Council Minutes, August 2, 2021

Posted: August 2, 2021

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, August 2, 2021

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, August 2, 2021, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Ashley Huntley (left at 8:24 PM), Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Gerald Payne, Maintenance Employee John Jones, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Caleb Hovde, Aaron Breyfogle, Brian Carlson, Joe Jacobson, Axel Gumbel, Brian Thiel, Rita Hiller, and Cassidy Milks.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Regional Transportation Management Organization Presentation:

  • Joe Jacobson and Brian Carlson gave a presentation on the SE Minnesota Regional Transportation Planning group on behalf of SE Minnesota Together. SE Minnesota Together is a grassroots effort to promote economic development in the 11 county area of southeast Minnesota.  SE Minnesota Together was created in 2014 with funding from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
  • The purpose of this transportation planning group is to address transportation issues based on the mobility of people into and out of the communities of this 11 county area. Based on figures from DEED (pre-pandemic numbers) Mower County saw 4,915 people come into the county for work on a daily basis; 8,598 people left the county for work on a daily basis; 11,183 people stayed in the county for work on a daily basis.  They are looking at planning for a regional effort to include transportation for HHS clients, employment, education, and hospitality/tourism.
  • Jacobson and Mr. Carlson requested the allocation of a small percentage of ARPA funds in the amount of $2.50 per capita to organize and set up a Regional Transportation System that would benefit the entire southeast Minnesota region. They noted they have been working with Brenda Johnson of the Southeast Minnesota League of Municipalities (SEMLM) on this.  Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Carlson presented a sample resolution the city could pass that would allow the allocation of ARPA funds.  The two gentlemen noted they are not looking for an answer tonight; council can review this proposal at their September meeting.
  • Council thanked Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Carlson for their presentation.

Consent Agenda:

  • Council reviewed the items included in the consent agenda. Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda.  Motion carried 5-0.

Fire Department Extrication Tools:

  • Fire Chief Caleb Hovde reported the LeRoy Fire Department has been looking at new extrication tools. The department’s present extrication tools are 19 years old.  The department has been looking to upgrade their present equipment with battery powered tools.  These tools, a spreader and cutter, are much stronger and can cut through the harder metals that vehicles are made of.
  • Chief Hovde noted the fire department could purchase one of the two tools being considered with proceeds from their fundraising efforts. Approval has been received from the MN/IA Fire Association that they would pay for half of one of the tools.  Chief Hovde requested the city to pay for the other half of one of the tools using capital outlay funds.
  • The department had gotten quotes for these tools. One quote for the Genesis Tool was in the amount of $23,084; the city portion of this would be $5,771.  One quote for the TNT Tool was in the amount of $17,015; the city portion of this would be $4,253.75.  Chief Hovde noted the department members prefer the TNT tool over the Genesis tool.
  • Motion by Huntley to approve the purchase of the TNT tool using funds from capital outlay. Second by Fox.  Motion carried 5-0.  Payne questioned if ARPA funds could be used for this purchase.  It was not known if this would be considered an appropriate expenditure.
  • Chief Hovde also reported the annual Firemen’s Dance is slated for September 11, 2021. The department is requesting the closure of the alley north of the fire hall and the use of the city-owned property on the north side of the alley for their dance.  Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to allow this closure.  Motion carried 5-0.  Payne commended the fire department for their fundraising efforts.

Police Report:

  • There was no police report to review with the absence of the assigned deputy.

Public Input Time:

  • Rita Hiller noted she has an ongoing grievance with the city about the house number of Wildwood Grove. She noted she regularly receives mail addressed to their street address instead of the Wildwood Grove street address.  She adamantly expects a resolution to fix this and have this enacted by the end of this month.  Koppen noted the EDA should have input on this issue since the EDA owns the Wildwood Grove building.  Payne questioned if the council would be in agreement if the EDA is in agreement to change the street address for Wildwood Grove.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Payne reported Wildwood Grove shows a net profit of $74,000 through the first six months of 2021. The new licensure paperwork has been submitted; the new licensure has been approved.  The siding has been completed; the building should be painted yet this week; the gutters and downspouts will be installed when the painting has been completed.
  • Payne reported the EDA does have the four LeRoy City Lines buses listed for sale. The EDA bike building will be torn down following the asbestos abatement process.
  • Huntley reported the ambulance service has been busy; calls are being covered.
  • Shipman noted he had nothing to report from Prairie Visions.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • Brian Thiel questioned about the installation of sidewalks where there are not currently sidewalks and the effect this installation may have on mature trees. Thiel does not want to see the loss of some mature trees that are growing near where sidewalks will be installed.  Aaron Breyfogle, project manager with MnDOT, noted that tree removal can also be determined by the location of the city’s water and sewer service lines.
  • Breyfogle reviewed the letter sent to the council pertaining to the planned changes to the Y intersection. He noted that MnDOT did do a further review of this intersection following previous meetings and conversations.  He noted that MnDOT is allowing for a larger intersection on County 12 to allow for turning trucks.
  • Thiel also suggested the installation of a conduit through the open trench during construction for the possible future installation of fiber lines. He noted this conduit may not be used, but it wouldn’t cost much more to install it during the construction phase of this project.
  • Motion by Shipman to pass Resolution 2021-06, a resolution approving municipal consent on trunk highway 56 layout. Second by Payne.  On a roll call of votes, all members voted aye.  The motion carried 5-0.

Bob Olson Offer-Lot:

  • Koppen noted he has not heard much feedback from constituents, but he would like to see this item left on the agenda for future discussion.

ARPA Funds:

  • White had nothing new to report on these funds.

2022 Proposed Budget & Levy:

  • Council reviewed the proposed preliminary budget. White noted she did not have any information for payroll, so those sections are blank in the preliminary budget.
  • Koppen reminded council that the adopted preliminary levy cannot be increased, it can only be decreased. Koppen questioned about any additional expenditures for Wildwood Grove knowing that Wildwood Grove receives the bills for work comp and property casualty premiums and the bond payment later in the year.  Koppen does not want to see the city get obligated for additional expenses for Wildwood Grove; he would like to see any of these additional expenditures accounted for in a budget.  Payne noted these expenditures have been addressed in the Wildwood Grove budget; he does not see the need to account for these additional expenditures in the city budget.  It was noted that the sales tax issue on the two Freightliner buses has been resolved with Payne spending time at a license bureau office.
  • Council proposed a 3% pay increase for city employees. White can then fill in the blank sections of the preliminary budget with this information.  Council will review the proposed budget and levy at their September council meeting.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed three land use permits.
  1. Lot 3, Block 3, Original Village, 109 W Benton, David Christensen-improve front step, build a deck, and build a privacy fence
  2. N 123.6’ Lots 1 & 2, Block 8, Caswell & Lewis, 815 N Mather, Dawn Swenson-build deck
  3. Lot 3, Block 1, Olson Addition, 116 Penny Lane, Luke Junge-install privacy fence
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve three said permits. Motion carried 5-0.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the communications file.


  • Payne questioned which street would be mill and overlayed next. Jones reported he has not met with Colton from Heartland Asphalt to discuss this.

Water & Sewer:

  • Jones noted there is continued maintenance and repairs with lift station equipment and at the well house.

Security Cameras Update:

  • No information was available at this meeting. This will be reviewed at upcoming meetings.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Axel Gumbel recognized Kyle Stern, John Stockdale, and Chase Huntley for coaching summer softball. He noted the coaches’ hard work and positive encouragement to the student athletes.  He also commended them to coaching the 6 to 9 year old team to a third place finish, the 10 to 12 year old team to a second place finish, and the 13 to 15 year old team to a fourth place finish in their respective tournaments.

Nuisance Properties:

  • Payne presented sample letters that could be sent out to those property owners with hazardous properties. These letters would replace going through the resolution process for this.  It is hoped that the receipt of this letter would encourage the property owner to bring the property into compliance.  Payne and Shipman volunteered to take pictures of these hazardous properties to present to council at the September council meeting.
  • Koppen reported he has talked to the property owners of nuisance properties as were presented at the July council meeting. He noted that one property owner is waiting for assistance from her children to assist with cleanup; one property owner has made progress and has a dumpster in their yard; the other property owner was not contacted at this time due to ongoing medical issues.  These will continue to be monitored.
  • White reported the Mower County Board of Commissioners has passed a resolution noting the commissioners would like to offer for sale certain parcels of land that have been forfeited to the State of Minnesota for non-payment of real estate taxes. One parcel on the tax-forfeited list is located within the city limits of LeRoy.  Motion by Shipman to pass Resolution 2021-07, a resolution approving the county board classification of forfeited tax property and the public sale of said property.  Second by Payne.  On a roll call of votes, all members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.

North Speed Limit Sign:

  • The sign has been packaged up; contact has been made with the sign company. The sign will be returned when the return shipping label is received.


  • White reported she is working with On-Site Computers to get the Chromebooks set up. Council questioned why this has taken so long.  Payne suggested sending a strong letter to Mike at On-Site Computers requesting the Chromebooks either get set up or the funds already paid for set-up  be returned to the City.  No action was taken on this suggestion.

Other Business:

  • Koppen questioned Fox about the ‘house for sale’ signs she has posted in her front yard. Fox reported her house is for sale; she plans to move to Riceville when her house sells.  She noted she is still fully residing here in LeRoy; she will notify council when she no longer resides here in LeRoy.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Shipman, second by Payne at 8:32 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer