Council Minutes, July 6, 2020

Posted: July 6, 2020

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

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Thiel on Monday, July 6, 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, Maintenance Employee John Jones, and City Clerk Patty White.  Council Member Daisie Fox was absent.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Cassidy Milks, Rod & Shirley Miller, and Deputy Cody McCormick.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Huntley questioned about the LeRoy City Lines (LCL) operations. Thiel reported the EDA had met in special session this morning to discuss LCL.  Gumbel noted the commuter service is still not in operation due to COVID-19 and the Mayo subsidy is not in place as of yet.  The charter service is paused due to the social distancing guidelines.  Quotes are still being figured with the caveat that the charter could be cancelled based on the Governor’s orders.  Thiel noted he does not see any revenue being generated by LCL for some time.
  • Shipman questioned about the speed signs. Jones reported that Sweeney is trying to figure out the programming of them.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 4-0.

Public Input Time:

  • Rod Miller questioned if there was any truth to the rumor he has heard about closing South Broadway south of Main Street. Miller questioned how all the truck traffic going to Northern Country Coop were supposed to get there.   Shirley Miller felt this closure would be unfair to the residents that live south of Main Street.  Thiel noted he never suggested this street to be closed to all traffic; he had simply wondered aloud if there might be a restriction on trucks turning off Hwy 56 onto South Broadway as a safety consideration for pedestrians at this busy intersection.  Huntley thanked Mr. & Mrs. Miller for bringing their concerns to the council.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Whisler read the following prepared statement pertaining to Wildwood Grove. “At our last EDA meeting a motion was made and passed (against my vote).  We would not spend time discussing Wildwood Grove business.  That any matters concerning Wildwood Grove should be discussed at a Wildwood Grove meeting.  Now who would be at that Wildwood Grove meeting, (only Mister Jacobson and myself).  Due to the fact Wildwood Grove operates under the control of the EDA.  Would it not be to the benefit of the EDA, the city council, and the citizens of LeRoy to know what is going on at one of our city’s largest employers.  I make the motion that we have a special meeting with EDA and city council in regard to concerning matters at Wildwood Grove.”  Motion by Whisler to hold a special joint meeting with the City Council and LeRoy EDA in regard to misunderstandings about administration and payroll matters at Wildwood Grove.  Second by Huntley.  On a roll call of votes all members voted aye.  Motion carried 4-0.  This special meeting will be held on Monday, July 20, 2020, at 6:30 PM.
  • Huntley reported the LeRoy Area Ambulance Board will be meeting tomorrow evening. The service is down to eight EMTs regularly making calls.  The board will be adopting their COVID-19 plan at this meeting.
  • Shipman reported that Prairie Visions has not met due to COVID-19.
  • Thiel reported he did not attend the last LeRoy Public Library board meeting.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Cody McCormick introduced himself to council. He reported he started patrolling in LeRoy about five months ago.  He noted it has been slow as of late, but things are starting to pick up with the nicer weather.  He reviewed his written report with council.
  • Council thanked Deputy McCormick for his time and report.

Volunteer of the Month Recognition:

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

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White reported she had been contacted by a resident requesting bike lanes to be installed when the Highway 56 project is completed. The bike lane would be installed between the drive lane and the parking lane.
  • Council expressed concern about safety for a bicyclist being next to the drive lane and parking lane. Council also noted safety concerns for a bicyclist with the size of farm equipment that travels through town.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Whisler to not ask MnDOT to install bike lanes on Highway 56. Motion carried 4-0.
  • Huntley questioned if more signage should be installed near the trailhead directing bike riders to the downtown area businesses. She also questioned if additional bike paths should be built from the trailhead to the downtown area.  White reported that directional signage has been discussed in the past.
  • Thiel reported he had a good conversation with Chad Hanson about the results gleaned from the special council meeting. Thiel noted that Mr. Hanson took special interest in the likelihood that trucks would be required to encroach into oncoming traffic in order to make turns at the proposed East Y intersection that were voiced at this meeting.

Public Hearing:

  • Thiel read the due call for the public hearing and opened the hearing at 7:10 PM. No one in attendance had any comments about the requested tax abatement for the new house construction at 172 Miller Court.
  • Council reviewed the request for tax abatement from Joe and Pam Saterdalen for the new construction they have proposed on Lot 19, River’s Edge Addition. The total estimated abatement amount is on $307,197 of estimated property value.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2020-06, a Resolution Approving Tax Abatement for Certain Property Pursuant to Minn. Stat. 469.1813. Motion carried 4-0.  Being no further business to come before the public hearing, the hearing was closed at 7:11 PM.

Chicken Ordinance:

  • Shipman reported he had visited the Josh Lewis residence to look at his chicken coop; Shipman noted the Lewis’s have the perfect location to house chickens. Shipman reported he had talked to a few people to request their opinion of chickens in town.  He found minimal support in favor of chickens in town and much more support towards not allowing chickens in town.
  • Shipman proposed leaving the existing ordinance alone and to give those that have chickens 120 days to get rid of the chickens.
  • Motion by Shipman to leave the ordinance as it is and give those people that are currently housing chickens on their property 120 days to remove the chickens from their property. Second by Whisler.  Motion carried 4-0.

COVID-19 Plan:

  • White presented a proposed COVID-19 preparedness plan.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Huntley to approve said plan. Motion carried 4-0.
  • White reported the City of LeRoy could receive CARES Act funds in the amount of $71,950. These funds can be used for COVID-19 related expenses and can also be used to assist businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to approve the Coronavirus Relief Funds. Motion carried 4-0.

Appointment of Election Judges for 2020 Primary and General Elections:

  • White presented the following slate of judges for the 2020 Primary and General Elections: Mary Speer, John Kerr, Jerry Utz, Diane Whalen, Deb Iverson, Leslie Kerr, Georgia Eastvold, and Linda Hendrickson.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve this slate of judges for both the Primary and General Elections for 2020 and to pay the judges $12.00 per hour. Motion carried 4-0.

Additional Security Cameras at LeRoy Community Center:

  • Council reviewed a quote from On-Site Computers for two additional security cameras to be installed outside at the Community Center. The cost for a camera identical to the ones installed inside at the Community Center was $189.00.  This camera is currently on back-order.  The cost for a comparable camera was $332.00.  Going with the same camera as those installed inside would cost between $900 and $1,000; this would include installation and wiring.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to approve the purchase of two additional cameras for the LeRoy Community Center to be identical to the ones already installed inside. Motion carried 4-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed four land use permits.
  1. South 100’ Lots 6 & 7, Block 9, Caswell & Lewis, 702 N Broadway, Kevin Whalen-build deck

Motion by Huntley to approve this permit.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 4-0.

  1. N ½ Lot 9 & W 50’ N ½ Lot 8, Block 11, Caswell & Lewis, 814 N Everett, Pam Stevens, build deck

Motion by Huntley to approve this permit.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 4-0.

  1. Lot 1 & Estrly 12.5’ Lot 2 & N 10’ of Alley Adj on SW, Block 32, Original Village, 173 E Atkins, Dave Nackers-install chain link fence

Motion by Thiel, second by Huntley to approve this permit.  Motion carried 4-0.

  1. Lot 1, Block 1, Hanson Addition, 109 N Co Rd 56, Kris Hanson-build garage & replace & install cement by house

Motion by Huntley to approve this permit with the stipulation this new garage is built to be in line with the existing garage.  Second by Whisler.  Motion carried 4-0.

Communications File:

  • Council reviewed the Library Board meeting minutes.
  • Council read the thank you from Carter Johnson for the Pangborn Scholarship he received.

City-Wide House Numbers:

  • Thiel noted there has been much publicity of having visible house numbers and possible lighted house numbers on each house.
  • Thiel suggested using Main Street and Broadway Street as the dividing streets. Homes on the left side of all streets would have an odd number while those homes on the right side of all streets would have an even number.
  • Council took no action on this topic.


LeRoy Public Library-Rate of Pay for Student Workers:

  • Information was presented for the public library employing student workers that would serve as ‘runners’. These employees would initially only retrieve items from the shelves for library patrons.  They would not be using the computers for checking out materials.
  • Huntley questioned why the extra help is needed; she felt we don’t need these additional employees with the part-time librarians that are already employed at the library.
  • Huntley would like to see more information on job descriptions and the duties associated with these job descriptions. She noted LeRoy has a nice public library and a nice librarian.  She is not against the library, but she would like more information before making a decision on this request.

City-Wide Cleanup:

  • Council would like to consider offering a city-wide cleanup this fall since the spring city-wide cleanup was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Nuisance Properties:

  • There are a few properties being monitored for possible ordinance violations.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Huntley, second by Whisler at 8:21 PM.

– Brian Thiel, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer