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City of Brownton-Council Meeting

City of Brownton

Brownton City Council Meeting
December 3, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Council Present: Norm Schwarze, Doug Block, Curt Carrigan, Jesse Messner, Lori Copler
Absent:NA
Staff Present: Ken Bauer, Lori Cacka
Visitors: Jakob Kounkel, Fredy Ojeda, John Rodeberg, Jeanne Von Berge, Jesse Spaude, Jeff Betker
Mayor Schwarze called the meeting to order.
Mayor Schwarze opened the public meeting to hear comment regarding the zoning variance request from Ojeda at 153 6th Ave N, Brownton, MN, to build a detached accessory building (garage). A variance for setbacks is needed as Fredy is asking for 2’ instead of 5’ on both the east and south sides as required. A special Planning and Zoning Committee Meeting was held on Friday, November 15th, 2019, at 3:30 p.m., to discuss the variance; whereas Planning and Zoning took no issue with the request, it was sent to Council for final review and approval.
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of Brownton, to approve the setback variance for Fredy Ojeda to build a detached garage and to allow the setbacks at 2’ instead of the required 5’ at his address of 153 6th Ave N.
THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION was introduced and moved for adoption by Council Member Messner, seconded by Council Member Carrigan and with all present voting in favor thereof, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted. 2019-106
The 2019 Truth In Taxation Meeting/Public Comment was opened by Mayor Schwarze.
Comments—Jeanne Von Berge voiced concerns as to how high taxes were going to get. Jesse Spaude talked to people and some went up 6% and some 10% but his was up 23%. Market values went up pretty much all over town. Market value is based on actual sales. Our tax base isn’t as big as most towns because of our limited number of businesses. The valuation hearing to address the market values is held in the spring with the County. Spaude asked how Brownton’s tax rate compares to other towns. He went to the County meeting and had a handout from the Assessor on county tax values. The Clerk will look into this. Jeff Betker asked what we are doing to attract businesses. Council explained we are still trying to work with Dollar General. He also expressed concern at the condition on 9th Ave N. John Rodeberg invited Jeff to his office to show him the plans that are currently in the works for the 2020 Improvement for that street.
Public Comment Closed.
The Brownton City Council adopted the final 2020 Levy increase of 5%, raising it from $435,675 in 2019 to $457,458 in 2020. Part of the increase has to do with the unknowns on the street project completion.
RESOLUTION APPROVING 2020 FINAL TAX LEVY – 2019-107
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Brownton, to approve the 2020 sums of money to be levied collectible in 2020 upon taxable properties in the City of Brownton for the following purposes:

General Fund $236,460
Bond Purposes
2012A Streets/Utility Bond $75,640
2011A Facility Redevelopment Bond $61,850
2015A Fire Truck Bond $17,208
RS Fiber Bond $53,456
2018 Street/Utility Bond $12,844
Total Levy $457,458
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Clerk is hereby instructed to transmit a copy of this resolution to the McLeod County Auditor.
THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION was introduced and moved for adoption by Council Member Copler, seconded by Council Member Messner and with all present voting in favor thereof, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.
A 3% salary increase was approved for most employees, exception – Mark Streich and Summer Rec/Enrichment.
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of Brownton, to approve the 2020 Budget as proposed by the City Clerk. This included a 3% increase for City Employees with the exception of Mark Streich, Public Works Sewer Monitor and Summer Rec/Enrichment staff.
THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION was introduced and moved for adoption by Council Member Copler, seconded by Council Member Messner and with all present voting in favor thereof, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted. 2019 – 108
Motion by Council Member Block, seconded by Council Member Carrigan, and carried to approve the consent agenda, with the exception of 1 bill that needs to be clarified, as follows: Approve minutes of regular meeting 11/6/2019. Approve December treasurers report. Approve payment of the claims and payroll including check numbers 41966-42108 in the amount of $250,303.09. Approve new bills written/to be written.
John Rodeberg from SEH reported they are working on getting final quantities from R & R. They will be meeting with them on Dec 18th. There are a couple of issues they are dealing with yet. SEH met with USDA 2 weeks ago on the project and things are moving along. We are scheduling a meeting for Tuesday December 10th, at 7 p.m. to finalize the 2020 Street Improvement Project.
Public Works submitted his report. The generator is ready to be installed. It was discussed there should be a shed or some sort of enclosure for it. The check engine light is on in the plow truck and is over in Glencoe getting looked at. Mayor Schwarze will stop over and check on it. The electric meters should be on order by the end of December and installed in January as long as things go as planned.
Chief Bauer reported they are working on a couple of bigger cases. No snowbird citations to date. They will only get 1 warning. The Chief is going to look into scrapping or selling cars in the compound lot (4).
The Fencing regulation was updated to be more consistent with the information that is given to residents. Anything current is grandfathered in but going forward the City will be enforcing this and it will be a violation of city ordinance.
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of Brownton, to approve a fencing regulation to include the wording in section 2.02 C numbers 3B-3C to include the wording that fences must be at least 30% open on the side and rear yards.
THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION was introduced and moved for adoption by Council Member Messner, seconded by Council Member Block and with all present voting in favor thereof, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.
RESOLUTION OF A SENIOR NUTRITION PROGRAM SITE USE AGREEMENT - 2019-109
BE IT RESOLVED by the Brownton City Council to enter into the LSS Senior Nutrition program Site Use Agreement for 2020 and to authorize the signature thereof. Facility rent will be $132.00 annually.
THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION was introduced and moved for adoption by Council Member Block, seconded by Council Member Copler and with all present voting in favor thereof, said resolution was declared duly passed and adopted.

The compensation program from Keystone Compensation Group was discussed. Concern was voiced on the step approach as it seems to take away the review part for the City. Council has requested to have Mr Abboud, a consultant from Keystone, come out and discuss this with us.
On update on the Dollar General was given by the Clerk. We have asked our Attorney to help work through the annexation if Dollar General does decide to build.
The Council made a motion to increase the City Clerk’s wage as the probationary period is up.
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council, to approve increasing City Clerk Cacka’s hourly wage by $1.00, placing her at $21/hour beginning with the next pay period.
THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION motion was made by Council Member Carrigan, seconded by Council Member Block, and with all voting in favor of, resolution was duly passed and adopted. 2019 – 110
The City Office will be open til noon on Christmas Eve Day and closed Christmas Day. The final meeting minutes will be published after they are approved at the following meeting. The Clerk is registered for the Clerk’s Conference in May in St. Cloud. The water leak in the community center is being addressed. The residential water issue has been sent to the League for review.
Upon Motion, Meeting was adjourned.
Minutes to be presented for approval 1/7/2020
Lori Cacka, City Clerk
(Published in The McLeod County Chronicle January 15, 2020)