January 3, 2017

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the community center with all members present. Attorney Paul Muske was also present. Mayor Richter presided.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited.

Oath of Office was administered by Paul Muske to Mayor Gary Richter, and Councilors Susan Evers and John Schmitt.

On motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously, the following official appointments were made:

Publication: Comfrey Times

            Depository: Choice Financial Bank

            Attorney: Paul Muske

            Weed Inspector: Gary Richter

            Assistant Weed Inspector: Steve Berberich

            Acting Mayor:  Darlene Arnsdorf


            Water: John Schmitt

            Sewer: Darlene Arnsdorf

            Streets: Rick Kastner

            Hall & Park: Susan Evers


The agenda was approved as presented.

December 5, 2016 regular meeting minutes were approved on motion of Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

The following bills were approved on a motion by Arnsdorf, second by Evers and carried unanimously.

Bolton & Menk, IncEngineer Fees- WTP/Tower project $     6,726.85
Braun & Borth SanitationGarbage Pick-up - Dec $     2,177.72
Brown County REAElectricity - Nov $     1,750.95
Clements LumberSoftner salt $          62.52
Comfrey C-StoreFuel $        494.51
Comfrey Fire DeptExpenses $   23,056.37
Comfrey First RespondersRig lens, Vacciations, $        123.75
Comfrey TimesPublications $        161.50
Crysteel Truck EquipmentNew Cutting Edge for snow removal $        458.40
FrontierTelephone/Internet - Dec $        419.74
Glens Auto PartsLens for city truck $          16.00
Gopher State One Call2 line locates $            2.70
HawkinsTank demurrage $          15.00
Heiderscheidt Digging2 snow removals, watermain break $     3,590.00
Indoff IncorporatedFile Folders, binder clips, envelopes $          24.37
LibraryBills and Wages $     2,865.01
Meyer, JimUSB Flash Drive, CDs, binder $          60.70
Mike's MarketCase of bathroom tissue $          50.05
Miller SellnerFilters for skid loader, skid loader repair $        446.29
Minnesota Chiefs of Polie AssocMembership Renewal $        165.00
Muske, Muske & SuhrhoffProfessional Services $        428.70
Payroll ExpensePayroll Expense $     9,813.24
RunningsIce melt, heater, spring $        139.87
US Postal ServicesStamped Envelopes - Reg and Window $        579.50
USPSUtitlity Card Postage and Stamps $        436.20
Utility Consultants, IncWWTP Tests $        190.50
Verizon WirelessPolice Cell Phone - Dec $          78.39


December financial statement was reviewed and approved on motion by Schmitt, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

Fire Chief Berberich reported the new 2016 Can-Am Defender side by side was ordered with a final cost of $22,362 and will be delivered this week. This cost will be reimbursed to the City by the Relief Association. Robert Liesenfeld has retired from the fire department after 23 years of service. He was the safety officer so the department will need to appoint a replacement for that position. The fire department had an ISO audit for insurance purposes and received the results back with the insurance rating being the same as the prior audit 8 years ago.

Berberich let the council know the water treatment plant upgrades will start in late March to early April and should be completed by the beginning of July. There was also a water main break by the intersection of County Road 17 and County Road 16. Heiderscheidt Digging was called to assist with the repair.

No first responder report

Chief Meyer reviewed the police report with the council. He reported 227 calls in 2016 which was less than the prior year. He also discussed with the council some liquor law violations by Comfrey Bar & Grill. A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to set a hearing date, if needed, for Monday, January 20, 2017 at 6:30 PM at the Comfrey Community Center to review the violations with Comfrey Bar & Grill.

The library report was reviewed. Arnsdorf let the council know they have not found a replacement for Nathan Hesse on the library board and asked Jim Meyer if he would stay on until a replacement could be found. A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously for Meyer to temporarily fill the vacated library board position as the city representative.

A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for a donation to the fire department of $1000 by the Darfur Sportsman for the purchase of new pagers was approved on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

A request was made by Alan Barnes for a two day rental rate for the community center on April 14th and 15th.  Discussion was had and a decision was made to discount the second day by 50% when no additional clean up or set up is involved.  The same request was made last year and once again this will be a one-time fee adjustment and not a permanent change to the fee rental schedule.  The two day rate of 50% off the second day was approved on a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

FEMA will be hosting a meeting on January 10, 2017 for the purpose of remapping Cottonwood and Watonwan County floodplains. Steve Berberich will be attending this meeting as a representative for the City of Comfrey.

Attorney Paul Muske informed the council the EDA will be getting the property back owned by Chris Rathman. The EDA will be looking at options for the property.

 A dividend for $10,357 was received from the LMCIT for our property and casualty insurance. The dividend is based on loss history of its members

The meeting was adjourned on a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers.