Council Minutes, January 4, 2021

Posted: January 4, 2021

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, January 4, 2021

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, January 4, 2021, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Gerald Payne, Maintenance Employees John Jones and Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Craig Jacobson, Scott Osmundson, Caleb Hovde, Brian Thiel, Joe Hamlin, and Cassidy Milks.

White administered the oath of office to Mayor Ed Koppen and Council Members Daisie Fox, Harold Shipman, and Gerald Payne.

All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2021-01, a resolution of appreciation to Brian Thiel.  Motion carried 5-0.

Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to pass Resolution 2021-02, a resolution of appreciation to Jan Whisler.  Motion carried 5-0.

Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to pass Resolution 2021-03, a resolution of appreciation to Rhonda Barnes.  Motion carried 5-0.

Council reviewed the appointments to the standing committees.  Koppen noted he had conversed with each council member pertaining to the appointments to be made.  Comments were made about the need for a personnel committee and the technology committee.  Koppen also reviewed the committee appointments from his first council in January, 1993, and reviewed some history.  Council wants to see facts and transparency for those serving on the standing committees.  Shipman questioned if Koppen should serve on the legal affairs committee due to a possible conflict of interest.  The name of the volunteer of the month recognition will be changed to service award recognition.  Appointments to the standing committees for 2021 were made as follows:

  • Daisie Fox-Fire Protection; Service Award Recognition
  • Harold Shipman-Streets & Alleys; Prairie Visions; Acting Mayor; Legal & Accounting; EDA
  • Ashley Huntley-Parks & Recreation; Ambulance Board; Cemetery & Tree Boards
  • Gerald Payne-Water & Sewer; EDA; Library Board
  • Ed Koppen-Legal & Accounting; Public Buildings

Motion by Payne, second by Huntley to approve the appointments to the standing committees for 2021.  Motion carried 5-0.

Council reviewed the appointments to the appointed committees.  Appointments to the appointed committees for 2021 were made as follows:

  • Fire Relief Assn. Board Reps-Ashley Huntley, Patty White
  • City Attorney-Baudler, Maus, Forman, & King, LLP
  • City Auditor-Smith-Schafer & Associates, LTD
  • Official City Newspaper-Mower County Independent
  • Official Depositories-First National Bank, LeRoy; First State Bank Minnesota, LeRoy
  • City Engineer-Jones, Haugh & Smith
  • Fire Dept. Personnel Committee-Daisie Fox, Patty White, Caleb Hovde, Dan Feather
  • LeRoy EDA-Josh Diemer, Jody Morrow, Jan Dohlman, Sara Gerk, Axel Gumbel, Harold Shipman & Gerald Payne (council reps)

Motion by Shipman, second by Huntley to approve the appointments to the appointed committees with the Library Board and Administrative Fine Board appointments tabled until the February 1, 2021, city council meeting.  Motion carried 5-0.

Caleb Hovde presented the slate of officers for the LeRoy Volunteer Fire Department.  The officers include Caleb Hovde-Chief; Dan Feather-Assistant Chief; Isaiah Opseth-Captain; Bob Drees-Lieutenant; John Jones-Fire Marshall/Emergency Management; Dan Hanson & Chase Huntley-Training Officers; Jason Bastian-Secretary.  Motion by Huntley, second by Payne to accept the election results and the slate of officers for the LeRoy Volunteer Fire Department for 2021.  Motion carried 5-0.  Hovde noted that fire calls were down in 2020.  Hovde questioned about paying a stipend to firefighters that respond to Mayo 1 landings.  Scott Osmundson also noted that firefighters don’t get any stipend for going out on weather watch.  Hovde noted the MN/IA Fire Assn. is also discussing a stipend for Mayo 1 calls.

Council reviewed the items included in the consent agenda.  Some questions were posed on items included in the check detail register.  Koppen felt a priority for the council EDA reps is to get a financial understanding of Wildwood Grove (WWG) finances.  Council discussed the possible refinancing of the WWG bonds.  Koppen noted he would like to see these bonds keep the same maturity without extending the maturity with a refinance.  The final payment on the WWG bonds would also coincide with the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of LeRoy.  That would happen in 2026.  Koppen also suggested bringing all the bookkeeping for WWG under the city entity instead of having that part contracted out to another entity.  Payne questioned about the speed limit sign on County 14.  Brian Thiel reported he has been in communication with the sign company; this will continue to be worked on.  Payne thanked Jones & Sweeney for the installation of the new library book drop. Motion by Shipman, second by Huntley to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • The assigned deputy was not in attendance; no written report had been provided for council review.

Public Input Time:

  • Brian Thiel noted that individual council members have been kept abreast of current situations at WWG. He commented the EDA board has been vigorous in trying to get WWG operating properly.  He felt that by extending an additional six years to the WWG possible bond refinancing would give WWG more time to get their funds back on track.  Thiel gave public acclaim to the previous city councils and to the current seated council.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Shipman reported that Prairie Visions did not meet. He did report the IronHorse USATF certified & sanctioned marathon will be held on May 1; this marathon will begin here in LeRoy at the Shooting Star trailhead and end in Riceville.
  • Huntley reported the ambulance board will be meeting tomorrow night. She plans on providing call volume to the council on a monthly basis.
  • Payne reported librarian Rhonda Barnes has retired. Her last day was December 31, 2020.  The library hours are being covered by library aides and volunteers through January.  Job ads have been published; the interview committee will interview candidates with the hope to have a new librarian hired by February 1, 2021.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White reported Aaron Breyfogle will be the new Project Manager for this project. Chad Hanson will work with Mr. Breyfogle during this transition.


CARES Act-Possible Distribution of Foggers:

  • White reported the city had ordered one fogger and then followed with an additional ten foggers. Foggers have been distributed to Wildwood Grove, Community Center, City Hall, Public Library, and Maintenance Shop.  White questioned if the extra foggers could be distributed to the five churches.  Motion by Shipman, second by Payne to distribute the foggers and disinfectant solution to each local church.  Motion carried 5-0.

On-Sale Liquor License Fees:

  • White reported the on-sale liquor establishments (Travel Lanes and Sweet’s Hotel) pay $1,200 per year for the regular on-sale license plus an additional $200 per year for a Sunday liquor license. Council discussed waiving these fees due to the shut-downs these two establishments have endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to waive the on-sale and Sunday liquor license fees for Travel Lanes and Sweet’s Hotel for 2021. Motion carried 5-0.

Publication of City Council Minutes-Mower County Independent:

  • Koppen reported Dan Evans had consulted with him about having the official council meeting minutes published in the Mower County Independent. Evans told Koppen this should cost the city approximately $1,000 per year for publication.  Koppen noted the council could choose to have the unofficial meeting minutes published.  The meeting minutes don’t become official until they are approved by the city council.  This happens a month after the meeting.  White noted the official meeting minutes have not been published for many years; state statute does not require the publishing of official meeting minutes for cities with a population under 1,000.
  • Koppen felt both the official council meeting minutes and EDA meeting minutes should be published. Payne felt the EDA is covered through the reports to the city council.  Fox questioned if the council minutes should be put on the city website.  White reported this is being worked on.  Fox also suggested having the council meetings live-streamed on the city Facebook page.
  • Motion by Shipman to publish the unofficial council meeting minutes in the Mower County Independent. Second by Payne.  On a roll call of votes, Koppen, Huntley, Shipman, and Payne cast aye votes.  Fox abstained.  Motion carried.

Land Use Permits:

  • There were no land use permits for council review.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the communications file.

Street Project for 2021:

  • Council reviewed the proposal from Heartland Asphalt for a project on East Lowell Street from Broadway Street to the intersection of Lowell Street and Benton Street. This proposal is in the amount of $149,599.75.  Koppen questioned about funding for this project.  Shipman noted funds are available in capital outlay.  Shipman commented he would hate to slow the progress of street improvements that have been completed in the past few years.
  • Koppen questioned Jones & Sweeney about the process they are now doing to fill potholes. Jones noted they use cold patch; they clean out the potholes of any debris and pack in the cold patch.  This process seems to be working quite well.  Koppen questioned if the infrastructure under East Lowell Street is in good repair.  Jones noted he would have to look back on old sewer tapes to fully answer that question.
  • Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to approve the Proposal/Contract from Heartland Asphalt for East Lowell Street in the amount of $149,599.75 with funds for this project coming from capital outlay. On a roll call of votes, all council members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.

Nuisance Properties:

  • Payne questioned why complaints need to be signed. Koppen noted this minimizes exposure to the city council.  Payne presented photos of some possible nuisance properties.  These will be addressed when a signed written complaint is received at city hall.

Authorized Signers:

  • White noted council needs to name authorized signers on the city accounts. Motion by Payne, second by Huntley to authorize Koppen, Shipman, and White as authorized signers on city accounts.  Motion carried 5-0.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Shipman, second by Huntley at 8:46 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer