These minutes remain unofficial until approved by the council at the next meeting. 


 Submitted by  Clerk/Treasurer

April 8, 2020



Regular Meeting


The Town of Chester Council held the regular council meeting on April 8, 2020 via phone conference using Webex.

Members Present via Phone:        Mayor James Dahlen, Council persons, Wendy Dauwalder, Rachel Ghekiere, Tina Neer, Shane Kenfield and Tonia Wickum.   

Scott Ross joined the meeting at 6:10


Members Absent:  none

Staff Present via Phone:    John Kleinsasser (Public Works Director)

                                          Ashley Wickum (Clerk/Treasurer)

Guests Via Phone:  Heather Ghekiere (Chester Swim Team)

                              Jesse Fulbright (MSU Extension Agent- Facilitating Web-ex)


Mayor James Dahlen called the Web-ex conference call regular council meeting to order at 6:00 pm.

  • Public Comment: Heather Ghekiere wanted to be sure that the council received the letter that she submitted on behalf of the swim team and the pool agreement changes. 
  • Tonia Wickum made the motion to approve the minutes from the Regular Council meetings on March 11, 2020. Wendy Dauwalder seconded the motion.  Motion to approve minutes passed with all voting ayes. 
  • Claims were presented to the council for approval. Tonia Wickum had a question on the Landfill Closure costs on invoice to RPA. This is for two years cost as they didn’t get us the invoice last year.  Rachel Ghekiere made the motion to approve the claims submitted for payment.  Shane Kenfield seconded the motion.  Motion to approve claims passed with all voting ayes.
  • The council reviewed the adjustments and journal entries made in March. Amy Lynn’s house is located at 210 West Jefferson Ave.  Tonia Wickum made the motion to approve the JV & Adjustments.  Wendy Dauwalder seconded the motion.  Motion passed with all voting ayes. 
  • Scott Ross called in. 6:10 pm
  • Sheriff’s Office Report: no report sent to office prior to meeting.
  • New Business:
  • Emergency Declaration – COVID-19: presented declaration to council.  Mayor signed declaration on 4/2/20.
  • Approval renewal Interlocal Agreement: Mayor Dahlen presented the interlocal agreement to the council, no new changes.  Scott Ross made the motion to approve the interlocal agreement as presented for renewal.  Tina Neer seconded the motion.  Motion passed with all voting ayes. 
  • Approval updated Swimming Pool Agreement: Discussion Item #1:  Number of certified life guards on duty.  Tonia Wickum suggested that 1 certified person would be enough and 2 was not necessary.  Wendy Dauwalder and Rachel Ghekiere agreed.  Heather Ghekiere, swim team representative, updated the council that the coach is required to be certified.  #2:  Dumping of the garbage at meet.  Tonia Wickum doesn’t see a problem with the person on call dumping the garbage during the weekend of the meet.  John Kleinsasser informed the council that he believes running the truck during the meet is dangerous because there are too many people milling around.  When the city had JAWS it wasn’t a problem, however, the city now has the dump trailer that could be moved up and left at the pool for the weekend.  Heather Ghekiere stated that the area with the most garbage is the concessions area, the alley between the pool and the church.  And that would be the one that would be helpful if they could dump it.  John suggested putting additional garbage’s there. Tonia Wickum made a motion to table this item until the council can meet in person to discuss further.  Wendy Dauwalder seconded the motion.  Motion passed with all voting ayes.
  • Approval of New Hires:

Landfill attendant:  Donnie Heimbigner Hired $13/hr

Summer Help:  there were two applicants.  Both would be good.  Gunnar Wickum would like to return.  He would be able to work through the end of August.  John stated that he did a good job last year.  Council members Wendy Dauwalder, Scott Ross and Shane Kenfield agreed that he would have seniority. 

Pool Manager:  there are two applicants that have expressed interest in the position.  They have both been pool mangers in the past.  The mayor would like to table this position to give both applicants and the council extra time to discuss and review the applications. 

Scott Ross made the motion to approve Donnie Heimbigner for the landfill attendant at $13/hr, Gunnar Wickum for Summer Help at $13/hr and to table the pool manager position.  Tina Neer seconded the motion.  Rachel Ghekiere and Toni Wickum abstained from the vote.  Remaining council members voted and motion passed with all voting ayes.    

  • MMIA Benefits Program- contribution amount: Council has already agreed to over the Menu option for the employees.  There is a 8% increase in the cost of the Maddison Plan.  Shane Kenfield made the motion that the Council will have to Town’s contribution amount be the amount of the Maddison Plan.  Tonia Wickum seconded the motion.  Motion passed with all voting ayes. 
  • Old Business: none
  • Additional Agenda Items: Mayor would like to Thank Jesse Fulbright and the MSU Extension office for setting up the Web-ex meeting. 
  • PWD Report: John Kleinsasser no update
  • Clerk update: Clerk, Ashley Wickum the audit went well.  There were two audit findings and both have been responded to. 
  • Council Report:

Scott Ross has not been able to talk to Lisa with Bear Paw, but will continue to try.  Scott also wanted to double check the landfill hours.  Landfill hours are summer hours and people can drop during those hours, but we are not handing out the key.  The office is continuing to operate as normal as possible. 

Tonia Wickum made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Tina Neer seconded.  Meeting was adjourned at 6:32 pm.




Submitted by_______________________     Approved by_________________________                                                     Clerk                                                           Mayor