February 4, 2015

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Wednesday, February 4, 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.

January 5, 2015 regular meeting minutes and January 12, 2015 special meeting minutes were read and approved on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

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

Alliant EnergyElectricity - December$      2,248.59
Clements LumberDrill bit$             7.98
Comfrey C-StoreFuel$         436.23
Comfrey Fire DeptExpenses$      1,736.98
Comfrey First RespondersOxygen, service/maintenance on FR Rig$         315.33
Comfrey GroceryTrash bags$           10.02
Comfrey TimesPublications$         142.50
Friesen Plumbing & HeatingCirculating pump - municipal bldg$         165.00
FrontierTelephone/Internet - January$         421.62
GTS Education EventsMCFOA Clerks Conference Registration$         220.00
HawkinsTank demurrage$           10.00
Indoff IncorporatedFile folders, storage boxes, legal pads$           50.27
Kelly, TammyRequired updates - Microsoft Office, QuickBooks$         424.77
Kevin's Body Shop Auto SalesRepair door handle on city car$         57.41
League of Minnesota CitiesPATROL Subscription - Police CE$         170.00
LibraryBills and Wages$      2,091.71
Meyer, JimAdobe PDF Converter, call trace$           25.83
Muske, Muske & SuhrhoffProfessional Services$         234.00
Payroll ExpenseHourly Payroll Expense$         917.35
St Cloud State UniversityCE - Mandatory Police Pursuit Driving Course (2)$         792.00
T & C Service CenterOil change, tire repair/rotation, wipers, supplies$         257.07
Utility Consultants, IncWWTP Tests$         190.50
Verizon WirelessPolice Cell Phone - January$           77.87
Waste ManagementRes. Garbage pickup - December$       1,214.12

 The January financial report will be reviewed at the next council meeting.

Fire Chief Berberich reported the Annual Township Meeting is set for February 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm in the community center

First Responder Captain Paula Barnes, Mark Warner and Trisha Radtke were also present to share the exciting news of the Comfrey First Responders being the fortunate recipients of an updated rig from Gaylord Ambulance.  This was done through a program that South Central EMS offers.  Gaylord received a donation to purchase a new ambulance and in turn passed their current ambulance on at no cost to Comfrey.  Comfrey’s current first responder rig is a 1989 model and they will be receiving a 1998 rig, fully equipped with only 41,000 miles on it.  

Police Chief Meyer presented the monthly police report.  He stated it has been another busy month.  He has also been working on his continuing education and required training.  

Public Works Director Berberich reported both plants are running well.  He also worked with Frontier and got the internet hard wired into the community center.  We will need to purchase a router to allow wireless access within the community center at a cost of $80 to $100.  A motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Arnsdorf and carried unanimously to purchase the router for the community center.  Craig Moody helped with removing the windrows during the last snow removal which went really well.  Berberich believes it took only a quarter of the time to remove the snow with help verses doing it on his own.  The sale of a used garage door opener Berberich has at the shop was discussed and on a motion by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously the used garage door opener was declared as a surplus and open to advertise for sale.  A request was made to Brown County to block off a portion of Brown Street on February 10-11, 2015 for an event being held at the community center.

Arnsdorf presented the library board report and reviewed minutes.  The school appointed Laural Koenig to the Library Board to replace Carol Hayes.

Mayor Richter informed the council they are still working on a business plan for the Little White Church.

Solid waste proposals were discussed from Braun and Borth and Waste Management.  Many concerns were voiced about the service from Waste Management. A motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to switch to Braun & Borth as our new solid waste contractor.  Service will start with Braun & Borth on March 3, 2015 and garbage pickup will remain on Tuesday’s along with the recycling.  Attorney Muske will prepare a contract.

A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for donations from the Darfur Sportsman to the first responders for $1000 and a memorial in honor of Richard Pidde to the first responders for $100, fire department for $110 and the library for $110. This resolution was approved on a motion from Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

Dick Callanan was present and brought up concerns about dog walkers not cleaning up after their pets. He also had some questions regarding the possibility of natural gas in the City of Comfrey. Some discussion was had about options that may be available and the council decided to gather some additional information about the process. Attorney Paul Muske will initiate contact with the two companies offering this service.

Attorney Muske reviewed attorney fees and they have not been adjusted since 2008. He made the request to change the retainer fee to $375 per month with the additional hourly rate at $125. The new rates were approved on motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

New first responder members Courtney Nelson and Maria Floor were approved on a motion made by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously. Captain Barnes also let the council know she received a letter of resignation from the first responders for Gretchen Ecker.

A request was made for a two day rental rate for the community center on April 3rd and 4th, 2015. 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 Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

On motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously approval of the Pay Equity Report as prepared, was given.

The 2014 annual financial report was presented by Clerk Kelly and approved on a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

A resolution to allow electronic filing of complaints for the Comfrey Police department was passed by a motion made Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

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