Council Minutes, April 6, 2020

Posted: April 6, 2020

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, April 6, 2020

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Thiel on Monday, April 6, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Brian Thiel, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Jan Whisler (by telephone), Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Maintenance Employees John Jones and Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel.  All present stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Huntley posed some questions about some of the information contained in the Consent Agenda. Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda.  Motion carried 5-0.

Public Input Time:

  • Fox questioned if the council meetings could be broadcast on Facebook Live to allow more people to see the council meeting proceedings. Huntley noted she would rather have people attend in person.  Other discussion followed on the pros and cons of broadcasting live the city council meetings.  No decision was made on this topic.
  • Council discussed COVID-19. Huntley noted she would like to see City Hall closed to the public during this pandemic.  Motion by Shipman to lock City Hall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This closure will be discussed again at the May 4, 2020, council meeting.  Second by Huntley.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Council was updated on the Meals on Wheels proposal from Wildwood Grove. White reported the Mower County Senior Center, through the assistance of SEMCAC and Hormel Foods, are delivering up to 950 meals daily to residents of Mower County.  Due to this, the Meals on Wheels proposal from Wildwood Grove was not pursued.
  • Thiel noted there has been much discussion on the LMC Mayor’s List Serve pertaining to the closure of various city establishments like municipal liquor stores, city parks, etc. Thiel reported there has been no consensus of any of these closures from all the mayors.
  • Council also discussed some of the loan and grant programs that are being offered either through the Federal Government or State Government.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Shipman reported there was no Prairie Visions meeting due to COVID-19.
  • The Fire Dance has been tentatively rescheduled for May 2, 2020. Huntley reported there was no ambulance board meeting.
  • Thiel reported the Library Board did not meet.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Sawyer Weis is our new assigned deputy. White will contact Sheriff Sandvik to remind him the city council would like to have a written report if the assigned deputy is not able to attend council meetings.

Volunteer of the Month:

  • The recipients of the Volunteer of the Month recognition will be recognized at the May city council meeting.

City-Wide Cleanup:

  • Council was reminded they had set the city-wide cleanup for Saturday, May 2. Council expressed concern with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It was the consensus of the council to suspend the city-wide cleanup until further notice due to COVID-19. Offering a city-wide cleanup will be addressed at upcoming meetings.

Jaguar Communications-Requested Resolution:

  • Council reviewed a letter from Jaguar Communications informing the City of a transaction that affects the ownership and control of Jaguar’s parent company, Provincial Real Estate Holdings, LLC. Pursuant to an Equity Purchase Agreement dated January 17, 2020, MetroNet Holdings, LLC will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding equity interests of Provincial Real Estate Holdings, LLC.
  • Jaguar will remain the grantee under the Franchise Agreement with the City of LeRoy, and Jaguar will continue to provide cable service to its subscribers in the City. Jaguar cable subscribers will see no gap in cable service and effectively no change as a result of the transaction.  Moreover, the City will continue to receive updates from Jaguar.  The only change will be the ownership and control of Jaguar, which will be indirectly held by MetroNet.  Jaguar Communications requested the City to pass a resolution approving the change of control of Jaguar Communications, Inc.  The council could choose to pass the resolution approving the transaction which would waive the city’s right to purchase the cable system under the present franchise agreement or Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 238.
  • Thiel noted he would like to see this requested resolution held off until he has the opportunity to contact Doug Dawson. Thiel expressed concern with what MetroNet has planned for the smaller communities currently served by Jaguar.  Whisler questioned what type of price would be asked if the city were to purchase the cable system.  He also questioned what type of service could the city get and who would operate the system.  No answers were given to these questions.  Shipman thought it prudent to have Thiel contact Mr. Dawson.  Shipman questioned if council could approve the resolution pending the outcome of the conversation with Mr. Dawson.
  • Motion by Shipman to pass Resolution 2020-05, a resolution approving the change of control of Jaguar Communications, Inc. pending the outcome of the call with Mr. Dawson. Second by Huntley.  On a roll call of votes Shipman, Huntley, Whisler, and Fox voted aye.  Thiel cast a nay vote.  The motion carried 4-1.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed two land use permits.
  1. Lot 5 & N 25’ Street Adj on SW, Block 17, Original Village, 218 East Main Street-build addition to house
  2. Lots 19 & 20, Block 29, Original Village, 164 East Atkins Street-build garage and hoop garden shed
  • Thiel questioned about the set-backs for permit #2. Jones reported he had looked at the property and helped with measurements to make sure the garage would be built with the proper set-backs.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to approve Permit #1. Motion carried 5-0.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to approve Permit #2. On a roll call of votes Huntley, Fox, Whisler, and Shipman voted aye.  Thiel cast a nay vote.  The motion carried 4-1.

Communications File:

  • Council read a thank you from Rhonda Barnes for the memorial chimes given in memory of her mother.
  • White reported the Mower County League of Cities dinner meeting scheduled to be held in LeRoy on April 16 has been cancelled due to COVID-19. This dinner meeting will be held this fall with LeRoy still serving as the host.

Equipment-Skid Loader Attachments:

  • Sweeney reported the city is currently using an 84” bucket sweeper from J & S Repair; this unit is on loan from J & S. This unit does not have the gutter brush and arm attachment; this would be helpful when cleaning leaves from the curbs.  Shipman questioned if any other attachments would be needed.  Sweeney and Jones noted pallet forks would be useful.
  • The price for the bucket sweeper with gutter brush and arm from J & S is $7,100. The price for the same equipment from Gordy’s Implement is $7,050.  Sweeney also contacted Harrington Enterprises; Mr. Harrington verbally quoted a price of at least $8,000.
  • Motion by Shipman to approve the purchase of the bucket sweeper, gutter brush and arm, and pallet forks from J & S Repair with funds for this purchase to come from capital outlay funds. Second by Huntley.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Thiel questioned about funds in the budget for street maintenance. Huntley questioned if the blacktop that will be milled from East County Road will belong to the city, and if so, if it could be used on the alleys.  Jones noted this blacktop may be mixed back in with the hot asphalt and reapplied to the street.

South Everett Street by Northern Country Coop:

  • Council discussed alternatives to repairing this area of the street. Council wondered if the blacktop could be removed on South Everett Street replacing it with concrete that would include an apron going into the right-of-way into Northern Country Coop property.  Jones will contact Heartland Asphalt to see if this can be done and what something like this would cost.

Nick Sweeney-Wastewater License:

  • Council congratulated Sweeney for passing the wastewater exam. This gives Sweeney a Class D wastewater license.
  • Shipman noted that it was not in the motion when salary adjustments were made to make an increase in pay to Sweeney when he passed this test. Motion by Shipman to increase Sweeney’s pay $1.00 per hour effective April 1, 2020.  Second by Huntley.  Motion carried 5-0.

Parks & Recreation:

  • Huntley requested that the city parks stay open to give the area kids something to do. Fox noted she can see both sides of this conversation.  She noted it comes down to parent responsibility to watch their children.

Nuisance Properties:

  • White reported a few nuisance letters have been sent out. She will continue to monitor the accumulation of debris at the 107 West Main Street property.

City Snow Removal:

  • Thiel questioned if any cars were towed during this past snow season. Jones reported that cars that don’t get moved during snow removal get a notice put on them; if these vehicles are not moved following the notice, the vehicle will get towed.  It was the consensus of the council that the present parking regulations during snow removal is okay.  White will send a letter to apartment owners in the fall that addresses street parking and snow removal.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Whisler, second by Huntley at 8:02 PM.

– Brian Thiel, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer