On April 26, 2021, the Caledonia City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting from 6 p.m. to 8:01 p.m. in the City Auditorium. City council members in attendance included, Mayor DeWayne “Tank” Schroeder, Amanda Ninneman, David Fitzpatrick, Brad Rykhus, and Robert “Bob” Klug.
Brad Rykhus made a motion, seconded by David Fitzpatrick and carried by the council, to approve the following five items on the consent agenda: 1) Minutes from April 12, 2021, regular city council meeting, 2) Payment Application No. 4 from Ricchio, Inc. of $71,060 for work performed on the Caledonia Pool Gutter Replacement Project, 3) Change Order Proposal No. 1 from Ricchio, Inc. to add four pool wall inlets for the total cost of $2,292 as part of the Caledonia Pool Gutter Replacement Project, 4) Request from Sleepy Hollow Auto to close N. Kingston St. (between Main St. and Lincoln St.) and the East half of W. Lincoln St. (between the Sleepy Hollow garage and N. Kingston St.) on Friday, June 4, 2021, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the grand opening event, 5) Request from Sleepy Hollow Auto for a temporary variance to noise/nuisance ordinance to host a grand opening event on Friday, June 4, 2021, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 113 S. Kingston St.
Stephanie Mann, Finance Officer, reviewed the financial statements with the commissioners. In summary, Mann stated that the cash and investments report was “a little red but mostly black.” She noted that there were “no changes on the debt schedule.” Continuing, she stated that nothing jumped out at her when she reviewed the 2021 budget versus actual for General Fund, special revenue funds, and enterprise funds. She finished her review; “The first quarter looks pretty good.”
Public Works/Zoning Director Casey Klug explained that the pool gutter project is moving forward “slow but surely.” The contractor is short on help and did not do the work he expected to do in January and February because of the weather. The City might not be able to open the pool until July. Adam Swann, the City Clerk/Administrator, explained that the City is reviewing the contract regarding the penalty for not completing the work as scheduled. The fine is $400 per day based on the $26,000 revenue generated by the pool over 10 weeks. Klug emphasized that the pool shelter will be open for the summer because the City has already been accepting reservations. The contractors will need to move their stuff/equipment so it can open on June 1.
The county held the annual Local Board of Appeal & Equalization meeting at 6 p.m. in the Caledonia City Auditorium. First, Cindy Cresswell-Hatleli, with the Houston County Assessor’s office, reviewed the process and explained how the city and county property taxes are determined. Joe Olson from the Assessor’s office discussed the appeals received and his conversation with the property owners. Four appeals were presented to the council. Councilmembers have three options, to raise, to lower, or to make no change, which is forwarded to the county. Of the four appeals, the councilmembers recommend no change on all four of them. Cresswell-Hatleli updated the commissioners on the letter that was sent out during the first week of April to property owners with new construction. There was a computer glitch. The new construction value did not transfer from the computer system used by the Assessor’s office to the computer system used to prepare the tax statement. The State advised the Assessor’s office to let property owners know immediately because the first Local Board of Appeal & Equalization meeting was scheduled on April 15. A second letter is going out on the first of this week to property owners with the new construction value listed.
The council discussed Henrietta Foltz’s, owner, request to install a septic system at 820 State Highway 44/76 South due to the lack of access to public sewer. Dave Utke, representing Henrietta Foltz, attended the meeting. Councilmembers motioned to allow Foltz to install a septic system if she cannot get the current system working. The motion was unanimously approved.
Council members approved Resolution 2021-08, authorizing the City of Caledonia to apply for the $7,000,000 special appropriation from the State of Minnesota for the New Wastewater Treatment Facility and to Execute the Grant Agreement with the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority.
The City received a permit application from Katie O’Regan, Sacred Noise Society, to erect an electronic sign at 111 E. Main Street. In answer to the commissioners’ questions, Klug stated that the sign would be flush on the building located 55 feet from the stoplight on Main Street. It is felt that the sign will be a distraction to drivers. The council tabled the request and asked Klug to meet with O’Regan to review Minnesota statutes and local ordinances.
No action is needed at this time on the proposed revisions to the intergovernmental agreement between the City of Caledonia and Caledonia Township regarding the improvement of Green Acres Dr. The township’s lawyer has not reviewed the contract, plus they do not want the engineering and traffic control costs included in the agreement, nor anything relating to seal coating the road in 2022.
The city’s spring cleanup started Monday, April 26, ending on Friday, April 30.
The next city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 10, 2021, at 6 p.m. in the Caledonia City Auditorium. There will be a public hearing regarding the future of Sprague Woods during the city council meeting on May 10, 2021, scheduled for 6 p.m.