Council Minutes, November 6, 2023

Posted: November 6, 2023

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

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, November 6, 2023, 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, Brian Thiel Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Deputy Katlynne Fisher, Russ Rudlong, Axel Gumbel, Ron Purkapile, and Steve Klostermann.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Council reviewed the items included in the consent agenda. Thiel posed a couple of questions pertaining to sewer lining and east lift station repairs.  These will be addressed later in the meeting.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Huntley to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Katlynne Fisher introduced herself to the council. She reviewed the monthly run log.  The department provided an average of 5.69 hours per day of police coverage over the past month.  There were 47 calls in October; most of these calls were for traffic stops.  Council thanked Deputy Fisher for her report.

Public Input Time:

  • Koppen reported that he and Ron Purkapile had done some research on the proposed Community Center kitchen project. Purkapile reviewed information contained in the emails between Payne and the Minnesota Department of Health.  Koppen, Mr. Purkapile, and John O’Byrne did a physical inspection on the water and sanitary sewer lines this past Saturday.  Mr. Purkapile reported there are no plumbing drain pipes in the basement.  All the sewer pipes are imbedded in the walls, 16” to 18” above the floor.  Mr. Purkapile noted this configuration would not allow the installation of a tell-tale drain for the three-compartment sink.  He also didn’t know how an installation of a drain for the mop sink can be done with this configuration.  Mr. Purkapile noted the need for the makeup of tempered air; he didn’t see where this is addressed in the proposed plans.  He also noted, according the MDH, that no food is to be prepared in the existing kitchen until it is permitted by the state (MDH).

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Thiel reported the library had installed a new outside hand railing on a new strip of concrete. These items are to be paid for from Memorial Funds.
  • Shipman reported Prairie Visions did not meet. Their Pat-on-the-Back dinner is scheduled for November 19 in Rose Creek.
  • Koppen reported that he, Thiel, and White had attended the SEMLM meeting in Austin. The main topic of this meeting was a presentation from Region 1 Emergency Management.  Part of the discussion centered on exchange of equipment during emergencies.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White updated council on the timeline for when bids for the project were due to MnDOT and when MnDOT may be ready to award the bid for this project. White has also been in contact with bond counsel.  It is hoped to do the bond issuance in December.

2024 Proposed Budget & Levy:

  • Council had no further questions or comments about the proposed 2024 budget and levy. The 2024 budget and levy can be approved following the Truth-in-Taxation hearing that will be held on Monday, December 4, 2023, at 6:30 PM.

City Attorney RFP:

  • Council reviewed the email received from Lee Bjorndal at the Baudler Law Offices. Motion by Shipman to request RFPs for city attorney services with the proposals to be returned by November 30, 2023.  Second by Thiel.  Motion carried 5-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • There were no land use permits for council review.

Communications File:

  • Council read a thank you from the L-O FFA thanking the city guys for their help in sweeping the trail for the FFA 5K Food for Frolic run.
  • White read the information received from the Mower County Auditor/Treasurer office pertaining to the funding that was appropriated during the 2023 MN legislative session for paying for election administration. Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2023-09, a Voting Operations, Technology, & Election Resources (VOTER) Account Agreement.  Motion carried 5-0.


  • Excessive parking of trailers on the 100 block of both East and West Cabot Street was discussed. It was noted ordinance states that vehicles/trailers need to be moved every 48 hours to comply.  Sweeney was directed to put notices on these trailers.  This will continue to be monitored.

Empire Pipe Proposal:

  • Sweeney reported he has talked to the Empire Pipe people, but they have not submitted a quote to televise the sanitary sewer main on East County Road between Henry & Frederick Streets. It was noted there is drainage through this sewer main, but the drainage is slow.

East Lift Station Update:

  • Sweeney reported the city received an insurance reimbursement check for the issues that happened at the east lift station in June. Sweeney noted there have been additional issues at the east lift station that caused sanitary sewer backup into the same house on two different occasions.  Since the June incident, Sweeney is now working with a different pump company.  On both of these most recent occasions, the alarms at the lift station did not go off.  These alarms would be sent to Sweeney’s cell phone, then to Cole Wilcox’s cell phone, and then to White’s cell phone.  The new pump company has installed a new control diffuser and new floats.  The lift station is still running with one pump; the other pump is being repaired.  These newest issues have also been submitted to the insurance company.  Council commended both Sweeney and Wilcox for their extra work in monitoring this situation.

Community Center Marquee Sign:

  • Motion by Payne to allow White to pursue a company to either repair the present sign or get quotes for a new sign. Second by Thiel.  Motion carried 5-0.

Community Center Kitchen Project:

  • Koppen reported he contacted Ron Purkapile because this is what Mr. Purkapile does; Koppen respects Mr. Purkapile’s knowledge of this.
  • Payne reported Leslie Hines from MDH has approved the plans for this project and has also approved the plumbing plans. Payne noted he would have appreciated being told about the physical inspection that was conducted by Koppen, Mr. Purkapile, and Mr. O’Byrne.  Payne reported he has contacted B & C Plumbing; they have agreed to review the concerns brought forth from this physical inspection.  Payne reported the cabinets will be ordered; payment of half down is required when the cabinets are ordered.
  • Koppen noted the need to file prudent plans; he does not want to see any surprises during this project. Purkapile noted Koppen made a valuable comment at an earlier meeting about using a project manager on this project.  Payne noted he had already told council that he could serve as the project manager on this project.  Koppen noted this whole project is a scam; he had noted this project was to have been put on hold until after the Hwy 56 project was completed.  He questioned why this is moving forward at this time.
  • Motion by Thiel to close discussion as no new information is coming from this conversation.
  • Payne reported he will continue with his contact at B & C Plumbing. He noted if this new inspection comes back as either that it can’t be done or if it isn’t feasible, he will let council know.  Koppen noted this project is plowing ahead; he doesn’t know if there are proper sanitary sewer hookups at the community center.  He noted again this is a scam.
  • Motion by Payne to proceed as planned with the Community Center kitchen, paying half down on the cabinets, and working with B & C Plumbing to review the plumbing plans. Prior to acting on Payne’s motion, Koppen called for a second to Thiel’s motion.  Koppen called for a second to this motion three times.  Hearing no second, the motion died for lack of a second.  Shipman seconded Payne’s motion.  On a roll call of votes, Shipman, Huntley, Payne, and Thiel cast aye votes.  Koppen cast a nay vote.  Motion carried 4-1.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen recognized Ron Purkapile for his work and expertise on the Community Center kitchen project. Koppen noted the Community Thanksgiving Service is to be held at Grace Christian Church on Wednesday, November, 22, 2023, at 7:30 PM.
  • Axel Gumbel recognized the entire community for donating over 1,000 pairs of shoes to the Lions Club Soles for Souls program. Gumbel also recognized all the businesses, individuals, and groups for the 79 prizes that have been donated for the EDA Advent Calendar promotion.

Vacant & Nuisance Properties:

  • It was noted that the property at 221 East Main Street has been cleaned up. Ownership of the property located at 210 East Frederick will be researched and will proceed with getting an inspector here.  Some work has been done at the property located at 208 West Read Street; not much has occurred at the property located at 211 West Read Street.  Motion by Payne, second by Shipman to send out the delinquent notices for these two properties.  Motion carried 5-0.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement:

  • There was nothing new to report on this.

ARPA Funds:

  • There was nothing new to report on this.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Payne drew attention to the WWG report; he noted the need to feel positive as to how WWG has done this year. The line of credit has been paid to down to a balance of approximately $35,000.
  • Payne reported the line of credit is coming due. The EDA would like to request the security of the city’s investment account for the line of credit.  The line of credit is currently written for $200,000; that amount is being requested for the new line of credit.  Motion by Thiel to approve the use of the city’s investment savings account as collateral on this line of credit.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • It was noted the EDA members have received tremendous compliments on the cares that residents of WWG receive. Payne noted that approximately $8,000 has been set aside from donations and fundraisers for a handicap accessible bus.
  • Payne reported the EDA is working on window clings for Commercial Club businesses with a new logo on them. The EDA will make their choice on a logo; this will then be brought back to council for their approval.  Axel Gumbel gave a brief history on using a hashtag.  He reported the #Loving LeRoy hashtag has been used over 1,000 times; over 95% of that usage has come from here.  The EDA is creating this brand for LeRoy by using this hashtag.  Gumbel requested of the council to have the #Loving LeRoy hashtag put on the water tower when it is repainted.  Council took no action on this request.

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