April 6, 2015

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Monday April 6, 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.

March 2, 2015 regular meeting minutes were read and approved on motion of Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

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

Alliant Energy

Electricity - February

$       1,939.28

American Water Works Assoc

CE Operator's Class (2)

$           60.00

Bound Tree Medical

Defibrillation Pads

$         148.47

Braun & Borth Sanitation

Garbage Pick-up

$       2,017.83

Carrot-Top Industries

Flag Arrangement and counterweight

$         137.58


Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspection

$         480.90

Clements Lumber

Drill bit, screwdriver set, misc supplies

$           31.70

Comfrey C-Store


$         400.82

Comfrey Fire Dept


$     89,984.53

Comfrey First Responders

Conf hotel, keys, EMT Refresher

$         676.63

Comfrey Public School

Frontier E-rate Reimbursement

$         229.76

Comfrey Times


$         323.50


Telephone/Internet - March

$         440.68

Go Daddy

City Website-Domain name renewal - 1 yr

$           15.17

Gopher State One-Call

Annual fee, 2 line locate

$         102.90

Harris Forms

Utility Bill Cards-2 cases

$         192.68


Chemicals & Tank demurrage

$       1,734.94

Indoff Incorporated


$             9.19

JP Cooke

Pet License

$           63.75

Tammy Kelly

Reimb for hotel, meals for Clerk's conf

$         245.46


Bills and Wages

$       6,564.12


Safety & Loss Control Workshops (2)

$           40.00

Jim Meyer

CE meals, fuel, finger print reader, McAfee

$         211.69

MN Pollution Control Agency

2015 Annual Permit

$         505.00

Payroll Expense

Hourly Payroll Expense

$       1,163.80

PT Steel and Fabrication

Hatch for WWTP

$         268.22


Anti-theft system

$         100.00

T & C Service Center

Mower filter, oil, trailer light adapter

$           37.60

USPS - stamps

3 books

$           29.40

Utility Consultants, Inc

WWTP Tests

$         282.00

Verizon Wireless

Police Cell Phone - March

$           77.87

Waste Management

Res. Garbage pickup - February

$       1,241.12

Zarn Garage, LLC

Towing Service

$         132.99


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

Fire Department – No report

First Responders – No report

Police Chief Meyer presented the monthly police report.  He reported we are 23 calls ahead of this time last year.

Public Works Director Berberich was absent but left a report stating he will be looking into seal coating.  He also had his inspection out at the waste water treatment plant by pollution control and felt everything went well.  The garbage carts have been ordered but are taking longer than expected to come in.

The library board minutes were reviewed.

There were two sealed bids presented for the garage door opener.  Attorney Muske opened and read the bids with the high bid going to Adam Ecker for $125.  The garage door opener was sold to Ecker for $125 on a motion by Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

No updates were reported for the “little white church”.

The cost of putting a light on the flag pole will be researched and brought to the next meeting.

City Auditor Sara Beavers of Dennis E Oberlogh Ltd presented the 2014 financial audit report. She gave it an unqualified opinion (clean opinion) but notes there is a lack of segregation of duties due to the one person office which is very common in small cities.  The report was accepted on motion of Schmitt, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

Andy Kehren from Bolton & Menk presented options for repair or replacement of the city water tower and improvements to the water treatment plant.  The options will be presented to the Minnesota Department of Health and MN Public Facilities Authority in hopes some funding may be available.  Several options were presented with the recommended option cost totaling an estimated $650,000.  This option would include interior wet coating remove and replace with exterior spot repair and overcoat of the water tower, sealing of well #1 and needed updates to the water treatment plant.  Kehren explained this action does not commit the city to the project or the costs it only puts project on the priority list to see what funding may be available. A motion to approve submittal of the project plans to be placed on the project priority list was made by Schmitt, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

City Assessor Amos Vogel was present and stated he had finished his assessments in Comfrey.  He stated some minor adjustments were made to values.  He also let the council know there is a new requirement that all assessors need to be accredited by 2019.  With this comes some additional costs so the city may see their per parcel assessment cost raise by thirty to forty cents per year through 2019.  On a motion by Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously to pay the bill for $3,175.50 to Amos Vogel for City Assessments.

The July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 liquor licenses for Comfrey Bar and Grill LLC were approved subject to all conditions being met on a motion of Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

On motion of Kastner, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously, it was voted not to waive the monetary tort limit set by the State of Minnesota.

A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for a memorial donation from Linda and Johnathon Wallin in honor of Lee Wallin to the Fire Department for $1500 and from the Darfur Sportsman to the fire department for $2000.  This resolution was approved on a motion from Schmitt, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

Annual permit renewal verses a life time permit for golf cart and ATV renewals was discussed.  It was decided that a life time permit may make more sense than the current annual renewal structure. Attorney Muske will draft an amendment to the ordinance for the next council meeting. 

The city staff reviewed the handicap accessibility report for the Comfrey Municipal Building. On motion of Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously, the report was approved.

Approval was given for Kelly to attend the second year of Clerk’s Institute in Plymouth, MN on May 4-8, 2015 on a motion made by Schmitt, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

Kelly and Attorney Muske will be gone for the May 4, 2015 council meeting.  A motion was made by Schmitt, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to move the meeting to Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the community center.

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