Council Minutes, August 3, 2020

Posted: August 3, 2020

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, August 3, 2020

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Thiel on Monday, August 3, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Brian Thiel, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Jan Whisler, Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Maintenance Employee John Jones, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Chris Hahn, Axel Gumbel, Gerald Payne, Georgia Eastvold, Leslie Kerr, Roger Dietrich, Jason Soltau, and Cassidy Milks.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Huntley reported at the most recent school board meeting the school board had discussed the curb cut and bump-out proposed by MnDOT for the State Hwy 56 project. Thiel reported MnDOT is pushing the city to get the final information to them from the school about these proposed options with the project.
  • Whisler noted there seems to be concern with the hiring of Audrey McCarthy as administrator at Wildwood Grove. Motion by Whisler that the EDA is directed by the city council to confirm Audrey McCarthy as the administrator at Wildwood Grove.  Second by Shipman.  On a roll call of votes, aye votes were cast by Whisler, Shipman, Fox, and Huntley.  Thiel cast a nay vote.  The motion carried 4-1.
  • Thiel noted a change in the July 6, 2020, regular meeting minutes. Huntley noted a change in the July 20, 2020, joint special meeting minutes.
  • Motion by Huntley to approve the minutes from the July 7, 2020, regular meeting with corrections, to approve the minutes from the July 20, 2020, special meeting, and to approve the minutes from the July 20, 2020, special joint council/EDA meeting with corrections. Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Huntley posed a question about the bill for the maintenance telephone. This phone is needed for the alarm system.
  • Motion by Huntley to approve the balance of the consent agenda. Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.

Public Input Time:

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

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Shipman reported that Prairie Visions had not met due to COVID-19.
  • Motion by Whisler to have an independent auditor audit all the city accounts (EDA, WWG, City). Shipman noted he had researched the firm of Clifton, Larson, Allen with offices in Rochester, Austin, and Owatonna.  Thiel noted the annual audit report is given in June or July for the year ended 12/31 of the previous year.  Huntley seconded Whisler’s motion.  On a roll call of votes, all council members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Gerald Payne, Leslie Kerr, and Georgia Eastvold, representing the Library Board, updated the council on the library employees. There are two main employees.  Rhonda Barnes is the library director, and Gladys Kasel is an assistant librarian.  Barnes attends additional meetings and trainings; these meetings and trainings are all being held virtually at this point in time.  At one time there were three assistant librarians.  One assistant librarian would work at least four hours each week plus any additional hours as needed to cover hours when Barnes was not available due to meetings, trainings, or appointments.  Payne would like to have three assistant librarians.  The library employs one person (a runner) that gathers materials when Barnes is not available.  The library still offers curbside pickup and in-house library use on a limited basis.  The ‘runner’ position will cease when school begins again.  Huntley stated she did not know there was a loss of help at the library.  Mr. Payne noted the part-time librarians are budged up to $7,500 per year.  The council thanked the library board members for their presentation; the library board members thanked the council for all they do for the public library.
  • Huntley reported the ambulance board meets tomorrow. She noted ambulance personnel are still making calls following their COVID-19 protocols.  She also reported the ambulance service did received grant funds for PPE and other necessary items.

Public Hearing:

  • Thiel read the due call for the public hearing and opened the hearing at 7:02 PM. Chris Hahn, CEDA, updated those present on RWF Bron.  RWF Bron has requested a 50% tax abatement on the city portion of the property taxes for five years.  This would amount to approximately $26,500 over the five years based on today’s valuation.  RWF Bron is looking to bring three to six employees to this location.  Payne questioned if this tax abatement would affect the school taxes.  Mr. Hahn noted RWF Bron did not request abatement of the school portion of the taxes.  Mr. Hahn also noted that it is standard for a company to ask for some type of tax abatement.  Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to pass Resolution 2020-07, a Resolution Approving Tax Abatement for Certain Property Pursuant to Minn. Stat. 469.1813.  Motion carried 5-0.  Being no further business to come before the public hearing, the hearing was closed at 7:08 PM.

Police Report:

  • No one was present to give a police report.

Volunteer of the Month Recognition:

  • There was no nominee for the Volunteer of the Month.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • Council has received no further information about the Highway 56 Project.

CARES Act Funds:

  • White updated council on spending for sanitizing items related to COVID-19. These items were not previously budgeted for.
  • Chris Hahn updated council on the parameters for these funds. He reminded council that any appropriations of these funds will need to pass the audit standards of this program.

Ducks Unlimited Banquet-Travel Lanes:

  • Jason Soltau, a DU member, reported to council the annual DU banquet has usually been held on the first Tuesday in April. Due to COVID-19 the banquet was cancelled.  Soltau noted with outdoor activities now being allowed, the local DU organization would like permission to put up a 300-person tent on South Broadway between Main Street and the South Business alley.  This would allow 150 attendees for the DU Banquet and still allow for social distancing.  This event would be held the last weekend in August.  Mr. Soltau reported he had talked to representatives from Northern Country Coop about this event.  Being held on a weekend would not affect business traffic to Northern Country Coop.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to allow this street closure and to allow this event. Motion carried 5-0.

2021 Budget & Preliminary Levy:

  • White reminded council the preliminary levy needs to be set by September 30, 2020. The preliminary levy cannot be increased, but it can be lowered.



Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed three land use permits.
  1. N 123.6’ Lots 1 & 2, Block 14, Caswell & Lewis, 815 N Mather, Dale Swenson-build house addition and garage
  2. Lots 11-15 & S 10’ Alley Adj on NE, Block 28, Original Village, 307 S Mather, LeRoy Area Historical Society-move in original water tower
  3. Lots 19 & 20, Block 29, Original Village, 164 E Atkins, Jim Koster-install garden shed
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to approve all three permits. Motion carried 5-0.
  • Whisler questioned about the shed that Jay Hardecopf moved onto the property he owns at 304 E Main. Jones noted the shed is still on skids and not a permanent structure.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the communications file.


  • Thiel noted that last fall the council made the determination to do the East County Road street project in spring, 2020. He questioned council if they would like to consider a project for next year.  Huntley questioned if anything still needs to be done with the East County Road project.  Jones noted dirt needs to put down next to the roadway to even out the edge of the blacktop to the shoulder area.  This will be done as time allows.  Council will take this suggestion for a street project under advisement and discuss at future meetings.

City-Wide Cleanup:

  • Huntley would like to see a city-wide cleanup held this fall since the spring cleanup day was cancelled due to COVID-19. She suggested having people unloading their own items to maintain social distancing.  Thiel suggested using the tractor and loader and skidloader to have items dropped off in the buckets of these units; then everything can be transferred to the dumpsters.  White questioned if appliances and electronics would also be included items.  Council agreed to accept these items if arrangements can be made with the company that takes these items.  Council also discussed trying to keep traffic coming in from one direction and exiting in another direction.
  • Council consensus to offer a fall city-wide cleanup day on Saturday, October 3, 2020, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM in the area behind the fire hall. It was noted that full loads of construction debris will not be accepted.

With the Labor Day holiday falling on the first Monday of September, council agreed to hold the September council meeting on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 6:30 PM.  Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Fox, second by Huntley at 7:50 PM.

– Brian Thiel, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer