Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

June 19, 2014 Council Minutes







JUNE 19, 2014

6:00 P.M.    



Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, Mayor Rich Bauer called the Zumbrota City Council to order at 6:00 p.m.  PRESENT:  Mayor Rich Bauer; Council members Dale Hinderaker, Tina Hostager, Sara Durhman and Brad Drenckhahn.  Others present: City Administrator Neil Jensen, Police Chief Gary Selness, Community Development Director Dan King, City Attorney Matt Rockne, Library Director James Hill, Police Officer Rob Jarrett, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Ken Lee, Paul and Shannon Zielsdorf, Rick Lohmann, Ella Lee, Eugene Leifeld, Matt Schmit, and Brian Haugen.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion Durhman, second Hostager to adopt the agenda.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Hinderaker, second Durhman, to approve the regular City Council meeting minutes of June 5, 2014.  Approved 5-0-0.



Motion Durhman, second Drenckhahn to approve the accounts payable of $22,146.68.

Approved 5-0-0.




Unfinished Business:

7-A.  2015 General Fund Budget Discussion

Jensen asked the Council for input on the budget.  No action was taken


7-B.  Senior Wastewater Operator

With the retirement of Senior Wastewater Operator Ken Lee there is a need for another employee in the WWTP.  Paul Zielsdorf has not as yet received his Class B license but will retake the test in three months.  He will be promoted to Senior Wastewater Operator during the process of hiring a new Wastewater Operator. The Council would like to hire someone who would be able to take their Class D license within one year or who already has a Class D license.  Motion Hinderaker, second Drenckhahn to advertise for a Wastewater Treatment Operator.  Approved 5-0-0.


7-C.  Street Maintenance Worker

With the retirement of Fred Eberhart there is now a vacancy in the Street Department.  Council discussed promoting Senior Street Maintenance Worker Mike Olson to the position of Public Works Director.  Council agreed they would like to promote Olson and hire a Senior Street Maintenance Worker.  Motion Hinderaker, second Drenckhahn to advertise for a Senior Street Maintenance Worker.  Approved 5-0-0.




8-A.  Dairy Farmers of America Wastewater Permit Violation Discussion:

Over the last few months there has been increased penalty activity from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and increased odors in town and increased complaints by residents.  Mayor Bauer said penalties could be increased from $3.00 to $4.50 per pound in excess of the permitted BODs.  If that produced no positive results the penalty rate could be raised another $1.50.  Durhman said DFA’s permit could potentially be suspended for continued violations.  Senior Wastewater Operator Lee suggested lowering the BOD limit rather than increasing penalties because DFA is not operating their pretreatment processing appropriately.  There was also discussion on researching the possibility of the City installing city-owned sampling equipment at DFA.  The Council reviewed a nine year graph that showed DFA has the capability to not violate their permit parameters.  There was also discussion about DFA not working with the City in regard to requests or notification of spills.  Jensen said although penalties can be increased it requires a 30 day notice.  Discussion also focused on the sampling procedure and DFA missing daily samples mainly during days of violations.  Council requested that staff bring back a price quote for a sampler so the city can start doing daily samples. 


Motion Durhman, second Hostager raise the BOD fine on the DFA permit from $3 to $4.50 per pound and to direct staff to draft a revised permit to take effect July 30, 2013.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-B.  Zielsdorf Minor Subdivision Request

Shannon and Paul Zielsdorf were present to request a minor subdivision for their property located 616 West Avenue.  They are proposing to split the lot in two in order to create a separate buildable lot.  Both lots after the split will meet all minimum zoning standards for the district.  The Planning Commission had unanimously voted to recommend the City Council approve the minor subdivision.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Durhman to approve the Zielsdorf minor subdivision request.    Approved 5-0-0.


8-C.  Diedrich Sidewalk Removal/Replace Request

The City received a request from Nicholas Diedrich at 89 West 9th Street to remove the sidewalk in front and side of his home.  The sidewalk was found to be defective and should be removed.  Ninth Street is designated a trunk sidewalk on the sidewalk/trail plan and should be replaced as soon as practical.  The sidewalk on West Avenue is not a trunk line and does not need to be replaced.  Motion Hinderaker, second Hostager to approve the sidewalk removal. 

Approved 5-0-0.


8-D.  Police Chief Selness Retirement Approval

Police Chief Selness submitted his resignation effective December 31, 2014.  He gave the City a six month notice due to the length of time it will take to hire a chief.  The Council thanked him for his service.  Motion Drenckhahn, second Hinderaker to accept the resignation of Police Chief Gary Selness effective December 31, 2014.  Approved 5-0-0.


8-E.  Police Chief Hiring Committee

A committee will need to be formed to hire a new chief.  Motion Durhman, second Hostager to form a police chief hiring committee of Brad Drenckhahn, Rich Bauer and Neil Jensen.  Approved 5-0-0.



Mayor Rich Bauer:

Told the Council there had been a Fire Board meeting earlier in the week which addressed the upcoming year’s budget.


Chief Gary Selness:

Reported the COPS grant application had been submitted and the City would be notified around September if it is awarded or not. 


Library Director James Hill:

Stated he had been working with City staff to update the City website.  He asked Council members to review and comment on the changes. 


Council Member Dale Hinderaker:

Stated the improvements to the Bitter Creek retaining wall were looking great.


Meeting adjourned 6:58 p.m.


                                                                                    Neil Jensen City Administrator

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