Council Minutes, June 6, 2022

Posted: June 6, 2022

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, June 6, 2022

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, June 6, 2022, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Harold Shipman, Brian Thiel, Ashley Huntley, Gerald Payne, Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel and Chris Bosley.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Council reviewed the items included in the consent agenda. A couple of questions were posed.  Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda.  Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • There was no police report with the absence of the assigned deputy.

Public Input Time:

  • No one present had anything to bring during public input time.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Thiel explained the Key Performance Indicators report he had requested. Council reviewed this report; council was pleased with this information.
  • Koppen reported on the CEDS meeting he attended. The agenda for this meeting was reviewed; Koppen noted those in attendance followed this agenda as they worked in small groups to compile information on these main topic pillars.  The information from this meeting plus two other meetings and an online survey will be compiled into main points identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the assets and economic drivers in this region.  This information will be used to complete the Region 10 CEDS report, a document that can be used by each community to help access grant funding, make important regional decisions, and address regional resiliency.
  • Thiel reported he had attended a meeting addressing housing. Payne reported the draft housing study has been received by the EDA.  Some changes need to be made to this study.  Payne noted that EDA Coordinator Spiff Slifka will present this study to the council at an upcoming council meeting.  Gumbel reported that Dollar General will be breaking ground in the next couple of weeks.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • It was noted that White had drafted the letter requested by council to MnDOT. No response has been received from MnDOT.

Boundary Line Issue-Encroachment Agreement:

  • Attorney Shawn Vogt-Sween had drafted an encroachment agreement for the property located at 224 East Read Street. The city’s attorney had reviewed the agreement; she recommended its adoption.  Motion by Payne, second by Thiel to approve this encroachment agreement.  Motion carried 5-0.

Request for Ordinance Change-To Allow Honey Bees:

  • Koppen noted conversations he has had with residents. These residents were not necessarily for or against having honey bee hives in town.  Concern was expressed with the school across the street from the Bosley residence, with the greenhouse at the school, and the plantings around the school.  It was questioned if these items would be an attractant for the bees.  Motion by Thiel to continue with the ordinance as it is written and not allow honey bees.
  • Chris Bosley reported he had reached out to his next door neighbors. The property owners to the east are okay with the bee hives.  The property owner to the west expressed concern with her grandchildren that may have a sensitivity or allergy to bees.  Bosley also reported urban honey bees are not drawn to swimming pools.  He also reported on the flight paths of the bees.  Bees usually go toward the south, out 15 to 30 feet, and then out up to three miles to collect nectar.
  • Thiel noted that honey bees in this climate can winter-kill out. He also reported honey bees like basswood trees; there are not many basswood trees here in LeRoy.
  • Shipman seconded Thiel’s motion. On a roll call of votes, all council members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.  Bosley was thanked for his time and encouraged to gather more information on honey bees.  It was noted there is too much apprehension among residents at this point in time to allow honey bees.

Modifying Gambling Permit-LeRoy Community Foundation:

  • Motion by Payne, second by Huntley to pass Resolution 2022-07, a resolution modifying a gambling permit for LeRoy Community Foundation. Motion carried 5-0.

Council Pay:

  • Koppen reported council pay has not been increased since January 1, 2003. Each council member is paid $1,200 per year; the mayor is paid $3,600 per year.  Koppen proposed changing council pay to $2,400 per year, and the mayor pay to $4,800 per year.  Motion by Thiel to adopt an ordinance changing council salaries.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.  White reminded council these new rates of pay will not go into effect until January 1, 2023.

John Jones Memorial:

  • It was reported the city received a $100 memorial donation in memory of John Jones. Koppen suggested a portrait of John with his years of service to be hung in the Community Center.  It was also suggested to plant a tree in memory of John.  Council was not in favor of having something hung in the Community Center.  Council thought a tree planted outside of city hall, where a tree recently snapped off in a high-wind event, would be nice.  Council consensus to have a tree planted next to city hall with a plaque installed recognizing John.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed three land use permits:
  1. Lot 1, Block 3, Hickock 2nd Addition, 880 E Lowell Street, Axel Gumbel-cement driveway extension
  2. Lot 11, Block 2, Olson Addition, 161 Penny Lane, Kaleb Janssen-Pour full basement and footings for garage for house to be moved in
  3. Lots 14 & 15 Exc N 60’ & S 62.5’ of W 25’ Lot 16, Block 9, Original Village, 504 N Everett Street, Erika Arndorfer-install chain link fence
  • Motion by Payne, second by Huntley to approve said permits. Motion carried 5-0.

Communications File:

  • Council reviewed an information letter from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

Street Project for 2022:

  • The paperwork for the approved project has been signed and submitted. Sweeney reported Heartland may get the bid for the Dollar General parking lot; Heartland would try to do the city project at the same time.
  • Koppen questioned if the sanitary sewer mains would be videotaped prior to the street work. Sweeney has not heard from the company that will do the videotaping.
  • Payne questioned about the other projects that had been included in one of the proposals from Heartland. It was noted these projects would need to be done in a separate fiscal year to avoid a bidding scenario.

Warning Sirens:

  • Sweeney had gathered information on a used siren. This siren would be mounted on a pole near the water tower.  The cost for the siren, pole, installation, and set up is $14,900.  This price does not include the electrical portion.  The company that Sweeney is working with recommended installing the siren on a pole instead of on the water tower.  This company suggested not installing another siren at the east lift station.  This company had drafted a coverage map showing the different decibel levels with the two sirens.  Motion by Huntley, second by Payne to approve this purchase of this used siren.  Motion carried 5-0.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement:

  • White had contacted the city attorney following the May council meeting. The city attorney recommended having this area surveyed prior to any work being done.  Council consensus to proceed with the survey.

Sidewalk Repair/Replacement-Assessments:

  • Koppen reported there is quite a hodge-podge of sidewalks here in town. Koppen questioned if the council should do an overview of all the sidewalks here in town.
  • Huntley noted she is not in favor of the city being the bank for people to replace their sidewalks. Council felt the sidewalks near the churches are used quite a bit; many of the other sidewalks in town do not get much use.  Payne didn’t feel the city should do away with all the sidewalks in town.  It was questioned if the city could be liable for poor sidewalks.  This discussion was tabled; White was directed to gather more information on sidewalks and sidewalk policies.

Storm Sewer-South Mather to West Street:

  • Sweeney reported there is just a culvert under Mather Street near the south business alley. This culvert freezes up in the winter.  The culvert can be left as it is, or the culvert could be replaced with a storm sewer prior to the street being repaired.
  • Sweeney reported the city engineer has looked at this. It was initially suggested to put in the storm sewer going north to Main Street.  With the Hwy 56 project coming through in 2024, this would not be feasible at this time.  It is being proposed to put in the storm sewer and run it along the back of the properties in the 200 block of West Main Street.  Easements would need to be acquired from LeRoy Lumber and Mark Smith.  Sweeney questioned if this should be done right or just addressed as best as can be.  Koppen questioned if the storm sewer would be put in deep enough so that it would not freeze.  Sweeney noted it would be put in deep enough.  The engineer’s estimate for this project is $30,000.  Sweeney has not talked to Mehmert Tiling yet about this.  Other suggestions to get rid of surface water were offered.
  • Koppen questioned who would pay for this project. Would assessments be charged to the benefiting parcels?  Sweeney will gather more information on this and present this at future council meetings.


  • Sweeney reported the 2008 diesel pickup is out of service awaiting parts. These parts may not arrive for up to five months.   The 2002 pickup is going to the shop tomorrow.  Sweeney researched online for pickups for sale.  He found a Chevy 3500 pickup in Lewiston.  Payne questioned about the state contract for vehicles.  Sweeney would like to have a pickup big enough to pull the generators, either a ¾ ton gas engine or a heavy-duty ½ ton gas engine pickup.  More information will be gathered and reported on at future meetings.

Community Center-Gas Range:

  • Koppen noted there is a commercial gas range in the community center. The manual gas safety shut-off is located somewhat behind the range.  This should be moved.  It was the consensus of the council to get this moved.

Power Washer:

  • Sweeney noted the city does not own a power washer. Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to purchase a power washer.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Payne questioned about the tennis court net. Sweeney reported the net was cut by possible vandals using large pruning shears.  A new net could be purchased for roughly $400.  Sweeney will try to repair the net.  Payne questioned about the speed sign on Mower County 14.  Thiel needs to program that sign to get it in working order.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen recognized those involved with the Memorial Day Services and the Cemetery Walk. These programs were all very well done.
  • Koppen also recognized the LOHS Class of 2022 and the amount of scholarships awarded to these students.
  • Gumbel recognized Cole Wilcox for retrieving three road signs that had been thrown in the river near the trestle bridge. Wilcox noted the importance of land stewardship.
  • Gumbel also recognized the LeRoy Lions Club for their program on giving any of the various deputies that provide coverage here in LeRoy $5.00 in LeRoy Bucks as a thank you for their service.

Nuisance Properties:

  • Thiel reported the house at 210 East Frederick Street will be torn down due to poor repair by the owner of record.
  • Payne questioned what the council’s intention is with the two properties that received letters requesting repairs or demolition. Koppen noted the house at 221 East Main Street has a new roof; the house at 213 East Henry Street has some new windows.  Koppen questioned how far the city wants to go with paying legal fees.  Payne felt the city should be doing more to get these houses torn down.  Payne noted these houses were designated as hazard properties when the first letters were sent out.  Koppen noted the council needs to be cautious in how they proceed.
  • Follow-up letters will be sent out to the other parties where no action has taken place.

ARPA Funds:

  • White noted these funds could be used for the siren. Sweeney is still gathering information for generators for the east and north lift stations.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Koppen noted he has reviewed the WWG financial reports. He expressed concern with how WWG will be financially at year-end.   He noted the possibility of the city needing to subsidize WWG toward year-end.

With July 4 falling on the first Monday in July, council consensus to hold the July council meeting on July 11.  With no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Huntley, second by Shipman at 8:31 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer