Monday, November 27, 2023

The Kiester City council held a regular meeting on Monday, November 27, 2023, at the Kiester Community Center.

Mayor: Hope Bauman called the Liquor store hearing meeting to order at 7 pm Council Members Present: Larry Dahleen, Kurt Grobe, Jason Kluender. Brandon Hagenson. City Staff: Clerk: Doris Troll and Maintenance: Gary Skartland were present. Public present: Marcia Dahleen, Bruce Thisted, Jeanette Parriott, Karen Busch, Curtis Almberg, Vicki Savick, Gloria Peterson, Nicole Rosberg Michele Alphs, Diana Adams, Rich Goggin, Judy Goggin, Jan Fure Al Bauman.

Liquor Store Hearing: Hope Bauman called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
Larry presented numbers for this year compared to last year and as of now it does not look like the Liquor Store, will not be able to make a profit this year, even with the lottery sales.
One of the Liquor store staff stated the sales were down all over. This is even affecting the distributor.
The council states that there were overlapping hours . We have staff on the clock and the store is not even open. All that extra labor over the year adds up. One resident asked if there were conversations as to turning the sales around or are you just giving up.? Have you looked at sales by hour to see if cuts could be made? The council has looked at the sales, that is why they do not open until 3 on Mondays and Tuesdays.
But with deliveries coming in on the distributors’ schedule, not ours, we have to come up with some solutions.
Has anyone reflected on how this will affect the town? Everyone keeps saying we need to attract more business, but here you are thinking of closing one. Or has there been some deal going on in the shadows that no one has known about? This needs to be transparent to the public.

Hope Bauman then called for an adjournment of the hearing at 7:16pm. Brandon Hagenson motion to adjourn seconded by Kurt Grobe. Vote 5-0, Motion carried.

The Regular council meeting was then called to order at 7:17pm

Agenda: Motion to accept agenda, with the addition of the Splash Pad, and the Market Group, and deletions of Ambulance in which Mark Griffith was to be here and not yet. Library, Fire Department. by Jason Kluender, seconded Larry Dahleen, vote 5-0, motion carried.

Approval of Minutes: Motion to approve by Hope Bauman, seconded by Kurt Grobe, Vote 5-0, motion carried.

Claims: Motion by Brandon Hagenson seconded by Larry Dahleen, approving claims totaling $ 20,620.44. Vote of 5-0 motion carried.

The Splash Pad: They have informed the council that they now have their 501c3 status. Therefore, they can start applying for grants and doing fundraisers.

EDA: The Market Group approached The Eda to reduce their rent by $500.00 a month. The EDA has requested more financial information before making that decision. The Eda will meet tomorrow night to discuss more in depth. We presented numbers of what the city has been paying out for the retail center in subsidies. For next year, it would be $84,000.00. This number includes electrical, heat, taxes insurance, repair and maintenance and capital outlay. If it reduced the rent, the tax levy would have to be raised by an extra 3% on top of what we were planning to increase the levy by. They have a potential buyer for the building that would keep the market lease for $1000.00. However, they do not want to pay a lot for the building. There also has been talk of making the space at the market smaller and building walls with a separate entrance and move the Liquor Store up to main street. These are all just ideas before the EDA meets. The bond monies that were paying off the note with are currently being placed in the general fund for seal coating of the streets. The question was asked that the council has been trying to sell the building for years and has never had a buyer?
The council informed the resident that was a false statement. The council has talked about selling it, however nothing has ever been done. David will have to look into the grocery store for how it was funded and get back to the city with some answers.

Liquor Store: There was no report. Hope asked the clerk to read ordinance 2023-16 an ordinance amending ordinance #26 to abolish the Municipal Liquor Dispensary and to allow retail sales of liquor within the City.

This will be published, and a hearing will be on 12-11-2023 and the seconded reading and vote.

Public Comment: There was a conversation regarding the animals and Bruce wanting to put up a building on his property to house them. During the Chip event and visiting with the Coordinator, there is a lot more to having an Animal control officer that we thought and more research needs to be done, so no laws are broke.
There was a resident who asked why not all the residents didn’t get a letter in the mail about the Copper and Lead test results. I informed them we followed the information that we received from the MN Department of Health. The sample homes all received a letter from us. The Main test site that came back with high numbers was at City Hall.

Maintenance report: The snow fence is up. Water mains valves have been turned, The Christmas Decorations are all up. I am still working on getting the rest of the leaves up. Mn Pump was here to pull and inspect the pumps. One pump had a float issue that was repaired. There is a problem with the Hydrant on 2nd street S and Front Street as it is leaking. I advised that we have it repaired until the replacement of the hydrant during the infrastructure project. The hydrant itself is from 1948, so it is a need of replacing.

Clerk Update: we have ordered the tablets. The bank balance is above the limit, so there was pledge paperwork that was signed at the bank. We must approve the Liquor License for Bermas. With a 2 am, on sale and a Sunday license, Motion to approve the License by Brandon Hagenson Seconded by Kurt Grobe, Vote 5-0. Motion carried. Then we must approve the Liquor License for The Kiester Legion. They have a club or on sale and a Sunday license. Motion to approve the license for The Legion by Kurt Grobe, seconded by Hope Bauman. Vote 5-0. Motion Carried.

Mayor Update: I am working on updating the Employee handbook. I will send our employee evaluations to the council members to answer. I will text when they are ready to be done.

Adjournment: Motion to adjourn by Jason Kluender, seconded by Kurt Grobe. Vote 4-0, motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted by
Doris M Troll
City Clerk /Treasurer