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Public Notices April 12

Winthrop City Council
Meeting Minutes
Monday, January 23, 2023
A Regular Meeting of the City Council of the City of Winthrop was called to order at 7 p.m. on January 23rd, in the city council chambers of the City Hall, for the purpose of conducting city business.
Councilors Present: Mayor Edwards; Councilors Schmidt, Trebelhorn, O’Connor, Wickenhauser.
Councilors Absent: Machaiek
Staff: City Administrator Michael Looft, City Clerk Heather Haun, City Attorney Aaron Walton, Public Works Supervisor Troy Martin,
None to speak at open forum.
Establish Current Agenda – nothing was added to the current agenda. Motion made by Trebelhorn, seconded by Schmidt. Motion carried.
4.1 Approval of Minutes: January 6, 2023 – Enclosed
4.2 Claims for the month of Jan 6- January 18, 2023 – Enclosed. Motion made by Wickenhauser, seconded by O’Conner. Motion carried.
5.1 Resolution 2023-003: Past Due Utility Assessments for 2022
Looft explained a mistake was made on the original resolution for 2022. The County Auditors office is asking that we present a new resolution from past due utilities. Corrections to individual taxes have already been processed. Motion made by Schmidt, seconded by Trebelhorn. Motion carried.
5.2 Resolution 2023-004: Resolution for Purchasing Walton Law Office (A) The purchase agreement is for $165,000.00. Attorney Walton recused himself due to owning the building in question. Looft explained the different options for the non-conforming Ambulance building and the urgency behind it due to safety concerns. In researching the options, it was discovered that the Ambulance building used to be in what is now the Police Department. They are unable to co-exist due to security reasons with evidence. The Walton building is for sale. If purchased the Police Department would move there, and the Ambulance would move to City Hall, as well as the current ambulance barn would be sold. There is potential that DFA may want to purchase it for the land.
Trebelhorn asked about storage for the squads as there is no garage at the Walton building. Looft explained that we have almost 24-hour coverage at this point and the squads are on the road most of the time, if worst comes to worst there is a garage at City Hall that could be utilized for storing a squad. Schmidt doesn’t care for the squads to be sitting out in the elements. Discussed parking for people after the construction of the garages. Anderson explained the basement area would be turned into a training area with the use of the donated wrestling mats by the Lions Club. Schmidt is wondering about all the money that has been spent in the past on the police upgrades if those things are transferable to the new building. Looft explained that the evidence lockers would be moved over, the computers would be moved. Trebelhorn feels it has good long-term potential for the police department. Schmidt asked about the snow plowing and doesn’t feel the location is the greatest due to accessibility. Public Works Director Martin explained it would be one of the first that is plowed due to it being emergency services.
Motion made by O’Conner, seconded by Trebelhorn. Schmidt talked about the 165,000 and questioned the tax value. Councilor Schmidt voted nay. Trebelhorn, O’Connor and Wickenhauser voted aye. Motion carried 3 to 1.
5.3 Recommended changes to City Code: Chapter 701.07 Winter Parking Regulations. Open discussion over the current snow policy. Recommendation from citizens to use a texting or email system. Many frustrations over the 12+ hour rule from citizen concerns.
Looft explained that we have had several complaints over this, some citizens feel we are not ticketing enough, and others feel we are ticketing too much. Looft has been doing research from other city’s policies. The council agrees that something needs to change so citizens have a better awareness. Discussed different parking areas around the city for the citizens. Looft advised there was a text/email program put into place recently and we will be utilizing this tool to help bring awareness for snow emergencies as well.
No action taken, will revisit when policy is updated.
5.4 Winthrop Police Department Policy Update. The Police Committee, in conjunction with the Police Chief, have recommended the policy for worn body cameras. This is the first consideration of this policy. A second reading at a public meeting is needed before being adopted. Anderson explained and advised there needs to be two readings on the policy. Would like the council to review and ask questions or discuss any changes they would like to see. Added a paragraph regarding a muting of the cameras during certain times. Walton suggested labeling. Looft requested to discuss the ability to release any videos. Anderson explained there will be no releasing of videos for an active investigation unless allowed by the attorney. This is the first reading of the policy.
No action taken, there will be a second reading of the policy at the next meeting.
5.5 Consolidation of Bank Accounts. In preparation for our software migration, it was recommended that we close additional banking accounts that are 1) no longer needed and 2) redundant. The City Clerk is asking for permission to close necessary accounts over the next 3 months to prepare for migration to the new financial system. Looft explained that in the past the bonds had their own checking accounts.
Motion made by Trebelhorn, seconded by O’Connor. Motion carried.
5.6 Appointment to the Winthrop Economic Development Authority. At the last Winthrop Economic Development Authority there were three individuals recommended to be appointed to the EDA. Dave Trebelhorn, Doug Hanson, and Leighton Messner. The WEDA also recommends for chairman Dave Trebelhorn.
Motion made by Wickenhauser, seconded by Trebelhorn. Motion carried.
5.7 Annual Appointment of City Councilors to Boards and Commissions. During the annual meeting a few items were left off the annual appointments, this is to clarify roles for city council members. Motion made by Schmidt, seconded by Wickenhauser. Motion carried.

Administrator Looft – EDA has given out $3000 for tech grants, and currently have two more applications. EDA is looking to sell the Bauer building and will be having a public hearing on it. Looking to assist in the sale with a $30,000 grant, after receipts are collected on the work preformed, this is a reimbursement grant. In addition, a $45,000 loan would be granted to the business and a lien placed on the building. FEMA grant is being placed for Fire Department, Thursday meeting with the Southwest MN Department for home rehab, this will give individuals money to fix home if they live in Winthrop for 10 years. Winthrop Opportunities had their annual meeting. There is business expansion coming, there are problems for recruitment and hiring. The new server is underway. We are working on new logos and letterhead. The text/email system is $167 per year for the system. The library is currently at full staff. Solar installs are going slow, we are working on getting meters programmed. Star Energy is handling all applications.
Police Chief – Anderson, advised we went back down in traffic stops due to less TZD hours, goals of the next year are high. One of the officers is at DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) school currently. Edwards talked about the KNUJ interviews at Hahns from this morning.
RS Fiber – subscriptions are up, they are installing some new over the air terminals in the townships.
Park Committee – There were core samples a couple of weeks ago, we are waiting for construction documents. Hoping to have the pavilion up by June.
Mayor reminded the council that the councilors can call their own meetings and it doesn’t have to be the administrator or the mayor that calls them. Still need to notify the administrator for posting purposes.
In March there will be a strategic planning meeting.
Feb 6th advanced water systems at 10 am. Feb 27th please come early that day for photos at 6:30.
Motioned to adjourn the meeting at 8:17 by Wickenhauser, seconded by Trebelhorn. Motion to adjourn carried.
Michael Looft, Administrator

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