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September 04, 2008
City Council increases Wildwood Grove Debt Levy
|Tim Donovan is the Mower County Deputy responsible for keeping law and order in LeRoy.|
LEROY, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Tim Donovan, Mower County Deputy assigned to LeRoy, introduced himself to the LeRoy City Council at the meeting held August 25. Before becoming a Deputy, Donovan spent four years active duty in the U.S. Navy and five years in the National Guard.
After seven years of amending, restating, revising and bringing the Minnesota Code to be attuned to the City of LeRoy, the City's ordinances were approved by the Council. The ordinance regarding clean air was discussed before approval, but they decided not to change it at the present time. The burning of leaves will still be allowed in the spring and fall.
The vacating of Mather Street was approved by the Council at their meeting held on July 7; however, the matter is still not completed due to terminology not being settled. At the August 4 meeting, Mayor Ed Koppen stated he believed some guidelines, such as no building zones and the right of reclamation, should be put into the wording of the vacating of Mather Street.
Council Member Carol Elliott said, "Reclamation, based on what has been done in the past, has a percentage that is miniscule."
Patty White, City Clerk, added, "If the council has a reason to ever use a property, you wouldn't vacate it in the first place."
"However," the mayor said, "I would run it by the City Attorney as a precaution, to make sure he agrees with the city engineer."
Regarding the matter of clean air brought up at the previous meeting by Gail Manahan, the Council strongly agreed to encourage citizens of LeRoy to compost leaves, as opposed to burning them or the leaves can be taken to the City dump. For more information regarding getting in to the City dump, call City Hall.
At the August 4 meeting, the Council had elected to proceed with door-to-door [house-to-house] inspections in order to determine inflow and infiltration problems. During the inspection, the City's Engineer will look for cross connections of sump pumps to the drains. All homes in LeRoy will be checked by the engineering firm.
Dave Streit, City Maintenance Supervisor, stated, "The engineering study is proceeding to figure out what the problems are. Then we will have documentation. Homeowners will have 30 days to comply after the inspector says they are not in compliance. If we have an area we can't figure out, a smoke test will be done. "
The process is to start at the end of September, most likely taking place in the evening and on Saturdays. The cost will be approximately $40 per house. The Council will determine at the next meeting how much of the cost will be shared by the homeowner.
Building permits were issued to Lutheran Social Services, as per the request of Rhonda Larson, for a new group home to be built at 192 N. Co. Rd. 56; Thelma Maage, 100 Co. Rd. 56 N for remodeling; and Kevin Janssen, 204 W. Lowell for remodeling.
Kevin Clark of Horizon Wind Energy approached the Council regarding a proposed Wind Farm Lookout to be built on the Oakdale blacktop (SE Co. Rd). City Council agreed to sell approximately four tenths of an acre for $8,000 per acre to Horizon. Proceeds of the sale will go toward possible improvements such as running a water line to the area, a street light, and a trail connecting the Lookout to the bike trail. Targeted completion date for the Lookout is November 1.
Janna Koestler approached the Council requesting to use a park for her wedding to Matt Fechner scheduled to take place June 27, 2009. Council approved the use of South Park for the wedding with several stipulations regarding notification for the private event and a liquor permit.
A resolution for the decertification of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as of June 30, 2008 was passed. City Clerk White explained, "It is not generating enough money to make it worthwhile."
Brandon Vreeman, a member of the EDA's Design team, once again approached the City Council regarding the extension of the bike trail. Mayor Koppen commented, "Some of the businesses are not excited about the trail using the alleys. The alleys were paid for by the businesses and there are big trucks going in and out of there to deliver supplies. I think we are jumping the gun. We need proper signage and to get the kiosks updated."
It was recommended by the Council that the Trailhead Committee update and get proper standardized signs and update kiosks before the City Council will do anything else regarding the bike trail.
Mayor Koppen reported on curb and gutter damage near 119 and 121 W. Main Street which needs to be repaired at an approximate cost of $10,000. A discussion followed regarding where the money to do the repairs would come from since this previously unknown expense had not been included in the budget. Council member Elliott said, "We should have a camera run down there first to see what's happening below. Then we can prioritize when to do it." The rest of the council agreed a more accurate cost of the job was needed before further action could take place.
Ed Bunne was recognized for his donation of pea rock and trucking, valued at approximately $1,300. Bunne placed the pea rock around playground equipment at South Park.
Wildwood Grove is doing quite well on their budget. The levy for Wildwood Grove Debt Retirement of 2009 will cover one-half of the interest and principal payment. Occupancy for 2008 had paid for half of the interest payment. Mayor Koppen stated, "The Capitol Outlay Account funding needs to be addresses. I recommend we put $50,000 in, or at least a minimum of $25,000. We would do it in the Wildwood Dept Retirement Account."
Council members passed a resolution to adopt an increase in the debt levy by $25,000, making the levy $525,000.
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