June 2, 2014

The City Council of Comfrey met in regular session Monday, June 2, 2014 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.

            May 5, 2014 regular meeting minutes were read and approved on motion of Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

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

Alliant Energy

Electricity - May

$       1,815.91

Berberich, Steve

Brush cutter/blades, mileage/meal- water school

$         188.19

Nick Berning

Cement Saw Rental

$           25.00

Clements Lumber

Hose, screws, garbage bags, glass pane, broom

$           95.33

Comfrey C-Store


$         487.10

Comfrey Fire Dept


$       3,362.40

Comfrey First Responders

2 Ditch bags, 4 radios, 4 chargers

$       9,710.03

Comfrey Market

Cleaning supplies, gloves, paper towels

$           59.90

Darfur Electric

Mun bldg lights time clock, repair conduit WWTP

$         173.91

Friesen Plumbing & Heating

Repairs at South Park and PUC pipe

$         409.71

Gene Friesen

Mileage for weather spotter training in Jackson

$           36.90


Telephone/Internet - May

$         433.23

Gopher State One-Call

1 line locate

$             1.45


Tank Demurrage

$             5.00

Heiderscheidt Digging, Inc

Dig out tile and wire by lumber yard

$         859.75

Jan Johnson-Cottonwood Cty Auditor

2014 Road Benefits, JD 7

$       1,048.89

League of Minnesota Cities Ins Trust

Property / Casualty Premium

$     27,687.00


Bills and Wages

$       6,060.66

Mankato/Fairmont Fire & Safety

Fire alarm inspect, batteries, CO2 cartridge

$         497.00

Marlin C Helget-Brown Cty Auditor

Recording of new assessments

$         155.00

Mathiowetz Enterprises, Inc

Dried sludge - 6 yds

$         107.06

Meyer, Jim

Cell phone case and accessories

$         131.70

Minnesota Association of Small Cities

Annual Membership

$         291.90

Minnesota Dept of Health

Quarterly Water Service Connection Fee

$         311.00

Minnesota Dept of Health

Water Operator license renewal

$           23.00


Annual Membership

$           40.00

Muske, Muske & Suhrhoff

Professional Services

$         126.00

Payroll Expense


$       8,421.16

Squads +

Lights, sirens, electronics for new police vehicle

$       9,881.00

T&C Service Center

Repair lights/squad car, service out skid loader

$       1,309.31

Utility Consultants, Inc

WWTP Tests

$         218.25

USA Blue Book

PH Buffer Pack

$           61.93

Verizon Wireless

Police Cell Phone - May

$         139.94

Waste Management

Res. Garbage pickup - April

$       1,241.12


Fire Chief Warner informed the council of a hog barn fire they needed to call for mutual aid on. The four new first responder radios are also in and they will be handed out at their next meeting.

The May financial report was approved on motion by Evers, seconded by Arnsdorf and carried unanimously.

Police Chief Meyer presented the monthly police report.

Public Works Director Berberich reported both plants are working well. The waste water plant 2013 inspection report was reviewed. Maguire Iron cleaned and inspected the water tower and informed us we will need to do some maintenance on the tower within two years. There is some minor ice damage along with the need for the tower to be sand blasted and recoated. It has been about 20 years since the last time this was done. The outside of the tower also needs to be repainted. Andrew Richter was approved for summer help in the maintenance area at an hourly rate of $7.25 on motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously with Mayor Richter abstaining. Berberich informed the council the snow plow will need new tires for this winter. The tires needed are unique and the initial quote was for $1000 per tire but he is doing some more checking. The small holding pond and outlet have a lot of sediment that has settled and it is starting to move into pipes. Motion was made by Kastner, seconded by Arnsdorf and carried unanimously to hire someone to remove the excess sediment from the pond. Berberich also notified the council he has mowed some of the nuisance properties in town for which the property owners will be billed per city ordinance.

Arnsdorf presented the library board report. The board is looking for a replacement for Carol Hayes on the Brown County Library Board.

Alan Barnes owner of Comfrey Bar and Grill was present and reported he was asked to provide alcohol at the car show on Sunday, July 13th during Community Days. Clerk Kelly has checked with Al Erickson from the Alcohol and Gambling Department and was informed 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. 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 13, 2014 during Comfrey Community Days. Barnes also informed the council he would like to have an outdoor band on Saturday, July 12th. He will provide a fenced in area and hire additional security for the event. He also agreed to have the music end by midnight.  

On motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously, a public hearing before the Zoning Committee to consider a variance under the zoning ordinance for the Church of St Paul was set for 6:30 PM on Monday, July 7, 2014.

Mayor Richter informed the council that a meeting has been set this week to discuss options for the vacant church on Field Street.

A second reading of Ordinance #174 relating to and regulating the use and operation of all-terrain vehicles, mini-trucks and utility terrain vehicles and prescribing penalties for violations. The ordinance passed and adopted on a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously. A motion was also made to set the annual permit fee for $25.00 by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously.

A second reading of Ordinance #173 for the amendment to Ordinance 155, subdivision 4 changing the pet license renewal period from one year to three years and setting the fees to a nonrefundable $30 or $15 if the animal is spayed or neutered. The ordinance was passed and adopted on a motion made by Evers, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

Land Use Permits were granted to Dennis Johnson to move in a shed and Matt Rucker to build a lean to over his patio on a motion made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously.

Malt Liquor On-Sale license for 3 locations was requested by Comfrey Area Pride for Community Days, July 11th – 12th, 2014. On a motion by Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner and carried unanimously approval was granted.

The purchase of water glasses for the community center was discussed with different options presented. A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Evers and carried unanimously to purchase 350 water glasses and storage carts for use in the community center. Arnsdorf will check with Comfrey Area Pride to see if they would be willing to help with some of the costs.

Pricing for new outdoor mats in front of the community center entrances will be looked into and brought to a future council meeting.

A resolution expressing acceptance and appreciation for donations from Adrian Township for $1250, Delton Township for $100 and Selma Township for $1250 to the first responders for the purchase of radios and from Brown County Rural Electric Trust for $300 to the Comfrey Fire Department was approved on a motion from Evers, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

On motion of Arnsdorf, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously Judy Augustin, Julie Fredin, Tammy Kelly, and Mark Swift are appointed election judges for the August 12, 2014 primary and November 4, 2014 general election.

 A donation request from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation was received. No action was taken.

Kelly informed council of the letter received from the Brown County Highway Department stating the excess right of way generated by the realignment of County State Aid Highway 16 will be vacated. Future meetings will take place to determine how this will be done. The County will be contacting adjacent land owners after process is established.

The Comfrey Post Office has made a request to have the community center fees waived for a public meeting regarding the future of the Comfrey Post Office on July 15th, 2014. A motion was made by Arnsdorf, seconded by Kastner to waive fees for this public meeting.

Board of Review and Equalization training dates were presented. Kastner, Arnsdorf and Kelly will attend the August 27th training session in Windom.

The September City Council meeting has been changed to Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM because of the Labor Day Holiday on motion from Kastner, seconded by Schmitt and carried unanimously.

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