Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

October 7, 2004 Council Minutes


REGULAR MEETING      OCTOBER 7, 2004   6:00 P.M.           TOWN HALL


Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, Mayor Rich Bauer called the Zumbrota City Council to order at 6:00 p.m.  PRESENT:  Mayor Bauer;  Councilmembers Dave Benson, Doug Borgschatz, Betty Jo Grothe, Deb Wilkinson.  Others present:  City Administrator Ron Johnson, City Accountant Mary Rohe, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Police Chief Gary Selness, Mr. & Mrs. Ray Poncelet, Chuck Rohe, Viola Rohe, Tim Quam, Paul Peterman, Jim Wedge, Paul Qualy.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.




            Motion Grothe, second Benson to adopt the agenda.  Carried 5‑0‑0.




A correction to the September 16, 2004 regular meeting minutes was noted that the vote to direct staff to obtain costs from the Goodhue County Sheriff’s office for providing the city’s policing was 4-1-0 (Wilkinson opposed), not 5-0-0.

Motion Wilkinson, second Borgschatz to approve the September 16, 2004 regular meeting minutes as corrected.  Carried 5-0-0.




Motion Benson, second Grothe to approve the accounts payable of $53,860.62.  Carried 5‑0‑0.




Ray Poncelet discussed the events of his son’s wedding day that was marred by his son being arrested for DUI after the wedding dance.  He suggested that the officer may have been waiting for his son to leave the VFW, as he started following him immediately upon leaving the VFW parking lot.  Mr. Poncelet stated that he felt the situation could have been handled more tactfully and more humanely by the arresting officer, Officer Warner Collette.  He stated that, in his opinion, the officer is hurting business in Zumbrota.   


Paul Qualy stated that he would like to see a City Council candidates’ forum.




1.  6:15 p.m.-  Mayor Bauer opened the public hearing to consider an ordinance to adopt a new City Code of Ordinances.  Administrator Johnson briefly described what has been done to this point to formulate this proposed code of ordinances.  American Legal Publishing completed the work on the code update after review of the existing city code, resolutions and ordinances.  The League of MN Cities was responsible for reviewing the legal compliance of the proposed new City Code.  Johnson reminded Council that the code update was discussed in quite a bit of detail at a regular meeting in July, when Duke Addicks, League of MN Cities Special Counsel, was present.  Some areas of significant change included in the draft code are as follows:  addition of administrative penalties, special meeting notice information, inclusion of more details related to abandoned property, modifications in the shade tree section of the code- emphasizing Council’s intent to no longer pay for diseased tree removal, addition of a building maintenance and appearance nuisance section, and dog nuisance clarifications especially related to barking.  Councilmember Benson suggested that administration of the section pertaining to nuisances related to building maintenance and appearance be handled with common sense and compassion.  Mayor Bauer closed the hearing at 6:24 p.m.

Motion Wilkinson, second Borgschatz to adopt ORDINANCE 2004-06, an Ordinance  Enacting a Code of Ordinances for the City Of Zumbrota, MN, Amending, Restating, Revising, Updating, Codifying and Compiling Certain Ordinances of the City Dealing With the Subjects Embraced in the Code of Ordinances, and Providing Penalties for the Violation of the Code of Ordinances.  Carried 5-0-0.




1.  At the last regular meeting, City Council was asked to conduct an on-site inspection related to the Viola Rohe, 325 E 5th St, and Donna Hinrichs, 385 E 5th St, request to remove their sidewalk(s) along 5th Street and 1st Avenue.  It was noted that these sidewalks were identified as dispensable in the city’s sidewalk program.  Councilmember Benson stated that the sidewalk in front of the Hinrichs residence is unsafe and a section of the Rohe sidewalk is unsafe and should be removed.  He stated that he is of the opinion that, wherever possible, there should be a sidewalk on at least one side of the street.  He stated that, although this Council may vote to allow the removal of the sidewalk, a future Council may vote to have a new sidewalk installed.   Tim Quam, property owner located between Rohe and Hinrichs, restated that he would favor removal of the sidewalk in front of the Hinrichs residence but would prefer that the sidewalk in front of the Rohe residence stay. 

Motion Benson, second Borgschatz to approve the request of Viola Rohe, 325 E 5th St, and Donna Hinrichs, 385 E 5th St, to remove their sidewalk(s) along 5th Street and 1st Avenue, with the understanding that a future Council may direct that new sidewalks be re-installed.  Carried 5-0-0.


2.  There was nothing to report on the 5th Street West/Jefferson Drive Storm Water Study.


3.  There was nothing to report on the St. Paul Road Public Improvements Project.    


4.  There was nothing to report on 2005 wages/benefits.


5.  Schumacher Excavating, Inc. submitted the lower of two bids for demolition and removal of the former United Church building at 333 Central Avenue- with a bid of $38,500.  Councilmember Benson stated that it was unfortunate that something wasn’t done with the church long ago to preserve it. 

Motion Grothe, second Wilkinson to accept the bid of Schumacher Excavating, Inc. to demolish and remove the former United Church building at 333 Central Avenue- at a cost of $38,500.  Carried 5-0-0.





1.  At the last meeting, staff was directed to obtain costs from the Goodhue County Sheriff’s office for providing the city’s policing.  Sheriff Albers and Major Lorenson both responded to the request informing staff that there would be many questions that would have to be answered to determine an exact cost.  They stated that we would need to discuss the hours requested, vehicles, start-up equipment, and many other issues.  They stated that Pine Island will be paying $35.22 per hour in 2005 for 16 hours of coverage per day.  Councilmember Benson estimated a cost of $310,000 to go with Goodhue County, and feels that Council would have better control over the police budget by working within our own department.  Mayor Bauer stated that Council would have better control of activities of the policing department if under local control.  Councilmember Wilkinson stated that Council needs to look at a variety of issues within the department, but feels that Council should keep the department local.  Councilmember Borgschatz commented that, perhaps, we have too much coverage and could reduce the staff by one to help with budget matters.  It was suggested to remove this item from the next agenda, but to place the discussion of the 2005 budget on the November 5 regular meeting agenda. 


2.  At an earlier meeting, Police Chief Gary Selness was instructed to review the traffic signage and vehicle flow around the school area.  He recommends that the yield sign on 6th Street West, at the intersection of Mill Street, be replaced with a stop sign because of the volume of traffic on Mill Street.  All other streets around the school, in Chief Selness’ opinion, appear to have sufficient signage with the volume of traffic flow observed. 

Motion Wilkinson, second Borgschatz to direct staff to replace the yield sign on 6th Street West, at the intersection of Mill Street, with a stop sign because of the volume of traffic on Mill Street.  Carried 5-0-0.


3.  Administrator Johnson stated that he received a couple of requests to have the TH58 crosswalk lights at 7th Street be moved to 9th Street.  Council was asked to consider the request and be prepared to discuss at the next regular meeting.           


4.  Resolution 2004-27, a resolution authorizing a summary publication of Ordinance 2004-05, was presented for consideration.

Motion Benson, second Grothe to adopt RESOLUTION 2004-27, a Resolution Authorizing a Summary Publication of Ordinance 2004-05, an Ordinance Adopting Certain Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.  Carried 5-0-0.




-City Administrator-

-Stated that Councilmember Wilkinson and he would be at the League of MN Cities Annual Conference, Sunday, October 10 through Tuesday, October 12.

-Requested that Council members inform him if they want to register for the October 28

SE MN League of Municipalities meeting in Rochester. 





-City Accountant Mary Rohe-

-Thanked Council for the opportunity to attend the MGFOA conference.  She stated that several city finance officers cautioned about utilizing an auditing firm that has not completed a GASB 34 audit before. 


-Police Chief Gary Selness-

-Informed Council that Police Officer Eugene Leifeld will be splitting some of the School Resource Officer time with Police Officer Gary Schroeder.


-Mayor Rich Bauer-

-Informed Council that Administrator Johnson and he attended the Goodue County Board meeting on Monday at which the Board adopted the Comprehensive Plan Update.  Mayor Bauer stated that he was pleased with the Update. 

-Informed Council that the Zumbrota Area Ambulance Association Board is considering the purchase of approximately one acre from Fairview for the purpose of constructing a new ambulance facility.  The Association recently purchased a third ambulance and does not have storage room for it.  In addition, more EMTs are requiring sleeping facilities in able to cover call time, and the existing facilities are inadequate for this.

-Stated that Councilmember Grothe and he will be meeting with the police department in late October.  The police department has asked that Council members consider doing ride-alongs to increase their understanding of the department’s duties/activities. 


-Councilmember Deb Wilkinson-

-Stated that she would like to have staff review the employee evaluation process to make sure that the process is measuring the proper items.




6.  The sale price of the 257 West 4th Street house would be discussed at a closed session at the end of the regular meeting.




Mayor Bauer adjourned the meeting at 7:20 p.m. 




                                                                                    Ronald S. Johnson, City Administrator

City of Zumbrota; 175 West Avenue; Zumbrota, MN 55992