City of Freeborn

Council Meeting Minutes

July 16th, 2014

Present:  Mayor: Theo Beckmann; Council Members:  Jim Beach, Pat Stenzel, Ed Mosser, Kaleb Bjornstad; City Clerk/Treasurer:  Nicole LaFrance; Maintenance Operator:  Bill Guggisberg; Pettipiece & Associates:  Stephen Moline; Bolton & Menk Engineer’s: Owen Todd;


Mayor Theo Beckmann called the meeting to order at 6:30pm.

City Clerk called roll.

Council member Ed Mosser motioned to approve meeting minutes for June 18, 2014.  Council Member Kaleb Bjornstad advanced; motion was carried.

Steven Moline with Pettipiece & Associates was present to answer questions and concerns regarding the public hearing for the Housing Rehabilitation Program.  Moline discussed with council and residents that there are 13 projects currently in the program.  The average construction cost is $23,750 and the program allows for 15 residents to take part in the grant funds.  Two projects are complete and two in progress, 3 residents with bids out, 3 residents going thru inspections and one resident with a lead assessment.  Moline asked the city council and residents if they had any questions or comments. No comments were made by public, and the council will relay information too anyone interested in partaking in this program.

The Beautification Committee was present regarding quotes and custom banner options for the city.  Sonya Honstad had a custom banner example for the city council to review.  The city council was impressed with the design, and donation money thru Parks and Recreation Department will help fund the cost.  Council member Jim Beach motioned to approve the purchase of 15 banners and brackets for the city of Freeborn poles.  Council member Mosser advanced; motion carried. Owen Todd, Bolton & Menk Engineer was present, and will donate $300.00 to the banner beautification project from Bolton & Menk to the city.

Principal Engineer, Owen Todd was present in regards to the water project and status of the project through USDA Rural Development. At this point construction costs are higher than the engineers estimated costs back from 2012. This leaves the project short on funds. Todd suggested all the elected officials to start calling local representatives, senators, USDA Directors, etc., to help the City of Freeborn obtain more funding.  The city council drafted and reviewed an anticipated letter with Owen Todd with his specific information pertaining to this current issue, and the letter will be sent out to numerous legislators and entities for urgent review.  USDA Rural Development will not let bids for the project occur until money is allocated to this shortfall.

Bill Guggisberg, Maintenance Operator gave his maintenance report.  Guggisberg spoke about city clerk contacting the mortgage company at 202 Main Street, the grass is getting long.  Guggisberg received quotes for replacing impellers.  He discussed mosquito spraying and will spray once more tonight.  Currently Guggisberg has a notice displayed out at the city brush pile.  The notice states that the brush pile is currently locked because of household items and such being dropped off out there.  Residents may contact a council member or Guggisberg to have it opened.  Guggisberg would like to see a nuisance letter sent to 102 5th Ave for clean-up of the property.  The water plant in Hartland is having mechanical issues.  He spoke about tree cutting around Mr. Gruben’s property.  Lastly he spoke about the Christianson claim against the city and would like to make sure it’s forwarded to LMC.

Council member Mosser motioned to approve the impeller quote from DPC for $2,072.33.  Stenzel advanced; motion carried.

Under unfinished business, Mayor Beckmann discussed the large sinkhole behind Dahlen’s residence. Guggisberg will contact Olson Excavating regarding filling the hole.

Under new business council member Beach discussed the tabled item from previous meeting; leaf burning and disposal for the fall 2014 season.  Beach spoke with Schroader’s Enterprises and they would like to know if the city is still interested in their services, as they may purchase some additional equipment. The council discussed this option for residents and Schroader’s costs, and will have city clerk in next water billing send out a survey to residents for leaf disposal.

The city council discussed nuisance properties and the current language in city Nuisance Ordinance #60. Council Member Beach motioned to approve Resolution 2014-4 Revising Fees for Non-Compliance of Nuisance Ordinance #60. Council Member Stenzel advanced, motion carried.

Ed Mosser motioned to accept the Cemetery Committees placing a turning sign out by Mosser’s house.  Stenzel advanced; motion carried.

The council discussed letter’s to Legislators.

Kaleb Bjornstad motioned to accept Resolution 2014-5 10% Gambling Donation from American Legion.  Pat Stenzel advanced; motion carried.  All in favor 4-1, obstain- Council Member, Beach.

Council member Stenzel motioned to approve accounts payable and reconciliation reports.  Council member Beach advanced; motion carried.

Council member Stenzel motioned to temporarily closed meeting as Fire Department meeting is set to start.  Bjornstad advanced; motion carried.

Council member Beach motioned to re-open meeting at 8:20pm.  Mosser advanced; motion carried.

Council discussed letters to legislators, and prepared document to be sent.  Each council member also signed up to call specific legislators, and explain our urgent need.

Council Member Ed Mosser motioned to approve city clerk to purchase a city laptop. Bjornstad advanced; motion carried. Mayor Beckmann will assist city clerk with researching laptop quotes and specifications.

Council member Stenzel motioned to adjourn.  Council member Beach advanced; motion carried.

Nicole LaFrance

-City Clerk-Treasurer