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City of Tyler, Minnesota
Minnesota's Danish Heartland

April 3, 2006


1.      The regularly scheduled meeting of the Tyler City Council was called to order at 7:00 p.m., on April 3, 2006, at the Tyler Fire Hall.  Mayor VanDeVere and Council Members Carmany, Harper, Hunt, and Williamson present.  Guests Present: Julie Bedow, Jim Burns from RTR High School, and Bill Helget from Bolton and Menk.  Staff Present: Luger, Lutterman, Petersen, and Spindler.


2.      Motion by Carmany to approve the agenda with three additions.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.


3.      Motion by Harper to approve the March 6, 2006 minutes.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.


4.      No items were presented under public express.


5.      Jim Burns from RTR High School explained the situation regarding the baseball program to the Council.  Lake Benton, Lincoln HI, and RTR have committed to having the program for two years with RTR hosting the home baseball games and Lake Benton hosting the home softball games.


VanDeVere questioned if RTR is planning to use both fields for baseball, which Burns responded yes.  VanDeVere stated that one of the fields does not have a large enough infield for baseball and would require a lot of work.  Burns listed the improvements necessary for the baseball field and asked the City for financial assistance.  VanDeVere informed Burns that the City purchases ag-lime every year and has a pile of clay available at the burn site.  Motion by Hunt to support the baseball program by supplying the ag-lime and clay.  Seconded by Harper and approved unanimously.


6.      Luger presented the list of bids for the three vehicles and the mowing of the ball fields.  VanDeVere asked the Council if there is any reason not to accept the highest vehicle bid.  Motion by Carmany to accept the highest vehicle bids.  Seconded by Hunt and approved unanimously.


Motion by Hunt to accept the lowest bid of $59 by Cade Drake.  Seconded by Harper and approved unanimously.


7.      Luger informed the Council that all Minnesota electrical municipal utilities are required to spend 1.5 of their gross operating revenue on Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP).  The Energy Star rebate program is the only CIP offered by the City, which is allocated $2,000 a year.  To meet the CIP requirement, the City needs to spend an additional $3,025 on conservation programs.


After some discussion, the Council agreed to allocate an additional $3,025 to the Energy Star rebate program to meet the CIP requirement.  The funds will be used to expand the program to all Energy Star appliances and for marketing.


8.      Luger informed the Council that a member of the senior center expressed concern about competing with the fire hall for rental space.  Some groups who have used the senior center in the past have threatened to use the fire hall as a result of the senior center raising their rental rates.  To avoid competing with the senior center, Luger recommended developing a rental policy for the fire hall which would impose a rental fee on all for-profit groups.  VanDeVere believed all for-profit groups should be prohibited from using the fire hall.


After some discussion, Luger agreed to draft a fire hall rental policy and have the Council review it at the May Council meeting.


9.      Luger stated that the auditors mentioned during their audit that the paid off rehab loans cannot be officially closed without council approval.  Luger asked the Council if a collection letter should be sent to residents that have a minimal remaining balance on their rehab loan.  The Council agreed to send collection letters and to officially close the rehab loans that have been fully paid.  Motion by Williamson to close Otto Kovats and Scott and Theresa Rieder’s loan.  Seconded by Carmany and approved unanimously. 


10.  Bill Helget from Bolton and Menk distributed a color-coated map to the Council that illustrated which areas of the City would be seal coated in 2006.  Hunt asked when the new streets will have to be seal coated.  Helget responded five to seven years, but recommended the City start a five year cycle of seal coat work.  Motion by VanDeVere to approve the seal coat plan as presented and to advertise for bids to seal coat the remainder of the streets.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.


11.  Luger asked the Council the cost of a golf cart permit and if there is a limit to the number of permits issued.  Williamson inquired about the cost of processing the permit, which Luger responded minimal.  VanDeVere asked if a permit would be required to drive the golf cart home for the purpose of cleaning or repairing it.  Luger asked the Council how they would like to address special circumstances.  After some discussion, the Council agreed that each person would be allowed a one day waiver by informing city hall when they plan to use their one day pass.  Motion by Hunt to set the golf cart permit fee at $15 and to allow each person a one day pass at no charge.  Seconded by Carmany and approved unanimously.


12.  Luger explained to the Council the importance of designating a certain day to enforce the Tyler City Code instead of randomly enforcing various ordinances.  Performing a city-wide code enforcement day eliminates the perception of discrimination since the code is being enforced city-wide on the same day.

VanDeVere asked if the code can be enforced on an as-needed basis.  Luger responded that it can be enforced on individual households if the City receives a complaint.  Petersen recommended advertising the ordinance that will be enforced in the paper and then sending notices to residents who violate the ordinance on the code enforcement day.  The Council agreed to have Spindler and Luger select a day and inform the Council when the code enforcement day will occur and which ordinance will be enforced.


13.  Motion by VanDeVere to open the public hearing.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.  Motion by Carmany to close the public hearing.  Seconded by VanDeVere and approved unanimously. 


After some discussion regarding the rationale of vacating Lincoln Street, VanDeVere motioned to approve the vacating of Ash Street and a portion of Lincoln Street.  Seconded by Carmany and approved unanimously. 


14.  Petersen asked the Council and Lutterman for direction regarding the DGR electrical rate study.  Lutterman asked Petersen if DGR explained the benefit to having an electrical rate study conducted.  Lutterman believed the study was unnecessary since Tyler is not rapidly growing and rates have been raised according to the supplier’s rate increase.  The Council agreed to have Petersen negotiate the rate with DGR and close the contract.


15.  Petersen gave the monthly report for TRED where he informed the Council that TRED has been focused on developing a solution to the childcare shortage in Tyler.  Julie Bedow has expressed an interest in opening a childcare center and has worked with TRED to find land or a building to locate the facility.  Bedow and TRED have been exploring the option of combining a childcare facility with a community center.  After some discussion, the Council believed it would be beneficial to further research the concept of combining a childcare facility with a community center.


Petersen informed the Council that negotiations with a dollar store on the corner of Highway 14 and County Road 8 has ceased.


16.  Spindler gave the monthly report for the police department where he explained an encounter he had with a resident who was charged with a third degree DWI.  He also mentioned that Thunder, the police dog gave a presentation at the Treasure Box Preschool.


17.  Lutterman gave the monthly utility report where he informed the Council that the utility department will soon receive the new pickup truck and that the burn site will open for the season on Friday with branch pickup resuming on Friday’s.  He also mentioned that a sump pump notice will be published in the paper and displayed on the public access channel.


18.  The Council visited the idea of adopting a resolution regarding the school consolidation vote.  After some discussion, the Council agreed to not do anything.


19.  Luger informed the Council that the railroad crossing at Willow Street was not approved for funding and will be re-ranked and re-submitted for 2010 funding.  VanDeVere asked the Council their thoughts on hiring the County to paint railroad crossings on the street, which the Council agreed was a workable plan. 


She also mentioned that the City received a grant from Valspar, which gives recipients paint to update a public building.  The paint will be used to repaint the Tyler Municipal Pool building.  Luger asked the Council their feedback on the City accepting credit cards.  The Council agreed the matter should be researched further and a proposal be presented at a future meeting.


Luger requested authorization from the Council to submit delinquent utility bills to a collection agency.  VanDeVere believed the Council had already granted authorization to use a collection agency.  To be on the safe side, Harper motioned to grant authorization to the City Administrator to utilize a collection agency to collect delinquent utility bills.  Seconded by Carmany and approved unanimously.


20.  VanDeVere requested the Council once again talk to residents about serving on a community center committee.  He also requested that something be written in the Tyler Tribute regarding the creation of a community center committee.


21.  Motion by Williamson to approve the bills.  Seconded by VanDeVere and approved unanimously.


22.  There being no further business before the Council, Mayor VanDeVere adjourned the meeting at 9:55 p.m.




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