September 24, 2012 Work Session

a. Included for review is a draft agreement detailing the conditions discussed at the previous work session. The MCWD has also informed staff that they could potentially be able to assist with financial support for the project, although no final commitment has been made by the MCWD at this time.
Tolsma said there is a typo in the agreement and “pump” needs to be taken out after the word sump. Williamson asked about measurements and whether numbers could change. Goman said only if the roadway was lowered. Williamson wondered if trail drainage could change the numbers. Pearson said item number six in the agreement addresses changes. Hughes wonders about permits and approval from the Watershed. Goman said that’s already been done. Reinhardt wondered if the city is okay with them hiring their own contractor and Goman said it’s their property. Tolsma said they hope there is some financial assistance from the Watershed District. It’s about a $4-5,000 cost. Tolsma said Steve Christopher wanted the documents and said he’d get back to the city by the end of this week. The hope is this will be done yet this fall. Reinhardt directs staff to put this on the agenda for approval.

a. The administration committee discussed the issue of council compensation at its last meeting and it was noted that the council has not increased the monthly stipend amount since the late 90’s. Included for review is a comparison of the surrounding communities. Also discussed was the length of the Mayor’s term and if there would be a benefit in terms of council stability by increasing it from two to four years.
Reinhardt said this came up at the administrative committee. Widmer said she spoke with someone at Maple Plain and St. Boni and they are pretty similar. Williamson said both cities have extra funds available for serving on committees. He said MP is $25 per meeting. Williamson said this came about when discussing this with a MP council member and they were surprised SP didn’t offer compensation. Reinhardt asked the council if they have comments. Widmer would not have a problem with increasing the mayor to $350 but feels the rest of the council is adequate. Stone agrees with Widmer. Reinhardt said she was surprised we came in as close with the other cities. Williamson said more cities could be studied. Williamson said it’s been 14 years since the last pay increase and there have been a lot of changes. He said it should reflect equity and fairness. He suspects other cities are thinking about this as well but it’s sensitive. Hughes agrees with Williamson as the time commitment has increased over the years, especially for the extra committees served on. Reinhardt would entertain thoughts toward the extra meetings. She would look at a structured list of meetings that would recognize council involvement and Internet reimbursement. She said maybe not both, one or the other. Widmer agrees with Reinhardt. Hughes thinks with the meeting stipend there would have to be a process set up to let Sharon know which meetings are attended and there will be extra diligence on members for bookkeeping. Hughes thinks the appointment list should be looked at. Admin, LMCC, LMCD, Police, Planning, Fire are some of the regularly occurring meetings. Williamson said ad hoc meetings could be dealt with as they come up. Hughes said in brainstorming there is the incident training coming up in the future. Reinhardt said she is concerned about this creeping upward. Williamson said adjustments could be made on a percentage basis. Reinhardt said there is also a concern that some council members may bid for easier committees knowing they may gain monetarily.

There is discussion about internet compensation and how that should be treated. Reinhardt said this decision could be made at any time. Hughes wondered if the city would supply Mediacom because Hughes has Qwest. Stone said her internet service really jumped recently. Reinhardt said research would be done on a set dollar amount for reimbursement. Williamson said between Orono and Minnetrista the mayor is $400 and council at $300. He said meetings are $25 per meeting with a maximum of $50 for both mayor and council and with the provision that a balance in assignments be available to council members. Widmer thinks keep the council at $250 and raise the mayor an additional $50 and nothing for meetings. Reinhardt is not in favor of just increasing the mayor. Reinhardt said the council thinks the internet is separate. She proposes council and mayor stay the same, no extra for meetings but an internet reimbursement be considered. She wonders if there should be some more study done. Williamson thinks they’re not ready to decide yet. He suggests since the drop dead date is the second meeting in October that a memo be drafted with calculation from staff about this and a vote could be taken. There is discussion about having one more work session to discuss this so perhaps the first meeting in November.

Reinhardt said the second part is the mayoral term. She is mixed on this. She said a two year term helps if there is a dysfunctional council. She said it can also act as a negative. She said as a community member she wonders what is best. Widmer said sometimes two years isn’t enough to understand the process. She thinks some councils are changing to four years. Hughes wonders if Tolsma can pull together a quick survey on this as well. Williamson agrees with Widmer about the learning curve required. Williamson thinks stability is important. Reinhardt said she looks at neighboring cities and four year terms haven’t necessarily avoided turmoil.

a. Included is a more detailed breakdown of the proposed costs for snow removal services for the next three years. As always, final season costs can be extremely unpredictable as they are dependent on a number of variables.
Reinhardt said clarification was needed on the rates and terms of the contract. She said there has been an update included in the packet. Tolsma said the goal was to show what is increasing and how it would increase in subsequent years. Hughes wonders about fuel pricing and the charging. Goman said it’s charged on the amount of time the fuel is up. He said it’s a floating price. Reinhardt said she thinks Beniek does a good job. Goman said this is a three year contract. Reinhardt request staff add this to the agenda for the next meeting.

a. A short powerpoint presentation will be shown detailing where we currently are in the street light process and how some of the conclusions we have arrived at have been determined. Staff will also discuss the proposed timeline for the upcoming months.
Tolsma passes out the photometric study conducted. He said this shows a top down view of lighting. He said this is illustrated from a 25 foot high LED light. The concern was would the corridor be adequately lighted and it is confirmed it will and improves the lighting uniformity through the corridor. Hughes wondered about the disadvantages of going to 25 feet. Stone said the advantage is the tree canopies won't block the light. Goman said the existing banners will not convert. He said the holiday decorations will convert because the wind passes through. Tolsma said this falls within the range that Mndot recommends for this roadway. It’s classified as a minor residential commercial and this study falls within that standard. It is suggested that the lower the light standard the more inviting it is. He said the higher lighting looks more industrial. The arm design is what needs to be in place. The light has to come from the light spread down versus an acorn style that disburses the light all around. Hughes asked about replacing he lights above the semaphores. Goman said no. Reinhardt wonders if this should be considered. Reinhardt said if we’re saving on the conduit, she would be in favor of changing the lighting at the intersections and semaphores.

Tolsma continues with his presentation which shows general numbers and trends. Tolsma said LED’s have a long-life and when they do fail they don’t fail as one unit like high pressure sodium does. Tolsma said with this change, complete ownership and maintenance changes to the city. He said right now, Xcel manages the lighting service to the city. Tolsma said spacing has been discussed from the bottom of the light and the foundation pad. They are looking for better airflow to prevent rust. Goman said if they stay with steel it’s an advantage to have a bigger air gap. With stainless the gap can be lower. Hughes wonders about raising the concrete and Tolsma said it would substantially increase the costs. Williamson wonders about tapping into the pad and replacing the bolt. Goman said warranties would not be in effect if that's done. Tolsma proposes the vendor come to the next work session. Hughes wonders the cost difference between steel and stainless. Goman said it can go as high as $10,000. Discussion held on paint choices and why paint chips. Williamson said perhaps base color can be chosen to be the same as the paint color so paint chips aren’t so noticeable. Widmer wonders if the choices can be itemized. Reinhardt wonders about the next step and Tolsma said staff should meet with the consultant again and bring to him the takeaway from this work session. They could then bring back a realistic spectrum and this can continue to be narrowed down. Stone also wants to see pricing. Hughes wondered about Orono's involvement. Tolsma said the city would be seeking a grant and the details are vague because it hasn’t been publicized much. Goman said this is a new program and there’s not a lot of history to back it up. Hughes asked if Orono is interested in this for the whole corridor and Tolsma said yes. Orono knows they need to get on board with Spring Park as a joint effort.

a. At the most recent fire commission meeting the topic of fees for some fire services was discussed and Councilmember Hughes wanted to solicit feedback from the rest of the council regarding their thoughts on such fees.
Hughes said in the ordinance there is charging fees for false alarms. He said Chief Pederson has been able to find $171,000 in grant money in recent years. The debate is should grant monies be pursued over minimal false alarm fees. He said for normal, routine and expected public services, there shouldn’t be an extra charge. He said if it’s extraordinary it could arguably be an added charge. Reinhardt thinks conceptually it’s a good idea. Park dedication fees are discussed for future developers.

a. Included is a memo from Nancy regarding the proposed assessment agreement from the Hennepin County. The proposed agreement is identical in language to the previous one that just expired.
Reinhardt said Beck reviewed the agreement and she had several comments. Tolsma said Beck outlined concerns in the agreement. Tolsma said he spoke with Jim Atkinson and asked if they are open to negotiating this. Atkinson said he will review the Beck’s memo and will come back with his comments as he has the authority to entertain suggestions. He said this was boilerplate language and understands there might be some leeway. Williamson wonders how many communities they contract with and he wonders if they have different agreements. Williamson thinks this needs to be pursued but doesn’t want to up the legal fees. Reinhardt instructed staff to keep them in the loop on this and hopefully the county can offer up the changes and the city would have minimal review costs of what they propose.

a. The entrance signs are completed and should go in sometime in the next few weeks. The council should discuss whether or not you would like electricity to the entrance signs. The estimate staff received was $1,500 per sign prior to installation of the new boxes, or $1,750 per sign if done after the boxes have been installed.
Tolsma said this discussion should be brought up before it’s too late to do it. Tolsma said they did find from the electrician this can be done at a later time and it won’t be that much of an increase. Widmer asked about the cost of a sign. Reinhardt said for two signs about $15,000. She said if $1,500 is added per sign for electricity, it’s getting to be an expensive sign. Reinhardt thinks lighting would be nice due to the fact that it’s dark for so many months. Goman suggests the conduit be added now so nothing has to be dug up in the future. He said it can be stubbed and capped for future. Williamson wonders if this is for sign illumination or electricity at the sign and Goman said both. Widmer wonders if it would be a spotlight and Tolsma said it would be similar to a flagpole. Reinhardt wondered about costs to stub and Goman said probably around $50. He said where the cost comes in is to go to a street light for electricity, trenching, weather proof box, etc.

a. August Financial Report
b. Habitat For Humanity Thank You Letter
c. Ash Tree Treatment Proposal – Hughes wonders about a typo on a date and it should be the same as 2011. Tolsma said this year the price is low and next year it will be higher because of the two year treatment of the trees.

9. MISCELLANEOUS – Hughes said he commented about the PC notes regarding parks and wonders if Wilkes Park could be used as a community garden spot. Williamson thinks this is something that could be explored. Reinhardt said she has a handout regarding a meeting going forward about the growing problem of heroin. Widmer said a pharmacy is being opened next to Westonka Ridgeview Clinic. Reinhardt wondered where it comes from and Widmer said she thinks it’s a pharmacy from Watertown.