Council Minutes, October 3, 2022

Posted: October 3, 2022

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, October 3, 2022

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Monday, October 3, 2022, at 6:43 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Harold Shipman, Brian Thiel, Maintenance Employees Nick Sweeney and Cole Wilcox, and City Clerk Patty White.  Council Members Ashley Huntley and Gerald Payne were absent.
Also attending: Axel Gumbel, Ron Purkapile, and Deputy Tim Donovan.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Council reviewed the amount charged for the 2021 audit. Koppen noted this amount is much lower than the cost of previous year’s audits.  Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to approve the consent agenda.  Motion carried 3-0.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Donovan gave an oral report. He noted there were 62 days of service from August 1 through October 3.  During that time there were 111 calls for service.  Council thanked Deputy Donovan for his report and time.

Public Input Time:

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

Standing Committee Reports:

  • (1) Thiel reported he had attended a housing bus tour sponsored by SE MN Together; the tour travelled through Pine Island, Owatonna, and Kasson and addressed affordable housing. Thiel noted most housing appeared to have a construction cost of $250,000 and up.  (2) Thiel had attended the SEMLM quarterly meeting in Pine Island; a panel discussion was held with a panelist of fire chiefs from twelve different departments.  Thiel noted the high cost of equipment was one of the biggest issues discussed.  Recruitment and retention of staff was also discussed.  Council commended the members of the LeRoy Fire Department for their service.  (3) Shipman reported Prairie Visions met and discussed the 25th anniversary of the Shooting Star Trail Bike Ride that will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023.  The ride will begin and end here in LeRoy.  (4) Thiel reported the two excess computers from the LeRoy Public Library have been transferred to Wildwood Grove.  He reported there is some sidewalk shifting at the library that may cause stumbling issues.  It was also noted the handrail along the main sidewalk does not extend all the way to the curb on Broadway.  Sweeney noted the rail probably cannot be extended due to snow removal and right of way issues.  (5) Shipman reported the speed signs at the three entrances to the city are not working.  White reported she contacted the county engineer to see if Mower County has a program to work with cities in Mower County to be able to purchase these signs.  The Mower County engineer and Mower County administrator were working on a program for this.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White reported Councilors Payne and Thiel had discussed with the MnDOT project manager the possibility of using colored concrete in part of the downtown sidewalks that will be installed with this project. It was suggested using a dark gray colored concrete on the buffer zone of the sidewalks.
  • Council reviewed the offers for the temporary easements. The consensus of the council was they received and reviewed the offers to purchase temporary easements on eight properties and refer these back to the city engineer.  It was noted the two open houses held on September 22 were well attended by both residents and business owners.

Proposed 2023 Budget & Levy:

  • Koppen reported on conversations he has had with local residents about the amount their property taxes have increased. It appears that most properties are paying 1.8% of valuation in property taxes.  Koppen and Thiel noted the need of the city council to be aware of spending and monitoring things to keep the tax levy in hand.

Trick or Treat Hours:

  • It was the consensus of the council to hold trick or treating on Monday, October 31, 2022, from 4:30 PM until 7:00 PM.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed two land use permits. Koppen and Thiel had both done a visual on one permit; Koppen also verified where a city water main is located.
  1. Lot 17 & N 46’ Old RR RTWY Adj on S exc. Etrly .5’, Block 12, Original Village, 105 W Main, Ed’s Floral-install covered patio roof
  2. Lot 12 Exc NW 144’ SW 225’ & Exc NE 39’ NW 44.5’; NW 99’ Lot 13 & Tract in Doc #629998; & Adj Vac St; NW 395’ Lot 18; Exc Tri Piece in SE Cor in Doc. #629999, Lewis Addition, 424 W Main, Kelly & Cristi Masters-move in mobile home
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to approve both permits. Motion carried 3-0.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the Communications File.

Street Project for 2022-Sanitary Sewer Review:

  • Sweeney reported Heartland Asphalt should be coming in towards the end of this week to do curb repairs. The actual blacktopping will be completed sometime in the middle of October.
  • Sweeney noted he had contacted HM Underground Solutions about sanitary sewer lining on sewer mains. Sweeney has also reached out to Insituform for a quote for this.  The quote from HM Underground Solutions was in the amount of $207,000.  Empire Pipe can also do this, but they only do this in shorter sections.  Sweeney noted the sewer lining does not need to be done prior to the street improvements.  He also noted this does not all have to be done now.  He suggested doing the poorer sections and then doing more in subsequent years.


  • Sweeney and Wilcox went to Rochester last week and looked at pickups. They found a 2018 Ford F250 Super Duty XLT with 70,000 miles for the price of $42,500 that could work.  Sweeney also has a lead on another pickup he would like to look at.
  • Sweeney reported the Ford diesel pickup is at the repair shop. The pickup has two dead cylinders at the present time, but the pickup has not run for six months.  The repair shop will continue to work on it.  If more issues are found, the pickup may need a completely rebuilt engine.  Sweeney noted this pickup does have value in it and is a needed piece of equipment for the city.

Well House Controls:

  • Sweeney had contacted Normans Electric Service (NES) from Rushford to have them look at the well house controls. NES would replace the previous company, LeBlanc Consulting.  It was the consensus of the council to allow the maintenance department to proceed with getting the necessary repairs to get this control panel repaired and operational.

Community Center Kitchen Proposal:

  • White reported she was not aware if any grant funds had been found for this proposed renovation. Koppen noted he has listened to many conversations from people that use the Community Center for various events; these people don’t want to see anything changed except for changing out one sink.  Council concurred that electrical upgrades in the kitchen are necessary.  Koppen suggested having any discussion about changes/upgrades to go through the council member assigned to public buildings.  Thiel suggested making some improvements in décor, lighting, and electrical.
  • Council consensus to investigate the upgrade of electrical outlets, the installation of one farmhouse sink, and LED lighting in the kitchen at the Community Center.

Community Center Utility Room:

  • Koppen reported the staircase to the utility basement is in poor repair. He reminded council the staircase is through a drop door in the floor of the small meeting room.  This utility basement holds one furnace and the water heater.  Thiel suggested moving the furnace and water heater to a closet on the main floor.  Koppen suggested putting a storm-type doorway to the basement.  Shipman felt if this were done, the basement could be used as a storm shelter in case of emergencies.  Thiel questioned about air quality.  Council consensus to investigate the installation of a storm-type doorway and at least get the steps repaired and put in decent lighting.

North Park Vandalism Update:

  • There was nothing new to report on this case. Sweeney reported both parks restrooms will be closed and winterized this week.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen recognized the very active LeRoy Lions Club, the CNA program that is being held at the LeRoy Clinic building, the new owners of the former Creative Arts Center with their plans for this building, the beautiful displays at both Ed’s Floral and A Gift to Gab, and the nicely laid out Dollar General store.

Nuisance Properties:

  • Thiel felt the council should pause and reconsider this whole process. Koppen reviewed some information received from the city attorney.  This will be tabled; White was directed to research how motions are reconsidered.
  • Shipman noted that a couple of properties still need to be torn down, but all this needs to be done correctly and according to law.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement:

  • Motion by Thiel, second by Shipman to get the survey of this area conducted that will be acceptable to the city attorney. Motion carried 3-0.  Koppen reported about a ravine that goes across John Street.

ARPA Funds:

  • There was nothing new to report on these funds.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Koppen noted we are now in the fourth quarter of the year; he noted it is up the council to think things through since the council is still the overall responsible party to oversee all the finances including those of WWG and the EDA. He would like to be made aware ahead of time if there will be a need for a transfer of funds to WWG.  He reminded council of the larger bills that come through in the fall that include the work comp insurance premium, the property/casualty insurance premium, and the bond payment.  He does not want to see the council blindsided.  Koppen stressed the need for the two council representatives on the EDA board to monitor this and determine if a special joint meeting needs to be held.

Council noted appreciation to the city clerk and maintenance department employees for their work for the city.  Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Shipman, second by Koppen at 8:16 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer