Zumbrota, MN 

Bridging the Past and the Future

April 7, 2005 Council Minutes


        REGULAR MEETING      APRIL 7, 2005   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, Willard Eberhart, Betty Jo Grothe.  Others present: City Accountant Mary Rohe, Community Development Director Angie Bersaw, Public Works Director Rick Lohmann, Reporter Sandy Hadler, newly hired City Administrator candidate Neil Jensen, Police Officer Warner Collette and others as listed.


The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Mayor Bauer removed “Potential Traffic Study for South/West TH 52 area” from the list of New business items.

            Motion Grothe, second Benson, to adopt the agenda, as amended.  Carried 5-0-0.



There were no additions or corrections to the minutes from the 03/24/2005 meeting.     

            Motion Borgschatz, second Eberhart, to approve the minutes, as presented. 

            Carried 5‑0‑0.



Motion Bauer, second Benson to approve the accounts payable of $59,786.03.  Carried 5‑0‑0.



A group of citizens presented Council with a petition regarding the behavior of the local police force and its effect on the city.  Byron Boraas said he knew of elderly ladies in the Towers who were afraid to go to church on Sundays for fear of being ticketed for failing to stop or using a signal.  The petition was signed by over 500 people, with 30 or more of them from local business owners.  He pointed out previous concerns over the impact on business at the VFW.  Boraas feels the problems lie with one or two officers who misuse their authority.  Allan Schumacher and Ginger Post expressed similar concerns.  Ron Horsman reported contractors were told not to do business at Wedge Lumber because of problems with the local police force. The petitioners “demand that resolve be brought to the problem in a timely matter within the course of the next six weeks.”

The citizens were thanked for their concern.




1.  Zumbrota Hills Development had previously requested annexation of Tim Mack’s property and presented their plan for its development.  The annexation application was denied.  Barney Flueger, Jake Dahl and Dan Tilsen presented a concept plan for phased development of the property.  They expressed hope that Council would reconsider, at least allowing for the commercial development, with 76 townhomes and extension of 22nd Street in their first phase for the property.  Councilmember Benson opposed any further development of residential lots until existing lots are sold.  Concern was again expressed regarding safety issues of crossing Highway 52.  As infrastructure in the Golf Course development was finished so late in the season last year, Council wants to see how lots will sell this year before considering any new development.  Zumbrota Hills Developers said they will be back.



1.  There was nothing to report on moving the crosswalk lights from 7th Street to 9th Street.


2.  Mayor Bauer showed Council the replacement window panel from Wedge Lumber.  The Council felt they would be a good improvement to the building.

            Motion Benson, second Grothe to order the panels from Wedge Lumber for approximately $3,700 and request bids for installation of the panels.  Carried 5-0-0.


3.  Public Works Director Lohmann discussed an alternative site for a city brush site with the Park Board. They considered a portion of the former Rodgers property between the WWTF and Websters.  The current brush site is located on an old city dump site; it may be best not to sell the land, but rather, lease it to Custom Iron when they need more parking area.  This item will be taken off the agenda until such time as Custom Iron needs the space.


4.  City Attorney Rockne is reviewing the parking fine fees for possible adjustments.  There are a couple of bills before the legislature, regarding cities abilities to charge such fees.  Chief Selness feels the City should wait until the legislature resolves their issues before the City takes further action. 




2.   Community Development Director Angie Bersaw discussed draft development agreements with Lanmark Property Advisors.  She presented Council with a recap on the site development of the former Grover Building.  The deadline for submitting an application for a Contamination Grant is May 1st.  Attorney Matt Rockne has not reviewed the agreements yet.  However, as time is crucial, Bersaw requested Council review them and be ready to act on them at the next meeting.  These drafts include a Development Agreement for the Lanmark Senior Housing Project,  an Assessment Agreement with Lanmark Properties, a Parking Lease Agreement with Lanmark and an Option Agreement with Hub Food Center owners. 


At 7:08 p.m., Council requested a short break.  The meeting was recessed and called back to order at 7:13 p.m.


3.  Council received a letter of agreement from The Brimeyer Group, accepted by City Administrator candidate Neil Jensen.  Council expressed their approval of hiring Neil as City Administrator.

Motion Grothe, second Benson, to approve the hiring of Neil Jensen as City Administrator. Carried 5-0-0.  


4. Two letters, regarding the police force were discussed.  The first was to the Mayor and Council from the Teamster Union 320,  accusing members of infringing on officers rights and duties and charging them with unfair labor practices.  It states that if these activities do not end immediately the Zumbrota Officers involved have been instructed to file charges and possibly arrest all individuals involved.  A letter in response from Attorney Matt Rockne requests specific details to support their allegations.  He stated that threats of arrest for felonious crimes should, at the very least, be supported by specific facts and not vague allegations and they serve no purpose other than to create an antagonistic relationship between the Teamsters Union and the Council.  City Attorney Matt Rockne is waiting for their reply.




-Public Works Director Rick Lohmann-

-Requested Council opinion on adding decorative street lighting to the West Avenue project.  He suggested 16-18 fixtures.  Rough estimate guess for cost is $40,000 to $60,000.  Council felt this should be included as an alternate bid.

-Informed Council that he had a farmer interested in the compost that has accumulated for 2 years at the brush site.  The farmer would be willing to haul it to his property for a cost of $800 to $1,000.

Motion Grothe, second Benson to spend up to $1,000 to have the compost pile removed from the brush site.  Carried 5-0-0.

-Reported that Josh Ronningen and Dave Friedrich have agreed to return for parttime summer help.  They will be paid $8.75 and $8.25, respectively, per the parttime schedule.

Motion Grothe, second Benson to hire Josh Ronningen and Dave Friedrich for parttime summer employment.  Carried 5-0-0.


-Mayor Bauer-

-Welcomed new City Administrator, Neil Jensen and thanked staff for their efforts throughout the period without an administrator.


-Councilmember Benson-

-Thanked Council and staff for their thoughts and concerns regarding his diagnosis with cancer.  He expressed his desire to continue on the Council as long as he is able.


-Councilmember Borgschatz-

-Expressed his thanks to the citizens who came forward with their petition and concerns. 


-Councilmember Eberhart-

-Inquired about the opening of the brush site (which is scheduled for this Saturday, April 9th) and expressed his concern about the trash around the brush site and recycling area.  Lohmann informed Council that the school is looking at this for a school project.


Mayor Bauer adjourned the meeting at 7:15 p.m.


                                                                                    _______________________________                                                                                              Richard Bauer, Mayor


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