Council Minutes, January 6, 2020

Posted: January 6, 2020

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, January 6, 2020

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Thiel on Monday, January 6, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Brian Thiel, Council Members Kathleen Gottschalk, Ashley Huntley, Harold Shipman, Jan Whisler, Public Works employees John Jones and Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Scott Osmundson, Dean Eastman, Cassidy Milks, Axel Gumbel, Jerry and Pat Utz.  All present stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council deferred the appointments to the standing committees and appointed committees to the end of this council meeting.

LeRoy Fire Department-Fire Chief Report:

  • Scott Osmundson presented the slate of officers for 2020 for the LeRoy Volunteer Fire Department. The officers include Fire Chief-Scott Osmundson; Assistant Chief-Dan Feather; Captain-Caleb Hovde; Lieutenant-Isaiah Opseth; Fire Marshall/Emergency Management-John Jones; Training Officers-Dan Hanson and Chase Huntley; Secretary-Bob Drees.  Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to approve the slate of officers for the LeRoy Volunteer Fire Department for 2020.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Council thanked Chief Osmundson and commended the fire department for their service to the City of LeRoy and the surrounding area.

Consent Agenda:

  • Council reviewed the items included in the consent agenda. It was noted that many bills were paid prior to year-end.  The 2019 street project was paid for out of General Fund dollars.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

No one present had anything to report during Public Input Time.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Huntley reported the Ambulance Board has had their meeting; everything is going good with the ambulance.
  • Huntley reported Chloe Collier, a sixth grade student, has received a picture of the city council. She is working on her sixth grade Minnesota History project.
  • Thiel noted the Library Board did not meet in December.

Volunteer of the Month:

  • Gottschalk read the submission letter in honor of Pat Utz. The nomination had been submitted by Sally Veitor.  Utz was present; she graciously accepted the Volunteer Appreciation Award presented to her.  Mrs. Utz was congratulated for this recognition and for all she does for the community.

2020 Benefits Package:

  • Thiel reported that wages for full-time employees were set at the December 5, 2019, special council meeting.
  • Council discussed making a policy whereby that a full-time employee that could qualify for another insurance plan be allowed that option.
  • Motion by Gottschalk to adopt the following policy, “This is for employees who qualify for a city paid medical benefit plan who may also have another option to receive medical benefits, such as a spouse’s employee family benefit, Social Security Medicare, or other plans that offer better coverage, equal or less cost, or both. This is an option, there is no requirement for an employee to consider or to do this.  In these cases where the net cost of the option is less than the city’s cost for its benefit plan, the city will discuss the pros and cons with an employee who is considering the option to select alternate coverage instead of the city plan.  If that optional plan has an extra cost to the employee that would come out of the employee’s net city paycheck, the city offers to pay the added ‘out of pocket’ cost for the alternate plan premium to the employee as a reimbursement (in lieu of the city’s benefit).  Any decision to choose this option will be carefully coordinated with existing plans to avoid any disruption or gap in coverage.”  Second by Shipman.  On a roll call of votes, all members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Council noted they had not included a pay increase for part-time employees. Motion by Thiel to increase part-time employee hourly rate to $12 per hour.  Second by Whisler.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • White reported the library has been advertising for another custodian; the most current custodian has resigned. The library has received four applications at this time; the one applicant that stands out is a 15-year old person.  White noted that child labor laws were reviewed.  Thiel noted that he could make the recommendation to the library board that the city council is okay with employing a 15-year old person.  Council was in agreement with this recommendation.

Equipment Needs:

  • Dean Eastman from J & S Repair in Grand Meadow presented information on a JCB 270 skid steer loader. Eastman had this unit outside; council had looked at this unit prior to the council meeting.  He noted this is a large frame unit; it comes with a two year, 2000 hour warranty.  The JCB units have a side entry door with unlimited vision.  Jones and Sweeney reported they had driven the City of Grand Meadow’s unit; they were both impressed with the side door entry.
  • Eastman reported J & S Repair does do demos where they would leave a unit for a few days to let the operators see how the unit works. Sweeney noted snow removal could be done better and more economically with this type of machine; he noted you can get more done in less time with this type of equipment.  A broom attachment could be used to clean up leaves; the city would not have to rely on other entities to keep the city clean.
  • Eastman noted the city could purchase this machine outright or purchase it with a lease-purchase agreement. He noted many customers trade every two years to keep the unit always under warranty.
  • Huntley felt to go with the JCB 270 unit plus needed attachments. Shipman would like to see a list of attachments the guys would like to have.  Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to get a demo JCB 270 and to have the public works guys make a list of the attachments they would like.  Motion carried 5-0.

Employee Requests to Attend Upcoming Conferences:

  • White requested to attend the Minnesota Clerks and Finance Officers Association annual conference to be held in St. Cloud March 16 through March 19. Sweeney requested to attend the MRWA Conference in St. Cloud March 3 through March 5.  It was council consensus to allow attendance at these conferences.

Land Use Permits:

  • There were no land use permits for council review.

Communications File:

  • Council reviewed the Water Fluoridation Quality Award that was awarded to the City. Council congratulated Jones and Sweeney for their work in regulating the fluoride content to the recommended level in the city’s drinking water.
  • White reported Jim Gronwoldt of Travel Lanes & Supper Club had approached her with the request to allow Spring Valley VFW Post 4114 to bring in E-Tabs charitable gambling into his establishment. Gronwoldt had approached the LeRoy Community Foundation to see if they were interested in getting into the E-Tabs.  The LeRoy Community Foundation board and their gambling manager noted the outlay for these is high; they are not interested in pursuing the E-Tabs.  Council expressed concern about bringing another charitable gambling entity into the local establishments; this could take away from the charitable gambling that is being run by the LeRoy Community Foundation.  It was the consensus of the council to table this and allow Mr. Gronwoldt to come to the February council meeting to further discuss this.

Snow Removal:

  • Thiel read a letter from MnDOT pertaining to cooperative snow removal. Huntley suggested not being in a hurry to sign this agreement.

Veteran’s Memorial-Power to City LED Sign:

  • White noted electricity to the sign should be in place soon; the sign will then be back in operation.

Appointments to Standing Committees:

  • Council reviewed the appointments to the standing committees. Appointments to the standing committees for 2020 were made as follows:
  • Kathleen Gottschalk-Police & Public Safety, Personnel Committee, Acting Mayor
  • Harold Shipman-Water & Sewer, Prairie Visions
  • Ashley Huntley-Parks & Recreation, Ambulance Board, Legal & Accounting, Fire Protection, Fire Relief
  • Jan Whisler-Streets & Alleys, Public Buildings, Police & Public Safety, EDA, Cemetery & Tree Boards
  • Brian Thiel-Technology Committee, Legal & Accounting, Personnel Committee, Library Board, EDA
  • Motion by Whisler, second by Shipman to approve the appointments to the standing committees. Motion carried 5-0.

Appointments to Appointed Committees:

  • Council reviewed the appointments to the appointed committees. Thiel noted the term of Ben Reburn on the Library Board has expired.  Thiel recommended appointing Georgia Eastvold to this seat.  White noted the term of Axel Gumbel on the EDA has expired; Mr. Gumbel has expressed interest in continuing on the EDA board.  Thiel recommended reappointing Gumbel to the EDA.  Appointments to the appointed committees for 2020 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
  • Library Board-Brian Thiel (council rep), Dianne Ahrens, JoAnn Shipman, Gerald Payne, Rhonda Newton, Leslie Kerr, Donna Johnson, Georgia Eastvold
  • Fire Dept. Personnel Committee-Ashley Huntley, Patty White, Scott Osmundson, Dan Feather
  • Administrative Fine Board-Gerald Payne, James Loven, Roger Dietrich, Shirley Whisler-Alternate
  • LeRoy EDA-Josh Diemer, Jody Morrow, Craig Jacobson, Sara Gerk, Axel Gumbel, Jan Whisler & Brian Thiel (council reps)
  • Motion by Whisler, second by Huntley to approve the appointments to the appointed committees. Motion carried 5-0.

In Other Business:

  • Gottschalk presented her formal letter of resignation from the city council effective at the close of this meeting.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to accept the resignation with regret. Motion carried 5-0.  Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2020-01, a resolution accepting the resignation and declaring a vacancy on the council.  Motion carried 5-0.  It was the consensus of the council to advertise for interested people to submit a letter of interest to City Hall to fill the balance of Gottschalk’s term.  Council will review any letters of interest at the February council meeting.
  • Motion by Whisler, second by Shipman to appoint Ashley Huntley as acting mayor and to authorize Mayor Thiel, Councilor Huntley, and Clerk White as official signatories for the city checking account and to allow on-line inquiry access for all the city’s bank accounts. Motion carried 5-0.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Whisler, second by Shipman at 7:52 PM.

– Brian Thiel, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer