Council Minutes, February 1, 2023

Posted: February 1, 2023

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, February 1, 2023

A special joint meeting of the LeRoy City Council and LeRoy Economic Development Authority was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at 5:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following council members present: Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Gerald Payne, Harold Shipman, Ashley Huntley, Brian Thiel, and City Clerk Patty White.  EDA President Sara Gerk called the EDA to order with the following members present: Sara Gerk, Jan Dohlman, Cristi Masters, Josh Diemer, and Tracy Smith.  It was noted that Council Members Harold Shipman and Gerald Payne are the council representatives on the LeRoy EDA.

Also attending: Axel Gumbel

Koppen read the due call for this special meeting, “The purpose of this joint special meeting is to discuss Wildwood Grove, Housing, and Protocols,” and opened the meeting at 5:30 PM.  Koppen noted this would be an informational session for all involved to review and discuss Wildwood Grove, Housing, and Protocols.  Each topic would be allocated 20 minutes.

Wildwood Grove:

  • Gerk updated those present on the policies and procedures that have been put in place since 2021. These include having two signatures on all Wildwood Grove checks.  Invoices are also provided for review when checks are brought to an authorized signer.
  • Any advances to be made on the Line of Credit must be done by the EDA president. The EDA board is also notified of any advances on the Line of Credit.
  • QuickBooks Online is the software used for the bookkeeping at WWG. The administrator at WWG has complete access to QuickBooks Online; the EDA president has read-only access to QuickBooks Online.
  • The EDA president has access to on-line banking. The WWG administrator also has access to the on-line banking.
  • Payne reported the administrator has prepared a budget for 2023. Revenues and expenditures for 2023 will be monitored compared to what was budgeted for these items.
  • Gerk noted the city council has requested some different reports showing key performance indicators. Thiel had prepared a report showing line graphs and monthly financial information.  Diane Whalen, the WWG administrator, was able to pull a report through QuickBooks.  Huntley felt the report that doesn’t require the entering of figures would alleviate any errors in doing this.  The council would also like to see the balance of the Line of Credit on this report.  Huntley also noted the report from QuickBooks would not be cumbersome with Diane’s time compared to the other report.  Thiel noted his report has three different graphs; his observation is that the council should be wanting more facts.  He felt his report would provide more information for the council for any issues that may be looming on the horizon.  The QuickBooks report does not show the accounts receivable balance.  Dohlman reported the accounts receivable balance at the end of January was just over $7,000.  Payne felt the accounts receivable balance could also be included in the WWG reports.  Payne also noted that the council, due to timing, would not see any January WWG reports until their March meeting.  Koppen noted that if something does go awry, there are two council members that are appointed to the legal & accounting committee.  These two council members are Koppen & Shipman.  If anything needs attention, one of these two people could be contacted.
  • Koppen reported he has been hearing good comments and compliments about WWG. He noted the residents like living there.  He continued that the EDA can be very proud of all that has been accomplished.
  • Gerk noted that restoration fees paid by incoming residents are being deposited into a savings account. These funds are then used for necessary maintenance and repairs to an apartment when a resident moves from the facility.


  • Koppen noted there is a housing shortage here in LeRoy. Shipman reported on a program he had seen on Midwest Access that had a person talking about Harmony and the housing incentives they offer.  They offer up to $20,000 for a new home construction; they also have funds to assist with major housing renovations.
  • Diemer questioned if there was some way to front-load the tax abatement program to get these funds to a new home builder sooner with the city being able to recoup these funds through the tax abatement process. Thiel and White updated those present on how the tax abatement program works.
  • Thiel felt the low base price for new home construction would be around $250,000. Diemer felt the figure could be closer to $400,000.  Payne noted all of us should be doing more ‘selling’ of LeRoy including the many amenities that are here.  He felt this could help bring more people to want to move here and live here.
  • Koppen noted that many houses used to be set up as duplexes; these homes have been mostly converted to single family homes. He noted the community still has a need for an active mobile home court.  This could provide entry level housing for new families.  It was noted there are many available building lots here in town.
  • Thiel reported he had attended a housing tour that traveled through a few different communities. This tour enabled those attendees to see what other communities are doing for housing.
  • White reported the tax abatement program is also available for a developer to build twin homes, duplexes, four-plexes, or other types of housing.
  • Koppen discussed different complexes already here in LeRoy including the LeRoy Manor. He noted that some of these facilities could be added onto, or another complex like this could be built.  Koppen suggested to the EDA to research the ownership of LeRoy Manor; the EDA could entertain purchasing it and using it as collateral for possible grants for additional construction.


  • Koppen expressed kudos to the EDA board for all the policies and procedures they have set up. Koppen noted his biggest shock when coming back into the mayor’s office a couple of years ago was how protocols were not being followed.  He noted protocols were exercised at WWG during an early crisis there; he noted the council and EDA have been through three or four crisis situations at WWG through the years.  Koppen noted that protocols don’t keep situations from happening, but you have these to follow.  He noted council members have their committee assignments.  Sharing of information is important, but he does not want anything to appear as if any micro-managing is happening.  He noted requests can be made of both boards, but these requests should not be demanded; each board and its members need to respect each other.
  • Koppen reported that any legal and accounting questions or concerns should also go through the city clerk as she is the one to make contact with the city attorney or city accountants.
  • Koppen noted the EDA was formed in March, 1993. He noted the current seated EDA board is probably the best working board he has worked with.  Huntley felt both boards need to be united with WWG.  Payne noted there can be conflicts, but these conflicts need to be figured out and how to get along.  It was noted that word of mouth is one of the best advertising features for WWG.
  • Huntley noted it would be nice to meet in joint session at least once a year to just cover any issues and happenings.
  • Koppen noted the bonds for WWG will be paid off in 2032. He noted that a new bond issuance could be considered at that time for an addition to WWG.  It was noted that memorials are acceptable at WWG.  Gerk questioned if fundraisers for different items at WWG could be done.
  • Gerk updated those present on the direct hiring of the RN by WWG instead of through Comfort Health. Those present thought this a good thing to do.

Being no further business to come before the LeRoy City Council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Huntley, second by Payne at 6:27 PM.

Being no further business to come before the LeRoy EDA, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Diemer, second by Dohlman at 6:27 PM.

For the LeRoy City Council:

  • Edwin Koppen, Mayor
  • Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer

For the LeRoy Economic Development Authority:

  • Sara Gerk, President
  • Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer