City of Freeborn

Council Meeting Minutes

April 16, 2014

Present: Mayor: Theo Beckmann; Council Members: Jim Beach, Pat Stenzel, Ed Mosser, Kaleb Bjornstad; City Clerk-Treasurer: Nicole LaFrance; Maintenance Operator: Bill Guggisberg;


Mayor Theo Beckmann called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

City Clerk called roll.

Owen Todd, Principal Engineer with Bolton & Menk was present to discuss the present timeframe for the water project. Plans and specification are complete and will be submitted to USDA Rural Development on April 17, 2014. Insurance information will be reviewed by the city attorney. The City of Freeborn will need USDA RD final approval before bids can occur. Currently all required permits are applied for, including the Conditional Use Permit and Right-of-Way Permits, which have been submitted to the County Engineer, and the last permit has been applied for through MDH for work on water mains. An additional permit will be needed further into the project; Pollution Control Permit and applied for through the contractor. Right-of-Way certificates for the portion of Broadway/Barker and Church Street lying in the City of Hartland and County Road 10 and 33 lying in the township, are still underway and waiting on the County Attorney to respond and sign off. Since prices for contractors and materials are increasing, Owen Todd will remind USDA for a faster turnaround time. He has hopes that the USDA Rural Development comments will come in at the end of May, and hopes to begin bidding project sometime early this summer. The USDA Rural Development loan will be approved once bids begin. Owen discussed valves with the Maintenance Operator to choose and three comparable quotes will be needed to be obtained.

Present was Vick Savick, resident of the City of Freeborn to discuss the hauling of hog manure during farming seasons.  A local farmer hauls the manure through the city starting in the morning until 2:30-3:00 a.m. This hauler has no mufflers, and leaks the manure through the roads in the city he travels on. The Sheriff’s has stopped him, and the hauler puts mufflers on, but in two weeks their worn out. The council discussed options available at a previous meeting with the Freeborn County League of Cities, with a local county commissioner, and there is nothing the city at this point can do at this point individually. The agreement with the city, in the past, with this local farmer is to take local township roads (North and South), but it was a verbal agreement. The city can, with local residents in attendance, ask to be put on the County Commissioners agenda at their board meetings to discuss other available options. A noise ordinance adopted by the city might help with eliminating the hauling at night. The council will discuss their plan and check with Environmental Services on taking appropriate action if possible. He also spoke about a neighboring property and skunks nesting in the area. This has become a nuiscance to the adjacent property owners. Lastly, Savick spoke about being able to burn leaves in the fall. He believes this is a cost efficient way to dispose of leaves, and enjoys this option. The city council has discussed plans about leaf disposal and will have a plan in place sometime this summer.

Bill Guggisberg, Maintenance Operator gave his maintenance report. Spring Clean Up day is scheduled May 24, 2014, and reminder letter will be sent to residents in their water bills. Pat Stenzel and Ed Mosser will volunteer to help Bill Guggisberg with the cleanup day. Last week Guggisberg swept the streets, ponds are currently being sampled, and when he receives those back, he will begin to discharge to meet standards. Last water billing cycle, Guggisberg had to estimate meter reads because of excessive snow, and about 80% of the households were estimated. Anyone who has frozen water lines or valves open he will start a list for City Clerk. The residents that were away for the winter, some of these residents ended up having overage estimates, and thus will pay the minimum amount once statements are created. He will review meter reads with City Clerk for efficiency. Once services are no longer frozen, he will let city clerk know, so that we can rectify bills next time around. He will also give the council a report of how many extra gallons we used during that time. Lastly, the burn pile keeps getting garbage disposed of there over the last week. If this continues he will have to lock it up, and residents will have to call Guggisberg or a council member to get a key. Council Member, Jim Beach and Guggisberg will go around and start a listing of potential nuisance properties relating to junk in yards, unlicensed vehicles, etc. Other council members will also have a list to add potential households if needed. Fire Chief, Steve Siepp discussed the siren, and too see if it went off in the City of Freeborn as next week in tornado week. Guggisberg spoke that the siren was activated and sounding off fine and he has extra fuses if needed. The council discussed a backup generator, and will look into prices and cost sharing with Freeborn County Emergency Management cost sharing program and possibly with the City of Hartland.

Council Member Ed Mosser made the motion to close the meeting at 8:05 p.m. to open the Joint Powers Authority Fire/Ambulance meeting with the township. Council Member Kaleb Bjornstad advanced; motion carried.

Council Member Mosser motioned to open the meeting at 8:35 p.m.; Council Member Stenzel advanced; motion carried.

Council Member Kaleb Bjornstad motioned to approve the meeting minutes from March 19, 2014. Council Member Pat Stenzel advanced; motion carried.

Council Member Kaleb Bjornstad motioned to approve water, sewer and garbage due dates to change to the 3rd week of every other month, before the monthly city council board meeting. If a resident would like to dispute billing, or discuss disconnection notices they will have an option to present their case to the board, prior to the disconnection date. Council Member Pat Stenzel advanced; motion carried.

City Clerk, Nicole LaFrance presented Resolution 2014-2 A Resolution Revising Utility Fees. Council Member Ed Mosser motioned to accept Resolution 2014-2; Kaleb Bjornstad advanced, motion carried.

City Clerk, Nicole LaFrance presented Resolution 2014-3 Ordinance No. 28-Revision A, An Ordinance Relating to Regulating of Trees, Grass, Shrubs and Weeds. Council Member Jim Beach motioned to accept Resolution 2014-3; Bjornstad advanced; motion carried.

Kaleb Bjornstad motioned to approve the accounts payable and reconciliation reports. Pat Stenzel advanced; motion carried.

Council Member Bjornstad motioned to adjourn the meeting. Council Member Stenzel advanced; motion carried.


-Nicole LaFrance

City Clerk-Treasurer