Kenyon City Council Meeting - July 11, 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 11th day of July 2023. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Henke.

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

Absent: None

Also, present: City Administrator Mark Vahlsing, Police Officer Brian Homeier, Attorney Scott Riggs, Public Works Director Wayne Ehrich, City Engineer Derik Olinger, Administrative Assistant Holli Gudknecht, Police Chief Jeff Sjoblom, Linda Bean, Jerry & Diane Barrett, Nicole Eggert

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.



Motion by Henke second by Ryan to approve the amended agenda. Motion carried 5-0-0.


Motion by Helgeson second by Bailey to approve the Consent Agenda, which includes payment of check numbers, 74959 through 75042.

Motion carried 5-0-0.



Pearl Creek Sanitary Sewer Improvements

Engineer Olinger stated that the bids for the Pearl Creek Sewer project were opened last week and were lower than projected.

Resolution 2023-17: Accepting Easements Engineer Olinger updated the council on the progress of securing easements for the sewer project. The City is still waiting for signatures from one property owner.

Motion by Bailey second by Helgeson to approve Resolution 2023-17 Motion carried 5-0-0.

Construction Engineering Proposal

Engineer Olinger stated that Council approval was needed for costs related to construction engineering services including surveying for the Pearl Creek Sanitary Sewer project.

Motion by Henke second by Ryan to approve the construction engineering proposal from Bolton and Menk for the Pearl Creek Sanitary Sewer and Street Improvement projects. Motion carried 5-0-0.

2023 Street Maintenance Improvement Project

Engineer Olinger reviewed the pavement management plan for the city this year. Quotes for reclamite work to seal specified streets were solicitated. One proposal was received.

Construction Engineering Proposal

Motion by Helgeson, second by Bailey to approve the proposal from Bolton and Menk for construction engineering services for the 2023 Street Improvement Project. Motion carried 5-0-0.


Review of Ordinance No. 102 (interim ordinance) Cannabis

City Attorney Riggs reviewed the draft interim ordinance authorizing a study and imposing a moratorium of the operation of Cannabis. Summaries of the new law, and a copy of the interim ordinance are attached. He also said that before the draft ordinance is considered the Council needs to discuss whether the City wants to regulate hemp products (THC edibles and gummies that have been available since last year). If the Council moves to proceed with the Ordinance a Public Hearing would have to be scheduled for the August Council meeting.

Adopt Interim Ordinance No. 102

No discussion.

Resolution 2023-11 Approving Summary Publication of an Ordinance Authorizing a Study and Imposing a Moratorium of the Operation of Cannabis Business

No discussion.

Request for City to relocate alley/ROW - Jeff and Ann Traxler

Attorney Riggs stated that the City received the legal description from Rapp Surveying today (7/11). He will begin to prepare the deeds for the land swap. Jeff and Ann Traxler are requesting that the City to do a land swap of right-of-way area that abuts their property to the west. They need the land swap to help facilitate a planned expansion project of their business.


Review Ordinance No. 101 Allowing Chickens within City Limits

Administrator Vahlsing stated that revisions were made to the draft ordinance regulating Chickens based on discussion at the June Council meeting. Revisions were made to the areas regulating chicken coops. He also reviewed the results of the on-line survey conducted on the city web site. Respondents were asked if they supported allowing Chickens n residentially zoned areas. The results were 121 yes, 103 no, and 17 unsure.

Mayor Henke- Thanked Library Director Otte for her work with the survey on the City web site. He had talked to residents about allowing chickens but had received mixed results. He was still against allowing chickens in the City.

Councilmen Ryan had done research also, she talked to City employees and residents about allowing chickens. She had concerns with who would enforce the ordinance.

Councilmen Bailey stated that more people wanted chickens in the survey. The Council is here to serve the public and they voted yes.

Councilmen Helgeson – It was hard to tell if the survey is accurate as far as who may have voted.

Councilmen Sjolander – He was torn on the idea of allowing chickens. He wants to give residents what they want. There are already chickens in town. May be hard to enforce ordinance. If the ordinance is passed, it should be reviewed again in a year.

Motion by Sjolander, Second by Bailey to approve Ordinance 101 Allowing Chickens in the City limits

Ayes Nayes

Bailey Helgeson

Sjolander Henke


Motion failed.

Resolution 2023-15: Approving Summary Publication of Ord. 101

No discussion

Review Quotes for Payroll Services

Administrator Vahlsing stated that staff had been reviewing options for contracting payroll processing. The city has received updated quotes from five firms. Kelly Perry has met with representatives of all the payroll firms. In order to cover the costs of the payroll service, the hours that the city pays toward the PD/City Administrative position could be reduced. The personnel committee has reviewed the concept and is supportive. Staff would recommend using Paycom. Kelly has worked with that company previously and had a good experience.

Motion by Ryan second by Henke to approve proposal of Paycom. Approval contingent on execution of agreement. Motion carried 5-0-0.


City and KMU Compensation Study

Administrator Vahlsing updated the Council that staff is getting quotes for a compensation study. This study compares City pay scales with comparable cities. He stated that the city was hoping to get 4 or 5 quotes and have them ready for the August City Council and KMU meetings.

Therapy and Consulting Services Agreement – Police Department

Police Chief Sjoblom requested Council approval of an agreement with Lodestar Psychology to provide counseling services and therapy for the Police Department. He stated that a recently approved state law requires that law enforcement agencies provide therapy services for offices.

Motion by Sjolander seconded by Ryan to approve agreement with Lodestar Psychology for therapy services for the Police Department. Motion carried 5-0-0.

Pearl Creek Sewer Main and Street Improvement Projects Bond Sale – George Eilertson – Northland Public Finance

George Eilertson- Northland Public Finance reviewed the proposed bond sale terms for the 2023 public works projects. As part of the bond sale, Standard and Poors reviewed the City financial standing and confirmed the A+ rating. See S&P summary attached below for more information on the bond rating. The bonds sold at a 3.93% interest rate and a 15-year term.

Resolution 2023-16: Awarding the Sale of General Obligation Bonds – Pearl Creek Sewer Main and Street Improvement projects.

Motion by Ryan second by Helgeson to adopt Resolution 2023-16. Motion carried 5-0-0.

Schedule of Upcoming Meetings

KMU Meeting: Tuesday, July 18th @ 4:00 p.m.

EDA Meeting: Tuesday, August 1st @ 8:00 a.m.

City Council Meeting: Tuesday, August 8th @ 7 p.m


Council member Helgeson thanked community for supporting Farmers Market.

Mayor Henke- Farmers Market has had a good turnout. Thanked Councilmen Helgeson, Bailey Ament and Park Board for work on the market. Administrator Vahlsing has approved two building permits for townhomes in Trondheim area.

City Administrator Vahlsing stated that Library Director Michelle did a great job with the survey for Chickens on the City web site.

Police Chief Sjoblom reminded the Council that National Night Out was August 1.

Motion by Bailey second by Helgeson to adjourn the meeting at 8:22 p.m.

Motion carried 5-0-0.

Mark Vahlsing, City Administrator

Douglas Henke, Mayor