March 19, 2012 Council Meeting

  1. CALL TO ORDER – Acting Mayor Hughes called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
  2. ROLL CALL – Stone, Williamson, Widmer, Hughes.  Reinhardt is excused.
  3. INTRODUCTIONS – Mayor Hughes introduced the council to the viewing public.  Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Attorney Beck, Westonka Superintendent Borg.
  5. ADOPT AGENDAWilliamson makes a motion and Stone seconds to adopt the agenda.  All votes ayes, motion carries.
  6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDAWidmer makes a motion to adopt the consent agenda and Stone seconds.  Williamson asked about garbage haulers and it was explained it’s the same haulers and no new ones.  All votes ayes, motion carries.
    1. City Council Meeting Minutes from March 5, 2012
    2. Accept Planning Commission Minutes from March 14, 2012
    3. Garbage Haulers Licensing
  7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
    1. Kevin Borg – Superintendent of Westonka Schools – Borg passed out some folders for the council.  Borg said this is an update about how the school is doing and an opportunity to ask questions.  Borg said it’s his 15th year in the district.  Borg said Mayor Reinhardt is actively involved in the classrooms and she has a strong commitment to improve the education of the kids and he really appreciates how hard she works.  He said the strategic plan has six goals and they’ve been approved by the Board.  He won’t talk about all six tonight.  Borg said Westonka serves all the students in Spring Park.  He said a consistent way to measure schools is the MN Comprehensive Assessment and every district assesses in the same way.  He said Mound Westonka placed fourth in the state in math and fifth in the state in reading grades 3 through 11. Borg said one of the primary schools has been nominated for a  blue ribbon and they are one of eight schools nominated.  He said the Deca group (business and marketing) is sending 31 students to nationals.  Borg said they have a 13% fund balance and it’s recommended they be between 8-15%.  He said they’ve received the finance award and a AA2 rating was received for a bond rating.  He said the bond was voted on last year and both bond questions on the ballot were passed.  Borg said the bonds have been sold and a good interest rate was achieved.  He said they are assembling a team to put together the projects and assign the dollars.  He said the first year smaller projects will be worked on and the next two years will undertake the bigger projects. 


Williamson said the district used to struggle with budget shortfalls and he said the district worked hard and long to get out of the operating deficit.  He said a lot of people feel that school districts weren’t run properly and then when money accrued slowly, some wondered why there was all this money.  He said he is concerned about the underfunding of special education.  He said mandates have been levied but it’s been subsidized by the general fund.  He said that’s the situation that exists today and he wonders what they plan on for tomorrow.  He wonders about cushions or rainy day funds.  Borg said the school district has been building the fund balance so it can be used for a rainy day.  He said they use all the fund balance and more to prevent from borrowing.  Borg said recently with the state surplus there might be some adjustments made towards school.  Borg said special education is unpredictable.  They have to meet guidelines and prove success.  He said their approach is a contingency in order to cover student numbers and their needs.  He said they try to forecast and plan but he thinks mandates need to be discussed further.  Widmer asked about enrollment numbers.  Borg said when comparing the year audit for last year and this year, the numbers were exact.  He said at the primary grades there is increased enrollment.  He said they are looking to the future projections for the anticipated development in Minnetrista.  Borg said open enrollment in and out numbers have increased.  Williamson asked why and Borg said a neighboring district offers foreign language immersion at the elementary level.  He said it’s been looked at for Westonka but the model they follow doesn’t really fit for immersion. 


Hughes asked about the teachers and what they do to make a difference.  Borg said one is the relationship investment and interaction with the students.  He said students need to feel safe and supported and there needs to be a relationship.  He said concentration on their intentional instruction is also important.  Thirdly, coordination with the overall systems so that teachers are aware of building according to pacing charts.  Williamson asked about SAT scores.  Borg said they don’t have a lot of students that take the SAT’s. Borg said graduation is about 95-96%.  He said their program is built upon post secondary education.  He said they are looking for successful transition of students to whatever they choose whether it be the military or college or technical schools.  Borg said with social media they may be able to do a better job of tracking the students after graduation.  Williamson wonders what the number one problem is that keeps him awake at night.  Borg said he wants to make sure a sharp direction is defined in making academic achievement at a high level a priority through direction and execution. He said assessments don’t necessarily define critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration.  He said the importance of knowledge is changing due to technology.  They must imbed skills now and successfully use technology and use the dollars devoted the best they can.  Borg said he welcomes anyone who wants to discuss this further.  Hughes said the teachers and staff make the volunteers feel welcome so it goes both ways. 


    1. 44th Annual Minnesota Bound Crappie Contest (Lord Fletcher’s Restaurant) – Tolsma said this application has been received recently but this is the first time they’ve applied for a special event permit.  Lewin explained that the permit application has been forwarded to the police, fire, water patrol and the LMCD.  Tolsma said this doesn’t have to be approved tonight and can come back after we hear back from the other agencies.  Williamson isn’t too concerned about this as it’s similar to what’s been held in the past.  Hughes asked about the LMCD and boat inspection.  Widmer said they’ve probably gone through this.  Hughes said the LMCD should be notified.  Widmer makes a motion and Stone seconds to approve the application for the special event permit for the MN Bound Crappie Contest.  All votes ayes, motion carries.


    1. Mayor and Council

                                          i.    Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Update – Tolsma said the Watershed District has been involving cities throughout the process.  He said an overview was presented about this TMDL study.  He said Jennings Bay, West Arm and Painter’s Creek are included in the study.  Tolsma said it’s daily load of pollutants introduced in the lake.  Williamson said a contract was signed to do one extra street sweeping per year to measure pollutants.  He’s wondering how that fits.  Tolsma thinks the end goal is to get information and come up with some action plans to mitigate the pollutant runoffs. 

                                        ii.    Spirit of the Lakes Sponsorship Discussion – Hughes said he thought the mayor might have something to discuss on this sponsorship.  Tolsma said it’s for the festival and she was going to discuss it to see if the council was interested in offering a level of sponsorship.  Hughes suggested this be brought to the next workshop.  Hughes said the LMCD is starting with the budget for next year.  He said by the end of June they hope to have their budget in place for next year.  Williamson said he watched part of the last LMCD meeting.  He said a year ago there were record high water levels.  He said this year it’s the exact opposite.  He said the LMCD is likely to declare a low water condition and it affects docks.  They will be permitted to extend their docks.  Businesses and multiple docks will have to go through a permit process.  Hughes said 952-745-0789 is the phone number for the LMCD if there are questions.

    1. City Administrator

                                          i.    Yard Waste Drop-Off Program Review and 2012 Agreement – Tolsma said a memo has been included.  He said last year the city contracted with SET for yardwaste drop off site.  The city would pay $3000 for 600 Cu yards. Tolsma said the total used was significantly less so a refund will be received for $2305.  He said an agreement needs to be discussed for this year.  Tolsma said the city benefits from a lower upfront allocation.  He said the lowest upfront allocation would be half of last year so 300 Cu yards.  Williamson said other communities are also using this service.  Hughes wondered about brush being included.  Widmer said it’s important to have identification along to prove residency from Spring Park.  Tolsma said brush is allowed and is part of the agreement.  Williamson wondered about lawn service contractors who live in Spring Park and then bringing their yard waste to the site on Spring Park’s dime.  Hughes wondered if on a monthly basis an update can be gotten from SET.  Tolsma said they’ve been very responsive so far.  Tolsma said SET is fine with all the terms.  Williamson makes a motion with the modification that brush is included.  Stone wondered if the brush needs to be bundled and is told no, it’s not necessary.  Hughes seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries.

    1. City Engineer – Tolsma said Goman had quite a weekend with the water plant.  He said there is a malfunctioning valve and, as of yesterday, the city is on the Interconnect with Orono at night.  Tolsma said Goman can manually control it during the day.  Williamson wondered about the expected cost.  Tolsma said Goman isn’t sure at this point.  Tolsma said there will be more information regarding the wells at the work session. 
    2. City Attorney – Nothing.
    3. Utility Superintendent – Tolma said the street sweepers will be sweeping the streets starting tomorrow. 
    1. March 21, 2012 – Administration Committee – 11:00 AM – Tolsma said Chief Farniok and the Tour de Tonka representative will be at the meeting.
    2. March 26, 2012 – Work Session – 7:00 PM
    3. April 2, 2012 – City Council – 7:30 PM
    1. Bills & Payroll – Repairs to city snow plow. Tolsma said the snowplow was bought in 2003 and this is the first time it has needed repair.  Stone makes a motion and Widmer seconds to pay the bills.  All votes ayes, motion carries.
  4. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
    1. MPCA Advance Machine Site Remediation Letter – Tolsma said it’s more informative but there is a site in Spring Park and it was lower priority and it’s now moved up the priority ladder. 
    2. April Calendar
    3. Met Council Newsletter
    4. Hennepin County Sherriff’s Annual Report
  5. ADJOURNMENTWidmer makes a motion and Stone seconds to adjourn the meeting at  8:40 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.