1. The regularly scheduled meeting of the Tyler City Council was called to order at 7:00 p.m., on June 4, 2007 at the Tyler Fire Hall. Mayor Harper and Council Members Denney, Hunt, Manson, and Williamson present. Staff Present: Luger, Lutterman, Petersen, and Spindler.
2. Motion by Williamson to approve the revised agenda. Seconded by Manson and approved unanimously. The May 7, 2007 minutes were unanimously approved by the Council.
3. No items were presented under public express.
4. Robert Loosemore of 765 South Tyler Street presented his variance request to build a six foot tall fence around his property. Luger informed the Council that neighboring residents were notified of the variance request and did not express opposition to the project. Denney inquired on the type of fence he plans to erect, which Loosemore responded chain link. Harper asked if the fence will be constructed directly on the south property line. Loosemore replied no, it will be located two feet from the property line. Motion by Harper to approve the three foot height variance as requested by Robert Loosemore. Seconded by Manson and approved unanimously.
5. Luger stated that the agenda item regarding the liquor liability letter does not need to be discussed since the Kronborg has decided to not pursue that insurance option. Luger informed the Council that the Lincoln County Drift Clippers had initially requested permission to sell beer at the demolition derby. With the high cost of liquor liability insurance, Luger speculates they will withdraw their request since they may not generate enough revenue to cover the insurance expense. After some discussion, the Council agreed to table the request until further notice.
Luger added that the Council typically reviews the Fire Department request for the City to pay the liability insurance on the demolition derby and the fireworks. In 2006, the City paid $1,320 for the liability insurance on the demolition derby and $600 on the fireworks. Harper believed that since the past practice of the Council has been to pay for the liability insurance, the City should continue to support the Fire Department by paying for this expense. Harper motioned for the City to cover the liability insurance for the demolition derby and the fireworks up to $2,500. Seconded by Manson and approved unanimously.
Denney commented that the Council should exercise caution when deciding which events the City furnishes liability insurance for. Hunt believed that since the Fire Department is a part of the City, the City should support them by either supplying the liability insurance or giving them a donation.
6. Spindler gave the monthly police report where he stated that the police department received 63 calls for service last month. Some of those calls included: a gas drive off at the BP Amoco station, DWI, multiple hit and run reports, an underage drink and drive arrest, a report of minors having a fire and drinking alcohol, and a public urination citation.
Manson asked if the business that was cited for employees in the establishment after hours has been cited in the past. Spindler responded yes and that they are aware of the ordinance. Harper suggested these habitual citations be taken into consideration when renewing their liquor license.
7. Petersen clarified important sections of Gary Punt’s development and subsidy agreement. Section 3.1 states that Punt is obligated to pay the City $2,500 to fund a portion of the costs associated with establishing the district. According to Sections 3.2 and 3.3, the City will reimburse Punt $40,000 for the cost of public improvements and up to $92,500 of the tax increment for land acquisition and eligible site improvement costs.
In Sections 3.4.1 and 3.4.2 Punt agrees to have all construction work inspected and approved by a licensed building inspector and will fix all identified deficiencies. Punt will reimburse the City for the inspection expenses according to Section 3.4.7; the City will retain a portion of the tax increment if the inspection costs are not paid. Section 3.5 states that at least 95% of the units must be initially purchased and occupied by individuals within certain income limits. If a unit is sold to an individual who does not meet the income limits, the tax increment will be reduced by $6,607.00 per ineligible unit.
Petersen asked who recommended lending Punt $40,000 for the cost of public improvements, which Luger replied David Drown. Drown recommended this option since the amount is small and Punt wants few upfront expenses. Luger explained that the City will be reimbursed with the tax increment before Punt receives his portion. Hunt asked if the $40,000 covers all of his utility expenses, which Lutterman replied yes. Denney motioned to approve Gary Punt’s Development Agreement with the corrections recommended by Petersen. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
8. Luger presented the two building inspector proposals submitted by Ted Hays and DSI to the Council. Ted Hays quoted his inspection services at $903.60 per building and DSI quoted $600.00 per building plus the cost of additional services if needed. Hunt inquired about the additional services; Luger explained that additional services included follow-up inspections and tasks beyond the four inspections. Manson asked if Hays is from Tyler, which Luger responded yes. Denney added that Hays has a lot of experience and has worked for larger cities in the past. Williamson motioned to award the building inspector contract to Ted Hays. Seconded by Manson and approved unanimously.
9. Luger recommended the Council renew the lease to the Faaborg building for an additional year since the City has not had the opportunity to explore additional options. Motion by Manson to lease the Faaborg building until July 2008. Seconded by Denney and approved unanimously.
Lutterman explained to the Faaborg’s and the Council that the utility line is within the street easement according to a survey from the recorder’s office.
10. Luger explained to the Council that a resident has been making an effort to clean up their property and had asked if covering the substandard building with grapevines and placing wood strips over the broken windows is an acceptable solution. Hunt believed the building is unsafe and should be demolished; planting grapevines and placing wood strips over the windows will not make it safer. Petersen suggested the City offer low interest loans to assist residents with property clean up instead of issuing court orders. Harper believed TRED should research this option further; Luger thought the funds from the rehab program would be an appropriate funding source. The Council agreed the property needs to be made safer and instructed Luger to inform the resident of their options.
11. Luger stated that a resident who owes the City $450 for camping at Stony Point all last summer is attempting to camp there again. The City sent the resident multiple invoices and received no response. Luger stated that according to the City Code, the City has the right to eject them from the park. Luger asked the Council if a letter should be sent to notify them that if the balance is not paid from last summer they will be towed from the premises. The Council instructed Luger to send them a letter.
12. Petersen gave the TRED report where he mentioned that the remaining two lots in the Brouwer Addition are on the verge of being sold. Harper asked Petersen if the City’s offer on the Stony Point property was accepted, which Petersen stated that the seller has not made an official decision. Harper informed the Council that the County Parks Department is interested in purchasing Stony Point Park. Hunt and Williamson stated that the County has expressed an interest in the past, but the County Board has never approved the purchase. After some discussion, the Council agreed that Stony Point Park is an asset to the City and are not interested in selling it.
13. Luger stated that many downtown businesses have been complaining about the status of the trees and sidewalks in front of their buildings. Luger informed the Council that $2,000 was placed in the 2006 budget for sidewalk repairs and recommended the funds be used for the downtown sidewalks. Hunt believed the City should repair the sidewalks and save the trees because they are a nice asset to the downtown. He recommended removing some of the paver block around the tree to give it more space to grow and replacing the wooden base with a grate that would be flush with the sidewalk. Denney recalled the City having to remove and re-lay all of the paver blocks at one point in time, which was a difficult task to accomplish. Hunt believed this project would be easier since the paver blocks would only need to be removed and not re-laid.
Hunt suggested forming a subcommittee to study the issue and report back to the Council. Harper appointed Hunt, Williamson, Luger, and Lutterman to the downtown tree and sidewalk subcommittee.
14. Lutterman gave the monthly utility report where he mentioned that the utility department has been incredibly busy. The department has been busy with preparing the pool for the season, attempting to spray, and working with Gary Punt.
Luger reported that the baseball/softball program has received the same amount of registrations despite the price increase. She also mentioned that she met with representatives from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the DM&E to discuss the railroad crossing on Willow Street. They stated that a stop arm is scheduled to be placed on that crossing as early as next spring since the DM&E will not be approved for funding until all crossings meet certain safety standards.
15. No Mayor Report.
16. Motion by Manson to approve the bills with the addition of a bill from the Tyler Tribute for $11.72 and a bill from the Hesse brothers for $653.22. Seconded by Hunt and approved unanimously.
17. There being no further business before the Council, Mayor Harper adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.