Winsted City Council Minutes

City of Winsted

City Council Meeting

Council Chambers

February 19, 2008

6:00 p.m.

 

Present:                        Mayor Steve Stotko

                                    Council Member Tom Ollig

Council Member Bonnie Quast

                                    Council Member Dave Mochinski

Council Member Tom Wiemiller

 

Staff Present:                        Brent Mareck, City Administrator

Deb Boelter, City Clerk-Treasurer

Fran Eggert, City Attorney

Justin Heldt, Police Officer

 

1)            Mayor Stotko called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

 

            a)            The Pledge of Allegiance was taken.           

 

2)            Consent Agenda

           

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

           

a)              Minutes – City Council Workshop – January 15, 2008

 

Accepted the minutes of the City Council Workshop of January 15, 2008.

 

b)              Regular City Council Meeting – February 6, 2008

 

            Accepted the minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of February 6, 2008.

 

c)      City Council Work Sessions

 

Scheduled City Council Work Sessions at 5:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month.

d)      Holy Trinity – Winstock Country Music Festival – June 12th, 13th, and 14th, 2008

Approved the McLeod County Large Assembly Permit for Holy Trinity’s Winstock Country Musical Festival for June 12th, 13th, and 14th, 2008.

Approved an application to conduct off-site gambling (pull-tabs) at Holy Trinity’s Winstock Country Music Festival for June 13th and 14th, 2008.

Approved a one (1) to four (4) day temporary On-Sale Liquor License for Holy Trinity’s Winstock Country Music Festival on June 12th, 13th, and 14th, 2008.

e)      Holy Trinity - Higher Ground Christian Music Festival – August 15th and 16th, 2008

Approved the McLeod County Large Assembly Permit for Holy Trinity’s Higher Ground Christian Music Festival for August 15th and 16th, 2008.

f)            Meeting Reschedule – Regular City Council Meeting – April 15, 2008

 

Authorized the Regular City Council Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, April 15, 2008, to be rescheduled for Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.

g)      Board of Review

Scheduled the annual Board of Review Open Book meeting to provide a fair and objective forum for City of Winsted property owners to appeal their valuation or classification for Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. at Winsted City Hall Council Chambers.

h)               Officer Position – Winsted Police Department

Authorized the re-opening of the hiring process for the position of police officer with the Winsted Police Department.

i)          Master Telecommunications Agreement - TDS

Authorized the City of Winsted to enter into a Master Telecommunications Agreement with TDS for phone service for the new City Hall.

j)          Cigarette Disposal Units – Downtown

Authorized the purchase of four (4) cigarette disposal units at a cost not to exceed $400.

k)      January, 2008 Building Permit Report

            Approved the January, 2008 Building Permit Report as presented.

l)           January, 2008 Financial Report

            Approved the January, 2008 Financial Report as presented.

 

m)      Claims

 

             Approved the Claims List for February 19, 2008 as presented.

 

3)            Public Hearings

 

a)              Rental Housing Ordinance – O-08-03

 

Mareck stated that over the last several months, the City has developed a set of minimum standards and a permitting process for rental housing in the City of Winsted.  The City held a series of open forums to solicit input on the ordinance from residents and property owners. 

 

Since the City Council last discussed this issue, a provision to the ordinance has been added which allows for an “exemption” to the permitting process for properties that fall under regulations and inspections from another governmental unit (as approved by the City).  The provision would eliminate a redundant inspection and permitting processes for a property that falls under similar government regulation.  Permits would be valid for five (5) years.  The permit fee is $50, with a re-inspection fee of $35.

 

Mareck gave an overview of the Rental Housing Ordinance and the Rental Housing Permit Application.

 

Loren Kohnen, Metro West Inspection Services, Incorporated, was in attendance at the City Council meeting.

 

Paul Pokornowski, A Plus Apartments, addressed the City Council and asked that if there are ever any proposed changes to the Ordinance, that another informational meeting be held for rental property owners.  Mareck stated that any changes to the Ordinance would require another public hearing and the rental property owners would be invited to attend.

 

Ollig stated that during the process of developing the Rental Housing Ordinance, the City involved the rental property owners and also had to consider the renters.

 

Ollig also stated that when the City gets a complaint from a renter that he would hope that the City would contact the rental property owner.  Mareck stated yes, that the City does contact the rental property owner.  Kohnen stated that when Metro West Inspection Services, Incorporated receives a complaint from a renter they contact the rental property owner first to discuss it with them.

 

Quast motioned to adopt Ordinance O-08-03 setting minimum requirements and establishing a permitting process for rental housing in the City of Winsted.  Wiemiller seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

                       

Ollig motioned to close the Public Hearing.  Mochinski seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

4)            Old Business

 

            a)            Correspondence – Public Nuisance – 163 Main Avenue West

 

Mareck stated that at a previous meeting, the City Council directed that the public nuisance existing at 163 Main Avenue West be abated through summary enforcement and injunctive relief.  After discussing this matter with our City Attorney, Jody Winters, the City also has the option of pursuing the nuisance through prosecution as an ordinance violation.

 

The City made a proposal to Ulland regarding this issue, which was subject to approval by the City Council.   The proposal gave Ulland the option to correct the nuisance by April 15, 2008.  In addition, Ulland would agree to dismiss “with prejudice” against the City of Winsted and the City Administrator.  Ulland had until January 29, 2008 to respond to the proposal or have it withdrawn from City Council consideration.  Ulland did not respond to the proposal nor has he responded to several telephone messages left by the City.

 

Mareck stated that prior to the February 6th, 2008 City Council meeting, Ulland asked that the public nuisance issue be tabled until the February 19th, 2008 City Council meeting so that he could appear before the City Council.  At the February 6th, 2008 meeting, the City Council TABLED the public nuisance issue until their February 19th, 2008 City Council meeting by a 4-1 vote.

 

Mareck presented the City Council with the following options:

1.     Take no action and continue with summary enforcement through injunctive relief.

2.     Forward this matter for immediate prosecution to the City Attorney, Jody Winters.

 

Mareck stated that forwarding this matter to the City Attorney seems to be a more efficient way of dealing with the nuisance considering the potential liability the City may have in selecting a contractor to perform work on the property (labor, roofing material, liability, etc…).

 

Ulland, 163 Main Avenue West, was in attendance at the City Council meeting to address the Council.  Before Ulland addressed the Council, Mayor Stotko directed Ulland to talk only about the roof repair to his building.  He stated that if Ulland had any other issues that he would like to discuss with the City Council, he would have to bring them to the Open Forum section of the agenda.

 

Ulland addressed the City Council.

                       

Ulland stated that he had a plan for repairing the roof but he believed that there is nothing wrong with the roof.

 

Ollig asked, “Did not Ulland publically admit at the November 20, 2007 City Council meeting that the roof was in need of repair?”  Mayor Stotko stated yes.  Mareck stated that the City does have a bag of shingles that have come off the roof at 163 Main Avenue West.  Mareck also stated that the City’s Building Inspector has inspected the roof and determined that it is in need of repair.

 

Mareck stated that he did inform Ulland that he could hire an expert to inspect the roof and if his findings determined that the roof was not in need of repair, he could present it to the City Council.

 

The City Council asked Ulland when he was going to repair the roof.  Ulland did not answer the question.

 

Ollig addressed Ulland stating that at the November 20th, 2007 City Council meeting, Ulland accused Council Member Mochinski of delaying his roof repair by talking negatively to the contractors he had hired to repair the roof.  Ollig reminded Ulland that the City Council asked him to provide the City with the names and telephone numbers of the contractors so the City staff could contact them to discuss Ulland’s accusations against Mochinski.  Ollig stated that Ulland had not provided the City with the names and telephone numbers of the contractors.

 

Quast addressed Ulland and stated that the City Council has asked him repeatedly to prove that he has had good intentions of repairing the roof and he has not done that.  Ulland stated that the City keeps charging him with violations and he has to constantly defend himself so he does not have any time to get the roof repaired.

 

Greg Gehrman, 161 Main Avenue West, addressed the City Council.  Gehrman stated that Ulland has proven that he does not act on the nuisances and hazards charged by the City in violation of the Municipal Code, so the City should consider moving forward and not issue Ulland another extension.

 

Mayor Stotko stated that Ulland is wasting the taxpayer’s time and money, and asked him to sit down since he would not give the City Council an answer on when he planned to repair the roof.

 

Mochinski stated that Ulland has not followed the City’s ordinances and at the November 20th, 2007 City Council meeting he admitted that his roof was in need of repair.  Mochinski stated that he believes that the matter should be given to the City Attorney, Jody Winters, and have her move forward with prosecution.

 

Mayor Stotko stated that the City Council has repeatedly asked Ulland when he was going to repair the roof and it is evident that he is not going to answer the question.

 

Mochinski motioned to forward the matter of the public nuisance at 163 Main Avenue West to the City Attorney, Jody Winters, for immediate prosecution.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

5)            New Business

 

a)              2008 Property and Casualty Insurance Renewal Contract – Flagship Insurance

 

Erin Kutz, Flagship Insurance and Financial Services, Incorporated, was present at the City Council meeting to address the City Council.  Kutz discussed the City of Winsted’s

three (3) year recap of Property and Casualty Insurance premiums, commented on the dividends received from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), reviewed the City’s deductible options, and answered any other questions pertaining to the City’s 2008 insurance coverage.

 

Kutz asked the City Council to consider the following in regards to flood and no-fault sewer back-up insurance.  The LMCIT admits that they do not have in place adequate flood coverage and currently are working to improve that situation.  A recent sewer back-up incident would not have been covered even with this coverage added, since the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) did not find the City at fault.  The cost to add sewer back-up insurance coverage is 8-1/2% of the liability premium or nearly $2,500 per year.  The LMCIT agrees that this is expensive coverage and for that reason few cities have this coverage.  With a premium this large, it would make sense for the City to continue self-insuring that risk.

 

Considering the recent sewer back-ups, Eggert asked why Flagship Insurance and Financial Services, Incorporated would not recommend the no-fault sewer back-up insurance.  Kutz stated that most Cities the size of Winsted do not purchase the no-fault sewer back-up insurance.  Boelter stated that the LMCIT does not recommend that the City of Winsted purchase the insurance.  Mareck stated that the City’s insurance would not cover the recent sewer back-ups because they were not the fault of the City of Winsted.

 

Ollig motioned that the City of Winsted does not want to purchase No-Fault Sewer Back-Up Insurance coverage in 2008.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

Ollig motioned to approve the City of Winsted’s 2008 Property and Casualty Insurance renewal contract with the deductible option of $250.  Mochinski seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

b)              Variance – 420-5th Street North – Jim and Janice Brooks

 

Mareck presented James and Janice Brooks, 420-5th Street North, request for a variance to accommodate the expansion of garage space to maintain a 16.8 feet rear setback. Attached garages in an R1 zoning district require a 25 feet rear setback.  The primary reason for the variance request is to provide space for a woodworking shop.

 

The proposed garage addition would be 580 square feet and protrudes out from a deck that meets the rear setback requirement.  The size of the garage is not applicable to accessory structure standards, since the garage is attached to the principle structure.

 

The property is surrounded by single-family uses, with the exception of the public cemetery on the south side of the property.

 

Mareck stated that the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on this matter at their February 13th, 2008 meeting.  The Commission unanimously recommended approval of the variance to the City Council.

 

Ollig stated that Planning Commission member, Max Fasching, did visit the Brooks property and determined that there were not any water runoff issues.  Ollig also stated that there was not any opposition to the variance request at the Planning Commission public hearing.

 

Ollig stated that the Brooks were informed that they had to have the garage expansion exterior materials match the existing garage exterior.

 

Wiemiller motioned to grant a variance to Jim and Janice Brooks, of 420-5th Street North allowing the construction of an attached garage to maintain a 16.8 feet rear setback.  Ollig seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

c)              2008 Capital Improvement Plan – Winsted Municipal Airport – Bolton & Menk

 

Mareck stated that the Airport Commission directed the City’s engineer, Bolton & Menk, Incorporated to submit an updated 2008 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Winsted Municipal Airport.  The primary goal of the CIP is to conduct a planning exercise for the future use of the airport, along with some miscellaneous equipment expenditures. 

 

The City’s Airport CIP is funded through federal funds, which are accumulated annually in the amount of $150,000, and can be saved to a maximum of $600,000.

 

Mareck stated that the City will have to provide $7,900 in matching funds to complete the 2008 CIP.  In addition, $3,000 will have to be generated to fund miscellaneous engineering costs for the year.  Matching funds and additional engineering cannot be supported by the 2008 Airport Fund budget.  The local match of $7,900, plus the additional $3,000 in miscellaneous engineering would have to be covered by an inner-fund loan from the Sewer Fund.

            

                        Mareck presented the following options for the City Council to consider:

1.     Approve the 2008 CIP as presented.

2.     Do no capital improvement projects at the airport in 2008 and lend our federal funds to another airport.

 

The Airport Commission is recommending approval of the 2008 CIP.  The planning portion of the 2008 CIP will allow the city to determine the feasibility of a hard surfaced runway.

 

Jake Saulsbury, Bolton & Menk, Incorporated presented the projects included in the Winsted Municipal Airport’s 2008 CIP.

 

Mayor Stotko asked Quast and Mochinski to comment on the February 12th, 2008 Airport Commission meeting that they attended.  Quast stated that it was the consensus of the Airport Commission to complete the projects listed in the 2008 CIP.

 

Mochinski motioned to adopt the 2008 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Winsted Municipal Airport and to authorize Bolton & Menk, Incorporated to prepare plans and specifications.  Quast seconded.  Motion carried 5-0.

 

6)            Department Report

           

a)            City Engineer – Bolton & Menk, Incorporated

 

            Saulsbury reported on the following:

·       Kingsley Street Trail

·       Shady Creek Addition Improvements

Reviewing the feasibility study from Short, Elliot Hendrickson, Incorporated (S.E.H.) and will put together a formal recommendation and present at a future Council meeting.

·       Engineering Transition

Have met with representatives from S.E.H. and have received the majority of the information that Bolton & Menk, Incorporated has requested from S.E.H. to make the transition.  It has been going smoothly.

 

Ollig asked Mareck how the transition to working with Bolton & Menk, Incorporated has been going.  Mareck stated that the transition has been going well and working with Bolton & Menk, Incorporated has been very positive.

 

7)            No Open Forum.

 

8)            Announcements

 

A.             New City Hall

 

Mareck stated that he, Mayor Stotko and Mochinski have a regularly scheduled construction meeting on Thursday, February 21st, 2008 at 3:00 p.m.

 

                        Mareck gave an update on the construction of the new City Hall.

 

9)            Adjournment

 

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

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Deborah R. Boelter

City Clerk-Treasurer

 

 

 

 

City of Winsted

City Council Work Session

Council Chambers

February 19, 2008

5:00 p.m.

 

Present:                        Mayor Steve Stotko

                                    Council Member Bonnie Quast

                                    Council Member Tom Ollig

                                    Council Member Tom Wiemiller

                                    Council Member Dave Mochinski

 

Staff Present:                        Brent Mareck, City Administrator

                                    Deb Boelter, City Clerk-Treasurer

                        `           

I.            Call To Order

 

Mayor Stotko called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

 

II.            Kingsley Street Trail

 

            Mareck presented a letter from Bolton & Menk, Incorporated regarding the Kingsley Street Trail.

Mareck stated that the process he would like to have the City follow is to hold an informational meeting for residents at the Winsted Volunteer Fire Department to comment on the proposed options for Kingsley Street.  Ollig stated that he would like to listen to comments at the informational meeting and make any decisions at a future City Council meeting.

 

The Council discussed the options for Kingsley Street as presented by Bolton & Menk, Incorporated.

 

Mayor Stotko recommended that another option be included in Bolton & Menk, Incorporated’s list of options for Kingsley Street.  Mayor Stotko would like to leave the traffic flow two-way on Kingsley Street and paint an eight (8) feet biking lane on the road.

 

Ollig recommended using the existing sidewalk on Kingsley Street, making it wider for a trail, and keep Kingsley Street as a two-way.

 

The Council discussed possible trail grant options.

 

Mareck will put options together and present to the City Council for review at a future Work Session.  The informational meeting will be scheduled after that.

 

III.            Grass Lake Road – Water and Sewer Connection

 

Mareck presented information regarding the steps that need to be taken to provide water and sewer hook-up for the home located at 24112 Grass Lake Road.

 

IV.            City Entrance Sign

 

            Mareck distributed a draft copy of the proposed City entrance sign.

 

            Mochinski recommended that Mareck research solar powered lighting for the signage.

 

Mayor Stotko asked if it would be better to not light the signs right away in the event that they need to be moved due to the proposed future housing developments.

 

Mareck stated that he will have a representative from the Herald Journal present at a future City Council Work Session to discuss the design of the proposed signs.

 

Mayor Stotko recommended that the City Council look at possible locations for the installation of the signs.

 

V.            Employee Recognition Program

 

Mareck presented the criteria for an “Employee Recognition” program.  Mareck asked for City Council input on the proposed program.

 

Mayor Stotko stated that he believed an “Employee Recognition” program was a good idea.  Quast agreed.

 

Mochinski recommended that an employee be eligible for the award only when they have been a full-time employee with the City of Winsted for twenty-four (24) months.

 

The Council discussed if the $500 recognition award should be the gross amount and taxes deducted or if the award should be $500 net.

 

Boelter stated she will ask the audior if the $500 award can be issued as a separate check from payroll.

 

VI.            Development

 

A.            Ridgeview Winsted Medical Clinic           

 

Mareck presented a drawing of the proposed Ridgeview Winsted Medical Clinic.

 

B.            Edco Property           

 

Mareck stated that the proposal for the City to purchase the Edco property should maybe be put on hold for now because of possible future expenses with the new City Hall project.

 

Mareck stated that there is also the option to purchase the empty lot adjacent to the Edco building for park expansion and not purchase the building.

 

Wiemiller asked if the property owner would consider allowing the City to make installment payments for the property.  Mareck stated that he does believe the property owner would be willing to allow the City to establish a payment plan.

 

VII.            Historic City Hall

 

Mareck stated that Todd Colonna, Old Historic City Hall building, would like to meet on Monday, March 3, 2008 with City representatives.  Colonna’s attorney and the City’s attorney would be present at the meeting.

 

VIII.            Littfin Lift Station

 

Mareck stated that People Service has taken responsibility for the recent sewer back-ups.  Mareck will have someone from People Service present at the next City Council meeting to discuss the issue with the City Council.  People Service will be contacting the property owners who had a sewer back-up.

 

IX.            Ochu Property

 

Mareck stated that he would like to wait until Spring, 2008 to ask the family to make improvements to the property to bring it into compliance with the City’s Municipal Code.

 

X.            Goal Setting Retreat Review

 

Mareck asked for a review from the City Council on the February 7, 2008 Goal Setting Retreat.  The Council gave their feedback.

 

XI.            Other

 

A.             New City Hall Cornerstone

 

Mareck presented a drawing of the proposed cornerstone.

 

Wiemiller recommended that the cornerstone be hollow, a time capsule be installed and pertinent information be put in the time capsule.  The Council discussed and directed the staff to research a time capsule.

 

B.             Lakefront Promenade Lake Bank

 

Mareck distributed a drawing of the proposed vegetation for the Lakefront Promenade lake bank.

 

XII.            Adjourn

 

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

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Deborah R. Boelter

City Clerk-Treasurer

 


Return to City of Winsted Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Search | Home Page