The city with heart

February 10, 2010 council meeting minutes



Mayor Gene Allex called the regular meeting of the Danube City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.  Councilmembers present:  Sharon Lothert, Al Strunc, Ryan Bentley, and Bob Simpson.  Absent: None


Also present:  Police Chief, Les Schneider, Fire Chief Dan Wersal, Les Schneider, Sr., City Attorney Aaron Walton, Media


A motion was made by Lothert to approve the agenda with the following additions under New Business: Part-time police hours accountability, snow removal, personnel policy, school and community center roof; and under Old Business:  TJ Auto.  Simpson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


A motion was made by Strunc to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 27, 2010.  Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Mayor Allex received an updated quote on purchasing playground equipment and the quote has not changed from last fall.  The City has received $1,500 in donations towards the equipment and the insurance company needs to be inquired upon.  The equipment that is being considered is made from red wood, which carries a lifetime warranty.  The old slide will need to be removed and approximately 10” of fill, possibly pea rock, will need to be put in.


Allex contacted Mark Erickson regarding zoning of the Co-op Country land east of town and has not heard back from him.  In speaking with Jerry Agre at the Renville County Sherriff’s office, the address of 303 6th Street was agreed upon for Co-op Country’s new bin site.  The address needs council approval.  The City will have to purchase a 6th Street sign and let the fire department know of the new address.


A motion was made by Bentley to assign the address of 303 6th Street to Co-op Country Farmers Elevator’s new bin site east of Danube.  Lothert seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 


Regarding the paving of 2nd Street East, by the next meeting the clerk will find out if the frontage footage of the petitioners equals at least 35% of the total frontage footage. 


The council reviewed the rental schedule for the Community Center and the School building.  The Girl Scouts will be using the Hall for a cookie pick up site on February 24.  The school continues to be used for various athletic events.


A motion was made by Lothert to approve the bills as submitted in the amount of $24,952.74.  Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Allex spoke with Terry Zieske about the City’s siren located on his property.  Zieske said he will observe the meter and check with the electric company to determine if $60 per year is acceptable for electricity reimbursement to run the siren.  Zieske asked if the City could remove a couple of loads of snow from the corner of his property on Hwy 212 and County Road 1.  He mentioned that businesses on Main Street are allowed to push their snow into the road and then the City halls it away.  Several years ago the council approved to remove snow from another local business on Hwy 212 and then bill the business owner.  A price for removing snow needs to be determined.  The Public Works Director will be asked to move snow away from the curb where the fire hydrants are. 


The council received a copy of an Interruptible Gas Sales Service Agreement from Great Plains Natural Gas.  Nobody was comfortable signing it without more information.  Allex will check with the school in Renville to see if they have to sign one. 


Lothert reported concerns over the police department.  She has been told of a part-time officer spending 4 hours at the sheriff’s office in one evening.  She also said that Chief Schneider didn’t answer his phone when called twice about a dog bite incident.  Strunc said the council shouldn’t oversee the part-time officers and Lothert said that she and Allex are over the police department.  Discussion took place about how many part-time hours are logged each week.  Strunc said it’s not reasonable to expect someone to be on call 24/7.  Part-time officers only work their shift and then go home.  They are not usually on call because they need to be supervised.  If the police cell phone isn’t answered, the sheriff’s office should be called.


Fire Chief Dan Wersal was present to have a resolution signed between the City of Danube and the City of Sauk Rapids in order to trade 25 self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for a 5 x 8 foot enclosed trailer. 


A motion was made by Lothert to approve the Fire Department officers election results.  Simpson seconded and the motion passed with Bentley and Allex abstaining.


Wersal explained that the trailer to be traded for the SCBA is too short and will now cost about $2,200 rather than $2,000.


A motion was made by Strunc to approve $2,200 for the trailer.  Simpson seconded and the motion passed with Bentley and Allex abstaining. 


Strunc put together a letter for the clerk to type up requesting proposals from roofing companies to replace the roof at the school above the 3 story part of the building.  This would include removing the old roof and any unnecessary protrusions.  There are 3 sections to that part of the roof.  The repairs needed seem to be too big to patch at this point. 


Strunc had Ray Barth look at the Community Center roof.  The roof will leak a lot more before spring.  Once all the ice on the roof has melted, Strunc would like someone knowledgeable to crawl in the attic and look for a hot roof condition. 


Chief Les Schneider gave his monthly employee report.  Statistics for January 2010 were very similar to January 2009.  January 2010 statistics include 50 calls, 28 reports, 41 traffic stops, 16 citations, 30 mutual assists and 1 home security check.    Three specific calls added many hours to the department’s schedule.  Those included the school bus accident north of Renville, an auto theft and arrest, and a gun being shot in town.  Schneider reported that the school bus accident was the biggest multi-agency response he’s been to and feels that something was learned from the Cottonwood bus crash.  He said the response showed that the local agencies are prepared for bad calls.  Schneider also discussed the following topics:

·         The School building is still being used 5-6 days a week but will slow down in March. 

·         The key broke off in the lock at the city shop and the lock was replaced.

·         The vehicle forfeiture process has been completed for a vehicle obtained in a previous drug stop.  The title of the 1998 Ford Taurus will be put into the name of the City of Danube.  The car leaks transmission fluid.

·         Schneider helped Public Works Director, Dan Kaufenberg, develop a phosphorus management plan for discharge.  The State wants discharge to be at a zero phosphorus level.

·         Schneider would like to attend the Executive Training Institute in St. Cloud April 12-15.  The conference costs $375, which the POST Board reimburses.  Schneider will obtain credits for attending the conference. 

·         Schneider completed the POST Board annual agency verification.  There are no licenses needing renewal this year. 

·         A dog was removed from town after it bit someone on February 2.  The owner was sent notification from the City Attorney stating the dog must be removed from town and if it’s found back in town, the City will prosecute.

·         Schneider received Facebook Law Enforcement Guidelines to aid in prosecuting predators on Facebook. 

·         Schneider was elected director of the Danube First Responders at their January 28th meeting.  He is the only officer.  In 2009 the First Responders were $300 over budget due to an expensive rig repair and training two new people.  In previous years they have always remained under budget.


At 8:30 p.m. the meeting was closed for preliminary consideration of allegations of misconduct of an individual subject to the authority of the city. 


At 9:30 p.m. the meeting was reopened.


City Attorney Aaron Walton was asked for an update on the Mahoney case.  He told the council that there was a motion hearing February 3rd where Walton requested the court to grant the City authority to take down the garage on the Mahoney property that remains in violation of City Ordinance.  The judge gave the Mahoneys until June 1, 2010 to comply. 


At 9:30 p.m. a motion was made by Lothert to adjourn the meeting.  Bentley seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 




Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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