The city with heart

May 11, 2011 Council Meeting Minutes


Regular Council Meeting

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:00 PM

Danube City Council Chambers



A regular meeting of the Danube City Council was conducted on May 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor Gene Allex presiding. 


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


Councilmembers absent:  none


Others Present:  Chief of Police Les Schneider, City Clerk-Treasurer Sara Wilson, media, and Craig Hebrink of Coop Country Farmers Elevator.


Approval of Agenda


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


Approval of Minutes


Councilmember Simpson moved and Councilmember Maurice seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the regular meeting of April 27, 2011.  The motion carried unanimously. 


2nd Street East Improvements


Craig Hebrink, CEO of Coop Country Farmers Elevator was present and reviewed the different options for 2nd Street access that he had proposed to the council.  The first preference was Oak Street, the second preference was to make all of 2nd Street East a 9 ton road and the 3rd preference was to have an entrance on 2nd Street just north of the ball field. 


Mr. Hebrink had asked City Engineer Lee Elfering to figure the cost to make Oak Street a 9 ton road, but Elfering chose to wait for council direction.  Councilmember Strunc expressed that to him it looked like CCFE’s desire to use Oak Street was a convenience issue.  Mr. Hebrink stated that entering Highway 212 with loaded trucks or terragators in a 55 mph zone poses safety issues.  Mr. Hebrink also realized that there are potential safety issues with school activities taking place at the ball fields along 2nd Street East.  Mr. Hebrink also reiterated that there will not be grain traffic on Oak Street, only agronomy traffic.


Councilmember Simpson reminded the council that everyone had agreed, at the last council meeting, to make 2nd Street East a 9 ton road from north of the ball field, south to highway 212.  Councilmember Maurice said he liked the idea of Oak Street being a 9 ton road better.  He said convenience is a big thing.  He stated that CCFE has brought a lot to Danube and he thinks the city council needs to cooperate.  Simpson asked Mr. Hebrink what issues CCFE would have with Oak Street.  Mr. Hebrink said it would work for them.  He said it would be narrow and there wouldn’t be room for parking.  He also stated that the houses are set back far enough at County Road one so visibility is good for seeing oncoming traffic. 


Mayor Allex is concerned that the agronomy equipment will not stay on the designated truck route.  Mr. Hebrink said that CCFE trucks obey each city’s guidelines.  Councilmember Strunc said the issue is the trucks and turning a residential area into a truck route.  Mr. Hebrink commented that there are other truck routes in town.  Strunc responded that he doesn’t want more.  Mr. Hebrink explained that the traffic would not be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The spring season is approximately 2 weeks long, without weather interruptions and the fall season is approximately 30 days long, without weather interruptions.  The days are shorter during the fall season.  A hipshot estimate of maximum capacity on a very busy day would be about 40-50 loads. 


Mr. Hebrink reminded the council that CCFE has not asked for any contribution and no TIF.  They are footing the bill for the extra 9 ton cost and bringing considerable revenue to the City of Danube. 


Councilmember Simpson announced that if CCFE feels Oak Street is the better option for them, he is fine with it.


Mr. Hebrink explained that he would sign papers saying that when CCFE traffic ruins the unfinished portion of Oak Street, CCFE will pay to have it repaved and made a 9 ton road.  He said that’s what they did on the elevator road.


Councilmember Maurice brought up the fact that if the trees on the edge of McGraws’ property die, the City has to replace them in a further north location (per a letter from a previous council).  At the time Oak Street could possibly be widened.  Councilmember Simpson said a decision needed to be made.  Mr. Hebrink said CCFE will pay for City Engineer Lee Elfering’s time involved in the change orders and refiguring the street.


Councilmember Maurice moved and Councilmember Simpson seconded a motion to change the planned improvement of Oak Street to a 9 ton road up to the east edge of 2nd Street East where the curb and gutter would go.  The extra expense will be incurred by CCFE and the future repaving of the remainder of Oak Street will be paid by CCFE, as per documents to be drawn up by City Engineer Lee Elfering. 


The motion failed because Mayor Allex, Councilmember Bentley and Councilmember Strunc opposed it. 


Councilmember Bentley reminded everyone that at the last meeting the council had decided to make 2nd Street East a 9 ton road from north of the ball field all the way to Highway 212.  CCFE would then have access just north of the ballfield, from its own property.


Mr. Hebrink said that CCFE would also pay to widen the Oak Street after the trees on McGraws’ property die. 

Councilmember Strunc, although not in favor of truck traffic on 2nd Street East or Oak Street, said he thinks the best route would be Oak Street.


After more discussion took place, Councilmember Bentley moved and Councilmember Maurice seconded a motion to make Oak Street a 9 ton road where it is currently planned to be a 7 ton road, up to the east edge of 2nd Street East, with CCFE paying for all future expenses relating to improving the remaining section of Oak Street when it deteriorates and widening Oak Street when the trees on McGraws’ property die.  The motion passed with Bentley, Maurice, Simpson and Allex voting in favor of the motion and Strunc opposing the motion.


The councilmembers received copies of Monson’s tentative schedule for the 2nd Street East Improvement and the newsletter that City Engineer Lee Elfering wrote and had City Clerk Wilson send to residents along 2nd Street East. 


Shelly Mitchell


Shelly Mitchell was present to ask the City Council to pay for the $268 of her daughter’s medical bill that insurance didn’t cover.  In a miscommunication, her daughter (and others) was asked to go have a blood test done, looking for drugs put in an alcoholic beverage.  She was told by a 3rd party that the police wanted her to go to the hospital to get the test done.  Chief of Police Les Schneider had wanted the Mitchell family to be aware of what was going on, for their safety, but did not require the blood test.  He didn’t feel it was the City’s responsibility to pay for the bill.  The council backed Chief Schneider’s decision.  Mitchell thanked the council for their time.


Chief of Police Les Schneider Employee Report


Chief of Police Les Schneider was present to give is monthly employee and police department report.  Statistics for April were down from April of last year and consisted of 59 calls, 27 reports, 45 traffic stops, 17 citations, 23 mutual assists, 4 home security checks and 7 DAP citations. 


Chief Schneider will be picking up the new squad car in Fergus Falls next Monday.  The part-time officers received their new licenses that are good until June 30, 2014.  The LETG software is in the works through the Sheriff’s Office.  The mock school bus crash training is scheduled for May 25. 


Schneider showed the new Community Center custodian around the hall and told him how things work there.  Schneider’s last day as the custodian was May 9.  Schneider told the council that Randy, the new custodian, suggested taking out the short brick wall by the front entrance to the community center.  That would help keep leaves from collecting in front of the door.  Councilmembers Strunc and Maurice will look at the wall and make a decision.


Tri-Valley is having some of their floors waxed by Henke Floors.  Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg has replaced some floor tiles in the school building.  The cement work by the school has been completed by Randy Krueger.


Officer Schneider reported that he received baseball cards, as he does every year, from the MN Crime Prevention Association and will pass them out to area kids.  Schneider and the part-time officers attended a training session, the City Attorney bill is quite a bit lower this month and the police department is getting a new email address through the city’s website.


Schneider said he was concerned that Oak Street will become a place where trucks will park if it’s a 9 ton road.  The council said that it will be made into a no parking road with no parking signs and yellow curbs.


After Schneider was done with his report, Mayor Allex instructed Schneider to have his report to Clerk Wilson each Monday before his meeting with the council.  He explained that then Clerk Wilson can put the report in the council packet and the councilmembers can review it before the meeting and ask questions of him at the meeting.


Quotes for Waxing Floor


Quotes were received for stripping and waxing the floors at the Community Center and the City Office Building.  Henke Floors had the low bid of $700 for the Community Center and $400 for the floors and carpet in the City Office Building. 


Councilmember Strunc moved and Councilmember Simpson seconded a motion to hire Henke Floors to strip and wax the floors at the Community Center for $700 and to strip and wax the floors in the firehall and hall way of the City Office Building, clean the bathroom floors and storage room and clean the carpets in the City Office Building for $400.  The motion carried unanimously. 


Councilmember Strunc asked Clerk Wilson to have Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg plane off the bottom of the woman’s bathroom door so it doesn’t scrape on the hallway floor.  He wants this done before the floor gets waxed.


Sample Sump Pump Ordinances


The council requested that Clerk Wilson put together a change to the City’s current sump ordinance with the guidelines that sump pumps must be hard plumbed, with no bypass, to the outside of the house.  Residents will be able to apply for a permit to drain inside in winter months for no charge.  Then the City will maintain a list of those who are draining inside.  The sump pump plumbing will be inspected at the council’s discretion.  The plumbing must be put in place by December first or fined $50. 





Savings Account Interest Rates


Clerk Wilson reported the following interest rates as of May 10, 2011: 




Hometown Bank


 1% 13 mos


.75 % over $250,000

 1.05% - 18 mos

Dawson Coop


 1.5% - 12 mos

F & M Bank


 .9%-12 mos


Councilmember Maurice moved and Councilmember Simpson seconded a motion to purchase a $75,000 12 month CD at Dawson Coop once per month for 6 months at a rate of 1.5%.  The motion carried unanimously.


Lift Station Alarm System


Councilmember Simpson asked if there was more information than what Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg had given the council on the alarm system at the last meeting.  Simpson had some questions.  Simpson said he’d either talk to Kaufenberg or call the alarm system company directly.


Approval of Bills


Councilmember Strunc moved and Councilmember Maurice seconded a motion to approve the bills as submitted in the amount of $7,866.98.  The motion carried unanimously. 


City’s Insurance Renewal


Clerk Wilson said she’d like help with the renewal process.  Councilmember Maurice will take a look at the renewal form and the policy.  The council talked about how last year Les Schneider, Sr. said the City of Danube always waives the tort liability limit.  Renville Register editor, Susan Williams, said many cities do not waive the limit because by waiving it, the city puts itself at a higher risk.



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 9:20 p.m.



Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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