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Council Meeting Minutes 2/27/23

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Monday, February 27, 2023


The Regular Meeting of the City Council of the City of Olivia, Minnesota, was called to order by Mayor Hawkinson at 5:30 P.M.
Council Members Present: Jon Hawkinson, Blanca Ferguson, Matt Baumgartner, George Ebbers and Landon Padrnos.
Others present: Aaron Walton, City Attorney (via zoom); Jason Krumheuer, Police Chief; Mary Jo Halliday, Interim City Administrator; Jodi (via zoom), Jason Rouse (via zoom), Jo Monson, Utility Manager; Shawn Hanson, Finance Director; Travis Lubitz, Fire Department; Corey Hebrink, Business Owner; Ross Okins, Scott Tedrick; Todd Howard, resident; Steve Altmann, Fire Department (via zoom); Greg Rauenhorst, resident; Kevin Moorse, Fire Department; Tom Cherveny, West Central Tribune; Jasmine Miller, Deputy Clerk


Mayor Hawkinson temporarily suspended the regular meeting and opened the public forum at 5:30 P.M. He clarified the amount of time allocated for public comments and the decorum expectations for those who participate in the Public Forum.

Corey Hebrink, local business owner, stepped forward to address the Council. He expressed that he was hoping the city of Olivia can establish a long-term spending plan, separating the needs vs the wants. He stated he wanted to see more planning done on the City’s behalf. He is hoping an update can be provided on the RO system and electric building projects.

No other public comments were offered so Mayor Hawkinson reopened the regular meeting at 5:36


Motion by Ferguson, second by Baumgartner: to approve the agenda. Motion passed unanimously .


Motion by Ebbers, second by Baumgartner: to approve the consent agenda. Motion passed unanimously.

• Regular Meeting Minutes of February 6, 2023
• Special Meeting Minutes of February 13, 2023
• Resolution 2023-32, Approval of New Liquor License to Olivia Hotel & Restaurant Inc
• Resolution 2023-33, Promotion of Craig Mages to Public Works Assistant Superintendent
• Confirm Mayoral Appointment of Chris Fischer to the Public Utility Commission

• Confirm Mayoral Appointment of Jolene Ervin to the Public Utility Commission
• Confirm Mayoral Appointment of John Neubauer to the Public Utility Commission


Cit y Hall Public Safet y Buildin g Pro ject
Motion by Ebbers, second by Ferguson: to approve the City Hall Public Safety Building Project. Roll Call vote was taken: Ferguson voted in favor of the project; Baumgartner, Padrnos, Ebbers and Hawkinson voted against the project. Motion does not pass.

Baumgartner shared his thoughts related to the project stating the project’s cost has ballooned to 5 million dollars and the City is not structured to borrow that much. He believes that two-thirds of the project is vanity project. He acknowledges that the fire department has needs that need to be addressed. Baumgartner wants to focus on growth. Baumgartner closed by stating that he thinks this project would be an irresponsible use of public funds. Ferguson reminded those in attendance that it would cost 3.3M to rent the police department space from the County over the next 40 years. Ferguson believes that this project has to be done. Ferguson stated that a lot of time was spent addressing the needs of office staff, fire department and police department. Ferguson acknowledged that this was a hard decision to make. Hawkinson recognized that this is the most difficult decision that the Council has had to make in the last couple of years. He expressed that he will not be voting in favor of the project. He instead plans to commit to the needs of the Fire Department and Police Department. Padrnos shared that he will also be voting no to the project, but not to the fire department and police department.
Padrnos expressed that he believes the project is too expensive and too big and he would like to explore a different avenue with the project. Padrnos agreed with Baumgartner that it was an irresponsible use of funds considering the project would cost the City more than what it was originally approved for.
Padrnos also spoke about the fire departments equipment needs. Ebbers expressed his support for the fire department and police department, but stated he is not in favor of the project. Ebbers wishes to look at the needs for the fire and police departments and explore what they can do to address those immediately.

Cit y Administrator Search Firms
Motion by Padrnos, second by Ebbers: to move forward with the proposal from South Central Services Cooperative. Motion does not pass.
Hawkinson stated that staff received three proposals from hiring firms and gave a brief overview. Hawkinson asked the council to consider having staff post the open position before hiring a firm. Padrnos expressed interest in hiring a professional search firm immediately. Council directed staff to gather more information on South Central Services Cooperative to clarify what happens if we don’t find qualified applicants, and request a ballpark time line.

Cit y Hall Office Hours
Halliday shared that data was collected by City Hall staff to present to Council to determine if city hall would adjust the hours to include closing on Fridays at 12:00pm. Halliday asked Council for direction. Padrnos reminded the council that the City’s number one goal is service to the public.
There was consensus amongst the Council to not change the office hours, but to allow the City Administrator to reestablish a flexible Friday schedule with office staff.

No additional items or new business items were presented.

Pool Report
Padrnos shared that there was a pool board meeting where they discussed the recent fire and flooding at the pool. At this time, it is not known what the needs and costs for repairs will be. Programming has been moved to Willmar until further notice.

Other Reports of Council / Staff
Baumgartner shared the Technology & Sustainability Committee’s reason for being statement. Baumgartner shared that they are hoping to kick off the committee in March. Howard was invited to join the conversation and spoke about broadband and fiberoptic internet. Howard has been in contact with Stephanie Ryan at the County and the two will continue to work together to move the project forward. Baumgartner stated that they are looking for more members and invited anyone interested to join them. Hawkinson shared that USDA requires a letter stating the City rejects the BID regarding for the City Hall project and what the City’s plan is to move forward. Padrnos requested a short work session before the next meeting. It was established that a work session would be held on March 6, 2023 at 5:00pm to have a conversation with City departments about the city hall project.

No additional reports were presented.

• Employment Opportunities Posted Publicly (Patrol Officer).

No additional notices or communications were presented.


Motion by Padrnos, second by Baumgartner: to adjourn the meeting at 6:24 P.M. Motion passed unanimously.

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