Bellechester City Council Meeting - June 21, 2023


Bellechester City Council Meeting Minutes

June 21, 2023 @ 6:00PM

Regular City Council Meeting was called to order by Mayor Jody Gordon at 6:01 p.m.

Pledge to the flag.

Roll call was taken: The council in attendance: Mayor Jody Gordon, Council people Rich Majerus and Kyle Blattner as well as City Clerk Lisa Redepenning and treasurer Kyle McKeown. Council member Mark Gerken and Jered Buxengard as well as City Engineer Matt Mohs were absent.

Minutes of May 17, 2023 regular meeting minutes were reviewed and motion was made by Rich Majerus with a second by Kyle Blattner to approve the minutes. Motion carried.

Bills were reviewed and a motion by Kyle Blattner with a second by Rich Majerus to approve and pay the bills as presented. Motion carried.

Old Business:

• Sewer Grant – update progress – Rural Development needed more information from Matt. He will work on it. All easements are done and submitted.

• Water Meter Ordinance - review/make changes – tabled until next meeting when full council.

New business:

• Building Permit – Favio Jurado – portable storage shed - review and approve. Council requests drawings of shed and placement. We will request this from permit requestor.

• Liquor License – Legion – approve. Motion was made by Rich Majerus with a 2nd by Kyle Blattner to approve the Legion liquor report

Engineer Report – Report was submitted to council.

Clerk Report - Interim Financing – I made the transfer to replenish both general fund and sewer fund. New City Phone – I have disconnected the land line for the city phone and transferred it to a cell phone. Quarterly Billing – 3rd Quarter billing will be done later this month. 2022 Consumer Confidence will be mailed to each resident. Water Meter Ordinance – I checked with our insurance about how to handle when we supply the water meter and there is an issue. Here is their response:

You will only be charged the Property Premium. Liability is there with no additional premium. There would have to be some negligence on the part of the City for coverage to apply. The increase in our premiums depends on how many and the value.

Here is the response from the League of MN Cities Risk Management Attorney:

I don't think there is too much the city can put in an ordinance to protect itself.

Assuming the city does not have immunity, the general principle of liability is that a city can be found liable if the city's "negligence" causes an injury - either bodily injury or property damage. A city can be found negligent if the city owes someone a duty, the city violates its duty, and

the violation causes the injury.

In a contract, a person could agree to waive any claims in might have against the city.

But an ordinance is not a contract, i.e., it's a one-sided document; the property owner is not agreeing to anything. If the city could just pass an ordinance saying we're not responsible, the city would never be liable.

That being said, I think the city might be able to specify in an ordinance that the property owner is responsible for maintenance of the water meter after installation. Arguably if the city does not have a duty to maintain the water meter, it cannot be held liable for something that happens later


Any case, of course, against the city involving the water meters would need to be evaluated on the specific facts. The mere fact that water leaks into someone's home does not mean the city is liable. We'd need to determine the cause and whether the city's actions or inactions caused the damage.

If the city is hiring a contractor to install the water meters, much of the risk could be transferred to the contractor in the agreement with the contractor.

Small Cities Assistance – We will be receiving $12,936 as part of the Transportation Bill passed in MN.

Treasurer Report – Past due accounts were discussed along with shut off notices. A few payments have been made to shut off notices.

Water/Wastewater/Facility Report – Maybe a metal detector will be needed to find shutoffs. Approximate price is $750. Discharging is done until September. Killing weeds in rocks. Weed chopping has been done by ponds. Lawn mower needs some repairs and will be done.

Mayor Concerns: Resident concerns about auto-cross vehicles and noise in town. Mayor addressed.

Council Concerns: Fields are being used. Ball field placement was discussed. Passing zone on 16 was discussed. Speeding of semis in town was also discussed.


Motion was made by Rich Majerus with a second by Jered Buxengard to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. Meeting was adjourned at 6:25.

Submitted by Lisa Redepenning – City Clerk