10/17/2019 4:23:00 PM Stacy's future with solar continues as discussion topic
Stacy city council met October 8 for a regular meeting. All members were present. Kendall Nygard from Go Green Energy gave a brief presentation to the council. Nygard said her company facilitates green energy for cities and specializes in grant writing. Nygard emphasized her company was working with the city of St. Cloud and there was a potential spot for Stacy to join their grant request. Nygard was hoping to schedule a work session with the council in the near future. The council set a meeting for Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
Next, the council discussed the Kutala ruling. A judge had ruled the city which noticed, served and abated Kutala's property for public nuisance for accumulation of junk had acted properly in abating the property but cannot pass the abatement charges to the property owner. Ordinance wording seemed to be the reason for the judgment. The council then took 20 minutes to hold a closed session to determine its next steps.
The council reconvened and moved to discussing a community solar garden. Mayor Mark Utecht told the council he would be inclined to postpone a commitment to Novel Energy who is planning a community solar garden in Stacy until after the council held a work session with Go Green Energy. Attorney James Monge told the council the work session would have to be noticed and possibly a public meeting held.
The council then heard briefly from Novel Energy's Connor McCarthy who was following up from last moth's meeting. McCarthy told the council he had new numbers that include the liquor store. McCarthy said yearly savings would be close to double from initial projected numbers. Total savings after Xcel credits would start at $6,714 per year for the city. The council thanked McCarthy for coming and assured him if they are to invest in a solar garden Novel would be their first choice.
The council then heard from Monge about nation wide litigation involving the opioid crisis. Monge said the city received an opt out contract if they chose to not participate in the class-action suit. Monge explained that every municipality in the United States was included in the litigation and a settlement would result in a miniscule amount. Monge explained that if the city would prefer to sue the opioid makers they could pursue that in the courts but that would prove to be costly. The council agreed to stay in the suit.
The council then discussed a resolution approving deferral of assessments for the 2018 street improvement project and placing assessment against properties on Stacy Trail, 312th Street and Gable Avenue. The Stacy Trail property owes $1360 while the two others each owe $2720. After much discussion, the council agreed to send the three notices via certified mail before attaching the costs to the properties.
The council then heard from Maintenance Supervisor Tanner Jones. Jones told the council he would like to either trade in and or sell the old city mower outright. Jones would like to buy a bagger for the new mower which costs around $4500. The council agreed to let Jones offer the old mower for the best sale price. Jones then told the council he had a quote for pole banners that would be installed through town. Jones quoted a Forest Lake company at $2675 per banner. The council agreed they would rather see that money be served for local parks.
Jones then told the council he had knew of a potential grant from the League of Minnesota Cities that could be specifically used for playground equipment to replace the outdated Lions Park equipment. Jones explained that LMC would match 40 percent for projects under $50,000, 70 percent for projects that totaled $50,000 to $90,000 and 100 percent for projects over $90,000. The council was in agreement the grant sounded great. Jones did note the costs did not include the removal of old equipment. The council then discussed the potential of a resident or another business wanting the old equipment. It was agreed if the grant went through, the city would post the play set but whomever took it would sign a waiver.
The council then discussed a few potential wage increases for several employees. The council approved upping the liquor operations bookkeeper's pay from $1500 to $2100. Mayor Utecht told the council he discussed the duties with the employee Michelle Hayes and she was okay with added duties if it meant a raise. The council passed the raise unanimously. The council then passed a motion by Utecht giving the Stacy Sports Grill manager a raise to $56,000 annually.
In committees reports, the council learned the parks committee had discussion about potentially making Meadow Park into a bees and butterflies habitat that would include nature trails. While the council liked the idea, council member Mark Ness pointed out there would probably have to be a public meeting due to many people having allergies to bee stings.