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LcRoy City Council Meetins held October 5

LeRoy Independent of LeRoy, Minnesota

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The October LeRoy City Council meeting was held Oct. 5, 2015. Present were Mayor Jennifer Gumbel and council members Kathleen Gottschalk, Ashley Huntley, Jan Whisler and Gene Miller. Also in attendance were City Maintenance Supervisor Jon Jones, press representative Ginger Holm and several citizens.

During public input time, a question from the public was raised concerning the City's policy on setting advertising signs on the sidewalks. The council said, as long as the signs do not pose a safety issue, signs are allowed.

It was also brought to the Council's attention that a hole in the cement behind the former LPC building, across Main Street from Sweet's Hotel & Restaurant, which was partially demolished, may pose a safety hazard to citizens who cut across the private property — specifically to children who might find it a fun place to play. Jones will contact the owner of the property to address the issue.

Another member of the community asked about a contact number for City maintenance for after-hours emergencies. The City will take up the issue in a future work session.

Mayor Gumbel reported attending Journey to Growth and DMC in Stewartville.

DMC is Destination Medical Center. Gumbel stated many individuals feel DMC does not concern LeRoy since the City is out of bounds for receiving sales tax funding from Rochester, but Mayor Gumbel has been proactive in seeking other ways for LeRoy to benefit from the expansion of the Mayo Medical Center, mainly, cashing in on tourism appeal.

"I've heard many people say, 'we are not part of the DMC,' so just to dispel that, we don't get free money, but we may get new residents or we may have opportunities for more tourism coming through," said Gumbel.

"Journey to growth may have been spurred into activity because of DMC, but Journey to Growth is a volunteer organization that is looking at development in the region," Gumbel continued. "For example, when companies look to do a site plan, they will look at the region as a whole and decide whether to go to North Carolina or Southeast Minnesota. They will look at the region as a whole and it's kind of organizing our marketing strategy as a region and has a lot to do with tourism, transportation and economic development. We're trying to plug into that so that we get our voice [heard] as a possible tourism destination, and as a place for economic development. It's an effort to attract more development so we can diversify and we're not all dependent on Mayo."

Gumbel concluded, "It's great that Mayo is growing, but if that becomes 90 percent of the economy in our region, that is not good, either."

Deputy Lynch delivered the police report for September activities.

White reported a court date of Dec. 28 at 8:30 a.m. has been set concerning the 314 east Street property.

The water treatment facility, water tier and backup well report was discussed.

The water tower tank is estimated to last another 5 to 15 years if regular maintenance is kept up. That means the City has little time to raise the funds needed to replace the structure before its useful life has expired.

The council is focusing on replacing the structure since repair and reconditioning is estimated at a range between $550,000 and $650,000, based on current pricing.

Mayor Gumbel suggested minimal repairs be made and upkeep continue as funds are saved to finance the project. Jones advised the council to contact an engineer to determine the size of tank needed and other specifications.

Mayor Gumbel reported the City has not heard back from the DNR on the canoe access plan.

"It's not going to happen as soon as we expected," she said.

Axel Gumbel addressed the council on behalf of the LeRoy Community Theater. The Theater would like to serve wine and desserts at one of its upcoming productions. Council approved a two-day temporary on-sale liquor license for the LeRoy Community Theater, contingent on the organization acquiring a temporary on-sale liquor license and any required liquor liability insurance. The cost of the license is $20.

Mr. Gumbel said the Radio Theater program will be presented on Nov. 7 and 8 and another play will be presented on December 12 and 13. Motion carried 5-0.

Fire Chief Tim Freerksen presented information to the council on a Junior Firefighter Program. The program is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America. Participating youth must be in the ninth grade or older.

According to Freerksen, students could provide supportive assistance at the scene of a real fire, but would not be allowed to directly assist with fighting the fire. Some protective gear will need to be purchased for the junior firefighters The cost for gear could range between $400 to $900 per student Students would also carry pagers.

The fire chief hopes this program will provide future firefighters for the LeRoy Fire Department. The proposed program has not been presented to the school board for approval, yet.

Freerksen also noted Grand Meadow is hosting a county-wide FEMA grant for 800 megahertz radios; each entity would need to provide 10 percent matching funds for this grant. The department is also looking to purchase two sets of turnout gear yet this year. This purchase will be split 50/50 with the MN/IA Fire Assn. board.

Council discussed the possibility of making "improvements" to City Hall. Councilman Miller said he would like to see the reception area separated from the work area. Miller and Huntley offered to serve on a committee to come up with a plan.

In other business the council: approved the sale of a 60 by 100-ft. parcel of the railroad property adjacent to 447 West Main Street to the owner of record of the latter property. The sale of this land was approved after determining it will not affect the water flow or waterway next to the property. amended the dog ordinance eliminating the requirement for licensing; reviewed four quotes for the replacement of the street signs. All the quotes are for an all-aluminum double-sided sign. Money is appropriated for the purchase of the signs. Council will further discuss this at the November meeting.

The next regular meeting of the City of LeRoy will be held on Nov. 2, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the LeRoy Community Center.

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Original Publication Date: October 22, 2015

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