Members Present:  Mayor Hallum, Council members O’Donnell, Ryman, Linder; Absent:  Council member Benson

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Hallum called the regular meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

Motion by Ryman seconded by O’Donnell to approve the agenda as presented.   Upon roll call all voted aye.

Motion by O’Donnell seconded by Linder to approve the October 9, 2018, regular council meeting minutes as presented. Upon roll call all voted aye.

The Mayor asked if there were any citizens wishing to be heard.  Mike Jeresek wished to address what he had heard about the DNR not funding operations at the Rushford Historic Depot as he feel the site is important to provide a good rest facility for trail users and visitors to the community.  He stated it was important to promote tourism in the area and to provide services.  Council member O’Donnell noted he had heard the DNR lacked funding to pay the rent for their space/restrooms as in the past or to provide supplies as they had in the past.  It was noted that DNR funding has fluctuated in the past depending on how different areas of the DNR receive their funding.  It was noted that just because the DNR does not pay rent, does not necessarily mean the room/restrooms would not be available.  Council members agreed with Jeresek on the importance of providing this facility and these services and thanked him for bring the matter to their attention.

The following notices and communications were provided for review:

• RP Valley Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting October 30th at 7:30 a.m. at Loken’s Inn; guest speaker Brett Clarke, executive direction of the John Maxwell Team

• SEMLM Leadership meeting morning of October 30th in Rochester

• Fall Regional League of MN Cities meeting afternoon of October 30th in Rochester – Administrator Chladek will be attending this meeting

• SE MN Together – regional meeting November 15th in Austin

• Coalition Greater MN Cities – review the 2018 Policy Positions on Transportation.  Administrator Chladek serves on this advisory committee and will be attending the 2018 CGMC Fall Conference where the 2019 Policy Positions will be determined

Motion by O’Donnell seconded by Linder to approve the consent agenda consisting of the following:

• Approval of Verified Claims and Fund Summary Report for period ending 10/22/18

• Approval of Police Department September activity report

• Approval of renewing Agreement for Professional Services with Essex Capital, LLC for membership in the Community Venture Network (CVN) as recommended by the EDA.  Council member Ryman noted the EDA feels the CVN network program has provided considerable information for area businesses and future involvement may result in even greater outcomes.

• Verification of the Resolution of 2018-059 and 2018-061 setting a Public Hearing for the 2019 Street & Utility Improvement Project for November 13, 2018 and setting a neighborhood meeting for November 1st; notifications were mailed to each affected property owner and published as per MS 429 Improvement Project statutory language

• Recap of the finances of the Rushford Root River jams music event held September 8, 2018.  With donations from area businesses and civic organizations, the net cost was $290.00.  It was noted the Lions Club popcorn sales of that evening allowed them to donate $100.00 to Grace Place and $100.0 to RCF as well.

Upon roll call all voted aye.

Eagle Scout Merrill Schroeder presented a report on his Eagle Scout Project of construction an ice rink warming house with remaining funding to be used for equipment and/or site amenities.   Schroeder provided a slide show of the construction project, the scouts involved and the Scout Masters involved in supervising.  He noted his project came in under budget and he presented a check for $860.06 with suggestions for using the funds for such items as used skates, a heater or lighting.  Clerk Zacher reported on behalf of Public Works Director Knutson that he was very pleased with the quality of work on the ice house; they have put it in place and have some thoughts regarding lighting and equipment as well.  The Mayor and Council thanked Schroeder for the time and effort he put into making this project a success.  Motion by O’Donnell seconded by Linder to approve Resolution 2018-063 Acknowledging the Donation from Merrill Schroeder Eagle Scout Project of an ice rink warming house and the donation of surplus funds for additional amenities.  Upon roll call all voted aye.  The Mayor then presented the Resolution to Schroeder.

Motion by Ryman seconded by O’Donnell to approve Resolution 2018-064 Acknowledging with Thanks donations from the following entities for two Kiosk signs depicting trails and businesses throughout the community, to be installed at the Rushford Historic Depot and the RP Niggle Athletic Field:  Rushford EDA $1,800.00; R-P Valley Chamber Lodging Tax $2,000.00; Rushford Community Foundation $3,000.00; Fillmore County State-Wide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Program $3,000.00.  It was also noted the City appreciated the efforts of Connaughty Sales, Wild Exhibit and Rushford Public Works for the creation and installation of the kiosks.  It was also noted that the R-P School as the same design for an inside display at the School, the City has installed one at the Airport A/D building and has used the same design for the four trail head maps within the City.  Upon roll call all voted aye.

Motion by O’Donnell seconded by Ryman to approve Resolution 2018-065 Acknowledging with Thanks a donation from Compeer Financial for $3,000.00 to the Rushford Fire Department for radio equipment for the “new” Rescue Rig #3.  Upon roll call all voted aye.

The Rushford Economic Development Authority (EDA) provided a recommendation to the council to amend the payment schedule for the EDA/Revolving Loan Fund for Jessie Street Java/Feller Properties.  The attached agenda statement provided details on the loan including the fact that forbearance cannot be extended for this loan; minimal monthly payments have been made since June 2017.  Following review of the financial conditions of the business, the fact that loans exceed collateral value, taking into account efforts by the business to reduce their other debt and reduce their operating expenses, the EDA recommends the approval of a $100.00 per month payment on the EDA/RLF loan; with quarterly financial reports to be provided to the EDA; with the understanding that no new debt should be taken on and an annual credit report is to be provided to the EDA. 

It was noted that interest would continue to accrue on the note, but forgoing a large payment allows them to take care of their bank loan first.  Council member Ryman, also on the EDA, reported on the discussions held by the EDA and the fact that they feel this is a viable business for the community and allowing them to continue to pay their bank loan puts the City in a better position later on.  Motion by Ryman seconded by O’Donnell to accept the recommendation of the EDA for the monthly loan payment and the listing of the information and follow-up reporting to be required of Jessie Street Java/Feller Properties.  Upon roll call all voted aye.

Reports and Miscellaneous:

• Openings on Commissions and Boards:  2 for EDA, 2 for Airport, 1 for Electric, 1 for Planning

• SMIF Annual meeting focused on rural economic ventures and they intend to do regional meetings in the future to have a better outreach to the communities they service.

• The Airport Commission will be meeting next week for the annual CIP plan review.

• Council member Ryman reported the Bluffland Triathlon, sponsored by R-P School Foundation went very well and she thanked all those involved in making it a success.

• Discussion was held on the Safe Routes to School grant opportunity coming up in a few weeks.  Given that the scope of the original application has changed significantly and the amount to be requested would be reduced; city engineers felt it might not be worth the effort to apply as it would probably not meet the federal guidelines.  It was noted we have spent considerable effort and funds applying the past three years for this grant with larger cities being awarded the funding.  It was decided not to apply for this grant at this time but to continue to look for other methods of improving the walkways and paths to enhance pedestrian safety.

Motion by O’Donnell seconded by Ryman that the meeting be adjourned at approximately 7:25 p.m.  Upon roll call all voted aye.

Submitted by: 

Kathy Zacher, City Clerk/Treas.