February 1, 2016

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7:00 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.

Agenda - Approved with the addition of wine glasses under new business.

Minutes - January 4, 2016 regular meeting minutes were approved on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers. Carried unanimously.

Bills - The following bills were approved on a motion by Schmitt, second by Kastner and carried unanimously.

Bolten & Menk, IncEngineer Fees- WTP/Tower project $     8,031.90
Braun & Borth SanitationGarbage Pick-up - Janaury $     2,074.25
Brown County REAElectricity - December $     2,032.47
Clements LumberElect connect kit, bolts $          12.41
Comfrey C-StoreFuel - Dec and January $        658.13
Comfrey Fire DeptExpenses $     1,136.72
Comfrey First RespondersMedical Director Fee $          75.00
Comfrey GroceryPaper towels, batteries $          42.37
CrysteelCutting edge for truck $        424.00
Darfur ElectricStreet light fixture repair $        252.38
FrontierTelephone/Internet - Jan $        462.21
Gopher State One-Call2016 Annual Fee $        100.00
HawkinsTank demurrage $          10.00
Indoff IncorportatedNotary stamp, folders $          27.39
Kelly, TammyToner for Police printer $          48.83
LibraryBills and Wages $     1,598.37
Miller SellnerLawn Mower $     4,168.13
Minnesota Rural Water AssnCE - Steve Berberich $        225.00
Payroll ExpensePayroll Expense $     9,937.16
Plunkett'sQuarterly pest control $          85.00
Runnings2 Shovels $        124.97
STS, LLCSnow Removal $        495.00
Utility Consultants, IncWWTP Tests $        190.50
Verizon WirelessPolice Cell Phone - Jan $          78.43


Financial Statement - January’s financial statement will be reviewed at the next meeting.

Fire Department - No new information to report

Maintenance Department - Berberich informed the council all the required information has been turned in for the wellhead protection audit.  He also needs to attend a water school in March as part of the requirements to renew his water license.  Miller Sellner has delivered the new city lawn mower and picked up the used one for the trade-in.  

First Responders - Captain Barnes reported they had two resignations this month.  They are down to nine active first responders and are looking for new recruits.  They had to order new medications to replace all of the expiring supplies.  January was a busy month for them with four first responder calls.

Police Department - Chief Meyer reviewed the police report with the council.  January was a quiet month.

Library - The library board has recommended some changes to the bylaws and joint powers agreement.  They would like to see the term limitation for officers removed and also remove the treasurer position because the city clerk does all of the financials for the library. 

Current Library Board Members:

                        City Appointed:  Darlene Arnsdorf, Anna Nehring, Pamela Gardner

                        School Appointed:  Jim Meyer, Laural Koenig, Kelli Jensen

                        Member at Large:  Troy Stresemann

 Old Business:

Community Center - Conversations were had with the current employees about the community center rental process.  After discussion of different scenarios, it was decided to transfer the scheduling duties to the city clerk position to try and streamline the rental process.  This change was approved by a motion made by Arnsdorf, second by Schmitt and carried unanimously.  The council expressed their appreciation for the many years of a job well done by Janice Evers as the event scheduler.

The current costs and deposits for rental of the community center were also discussed.  A motion to change the rental deposits for wedding receptions and dances to $300 for residents of Comfrey and $500 for nonresidents was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.      

Municipal Building Roof Repairs - A roof repair estimate was received from Laraway Roofing out of New Ulm.  No action can be taken at this time because our insurance provider would like to hire an engineer to look at the roof and try to determine the reason the roof membrane has pulled away from the structure.


New Business:

Acceptance of Donation - A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for a donation memorial in honor of Margaret Berberich to the first responder in the amount of $230 was approved on a motion made by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

New Hire - The council approved the hiring of Jane Evers in the Library to help cover the library director duties while out on leave.  A motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to hire Evers on a part-time basis at $10 per hour.

Multiple Day Rent of Community Center - A request was made for a two day rental rate for the community center on March 25th and 26th.  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.  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 Evers and carried unanimously.

Resignations – The resignations from the first responders of Phyllis Affeldt on January 7, 2016 and Rebecca Schueler on January 19, 2016 were accepted on a motion by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

MDH Notice – An informational notice was emailed to the city regarding lead in the drinking water.  Public Works Superintendent Berberich stated the City of Comfrey has been testing and treating for lead since 1998 and are always in compliance. 

PFA Financing Information - As part of the PFA financing application, the city must designate a bond council and financial advisor.  A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to designate Briggs & Morgan as our bond council and Northland Securities as our financial advisor.  User rates and fees will be used to cover the debt schedule. 

Annual Financial Report - The 2015 annual financial report was presented by Clerk Kelly and approved on a motion made by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

Wine Glasses – St Paul’s Catholic Church has offered to donate 200 wine glasses to the community center.  Discussion was has had about the shortage of storage space and the need for another set of glasses since water goblets had just been purchased. A motion was made to accept the wine glass donation by Arnsdorf and seconded by Evers with council members, Arnsdorf, Evers and Kastner voting yes and Schmitt voting no. Motion carried.

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