Council Minutes, December 4, 2023

Posted: December 4, 2023

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, December 4, 2023

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, December 4, 2023, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Gerald Payne, Harold Shipman, Brian Thiel, Ashley Huntley, Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Cole Wilcox, Ron Purkapile, Jessica Green of Northland Securities, Deputy Katlynne Fisher, and Russ Rudlong.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Truth in Taxation Hearing:

  • Koppen reviewed the property tax notices he had received. He noted the city did not increase their levy for 2024.
  • Koppen noted the city council and city staff made every effort to keep the levy the same amount as last year.
  • No one in attendance had anything to bring forth during the hearing.
  • Being no further discussion for the truth in taxation hearing, the hearing was closed at 6:32 PM.

Consent Agenda:

  • Thiel questioned about the water and sewer expenditures as recorded on the key performance indicator worksheet. White reported these expenditures were related to the east lift station and to purchasing additional water meters.  Thiel questioned White of those funds set aside in capital outlay funds, if any of those funds were restricted.  White explained these fund allocations and noted the approximate balance in the infrastructure outlay account.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the items included in the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Fisher reported the deputies spent 6.48 hours per day on patrol in LeRoy in November. There were 37 calls for service.  These calls included medical calls, motor vehicle accidents, and traffic calls.  Council thanked Deputy Fisher for this report.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Shipman reported Prairie Visions met for their annual Pat on the Back meal; they will next meet again in January.
  • Huntley reported there are 14 active members on the LeRoy Area Ambulance Service. There will be a class starting in January; there are 12 to 14 people signed up for this class.

State Highway 56 Project-Bond Proceedings:

  • Jessica Green from Northland Securities introduced herself to council. She reported the bonds, Series 2023A in the amount of $3,150,000 were sold this morning.  The bond debt structure has a utility portion in the amount of $2,500,000 and street reconstruction portion in the amount of $650,000.  The term of the bonds is 20 years and will be secured by water and sewer revenues and current ad valorem taxes.  The true interest rate is 4.71%.
  • Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2023-09, a Resolution Providing for the Issuance and Sale of $3,150,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2023A, Pledging for the Security thereof net Revenues and Levying a Tax for the Payment Thereof. On a roll call of votes, all members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.

2024 Proposed Budget & Levy:

  • Council reviewed the updated proposed levy figures; these figures were adjusted for the debt service levy. Motion by Thiel, second by Huntley to approve the 2024 Budget as presented.  Motion carried 5-0.  Motion by Shipman, second by Payne to pass Resolution 2023-10, a Resolution Approving the 2024 Levy at $575,000.  Motion carried 5-0.

City Attorney RFP:

  • White reported no RFPs were received for city attorney services. Council discussed what their options are.  White noted the RFP can be done with an extended time frame.  White reported she had emailed the RFP information to area law firms.  She only heard back from one firm that told her that they are not taking on new clients at this time.  Council requested Axel Gumbel if he could check with his wife, Attorney Jennifer Gumbel, for recommendations.  Council concurred to extend the time frame to receive RFPs.

2024 Liquor Licenses:

  • Motion by Payne, second by Thiel to approve the 2024 liquor licenses as presented. Motion carried 5-0.

2024 Pay Package:

  • It was noted that a 5% increase in pay for all city employees was factored into the 2024 budget. Koppen recommended the 5% increase.  Council concurred.
  • Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to approve the 5% increase in pay for all city employees effective January 1, 2024. Motion carried 5-0.

Designate Polling Place for 2024:

  • White noted the council needs to designate the polling place in the city each year. Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2023-11, a resolution designating the annual polling place as the LeRoy Community Center.  Motion carried 5-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • There were no land use permits for council review.

Communications File:

  • There was no information in the communications file.

Water & Sewer-Bond Rates:

  • Council reviewed the information provided pertaining to the amount to charge each water/sewer account for debt service for the 2023A bonds. Council discussed which monthly amount to charge.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to set the debt service amount on all water and/or sewer bills at $40 per month beginning January 1, 2024. Motion carried 5-0.

East Lift Station Report:

  • Sweeney reported the second pump has been installed at the east lift station. He noted Minnesota Pump installed the pump; Minnesota Pump was very thorough in their work.  They also figured out the settings on the control panel.  Since these settings were adjusted, the alarm for the east lift station has not sounded.  Sweeney noted things are running smoothly.

Empire Pipe Report:

  • Sweeney reported Empire Pipe was here last week to televise some sanitary sewer mains. They were able to get through part of the main on East County Road before their camera quit working.  They told Sweeney the area from John Street going north towards Frederick Street is in very poor condition.  The pipe has a hinge break and is approximately 40% collapsed.  They would not recommend waiting beyond two years to repair this pipe.  Sweeney noted with the type of break that the pipe cannot be lined.  Sweeney noted he reached out to the city engineer for guidance.  He is also waiting for Empire Pipe to come back to finish the televising.  Their report at that time will give a better idea on the total condition of this main.

Proposed 2024 Street Project:

  • Sweeney reported he received a quote from Mehmert Tiling to install storm sewer in South Mather Street by LeRoy Lumber. The dollars for this project were included in the bond proceedings.  Sweeney noted timing for this project will need to be watched to coincide with the reconstruction of Hwy 56.
  • Sweeney reported the Read Street blacktop is in poor condition. Koppen noted he thought the water main under Read Street is a four-inch main.  Sweeney noted the sewer main would be televised prior to any work.

Community Center Small Meeting Room Floor:

  • Shipman noted the south end of the floor by the south window is soft. He suggested having Brian Rice look at this and give a quote to fix it when he is doing the work on the kitchen.  It was the consensus of the council to proceed with this.

Community Center Marquee Sign:

  • White reported a salesman from Precision Signs was here to look at the present sign. The salesman noted it probably is not feasible to repair the existing sign.  White will forward any price quotes to council when received.

Community Center Kitchen Project:

  • Payne updated council on the meeting he had with B & C Plumbing about the drain system that needs to be installed for the three-compartment sink. This will consist of breaking up some of the floor to install these lines; the floor will be repaired following this installation.
  • Koppen noted the sanitary sewer service line is roughly 70 years old. Koppen was concerned the line goes under the memorial.  Payne reported he had Jetter Clean here to video this line.  They noted the line goes south from the building to Hwy 56; it does not go under the memorial.  They recommended having the line cleaned after the project is completed but before the Hwy 56 project commences.
  • Ron Purkapile interjected a comment about the ansul system. Payne reported the ansul system is not needed (and has the approval of MDH) due to not changing the use of the kitchen following the project.  Thiel proposed a motion to proceed with this project using the licensed plumber (B & C Plumbing) that Payne has been working with; he later withdrew this motion.
  • Payne reported the equipment has been ordered; he will place the order with LeRoy Lumber yet this week. It is planned to begin work on this project in February, 2024.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen recognized Brian Thiel and the other participants for the Community Thanksgiving Service. Koppen also recognized those involved with the upcoming ‘Jingle & Mingle’ event taking place on December 15.  Payne recognized the LeRoy Area Ambulance Service and LeRoy Lions for the very successful cookie walk and for all the donations of cookies from community members.  Payne also recognized the LeRoy Food Shelf and the LeRoy Area Ministerial Association that oversees the food shelf.  It was noted the LeRoy Food Shelf is one of the finest food shelves in the area.  Kuddos were given to Bev Loven and all the volunteers that assist at the Food Shelf.  It was noted that LeRoy is a super caring community.

Vacant & Nuisance Properties:

  • Council took note that the property at 208 West Read Street has shown much improvement. The property at 211 West Read Street has not seen any improvement.  White will research the proper action for council to take to assess the penalties for ordinance violation to the property taxes.
  • White reported she sent a letter to the owner of record of 210 East Frederick requesting they allow a housing inspector to inspect this property. This will be monitored.
  • It was questioned about the trailers being parked on Cabot Street. Sweeney reported he will work with the owners to get these moved from the streets prior to snow removal.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement:

  • There was nothing new to report on this.

ARPA Funds:

  • There was nothing new to report on this.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Thiel noted the line of credit increased. He was comfortable with this action; he noted this is the purpose of a line of credit.  Payne noted it is the plan to begin paying $15,000 per month on this.
  • Payne reported fee increases will go into effect on January 1, 2024, for WWG residents.
  • Payne noted all 150 advent calendars for the EDA Advent Calendar promotion were sold.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Shipman, second by Huntley at 7:39 PM.

– Edwin Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer