Council Minutes, October 2, 2023

Posted: October 2, 2023

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, October 2, 2023

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, October 2, 2023, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Gerald Payne, Brian Thiel, Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.  Council Members Ashley Huntley and Harold Shipman were absent.
Also attending: Joe Hamlin, Ron Purkapile, Cole Wilcox, Russ Rudlong, Steve Klostermann, Jessica Green from Northland Securities, and Deputy Andrew Pike.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Thiel posed a couple of questions pertaining to the bills. Motion by Payne, second by Koppen to approve the items included in the consent agenda.  Motion carried 3-0.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Andrew Pike was in attendance and gave an oral police report. Deputy Pike reported there were 61 calls during September; the Mower County deputies spent just over six (6) hours per day in LeRoy in September.  Deputy Pike reported the deputies are able to write city ordinance violations.  It would be up to the city to prosecute these through the city attorney.  Council concurred it would be better to write citations through state statutes than through city ordinances.
  • Koppen questioned about U-Turns being done in the middle of a block. Deputy Pike noted if No U-Turn signs are posted at both ends of one block, no U-Turns are allowed anywhere in that block.  The No U-Turn signs are not just applicable at the intersections.  Council thanked Deputy Pike for this information and for his report.

Public Input Time:

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

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Koppen reported he and Shipman had attended the Prairie Visions meeting. He reported on a very informational presentation on the Grand Meadow Chert Quarry.  There will be a presentation on the Chert Quarry this Saturday at the Mower County Historical Society.
  • Thiel reported the Library Board met in special session earlier this evening to discuss the installation of a new hand rail on the north side of the main sidewalk. This new hand rail would be installed on a new strip of concrete to be poured next to the existing sidewalk.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • Koppen read the due call for the public hearing pertaining to the proposal to adopt a street reconstruction plan and opened the hearing at 6:45 PM. Jessica Green of Northland Securities introduced herself to the council and those in attendance and explained the funding process for the Hwy 56 bonds.  She noted her understanding was that the council has discussed this project for quite some time; she also noted the council does not plan on charging assessments to the benefitted property owners.  Green reported the bonds will not be sold until November 6, 2023; she noted the figures used in the finance plan may change once the bid for the project has been awarded.
  • Green reviewed the Street Reconstruction Plan with the council. She noted this is a five-year plan.  This plan can be amended if new projects needing bond proceeds are added in future years.  The plan only lists the Hwy 56 reconstruction project at this time.
  • Green conducted a high-level review of the Finance Plan. A property tax levy and revenue from water and sewer utilities will be used to make the annual payments.  The estimated interest rate is 4.6%.  The bonds will be callable on or after December 1, 2031.  Ms. Green noted the city will be seeking a rating from Standard & Poor’s.  These would be tax-exempt bonds being done as a negotiated sale.  It is hoped to bring the bond sale information to the November 6, 2023, city council meeting.  If the bid for the project is not awarded by then, council will need to meet in special session later in November to address the bond sale.  Council reviewed the preliminary debt service schedule.  Ms. Green also discussed bond premiums and arbitrage compliance.  Payne questioned the difference between a negotiated sale and a public sale.
  • Being no further discussion from the council or the public, the hearing was closed on a motion by Thiel, second by Payne at 7:12 PM. Motion carried 3-0.  Motion by Thiel, second by Payne to pass Resolution 2023-07, a Resolution Adopting a Street Reconstruction Plan and Approving the Issuance of General Obligation Street Reconstruction Bonds.  Motion carried 3-0.  Green was thanked for her time.
  • Council reviewed the Cooperative Construction Agreement provided by MnDOT. Motion by Payne, second by Thiel to pass Resolution 2023-08, a Resolution Entering into MnDOT Agreement No. 1053431.  Motion carried 3-0.

Thunderbolt Siren Request:

  • Sweeney reported he had contacted the company that installed the new siren for information on the value of the old Thunderbolt siren. He noted the old siren is worth $1,200 to $1,600.  Council consensus to offer this gentleman each siren at $1,000 each.  Sweeney was directed to negotiate the deal on these sirens.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed one land use permit:
  1. Lot 16, Block 2, Olson Addition, 190 N Industrial Street, Lewis Enterprises/Josh Lewis-build mini-storage facility
  • Motion by Payne, second by Thiel to approve said permit. Motion carried 3-0.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the communications file.

Empire Pipe Proposal:

  • Sweeney reported he and Wilcox had done some jetting on East County Road. They ran into some obstruction between the intersections with Frederick Street and Henry Street.  They did put the city camera through this.  This area had been televised in 2019; the company doing the televising could not get through this area and just pulled their camera out.  It was noted this part of the East County Road sewer was not part of the reconstruction part.  Sweeney noted he is concerned with the condition of the sewer main.  Koppen commented this area has been an issue for quite a number of years.  Sweeney also noted East Benton from Everett Street going east and North Mather from Luella Street going north are also areas that could be televised.
  • Sweeney reported he had contacted Empire Pipe to see if they could provide an estimate of cost to televise these areas. Sweeney has not heard back from Empire Pipe yet.  Council directed Sweeney to monitor these areas and to relay information from Empire Pipe to them when it is received.

Community Center Kitchen Project:

  • Payne reported he had no new update; he is waiting on a quote for the stainless steel cabinets. He is hoping to use standard size cabinets where these are needed.
  • Koppen noted the council will need to make a statement as to what type of kitchen they want. Koppen also expressed concern with the plumbing; he was concerned that the entities that have granted permits are not aware the plumbing is old.  Payne noted B & C Plumbing has seen the plumbing; they reported the plumbing is okay.  Payne questioned about all this concern.  He noted he has provided all information to the council; copies of all information are available at city hall.  Koppen noted he has not received this information.  White noted Koppen had not asked for this information; a copy will be made available to him tomorrow morning.  Koppen suggested having a project manager or someone to oversee this project.  Payne reported if the State should make an unannounced inspection, the current kitchen does not meet code.  Koppen reported there have been two different motions passed at previous meetings.  One motion was to put this kitchen project on hold until after the Highway 56 project is completed; another motion was to continue this project.
  • Motion by Payne to rescind the motion made to put this project on hold until after the Highway 56 project is completed. Second by Thiel.  On a roll call of votes, Payne and Thiel cast aye votes.  Koppen cast a nay vote.  The motion carried 2-1.  Payne would like to proceed with the kitchen project as has been discussed for many months now.  Koppen again expressed concern about the plumbing and other aspects of the project.  Motion by Payne to proceed with the plan for the kitchen according to the written plans that have been submitted to the State and are kept on file at city hall.  Second by Thiel.  On a roll call of votes, Payne and Thiel voted aye.  Koppen cast a nay vote.  The motion carried 2-1.  Payne reiterated licensed plumbers, electricians, and contractors will be doing the work.  The LeRoy Community Foundation has allowed a not to exceed figure of $50,000 for this project; Payne reiterated this project is not costing the citizens of LeRoy anything; the funds are coming from the LeRoy Community Foundation.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen recognized Prairie Visions and the Friends of Lake Louise group for all they do. Koppen noted some property records indicate the City of LeRoy owns some property within Lake Louise State Park.  Koppen noted the rock arch rapids at Vernon Springs south of Cresco, IA, could be a nice replacement for the dam at Lake Louise if it were to wash out.

Vacant & Nuisance Properties:

  • Council reviewed the work paper received from the owner of record at 208 West Read Street. Motion by Payne to proceed with following the ordinance as it is written, to charge the administrative fines when in the proper time frame, to the three properties the council is trying to get in compliance with the ordinance.  Thiel questioned if anyone had a verbal conversation with the owner of 208 West Read; no one had.  The only conversation has been through email.  Thiel seconded the motion.  Motion carried 3-0.
  • White updated council on the conversation she had with a company that can do inspections of properties. Motion by Thiel to hire a capable inspector to follow the procedure to get this one property inspected.  Second by Payne.  Motion carried 3-0.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement:

  • There was nothing to report on this.

ARPA Funds:

  • There was nothing to report on this.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Payne reported the operations at WWG are going good. Thiel reviewed the KPI report.  He noted the line of credit is being paid down; this is allowing more funds to be advanced on the LOC, if needed.  Payne noted funds may need to be advanced from the LOC when the property insurance and work comp insurance premiums come due.  Thiel also noted the water and sewer funds seem to be holding steady with the increase in rates that happened earlier this year.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Payne, seconded by Thiel at 8:01 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer