May 10, 2021 City Council Public Hearing and Input Meeting Minutes

A Public Hearing and Input Meeting of the City Council of the City of International Falls, Minnesota, was held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building on the 10th day of May, 2021 at the hour of 5:30 P.M.

MEMBERS PRESENT:       Councilors Buller, Ditsch, Holden, Krause, and Mayor Droba.

MEMBERS ABSENT:         None.

STAFF PRESENT:              Betty Bergstrom, Interim City Administrator

Kelly Meyers, Building Official/Zoning Administrator

Ted Brokaw, Director of Public Works

Adam Mannausau, Fire Chief

Emma Rud, Administration Support Specialist

OTHERS PRESENT:          Curt Meyer, P.E. – Widseth

                                                Ricky Roche, property owner


  1. Introductory comments and explanation of purpose for public hearing
    1. Mayor Droba
    2. Curt Meyer, Widseth
    3. Ted Brokaw, Director of Public Works
  2. City Council questions/comments.
  3. Public input/questions/comments.
  4. Close the public hearing.
Introductory comments and explanation of purpose for public hearing, Mayor Droba Mayor Droba welcomed and thanked all of those in attendance at the meeting.  Mayor Droba also thanked Widseth, the Director of Public Works, and KEDA for working on the BDPI grant that will allow the City to move forward on the 22nd Street Improvements.  This public hearing is to hear a presentation regarding improvements the City plans to make to 22nd Street, as well as hear public comment on the matter.  It was noted that it is because the City plans to assess a portion of the improvement costs to property owners that the City must hold this public hearing.
Curt Meyer, P.E. – Widseth Curt Meyer, P.E. for Widseth, presented the Feasibility Report prepared by Widseth for the City of International Falls.  Mr. Meyer explained that the purpose of the project is to complete construction of 22nd Street from 2nd Avenue (T.H. 53) east approximately 1,000 feet to a proposed cul de sac at the east end of the dead end road and construct approximately 300 feet of Main Avenue south from 22nd Street.  The feasibility report examines the existing conditions, identifies the proposed improvements, and determines the approximate costs of the improvements.  Estimated cost of the project is $950,876.  Mr. Meyer explained that under the feasibility report, Widseth concluded that the proposed improvements appear to be feasible.  Mr. Meyer explained that assessments are calculated based on a front-footage to the lot for surface improvements, while utilities are calculated based on the number of services.
City Council questions/comments Councilor Krause inquired as to whether the $950,876 estimated project cost included the Main Avenue improvement costs, which Mr. Meyer explained that it did.

Director of Public Works noted that the City is contributing approximately $139,000 towards this project.  Director Brokaw also noted that the Main Avenue south portion of costs has been broken out in the event the City decides to wait on that portion of the project.

Public input/questions/comments Ricky Roche, PO Box 728, owns four (4) parcels affected by this improvement project was present to ask questions.  Mr. Roche asked whether there were estimates assessments for each property owner.  Curt Meyer, Widseth, explained that cities do not normally determine estimated assessments at this point in the process because there are many variables that can change.  Mr. Roche inquired as to whether there would be drive-over gutters.  Mr. Meyer explained the project would not be incorporating drive-over gutters, as it is an urban design that calls for standard curb cuts.  Director of Public Works Brokaw assured Mr. Roche that the City and Widseth would seek his input when determining placement and sizing of curb cuts.
  Councilor Buller asked for clarification on which portions of this project the BDPI grant could be used towards.  Mr. Meyer explained that the BDPI grant must be used towards the 22nd Street portion of the project.

Councilor Krause inquired as to what happens with the costs for property that is in tax forfeiture.  It was noted that the City will absorb the costs associated with improvements to the tax forfeiture, as they are unrecoverable.

CLOSED the public hearing


There being no further public comment, Mayor Droba closed the public hearing at 5:47 P.M.
RECOMMENDED to order completion of 22nd Street and Main Avenue improvement project MOTION by Councilor Buller to recommend the City Council order completion of the 22nd Street and Main Avenue improvement project.  Motion seconded by Councilor Holden and carried unanimously.
ADJOURNMENT Mayor Droba adjourned the meeting at 5:48 P.M.

Harley M. Droba, Mayor


Betty Bergstrom, Interim City Administrator

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