May 3, 2021 City Council Minutes

MAY 3, 2021 – 7:00 PM

The following Council Members were present: Jerome P. Rockvam, Mark Chase, Jeff Hoffman, Pamela Horton, and Gary Hughes. Mayor Rockvam chaired the meeting.

Rockvam led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council Member Hughes motioned, being seconded by Council Member Horton to approve the agenda as presented. On vote being taken, the motion was unanimously approved.

Council Member Horton motioned, being seconded by Council Member Chase to:
     a. Approve City Council Work Session Meeting Minutes from April 19, 2021
     b. Approve Regular City Council Meeting Minutes from April 19, 2021
On vote being taken, the motion was unanimously approved.

5. PUBLIC FORUM - none



     a. Skingevity Spa & Massage Establishment – Lakeview Lofts Commercial Space
         i. Council Action Required: Establishment License
Council Member Horton motioned, being seconded by Council Member Hughes to approve the Spa Establishment License to Skingevity Med Spa. On vote being taken, the motion was unanimously approved contingent on satisfactory background checks.

        ii. Council Action Required: Certificates to Practice
Council Member Rockvam motioned, being seconded by Council Member Hoffman to approve the Certificate to Practice to Nicholas Koenig, Benjamin Stein, and Laura Cady. On vote being taken, the motion was unanimously approved contingent on satisfactory background checks.


      a. Mayor & Council
          i. Public Works Discussion
Mayor Rockvam asked if Council Members were ready to vote on the public works item and consensus was yes with some discussion.

Mayor Rockvam motioned, being seconded by Council Member Hoffman to approve the Orono Public Works proposal without the utility billing and snow removal options and direct staff to finalize the con-tract specific for review at the May 17th Council meeting.

Chris McMillen with PeopleService referred to the cost comparison numbers and stated he feels they are fictitious numbers. He stated it does not cost the taxpayers of the City of Spring Park $20,000 for turnover. If you post the position, do the interviewing and training yes but PeopleService does all that. The facts are you are looking to increase the expense to the taxpayers to partner with a city that had little interest five years ago to help this city. He stated PeopleService did have staff turnover the first two years and it was inconvenient however through our process and procedures we have a deep bench that can take over if Shawn were to leave. Our institutional knowledge found five inoperable fire hydrants when we first took over so if we are going to play with numbers, I would like to submit a $500,000 industry knowledge credit for PeopleService, ($100,000 per fire hydrant). He stated you are at risk for partnering with a city who made it clear that under a dual emergency they will look at multiple factors, meaning you will not be the priority. He stated he looked forward to the vote and regard-less how it goes he wished the city the best.

Steven Erickson, 4367 Shoreline Drive, stated his wife and himself have read over the City of Orono proposal several times and feel the extra costs being talked about are not justified. They are opposed to the City of Orono and does not understand why they were the only proposal. He feels it gives Oro-no too much control over Spring Park. He also asked about the computer software and asked if we would have to upgrade to meet Orono’s demand. Tolsma stated it is a cloud-based software so we would not have to upgrade. It is an operating tool where they can upload our infrastructure information when they are out in the field. Both PeopleService and Orono offered comparable software. Erickson stated he is a lifelong resident and not a fan of Orono.

Hoffman clarified the cost difference is $40,869 and asked what budget will that $40,869 come from. Tolsma stated currently it is allocated one third out of general, one third out of water, and one third out of sewer. Hoffman asked if we had a rough idea on what the increase and the general impact would be to citizens. Further discussion was had, and it was determined there would roughly be a 2.7 percent total increase to the enterprise fund.

Tolsma stated McMillen is correct that we do not have direct costs related to advertising or the process of hiring. The number in the comparison is related to lost productivity and other staff time for training. He stated it requires a lot of his time when there is turnover and the number is not fictitious, it is based on one third of that person’s salary.

Horton stated she would like to read a letter from Jeff and Sharon Gleason, 3940 Shoreline Drive. Horton read the letter stating they are in favor of PeopleService regarding the maintenance contract renewal.

Hughes asked to have a letter from Lord Fletcher’s read. Rockvam read an e-mail regarding a sewer backup at Lord Fletcher’s restaurant. The letter stated the PeopleService employee knew nothing about the property when he tried to fix the issue. He stated unfortunately they had to close the restaurant and lost $20,000. The next day Orono came out with their sewer equipment and had the knowledge and right equipment to take care of the issue. The e-mail stated they did not have a lot of faith in PeopleService.

Rockvam stated Spring Park is unique, we have a small land mass and population of around 1800 but the thing that makes it unique is the several businesses. He said the point he is getting at is when you end up in a situation where you are closing businesses it is a disaster. He stated going with Orono would be like having an insurance policy. The value in the knowledge and equipment of Orono is in his view like buying an insurance policy.

Hughes stated he was most concerned with the billing services but after hearing from Lord Fletcher’s he is most concerned about the service of PeopleService and future incidents they might not be able to handle. Some discussion was had on the billing service and keeping it in house.

McMillen stated he would like to comment on the Lord Fletcher’s incident. He stated PeopleService did not drop the ball, they called three different jetting companies, but they were all unavailable. He stated a maintained system does not normally have issues. Further discussion was had on the backups and Fletcher’s not being fully open playing a part in the issue. Tolsma stated normally we coordinate and do the jetting at the same time, but Lord Fletcher’s does pay for their portion.

On roll call vote being taken, the motion failed by a two to three vote with Chase, Hoffman, and Horton voting no.

Discussion was had on options moving forward and if there are other vendors that can be investigated. McMillen stated if Spring Park is exploring other option they would have to terminate by the end of the month. He said the contract automatically kicks over but if they do not have another vendor by the end of September, they would have no service. Further discussion was had on their options and the timeframe. Horton stated the timeline is too short and is comfortable renewing with PeopleService. Chase stated he would like to look at a three-year contract with PeopleService.

Rockvam asked the council what the issue was with Orono. Horton stated it was the dollar amount and appreciated receiving a phone call and a letter from citizens that are concerned. No other comments were made other than if time permits look at other options.

       b. City Staff
Tolsma handed out the dock expansion application for Backchannel Brewery. The LMCD is requesting feedback by May 7th. If council has any comments that they want to send to the LMCD, Tolsma will com-pile the comments and send to the LMCD. Discussion was had and if the consensus still holds that they are in favor he would state that to the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District.

       c. Contract Staff - none


       a. May 3, 2021 Claims
Council Member Horton motioned, being seconded by Council Member Chase to approve claims for pay-ment that have been submitted. On vote being taken, the motion was unanimously approved.

       a. May 12 – Planning Commission Meeting – 6:00 PM
       b. May 12 – LMCD Work Session followed by Regular Meeting – 6:00 PM
       c. May 17 – City Council Work Session – 6:00 PM
       d. May 17 – Regular City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

       a. Mound Fire Department – March Report

There being no further discussion, Hughes motioned, being seconded by Hoffman to adjourn the meeting at 7:59 p.m. On vote being taken, the motion was unanimously approved.