City Council Highlights - January 24, 2023
To start the City of Ramsey City Council meeting, newly elected State Representative District 31A, Harry Niska, introduced himself to the Mayor and City Council members. He thanked Mayor Kuzma, Councilmembers Woestehoff and Specht and City Administrator Brian Hagen for a productive meeting with him to review the draft of the City’s legislative agenda.
Nineteen Consent Agenda items were listed and the City Council passed 18 after case 5.3 was pulled and moved to the Council Business agenda.
One issue was brought up during the Public Hearing portion of the meeting.
The first matter was hearing Resolution #23-012 about an easement vacation in Apple Ridge in conjunction with the proposed plat of Gile Addition. The proposed action is to vacate all existing drainage and utility easements and establish new ones in proper places with the proposed Gile Addition plat. After hearing from Community Development Director Stephanie Hanson, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
Four items were on the Council Business agenda for the evening.
The second case was to obtain approval for a business license request for Norman Tobacco. This case was tabled during the January 10 meeting in light of citizen input. At the January 10 meeting, the City Council requested that Police Chief Katers have a follow-up background check on the business. The Ramsey Police Department reached out to Norman Tobacco and after confirming all original application information was correct, the department recommended the approval of the business license. Police Chief Katers and City Attorney Kannak reviewed City Code reasons why a license may be denied. The City Council approved the license unanimously.
Economic Development Sean Sullivan brought forth a resolution approving the first amendment to the Ramsey Properties, LLC purchase agreement. Ramsey Properties, LLC has been working with the city to build a hotel in The COR. The first proposal to the Economic Development Authority was for an 82-unit hotel built on the parcel of land between GiGi’s Salon and Spa and New Horizon’s Academy. After determining that that particular parcel of land was too small for the project, a new proposal was drafted. This new proposal is for a 98-unit hotel to be built directly across the street on the north side of Sunwood Drive. The City Council needed to consider the land cost write-down of the new parcel and contingencies based on approval of a business subsidy to the developer as part of the amended purchase agreement. Also, the Council was requested to give feedback showing general support for the project and deal structure, including the land cost write-down of AND Pay-Go TIF Assistance for Site Improvements/ Site Development costs. The motion passed with a 6:1 vote.
City Engineer/Public Works Director Bruce Westby submitted to adopt a resolution approving plans and specifications and authorizing bids for the centralized water treatment plant. The project bid results would be brought to the Council in March if adopted. If a bid is awarded in March, the project should start sometime in April 2023, with a completion date in Fall 2025. The Council adopted this resolution unanimously.
The final order of business was for the Council to review the recommendation from the Charter Commission to amend the charter by Ordinance #22-29 under M.S 410.12, subdivision 7, to amend Section 2.4 of the Charter that no member of the Council may serve on the Charter Commission or other Board or Commission. This ordinance amendment passed unanimously.