February 10, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes
Call to order:
Mayor Robert Appelgren
Council Members Sarah Podritz, Todd D Carlock, and Jacob Friedrich was absent.
Treasurer Sandy Nicolai and Clerk Mary Haro
Wade Murray just noted that he is working with Dakota County regarding the tax exempt status for the lot that he purchased for the Randolph Historical Society. Clerk Haro told him that our legal counsel is still working on the zoning change zoning for the property and then we can return his deposit to him.
Prior Meeting Minutes
A motion to approve the January 13, 2021 regular council meeting minutes was made by Podritz, seconded by Haro. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 4:0.
Sandy indicated the we received approximately $9500.00 in the water account. She sent out an audit regarding serial numbers on the new meters and received several back but there were none that were incorrect.
A motion to approve the Treasurer's Report was made by Haro, seconded by Appelgren. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 4:0.
Approval to Pay Bills
We will hold off on paying the Bolton & Menk invoice until we get the bonds in place.
Motion to approve the payment of bills as written was made by Appelgren, and seconded by Podritz. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 4:0.
Equipment for Locating Water Lines
Jake Friedrich did some thorough research on this subject and sent us some information. Jason and Bryce from Otte Excavating have connected a few water lines in the city and both times it was plastic lines that they were connecting to.
It was noted that if we are two feet off we are responsible if a line is hit. We should look into how much it would be to have someone do the locating for the city so they would be liable if a hit occurs. We are not going to purchase any equipment at this time.
Jason gave the Mayor the names of some individuals who can locate plastic pipes if needed and the Mayor also has someone he can contact. We will contact them to get bids on the cost of locating the water lines in the city.
Also once we locate the lines we will create a map of where the lines are all located so it will be readily available.
Nate from Northfield Wifi came to explain the new upgraded equipment that he will be installing on the water tower. One antenna would up and then the old one would come down on the Northeast side. He also indicated that the city could raise their rates for rental due to an extra antenna will be installed. He currently pays $208 per month. Nate indicated that our fees are comparable with other cities for the rental fee. After discussion we decided to increase our fees to $250.00 per month. Nate indicated that we will do an amendment to the lease and he will send it to us for review and signature. He also indicated that he will pay the rental fee for all 12 months with his next payment.
Nate also discussed that right now the city has one email account but he can set us on our own domain name for email and then we can have multiple emails accounts and have distribution groups, such as water account and have certain people set up for those accounts.
We would like to make sure that our ordinances are up to date so we have more control. We should or have someone review our ordinances to protect a homeowner in regards to a citizen that wants to rezone his property from agriculture to industrial. Clerk Haro noted that as the ordinance currently reads under the purpose section it indicates that "industries that pose problems with air pollution, noise, vibration, water pollution, etc. will be restricted from the District." We will check with our legal counsel to make sure that we are protecting homeowners.
Sanitary Sewer Update
Matt Blazer of Bolton & Menk indicated that he attended the Randolph Township public meeting on February 2nd. He thought the meeting went well. They answered questions that were raised. The township did not vote on anything at this time and are going to leave it open for any comments for the next 60 days. Matt discussed the Fact Sheet that was prepared and will be given to any potential property owner they are reaching out to for the ponds. The Fact Sheet is also on the city webpage. It covers was is needed, how the system works and water quality.
He also checked with the PCA regarding if they receive any complaints regarding the odor from spray irrigation and they indicated they have never received any complaints regarding the odor from the spray irrigation. They do get complaints from time to time regarding the odor for the stabilization ponds around the Spring and Fall. He also was told that the spray irrigation is for crops of non-human consumption but if the farmer
would get approval from the distributor (ex Green Giant) to spray on their crops, the PCA would not step in and disapprove. The spray irrigation is used mostly for animal crops. PCA does not regulate when the land can be sprayed except it cannot be sprayed on frozen ground.
Matt did a road map for the different paths from needing the land to bidding the project. What the process will be and what to expect next. There are a couple of different paths to take in getting the land. We need two different lands – one for spray irrigation and one for the stabilization ponds. For the spray irrigation we could own the land or we could obtain an easement. For the stabilization ponds our counsel recommends that we own the land. Sonya has reached out to several landowners. We are trying to find a voluntary landowner for the spray irrigation. It does not have to all be on one site. If it within the city limits we can go right to the end and bid the project as will control the zoning for the land. If the property is in the township then it would involve more work. If the township is in favor then all is good but if not we could annex the land which if it is under 120 acres and that can be done by ordinance. The land does have to be contiguous We could also do a condemnation and purchase the property but it is a process and it is not an ideal case to go this route. They have had a few landowner that are interested and are still negotiating.
He has been having monthly meetings between Bolton & Menk, our city attorney and the township's attorney to give updates.
According to the PFA in order to get reimbursement we will have to have the land and also the project as bid prices.
The timeline is bidding the project in January/February 2022. They are hoping to have the land options completed by the end of April or early May. We would then be able to start our neighborhood meetings
We could have an informational meeting like we had at the beginning but they will not have all the answers to questions that will most likely be raised at this time. Also it is good to wait because of COVID. He also indicated that he checked with the PFA and our deadline that our funds need to be encumbered is by December 31, 2024. So that gives us more time.
Ehlers, Financial Planner
Todd Hagen of Ehlers & Associates presented some scenarios of temporary bonds amounts. He also presented a proposal for a Long-Term Financial Plan and Utility Rate Study which will assist with us with sewer rates, water rates and tax levies. He also noted that he would like us to consider approving a reimbursement resolution. We need a bond for enough money to get us through the bidding process for any costs incurred that needs to be paid until we get the grant money. We cannot get reimbursed from the state grant until after it is bid and we submit our application.
At this point, we will call the $13,000,000 money from the state as the grant and the $1,650,000 that we are applying for as the bond so we can keep them straight.
The bonds will earn .25% in interest and we will have to pay .30% interest on the amount. We will have an interest payment of approximately $3600 come due in February 2022 and then $2500 every six months thereafter until February 2024.
Prior to our March 10th meeting he will prepare a pre-sale report that contains the terms and conditions and the schedule for the bonds. We will need a resolution for Ehlers to publicly sell the bonds. Then in April we will look at the bids and we can close at the end of the month and will receive our money. We will also need bond counsel which is approximately $8500 for their fee. Ehler's will hire the bond counsel for us.
We would approve the payment of the invoices and then we would request reimbursement from the bonds through Ehlers. Bolton & Menk will wait on payment for their February invoice since we are moving forward with the bonds. Also it was asked if we would circulate Bolton & Menk's invoices to the council when we receive them which we will do.
There was a discussion as we thought that legal fees were included in the fees to be reimbursed from the grant but have been notified by PFA that they were not a covered expense. At this time we asked that Bolton & Menk not have their monthly meetings unless necessary.
There should be some money at the end that we can use for the utility rate study and attorney fees. We could either have the cash at the end or we can convert it into a 10 year bond to spread the payments out as by that time their will have done their study and we could also look at adding the water tower loan to this. This will depend on the market to determine the interest rate if we are interested in doing this.
Motion to pass Resolution No. 21-01 Establishing Procedures Relating to Compliance with Reimbursement Bond Regulations Under the Internal Revenue Code was made by Podritz, seconded by Carlock. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 4:0.
Motion by Appelgren to get a bond in the amount of $1,651,000, seconded by Carlock. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 4:0.
Todd will prepare the pre-sale report and may be able to sell the bonds already in March.
Todd D. Carlock asked about what was happening with the holding pond. Matt has not heard anything about the sizing of pond from Mr. Wenstrom. He does not want to approve or not approve of the swale until it is figured out. The pond is not compliant as it is not up to code. It does not have enough storage capacity. Todd D. Carlock asked that Mr. Wenstrom and his engineer be told what needs to be done to complete the project. They need to propose what they plan to do and Bolton & Menk will approve or not approve. Bolton & Menk needs to be the reviewer and not the engineer for them. If Dan does not move forward on this the City has the right to get the work done and pull the money from his letter of credit. It was asked if we should check with Korine as to what we can do and if we should send him a letter with a deadline to get this completed by. Also it was noted that he has not reimbursed the City for the Bolton & Menk invoices that he is responsibility. Sandy will bring copies of the invoices and the date she sent them to him so we can decide what to do as we could go after his letter of credit for those fees.
Also it was noted there was a complaint about a boat parked on Dickman Avenue. That is a county road so we should notify the county as the city does not have parking restrictions in place.
Motion to adjourn the meeting made by Podritz, seconded by Appelgren, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 4:0.