Council Minutes, September 5, 2023

Posted: September 5, 2023

City of LeRoy MN – Council Meeting Minutes, September 5, 2023

A regular meeting of the LeRoy City Council was called to order by Mayor Ed Koppen on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at 6:30 PM at the LeRoy Community Center with the following members present:  Mayor Ed Koppen, Council Members Harold Shipman, Gerald Payne, Brian Thiel, Ashley Huntley, Maintenance Employee Nick Sweeney, and City Clerk Patty White.
Also attending: Cole Wilcox, Cletus & Arlene Bastian, Russ Rudlong, Axel Gumbel, Joe Hamlin, and Deputy Andrew Pike.  All stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Consent Agenda:

  • Payne posed a couple of questions. Thiel reminded council that he would like to see the proposed pay scales/steps/descriptions adopted at some point.  Koppen noted this would be addressed at the annual pay review time.
  • Motion by Payne, second by Huntley to approve the items included in the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.

Police Report:

  • Deputy Andrew Pike was in attendance and gave an oral police report. He reported some of the deputies had done a walk-through at the L-O School to be prepared for any calls that may happen at the school.  Council thanked Deputy Pike for his time and report.

Public Input Time:

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

Standing Committee Reports:

  • Shipman reported Prairie Visions did not meet. Huntley reported the LeRoy Area Ambulance Service is running smoothly; they have not missed any calls.  Payne commended the Ambulance Service for their quick response to his call and for those that volunteer for this service.

State Highway 56 Project:

  • White noted in discussion with Northland Securities, council would need to hold a public hearing to address the portion of the proposed bonds associated with the street and other ancillary parts of the project. The public hearing is necessary since the council is not planning on using assessments for this part of the project but is paying for this portion through the city levy.  Motion by Huntley to call for a public hearing for this portion of the bonds on Monday, October 2, 2023, at 7:00 PM.  Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.  Following the hearing, a 30-day comment period will be allowed.

Proposed 2024 Budget & Preliminary Levy:

  • Koppen commended White for the unbelievably good job in pulling together all this information for the proposed budget.
  • Thiel questioned how the balance of the proposed bond payments will be made. He noted there was no figure included in the proposed budget or levy addressing this.  White noted it has been suggested to add a debt service line to each water bill to accrue the dollars needed for the balance of the bond payment.  Thiel questioned council if they were comfortable with doing this.  Payne noted he was more confident with doing this through the water bills than through levying or assessing for this amount.  Shipman noted he was not in favor of increasing the proposed levy for any reason.  He expressed concern that any increase in the levy hits the local businesses harder in an already difficult business climate.  He also noted that the businesses may struggle next year due to the construction project.
  • Motion by Thiel, second by Shipman to pass Resolution 2023-06, a resolution adopting the preliminary levy for 2024 in the amount of $575,000. Motion carried 5-0.

Thunderbolt Siren Request:

  • White had been contacted, via email, from someone interested in the Thunderbolt siren. Sweeney wanted to reach out to the company that installed the new siren to see what type of value there is for the old siren.  Council tabled this item pending additional information.

Land Use Permits-Request to Build a Shouse:

  • White had received a telephone call from someone that questioned if a shouse could be built in LeRoy. Koppen noted he did not think this project will proceed.  Council noted there are other sheds here in LeRoy and that one shed does have living quarters in it.
  • Council reviewed one land use permit:
  1. OL 16 S of Hwy 56 & E of North South Ctr Line SE ¼ SW ¼, Approx 280’ x 720’ as measured from West & South, 4.63 AC, 609 W Main, Dave Miller/Miller Grain-install sign
  • Motion by Huntley, second by Shipman to approve said permit with stipulation that this sign does not obstruct the Welcome to LeRoy sign. Motion carried 5-0.

Communications File:

  • There was nothing to review in the communications file.

Water Tower Proposal:

  • Sweeney had contacted Maguire from Sioux Falls, SD, after he had seen their work in West Union, IA. Sweeney also contacted KLM about painting the water tower.  KLM could repaint the tower at an estimated cost of $700,000.  Maguire submitted a quote to sand blast the tank down to bare steel, both inside and out, install any OSHA and AWWA requirements, and completely refurbish the tank for the cost of $364,000.  Maguire’s quote noted this would be like a new tower; these towers are good towers; they can be rebuilt and brought back to life.  Sweeney reported the cost of a new tower is in the $1M range.
  • Payne questioned about funds for this. Sweeney noted Maguire would spread payment for this project over five years in the approximate amount of $72,800 per year.  White noted funds could be allocated from the infrastructure outlay account.  The proposed levy has $75,794 appropriated for infrastructure outlay in 2024.
  • Council questioned when this project could be completed. Sweeney noted he is not comfortable running off pump pressure during the Hwy 56 project.  He would like to discuss the timing of this project in more detail with Maguire.
  • Motion by Shipman, second by Thiel to proceed with this project from Maguire and leave discretion to the city maintenance department as to timing of this project. Motion carried 5-0.

Community Center Kitchen Project:

  • Payne reported plans have been approved by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Board of Electricity, and the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. Payne noted the project can be started at any time; an inspection will need to be arranged prior to the project being fully completed.  Payne had checked with bookings at the Community Center; it appears that February would be the best month to complete this renovation.
  • Payne noted the LeRoy Area Historical Society is interested in the cabinets. They would be willing to remove the cabinets for their use.  Payne also reported an Ansel system is not required since the stove is not used on a daily basis.  The fire chief and fire inspector need to sign off on that part.

Parks & Recreation:

  • Sweeney reported the bathrooms in both parks are winterized when the weather gets colder. The South Park bathrooms could use a coat of paint.  This will be considered next spring.

Service Award Recognition:

  • Koppen noted the Friends of Lake Louise group that have been meeting with DNR officials. He noted this group was instrumental in keeping the park open back in the 1980’s.  He also commended all Prairie Visions does.  He noted the need for both of these groups to get support from younger people.  Payne reported he had emailed the newspaper article about the meeting with the Friends of Lake Louise and DNR officials to both Representative Davids and Representative Mueller.
  • Sweeney commended Dave Farlinger for the volunteer work he does with coaching the LeRoy football team. Sweeney noted Mr. Farlinger does so much for the team that goes unnoticed.
  • The LeRoy Lions Club and L-O Football Team were commended for power washing all the tables and chairs at the LeRoy Community Center.

Vacant & Nuisance Properties:

  • Payne felt the next step needs to be taken with the lack of cleanup at the property located at 208 W Read Street; White was directed to send the administrative fine to this owner of record.
  • Motion by Payne to send the demand for corrective action to the owners of record for the properties located at 221 E Main Street and 211 West Read Street; Payne also noted to have a copy of the letter sent to the owner at 211 West Read Street sent to the owner of the mobile home park. Second by Shipman.  Motion carried 5-0.

Strong & John Street-Right of Way Infringement-Traffic Flow-Vacation?:

  • This will be addressed following the completion of the Hwy 56 project. Koppen reported a person from MnDOT noted the electrical box located near 401 East Main Street will be moved.

ARPA Funds:

  • There was nothing to report on this.

EDA & WWG Report:

  • Payne reported the EDA is working on some different projects. He reported WWG has been through its first state inspection.  Things went well; the inspectors were very complimentary of the staff and administration.  A big thank you was expressed to the administration and staff at WWG.  Thiel requested the Balance Sheet to be included with the WWG reports.

Being no further business to come before the council, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Payne, seconded by Huntley at 7:16 PM.

– Ed Koppen, Mayor

– Patty A. White, City Clerk-Treasurer