Winsted City Council Minutes

City of Winsted

City Council Meeting

Council Chambers

January 2, 2007

7:00 p.m.


Present:                        Mayor Steve Stotko

                                    Council Member Tom Wiemiller

                                    Council Member Tom Ollig

                                    Council Member Bonnie Quast

                                    Council Member Dave Mochinski


Staff Present:                        Brent Mareck, City Administrator

                                    Deb Boelter, City Clerk-Treasurer

                                    Mike Henrich, Chief of Police

                                    Dave Meyer, Maintenance Lead

                                    Jamie Stotko, Maintenance Lead

Fran Eggert, City Attorney


Boelter administered the Oath of Office to Steve Stotko for the elected position of Mayor, Tom Wiemiller for the elected position of Council Member, and Dave Mochinski for the elected position of Council Member.


1)            Mayor Stotko called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


            a)            The Pledge of Allegiance was taken.           


2)            Ollig motioned to adopt the Consent Agenda as presented.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


a)            Accepted the minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of December 19, 2006.


b)            Approved Mayor Stotko’s recommendations for 2007 appointments.


c)            Authorized a salary step increase for Mike Henrich, Police Chief, based on a satisfactory review and recommendation by the City Administrator.


d)            Authorized a salary step increase for Dave Meyer, Maintenance Lead, based on a satisfactory review and recommendation by the City Administrator.


e)            Accepted a donation of $12,500 from the Winsted Firemen’s Relief Association Gambling to the City of Winsted for partial payment of the Fire Hall Bond.


            Accepted a donation of $2,000 from the Winsted Firemen’s Relief Association Gambling to the Winsted Fire Department’s Expansion Fund for the purchase of meeting tables.


f)            Accepted a donation of $2,500 from The Church of the Holy Trinity Gambling to the City of Winsted for the Park Fund.


g)            Authorized the City Administrator to enter into an agreement with Xcel Energy to provide electrical service to the new Public Works Building for $3,225.


h)            Accepted the progress report for the construction of sludge storage tanks at the waste water treatment facility.


i)            Approved Pay Request #1 in the amount of $336,900 to Gridor Construction, Incorporated for work completed on the Sludge Storage Improvements project.

j)            Accepted the resignation of Alan Thompson from the Police Department’s part-time patrol.

k)            Approved change orders for the Public Works building project.

l)            Approved the Claims List for December 29, 2006 and January 2, 2007 as presented.


Mayor Stotko presented Dave Meyer, Maintenance Lead, with a Certificate of Appreciation for five (5) years of service to the City of Winsted.


3)            No Public Hearings.


4)            No Old Business.


5)            New Business


a)              Squad Car Specifications – Police Department


Henrich presented the specifications for a new 2007 squad car and requested authorization from the City Council to solicit quotes.


Ollig asked if the car dealership transfers all the equipment from the old squad car to the new squad car.  Henrich stated that the transfer is done by another vendor and cost approximately $5,500.  Henrich stated that the transfer expense has been included in the 2007 Budget.


Wiemiller motioned to approve the specifications for a 2007 squad car and authorized the solicitation of quotes.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


b)              Special Legislation – City Center and Lakefront Promenade


Mareck presented the two (2) forms of special legislation for the City Council to consider for presentation at the upcoming legislative session.  The special legislation request is a bill for an act relating to the City of Winsted, authorizing the issuance of bonds under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 475 to finance the acquisition and betterment of a facility consisting of a city hall, community center, and police station.


The special legislation language was drafted by Briggs and Morgan, public finance counsel for the City of Winsted.  Form “A” does not require a referendum to finance the project.  Form “B” would require a referendum if ten percent (10%) of the registered voters who voted in the last general election submitted a petition to the City requesting a referendum.


During the last legislative session the City submitted two forms of language to the Legislature (requiring and not requiring a referendum).  The special legislation language that passed the Senate last year did not require a referendum, but it did not make it through Conference Committee.


Mareck stated that it has been indicated to the City that legislation could be adopted by the State Legislature more efficiently if the same language adopted by the Senate last year (2006) is presented again for adoption during the next legislative session.



Ollig motioned to approve special legislation language Form “A” for the construction of the City Center and Lakefront Promenade using general obligation bonds.  Wiemiller seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


c)              Water Meter System – Public Works


Meyer and Jamie Stotko presented a proposal to replace the Sensus radio read water meter system with the Badger radio read water meter system.  Since 2004, 239 Sensus radio read water meters have been installed in the City of Winsted.  Public Works has had over twenty (20) meters go bad for the following reasons:  defective meter, defective radio read box (MXU),  wires were accidentally broken off, and on one occasion an entire box of defective units.  In addition, the Utility Billing Clerk and Public Works personnel have experienced poor customer service with Sensus.  Sensus has made little to no attempt to address the issues the City is having with their radio read water meters.


Previous to Sensus, the City used Badger for most of their water meter needs. Badger now has a radio read water meter system. The Badger radio read system has no MXU box to mount and therefore no wires are exposed.  The Badger radio read equipment is mounted right to the meter.  In addition, previously installed Badger water meters can easily be converted to the Badger radio read system. 


The City’s software program, Banyon Data Systems, is compatible with the Badger radio read water meter software.  The City would prepare utility billing with both systems until the Sensus water meters are fully replaced or until Badger creates an adaptor to the Sensus water meter.


Boelter stated that she had contacted Shoreview, Minnesota regarding the use of both Sensus and Badger radio read water meter systems to prepare utility billing.  Shoreview uses the Banyon Data Systems software and has not experienced any problems using both radio read systems when preparing utility bills.


Technical and software support for Badger is located in Burnsville, Minnesota as opposed to Sensus, which is located in Pennsylvania.


Ollig asked Meyer if the Public Works department plans to replace the Sensus water meters with Badger meters.  Meyer stated that as the Sensus meters become defective they will replace them with Badger meters, and will slowly replace the others so the City is only operating one system.


Jim Grabenbauer, Hydro Metering Technology, was present at the meeting to answer questions regarding the Badger radio read water meter system.


Quast motioned to purchase the necessary equipment to convert the City of Winsted’s radio read system to the Badger radio read system at a cost not to exceed $15,000.  Ollig seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.


            d)            Snow Plowing Policy


Jamie Stotko presented the City of Winsted’s snow plowing policy and priorities for snow removal in the City.


Ollig commended the Public Works department for the good job that they do with snow removal within the City.


Ollig asked if the Public Works department will need additional snow removal equipment and staff as the proposed housing developments construct streets and homes.  Jamie Stotko stated that the City would like to plow the additional streets with the current equipment and staff, and evaluate at a later time.


            e)            Lift Station Maintenance – People Service


Phillip Robinson of People Service, Incorporated, presented lift station projects in the City of Winsted that will have to be completed in the near future to keep the lift stations functioning properly and efficiently.


Robinson recommended that the City begin a capital fund to reserve funding each year to cover the costs of lift station updates and improvements.


Mayor Stotko asked Robinson to present a report in May, 2007 that would prioritize the lift station updates and improvements, and provide the cost needed to make the improvements identified.


Robinson gave an update on the progress of the Sludge Storage Improvements project.


            f)            Scheduling of Meetings – City Council


Mareck presented Wiemiller’s proposal to change the Council meeting time from

7:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Mareck stated that a web poll was placed on the City’s website to seek feedback on a time change; however, the data provided was so skewed, (double voting, resident verification), that the information was too unreliable for the purposes of discussion.


                        The Council discussed the proposal to change the meeting time.  


Ollig motioned to establish a Public Hearing for February 6, 2007 at 7 p.m. to consider changing the regularly scheduled City Council meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 3-2.  Mochinski was opposed.  Wiemiller was opposed. 


Eggert asked Mareck if the Public Hearing could be established to determine if the time for the regularly scheduled City Council meetings should be changed and not include a time.


Mareck stated that it would be difficult for residents to comment on changing the Council meeting time if they do not have an established time to consider.


            g)            2007 City Council and Staff Retreat


Mareck presented a proposal from Don Salverda & Associates for a leadership, planning, and team building retreat for the City of Winsted.


The Council discussed the proposal.


The Council directed Mareck to proceed with the planning process, schedule the retreat for a Thursday and Friday in February, and present to the Council for approval.


6)            Department Reports


a)              People Service


Phillip Robinson gave a report under New Business.


7)            No Open Forum.


8)            Announcements


a)            Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development


Mareck presented a letter from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development stating that the City’s application for the Contamination Investigation grant was approved and they were awarding the City $5,625 for the investigation of contaminants at the proposed City Center site.


b)            Public Works Facility


Mareck gave an update on the new Public Works facility.  The City received a report from Braun Intertec on the soil borings done at the Public Works facility site.  Due to the test results identifying bad soils, the new facility will be moved five (5) feet to the east and one (1) foot to the north.


c)            Mayor and Council Member Orientation Day


Mayor Stotko gave an overview of the Orientation Day provided by City staff for Mayor Stotko and Council Member Mochinski.  It was an all day session that provided information on the City of Winsted.


Mayor Stotko thanked the staff members who were involved and recommended that it become City policy that all newly elected officials be required to attend an orientation session. 


Mochinski stated that the orientation day was well worth it and he would highly recommend it.


9)            Adjournment


Quast motioned to adjourn.  Wiemiller seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.




Respectfully submitted,




Deborah R. Boelter

City Clerk-Treasurer

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