City of Tyler, Minnesota

Minnesota's Danish Heartland

November 6, 2006

1.      The regularly scheduled meeting of the Tyler City Council was called to order at 7:00 p.m., on November 6, 2006, at the Tyler Fire Hall.  Mayor VanDeVere and Council Members Carmany, Harper, Hunt, and Williamson present.  Guest Present: Rich Borresen and Vince Robinson from DSI.  Staff Present: Luger, Lutterman, Petersen, and Spindler.


2.      Motion by Hunt to approve the agenda.  Seconded by Carmany and approved unanimously.


3.      Motion by Harper to approve the October 2, 2006 minutes.  Seconded by Carmany and approved unanimously.


4.      No items were presented under public express.


5.      Gudmund Broin of 509 Kaye Street requested an eight foot variance on his west property line and a thirteen foot variance on his south property line to build a garage.  Luger informed the Council that neighboring residents were notified of the variance request and one resident called to support Broin’s plan. 


Hunt commented on the thirteen foot variance and asked if both variances are necessary, which Luger responded yes since the garage is located on a corner lot.  Lutterman explained the process to calculating the front yard setback and added that in this situation, Broin needs to be at least 25 feet from the curb.  VanDeVere expressed concern regarding the length of the driveway since a vehicle would not be able to completely park in the proposed thirteen foot driveway.


Lutterman also remarked that there is a ten foot utility easement on the west end of the property.  Williamson commented on how difficult it is for the Council to decide on a variance request if the resident is not present to answer questions.  Williamson recommended the Council deny all variance requests when the resident is not present and suggested tabling the Broin decision.  The Council agreed to table Broin’s variance request until the December meeting.


6.      Luger mentioned that Night Owls and the Kronborg have requested the Council to renew their liquor licenses for 2007.  Motion by VanDeVere to renew the liquor licenses for Night Owls and the Kronborg upon proof of liquor liability insurance for 2007.  Seconded by Harper and approved unanimously.


7.      Luger presented the Council with the cost difference between: a one year lease, a two year lease, or purchasing the equipment.  Last month, the Council requested further research concerning the City’s capability of adding a transaction fee to all credit card purchases.  Luger learned that a City can only offer a discount to residents who pay in cash, which would be counterproductive for Tyler.

VanDeVere asked Luger for her recommendations regarding the City accepting credit cards.  Luger stated that it would be difficult for her to recommend action due to the high costs.  Since many cities around 1,000 people have just started to accept credit cards, Luger suggested waiting a couple months to determine if these cities can justify the high annual costs.  Harper asked Luger if she has researched the City’s ability to use paypal, which Luger responded no.  Harper agreed to further research paypal and report to the Council.


8.      Motion by Hunt to appoint Shirley Hansen, Mary Krull, Wayne Krull, Richard Siemers, Betty Jo Solberg, Carol Swanson, E.R. Thooft, Laura Welch, and Alvina Welgraven as election judges for the general election.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.


9.      Luger explained that the federal government has mandated local governments to pass a resolution that promotes the use of intrastate mutual aid agreements.  Motion by Carmany to pass a resolution that promotes the use of intrastate mutual aid agreements.  Seconded by Harper and approved unanimously.  


10.  VanDeVere informed the Council that the Johnson’s Trenching Softball Team has agreed to save their money for a more permanent shelter at the softball fields.  VanDeVere recommended allocating the money to parks and recreation to be used on projects that may not be normally budgeted.  The Council agreed to designate the Shaokatan Charity donation to the parks and recreation department.


11.  Luger informed the Council that conciliation court has ruled in the City’s favor on two cases, which entitles the City to file a lien against the defendants.  Luger asked Petersen to explain the process to the Council.  Petersen explained that when the City receives a judgment at conciliation court, the defendant has twenty days to appeal the judgment.  If the judgment is not appealed, the City can file the judgment in district court.  Once the judgment is docketed in district court, a lien is placed on the defendant’s property. 


Petersen recommended the Council take each collection situation on a case by case basis.  He also recommended that if the City has received a judgment in their favor at conciliation court, the City should file the judgment in district court.  The Council agreed to file a judgment in district court for both cases.


12.  Vince Robinson from DSI who serves as a consultant for TRED stated that TRED is in the midst of two major developments; condominiums and duplexes.  Robinson explained that a majority of the condominium development will be paid by Tax Increment Financing (TIF) according to a preliminary developer’s agreement drafted by Tyler’s TIF consultant, David Drown.  The purchase price for the first phase would be $24,000 and an additional $24,000 for the second phase.  The third and fourth phase would be $48,000 collectively and would be paid for by the tax increment.  The developers would receive 90% of the tax increment and the City would receive the remaining tax increment of 10%. 


Petersen added that the City would take a $24,000 lien on each property.  The lien would be released once the developers have obtained a building permit and have begun construction.  If some of the phases are left undeveloped, the City has the option to foreclose and retain all of the remaining property.  The intent of the lien is to compel the developers to discuss future plans with the City since they are unable to sell the land until the lien is cleared.


Robinson stated that TRED is likely to request a $115,000 loan from the City to upgrade the storm sewer and reimburse them for development costs.  The City would be repaid $48,000 upon the sale of the land for phases one and two.  The additional money would be reimbursed to the City slowly by the TIF district. 


Robinson added that the amount of the loan is contingent on the hospital’s contribution.  The current agreement TRED has with the hospital is that the hospital will contribute $20,000 to the parking lot and will be reimbursed when they sell the land to TRED.  However, the cost of the parking lot has increased substantially and as result TRED needs more of a financial commitment from the hospital.  Drown has recommended to TRED that the hospital contribute more to the project since the new parking lot will directly benefit the hospital and they will not have to light or maintain it.  Hunt asked if the parking lot could be included in the hospital’s lease with the City.  Robinson stated that the parking lot needs to remain publicly owned and that the City cannot enter into an exclusive use agreement.


Luger asked the Council for their feedback concerning the preliminary developer’s agreement for the condominium development.  VanDeVere asked Rich Borresen, one of the developers of the condominium project for his opinion on the preliminary developer’s agreement.  Borresen expressed concern regarding the price of the land and that his development company is building a parking lot for the hospital.  Robinson stated that if the condominium development is constructed as planned, most of the developers’ costs will be reimbursed through the TIF district.


Borresen also commented that his development company is taking a huge risk with this project, which the Council commented that the City is also taking a huge risk.  The City is investing at least $115,000 into the project and will not be collecting additional tax revenue on the development for the next 25 years.


Robinson then explained the terms of the preliminary developer’s agreement relating to the duplex development with Gary Punt.  This agreement has not been discussed as extensively as the condominium development, but the terms are very similar.  Both developments would be in the same TIF district with each developer paying half of the TIF setup fees.  If one development accrues increment faster than the other, that development could offset the costs of the other development.

VanDeVere asked if the City receives any of the additional tax revenue from these developments.  Robinson explained that the City would receive the same amount of taxes currently being assessed and that the excess revenue would be set aside to reimburse the developers and the City.  The developers are reimbursed up to a certain amount and only receive reimbursement when an invoice is submitted and funds are available.  Once the developers are completely reimbursed, the City is then compensated for their eligible expenses.


Hunt questioned what occurs if the developments do not take place.  Robinson stated that the developer and the City would not be reimbursed for their investments within the district.  The developer and the City are gambling that the developments will be a success.


VanDeVere asked the Council if they are in support of these proposed developments and would be willing to loan TRED $100,000 to $150,000.  Hunt inquired where the loan money would come from, which VanDeVere stated the City’s savings account.  After some discussion, the Council agreed that these developments are worthwhile projects to proceed with and are a huge benefit to the community.  Motion by VanDeVere to approve a declaration that declares the old hospital property located at 238 Willow Street will remain in public possession for at least 50 years.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.


13.  No City Attorney or TRED Report.


14.  Spindler gave the monthly police report where he stated that the police department received 46 calls for service last month.  Some of those calls included: domestic assault, two vehicle accident, property damage, and two business alarm calls from the same business.  Spindler also mentioned that he recently received some drug awareness books that he plans to distribute to students in the high school.


Lutterman had no utility report.


15.  Luger mentioned that a grant application has been forwarded to a regional agency for the purpose of purchasing a new waterslide.  Luger informed the Council that if the grant is awarded to the City, the City would have to pay an extra $900 a year for waterslide insurance.  Luger asked the Council if the City would be willing to pay more on insurance for the pool.  VanDeVere and Carmany stated that the City may be able to raise fees once the new waterslide is installed, which could potentially cover the additional insurance costs.


16.  VanDeVere updated the Council on a garbage meeting that he had attended regarding the proposal to construct an incinerator in Redwood Falls.  The purpose of the meeting was to inform cities and townships of the proposal to transport all garbage to Redwood Falls. 


Hunt asked who would haul Tyler’s garbage to Redwood Falls, which VanDeVere responded that the City would since we provide our own garbage service.  VanDeVere stated that this proposal will take years to finalize, but the County is fairly confident that this plan will succeed since the city of Bloomington has agreed to transport their garbage to Redwood Falls.


VanDeVere also wanted to discuss the building permit process with the Council.  Currently the city administrator is designated as the building inspector, but VanDeVere believes this responsibility is more appropriate for the utility superintendent since they have to ensure that the construction is not imposing on any utilities. 


Luger suggested making the building permit process a two step procedure; the utility superintendent would first review the application to verify the construction is not imposing on any utilities.  Once the application is signed and approved by the utility superintendent, the city administrator would review the application to verify that the construction meets City Code.  The building permit would not be issued until the utility superintendent and the city administrator has approved and signed the application.


Petersen agreed with the two step building permit procedure and added that questionable applications should be brought to the Council for further review.  VanDeVere also recommended that the applications should be approved within a certain time frame and construction cannot begin until the building permit has been issued.  Luger agreed that the building permit process needs to be formalized and that residents should post their permit in a visible location to verify that their construction has been approved.


The Council agreed that the building permit process needs to be revised and requested Luger to revise applications and have available at the December meeting.


17.  Motion by Carmany to approve the bills with the exception of the bill from McLaughlin and Schultz.  Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.


18.  There being no further business before the Council, Mayor VanDeVere adjourned the meeting at 9:00 p.m.


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