Council Minutes, November 1, 2021

Posted: November 1, 2021

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, November 1, 2021

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, November 1, 2021, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Harold Shipman, Gerald Payne, Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Cassidy Milks, and Brian Thiel.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Koppen noted the city received the final bill for the 2020 audit from Smith Schafer. According to the RFP accepted by the city from Smith Schafer, the 2020 audit was quoted at $17,225.  The current audit cost is approximately $25,000 for the 2020 audit.  Huntley expressed concern that some issues seen by Smith Schafer were not brought to the council’s attention from a previous audit.  Koppen felt it could be prudent to have the auditor come to Wildwood Grove and work with the WWG bookkeeper to give them direction of what is needed and expected from them for each annual audit; this could make the audit easier for Smith Schafer and bring the cost down for the audit.  Council would like to see the breakdown of the 2020 audit bills; these will be reviewed at the December council meeting.
  • Being no further comments about the items included in the consent agenda, motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 4-0.

Appointment of Council Member-Oath of Office

  • White reported one letter was received for the open council seat. Koppen read the letter of interest received from Brian Thiel.  Motion by Payne to appoint Brian Thiel to the unexpired term of Daisie Fox effective from 11/01/21 through 12/31/22.  Second by Huntley. Motion carried 4-0.  White administered the oath of office to Brian Thiel; Mr. Thiel was welcomed to the council.

Police Report:

  • There was no police report to review due to the absence of the assigned deputy.

Public Input Time:

  • Axel Gumbel reported a Fall Photo Contest is being sponsored on the city Facebook page. 37 photos were submitted for this contest.  Judging will conclude the end of this week.  LeRoy Bucks will be awarded to the first, second, and third place photo.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Huntley reported the explorer program is being started again for both the ambulance service and fire department.
  • Shipman reported Prairie Visions had met. Their annual Pat on the Back dinner will be held on Tuesday, November 16, at the Creek Bar & Grill in Rose Creek.  Shipman also noted there is a good chance the connection of the Shooting Star Trail and the Wapsi Trail will happen in 2022.
  • Payne reported on the operations at Wildwood Grove. Payne noted the line of credit that the EDA has for WWG will be coming due in mid-November.  This line of credit is secured with the city’s investment savings account.  Payne requested this collateral agreement for the line of credit.  Motion by Huntley to approve the Line of Credit and the use of the city’s investment savings account as collateral.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.  Payne also noted the EDA will be requesting the use of the city’s allotted funds for the WWG bond payment.  Payne noted WWG has paid for $60,000 of capital improvements this year.
  • Payne reported the LeRoy City Lines buses will get listed on the Ritchie Bros. website and will go to an upcoming auction if they don’t sell prior to the auction. Payne reported there has been some interest in the buses.
  • Koppen reported on WWG financials over the past 20 years. He noted there were 12 positive years and 8 negative years.  He noted that previous mayors and other city residents stated that WWG should continue to be a part of the city with the feeling that WWG is a nice facility to provide housing options for the local residents and to provide good jobs at a decent rate of pay.  Koppen’s opinion is that WWG is to be kept as an asset of the city and to remain city owned.  Thiel noted the attractive look of WWG and the useful asset it is for the city.  Payne noted thanks to all the previous EDA members, to Sara Gerk, and to Patty White for all the time and work they have put into WWG.  Gumbel noted a growing burnout of EDA members by the amount of time that is spent at EDA meetings handling WWG issues.  Koppen suggested a three-person governing board to oversee WWG; he suggested the possibility of offering a stipend to these board members.  Koppen reiterated that WWG is an asset for the city; the city intends to keep WWG and enhance it.  Council noted the city provides funds for other city assets including the parks and the public library.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • Koppen reported MnDOT was pleased with the turnout from the business Open House.


  • Koppen noted he keeps reminding people that if they want nice parks they need to take an interest in the parks and be willing to monitor activity in the parks.

2022 Proposed Budget & Levy:

  • Council was reminded of the annual Truth in Taxation hearing that will be held at the beginning of the December council meeting. The hearing will begin at 6:30 PM on Monday, December 6.
  • Koppen reported that a letter had been sent to Jay Hardecopf pertaining to his offer of possibly being interested in selling his properties. Koppen has not had any correspondence from Mr. Hardecopf yet.

Resolution of Appreciation to Daisie Fox:

  • Motion by Shipman, second by Huntley to pass Resolution 2021-11, a resolution of appreciation to Daisie Fox for her time serving on the city council. Motion carried 5-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • There were no land use permits for council review.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the communications file.


  • Sweeney reported he had Duane Wheeler look at the pump sizes at the east lift station to figure out what size of generator that will be needed. He has also talked to Freeborn Mower Electric and Minnesota Energy to discuss electrical and natural gas for the generator.
  • Sweeney also reported that two of the four DNR generators the city currently has no longer are operational. It is possible to get two different generators through the DNR.  Arrangements would be made to return the two non-working generators and pick up the two new ones.  Thiel questioned how many generators are truly necessary for the city.  Sweeney noted four generators would be nice, but they could get by with two or three.  Council consensus to proceed with getting these two new generators.

Security Cameras Update:

  • White had talked to Mike Bowe from On-Site Computers about security cameras for both city parks. It was noted to have like cameras to those at the Community Center would require Wi-Fi in the parks.  Bowe noted that Verizon has the Arlo security camera that can be operated through a plan with Verizon.  This camera does not require a Wi-Fi connection.  White will continue to investigate these options.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen recognized Ron Eastvold, posthumously, for all he did for the LeRoy community through his years as a businessman. Eastvold was instrumental in getting the LeRoy Community Center to the facility it is today; he was a member of the EDA board when LPC was bequeathed to the EDA at the passing of Don Bothun; he was a quiet champion for the LeRoy community in many ways.  Koppen expressed thanks for all he did for this community.  Payne recognized Audrey McCarthy for her past one and one-half years as the administrator of WWG; she worked tirelessly during the COVID pandemic.

Nuisance Properties:

  • Payne noted there has been some activity on the properties that have already received letters. Payne would like letters sent to Marilyn Knutson and Ron Andrews; White will proceed with these letters.

North Speed Limit Sign:

  • Sweeney is waiting for the Miller Grain telehandler to become available to install this sign. The telehandler is needed to provide safety to city employees to install this sign.

In Other Business:

  • Shipman questioned if Jones had talked to Heartland Asphalt about a street project for next year. Sweeney did not know if this has happened or not.  Koppen noted that Sweeney has been handling things in the absence of Jones.  Koppen noted that some part-time help may be needed to assist with projects that need to be completed.  Council was open to this.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Huntley, second by Shipman at 7:37 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer