Council Minutes, September 14, 2020

Posted: September 14, 2020

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, September 14, 2020

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Thiel on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Brian Thiel, Council Members Ashley Huntley, Jan Whisler, Harold Shipman, Daisie Fox, Maintenance Employee John Jones, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Chris Hahn, Cassidy Milks, and Teresa Frazer.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • In the absence of the assigned deputy, there was no police report to review.

Volunteer of the Month:

  • There have been no new nominations for the Volunteer of the Month recognition.

Public Input:

  • Shipman noted American Legion Post #161 would like to have a mural painted on the south outside wall of the Community Center. The mural would be painted on 4’ x 8’ panels and would be installed over the existing steel siding.  The door would not be affected by these panels.  The mural would be military themed and would enhance the Veteran’s Memorial.  Motion by Huntley, second by Fox to allow this mural to be installed.  Motion carried 5-0.

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Huntley reported the LeRoy Area Ambulance Service received $3,000 in CARES funds.
  • Fox questioned if a sign should be installed at the dump stating that cameras are in use. It was the consensus of the council to order a sign to be installed noting the use of cameras.
  • Fox questioned about the speed signs. She noted that one of the signs does not work and the other signs don’t blink very brightly.  She reported that the City of Stewartville has the same signs; she questioned if we could contact Stewartville to get some assistance.  Thiel reported he has been in contact with the company and is trying to get these in better working order.  Jones noted he will reset the solar panels on each sign when a telehandler becomes available.
  • Shipman reported that Prairie Visions has not met due to COVID-19.
  • Huntley questioned why the EDA had not been included on the agenda as a separate bullet point under Standing Committee Reports. She would like one of the two council members that are also members of the EDA to give a summary report of EDA activity.
  • Whisler questioned about changing the locks at the city shop. Jones reported the locks were changed earlier today.
  • Fox questioned about the open seat on the EDA. She questioned if the EDA plans to fill this open seat soon.  Thiel felt this appointment could wait until the new seated council is in place after the first of the new year.

2019 Audit Report:

  • Jason Boynton of Smith Schafer presented the 2019 audit report remotely. He reported the city received a modified clean opinion for 2019.  He also noted that no exceptions were noted with Minnesota legal compliance.  He did review some internal controls in relationship to Wildwood Grove.  Fox questioned if the EDA would be made aware of these suggestions; Thiel reported the EDA president already has this information.
  • Huntley questioned if the tax abatement has affected greater use of LGA instead of the tax levy. Boynton reported tax abatement does not affect or impact LGA.
  • Boynton noted the city may see some impact in the financials in 2020 due to COVID-19 due to possibly having lower property tax collections.
  • Boynton was thanked for the report and for his time.
  • Motion by Whisler to approve the 2019 audit report. Second by Fox.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Motion by Thiel that based on the recommendations of the Auditor’s Report for 2019 by Smith Schafer regarding EDA/Wildwood financial activities, and other recent events, the LeRoy City Council directs the EDA Board to function as the Board of Directors for the Wildwood Grove corporation to:
  1. Receive monthly financial reports for Wildwood Grove at its regular EDA meetings in the form of the following: Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, A/R Ledger, A/P Ledger, and Checks Written (except payroll).
  2. Have the Wildwood Grove Administrator present at monthly EDA meetings to give an oral and written report about any major operational issues or policies and if changes are intended – in advance, if possible, of any action.
  3. Approve before hiring all new employee position definitions or changes in the organizational supervisory structure.
  4. Conduct performance reviews with a written summary of the Administrator at least annually in a manner consistent with City of LeRoy employee performance review policy.

This motion was duly seconded by Huntley.  On a roll call of votes all members voted aye.  Motion carried 5-0.

  • Thiel reported that two flash drives have been received from the previous bookkeeper; one drive contains financial information for Wildwood Grove and the other drive contains financial information for LeRoy City Lines.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • The council has not received any new information from MnDOT on this project.
  • Jones reported the Hwy 56 project from in front of Bauer Built to Taopi will begin September 21.

CARES Act Funds:

  • Thiel questioned council if they were ready to move forward with suggestions.
  • Huntley questioned if anything was received on the HVAC recommendations. Thiel noted he has not heard from either company that he had contacted.  It was questioned if the council wanted to continue to pursue this or if this should be tabled.  Fox suggested moving forward with other suggestions and address the HVAC projects if funding is still available.
  • Chris Hahn noted the EDA is ready to move forward with small business grants. Motion by Huntley to pass Resolution 2020-08, a Resolution Authorizing Administration of Coronavirus Relief Funds by City of LeRoy Economic Development Authority for Business Relief Program.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Council discussed the ability to meet virtually using either Apple IPads or Chromebooks. Teresa Frazer, a member of the L-O school board, reported the school board uses IPads.  Frazer noted she would check with Superintendent Backer-JohnsonBrBr to see if the school would be willing to sub out their IT person to assist with this.  Motion by Huntley to allocate up to $10,000 for automation for the city council.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • The library requested funding for additional book carts and other items to assist with the process returned books go through prior to them being ready to be checked out again. Council felt to proceed with the purchase of the book carts and additional items for this.  Thiel also suggested getting a quote to spread out the public computers so more people can use them with socially distancing in place.
  • Huntley and Thiel also suggested turning the Community Center into a Wi-Fi hotspot for students needing internet access and for people that are now working from home. Council could also purchase more foggers for LeRoy City Lines or that could be loaned out to different entities for disinfecting.  White suggested gathering more dollar figures for items and present this information at the October council meeting.

2021 Budget & Preliminary Levy:

  • White presented the 2021 proposed budget and the 2021 preliminary levy.
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2020-09, a resolution adopting the preliminary levy at $500,000 and setting the Truth in Taxation hearing for Monday, December 7, 2020, at 6:30 PM. Motion carried 5-0.

L-O School Picnic Table Request:

  • Teresa Frazer reported the LeRoy Lions and the Ostrander Lions have donated $1,000 for lumber to be used to build additional picnic tables for outside learning centers for school students. The current pandemic has caused a shortage in lumber.  She requested the use of some of the city picnic tables to give more space for these outside learning centers until the new tables can be built.
  • Motion by Whisler to allow the use of the city picnic tables for this purpose. Second by Fox.  Motion carried 5-0.

Land Use Permits:

  • Council reviewed three land use permits.
  1. Lot 18, Lot 19 Exc E 8’, S70’ & W22’ N48.86’ Lot 20, Block 1, Original Village, 209 E Luella, Steve Ottaway-install privacy and picket fences
  2. Lots 10 & E 30’ Lot 11, Block 9, Original Village, 206 E Luella, Roger Bacon-install chain link fence
  3. Lots 5, 6, & E ½ Lot 7 & N 10’ Alley Adj on SW, Block 32, Original Village, 135 E Atkins, Harlan Olson-build pole barn style lean-to to existing shed
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Whisler to approve these land use permits. Motion carried 5-0.

Communications File:

  • Council reviewed a letter from MnDOT pertaining to the start of the Hwy 56 project from Taopi to in front of Bauer Built.

Skidloader Tires:

  • Jones presented information on new tires for the skidloader. He noted these tires would be radial tires and should hold up better when using the skidloader on paved streets.  Motion by Whisler to approve this purchase.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.
  • Jones also reported the tires on the Ford pickup will need to be replaced. Council consensus to get these tires replaced.

Street Project for 2021:

  • Jones and Whisler have not heard back from the Heartland Asphalt representative yet.

Well House Electronics:

  • Jones reported he is currently filling the water tower manually. The cost for the repairs to fix this is $6,200.  These parts have already been ordered.  He also reported the pumps that kick the water in are in poor repair.  The cost for these pumps is $2,056.  Motion by Shipman, second by Huntley to approve the new pumps.  Motion carried 5-0.

North Baumbach Park-Tennis/Basketball Court Fence & Paint:

  • Fox reported the fence around the courts is in very poor repair. Council felt that possibly the only way to repair this is to remove the existing fence and replace it with new fencing.  Thiel questioned if removal is the most feasible option.  Shipman felt it best to remove the fence for now and price what it would cost to put in a new fence.  Fox questioned if the existing fence could be fixed with reburying the cement for the poles and straightening the fence.
  • Thiel and Shipman concurred to remove the fence, salvage anything that can be salvaged, and take the rest of it to Alter Metal Recycling. Motion by Shipman to tear out the old fence and look at replacing it next spring.  Fox expressed concern for the safety of kids chasing after loose balls with the street close to the courts.  Shipman withdrew his motion.
  • Jones was instructed to gather information on the cost for a new fence; council will review this in the spring.

City-Wide Cleanup:

  • Council was reminded the city-wide cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, October 3, 2020, from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM. White reported that appliances and televisions will be accepted.  Jones and Sweeney will set up cones and barricades to have traffic enter from the east (from Everett Street) and have people unload their items on their own.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Huntley, second by Shipman at 9:08 PM.

– Brian Thiel, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer