Council Minutes, May 1, 2023

Posted: May 1, 2023

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, May 1, 2023

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Gerald Payne, Brian Thiel, Harold Shipman, Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.  Council Member Ashley Huntley was absent.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Cole Wilcox, Ron Purkapile, Dave Johnson, Pat Newman, Barb Payne, Lavonne Eastvold, Deb Reburn, Kathy Stern, Diane Whalen, Rose Erie, Janet Rosedahl, Rhonda Barnes, and Mr. Mogren.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Thiel noted a copy of the Wildwood Grove balance sheet and cash balance at the end of the month needs to be included in the monthly Wildwood Grove reports.
  • Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to approve the items in the consent agenda. Motion carried 4-0.

Police Report:

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

Public Input Time:

  • Barb Payne, as president of the LeRoy Lions, is in favor of the kitchen improvements proposed at the LeRoy Community Center. Pat Newman concurred.  Lavonne Eastvold noted that all other aspects of the Community Center have been improved, but the kitchen has been left behind.  Diane Whalen suggested if the kitchen improvements are made, the council may consider charging higher rent for people using the Community Center.  Deb Reburn would like to see these improvements made and supports this project.  Ron Purkapile questioned if anyone has lodged any complaints about the kitchen.  Lavonne Eastvold would like to see the kitchen to be bright and cheery; she noted the sinks should be replaced.
  • It was the consensus of the council to move Agenda Item 10.A.Community Center Kitchen Project to this point on the agenda.
  • Payne reported he brought up the possibility of kitchen improvements in 2022. He worked with a committee of four or five people encompassing members of the LeRoy Lions, LeRoy Community Theater, and some community members.  Payne presented samples of the proposed flooring (luxury vinyl), cabinets (solid heavy duty white cabinets), and wall covering (gray vinyl rock wall covering).  The ceiling tile and grid will also be replaced along with LED lighting.  Payne noted that upgraded electrical is not part of this proposal.  Payne presented the proposed layout.  The sinks would be a stand-alone three-compartment 14” deep sinks.  A large pantry closet to house cleaning supplies would be installed; the center island would be stainless steel with locking wheels.  The center island will measure 30” x 96” and can be moved out of the kitchen to be used for serving.
  • Rhonda Barnes questioned if any electrical work was going to be done in the main meeting room. It was noted that no electrical work is part of this proposal.  Kathy Stern thanked the council for considering this renovation.  Those in attendance noted the Community Center is an asset to the community.
  • Koppen questioned why this has to be done right now? Those in attendance asked ‘why not?’  It was noted from the April city council meeting minutes that the LeRoy Community Foundation had appropriated up to $50,000 for this kitchen project.  Koppen referenced the city council meeting minutes from the March 6, 2023, where Koppen noted the basement access does not meet code and is out of compliance.  He also 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.  Also from these meeting minutes a motion was made by Thiel and seconded by Huntley to remove the Community Center Kitchen Proposal and the Community Center Utility Room from the agenda until after the Hwy 56 project is completed.  Koppen also noted that there were issues with the sanitary sewer service line some years ago during heavy use of the kitchen.  Koppen noted the council won’t know any of these issues until the Hwy 56 project is completed.  Koppen noted he is in favor of delaying the project until after the Hwy 56 project is completed.  Those in attendance questioned where are the people that are in favor of leaving the kitchen as is.  Shipman commented this project should not have any bearing on the Hwy 56 project.  Barb Payne questioned why wait with this project?
  • Motion by Payne to proceed with the kitchen project as presented with Payne acting as overseer of this project. Second by Thiel.  On a roll call of votes Thiel, Shipman, and Payne voted aye.  Koppen cast a nay vote.  The motion carried 3-1.
  • Ron Purkapile reminded council that any work will need to be done according to code. He also noted there is a 21-year old water heater in the basement along with an older furnace in the basement.  Janet Rosedahl, as a member of the LeRoy Community Foundation, noted that if any of these items need replacing, that a request can be made to the LeRoy Community Foundation for funding.  Koppen noted the council will need to have in writing from the LeRoy Community Foundation how these funds will be allocated for this project.  Koppen also questioned how the rest of the Community Center issues were dropped from the request to the Community Foundation for funds.  Payne noted he requested funding just for the kitchen proposal due to not having any other plans in place for other improvements at the Community Center.

Housing Tax Abatement Public Hearing:

  • Koppen read the due call for this public hearing, “Notice is hereby given that the LeRoy City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 7:00 PM, at the LeRoy Community Center, 204 West Main Street, LeRoy, Minnesota, to consider a tax abatement request from Taylor Meyer, pursuant to Minnesota Statute 469.1813 and 116J.993 through 116J.995. The request is to abate 100% of the City of LeRoy portion of real estate taxes related to the building improvements on the subject property for a period of 5 years.  The subject property is legally described as Lot 7, River’s Edge Addition, City of LeRoy, Mower County (PIN 26.070.0070).  The total estimated abatement amount is on a $220,000 of estimated property value,” and opened the hearing at 7:00 PM.  No one in attendance had any comments about the requested tax abatement for the new home construction at 117 Miller Court.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to pass Resolution 2023-01, 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 this public hearing, the hearing was closed at 7:04 PM.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Shipman reported Prairie Visions is continuing their plans for the annual bike ride.
  • Payne reported the tennis court and basketball court will be painted when the weather is fit. He has four adult volunteers that will be doing the painting.  The tennis court will also be painted for pickle ball.
  • Koppen reported that Chuck Vogelgesang has resigned from his custodial position at the Community Center due to medical reasons after serving in this capacity since 2005. Barry Reburn has assumed these custodial duties at the Community Center.  Motion by Thiel, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2023-02, a resolution of thanks to Mr. Vogelgesang for his many years of service.  Motion carried 4-0.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White presented the information pertaining to the fee acquisition for city property needed for the Hwy 56 project. Motion by Payne, second by Thiel to approve the MnDOT Fee Acquisition.  Motion carried 4-0.
  • Thiel reported on a conversation he had with Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates. Bubany questioned Thiel if the city had done any research on different funding options for the Hwy 56 project.  Motion by Thiel to have two council members meet with MnDOT officials to request them to delay this project at least one year to give the council some time to seek better funding options to save the city some money.  Payne questioned if additional projects like a second well or water tower could be tied into this research.  Council felt it may be worth looking into this.  Payne seconded Thiel’s motion.  Motion carried 4-0.  Thiel and Shipman volunteered to discuss this with MnDOT.
  • Council reviewed the engagement letter from Northland Securities pertaining to the issuance of municipal securities and Northland Securities acting in the capacity of underwriter. Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to approve the signing of this engagement letter.  Motion carried 4-0.

Amanda O’Byrne-Coffee Shop Location:

  • O’Byrne was not attendance; there was no information to present pertaining to this item.

Land Use Permits:

  • Thiel explained his request for the City of LeRoy to approve transfer of the west 20’ of Lot 3 (26.007.0260) to Lot 4 (26.007.0265) in Block 2, Hickock Third Addition. Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to approve this transfer.  On a roll call of votes, Koppen, Shipman, and Payne voted aye.  Thiel abstained.  Motion carried 3-0.
  • Council reviewed one land use permit:
  1. N ½ OL 5 Exc S 48’, 915 N Everett, Dayne Olson-install wood and chain link fence
  • Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to approve this land use permit. Motion carried 4-0.

Communications File:

  • Koppen updated council on Lead and Copper Rules Revisions. Koppen noted this inspection process will take a fair amount of time to compile this inventory; the inventory needs to be completed by October 16, 2024.  Koppen noted the maintenance employees are requesting the hiring of a college student to do the summer mowing.  This will give the maintenance employees more time to devote to this project and to continue installing new water meters.  It was the consensus of the city council to allow the hiring of Gavin Sweeney for summer lawn mowing.
  • The City will be hosting the Mower County League of Cities dinner meeting on May 18, 2023. Council is to RSVP to White if they are able to attend.
  • Koppen read the thank you from ECFE for the city’s participation in the Touch a Truck event and for providing picnic tables for this event.

Update on Street Projects for 2022 & 2023:

  • Sweeney reported he expects Heartland Asphalt here this week to complete the paving projects.
  • Thiel questioned if there were any other areas that should be addressed. Sweeney plans to take some time with Colton from Heartland Asphalt to discuss other street issues.  Sweeney noted he would like to make some type of plan as to the best way to proceed with the streets.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Shipman recognized Axel Gumbel for all he does to promote LeRoy.
  • Payne recognized the graduating class of 2023.
  • Koppen noted accolades to LeRoy Fire and the city maintenance employees for their quick response to the fiber optic break, and to the crew that was tasked with repairing the Frontier fiber optic line last Thursday. He noted it was amazing to see all this come together and get repaired so quickly.

Vacant Properties:

  • Koppen noted there has been a reply made to Alexander Lucas, but Mr. Lucas has not replied to this correspondence. Shipman felt the city won’t see any activity at any of these properties by this fall.  Payne noted if nothing is done by the June meeting, the council should proceed with action by the city attorney.

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

  • Sweeney noted the survey has been completed. Two of the abutting property owners are infringing in the right of way.  Sweeney noted the council could proceed with vacating this street and allow egress for both owners of record from East County Road.  Koppen felt it would be better to reestablish the roadway and have it centered in the right of way.   Council discussed different options to include vacation, reestablish the roadway, or leave it as it is.  Council will further discuss this at future meetings.

ARPA Funds:

  • The annual report on these funds has been filed. There was no other new information on these funds.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Payne reported the WWG financials did not look good for March. He noted there were three payrolls in March, and the water heater was replaced in March.
  • Shipman reported the shingles should come in tomorrow with the shingling to begin on May 8.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Shipman, second by Payne at 7:56 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer