity to come before the Council and meet all of our Councilmembers.

BILLS AND INVESTMENTS



Motion by Gaylord, second by Gartzke acknowledging the receipt of the financials and the payment of bills. The motion was approved unanimously.
REPORT OF CITY ADMINISTRATOR
City Administrator Kathy Bailey presented her report (see attachment “B”).

OTHER BUSINESS

There was no other business.


ADJOURNMENT
Motion by Gartzke, second by Erichsrud to adjourn the meeting. Mayor Hammond adjourned the Regular City Council Meeting at 6:03 P.M.






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