City of Hampton

5265 238th Street East • P.O. BOX 128 • Hampton, MN 55031 • United States of America • 651.437.8846

Hampton City Council Meetings Happen Every Second Tuesday of the Month.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Hampton City Council Regular Meeting Minutes for July 8th, 2014

The Hampton City Council met on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at the Hampton City Hall for the regular scheduled meeting.  Present were Mayor Skog; Council Members Jennifer Budrow, John Knetter, Ron Endres, and Amanda Jensrud.  Also present were Marlin Reinardy, Water and Sewer Superintendent; Chris Meyer, City Treasurer; Steve Hamilton, Planning Commissioner; Linda Holty, Deputy Clerk; Nick Meyers and Cory Bienfang with Bolton and Menk.  

Regular Meeting called to Order - Mayor Skog called the Regular Meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. 

Disclosure of Interest – Council Member Knetter stated that he had applied for the Water and Sewer Superintendent position and would recues himself from any decisions made regarding the subject.

Approval of June 10, 2014 Workshop and Regular Scheduled Meeting Minutes – Motion by Knetter seconded by Jensrud to approve the June 10, 2014 Workshop and Regular Meeting Minutes.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 5:0.

Approval of Disbursements – Motion by Knetter seconded by Budrow to approve the July disbursements.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 5:0.

Public Comment – None

Petitions, Requests, and Communications - Council agreed to meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13 before the regular scheduled meeting to review the budget.  The regular meeting was scheduled for Wednesday due to the Primary Election. 

Mayor Skog stated that the Township of Hampton had requested to use City Hall for a waste tire collection that Dakota County was funding and that the City would be able to participate as well.  Skog explained that the Township felt that City Hall would provide a central location for a roll-off and restrooms, if needed.  Motion by Knetter seconded by Jensrud to allow the Township use of the City Hall building for the tire collection.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 5:0.

Ordinances and Resolutions
Resolution 2014-05 - Appointing Election Judges - Motion by Knetter seconded by Endres Appointing the Election Judges for the Primary and General Elections of 2014.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 5:0.

Reports of Officers, Boards, and Committees
Engineer Report – Cory Bienfang with Bolton and Menk stated that he was working on a variance for the old municipal well and provided an update on the CDBG Grant.  Bienfang explained that the CDA was required to show cost reasonableness by going out for proposals on the GIS database and that the RFP was formulated using the proposal submitted by Bolton and Menk.  Cory stated that the deadline for all proposals was July 16, which at that time, Lisa Henning with the CDA would be working with Wendy Carpenter, City Clerk, to evaluate the proposals.  The evaluation process consisted of looking at the relationship and knowledge of the City of Hampton as well as cost, although as these are proposals, the best fit would not necessarily need to be the lowest quote.  Carpenter would also be working with the CDA as to who would be administering the contract.  Bienfang stated that the CIP Improvement update would be handled in the same manner.  Jensrud requested Carpenter forward a copy of the RFP to her and confirmed it was not a conflict of interest to request assistance from Bolton and Menk if there were to be any questions on the proposals received.  Cory stated that after the deadline, proposals were public record and that the information will be brought to the August meeting and that the Council could make a decision at that time.

Nick Meyers, GIS Specialist with Bolton and Menk gave a presentation on the GIS Database and explained the benefits to the City.  Meyers stated that the maps of structures would be entered into a GIS web application and that data is obtained from City, County, State, and Federal records.  Nick confirmed that there was no software to purchase or install as the internet and a web browser was all that was required and that the information would be updated as projects were completed with no monthly maintenance fee as long as Bolton and Menk was the City Engineer.  Knetter confirmed that hard copies of maps, etc. could be printed.  Meyers went over key functions of GIS including basic uses in areas such as utilities, market values, city tax information, land use, making labels required for public hearings, and creating PDF maps.  Skog confirmed that the City would have their own copy of the information in the GIS system in a PDF file. 

The Deputy Sheriff reminded residents to keep their doors locked as there had been some burglaries in the area and that they had been passing out flyers recommending everyone keep garage doors shut and car doors locked.  Steve Hamilton mentioned that the Roundup had a strange individual enter the bar and needed to be escorted out.  Jensrud commented that she had heard of a few young adults looking in the windows and hanging around the area of the Roundup after hours.

Water / Sewer Report - Marlin Reinardy, Water and Sewer Superintendent stated that he had begun treating the algae problem in cell #1 at the sewer ponds which was a four week process and that he would be trying a different product in cell #3.  Reinardy said that he did calibrate the lift station and it had gone well, but did need to clear two chunks of concrete out of it.  Marlin stated that the #3 pump was back in operation.  Jensrud asked if there had still been complaints on the dumping by ESI.  Marlin stated that he had done some work on the cover and that it was going better.  Reinardy mentioned that he had done some chlorinating as a couple of residents had complained of the smell of their water, however; he did not feel that it was a city water issue as the smell seemed to be only in the kitchen of the homes.

Park Report – Knetter commented that the mowing at the Heights of Hampton should be addressed as the contractor did not seem to be mowing the full three acre area as the contract requested.  Carpenter said that she would contact Todd Anderson on the issue.

Street Report - Endres stated that he had been collecting quotes on sealing the Heights of Hampton and was hoping to finish contacting the contractors this coming week and mentioned that they were all very busy this time of year.  Knetter suggested that Belmont Street be included as well.

Unfinished Business
Water / Sewer Operator Position- Skog confirmed that the Council had received the memo from the City Attorney and asked if the applicant, Dan Hinz, was still interested in the position as he was willing to hire Hinz.  Carpenter said that she had not heard anything from Hinz.  Jensrud stated that as we live in Minnesota and have winter weather to travel in and deal with, that she agreed with Marlin that it was important to have someone in town filling this position.  Jensrud addressed the memo provided by the City Attorney which stated that he did not recommend hiring a Council Member and requested Carpenter remind the Council of the advice received from the League of Minnesota Cities stating that this would be a grey area, however; may work in this situation if the Council Member was not involved with anything that may be perceived as a conflict of interest such as setting the salary or evaluating himself or herself.  Carpenter pointed out that it was not illegal but that the Council would need to be comfortable with their decision.  Jensrud suggested that Knetter could recues himself from water and sewer disbursements.  Steve Hamilton stated that as a resident he would be upset knowing that the City hired someone else when there was an option of hiring someone who cares about the City and lived in town so that they could be available immediately in case of a winter freeze up.  Budrow stated that the memo from the Attorney was in great detail and that the bottom line was that this would be a conflict of interest.  Marlin Reinardy commented that this was not necessarily true and that there was nothing in the memo stating that hiring a Council Member was illegal and the Attorney had failed to add state statute had been changed to allow the Fire Chief in Miesville to also be Mayor.  Jensrud felt that this situation could work as long as the Council follows the guidelines provided and that Knetter would need to answer to the Council and that he wouldn’t be able to make decisions on his own.  Skog asked Knetter if he would consider resigning from the Council as that would allow him to be hired for the position.  Knetter said that he would not step down from the Council.  Endres felt that the memo from the Attorney seemed more like an opinion without current examples and reminded the Council of the state statute that allowed Miesville to have the same person Mayor as well as Fire Chief.  Skog said that he would not be comfortable with that situation and would have to vote no.  Budrow stated that the Attorney said just the Superintendent wasn’t an option but the Operator was.  Jensrud commented that it was only incompatible if certain perimeters were not followed.  Chris Meyer suggested obtaining a legal opinion from a firm specializing in employment as the City Attorney was providing only general council and commented that John Knetter seemed very qualified and that it should be possible to follow guidelines to allow him to be hired.  Cory Bienfang said that with the complexity in Hampton’s infrastructure, an aging water tower, and with the City running its own lift station and ponds, that the Water and Sewer positions were an important spot to fill and should not be rushed into.  Bienfang commented that taking the time to acquire a third opinion would be a good idea.  Motion by Jensrud seconded by Skog to have the Clerk obtain a recommendation on hiring a Council Member from a legal firm specializing in employment.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 4:0.    

Radio Read / New Water Meters - Knetter confirmed that the new water meters had been ordered and that the City had found a couple of individuals to switch the meters out.  Knetter asked for the Council’s thoughts on who should be responsible for the cost of the new meters as they are replaced.  Council agreed that the City would pay half of the cost and the homeowner would be responsible for the other half.  Motion by Knetter seconded by Budrow to bill the homeowner for half of the cost of the new meters and have the City pay the balance.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 5:0.

City Attorney Services - Knetter stated that he had a couple of issues with the current City Attorney and had heard from three different people that he had given three different answers to a question.  Jensrud commented that Campbell and Knutson was the most expensive out of the quotes provided.  Budrow felt that there was not complete information and couldn’t make an educated decision based on what was provided.  Jensrud stated that the City Council packets were available for almost a week if anyone wanted to request additional information.  Skog felt that the savings were minimal at $30 an hour when you were paying for the best and didn’t know enough about the other firms where he was familiar with what Campbell and Knutson could do such as the Tilsen assessment trial.  Knetter stated that the City had lost tax money as Campbell and Knutson settled on that case.  Skog questioned if someone at Lampe Law was Knetter’s attorney or a relative’s attorney.  Knetter stated that Lampe Law was the lowest out of the five quotes collected.  Motion by Knetter seconded by Endres to replace Campbell and Knutson with Lampe Law Firm as City Attorney.  Knetter, Endres, and Jensrud voted in favor.  Skog and Budrow opposed.  Motion passed 3:2.  Knetter requested the Clerk contact both Attorneys on Wednesday as the decision was in effect immediately.

Endres requested Council approval to have the option of selecting a contractor to seal coat the streets discussed when all of the quotes were sent in as it was getting late in the season.  Motion by Knetter seconded by Jensrud to allow Endres to choose a contractor for seal coating.  Knetter, Endres, Skog, and Jensrud voted in favor.  Budrow opposed.  Motion passed 4:1.

Adjournment - Motion by Knetter seconded by Jensrud to adjourn the meeting.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion passed 5:0.  The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,   

Wendy Carpenter