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January 12, 2011 Council Meeting Minutes


Regular Meeting

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 7:00 PM

Danube City Council Chambers


A regular meeting of the Danube City Council was conducted on January 12, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor Gene Allex presiding.  Council Members Ryan Bentley, Bob Simpson, Al Strunc and Sharon Lothert were present.  Chief of Police Les Schneider and City Clerk-Treasurer Sara Wilson were also present, along with Jeff Sindelir and City Engineer Lee Elfering. 


Approval of Agenda


Council Member Bentley moved and Council Member Strunc seconded a motion to approve the Agenda.  The motion carried unanimously.   


Approval of Minutes


Council Member Strunc moved and Council Member Simpson seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the regular meeting of December 22, 2010.  The motion carried unanimously. 


2nd Street East


City Engineer Lee Elfering was present to discuss the proposed 2nd Street East project.  Elfering told the council that there were no major changes in the feasibility and that they need to decide how they will move forward, if that’s what they choose to do.  Elfering advised that the council needs to decide how they will pay for the street and how they will assess the cost of the street.  Elfering stated that the feasibility is accurate and the next step is a public hearing.  Estimated assessments will be needed for that meeting.


City Council Member Strunc voiced his opinion on assessing the project.  He feels that the other streets in town were assessed 100% to the abutting property owners and therefore, the City should continue with that trend and assess this street 100% to the abutting property owners.  Strunc said that if someone challenges the assessment in court, the City will then have to abide by court rulings and possibly change the assessment policy for the future.  Council Members Lothert and Bentley both agreed with Strunc.  Mayor Alex stated that this council shouldn’t change past practice at this time. 


Council Member Simpson thinks the assessment policy should change.  He feels the cost is too high and unfair.  He stated that there are many factors that have changed over the years including cost, inflation and the economy.  He would be happy to go along with a 75% assessment rate and have the City pick up the remaining 25% of the cost, along with absorbing its portion of the cost for the City properties that are along that street. 


Council Member Bentley moved and Council Member Lothert seconded a motion to assess 100% of the cost of the 2nd Street East project to the abutting properties.  The motion carried with Strunc, Lothert, Bentley and Alex voting in favor of the motion and Simpson voting against the motion.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed improvement on February 2, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.  Elfering will be present for that meeting.  The council ordered Elfering to move ahead with the specs and plans for the project.  The Clerk will publish the public hearing notice and notify the abutting property owners by mail. 

Chief of Police Les Schneider


Chief of Police Les Schneider was present to give his monthly Police Department and employee report.  Danube Police Department statistics for December 2010 were as follows:  45 calls, 27 reports, 28 traffic stops, 10 citations, 24 mutual assists, and 3 home security checks. 


Chief Schneider reported that the Christmas tree lights were turned off on January 2 and the school gym is being used 6 nights each week.  He also informed the council that the new squad car will arrive in April.  Schneider completed his annual liquor license duties and noted that the Driver’s Awareness Program is now active.  Schneider also wanted to clarify the part-time officer’s raises.  He was told that the raises were 1.5%. 


Chief Schneider told the council about the upcoming plans to have a bus crash drill with Tri-Valley Opportunity Council.  It will take place in May on the east edge of Danube, with several area emergency departments being involved. 


Schneider cleaned up a mess in the Community Center women’s bathroom left from a leaky roof.  The bathroom is out of order right now. 


Chief Schneider reported that he completed his annual MN POST Board compliance review and added a new policy to the department.   He will be attending the MRWA conference with Public Works Director Dan Kaufenberg March 1-3.  The First Response Annual Meeting and 44 training will be held on January 27 with a SWEMS representative attending.


Employee Evaluation


Due to lack of time, Les Schneider chose not to have the council give him his employee evaluation.  Schneider will look over the evaluation and ask questions if he has any. 


Mahoney Lawsuit


The council received a letter from City Attorney Aaron Walton answering some questions he had posed about the Mahoney case.  Walton also suggested that the City consider Codification of the City Ordinances.  The council requested that Walton be contacted and asked to attend the next council meeting to give the council a suggestion on what to do with the Mahoney case. 


Approve Bills


Council Member Lothert moved and Council Member Strunc seconded a motion to approve the bills in the amount of $64,460.51.  The motion passed unanimously.



Tables for Community Center


Council Member Lothert, who is also the Community Center custodian, told the council that there are some tables at the Community Center that are in bad shape.  Lothert asked if they could be replaced.  Strunc stated that he would be in favor of replacing a few of the worst tables every couple years and taking the old ones to the school.  Mayor Allex will look for a good deal on a couple of tables and possibly some chairs. 


2011 Appointments


Council Member Strunc moved and Council Member Simpson seconded a motion to adopt the 2011 appointments as attached.  The motion carried unanimously. 


2011 Raffle Permits


Council Member Lothert moved and Council Member Simpson seconded a motion to approve raffle permits for the Danube Fire Relief Association for March 19 and the Danube Area Action Club for July 9.  The motion carried unanimously, with Council Member Bentley abstaining.




There being no further business before the council, Council Member Lothert moved and Council Member Simpson seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting.  With all members voting in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.




Respectfully submitted:  Sara Wilson, City Clerk

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