September 8, 2020 City Council Minutes

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 7:01 p.m.

Council Members Jerome P. Rockvam, Mayor; Mark Chase; Jeff Hoffman; Pamela Horton; and 
Present: Gary Hughes

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; Brian Hare, City Engineer; and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Mayor Rockvam led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Council Member Hughes requested that the agenda be amended to eliminate Item #13a since the September 9 LMCD work session and meeting have been cancelled. 

M/Hughes, S/Hoffman to adopt the meeting agenda as amended.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. Special City Council Work Session Meeting Minutes from August 17, 2020
b. City Council Work Session Meeting Minutes from August 17, 2020
c. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes from August 17, 2020
d. Resolution 20-18: Adopting the 2021 LMCC Budget

M/Horton, S/Chase to adopt the Consent Agenda. 

Motion carried 5-0.


Michael Mason, Del Otero Avenue, wants the Council to make a motion to get the plaques and dedication ceremonies to move forward.

Rockvam asked if the plaques are ready

Mason said the placement has been discussed and the text has been 

Rockvam said we know what we want but we’re waiting to have them done.

Tolsma said that they are ready to be made but the plan to have dedication ceremonies this summer changed with COVID-19 since it was for family members, council, and planning commission, and the communities. The festivities had to change. The proofs are done and the language has been decided. They are ready to go. He has received a cost estimate and depending on the budget discussion for 2021, and he can go over the proposed expenditures for those. He said we just need to allocate the money, get them made, and wait for a better time to have a dedication event.

Rockvam wonders if it is realistic to get it done this fall?

Tolsma said the signs could be made tomorrow and it really comes down to having the money allocated for them. He said it is the amount that staff could make the decision but they are right at the threshold per the procurement policy Tolsma said the final authority for the purchase will come to the council.




a. Resolution 20-19: Ordering West Arm Road West Utility Improvements

City Engineer Hare presented a summary of the project and the results of the bid opening on Friday, September 4. He stated that bids came in higher than expected for several items including pipebursting, service connections, hydrants, and sanitary sewer lining. However, he said the bids ended up being fairly similar and consistent with each other for the project. The need for the improvement is still there and the risk for not completing the project is still there. 

Rockvam discussed the history of the cost estimates of the project and he is concerned with the discrepancies in the estimates from the start of the discussions of this project.

Hare responded that part of the discrepancy is also due to the project being later in the year. He added that the de-watering costs played a big role in this bid because it is on the lakeshore and that is adding to the cost of the project that will not need to be factored into other projects in the City.

Rockvam said it is a Council decision but he is disappointed with how this project is turning out. He asked what the timetable is to start the project. He also asked end date.

Hare said the start date is in the next week or two and the potential end date is in October.

Rockvam said his choice would be the highest bidder which is Widmer because the City has a history with the contractor and have been happy with his work but he realizes we cannot do that. He stated that sometimes the choice can be made in the “extras” and he is wondering how the “extras” were factored into each bid. 

Hare said that the specifications were very clear and specific so he is unsure why Widmer bid the highest.

Rockvam asked if there a penalty for not completing the project on time.

Hare said yes there is a penalty clause and the contractor has incentive to finish the project on time. He further discussed the allowance for unforeseen issues that could complicate the project.

Chase said it is a good time of year to do this project but the difference in the estimate to the bids is concerning. He asked Hare if he believed they could receive better bids if they re-bid next year.

Hare said it is a gamble. It is a higher risk project so close to the lakeshore so I think there is added risk in the water main cost, and de-watering project. It is a higher risk project with higher costs. It is unknown and something you cannot predict what the prices will be next year.

Rockvam said this is the time of year to do it. It is less intrusive to residents. He said he doesn’t believe the water is a big concern on this project. He said the big concern is infiltration.

Hughes asked if the residents are going to go south for the winter and will that pose a problem for what the contractors need to do.

Hare said no. Every resident will be contacted by the contractor and given details about service interruptions He said everything will be communicated to them.

Hughes asked if residents have already left how can they flush the toilets if they are needed.

Chase said that Hughes is asking if the resident needs to run water after the project.

Hare said no, everything will be televised but sometimes if they don’t properly set their traps there could be a smell issue but all of that will be communicated. He said when they come back from vacation they will have directions.

Rockvam said there needs to be a meeting with the residents. He said the mailer is a good idea but also personal touch with these residents. He said this is a very small community and we need to work in some PR with the residents.

Hare said part of the discussion about meeting with the residents was going to take place after the decision was made tonight. He said the contractor needs to be in on those discussions.

Tolsma said he wanted to look at the bigger picture because we need to move forward. He asked Hare if the sanitary sewer is the priority over the water main.

Hare said he could see what the idea is to maybe breaking up the project. 

Tolsma said maybe we just get the sewer portion done in the winter and re-bid the other portion next year. He said maybe work with the contractors for the sanitary sewer portion of the project in the winter because it may be advantageous. He said there are advantages to doing everything at once but maybe getting the most risky project completed this year is an option.

Hare said the idea with doing it all at once is that then the residents are only disturbed once instead of twice. He also said you cannot do the water mains in the winter. Hare said both can be done separately but it would be in the interest of cost savings to do them together. He said trying to distinguish the riskier portion of the project is hard to assess.

Tolsma discussed the disturbance to the area and how the sanitary sewer portion of the project is minimally invasive for residents.

Horton asks how much would the costs decrease if we separated it out?

Hare said if you rebid it with that option it may show savings but they then might recalculate their numbers knowing that the project has been cut in half.

Tolsma said that if it was estimated to be below a certain threshold then they could do RFP’s instead of bids.

Hare thought it would be over $200k and would not qualify for RFP’s.

Hare did a quick recalculate of how the bids could potentially change – about $300k for sanitary and about $600k for water.

Rockvam said it seems like there are no good options for this project. He said one of the reasons we haven’t had any problems with those lines, in his opinion, is because those lines are laying in “muck” so they are surrounded. He thinks if we are going to do it, let’s just do it and get it over with instead of dragging it out. He said the less intrusive we can be for the neighborhood, the better. Rockvam said something that bothers him is the infiltration in the area, how much infiltration costs, and also the potential for reversal of the infiltration which would cause horrible issues and a PR nightmare. He wonders if there grants the city could qualify for.

Tolsma believes there are definite funds available from the Met Council for the sewer portion but that was being factored in and they were going to request some reimbursement.

Hare discussed reimbursement grants and funds available that staff will be applying for. He further detailed the reconfiguration of the fire hydrants per the Fire Department’s recommendation.

Hoffman asked Hare if in his professional opinion he sees any reason to not move forward at this time.

Hare said he spoke with the contractor to discuss the increased costs. He wasn’t happy with where the bids came in but there are risks with waiting to rebid. He said as for the need in the improvements, that is real. Hare said the contractor’s reasons for increases were legitimate. The need for improvement is definitely still there even if the cost is not exactly what was hoped for.

Hofman said that he is in the construction business and they have seen an increase in costs and see it continuing over the winter months. His thinks that if we wait and re-bid in the Spring they will actually see higher costs.

Rockvam said he doesn’t think there is an option to wait because the potential risk is there and they definitely will have to get it done soon.

Rockvam asked the next step for speaking with residents.

Tolsma said tomorrow they will reach out to the contractor to discuss details and an ASAP meeting date with residents. His thoughts are to have the meeting on-site on WARW with the residents. He will make sure to reach out to all residents including those who travel south in the winter.

Rockvam feels the sooner, the better.

M/Hoffman, S/Hughes to approve Resolution 20-19 ordering Water and Sanitary Sewer Improvements on West Arm Road West.

Mayor Rockvam requested a roll call vote.

Motion carried 5-0. (all ayes)

b. Resolution 20-20: A Refunding Resolution

City Administrator Tolsma discussed the details of the refunding resolution. He recommends approving a refunding resolution because it gives the City some financial options with larger infrastructure improvement projects. The resolution does not lock the City into bonding but it does give the City options if it is decided that is the best course of action. He also noted the how favorable the bond market is right now. 

M/Hoffman, S/Horton to approve Resolution 20-20 declaring the official intent of the City of Spring Park to reimburse certain expenditures from the proceeds of bonds to be issued by the City.

Motion carried 5-0. 

a. Mayor & Council 

Mayor Rockvam asked for an update on the property line issue at 4000 Sunset Drive.

City Administrator Tolsma stated he will have an update but has not heard back specifically. He said it will be on the work session agenda for September 21.

Rockvam stated that once the issue is resolved, physical monuments should be installed to make it known what is the City’s property and what is private property.

b. City Staff – City Administrator Tolsma noted that City Hall is back to regular hours.

c. Contract Staff – None.


a. September 8, 2020 Claims

M/Horton, S/Hughes to approve all claims for payment.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. September 9 – LMCD Work Session at 6:00 PM with Regular Meeting at 7:00 PM
b. September 9 – Planning Commission Meeting – 6:00 PM
c. September 14 – Special City Council Budget Meeting – 6:00 PM
d. September 21 –Council Work Session at 6:00 PM with Regular Meeting at 7:00 PM

Tolsma discussed the tentative meeting on September 14 to discuss the budget. He asked the Council for their thoughts on that date. He also stated that ideas for the CARES Act money will be discussed.

Council consensus is that the date will work.

a. Mound Fire Department July Report


The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consent at 7:55 p.m.

Date Approved: September 21, 2020

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk