Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Olivia City Council Meeting Minutes - February 16, 2021 - City of Olivia, MN


Tuesday, February 16, 2021


The Regular Meeting of the City Council of the City of Olivia, Minnesota, was called to order by Mayor Hawkinson at 7:00 P.M.

Council Members Present: Jon Hawkinson (via Zoom), Blanca Ferguson (via Zoom), Tom Kalahar, George Ebbers and Landon Padrnos (via Zoom).

Others present: Dan Coughlin, City Administrator; Christi Weidemann, City Clerk; Jason Krumheuer, Police Chief; Brian Stenholm, Police Officer / Emergency Management Director, (via zoom); Aaron Walton, City Attorney (via zoom); Scott Tedrick, Renville County Register (via zoom) Gary Weiers, David Drown & Associates (via Zoom); Kendra Lyngaas, SEH (via Zoom); Justin Black, SEH (via Zoom); Tessia Melvin, David Drown & Associates (via Zoom); Jason Murray, David Drown & Associates (via Zoom); and Katianne Briese (via Zoom).

Robert Ferguson, son of Councilor Ferguson, led the Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Motion by Ferguson, second by Ebbers: to approve the Agenda as updated. Motion passed unanimously.


Motion by Kalahar, second by Padrnos: to approve the presented Consent Agenda items:

  1. Regular Meeting Minutes of February 1, 2021
  2. Committee Appointments
    1. Connor Plumley – Park Board – Student Representative
    2. Caylee Weber – Park Board – Student Representative
    3. Julie Remer – Planning Commission
  3. Resolution 2021-14, Off-Site Gambling to Church of St. Mary’s of Bird Island
  4. Payables #2
  5. January Check Register

Motion passed unanimously.

Consultant Staff Introductions – David Drown & Associates (DDA)

Mayor Hawkinson welcomed staff from David Drown & Associates. Gary Weiers with David Drown Human Resource Department introduced himself and gave a brief overview of his duties within DDA. Gary said that he was involved in the hiring processes for the Finance Director and Police Chief positions as well as having performed an organizational analysis of a few different departments including his recommendations for rethinking how to best utilize current city hall staffing to increase efficiency and effectiveness of those positions.

Tessia Melvin introduced herself and said she assists the City on Class and Compensation studies, market analysis and pay equity reports which are done every three years.

Jason Murray introduced himself and gave an overview on his position with DDA. Murray said he works with the Finance and Economic Development side of things by doing analysis on the City’s short and long-term financial needs in regards to standard overhead as well as special projects. He mentioned that he also maintains the City’s TIF districts and makes sure all compliance documents are created and submitted to the state.

The Council thanked the staff from DDA for all the work they do for the City. Kalahar noted that he was particularly appreciative of the help that DDA provided in securing very favorable USDA funding assistance with the upcoming Depue Avenue street and utility project.

Resolution 2021-13, Receiving Report and Calling Hearing on Improvement

Hawkinson said that this resolution was tabled at the last meeting until there could be further review of how the City’s assessment policy determined which properties were subject to potential project assessments.

Justin Black reviewed the adjustments made to the draft assessment roll and the associated estimated assessment levels. Black said that Resolution 2021-13 is to call for a public hearing which will allow citizens to hear more about the project and specifically what is involved with their proposed assessments. The public hearing will be held March 15 during the Council’s regular meeting.

Motion by Kalahar, second by Ebbers: to approve Resolution 2021-13, Receiving Report and Calling Hearing on Improvement. Motion passed unanimously.

Black reported that the next step in the process is to start a final design and due to compressed timelines, he would like the Council to approve the authorization of the final design.

Motion by Padrnos, second by Ebbers: to acknowledge the receipt of the Scope of Services Letter and to approve authorization of final design. Motion passed unanimously.

City Department Virtual Tour: Public Works and Parks Departments

The Public Works / Parks Departments provided a virtual tour of the department’s facilities and major equipment. The Council expressed their appreciation for the time the Public Works Director and his staff put into providing them with an overview of those two departments.

Lexipol Policy Services Proposal for the Olivia Fire Department

Coughlin said this is part two of the Lexipol Policy discussion. Coughlin said that leaders from the OFD met to discuss the potential of using the Lexipol Policy Services. Coughlin said that currently the OFD has a two-page document that they use for their policy manual which has gotten them by, but the fire department leadership acknowledges that their limited policy documentation is wholly inadequate in terms of providing liability protection as well as understanding the current requirements placed on public safety organizations. Coughlin said that the OFD leadership is recommending moving forward with the Lexipol Policy Services.

Padrnos asked if it’s worth the money to use this service if we’ve been using a 2-page document. Coughlin said that nationally fire departments have been pulled into more assists with civil unrests around the country which has in turn thrust departments into sensitive situations without ever even having conceived of needing policies for such moments. Coughlin said that having our policies up to date will help protect us in many ways. Coughlin also said that this will allow continuity between departments as well as taking much of what is now being taught to members by oral tradition and fix it in a written format.

Padrnos said that he sees the benefit in using this system for a year, however he doesn’t know about the annual cost to keep updating. Coughlin said that this is a continuous learning tool for new members and seasoned members both in terms of having all policies at the fingertips of members but also due to Lexipol’s commitment to send out “mini training lessons” many times each month which helps keep key policy elements fresh in the minds of our public safety volunteers.

Ferguson said she is glad that we are doing this. Ferguson said that with things continuously changing she thinks it’s good to protect ourself from a civil lawsuit standpoint. Ferguson said she thinks the training and videos through Lexipol will help keep firefighters up to date and she thinks it’s a good opportunity for the department to have these tools available.

Hawkinson said it’s not just on the legal side of things, it also lifesaving procedures.

Ebbers said that we need to remember this is a volunteer department and they don’t have the time to keep up to date with policies. Ebbers believes this will allow the department to spend more time on training and less worrying about updating policies when few, if any, of the leadership have the time or the expertise to undertake such a task on an ongoing basis.

Motion by Ebbers, second by Kalahar: to approve the Lexipol Policy Services Proposal for the Olivia Fire Department. Motion passed unanimously.

Airport AD Building HVAC Replacement Bids

Airport Manager Sigurdson got two quotes to replace the HVAC in the Airport AD Building. Coughlin said that one is from Northing Plumbing and one is from Chappell Central.

Coughlin reviewed details of each quote and stated that in most cases the units quoted were “apples to apples” in terms of specifications and quality. Coughlin said that Chappell Central came in around $200 less than Northern and also noted that while the Chappell quote stated it included the necessary electrical work, Northern’s quote specifically said it did not include electrical work which would mean additional costs above and beyond the price mentioned.

Coughlin also highlighted the fact that the Northern quote included a 12-year parts and labor warranty while the Chappell quote listed a 5-year labor, 10-year parts warranty. He said that beyond the different approaches to electrical hookup inclusion, the warranty differences were the single greatest difference between the two proposals.

Ebbers asked the current status of the Airport’s HVAC system. Coughlin said it’s still working, but the airport manager has indicated that the unit(s) are old and showing signs of pending failure.

Kalahar and Ebbers recommend going with Northern as it is a local company and because the much longer warranty was of significant value in their eyes.

Padrnos and Ferguson said they would like to see what the electrical work will cost before moving forward as they don’t want to see a higher cost at the end due to the electrical installation.

Motion by Padrnos, second by Ebbers: to accept the HVAC Replacement Bid from Northern Plumbing and Heating quote contingent on the estimate for added electrical work being 10% or less of the base HVAC quote. Motion passed unanimously.

Scheduling of Council Work Session

Coughlin said that there are a few items that may need brainstorming and having a work session will allow the Council to discuss specific items at length prior to having to take any official action on such things.

The Council jointly agreed that it would be good to schedule a work session meeting ahead of their second meeting in March.

Public Forum

No one from the public came forward during the public forum.

COVID-19 Update – Brian Stenholm / City Staff

Stenholm reported that as far as the City goes, everything is status quo. Stenholm said there was a little uptick in cases this past week. Stenholm said as of today, 2/16, Renville County has 912 completed vaccine series and 2309 who have the first vaccination.

Park Board – February 2

Hawkinson said discussions were held on park signage, ice rinks, baseball dugouts and basketball courts.

Planning Commission – February 8

Hawkinson said his biggest takeaway from the meeting was the considerable forward momentum on Meadowcrest manufactured home park getting its license reestablished and past fines paid off. The park’s new emergency storm shelters are slated to be installed this spring.

EDA – February 10

Hawkinson said that proposed finance seminar where EDA would partner with Chamber and local lenders to offer a workshop for people who are looking at investing or starting a business.

Parks and Trails Report

Coughlin said that he and SEH are having conversations with MnDOT on their ongoing planning and designs related to ADA crossings and new sidewalk segments. Coughlin also reported that there may need to be a temporary easement requested by MnDOT along Kubesh park and Pond Park to help facilitate the construction of those pedestrian elements.

Other Reports

Coughlin said he received an inquiry on the status of the ice rink and how it hadn’t been around for a couple of years. Coughlin said he explained to them the weather conditions the past two years have been a particular challenge with warmer than normal early winters which has making ice for the rink very difficult to get established. He said that up until the end of January we were having the occasional day with temps in the upper 30’s so making ice simply wasn’t an option for us. Now that we are in the latter half of February, the sun’s rays are getting stronger so even on days where the temps do not approach freezing sunlight can still soften and mess with outdoor ice. That is why most outdoor rinks do not operate much past the first part of March in this part of the world. Kalahar said that pond park is a resource that we are not using and that ice, with a little bit of help, would certainly be available for use most years. Ferguson said that the Park Board mentioned that area ice rinks run due to a group of dedicated volunteers so there needs to be a local individual or group to help take ownership of these efforts in order for use of Pond Park to be a success.

Closed Session – Annual Employment Review of City Administrator Dan Coughlin (closed under the authority of MN Statute 13D.05 Subd. 3 (a))

Mayor Hawkinson closed the regular meeting at 8:37 P.M.

Mayor Hawkinson reopened the regular meeting at 9:15 P.M.

The Council had decided that in all categories Dan will be graded with the exceeds expectations mark and they will be moving forward with a scheduled step increase.


Motion by Padrnos, second by Ferguson: to adjourn the meeting 9:17 P.M. Motion passed unanimously.

Brush pickup will begin in April every last Friday of the month til October please pile on curb or near an adjacent alley.
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