September 2, 2015

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the community center with all members present but Councilor Arnsdorf arriving at 7:45 PM. Attorney Paul Muske was also present. Mayor Richter presided.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited.

The agenda was approved as presented.

August 3, 2015 regular meeting minutes were approved on motion of Schmitt, seconded by Evers. Carried unanimously.

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

Alliant Energy

Electricity - July

$       1,595.78

Braun & Borth Sanitation

Garbage Pick-up - August

$       2,133.12

Clements Lumber

Salt, tools, filter, supplies

$         198.51

Comfrey C-Store

Fuel

$         366.64

Comfrey Community Ed

Summer Rec Program

$         500.00

Comfrey Fire Dept

Expenses

$         693.72

Comfrey First Responders

Mileage

$           49.50

Comfrey Grocery

Cleaning Supplies, TP

$           64.52

Comfrey Times

Publications

$         529.50

Checks Ulimited

1000 Checks

$         117.71

Dennis E Oberloh, Ltd

2014 Audit

$       4,707.78

Friesen Plumbing & Heating

Repair storm sewer by Clements Lumber

$           45.00

Frontier

Telephone/Internet - Aug

$         441.74

Gopher State One-Call

9 line locates

$           13.05

Hawkins

Tank demurrage

$           15.00

Huhn, Dave

Reimb for digital recorder

$           64.30

Indoff Incorporated

City Address Stamp, label tape, paper

$         258.73

JCL Solutions

Cleaning Supplies

$         301.35

Kelly, Tammy

Toner for police printer

$           51.28

LMCIT

Work Comp Final Audit - Premium Adj

$         899.00

Leauge of MN Cities

Annual City Dues/ Mayors Membership

$         535.00

Library

Bills and Wages

$         927.10

Meyer, Jim

Investigation Expense

$           58.15

Minnesota Dept of Health

Quarterly Water Service Collection Fee

$         311.00

Muske, Muske & Suhrhoff

Professionl Services (July/August)

$       1,156.00

Payroll Expense

Hourly Payroll Expense

$       1,702.10

PT Steel & Fabrication

Repair sweeper bucket

$         225.96

Red Feather Paper Co

Mop heads

$           39.08

Richert's Live Bait

2 boxes of slugs - Police Training

$             7.58

Runnings

Ammunition for police training

$           79.97

T & C Service Center

Oil change, mower filter/oil, air freshener

$         105.46

Taser International

Camera system, evidence storage

$       1,190.96

USPS

Annual PO Box Rent

$           68.00

Utility Consultants, Inc

WWTP Tests

$         248.25

Verizon Wireless

Police Cell Phone - August

$           80.77

 

The financial report was reviewed and approved on motion by Schmitt, second by Kastner and carried unanimously.

Fire Chief Berberich notified the council they had sent in for a matching DNR grant last fall and they did receive it. They are planning to use the money to update the pump on truck #2.

During the maintenance report Berberich informed the council the skid loader was in need of new tires.  A motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to purchase new tires at an estimated cost of $300 per tire. The snow removal contract with Heiderscheidt Digging was approved with a cost of $160 per hour for loader use and $100 per hour for truck use.  The contract was approved on motion by Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.  Berberich also noted we received an email from Andy Kehren notifying us we were within the fundable range for our water tower and water plant projects on the project priority list.  Additional information will be available at a future date.

First Responder Captain Barnes let the council know she has not received any updates on the status of the new first responder rig. 

Police Chief Meyer reviewed the police report with the council and stated we are about 30 calls ahead of last year.  He also has an audit scheduled with the Post Board on September 9th

No update reported for the “Little White Church”.

Clerk Kelly notified council she has asked several people with no one being able to attend the Bridging Brown County Leadership program so far.

No public hearing was needed for the nuisance properties were found in compliance.

Attorney Muske will contact a building inspector regarding fees and availability.  Discussion will be had at the next meeting.

The second reading of the pet license ordinance amendment on service and therapy dogs was tabled until additional information was gathered on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

The second reading of the parking and storing ordinance was discussed and a motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to table until additional information is gathered on what surrounding communities are doing.

A second reading was held of the Public Nuisance Ordinance.  A motion made by Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously to pass and adopt ordinance #180 on public nuisance.

The council felt the natural gas meeting was very well attended with positive feedback from the community members attending.  Clerk Kelly will get in touch with Mike Swan to see what the next steps are.

Linda Wallin asked if the community center fees could be waived for a fund raiser that Brickstone Manor was having.  Once it was explained that a reduced rate of $50 was already set for nonprofits and they would qualify for that rate no further action was taken.

 A Land Use Permit was approved for Viola Watkins to repair steps, carport and retaining wall.  Motion made by Evers, seconded by Kastner to approve permit. Carried unanimously.

The library board minutes were reviewed. Arnsdorf reported the budget was done and will be reviewed at the next library board meeting.  There will be a need to reduce hours.  There was also a large increase in the cost of TDS.  She informed the council that city appointed board member Jennifer Redman’s term will be done on December 31, 2015 so a new city appointment will be needed. The school will also need to appoint a new member as Jessica Nachreiner’s term will also be up on December 31, 2015.

A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for a donation of $400 by the Comfrey Fire Relief Association was given to the First Responders for their help at the steak fry.  Resolution approved on a motion from Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

On a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously, approval was given for the annual LP contract with Harvest Land Coop. The contract is for 9,000 gallons of LP at $.99 per gallon.

            Gambling permits for St Paul’s Church on October 25, 2015 and the Comfrey Fire Relief Association for November 21, 2015 was approved on a motion made by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

The library certification of minimum local support for operating expenses requirement for 2016 was set at $12,900 by the state.  This is unchanged from last year and is the minimum base amount required to continue participation in our regional public library system.

            The annual wage review was held. After discussion, on motion of Schmitt, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously it was voted effective January 1, 2016 to increase the following wages: Steve Berberich and Tammy Kelly’s hourly wage by fifty cents; Nick Ludewig’s by twenty-five cents; and Craig Moody’s hourly wage by seventy-five cents to bring in line with other positions in maintenance department.

Councilors reviewed the proposed 2016 expenditures and revenue. A proposed budget includes general expenditures of $446,635 and general revenues of $233,402. The proposed levy included:

            General Fund                           $207,065

            Capital Equipment Fund             15,000

            Debt Service                             13,833

The proposed 2016 budget and proposed 2016 levy were approved on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

            Discussion and the first reading of a drone ordinance was had at this time.

            Discussion and the first reading of a new tobacco ordinance to include language to cover electronic cigarettes was had.

            A motion was made to pay Friesen Plumbing and Heating for the repair or the municipal building water heater at an estimated cost of $550 on a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

            Notice of assignment by Interstate Power and Light Company was approved on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

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

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