March 14, 2012
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof a regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Bloomer was called to order on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall – Mayor Summerfield presiding.
Roll call was taken: Mayor Summerfield, Alderpersons Meinen, Hofmann, Steinmetz and Clerk Stoik. Alderperson Koehler and Attorney Thiel were absent.
All present gave pledge to the flag.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting (February 22, 2012) as presented. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Hofmann made a motion to approve all claims against the City and Utilities as presented. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and all present voted aye. The claims were in the amounts listed below:
Checks Numbered: 59791-59941
General Fund: $ 101,204.44
Electric Fund: $ 12,231.56
Water Fund: $ 15,286.05
Sewer Fund: $ 18,508.80
Payroll: $ 58,509.32
TOTAL $ 205,740.17
Housing Rehab: $ 4,404.00
There were no audience comments.
Alderperson Meinen made a motion to approve a Street Use Permit for St. Paul Lutheran Triathlon on May 19, 2012 upon approval of Police Chief Zwiefelhofer review of the plan. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Eric and Kari Stone, 1008 Ivy Street were present to discuss Ordinance 7-1-9 Pit Bull and Other Dangerous Animals. They have lived in Bloomer for about 4 years and when they moved here, they were not aware that there was an ordinance that did not allow pit bulls. She had a petition signed by their neighbors that they had no objection to their dog. They don’t want to be driven away from the community. When the ordinance was adopted in 1999 – there were restrictions placed on the existing pit bulls at the time. They would like to be able to follow those rules. Kari Stone suggested the Council to consider a referendum regarding the issue. Mayor Summerfield informed the Council of two options. 1. – Do nothing – the ordinance would be enforced. 2. – Change the ordinance. Alderperson Meinen stated he would like to be able to allow them to keep their dog. Mayor Summerfield stated he would check with Attorney Thiel and call them with his recommendations. No action was taken. The issue was tabled.
The Council met with Kate Ludwigson regarding the city employees’ health insurance coverage. The renewal came in at 18.4%. It was decided to have the employees fill out the universal application and go out for bids from other insurance companies. Alderperson Meinen questioned Ms. Ludwigson regarding the past arrangement with Dave Stiehl from the Murphy Insurance Group. He had been informed that the new agency Ms. Ludwigson worked for would no longer share the commission with him. Ms. Ludwigson explained that she had gone to work for a different insurance agency and management would not allow a sharing of the plan. She presented emails to the Council sent to Mr. Stiehl back in January informing him of this change. Alderperson Meinen feels the City should keep their business in Bloomer and not with an Eau Claire company. Alderperson Hofmann explained that approximately 2 years ago Ms. Ludwigson and Mr. Stiehl came to an agreement to share the commission. The Council did not pick the agent and left it up to the two of them to work out an arrangement. Ms. Ludwigson worked with the employees to bid out the applications. Mr. Stiehl did not request copies. Alderperson Meinen didn’t feel it was right that Ms. Ludwigson could just fire him. He felt it should be up to the Council. Mayor Summerfield requested a review of the quotes submitted. They received comparable bids from Anthem, HealthPartners and Security Health. Ms. Ludwigson went back to Medica and requested a rate reduction. After review Medica dropped the increase to approximately 6%. The increase over the current plan with HealthPartners was 4%. After review of Anthem and Security Health, it was determined that the policies were different. Alderperson Hofmann made a motion to approve changing the health insurance carrier for city employees to HealthPartners. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Discussion was held with Mike Poirier for purchase of a residential lot in the Iron Horse Industrial Park. He is interested in Lot 18, but is requesting the City to rezone the lot from R-1 to R-2. Mayor Summerfield suggested rezoning lots 12-19 to avoid spot zoning. Mr. Poirier stated that after building and selling each condo, he would be interested in the next lot. Alderperson Meinen questioned why Mr. Poirier wouldn’t want to keep them with the two he already constructed. Mr. Poirier responded that the lots to the north were not wide enough and the lots to the south cost a lot more and were way bigger than he needed. Mr. Poirier was agreeable to pay the $200 rezoning fee. Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve proceeding with the application to rezone lots 12-19 from R-1 to R-2. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and Alderpersons Hofmann and Steinmetz voted aye. Alderperson Meinen voted no, because he felt the R-2 zoning should continue in the same area.
Discussion was held regarding the reimbursement of mileage for employees and council members. Alderperson Meinen stated that the City had paid out a substantial amount to Mayor Summerfield over the past two years and to save money, he should be using the City’s vehicle instead of his personal vehicle. Alderperson Meinen made a motion for future reimbursement of mileage, all employees, Mayor and Council should use the city vehicle when traveling out of town whenever possible. Mayor Summerfield called for a second three times. There was no second, therefore the motion died.
Discussion was held regarding the purchase of a pickup truck for the Street Department. They have received quotes from the area dealers. They would be removing from service a one ton truck and then would sell it to the highest bidder. Mr. Meindel did not have the final amount ready for the Council’s review. This will be on the next agenda for approval.
Alderperson Hofmann made a motion to approve the following purchases for the Electric Department for a total of $56,358. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Materials (Restocking/Upcoming projects) $ 5,545
Transformers (Agri-Tech/Restocking) $41,846
Poles (Agri-Tech/Stock) $ 8,967
Mayor Summerfield explained the correspondence from the auditor regarding the designated fund balance. Over the past years, the Council designated monies to certain projects. Because the City has funded TIF#4 – the undesignated fund balance is below 25%. The City could undesignate monies from certain projects to increase the fund balance, but wasn’t required by law to do so. If the Council wanted to do this the monies in the Sick Pay and Garages & Sheds account could be transferred to the undesignated amount. At this time, the Council did not make a motion to transfer funds.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the following Class B Picnic licenses and live Music & Dancing license for the Fairgrounds property as listed. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Bloomer Community Club – Picnic license for July 21-22 for Tractor Pull.
Bloomer Community Club – Picnic license for August 2-6 for Bloomer Fair.
Bloomer Community Club – Live Music & Dancing license Aug 1-6 for the Fair.
Bloomer Chamber of Commerce – June 7 for Appreciation Picnic.
Bloomer Community Visitors Center – Sept. 8-9 for Community Picnic.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve applications for licenses to serve fermented malt beverages and intoxicating liquors to the two applicants listed below and the denial of a license to Alfred W. Solie who did not meet the requirements of the ordinance. Police Chief Zwiefelhofer approved the two listed below. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Danielle L. Rihn
Lara E. Johnson
Michael Meindel, Street, Water & Sewer Administrator was questioned by Alderperson Meinen regarding the strong smell from the WWTP plant. Mr. Meindel explained that the pit is full and needs to be cleaned out. He is working on getting it trucked out of there.
Peter Paulson, Electric Administrator – had no comments.
Police Chief Zwiefelhofer reported the Explorer police squad has been repaired and is back in service.
Alderperson Meinen – no comments.
Alderperson Hofmann – no comments.
Alderperson Steinmetz – no comments.
Mayor Summerfield – no comments.
Alderperson Hofmann made a motion to go into closed session under Wis. Stats. 19.85(1)(e) as read by Mayor Summerfield. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and a roll call vote was taken: Alderperson Meinen, aye; Hofmann, aye; Steinmetz, aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to come out of closed session and report on action taken. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the rental agreement with Wayne & Kurt Sonnentag for planting crops on city owned land. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Sue A. Stoik, CMC/WCMC