July 23, 2012 Work Session

Attendance: Reinhardt, Williamson, Widmer, Stone, Hughes, Attorney Beck, Engineer Pearson, Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Planning Commissioners Sippel and J. Ericson.

1. STREET LIGHTS 7:00 – 7:45
a. Street light designs are included for review. As we discussed at last week’s council meeting it would be beneficial to narrow down the design options to a few styles that the council likes. The planning commission has been invited to the work session and has also been given the same design options to review.
Widmer wondered why there is another suggestion for a light pole like what is at The Mist Lofts. Sippel agreed and Reinhardt said it’s because of cost. Reinhardt said they want something aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t break the bank. Ericson asked if these light poles come with banner brackets. Reinhardt said a blend of some different light poles works as Mound has demonstrated. Ericson wonders if these poles would be available in the future in case replacement parts are needed. Williamson said it may be worthwhile to purchase a couple extra in case of need. Reinhardt said her eye goes to basic, classic lights. She said some are too busy and too ornate. Sippel said the light poles currently are industrial and they cast a lot of light. He wonders about not replacing the conduit and wonders about the light disbursement. Williamson said there is an adjustment available for light disbursement. Sippel wondered about a hood or canopy for light direction. Hughes asked about the access panel and he wants Goman to weigh in on the access panel size. Reinhardt asked for opinions on the design. Ericson likes the illustrated Millerbernd light poles in the packet. Tolsma said the idea is to pick the fixture and the lighting choice can be made after. He said LED lighting is becoming popular and high pressure sodium seems to be taking a second place. Stone likes a simpler design. Widmer asked about Orono. Reinhardt said Tolsma has been in contact with Orono and Reinhardt said their mayor called her but they aren’t there yet. She said it doesn’t sound like there will be a joint project. Widmer said she wondered what type of design they were looking at. Hughes wondered how high these lights are and Tolsma said he understood the desire was to keep it to 20-25 feet. Bases are discussed and the impact of snow and chemicals are deteriorating in nature. Reinhardt wondered if a more decorative base that is taller might be attractive. Pearson said break-away poles that shear off are necessary and might dictate the height of a base. Reinhardt wondered about a lighting consultant as Orono might be interested in this. Sippel said there are some basic questions such as light hanging out over the street or a top mounted light. Sippel asked about the distance between the lights as that might make a difference. Williamson explained the lights along Shoreline Drive were initially put in by the county. Williamson suggests an armature type pole with a simple base, with a fixture that is more flat versus hanging down. Reinhardt said the pendant can hang as well. The arm length is discussed because if it hangs out too far over the road, the sidewalk isn’t lighted. Williamson thinks the height of the pole might be critical to the length of the arm. Reinhardt would like to price a pendant in the classic section. Hughes wonders about the conditions of the bases and installing silicone in some new studs. He is concerned about the quality of the base at this time.

a. Staff was contacted by the West Arm Drive Townhome Association regarding the catch basins where West Arm East and West Arm Drive meet (see included plan and photos). The catch basins are joined by a connecting pipe and then the storm water is carried north until it reaches the manhole where it then turns east and outlets into a French drain, which the townhome association has been cleaning out at their own expense (unknown at this time). Currently the city is responsible for approximately 24% of the runoff into the catch basins, while the townhome association is responsible for approximately 76%. The townhome association is looking at possibly installing a new catch basin with a deeper sump to catch and retain more of the sediment that flows into the system before reaching the French drain and is asking if the city would like to participate in a joint project of some kind.

Staff has discussed two options for proceeding with this matter. The first options would be to simply reimburse the townhome association for 24% of the cost of cleaning out the french drain. The second option would be to pay for 24% of the cost of installing a new catch basin system that would meet the objectives of the townhome association (estimated cost is $8932 [24% = $2,143] for the entire system). Keep in mind that even with a new catch basin system there would still be costs for cleaning that system out. The only advantage would be that it would be easier, and most likely a little less expensive, to clean out the catch basin as opposed to the French drain.
Reinhardt explained this has been a concern for several years and the concern is the French drain needs to be cleaned often. Tolsma explained the photos in the packet. Williamson asked the cost of cleaning these drains out and Tolsma was told by Rockvam about $1,000 per cleanout and they do it twice a year. Reinhardt said she thinks they might be looking for a new system. Instead of a large joint catch basin, Widmer Construction would keep it the same but a deeper sump catch basin. The advantage is there would be only one to clean out, one installation. Hughes said what he’s hearing is they want to get rid of the existing French drain. More numbers for cleaning costs and estimates for a new structure are needed before this is considered.

a. Shoreline Place Townhome Association has requested the city to look at making some landscaping improvements to the public right-of-way area on the southwest corner of the Shoreline Place and Del Otero Avenue intersection (see included photos). The association asserts that the degradation of the grass is in part due to residents of the Mist using the area for their pets. Staff wanted to get feedback from the council prior to spending any resources on this issue or authorizing any landscaping plans to be done
Tolsma said this was a phone call from the Shoreline Place Association. They are blaming the lack of grass due to The Mist residents pottying their dogs. Williamson said it’s due to dock sections being piled on the property and they aren’t watering the property. Reinhardt said this section is part of the road right-of-way so effectively the property is right-of-way. Williamson questioned why they were putting their dock sections on right-of-way. Beck said there seems to be a lot of problems associated with this and the council is not interested in remedying this.

a. Staff met this week to discuss the 2013 budget and go through each department line item by line item. We are still working on getting the numbers calculated and waiting on
some of the larger expenditure figures so the draft budget is not included with this packet, although it will be sent out to the council on Monday with the numbers that are available at that time.
Tolsma passed out the preliminary budget. He said there are some mandates for the proposed tax levy and schedule the Truth in Taxation and certify the levy. Tolsma said he doesn’t see any major complicating issues. He said expenditures remain about the same except for surface water management. Revenues have increased slightly by about $3,000. This keeps the property tax levy flat. Williamson said foreclosures and commercial properties who don’t pay their taxes are the problems. Hughes asked if the assessed valuation has gone down again and Williamson said the assessor said the data was showing a slight decline in valuations. Reinhardt asked when this should be reviewed again. Tolsma said in two regular council meetings he would like to present draft 2.

a. At their last meeting the planning commission approved the landscaping plan proposed by Norling’s and recommended its approval to the council. The plan is included for your review.
Reinhardt said there is an estimate from Norling’s. Tolsma explained the landscaping diagram. Williamson likes the lilacs but they really grow and he wonders who pays for trimming. Tolsma said because this is part of the beautification program, like the garden at Sunset and Shoreline, the city would maintain this. The property owner will be responsible for keeping this area thriving. Hughes said when looking at the products Certified deals in and stormwater discharge, if there is a work-related spill or accidental dump, the city needs to be guaranteed that replacement by Certified will be required. Reinhardt wonders about what would be in the retention pond. Tolsma said the intent is for the plantings to grow high enough to screen the retention pond from view. Reinhardt said there will have to be an agreement in place about who is responsible for what. Williamson said it’s difficult to spend city money on private property but the practicality is it’s an ugly area, the residents are irritated by it, it’s not a welcoming site at a gateway entrance to our city. It is not an improvement to the building so an option is to screen it. Reinhardt is in favor of moving this forward to a council meeting with the legal document in place. Tolsma said Phleghaar has been out-of-town but due back soon. Williamson wants to put a spending cap on this. He also wants an air-tight agreement to not do anything negative to this property and, if the property owner does, the cost of repair can be billed. Hughes wants to add contamination and he would like some delineating boulders to frame the drive.

a. Channel 8 & 20 Schedules
b. Police Report

7. MISCELLANEOUS – Hughes wanted to comment on Habitat for Humanity Special Event. Widmer said it went very well, they were organized and courteous. Hughes wholeheartedly agrees. He said they were on time, everyone was friendly. When he rode on the return, courtesy was expressed with verbal signals and communication. Comments from trail users were complimentary. Widmer said a truck with a trailer came through to check on final bikers. Widmer said everyone was so pleasant.

Meeting adjourned at 9:06 p.m.