The city with heart

February 11, 2009 council minutes



Mayor Gene Allex called the regular meeting of the Danube City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11, 2009.  Council members present:  Sharon Lothert, Les Schneider, Sr., Al Strunc, and Ryan Bentley.  Absent: None


Also present:  Chief of Police, Les Schneider, Jr.


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to approve the agenda with the following additions:  Under new business: “Approve gambling permit for DAAC & Fire Department.” Under old business:  “Personnel issues/open meeting law violation.” Al Strunc seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Al Strunc to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 28, 2009 with one noted change.  Sharon Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


Police Chief Les Schneider, Jr. was present and gave his January activity report.  The activity in January was very similar to the activity last January.  Other business discussed as follows:

·         The Olivia tower was having problems when paging for both the Olivia ambulance and Danube first responders at the same time. 

·         Les Schneider, Jr. replaced a headlight on the squad car.

·         There was minor damage to the back of the squad car when part-time officer Marcel Krueger backed into a parked vehicle. No damage was done to the parked vehicle.  The damage on the squad car was minor and will not be repaired.

·         There has been a lot of activity in the school building including morning walkers, 4th & 5th grade basketball, men’s basketball and adult dodge ball.

·         Tri-Valley has asked for repairs to be done in the girl’s bathroom on the sink.  The State of MN will not allow the sink to be used as is due to chipping paint.  Tri-Valley school will be starting up again after Memorial Day.

·         Water and wastewater reporting was turned over to Dan Kaufenberg in its entirety on January 20 and Dan is now taking care of everything on his own. 

·         Les attended a free Zero Adult Provider training on January 30 in Willmar.  He said it was a good session.

·         Les completed the annual agency verification for the POST Board. 

·         The First Responders had their annual meeting and training in January.  They were invited to a presentation on the Cottonwood Bus Crash being held in both Olivia and Renville in March.  The First Responders voted to purchase a remote door opener for the rig.  Les was elected director of the First Responders.  The priority for 2009 will be to replace the defibrillator in the rig.

·         Les wanted to let the council know that if a time clock is mandated for his part-time police officers, there will be times that the officer gets a call at the beginning of his shift and does not get a chance to punch in on the time clock.  In this case, Les will fill in the timecard and sign off on it.

·         Les will be taking vacation February 13-15.

·         On Friday Les will be taking the squad car to the funeral of the Olivia Police Chief.



Sharon Lothert had a Danube citizen ask why the First Response vehicle goes out on all fire calls.  Les Schneider, Jr. explained that the first response vehicle contains medical supplies they may need during a fire call. 


Additional items regarding the school building were discussed.  Tri-Valley would like to replace the curtains, add shade canopies and carpet the playground area.  This will be at no cost to the City of Danube.  The council agreed that it is fine for them to do those things.  The rooms in the school have cooled down so the thermostats are working correctly now.


The activities taking place at the Community Center and school building were reviewed by the council.  In addition to the usual Danube Senior Citizens meeting, MinnWest Bank will be using the Community Center on February 17 and Dawn Gartner will be using the hall on February 21.  The school building continues to host several non-profit activities.


The property at 100 Oak Street was discussed.  There is a “no parking” sign on the property that should not be there.  It needs to be changed to state that there is no parking on his property.  The boulevard and sidewalk are still full of dog feces and the dogs have not been licensed.   Les Schneider, Jr. will speak with the owner about this. 


There is a hearing by conference call on the Mahoney case scheduled for March 2. 


The specs on the skid loader were given to the council as well as the costs for repairs to the skid loader during 2008 and to date in 2009.  The council will have to decide if they will put out bids for a new one.  The skid loader is showing age and costing the city a lot of money lately.


The clerk was asked to check with the League of MN Cities to see if there are any state programs for purchasing new loader equipment.


A motion as made by Sharon Lothert to approve the bills as submitted in the amount of $106,923.00.  Ryan Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Regarding the personnel issues/open meeting law violation item on the agenda, the clerk gave each councilmember a copy of the open meeting law and exceptions and fines related to this law.  The clerk stated she felt that the meeting on January 28th should not have been closed to discuss her job and how much time it takes.  Les Schneider, Sr. stated that the clerk would not have had to leave the meeting and that it was not a disciplinary issue.  The council also received copies of emails from other clerks stating how things have changed in the past 10-20 years regarding the workload put on a clerk-treasurer.  The council will review the information they received and Gene Allex suggested this item will be put back on the agenda for the February 25th meeting.


The council decided that all hourly employees should punch a time clock.  Currently, the only one who does is the public works director.  Gene Allex will check into getting a used time clock from the RCW School.  The clerk will check on prices of new time clocks. 

Late in the year of 2008, the federal government passed a new law regarding exempt wages of volunteer members of the fire department and first responders.  With this law, the first $30 earned in each month is not taxable.  This new law did not surface until the end of January after many cities had their W2s already issued.  Our city auditor will file amended W2s to those affected by the new law for a cost of $150.  This price will also include filing an amended W3 and amending the 4th quarter 941 report which deals with federal tax withholdings.


The new worker’s compensation insurance bill was reviewed by the council. 


The council received information from the Social Security Administration advising that the clerk applied for rights to use their website to file and print W2s and W3s.  The information the council received outlines what kind of information the clerk was granted access to.


The council also reviewed a report from the Renville County Auditor/Treasurer office that shows the dollar amounts of the 2008 Levy that remain unpaid as of December 31, 2008.  As of that date, $3,167.71 in property tax money remains uncollected for Danube citizens.


Regarding the agenda item “Approve Liquor in Community Center for February 21 private gathering,” the council does not need to approve liquor use as long as the clerk receives the appropriate insurance certificate from the renter, and the door between the hall and the bar remains closed.


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to approve one time gambling permits for the Danube Area Action Committee (DAAC) for July 11, 2009 and for the Danube Relief Association for March 21, 2009.  Al Strunc seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


At 8:50 p.m., there being no further business to discuss, Ryan Bentley made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Sharon Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously.



Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk


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