ST MARY’S POINT CITY COUNCIL
ST. MARY’S POINT, MINNESOTA
WASHINGTON COUNTY, MINNESOTA
June 7, 2016
Call to Order G. Williams, T. Williams, J.
Freesmeier , N.Anderson , (Mayor Roettger absent)
Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Others Present: Alexis Rupp, Darlene Pahl, Natalie Warren,
Mr. & Mrs. Stan Hubbard, Brett Laughlin, Denise & Doug
Gall, Tim Wilson
MOTION WAS MADE BY COUNCILMEMBER ANDERSON AND SECONDED BY
COUNCILMEMBER T. WILLIAMS TO APPROVE THE AGENDA
ROLL CALL/ 4 AYES-1 ABSENT
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Alexis Rupp of 16322 25th Street
spoke to the abandoned house and garage on 24 Street, across the
street, south of City Hall. Councilmember G. Williams noted
the structure is boarded up and very overgrown. Darlene Pahl
spoke to concerns of feral cats and raccoons. City Attorney
noted another letter can be sent to property owner requesting the
structure be raised. The City could go through the process
of cleaning it up and assess cost to the property owner. It
has been vacant for 11 years. Discussion for City Clerk or City
Attorney to mail letter to be cleaned up and the City will push to
take action to make it habitable or sold (also, there are 2
pieces of property across the street same owner). It was
determined that the City Attorney would send a letter and request
property owner to come to a meeting.
ST CROIX RIVER ASSOCIATION Natalie Warren representative,
spoke to awareness of and importance of regulations regarding
caring for the St. Croix River. Their goal is, through
education and information provided to realtors, and land owners to
formalize the River way regulations and building restrictions. She
proposed a training course on river way and floodplain regulations
creating property alerts to realtors who have property listed
along the St. Croix River. The internet lacks River way
Boundary maps and she is to work with Washington County to get
this on the website. Also proposed outreach through
newsletters and builders and architects as well as local city
officials. They are presently working with Lakeland with a
check list and pre-application meetings. They have also
provided a literature about the Lower St Croix River Way in
a hand out and meant to be a resource to the city so please
contact her (Natalie) if needed. Stan Hubbard stated he
would be happy if SCRA sticks to what Ms. Warren says it will be a
great opportunity. She noted there is a meeting with the
local planning administrators on June 20th. Planner Gozola
inquired if his attendances was desired, not if cost only born by
SHERIFF REPORT: There were 11 calls and 1
CRS given by acting Mayor G. Williams
VARIANCE Application – Laughlin 16634 22nd Ave So. (Planner
B. Gozola) Brett Laughlin applied and asked to build a 1440
square foot building and needs a variance of 440 feet. A
Survey and a site plan will need to be submitted if variance is
approved. Planner Gozola spoke to community standards of order
fair and consistent growth. He notes he does not see it
meets these criteria. Comp Plan does provide for
flexibility. This is the 3rd set of criteria for
approval - but uniqueness was not met for character of area
unknown at this time. The Planning Committee recommended
denial 2 to 1. Councilmember Anderson asks if variance for
size granted could other concerns present later.
Councilmember Freesmeier spoke, he is inclined not to grant and it
has no unique criteria. City Attorney spoke to need of
unique property characteristic - however it does not exist.
Councilmember T. Williams spoke to 1000 square feet garage and
then exterior storage exists. If home owners then remove all
trees the exterior storage will be seen. City Attorney noted
if variance is granted conditions can be placed. However,
this application is problematic in that practical difficulty is
not met. It may be that local code could be changed to
adjust for size of accessory structure based on size of the lot.
Councilmember G. Williams noted that a past application for a
garage for collector cars was denied. Councilmember T.
Williams spoke of setbacks met then should be allowed to build.
Councilmember Freesmeier notes that the code should not be changed
because several people are not requesting this.
Councilmember T. Williams and Councilmember Anderson prefer larger
building on large lot should be allowed to store items rather than
Applicant Laughlin believes property is unique because other side
of the lot is on City Property. He notes he will go to 1000
and use a tented structure for storage. It is a much wooded
lot and building would be obscured for most of the year. He
feels the Planning Committed did not totally understand the
uniqueness (re: the city owned the property on the East
side). He also noted in respond to Councilmember Freesmeier
inquiry about exterior storage that he may have to use tarps or
Mr. And Mrs. Doug Gall neighboring residents, reiterated same
concerns as presented at the public hearing - for the
variance by 40% of what is allowed and feels uniqueness is not
appropriate because the City owned the lot. They also
remarked about a nearby trash house yet other nice houses are
around it. She believes the exterior storage would violate
existing ordinances and notes the city doesn’t enforce the
property rights of the Galls should the variance be granted.
Feels the city may not enforce conditions if approved.
Regarding the Planning Commission – she presented they didn’t feel
it was a fair hearing because only 3 members were at the meeting
and they were late also.
Councilmember T. Williams noted if she didn’t feel the meeting was
good she should offer to be on the Planning Committee. She
noted it is civic duty of those appointed and should take it
serious to show up.
Councilmember Freesmeier notes that Mrs. Gall presented a
respectful conversation. Councilmember G. Williams inclined
to go along with the Planning Committee recombination specially
since prior variance denied and another variance granted but new
owners didn’t follow the conditions set.
MOTION WAS MADE BY COUNCILMEMBER FREESMEIER AND SECONDED BY
COUNCILMEMBER ANDERSON TO DENY A VARIANCE APPLIED BY BRETT
LAUGHLIN DUE TO NO UNIQUENESS AND ABSENT THIS, IT IS COUNTER TO
CODE OF ORDINANCE. ROLL CALL/3 AYES-1 NAY,
Councilmember G. Williams noted if the City had design standards
in that the garage would match the house it might alleviate some
FIRE DEPARTMENT Tom Wilson, Vice Chair Fire District Board
and Chairman of the Finance Committee presented the 2017
Budget. One increase was the medical expense for new members
psychological evaluations, increase cost of building
insurance, increase cost of training for Fire Dept.
members. The overall increase in the Tax Levy city’s
allocation is at 4.5%. It was noted that Tax levy full
allocation is $96,000 and has a debt service decrease due to
refinancing on the building.
The Budget will also fund a full-time person out of the budget and
also convert to paid-on-call through paid hourly instead of per
call. 75% of our runs are EMS runs and have less time per
call. This sector will be rolled out to hourly in the last
course of roll over.
Councilmember G. Williams noted that the budget was done very
well, however he spoke against the 4.59% increase. Budgeted
separate between debt service and operating budget net result is
$3,063 change. He noted that he felt it is a better way to
budget (separately) as not all cities do it this way.
Councilmember Freesmeier complimented the all Departments
personnel for their service and pride and also noted that Chief
Peterson will be retiring in 2017.
MOORING & WAITING Permit 2016 Approval Clerk
Reiter explained the situation of one opening. City Council
recommends offering to the next person on the list and allowing 2
weeks to accept and pay. If no response with payment,
the offer goes to the next person
CITY STREET PROJECT: Councilmember G. Williams gave
information from Engineer Parotti : Met Council grant not
appropriate for City’s need of elevating road above flood
elevation. He spoke to the age and service of Iroquois and
the only access in high water times. Mr. Stan Hubbard spoke
to old roadway that did allow access but it no longer
exists. He suggested get an easement from the neighbors to
use during floods. St. Mary’s Drive needs elevation however
Met Council Grant is not appropriate, as this grant was targeted
for development. It was noted that Fire Trucks will not go
through high water and thus Emergency vehicles have to go around
to other roads. City Enginerr Parotti noted the city has
received from ITT, Inc. Soil Boring invoice and was presented for
payment approval. Council is still going to still search for
grant money to raise the road.
LAWSUIT –HOLMER vs CITY OF SMP SETTLEMENT (City Attorney
Sandstrom) Attorney Sandstrom summarized the closed
session that then went to open session; which was presented
in May 18, 2016 Special Meeting minutes. No further approval need
MOTION WAS MADE BY COUNCILMEMBER ANDERSON AND SECONDED BY
COUNCILMEMBER T. WILLIAMS TO APPROVE MEETING MINUTES OF THE
SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING OF HOLMER LAW SUITE SETTLEMENT OF $4,800
ON MAY 18, 2016. ROLL CALL/ 4
CITY TREASURER REPORT: Treasurer Niedzwiecki reviewed the
financials YTD noting significant expenses; $3,679 to Sambatek for
2 months service and $4,870 to street patching. In an
YTD comparison Legal and Planner exceed yearly budget of $14,200
by $17,000 but the Holmer settlement will reduce some. After
MIDS ordinance is complete some grant dollars will be received but
not enough to cover all costs. He noted interim
invoices were sent to Popovich/Fernandez and also will send
invoices to Holmer and Laughlin. Claims to be approved for
payment total $15,088.22
MOTION WAS MADE BY COUNCILMEMBER ANDERSON AND SECONDED BY
COUNCILMEMBER FREESMEIER TO APPROVE CLAIMS AS PRESENTED, CHECK
#5473 TO #5487 AND ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS #6001 TO #6012 IN AMOUNT OF
$ 15,088.22. ROLL CALL/4 AYES, 1 ABSENT
City Engineer: Not in attendance.
Building Inspector: 6 active permits
City Attorney: Nothing more
City Clerk: Ragnar Run, June 11 is clean up from 8-11 and June 28
is Election training and WA County Public Health has provided many
brochures and will be at Clean Up Day.
Fire District (G. Williams)
Planning commission (T. Williams) has been covered earlier
LSCV Alliance (G. Williams) No more Alliance meetings.
Cable Commission: (T. Williams) It was approved that the PEG
channels to remain at an increased fee ($4800 per year for 5
cities). Motion was presented to extend until the end of the year;
it was debatable that they will keep the 4 channels after that.
Middle St. Croix WMO (N. Anderson) Presented 2
projects ongoing in Lakeland Shores and large project in
LSCB. Continue to work with bridge issues of
pollution. Other areas show phosphors reduction.
Mayor and Council Reports:
Mayor Roettger - absent
Gary Williams: River level is 677.61. The ADA
front door will be installed next week.
Nancy Anderson: City clean-up Saturday
6/11/2016 will be from 8 to noon with the first load free and $20
for next load.
Treasurer spoke the budget review for 2017 will be the July
Joe Freesmeier: Nothing Further
Tim Williams Inquiry about hiring a person; he has found a lady to
do City Hall lot and rain gardens. Ok to hire her at $10
hour. Also noted there are dollars to replace plants in the
rain gardens. Ms. Wood is to be hired an as employee.
MOTION WAS MADE BY COUNCILMEMBER T. WILLIAMS AND SECONDED BY
COUNCILMEMBER ANDERSON TO HIRE TARA WOOD TO MAINTAIN FLOWERS IN
THE RAIN GARDENS AND YARD AT CITY HALL AT $10 HOUR PART TIME
SEASONAL. ROLL CALL/4 AYES 1
Asked about notice at Fire Department to put notice of clean-up
from official (city clerk) for a approved notice as to get info on
their sign. Clerk did not hear back from them.
Suggested go thru Chief Stanley at his printing company email.
Mayor Roettger: G. Williams noted that the mayor has person
to cut grass at city hall.
Clerk Reiter: City Complaint process inquiry.
Councilmember G. Williams said he would review the photos taken
then go to look at the problem.
ADJOURNMENT at 8:47
Attested to by:
Gary Williams, Acting Mayor
Cindie J Reiter, City Clerk