The city with heart

April 27, 2011 Council Meeting Minutes


Regular Council Meeting

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 7:00 PM

Danube City Council Chambers


A regular meeting of the Danube City Council was conducted on April 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor Gene Allex presiding. 


The following Councilmembers were present:  Bob Simpson, Ryan Bentley, and Dave Maurice


Councilmembers absent:  Al Strunc


Others Present:  Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg, City Clerk-Treasurer Sara Wilson, media, Eric Dahlager from the Cub Scouts, Karen Young from Xcel Energy, Lynne Payne and Gerry Kodet from Coop Country Farmer’s Elevator, several Coop members, and Darrin Bratsch.    


Approval of Agenda


Councilmember Maurice moved and Councilmember Simpson seconded a motion to approve the Agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.   


Approval of Minutes


Councilmember Simpson moved and Councilmember Bentley seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the regular meeting of April 13, 2011.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg


Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg was present to give his monthly employee report.  Kaufenberg reported that the new water line to Sam Lang’s house should be installed on Thursday.  It was also reported that a storm sewer line was collapsed on Railroad Avenue and had to be repaired.  There was chunk of concrete in it. Kaufenberg told the council that the lift station needs to be cleaned. 


Kaufenberg obtained quotes for a lift station alarm system.  Currently, the only way to know if there is problem with the lift station is to physically observe the flashing red light.  An alarm system will e-mail, text and/or call Kaufenberg when there is a problem with the lift station.  The system will electronically keep track of the run times of the pumps and the data for DMRs.  It’s a wireless, web based system with a battery backup.  The best quote came from Electric Pump at a price of $3,300 for the machine, labor and installation.  Currently, the service is $276 per year.  Other companies were about $1,000 more. 


Kaufenberg has been inspecting the manholes in town.  He said all of them have some form of leak.  He’ll need to spend $250-300 for concrete to repair the leaks.  Mayor Allex asked Kaufenberg to look in the park for a manhole or old county tile.


Kaufenberg purchased a computer, monitor and printer for his office for $440.  He will be required to do his DMRs online soon. 


Street Repairs


Kaufenberg had Glieden Enterprises give a quote street repairs that need to be done. He got a quote for both infrared patching and air patching.  If the subgrade is bad, the infrared process will crack back up again.  A sample spot of air patching was done 2 years ago and has held up well.  It doesn’t look as nice and smooth as infrared, but it seems to hold up better. The quote for 128 heats of infrared patching is $15,360.00.  The quote for the same areas of air patching is $9,800.00.  Councilmember Bentley suggested that if Kaufenberg is comfortable with the air patching.  Mayor Allex agreed that the sample that was done on Maple Street 2 years ago still looked good.  Councilmember Maurice said he felt it was worth a shot to do the air patching and save $5,500.  Councilmember Simpson wondered how soon Glieden could start.  Kaufenberg wasn’t sure. 


Councilmember Bentley moved and Councilmember Simpson seconded a motion to hire Glieden Enterprises to do the street repairs, using the air patching method as quoted, for $9,800.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Spring Clean Up Days


Spring clean up days will be set for Monday May 16.  Kaufenberg will pick up brush left on residents’ curbs and take it to the brush site. 


Part-Time Summer Help


An ad for a part-time summer maintenance worker will be placed in the paper and Clerk Wilson will contact Heidi Holm with Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Services to see what kind of hiring program she can offer. 


Sale of Old Playground Equipment, Etc.


Kaufenberg will get a list together of old playground equipment and anything else he wants to sell and we will take sealed bids on the items.


Cub Scouts – Can Recycling Location


At the request of the City Council, Eric Dahlager, representing the local Cub Scouts, was present at the council meeting.  The Cub Scouts have a can recycling drop off site next to the City Shop on Highway 212.  The council is concerned because the cans blow out of there often and are littering the City property as well as other properties in the area.  Dahlager explained that last fall the Cub Scouts replaced the shorter container with a taller one and at that time it was empty.  Many people have put cans in there and it got full before they had a chance to get the boys there to empty it again.  He said the weather hasn’t been nice enough to empty it but they planned to empty it soon.  Kaufenberg suggested they put a partial roof on it and empty it more often or put it in a spot that is less exposed that doesn’t get hit by the wind so much.  Kaufenberg also said he could possibly help with building a roof for the bin.


2nd Street East – Coop Country Farmers Elevator


Coop Country Farmers Elevator’s (CCFE) Vice President and Controller, Lynne Payne, and Operations Manager, Gerry Kodet, were present at the council meeting, along with several Coop members, to discuss a possible alternative 9 ton portion of 2nd Street East.


CCFE plans to build a fertilizer plant to the west of its current bin site on the east side of Danube.  They have a safety concern when entering Highway 212 in a 55 mph zone with their fertilizer equipment.  MnDOT will not extend the 30 mph zone any further east than it already is on Highway 212, nor will they allow CCFE an additional access to Highway 212. 


CCFE has tried to buy land along the railroad tracks and the owners would not sell.  The City didn’t want farm equipment going through residential areas, so didn’t allow CCFE’s request to make Oak Street or all of 2nd Street 9 ton. 


CCFE pointed out that because of its new site in Danube, Xcel Energy has had to make plans to upgrade the substation in Danube.  This would not have happened otherwise and it will benefit the City.  The City of Danube will also benefit by the extra tax revenue that CCFE will be paying in property taxes.  CCFE has also offered to pay the extra cost of any approved 9 ton road. 


CCFE would like to build a road of its own from its future fertilizer plant across the field to the southwest and enter 2nd Street East just north of the northwest corner of the softball field.  It is from a little north of that point, to Highway 212 that they’d like to have 2nd Street a 9 ton road.  The plans already account for a 9 ton road to exist from Highway 212 to just past the City Shop, so anything past that, CCFE would pay the extra cost to upgrade the road from 7 ton to 9 ton.  Gerry and Lynne will meet with Danube City Engineer Thursday to explain the request to him. 


CCFE would like a schedule of events being held at the softball and football fields so they can be mindful of busy times.  When there are activities going on, they will use their other entrance. 


The council was in favor of allowing CCFE to have this entrance onto 2nd Street East and also in favor of making the requested portion of the road 9 ton as long as CCFE pays for the extra cost.


Xcel Energy – Karen Young


Karen Young, Manager of Community and Local Government Relations at Xcel Energy, was present to answer questions and update the council. 


Xcel Energy is in the process of upgrading the substation that services the City of Danube.  They will be spending about $1 million on the upgrade.  The current substation is 1 mva and the new one will be 5.6 mva.  They hope to have the new one done by September 1, 2011.  They have a mobile transformer reserved as a backup plan.  The new substation will produce 50% more power with the capacity to increase.  Karen pointed out that the least cost approach would be to work with Renville Sibley, but because of the City of Danube’s concerns, Xcel chose the route of rebuilding the substation. 


Karen explained the billing process on street lights and Christmas lights.  The lights on Main Street are owned by the City and are billed at a flat rate of $8.20 per light per month.  $6.83 is the energy portion and $1.45 is for fixture maintenance.  The rest of the lights in town night watch type lights and are leased and billed at a flat rate.  The Christmas lights are also billed at a flat rate based on information the City has given Xcel Energy.   


If the City would like to get bids on LED lights for the Main Street lights, Xcel would put a bid in along with other contractors. 


Community Center – Custodian position recommendation


Councilmembers Maurice and Strunc went through all 15 applications for the Community Center custodian and picked two to interview.  Of the two that were interviewed, Maurice and Strunc recommended that Randy Grunke be hired for the position.  He is a licensed plumber and plans on being in town for a long time.  He has equipment and tools and does plumbing as a sideline.  He has no problem with the timing of the events.


Councilmember Maurice moved and Councilmember Bentley seconded a motion hire Randy Grunke as the Community Center Custodian at a rate of $10 per hour.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Sample Sump Pump Ordinances




Printer/Copier/Fax Update




Approval of Bills


Councilmember Maurice moved and Councilmember Simpson seconded a motion to approve the bills as submitted in the amount of $10,443.26.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Savings Account Interest Rates




Petty Cash


Clerk Wilson asked to increase the petty cash to $100 so she has an easier time making change for customers when they pay utility bills and dog tags. 




There being no further business before the council, Councilmember Simpson moved and Councilmember Bentley seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting.  With all members voting in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.




Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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