August 3, 2015

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Monday, August 3, 2015 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.

The agenda was approved as presented.

July 6, 2015 regular meeting minutes were approved on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt. Carried unanimously.

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

Alliant Energy

Electricity - June

$       2,075.50

Braun & Borth Sanitation

Garbage Pick-up - July

$       2,133.12

Certified & Diversified

Storm Clean-up, stump removal

$       4,147.50

Clements Lumber

Bags, fuse, filter, bb nets

$           59.46

Comfrey C-Store


$         399.43

Comfrey Fire Dept


$         914.42

Comfrey First Responders


$       1,377.50

Comfrey Grocery

Cleaning Supplies

$           35.82

Friesen Plumbing & Heating

Install of FD bottom fill

$         185.00


Telephone/Internet - July

$         441.51

Gopher State One-Call

11 line locates

$           15.95

Harvest Land

Weed Chemical

$         189.09


Tank demurrage

$           10.00

Kevin's Body Shop

Window Replacement

$         964.13


Bills and Wages

$       1,426.69

Liesenfeld, Bob

Storm Clean-up, Equip rental

$         840.00

Mathiowetz Enterprises, Inc

6 yds dried sludge removal

$         107.06

New Star Sales & Service

Annual Service Agreement

$         450.00

Payroll Expense

Hourly Payroll Expense

$       1,150.60

Plunkett's Pest Control

Quarterly Pest Control

$           85.00

PT Steel & Fabrication

Waste Water Basket

$         449.70


Parts for Bottom Fill

$           39.51

Servocal Instruments Inc

Semi-Annual Calibration of WW Meters

$         400.00

Thomas Suess Construction

Roof 2 buildings at WWTP

$       3,000.00

US Postal Service

Pre-Stamped Envelopes - Window

$         305.00

Utility Consultants, Inc

WWTP Tests

$         218.25

Verizon Wireless

Police Cell Phone - July

$           77.89


The financial report was reviewed and approved on motion by Arnsdorf, second by Evers and carried unanimously.

Chief Berberich notified the council the bottom fill for the trucks has been finished. He also reviewed current section rates for fire contracts which are currently at $130 per sections. The fire department is recommending to the council these rates be increased by $5 to $135 per section. Motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to increase fire contract rates to $135 per section effective January 1, 2016.

Public Works Director Berberich informed the council the city received its variance from the MDH to lower the fluoride concentration in the city drinking water to an average of 0.7 mg/L.

First Responders Captain Barnes reported they have had 19 calls so far this year.  She had not new updates on the new rig they are expecting from the City of Gaylord.

Police Chief Meyer reviewed the police report with the council.  He also requested the permission to purchase an additional camera to have as a backup at an estimated cost of $1200.  Motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to purchase camera.

The library board minutes were reviewed. Arnsdorf mentioned that TDS costs would be going up substantially next year. 

Lindsay Friesen appeared before the council with a request to close off the alley behind her property because of individuals driving on her yard.  Discussion was had and other options were suggested including to mark her property with a fence or visible posts.  The council asked her to report back if this did not resolve the issue.

            Crystal Koepp appeared before the council with a request to license an additional dog that is a licensed therapy dog.  She shared information on the process of getting a licensed therapy dog and what they are used for. 

 A first reading was held of an amendment to the Pet Ordinance #155 to allow a third dog if it is deemed a “Service Animal,” as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or a licensed “therapy dog,” which licensing agency requires service hours to be performed by said therapy dog on an annual basis.

            Brown County REA representatives Marcia Solie and Jim Hansen were present to discuss the transition from Alliant to Brown County REA.  They will be holding an open house for the public on August 10, 2015 from 4:00 – 7:00pm.  A request was also made by Marcia Solie to waive the community center fee of $50 to hold the public meeting.  A motion made by Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously to waive fee.

            No update reported for the “Little White Church”.

A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers to move forward with the Public Alert System for the community.  Clerk Kelly will work with Softline Data to get the system in place and requesting contact preferences from the community. 

Bridging Brown County Leadership Program was discussed and a list of names was put together to contact.

Notices were given to two property owners on enforcing the Nuisance Ordinance.  A motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to set a hearing for the September 2nd city council meeting if both properties are not cleaned by the August 15, 2015 deadline.  Attorney Muske reported he has had no response to the letter sent to the third party regarding the default of the development agreement.

The second reading of Ordinance #178 on rental housing was had at this time.  Ordinance #178 was passed with an effective date of January 1, 2016 on a motion by Kastner, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

A Land Use Permits was approved for Tim Anderson to put up additional fencing.  Motion made by Evers, seconded by Kastner to approve permit. Carried unanimously.

A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for a donation of $100 by Schwartz Farms to the Fire Department was approved on a motion from Schmitt, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

First readings of a parking and storing ordinance and a public nuisance ordinance was held at this time. 

The annual Fire Relief Association report was approved on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

Clerk Kelly notified the council that the city received the first half of The Small Cities Assistant Account payment in the amount of $5,874. The payment was a result of 2015 legislation and is to be used towards the construction and maintenance of roads located within the city.

A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously for Kelly to renew her Notary Commission which will expire in January, 2016.

A motion was made by Schmitt, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously to approve the Darfur Electric bill to place an additional 50 amp breaker in the South Park.

Comfrey Bar and Grill will be sponsoring a softball tournament in the North Park on August 8th and 9th, 2015. Owner Alan Barnes is going to check with his insurance provider to see if his liquor liability insurance can be extended down to the park as it was last year. If it cannot be, he would like to request a Malt Liquor On-Sale license. A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to approve the Malt On-Sale Liquor license if needed.

Other non-action informational items were shared with the council.

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