The St. Michael City Council approved a Cooperative Service Agreement for Albertville to continue contracting with St. Michael for building inspection services.
The council also heard about a potential solar panel project, heard an update about the water tower logo, and approved a river erosion control project.
Staff provided the council with an agreement for building inspection services between St. Michael and Albertville.
City administrator Steve Bot reviewed the specifics, including the equation used for funding the service, which would be updated annually to include current budget and population amounts.
City attorney Dave Lenhardt reviewed the agreement and recommended some minor revisions regarding insurance and liability.
Staff noted that Albertville’s amount for St. Michael inspection is $90,000, which is less than its budgeted amount with a building official on staff. And any future additional staff needed could be plugged into the formula to make it fair for both cities, the council was told.
After additional discussion, Mayor Jerry Zachman and councilors Joe Marx, Nadine Schoen and Chris Schumm approved the agreement with Albertville, contingent on the city attorney’s review and revisions.
In other news, community development director Marc Weigle said there is a new program that would allow solar panels to be installed on all city buildings with very minimal up front costs.
A third party would invest in the panels and pay for the initial install. After six years, the city would purchase the system for $2,500 and be responsible for all repairs/maintenance.
The council discussed the program and was hesitant to move forward. The concern was that the amount that would be saved in energy costs would likely need to be put aside in a separate fund for repairs, which might not make it worth the time and energy to have them installed.
Staff said it would check into how much the cost savings would be, and report back at a future council meeting.
In further matters, the council revisited the water tower painting issue that came up at the last meeting.
Mayor Zachman and councilor Marx said there was a special meeting of the Joint Powers Water Board (St. Michael, Albertville and Hanover) where it was decided to paint the tower a solid color like it is presently, with no logo on it.
It was noted that not painting a logo would save approximately $15,000 from the original bid amount for the project.
In more news, the council conducted the public hearing for the Crow River Erosion Project.
Administrator Bot said 10 properties are proposed for assessment at $1,500 per property, but that staff recommends holding off on the assessment hearing until after the project is bid. He said if bids are favorable, some of the cost saving would be passed onto the properties and the assessment could be reduced.
Also, if the council adopts the resolution ordering the project, the assessments would become pending until the assessment hearing.
Resident Fran Dehmer of 36th Circle said he thinks the erosion was caused when the DNR removed dams in the 1960s, and recommends a rock wall rather than trees. Bot said there is no guarantee for the project, but that the DNR would inspect it annually to make sure there is no new erosion.
Bot also said public works would keep a close eye on the project.
The council ended up adopting the resolution ordering the project