May 13, 2015

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the community center with all members present but councilor Arnsdorf. Attorney Paul Muske was also present. Mayor Richter presided.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited.

The agenda was approved as presented.

April 6, 2015 regular meeting minutes and April 20, 2015 Board of Review meetings were approved on motion of Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

On motion of Schmitt, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously, the following bills were approved:               

 Alliant Energy

Electricity - March

$ 1,636.10

Braun & Borth Sanitation

Garbage Pick-up

$ 2,090.77

Clements Lumber

Bags, grass seed, air freshener, salt,

$ 212.57

Comfrey C-Store


$ 312.01

Comfrey Fire Dept


$ 9,835.38

Comfrey First Responders

File cabinet, Training

$ 619.52

Comfrey Grocery

Cleaning Supplies

$ 27.70

Comfrey Times


$ 137.75


Telephone/Internet - April

$ 440.15

Gopher State One-Call

5 line locates

$   7.25


Tank demurrage

$ 15.00

Indoff Incorporated


$   3.69

Tammy Kelly

Clerk's Institute- hotel, mileage, meals

$ 715.74


Workers' Comp Ins Dep/ Accident Plan for Vol

$ 109.00


Bills and Wages

$ 3,191.01


Work Comp Deposit

$ 7,528.00


Property and Casualty Insurance

$ 26,932.00


Annual Membership

$  35.00

Miller Sellner Equipment

Brush set for sweeper, blade

$ 643.93

Overson Lumber Company

Garbage Carts

$ 1,259.80

Payroll Expense

Hourly Payroll Expense

$  956.80


Qrtly pest/insect control

$ 85.00

St Cloud State University

CE - Municipal Clerks Institute

$ 410.00

T & C Service Center

Battery, belt for Water plant

$ 107.50


Utility Post Card Postage

$ 420.00

Utility Consultants, Inc

WWTP Tests

$ 190.50

Utility Deposit Refunds

Utility Deposit Refunds

$ 752.46

Verizon Wireless

Police Cell Phone - April

$ 77.89

Vessco, Inc

WWTP chlorinator repair

$ 666.88


The financial report was reviewed and approved on motion by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

Public Works Director Berberich reported there has been standing water in the intersection of White and Brown Streets. The storm sewer line is old and there has been problems with it in the past. Berberich believes about 300 feet of the line will need to be replaced. Property owners will need to be notified of repairs. Permission was given for Berberich to move forward with the repair of the storm sewer on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously. A claims adjuster from the LMCIT looked at the damage done by winds to the shingles at the waste water treatment plant. Berberich would like to replace the shingles with steel at an estimated additional cost of $300 which would not be covered by insurance. After discussion, a motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to replace damaged shingles with a steel roof.

            A light for the flag pole will be discussed at our next meeting with additional options being looked into.

            Fire Chief Berberich informed the council a seal went out on the pump for Engine #31 and it has been taken in for repair. Berberich also reviewed how E-Dispatch works and has signed up for a 30 day free trial. The fire department, first responders, weather spotters and police department are all set up to receive information from emergency calls through their cell phones in addition to the calls coming across their portable radio or pager. The service is working well and he asked the council if they can continue it after the free trial. It will have a monthly fee of about $145 for the first year which includes equipment and software. At this time, an emergency call did come in and the council was able to see first-hand how this additional service worked. Meyer, Berberich, Barnes, Radtke left the meeting to attend the emergency call. A motion was made by Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously to continue the E-Dispatch Service.

The Police report was reviewed.

The library board minutes were reviewed.

            No update reported for the “Little White Church”.

            It was brought to the attention of the council that no one has taken the place of Mark Warner as lead of the weather spotters. Options were discussed and Clerk Kelly will check with individuals to see if they would be willing to take on this position and report back to the council in June.

            The first reading was had of Ordinance #178 the amendment to Ordinance #175, Section 1, Paragraph 3 changing the ATV/UTV/Cart permit from an annual renewal to a permanent license.

            Concerns were brought before the council of additional vehicles being parked on property. Discussion was had and as long as the vehicles have a current license, they are not in violation of the city ordinance.

Malt Liquor On-Sale license for 3 locations was requested by Comfrey Area Pride for Community Days, July 10th – 11th, 2015. On a motion by Schmitt, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously approval was granted.

A motion was made by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to authorize Comfrey Bar and Grill, LLC to serve alcohol at the South Park located in the City block bordered by Field St., Ochre St., Court St., and County Road 17 between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on Sunday, July 12, 2015 during Comfrey Community Days. No city license is required because Comfrey Bar and Grill’s liquor license and insurance will cover the event and liability during a city festival. Comfrey Bar and Grill once again would also like to have an outdoor band on Saturday, July 11th. They will provide a fenced in area and hire additional security for the event. The music must also end by midnight.  

            Land Use Permits were approved for Stan Schroepfer to build a deck and John Schmitt to put up a fence on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously. Councilor Schmitt abstained.

            A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for a memorial donation in honor of Julie Schmitt to the First Responders for $190, a memorial in honor of Bob Rathman to the First Responders for $225, and a donation from the United Way of $100 to the police department. The resolution was approved on a motion from Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

            Rental property concerns were discussed. Kelly will look into other cities that have addressed these concerns and have additional information for the June meeting.

            Information was shared with the council from DSI (Development Services Inc.) on services they offer cities.

A memorandum from the Minnesota department of Health was reviewed regarding fluoride concentration in drinking water.  

            A letter from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding a storage tank release investigation and corrective action for a rural property was shared. This was informational only as it does not affect the City of Comfrey.

            Kelly reviewed her week at Clerk’s Institute with the council and thanked them for the opportunity to attend. There is always so much to learn and great information given to take back to the community.

            Meyer, Berberich, Barnes, and Radtke returned from the emergency call.

            Police Chief Meyer shared with the council the fire arms class has been approved for him. He also has filed his first electronic criminal complaint. There were some issues with getting the finger print scanner and software setup for this. Eric Schwarzrock spent several hours with Meyer getting everything working and he would like to compensate Schwarzrock for some of his time. Meyers also thanked SEMC for hosting a bike rodeo for the elementary students where they learned safety rules and the importance of wearing a helmet while riding bike.

            Berberich finished his fire department report by letting the council know they will be adding a bottom fill in the fire hall so they longer have to climb on top of the trucks to fill with water. This has been a safety concern and will make things much faster.

            First Responder Captain Paula Barnes requested to switch their medical director to Dr. White out of Springfield. There will be a quarterly charge of $150 for this service. A medical director is required to be in place for the first responders to operate. Approval for the medical director contract effective May 1, 2015 was given on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously. Discussion was also had regarding the first responder rig. The new donated replacement rig will not be available until fall but they would like to look for a city that could benefit from the donation of our current rig. The current 1989 Ford E350 First Responder Rig will be declared as surplus property upon receipt of the new rig on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously. The council also approved co-captains for the first responders of Paula Barnes and Trisha Radtke on a motion made by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

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