Council Minutes, June 1, 2020

Posted: June 1, 2020

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, June 1, 2020

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Thiel on Monday, June 1, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Brian Thiel, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Jan Whisler (by telephone), Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Maintenance Employee John Jones, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Sharon Thiel, Josh Lewis, Joe Saterdalen, Jim Gronwoldt, Mike & Hannah Kroeker, and Chris Hahn.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Thiel brought attention to the 2019 Drinking Water Report and commended Jones and Sweeney for their work in the water department.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Public Input Time:

  • Sharon Thiel addressed the council and let them know the LeRoy Farmers Market will not be in operation this year. A lack of vendors was the main reason for cancelling the Market.  Thiel noted the LeRoy Farmers Market board may try to do some things on-line.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Huntley reported the LeRoy Area Ambulance Board will be meeting on Tuesday evening.
  • Shipman reported there was no Prairie Visions meeting due to COVID-19.
  • Thiel reported the LeRoy Public Library has not opened to the public yet except for prearranged computer usage; they are offering curbside drop-off and pick-up of materials. Thiel noted he will relay to the Library Board the discussion from the May city council meeting.

Police Report:

  • There was no report given due to the absence of the deputy.

Volunteer of the Month:

  • There have been no new nominations for the Volunteer of the Month recognition.

State Highway 56 Project Presentation:

  • Chad Hanson, MnDOT Principal Project Manager, met with council via ZOOM to review the upcoming Highway 56 Project through LeRoy that is scheduled for construction in 2023. The project will begin at Ada Street and continue through town to Bauer Built.  This highway project will be a complete reconstruction including sidewalks, curb and gutter, storm sewer, water, and sanitary sewer.
  • The slides showed the following concepts for the new roadway, parking, and sidewalks.
    • Main driving lanes of 12′ in each direction all through town will remain the same.
    • In the downtown two blocks (Everett Street to Community Center) parking lanes on both sides will reduce to 12′; that will shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians by 10′ from 58′ to 48′.
    • Sidewalks on both sides of the street in the downtown area will increase to 16′ to allow more gradual slopes into businesses.
    • In the residential areas, standard parking lanes will be 10′ plus a 9′-12′ boulevard and 4′ sidewalks.
  • It is being proposed to close off the eastbound lane at the East Y that goes south towards the Iowa state line. East County Road South would be made wider for truck traffic.  It is also being recommended to square up the intersection at Hwy 56 and Mower County 14.
  • Some bump-outs were being proposed at the intersection of Hwy 56 and Mather Street, Hwy 56 and Broadway Street, and Hwy 56 and Everett Street. Another bump-out near 405 West Main Street was suggested; this bump-out would offer a shorter crossing for children crossing the street to go to school.
  • Hanson would like to see the council address some of these proposals as MnDOT wants to have the preliminary layout in place in July, 2020. Bids will be let in 2022 with construction to begin in 2023.  Council will address a work session later in this meeting.
  • Hanson was thanked for his presentation.

Chicken Ordinance:

  • Josh Lewis informed council that he does have chickens at his residence; he got them for a sustainable food source and to teach his children how to care for animals. He felt that by living in a small community he should be able to raise chickens.
  • White had compiled information from neighboring cities; some cities allow chickens. Other cities do not allow chickens.
  • Thiel noted he felt this would be too much to consider in one meeting. He suggested putting a committee together to further research this topic.  Shipman and Huntley volunteered to serve on this committee.  This topic will be further discussed at the July city council meeting.
  • Huntley noted she would like to see the council be consistent with whatever is decided about chickens. Fox suggested some type of survey done to see what the townspeople want.

Executive Order 20-56 – Expanding Outdoor Service at Bars & Restaurants:

  • Jim Gronwoldt met with council and requested the closure of the one block of South Broadway between Main Street and the south business alley for the month of June or until another Executive Order is issued that would allow inside dining to allow Travel Lanes and Supper Club to offer outside dining.
  • Thiel questioned if half of the street would allow enough space. Council expressed concern with the amount of traffic in this area could cause safety concerns.
  • Motion by Huntley to allow this street closure for the month of June with closing set at 9:00 PM each evening. Second by Shipman.  Fox questioned about liquor liability.  White noted Mr. Gronwoldt would need to check with his insurance agent on dram shop insurance.  On a roll call of votes, all council members voted aye.  The motion carried 5-0.

Summer Fest 2020:

  • White reported Summer Fest 2020 has been cancelled by the LeRoy Commercial Club.

City Cell Phone:

  • White reported the city cell phone had quit working a few months ago. The question arose if the cell phone should be replaced or if Jones and Sweeney should be reimbursed for city use of their personal cell phones.  Council discussed different alternatives.
  • Motion by Whisler, second by Shipman to allow $15 per month to both Jones and Sweeney for city use of their personal cell phones. Motion carried 5-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed three land use permits. Two permits were for fence installations; the other permit was for new home construction.
  1. Lot 1, Block 22, Original Village, 201 E Read, Bailey Peterson-install chain link fence
  2. Lot 3 & E ½ Lot 4, Block 8, Original Village, 112 E Luella, Chad Penning-install wooden fence
  3. Lot 19, River’s Edge Addition, 172 Miller Court, Joe & Pam Saterdalen-build single family home
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to approve all three permits. Motion carried 5-0.
  • White reported the tax abatement application had been submitted with the Saterdalen land use permit. Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to call for a public hearing on this tax abatement request to be held on Monday, July 6, 2020, at 7:00 PM.  Motion carried 5-0.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the Communications File.

Heartland Asphalt-East County Road Project & Other Projects:

  • Whisler reported Heartland Asphalt plans on beginning the East County Road project towards the end of June. Council reviewed the signed proposal for other projects that will be completed when Heartland Asphalt is here doing the East County Road project.

Cemetery Drives-Road Rock:

  • Whisler reported the LeRoy Lutheran Cemetery board and St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery board have agreed to having road rock put on the main east/west roadway through all three cemeteries if the city council approves to move forward with having their part rocked. Each respective entity would pay their share for the amount of rock placed on the drive in their cemetery.
  • Motion by Whisler to have road rock put on the LeRoy Cemetery east/west drive and the far west north/south drive. Second by Huntley.  Motion carried 5-0.

Presentation-Steuart Manufacturing:

  • Chris Hahn, the LeRoy EDA Development Coordinator, reported it is not necessary for this presentation to the city council.

Park Facilities in Light of COVID-19:

  • White and Jones reported the bathroom facilities in both parks have not been opened yet. According to CDC guidelines, the bathrooms would need to be cleaned and sanitized more than once per day.  A schedule showing the cleaning and sanitizing would have to be maintained.
  • Council noted they had signs installed in both parks addressing the use of the playground structures. Picnic tables could be left in the parks, but both a cleaning and sanitizing schedule would have to be maintained or signage noting that the tables had not been sanitized would need to be installed.
  • It was the consensus of the council to keep the restrooms closed and move the picnic tables to the city shop due to COVID-19.

Other Business:

  • White presented information on a new all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax machine for city hall. The current copy machine was purchased new in February, 2003.  Parts for the current copy machine are becoming harder to find.  White had contacted Dahl Copiers from Stewartville.  They submitted proposals for an Ecosys M3654idn unit for $1,680, an Ecosys M3145idn unit for $1,490, and an Ecosys M3655idn unit for $1,990.  Motion by Huntley to proceed with either the $1,490 model or the $1,680 model, leaving the final decision with White.  Second by Fox.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Motion by Thiel, second by Shipman to call for a special council meeting to be held on Monday, June 15, 2020, at 6:30 PM to discuss the State Highway 56 project. Motion carried 5-0.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Whisler, second by Huntley at 8:19 PM.

– Brian Thiel, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer