The city with heart

October 14, 2009 - council meeting minutes



Gene Allex called the regular meeting of the Danube City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, 2009.  Council members present:  Sharon Lothert, Al Strunc, Les Schneider, Sr., and Ryan Bentley.  Absent: None


Also present:  Police Chief, Les Schneider, Lonnie Davis and the media


A motion was made by Sharon Lothert to approve the agenda with the following additions under old business: “school building lease,” “special budget meeting,” and “city insurance” and under new business “street lights,” “building permit application,” “dump site” and “community center.”  Les Schneider, Sr. seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


A motion was made by Al Strunc to approve the minutes of the September 23, 2009 council meeting.  Ryan Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Lonnie Davis was present to discuss the boilers in the school building.  The State Inspector had given a list of improvements that should be done.  Lonnie said the items were not an emergency, but that the inspector will continue to ask for them to be done.  Lonnie talked about the possibility of disabling one of the boilers at the school, thereby making Dan Kaufenberg’s boilers license sufficient for the City’s needs.  This will be checked into further.  Lonnie told the council that he’d help Kaufenberg with the boilers for $500 per month.


Les Schneider, Jr., Danube Chief of Police, was present to give his monthly employee report.  The number of calls for the month of September 2009 was very similar to those of a year ago.  The September 2009 Danube Police Department statistics were: Calls: 57, Reports: 31, Traffic Stops: 43, Citations: 12, Mutual Assists: 27, Home Security Checks: 2.  Other business was discussed as follows:

·         POST Board compliance mandates were sent in on 9-29-09.

·         Schneider, Jr. has attending two radio committee meetings to learn about the mandatory change to narrowband coming up in 2013. 

·         Schneider, Jr. has been working with Kaufenberg on a phosphorus management plan. 

·         The Senior Expo took place and seemed to go well. 

·         There is a DWI forfeiture vehicle in the City’s cold storage. 

·         The squad car was in for more repairs.  There were issues with the coolant system.  The car needs new tires, as well.

·         After the heavy rains, leaks were found on the roof of the 3rd floor of the school building. A couple of the leaks are too big for Dan to patch, so West Central Roofing will need to be called for an estimate.

·         The Danube First Responders had training on September 24.  They will be receiving another free pager that will be 2013 acceptable.  The cost of programming will be approximately $10 and will be the responsibility of the First Responders.

·       Schneider, Jr. and Damon Bratsch and four firemen from Renville went to the RCW School for Fire Prevention week on October 6 and gave classroom presentations to elementary children.  

  •  Discussion took place about the City’s Brush Site.  The new sign has been run into and people are not putting the branches and leaves where they are supposed to put them.  The police department will monitor the dump site on a more regular basis.  Barriers will be put in place to protect the sign.


There were no updates available on the Mahoney case.


The Community Center rental schedule was reviewed.  Renville County Human Services will hold their annual retreat there on October 27.  The Senior Citizens continue to use the hall on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month.  There have not been any organizations in contact with the City Clerk for use of the gym at the school this winter.


The City Clerk checked into changing the City’s phone service from TDS Telecom to Mediacom.  If everything is left the same, the City will save $25 per month on the phone bill by changing to Mediacom.  The council discussed the possibility of removing the phone at the Community Center, changing the phone at the Police Department to local calls only, and combining the fax with the regular line at City Hall. 


A motion was made by Les Schneider, Sr. to change the City’s phone service to Mediacom, and remove the Community Center line and the fax line.  Sharon Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Discussion took place on the paving of 2nd Street East.  During the public hearing, the council voted against paving the street.  Strunc was the only one that voted for paving 2nd Street East and wanted to know why the rest of the council voted against it, when 6 weeks ago they voted to move forward with the project.  Schneider, Sr. said he was never in favor of paving the street.  He noted that the 2 biggest properties are the EDA and the RCW School district and neither one of them can afford the $30,000+ price tag they would each be billed.  Bentley said his reason for voting against it was because the school cannot afford a $30,000+ assessment when it’s currently looking at another referendum.  Lothert agreed with Bentley and Schneider, Sr.  Allex was opposed to forcing the school to pay.  Some on the council also stated that they didn’t like the idea of the City being the deciding factor when the vote of the property owners was tied.


DADS will be donating $1,000 towards the new playground equipment.  Allex said there is another organization he will talk to. 


A motion was made by Schneider, Sr. to approve the bills as submitted in the amount of $14,675.07 but to hold off on the bill from Haney Construction and Younger and Walton until clarification is obtained.  Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


Schneider, Sr. spoke to Shelly at Tri-Valley Opportunity Council.  She will not be needed the extra storage space that she had previously inquired about. 


Part of the council cannot make the scheduled date for the budget special meeting.  The meeting will be moved to November 18 at 5pm, providing one member can make some schedule changes. 


Schneider, Sr. has been having discussions with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) on their appraisal of the school building and new premium for insuring the building. The LMCIT appraised the building at $9.9 million and set the premium at $14,363.  Even though the council voted to insure the building at 80% of its appraised value, the LMCIT requires it be insured at 100%.  The deductible through the LMCIT is $250.  Schneider, Sr. checked into other insurance companies to insure the school building.  Auto Owners will insure it at $7.9 million for $9,382 with a $1,000 deductible. 


Strunc made a motion to change insurance on the school building to the discussed Auto Owners plan.  Lothert seconded with Bentley voting in favor of the motion and Schneider, Sr. abstaining.


The council received a donation request from the Reach Out for Warmth program.  The request was not acted on.


A resident made a complaint about the sidewalk near Schneider’s insurance office.  She said someone could trip on it.  Schneider said that is his responsibility, not the City’s.


A motion was made by Schneider, Sr. to leave the street sweeping/snow removal rates charged to Renville County at $100 per hour.  Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Lothert discussed a Community Center rental that took place on October 6, which was the same day as the Senior Expo. Lothert also commented on 3 street lights that are burned out on Main Street. 


A motion was made by Strunc to approve a building permit for Coop Country Elevator to build grain storage on their property on the east side of Danube.  Schneider, Sr. seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


There being no further discussion, Lothert made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m.  Schneider, Sr. seconded and the motion carried unanimously.



Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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