Council Minutes, April 5, 2021

Posted: April 5, 2021

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, April 5, 2021

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, April 5, 2021, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Gerald Payne, Maintenance Employee John Jones, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Cassidy Milks, State Representative Patricia Mueller, Deputy Sawyer Weiss, Rhonda Barnes, and Carole Perkins.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mayor Koppen recognized and thanked Representative Mueller for her service and for attending this meeting.  Representative Mueller thanked the city council for their support and for the work they do as local elected officials.

Consent Agenda:

  • Koppen reported he had met with Dan Evans about the cost to publish the city council minutes. Evans reported he would charge $100 per month to publish the city council minutes retroactive back to January 1, 2021.  Huntley noted that each maintenance employee is allowed $300 per year for a clothing allowance.
  • Fox questioned about two checks in the check register that were made payable to Clerk White. White explained the process involved when charges are made to an employee credit card and the documentation needed for reimbursement.  Fox questioned why the city does not have their own credit card.  White noted the city has never had its own credit card.
  • Fox and Payne would like to see documentation of all revenue that is received on a monthly basis along with running balances of accounts. Fox and Payne also questioned about the Chromebooks.  White reported she is working with Mike Bowe at On-Site Computers on these.
  • Payne questioned about the north speed sign. Jones reported the sign needs to be taken down and sent in to the company.  Jones was directed to get rock placed in the potholes in the alleys.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Weiss handed out the written police report. He noted March was a relatively busy month with 44 total calls.  He attributed some burglaries to unlocked doors.
  • Payne questioned if the assigned deputy could serve or deliver letters for the city. Deputy Weiss noted he can deliver letters, but the first letters should be sent out by the city.
  • Council thanked Deputy Weiss for his time and service.

Public Input Time:

  • No one present had anything to bring during public input time.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Huntley reported the LeRoy Area Ambulance Service responded to 20 total calls in March. She also reported the Ambulance Board is looking at the possibility of purchasing at least one new ambulance.  Both ambulances are nearing the end of their useful lives.
  • Fox questioned about the IRS letter that was included in the EDA information. Shipman reported that in a conversation with Lynn Miller that this has all been taken care of; Miller has been in contact with the IRS on any issues.
  • Koppen questioned about the information included in the EDA packet. Koppen noted, in analyzing the financial reports of Wildwood Grove that WWG will be in the red this year.  Koppen felt it is time for a joint meeting of the city council and EDA to debrief and get questions answered.  Payne noted that any questions or comments that Koppen receives or hears should be forwarded to one of the city council members that also sits on the EDA board.  It was noted the council and EDA still has not seen a budget for WWG for 2021.  Payne noted he has offered to help Administrator Audrey McCarthy prepare a budget.  Koppen noted he would like to see a budget for 2022 by November or December; this budget should be reviewed by both the city council and EDA.  Huntley questioned about the hiring of additional positions at WWG.  Payne noted the EDA board is looking at all avenues.  It was noted the RN is doing the monthly billing.
  • Council discussed the first quarter appropriation to LeRoy City Lines. Shipman recommended the first quarter funds should be paid to LCL.  Motion by Shipman to pay the first quarter funds as budgeted to LeRoy City Lines; council will review before any other funds are paid out to LeRoy City Lines.  Second by Payne.  Motion carried 5-0.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White reminded council of the virtual open house on the project to be held tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at 6:00 PM. Login information was included in council packets.

Chicken Ordinance Direction:

  • White had been informed of a loose chicken last week. Huntley noted she had called Maintenance Employee Sweeney; Mr. Sweeney wanted nothing to do with catching chickens.  It was questioned how the city staff is supposed to enforce this ordinance.
  • Koppen noted the standardized ordinances (Minnesota Basic Code) were put in place back in 2004. He noted the citizens of LeRoy did not have input on the ordinances.  Payne noted the city has ordinances and the ordinances need to be enforced.  Payne noted the city may have to spend some funds to enforce these ordinances.
  • Motion by Payne to direct the city clerk to send two letters, one at a time, to follow the ordinance. The third letter, if necessary, will be delivered by the assigned deputy.  Second by Fox.  On a roll call of votes, Shipman, Huntley, Fox, and Payne voted aye.  Koppen abstained.  The motion carried.  Koppen directed White to only send letters to where chickens are known to be.

Request to Attend Upcoming Conferences:

  • White requested to attend the annual Minnesota Clerks and Finance Officers Association conference to be held in St. Cloud in June. Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to allow attendance.  Motion carried 5-0.

Carole Perkins-Zoning Request:

  • Perkins updated council about the closure of the Creation Simulation Center due to the building being sold. Perkins is considering the construction of a metal building, 70’ x 30’ behind her house at 211 West Main Street.  Perkins is requesting a zoning change to her property to be able to do this.
  • Koppen noted he is not sure how to proceed. This change would be from residential to commercial.  Water runoff would also have to be addressed.  Perkins noted she would want water and sewer to the building.  Jones noted a lift pump for the sewer would be needed due to elevation issues.
  • Koppen felt this was a two-part request. He noted council should have a land-use permit with proper dimensions to review.  An additional study may need to be done to review the water runoff.  A public hearing may also have to be held to notify adjoining landowners.
  • Payne questioned if the zoning is changed if that would increase her taxes by going to commercial property. Perkins questions if it makes a difference if the entity is a 501(c)3.  This will be further discussed as more information is submitted.

City-Wide Cleanup:

  • Council discussed offering a city-wide cleanup this spring. Huntley noted it would be nice to have more manpower available to unload items brought to the cleanup.  Motion by Huntley to offer a city-wide cleanup on Saturday, May 8, 2021, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM near the Fire Hall.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Fox questioned about the counting of the funds from the cleanup day. Council decided to have two people count the funds at the end of the cleanup day.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed six land use permits.
  1. Lot 6 & E 14’ Lot 7 & N 10’ of Adj Alley, Block 14, Original Village, 208 E Henry, Charles Dreier-install chain link fence
  2. N ½ Lots 3, 4, & 5 & N ½ E 20’ Lot 6 & S 33’ St Adj N of W 25’ Lot 4, Lot 5, Block 4, Original Village, 609 N Mather, Camille Foster-build addition to house
  3. Lots 5 & 6, Block 10, Original Village, 214 E Frederick, Dom Jones-install concrete patio
  4. Lots 14 & 15 exc N 60’ & S 62.5’ of W 25’ Lot 16, Block 9, Original Village, 504 N Everett, Laura Guttormson-install fence
  5. Lots 5 & 6 & N 25’ St Adj on SW, Block 18, Original Village, 314 E Main, Samuel James & Cecil Addison-install mobile home, build garage & shed
  6. Lot 15, Block 11, Caswell & Lewis, 215 E Cabot, Ashley Huntley-replace existing patio & driveway and add roof over porch/patio
  • Payne questioned why a mobile home can be placed on residential lots within the city when there is a mobile home park available. Koppen noted that state building code allows mobile homes to be placed on residential lots as long as they are properly installed.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to approve Permits #1, #2, #3, and #4. On a roll call of votes, all members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Motion by Fox, second by Huntley to approve Permit #5. On a roll call of votes, Koppen, Huntley, Shipman, and Fox voted aye.  Payne cast a nay vote.  Motion carried 4-1.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Payne to approve Permit #6. On a roll call of votes, Koppen, Shipman, Fox, and Payne voted aye.  Huntley abstained.  Motion carried.

Communications File:

  • Council reviewed a letter from the Mower County Fair board requesting funding. It was the consensus of the council to follow previous council precedence and not allocate any funding.

Review of Sanitary Sewer Televising on Lowell Street:

  • Jones reported he had reviewed the sewer tape from 1991 and compared this to the televising that was just completed. He noted the sewer main is in the same condition as in 1991.

Estimate for Sewer Camera and Locator:

  • Jones had two estimates for a new sewer camera. The quote from Flexible Pipe was in the amount of $8,600; the estimate from Utility Logic was in the amount of $9,500.  Jones also noted that most plumbers have their own camera now.  He also reported he was trying to get the camera the city has now in working order.
  • Jones had two estimates for a locater. The quote from Flexible Pipe was in the amount of $3,800; the quote from Utility Logic was in the amount of $4,900.  Jones noted he could not see any difference in these two locaters, but he would like to have each salesman come demonstrate their product.  Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the purchase of a locater based on what Jones’s opinion is after seeing each locater demonstrated by the respective salesmen.  Motion carried 5-0.

Update of Community Center Floor:

  • Koppen reported he had met with Kurt Bill from Classic Carpets to look at the floor in the upper room of the Community Center. Huntley noted the floor was never the way that it was sold to the council.   Koppen noted there is no frost or vapor barrier on that floor; council was reminded this part of the building used to be a garage.  He also noted the downspouts on the north side of the building add to the water issues when it is cold and frozen outside.  Payne questioned if there was any warranty on this.  Shipman reported you could have an outside inspector come in to review the floor; Shipman noted that whatever the inspector says is what you have to follow.
  • White noted she could contact another flooring contractor to see if they could offer any solutions for the poor repair of the floor.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Fox read a nomination from Lila Feather for the LeRoy Fire Department and the LeRoy Area Ambulance Service for always being there when needed and doing an awesome job. Fox read a nomination from Rhonda Lunning for Kathy Stern, Kathi Bunne, and Deb Reburn for their positivity project at L-O Schools.  Fox read an anonymous nomination for Bev Loven for her hard work directing the LeRoy Food Shelf, especially during the pandemic to be a resource for people in need.  Fox read an anonymous nomination recognizing all the business owners who worked to clear sidewalks this winter presenting a welcoming and safe environment in our business district.  Fox read a nomination from Rhonda Barnes for Pat Utz for always being there when needed.

North Baumbach Park-Fence:

  • Jones will make contact with Rolling Green Fencing to see when this project will be completed.

Nuisance Properties:

  • White reported she had sent a letter to the owner of the old welding shop; she was directed to send another letter.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Huntley, second by Fox at 8:59 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer