REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Monday, November 1, 2021
CALL TO ORDER AND DETERMINATION OF A QUORUM
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. and was conducted remotely via Zoom (per MN Statute 13D.021).
Council Members Present: Jon Hawkinson, Tom Kalahar, Blanca Ferguson, Landon Padrnos and George Ebbers.
Others present via Zoom: Dan Coughlin, City Administrator; Trenton Dammann, Assistant City Attorney; Amber Dale, Utilities Coordinator/Accounts Manager; Scott Tedrick, Editor, Renville County Register; Karen Serbus, resident; Todd Howard, resident; Linda Rham, resident; Kelsie Kingstrom, resident; Jim Flann, resident; Alex, resident; AJ, resident; several anonymous / unidentified participants; and Nikki Pregler, Deputy Clerk.
Motion by Kalahar, second by Ebbers: to approve the agenda as presented. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
Motion by Ebbers, second by Ferguson: to approve the presented Consent Agenda items:
- Regular Meeting Minutes of October 18, 2021
- ACTS Cleaning Services Agreement
- Approve Lexipol Police Policies 313, 315, 316, 319, 322, 323, 325, 326, 327, 330, 334, 336, 337, 338, 339, 341, 342 (First Reading 10/18/2021)
- Resolution 2021-92, Authorization for Expedited OPD Hiring Process if Vacancy Occurs
- November Payables #1 and October Check Register
Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
Police Patrol Sergeant Position Update
Mayor Hawkinson recounted the staffing updates of the last few weeks. After recently talking with the Personnel Committee, Police Chief, Administration and applicants; it has been determined that the Patrol Sergeant position search is being cancelled until staffing levels stabilize. The mayor said that now does not seem to be the right time to fill this position. Once staffing stabilizes the Council may consider reposting the position at that time. More detailed information cannot be discussed publicly as it involves Police staffing, scheduling and public safety planning.
Motion by Kalahar, second by Padrnos: to cancel the Patrol Sergeant position search at the present time. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
- Resolution 2021-93, Authorization to Execute Airport Maintenance and Operation Grant Contract
Coughlin shared that the airport is a non-federal, regional airport which allows for limited but specific grant opportunities. Two pools of monies available to our airport are operations and maintenance and projects and safety grant opportunities. MNDOT requires a resolution allowing Coughlin and Mayor Hawkinson to sign the presented grant. This grant will cover 95% of the costs incurred by points 1, 2, 3, and 4. The remaining 5% is already incorporated into the budget.
Motion by Ferguson, second by Padrnos: to approve Resolution 2021-93, Authorization to Execute Airport Maintenance and Operation Grant Contract. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
- Award of Airport Lighting & Safety Improvement Project Bid to Neo Electrical Solutions, LLC of Hudson, WI
Coughlin stated that he and Airport Commissioner Al Johnson have been working on lighting improvements at the airport for the past several years, to bring the lighting above and beyond the minimum safety requirements. He shared that the low bid from Neo Electric Solutions was nearly $60,000 under the engineer’s estimate. SEH Engineering staff confirmed that Neo Electric have a good reputation in the industry and have been doing a lot of this kind of work lately.
Motion by Ebbers, second by Kalahar: to award the bid to Neo Electric Solutions, LLC for the Airport Lighting and Safety Improvement Project. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
- Supplemental Engineering Agreement with SEH Engineering for the Airport Lighting & Safety Improvement Project
Motion by Kalahar, second by Padrnos: to approve the Supplemental Engineering Agreement with SEH Engineering for the Airport Lighting & Safety Improvement Project. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
- Resolution 2021-94, Approval of Agreement for Commissioning Flight Inspection by the FAA of the PAPIs/REILs/MIRLs on Runways 11/29 at Olivia Regional Airport (KOLV)
Coughlin has been working with the FAA to get a price quote for the required inspection process after the lighting and safety upgrades have been made.
Mayor Hawkinson and Kalahar thanked and congratulated Coughlin and the staff for their efforts and achievements in continuing to secure grants for airport upgrades. Kalahar noted that he spent most of 40 years writing grants for various projects and that experience allowed him to understand the significance of Coughlin’s efforts to secure over 1.7 million in airport improvement funding over the past nine years.
Motion by Ebbers, second by Ferguson: to approve Resolution 2021-94, Approval of Agreement for Commissioning Flight Inspection by the FAA of the PAPIs/REILs/MIRLs on Runways 11/29 at Olivia Regional Airport (KOLV). Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
- Update on Additional Airport Grant Opportunities
Coughlin and Public Works have been working with MNDOT on grants to replace a tractor, mower and snow plow equipment at the airport yet this year. This very recent opportunity could total around $200,000.00 of grant money for this new equipment if awarded as hoped.
Accept Resignation of Jeff Prochniak and Authorize Hiring Process to Fill Vacancy
Jeff has been with the City of Olivia for a long time. He could fix anything and make anything work with good problem solving and creative solutions. He leaved big shoes to fill but we wish him well.
Padrnos noticed that there was no grade on the job description. He asked if it needed to be regraded. Coughlin shared that no significant changes have taken place with the requirements for this position so it would remain a Grade 6 position with no need for repointing the job.
Motion by Ferguson, second by Kalahar: to accept Jeff Prochniak’s resignation. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.
Schedule Council Work Session for November 15th with Barbara Marks
Barbara would like to meet with the Council to provide updates on the various building projects she has been assisting the City with. By unanimous consensus of the Council, a 5:30 p.m. discussion work session with Barbara Marks will take place ahead of the regular meeting set to start at 7 p.m. that evening.
Agenda Additions/New Business
Padrnos mentioned he had taken a look at some of the websites of neighboring cities to see how they post minutes and agendas from past meetings. Most, but not all, cities post their recent meeting minutes. Fewer communities post their agendas. He suggested that an update to our website should be made to provide access to meeting minutes online. Mayor Hawkinson asked if there were any legal hurdles to which Attorney Dammann said that approved minutes are typically the ones posted online. Padrnos said he would be agreeable to that plan. Some discussion took place regarding posting documents that are digitally locked.
Mayor Hawkinson requested that staff move forward with working on getting the website modified to post approved minutes. Coughlin stated that he would work with the current webmaster to begin work in the effort and to discuss ways to make sure document postings are ADA compliant.
Mayor Hawkinson opened the public forum at 7:37 p.m.
Todd Howard said he wanted to again address the digital sign at the school. He expressed his view that the board of appeals did not follow the given guidance in their approval of the sign variance on September 8, 2021. He shared his concerns regarding the light discipline in the neighborhood. He asked the Council to override the board of appeals decision. Howard expressed that he felt that himself and a few neighbors are not being heard in regards to this sign installation.
Kelsey Kingstrom asked about a statement allegedly made at a previous Board of Appeals meeting.
No one else asked to address the Council during the public forum. Mayor Hawkinson reopened the meeting at 7:49 p.m.
Community Education Committee – October 25
Coughlin shared that the recently rediscovered Community Ed Advisory Board bylaws state that an Olivia elected official should be on their committee. The Committee meets typically 2-4 times per year. They are looking to join with the area YMCA which may grow their outreach to the communities. Mayor Hawkinson said he would be very interested in serving on that committee.
EDA – October 27
Mayor Hawkinson mentioned that he didn’t have a lot to report, as much of the meeting was held as part of a closed session. Padernos noted that he was in attendance at the meeting as well.
MNDOT Road & ADA Project 90% Plan Review Meeting – October 28
Coughlin met with the engineers regarding the pedestrian crossing, flashing lights and the ordering of materials. He reiterated that MNDOT in this area is great to work with. The 90% plan review is done and the goal is to get things wrapped up with the hope of bidding the project in January/February.
BOLD Community Pool Report
Mayor Hawkinson shared the highlights of the report provided by Mrs. Johnson. Padrnos shared that there was no meeting recently, just the monthly report as provided.
Other Reports of Council / Staff
Coughlin shared that there was a positive COVID report at City Hall. At least one more person was reporting symptoms. Out of an abundance of caution, he recommended that City Hall should be closed to the public for the next 14 days as staff work remotely and sanitation protocols get underway at City Hall. While not ideal, all City Hall staff can work remotely, by way of provided remote access computers, IP phones and email. He asked for understanding and patience from the public as this unexpected situation has quickly unfolded. Utility bills can still be dropped in the drop box or paid over the phone. Signs and other avenues for public notification will be used to communicate this temporary operational change. Coughlin thanked Deputy Clerk Pregler for her help in identifying the guidance from the State Health Department regarding the safest approach to deal with this current situation.
Mayor Hawkinson addressed a comment made during public forum. Ms. Kingstrom asked about an alleged comment made at a board of appeals meeting in reference to PTSD. Mayor Hawkinson stated that he was at the meeting referenced and at no time during the meeting was PTSD discussed. He stressed the importance of using the correct context and accuracy of word choice when making public statements during the Council’s public forum time.
Motion by Ferguson, second by Kalahar: to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 p.m. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed unanimously.