The city with heart

December 23, 2009 council meeting minutes



Gene Allex called the regular meeting of the Danube City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2009.  Council members present:  Sharon Lothert, Al Strunc, and Ryan Bentley.  Absent:  None.


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to approve the agenda with the following additions under “Old Business:”  City Pickup, Mayor’s Association membership, credit card and under “New business:”              snow plow & skidloader operator wages.   Al Strunc seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Strunc to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 9, 2009. Ryan     Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Since Dan Kaufenberg, Public Works Director, was absent, he left a note for the council which discussed the following: 

·         Dan had to put a new cutting edge on the snow plow.  The cutting edge didn’t last the way it should.  The City’s plow does not have adjustable “shoes” on it and that’s wearing out the blade too fast.  Strunc said that needs to be taken care of.

·         The electric outlets in the shop are not capable of handling plugging in the truck and tractor in at the same time, so Dan got two quotes to install a new outlet box with 2 separate breakers.  Sullivan’s Electric quoted $525 and K & S Electric quoted $390.

·         Dan has talked with MVTL about drinkable City water and the chlorine and polyphosphate levels were increased to improve the taste of the water.  It will be discussed at Kaufenberg’s next meeting.

·         Lothert asked if it’s necessary for Les Schneider, Jr. to report to the council on water, sewer and other maintenance items that are normally covered by Dan.  Strunc and Allex both agreed it’s not necessary to double up on that information and that Schneider should report anything directly to Kaufenberg, who will then be the one to inform the council.  Allex said he would talk to Schneider about this.   

·         Allex discussed employee hours and asked whether the council remembered setting specific hours for the Public Works Director.  Allex mentioned he would like to see Kaufenberg work 8-5 or 8-4:30 but that he’s working 7-3.  Bentley and Strunc said they don’t have a problem with Kaufenberg starting at 7am.  Lothert said he shouldn’t be allowed to work through lunch and that he should take the ½ hour break.  Allex will talk to Kaufenberg.

·         Kaufenberg will be filling out a maintenance log.  The clerk gave him a log sheet to use.


A motion was made by Lothert to have K & S Electric install two new outlets in the City Shop at a price of 390.00.  Strunc seconded and the motion carried unanimously.   


Deitrich Gill postponed until the next meeting.


The following items relating to the school building were discussed:

·         Strunc , Schneider and Kaufenberg met with the Cal from West Central Roofing to look at the roof of the school building.  The area that needs to be repaired is so large that it doesn’t pay to patch it.  A rubber roof was discussed.  It can’t be done until the weather is nicer.  Cal will give a quote on doing all 3 parts and the City can ask for quotes from other roofing companies. 


·         Allex mentioned that Lothert talked about doing some cleaning in the school to make it more presentable to possible renters. 

·         Lothert and Strunc brought up the fact that some rooms in the school are so hot and others are very cold.  Kaufenberg and others who operate boilers say it’s hard to control the temperature when using boilers.  Strunc wants to work on ways to get the cost of the heat down. 

·         Lothert said the scratches on the gym floor are bad.  Strunc reminded the council that Tri-Valley plans to fix it.  The council thought that getting the floor redone while Tri-Valley is out of session was a good idea. 

·         Lothert asked if the keys to the school had been turned back in. Some of the keys are in the Clerk’s office.  Santa’s Closet has three keys right now, including access into the Tri-Valley area. 

·         Someone new is interested in renting some space at the school.  He looked at the building with Strunc.   The council discussed ideas on prices for leasing the space he wants. 

·         Strunc said the sidewalks at the school need to be cleaned. 

·         Bentley told Kaufenberg he’d be willing to help with snow removal if he’s behind.


No update on the Mahoney case.


Allex talked to Bob Simpson about being on the council.  Darrell Mattson showed interest as well.  Lothert said her feeling was that Mattson would be good because he’s been a city employee and is familiar with maintenance.  Simpson works at the beet plant in instrumentation.  Strunc’s concern is that Mattson is possibly a disgruntled ex-City Employee.


Lothert made a motion to appoint Darrell Mattson to fill the vacancy on the City Council.  The motion was dropped due to lack of a second.


Allex reviewed the process for appointing a new council member.  The council needs to vote on it. 


Bentley asked Lothert to repeat why she would recommend Mattson.  She stated again that he has knowledge of City business and is around the area during the day.  Strunc stated that putting Mattson on the council is a back door way of putting Schneider on administrative leave because two council members are already in favor of doing that and with the addition of Mattson, there would likely be a majority vote to put Schneider on leave.  Strunc is opposed to that.  Lothert reminded the council that the council decided to wait for the court to decide on Schneider’s issues.  Strunc doesn’t believe that Schneider’s position will not come up again before the court decides.  Bentley said he’s not in favor of Mattson being on the council. 


Bentley made a motion to appoint Bob Simpson to the council.  Strunc seconded and the motion carried with Strunc and Bentley in favor and Lothert opposing due to the fact that she does not know Simpson. 


Lothert questioned Strunc stating that usually he goes for the facts and he said he did not know Simpson either. 


Mediacom can only provide City Hall with phone service.  Lothert said the  Community Center phone is now disconnected.  Phone discussion will be tabled because the clerk was not at the meeting.


There was no new discussion on the playground equipment or zoning. 


Strunc obtained the footages and aerial pictures of second street east.  He will drop them off for the clerk.


The council reviewed the clerk’s updated budget report.  The council discussed the miscellaneous expense and questioned what is in that account.  The police PERA was also questioned.  Strunc asked if the school P & L statement is included in the budget.  When the City bought the school, Les Schneider, Sr. wanted the receipts and disbursements kept completely separate, so that’s the way the clerk was instructed to do it.  Strunc and Lothert said they feel it should be part of the general fund reports, but still also included in a separate P & L statement as currently reported.

Allex called Wilson at home with some questions during the meeting :

·         He asked what the miscellaneous expense consists of.  The clerk couldn’t answer to the specific expenses that went into that account without being in the office. 

·         Allex asked a question about the police PERA also.  The actual expense was higher than the budgeted amount.  The clerk said she could have calculated wrong or the budget could have been wrong last year, but will double check the amounts.

·         Strunc  asked why there was only 11 months of rental receipts for Tri-Valley.  The clerk said she had just received the 12th lease payment for the month so it wasn’t on the P & L, which was prepared last week.

·         Lothert reviewed with the clerk which CD’s had been cashed out.  There was a CD at MinnWest Bank and one at American Bank that matured and were cashed out this week.  The clerk put the proceeds into the savings account at Hometown Bank.  There is one more CD that will mature next Monday.


The council further discussed the budget. 


A motion was made by Strunc to approve the 2010 City budget as submitted by the clerk.  Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


The council reviewed the upcoming Community Center and School building rentals. 


The council received a current report on the City’s investments, savings and checking account balances.  Allex called Wilson again to ask if the school profit is in with the general fund savings account.  The clerk said yes it is. 


A motion was made by Lothert to approve the bills as submitted in the amount of $13,900.98.       Strunc seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


The credit card cancelation was discussed. The clerk has to be asked about it.


Allex talked to a couple different mayors about the Mayor’s Association.  Some participate, others don’t.  It’s a $20.00 annual membership and Allex would like to join.

Lothert made a motion to pay the dues for Gene to belong to the Minnesota Mayor’s Association.  Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


Bentley asked why the Farmer’s Co-op Oil bill was so much higher.  Allex looked at the bill and found that fuel was put in at the school.


The council reviewed the capital outlay report and decided to wait to discuss it until the clerk is back.


A motion was made by Strunc  to approve the fire department budget in the amount of $10,137.00 with the increase being for the future purchase of radios.  Lothert seconded with Allex and Bentley abstaining.


The annual loan payment to the USDA for the Community Center will be made January 1, 2010 in the amount of $15,500.


The council reviewed the contract from ACTS for the purchase of garbage bags.  Lothert said there are still some residents using the dumpster behind the Community Center.  Bentley said those people should start being fined.  Lothert told the council that there are several cases of garbage bags in the closet.  The contract was tabled until further information can be obtained.


Don Lothert was asked to run the snowplow while Kaufenberg is gone.  Don Lothert would like $15 per hour for that.  Allex, Bentley and Zach Kopel will all be available to run the skid loader.


A motion was made by Strunc to hire Don Lothert to run the snowplow for $15 per hour when Kaufenberg is gone and to pay a skid loader driver $10 per hour.  Bentley seconded and the motion carried with Sharon Lothert abstaining.


Bentley expressed concern over sanding the streets.  The intersections going up the highway are not getting enough sand.  The council also discussed cars being left on the street during snow storms.  The City needs to be stricter about ticketing these cars.


Allex checked into a new City pickup and brought a couple quotes to the council for an idea.  He also checked into a low mileage used pickup.  A pickup would cost $20,000-$25,000. This item will be dropped for now. 


At 9:45 p.m. a motion was made by Bentley to adjourn the meeting.   Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 



Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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