Council Minutes, March 6, 2023

Posted: March 6, 2023

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, March 6, 2023

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, March 6, 2023, 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 (arrived at 6:38 PM), Maintenance Employees Nick Sweeney (arrived at 7:04PM) & Cole Wilcox, and City Clerk Patty White.  Council Member Gerald Payne was absent.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel and Sergeant Tim Donovan.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Council reviewed the items included in the consent agenda. Thiel noted a question with the February 6, 2023, minutes, but he made no motion to make a change to the minutes as presented.  It was noted the tree has been removed at the cemetery.  Being no further questions or discussion, motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to approve the consent agenda.  Motion carried 3-0.

Police Report:

  • Sergeant Tim Donovan reviewed the amount of patrol time deputies spent in LeRoy during the month of February. Koppen noted he had received notice of a household that reportedly has 10 to 12 dogs.  The large number of dogs was due to puppies being born.  Sergeant Donovan noted an animal welfare check can be done to make sure the animals have adequate housing, food, and water.  Sergeant Donovan was reminded city ordinance allows three dogs at a residence.  Sergeant Donovan will follow through on this.  Council thanked Sergeant Donovan for his time.

Public Input Time:

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

State Highway 56 Project:

  • Council reviewed the two letters that had been provided by the city engineer. The city engineer plans to attend the April 3, 2023, city council meeting.
  • Council discussed the bare lot just west of the L-O School; this lot is owned by the school. Koppen noted the school purchased this property a few years ago; this purchase took this property off the tax rolls.  The school has not done anything with this property.  Concern was expressed with parking in front of the school when the Hwy 56 project is done with the new drop off/pick up area to be completed in front of the school.  Motion by Shipman to send a letter to the school strongly urging a representative of the school board and administration to be in attendance at the April 3, 2023, city council meeting to discuss this situation.  Second by Thiel.  Motion carried 4-0.

City-Wide Cleanup:

  • Council discussed dates to hold the cleanup. Motion by Huntley to offer the city-wide cleanup on Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM in the area north of the Fire Hall.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 4-0.

Lawn Mowing for City Parks & Cemetery for 2023:

  • Council reviewed the bid from Blades of Glory. Council noted they have been happy with the mowing that Brady O’Connor of Blades of Glory does.  They have not heard much for complaints on the mowing.  Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to accept the bid from Brady O’Connor of Blades of Glory for the 2023 mowing season for $105 per mowing for the North Park; $105 per mowing for the South Park; and $490 per mowing for the LeRoy Cemetery.  Motion carried 4-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • There were no land use permits for council review.

Communications File:

  • Koppen presented the information provided by Bev Loven on the usage at the LeRoy Food Shelf. It was noted the LeRoy Food Shelf serves more senior citizens than any of the other food shelves in Mower County.  It was also noted the Angel Tree provided two gifts to 26 children.
  • Council reviewed the Key Performance Indicator report. Thiel explained this report.
  • Council reviewed a request from the Mower County Fair Board for funding to the Mower County Agricultural Society. Council took no action on this request.

Update on Street Project for 2022:

  • The balance of this project will be completed when the weather is fit.
  • Shipman would like to see a small street project for 2023. He was concerned if nothing is done in 2023, it will slow the momentum from the past few years for street repairs.  He would like to see what could get done for roughly $100,000.  Council discussed the two blocks of West Lowell Street.  Thiel concurred with doing a small project in 2023.  Shipman would like to have Colton from Heartland Asphalt give an estimate for the two blocks of West Lowell Street.
  • It was noted that some larger potholes have already been filled. More pothole patch has been purchased.

Community Center Kitchen Proposal & Utility Room:

  • Council went to the small meeting room to look at the size of the trap door for the basement. Koppen noted the basement measures 18’ x 18’.  Koppen noted the basement access does not meet code and is out of compliance.  Koppen reported his concern with the water service lines and sanitary sewer service lines that serve the Community Center.  It is not known what the condition of these service lines is.  Koppen suggested tabling any renovations to the kitchen and basement until after the Hwy 56 project is completed.
  • Motion by Thiel to remove the Community Center Kitchen Proposal and the Community Center Utility Room from the agenda until after the Hwy 56 project is completed. Second by Huntley.  Motion carried 4-0.
  • Thiel questioned if additional electrical outlets would still be installed in the kitchen; he also suggested replacing all the kitchen fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs. Council then discussed the proposed lighting project discussed at the February meeting.  Thiel suggested changing out all the fluorescent light bulbs to LED bulbs when the bulbs and/or ballasts need to be changed.  Council took no action on either of these proposals.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Wilcox recognized Christopher Knode for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. His project was building raised garden beds for Wildwood Grove; he raised his own money to build these garden beds and donated them to Wildwood Grove.  The council commended Mr. Knode for this achievement.

Vacant Properties:

  • Council discussed the property located at 210 East Frederick Street. White had researched the owner of record and the registered agent of the owner of record.  It was suggested sending letters to both the owner of record and the registered agent by regular and certified mail.  Council wants it noted in the letter the plans for rehabbing this property or giving the option to release this property back to the city.
  • Council discussed the two properties owned by Alexander Lucas. Koppen suggested sending Mr. Lucas a letter requesting an answer from him when these two properties will be available for occupancy.  Thiel questioned if the city charges for water and sewer when the service is shut off at the curb stop.  It was noted the city does not charge for these services when the service is shut off at the curb.  Koppen noted this would be a different discussion from what is currently being discussed on these properties.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement-Traffic Flow:

  • This street needs to get surveyed. Council also noted the location of the large electrical box located in the highway right of way by the property at 401 East Main Street.

ARPA Funds:

  • There was nothing to report on the ARPA funds.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Thiel noted the balance sheet information in the WWG reports is inaccurate. Thiel is working on a report showing key performance indicators for WWG.  White noted the WWG balance sheet has not been updated/accurate for some time.  This will be addressed during the annual city audit.
  • Council all agreed that WWG is an asset to this community.
  • Thiel updated the council on the real estate listing for the Mayo LeRoy clinic building. Motion by Thiel to have the city council name a member(s) of the council to search for a ‘commercial’ real estate broker with recent experience in negotiations for medical-use properties in this region and then to bring to the council a proposed contract to provide brokerage services to present for approval of the city council.  Koppen declared this motion out of order.  Thiel read a portion of city ordinance.  Koppen felt it best to leave this alone at this point in time.  Koppen noted this property is currently paying property taxes.  Shipman reported this property was not discussed at the most recent board meeting of the Howard County Regional Health Services.  Shipman also noted the EDA is currently quite busy with WWG; they are not looking to manage another property.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Shipman, second by Huntley at 8:01 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer