Kenyon City Council - March 14, 2023


Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a City Council Meeting was duly held in the City Council chambers at 7:00 p.m. on the 14th day of March 2023. The meeting was called to order by Acting Mayor Ryan.

The following members were present: Council Members Kim Helgeson, Lee Sjolander, Mary Bailey, and Molly Ryan

Absent: Doug Henke

Also, present: City Administrator Mark Vahlsing, Administrative Assistant Holli Gudknecht, Police Chief Jeff Sjoblom, Engineer Derek Olinger, Attorney Joseph Sathe, Officer Brian Homeier, Public Works Director Wayne Ehrich, Attorney David Jacobsen, George Eilertson, Briana and Joe Jensen and Family

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.


Briana Jensen addressed the city council on the benefits of chickens and requested to be added to the agenda in April for consideration of allowing chickens in the city.


Addition: / XI / New Business / E / Boulevard of Roses – Wayne Ehrich

Motion by Bailey second by Helgeson to approve the agenda. Motion carried 4-0-0.


Motion by Sjolander second by Ryan to approve the Consent Agenda, which includes payment of check numbers, 74578 through 74672; 4472E through 4478E.

Motion carried 3-0-0.


Public Hearing: Plan and Issuance of the Bonds to Finance the Cost of Street Reconstruction

Motion by Helgeson second by Bailey to open the Public Hearing at 7:11 pm.

Attorney Riggs stated that a public hearing is required as part of the bond sale for the Pearl Creek Sewer Main replacement and 2023 street projects. No public comment was received.

Motion by Bailey, seconded by Sjolander to close the public hearing at 7:12 pm.

Annual Municipal Prosecution Report – David Jacobsen, Attorney

Attorney David Jacobsen presented a summary of the annual prosecution activity for the city provided by Jacobsen Law Firm, P.A. in 2022. Attorney Jacobsen reported that the number of prosecuted offenses were down for 2022. He prosecuted 55 cases from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, which was down 104 from 2021. He noted that 65% of the offenses were traffic violations. When compared to 2021, the number of prosecuted traffic offenses decreased by 71%. Community offenses decreased from 39 in 2021 to 19 in 2022. Two-thirds of the base fine is remitted back to the city of Kenyon, which amounted to $11,989.04 for 2022.


Pearl Creek Sanitary Sewer Improvements

Engineer Olinger stated that they have been working with property owners regarding easements. An extensive amount of easement and grading work will impact the Barrett property. A mutually agreeable location for the new infrastructure on this property may have been reached. Negotiations with all property owners for easements will continue.

2023 Project Cost Estimate Update – George Eilertson – Northland Public Finance

George Eilertson reviewed the options of issuing bonds showing the different scenarios to finance the future sewer capital and street improvements. City Engineer Olinger stated that the project costs are expected to come in higher than previously expected due to the underestimated cost of the lift station and the segment of sanitary sewer needed to cross Pearl Creek. Also, recent soil borings indicated that bedrock depths are shallower that originally thought.

2023 Street Improvement Summary

No public comments were received at the public hearing.

Resolution 2023-05: Approving a Street Reconstruction Plan and Authorizing the Issuance of General Obligation Street Reconstruction Bonds

Motion by Sjolander second by Helgeson to adopt Resolution 2023-05.

Motion carried 4-0-0.


Nuisance Property Violation – 1 Langford Ave. Update

Attorney Riggs updated the council on the 1 Langford Avenue nuisance. Police Chief Sjoblom added that the snow has slowed the cleanup progress. The owner did have the property surveyed and found that the downed tree is on his property and he will clean it up. The property owner has until April to get the cleanup completed.

2023 Agreement with Luis Tellez – Taco Express

City Administrator Vahlsing stated that Luis Tellez, owner of Taco Express has submitted the Annual Lease Agreement for his mobile food truck to operate on city owned space directly east of the Municipal Liquor Store. Vahlsing recommended increasing the agreement amount by $30 for a lease amount of $430 for 2023.

Motion by Bailey seconded by Ryan to approve the 2023 agreement with Luis Tellez – Taco Express for $430.00. Motion carried 4-0-0.


City Hall Roof Replacement

Administrator Vahlsing reviewed the City Hall roof replacement that was discussed at the September 2022 council meeting. Vahlsing requested council approval to replace the roof with 50-year steel for $53,000. The City would request an interfund loan from the KMU electric fund to cover the expenses.

Motion by Bailey second by Helgeson to proceed with replacing the roof of City Hall with 50-year steel for $53,000 pending KMU approval of an interfund loan from the electric fund. Motion carried 4-0-0.


Review Quotes for Payroll Services

Administrator Vahlsing presented options for contracting payroll processing for the city. Three quotes were received for payroll processing. He suggested scheduling a work session to have Abdo present their services and explain how the process would work. A work session was scheduled for Tuesday, March 28 at 5:00.

On-Sale Liquor License Renewal- Kenyon Country Club

Motion by Bailey second by Helgeson to renew Kenyon Country Club’s liquor license.

Motion carried 4-0-0.

Approve Request for Liquor at Depot Park – Savannah Bleess, May 20, 2023

Motion by Helgeson, second by Bailey to approve the liquor request for Savannah Bleess in Depot Park. Motion carried 5-0-0.

Update on Finance Director Hiring

Administrator Vahlsing stated that 19 applications had been received for the Finance Director position. Seven applicants were scheduled for interviews.

Boulevard of Roses – Wayne Ehrich

Public Works Director Wayne Ehrich informed the council of their plan to make a switch from tree roses to scrub roses in the boulevard. The current tree roses have been discontinued. The scrub roses would be hardier, cheaper, and wouldn’t need to be buried in the winter.

Schedule of Upcoming Meetings

KMU Meeting: Tuesday, March 21st @ 4:00 p.m.

City Council Meeting: Tuesday, April 11th @ 7 p.m.

Board of Appeal & Equalization: Thursday, April 20th @ 5:00 p.m.


Councilor Sjolander thanked public works and crew for all their work in clearing snow from the street. He also thanked staff for coming in during inclement weather.

Councilor Helgeson, on behalf of Park & Rec, stated that the fundraiser when over great and thanked everyone for all the donations.

Motion by Bailey second by Ryan to adjourn the meeting at 8:26 p.m.

Motion carried 4-0-0.

Holli Gudknecht, Administrative Assistant

Molly Ryan, Acting Mayor