December 17, 2012 Council Meeting

1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Reinhardt called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
2. ROLL CALL – Stone, Williamson, Hughes, Widmer, Reinhardt.
3. INTRODUCTIONS - Mayor Reinhardt introduced the council and staff to the viewing public. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Council Elect Bren.
5. ADOPT AGENDA – Williamson makes a motion and Stone seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Hughes said he wants to mention that the Planning Commission minutes included in item 8 under miscellaneous regarding future agenda items in 2013 are discussed is impressive and he encourages the PC to work on those items. With that, Hughes makes a motion and Stone seconds to adopt the consent agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. City Council Meeting Minutes from December 3, 2012
b. Accept Planning Commission Minutes from December 12, 2012
7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
9. Recognition of Service: Joanna Widmer & Jackie Stone – Reinhardt said there is special recognition for two outgoing council members. She said Stone had been a member of the council in the early 2000's and a prior member of the Planning Commission. Reinhardt said she appreciated Stone’s willingness to join the council midyear to fill a vacancy and appreciated an experienced member able to slide right in. Reinhardt presents a commemorative box to Stone to recognize her service to the City of Spring Park. Stone said she wants to thank the council and said she appreciates the opportunity to serve. Reinhardt said Widmer has served the council for 14 years. Reinhardt said she has served alongside Widmer for eight years and Widmer has been the one constant throughout. She said the historical background and perspective brought forward by Widmer was a valuable addition. Reinhardt said the council will miss Widmer and appreciates all her years of service. Widmer said it’s always been interesting to stay in touch with the city and she has enjoyed serving. She said she’ll actually miss it, at times, and she thanks the council and staff.
a. Mayor and Council -
Council Application Submitted – Reinhardt said an application has been submitted by Planning Commissioner Doug Sippel and they are looking for other applications until the Friday, January 4th cutoff. She said the Celebrate Greater Mound changed their name and have selected Westonka Community Commerce. She said city staff will be contacted to inquire about future meetings being held at city hall. Reinhardt said on Friday she was at city hall and observed snowmobiling taking place on city property. The snowmobiler was advised this was not allowed. Se said the newly laid grass seed has been disturbed and damaged. Information will be forwarded to Orono Police for review. Hughes wondered about posting signage. Reinhardt said lastly they will hold off with the committee appointments until council is fully staffed. She said if there are meetings held before the new appointments, the alternate will be asked to attend.

Hughes said the LMCD public hearing on AIS lasted about an hour and he thought it was well organized and speakers were allowed five minutes. He said he thinks it should be discussed at a work session. He said there is concern about the chemical and harvester costs if a city doesn’t benefit from this. He encourages the public to watch this meeting. Hughes said this goes to committee and the cities have input.

Widmer said at the last PC meeting Chair Hoffman asked about permanent sign applications and that the PC feels this could be administratively decided. She said Hoffman and the PC agreed that if it was an obvious approval, it didn’t seem necessary for the PC to approve this. Tolsma said Hoffman feels that if all the requirements have been met, it’s approved anyway. Reinhardt said she is concerned about if there are questions or issues, staff shouldn’t have to singularly make the call. Reinhardt said she thinks the planner still has to review the application and staff also reviews it but she likes the extra sets of eyes that would be reviewing this. Tolsma said Brixius would review every sign application and would make a recommendation to staff. He said if there is an issue it would go to PC. He said Hoffman felt it might save some costs on the planning side of this. Tolsma said when this was discussed, Brixius said there are costs associated with the report and the presentation by the planner to the PC. Reinhardt still thinks the planner’s report is necessary. Hughes said he agrees that Brixius needs to review the application and write a report but he doesn’t think it’s necessary for him to come to the meeting. Reinhardt said this could be a study session topic and she wonders about other cities and their processes. Williamson said it’s not the routine applications. It’s the exceptional ones that need careful review. He thinks the review process should continue. Williamson said without extra eyes, it can create bigger problems later. He said it’s an opportunity to ask questions about safety issues and it can be a strategy to address other concerns. Reinhardt said this can be explored further. Widmer added that routine sign applications sometimes miss the monthly cutoff and it seemed to make sense to administratively approve routine signage.

Williamson said the LMCC is in negotiations and an executive board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow and they will be reviewing the technical report. He said public relevance is some cable connections to homes are not properly grounded. He said the standards have changed over the years and sampling checks have revealed 30-50% have fallen short of properly grounded cables. He said the renewal committee meets on Thursday and a report for general needs assessment will be reviewed. Williamson said broadband is a speed component on the interview. He said there is a demand and interest in a higher capacity.

b. City Administrator
Street Light Drawings – Tolsma said option one is a typical MnDot pole with a cobra head and various brackets for banners and holders. He said options two and three are the same except one pole is octagonal stainless steel and the other is fluted with stainless steel. He said same set up with banner and holder brackets. Tolsma said the height of the banner and flag pole were rough estimates. Tolsma said pricing was broke down over lifespan. Reinhardt asked about the estimates and clarified that this would be an RFP process to get true numbers. Hughes wondered about the banner over the sidewalk and wondered if it will tangle. Reinhardt said the old poles have one or the other and not both. Reinhardt likes options two and four. She said she doesn’t have a preference. She said option one is okay but it’s got a highway look. She thinks with the decorative poles it looks more like a streetscape. She is in favor of two and four. Stone said she’s never been in favor of curli-q’s, although she does like option two. She thinks the banner should be a little lower for visibility. Williamson said he thinks octagonal is better than fluted because fluted is cut into. He said he thinks fluted is more difficult when it comes to maintenance. Hughes wondered about converting an existing cobra head to LED, such as the signal lights for continuity. Tolsma said it’s been discussed with the vendor. The vendor said that is a straightforward and simple fix but there won’t be a big cost savings.

Reinhardt wondered what Tolsma is looking for. He said it’s helpful to know how to move forward on the next step. Reinhardt makes a motion to proceed with options two and four and put plans and specs for those options. Widmer seconds. Hughes wants to know the difficulty of having an option for the cobra head for price comparison. Reinhardt said it’s probably okay to have three options but she thinks option one is not viable. Williamson said he thinks the savings could be more than a few dollars. He agrees with Hughes to look at option one for a benchmark and it might be leverage with the vendor for negotiation. Hughes said he will amend the motion to say to also include specs and pricing for option one. Williamson seconds the amended motion. Stone asked if there is major preference between two and four. Reinhardt said she wasn’t ready to pick one yet as they are similar. Four votes ayes, Reinhardt votes nay. Main motion, all votes ayes, motion passes unanimously. One two and four for plans and specs and RFP. Reinhardt suggests questions for banners and flags be pursued for design criteria. Williamson asked about the status of conformity with Orono. Tolsma said the last discussion was their council had reviewed the first draft of drawings presented and it was felt they would like to go in the same direction and directed their public works director to meet with Tolsma. A meeting is scheduled for this week following this meeting. Williamson said the design issues and placement of banners and flags should be cohesive. He is very interested in getting better pricing if Orono is included. Widmer wondered if there are new decorations on Spring Street or if this is the Lakeview Lofts addition. Tolsma said he wasn’t sure but would check with Goman on this.
c. City Engineer – nothing.
d. City Attorney – nothing.
e. Utility Superintendent – nothing.
a. December 18, 2012 – LMCC – 5:00 PM
b. December 19, 2012 – Police Commission – 8:00 AM
c. January 7, 2013 – City Council – 7:30 PM
a. Bills & Payroll – Reinhardt said there is an additional memo regarding the entrance signs. Tolsma said he wanted to give a memo in writing to explain the process. He said he was surprised when the final invoice was received so he is explaining the thought process. Tolsma said the original estimate was based on a two year old estimate. He said when the project was brought back an updated estimate was received. He said there was some fine print language about the estimate not including retaining walls, etc. Tolsma said he should have followed up closer but with the urgency to complete the project some permission was granted. He said he thinks the final project is very nice and is built to last but the costs did add up. Reinhardt thinks it might be worthwhile to have some words put on the back of the signs as it’s a lot of white space. Hughes said the photos shown of the keystone retaining walls explains a lot. Reinhardt said she’s disappointed that there was not more break-out detail of the added costs. Williamson would like added detail for the future replacement purposes. Stone makes a motion and Widmer seconds to accept the $19,000 and withhold the remainder until a detailed accounting for the retaining wall costs is received. All votes ayes, motion carries.

Widmer asked about tree work on Northern Avenue and West Arm Road. Tolsma said there were a number of areas that fell under the annual tree maintenance. He said there was also some Wilkes Park work done included in this. Williamson said the $4,000 bill caught his eye and he wonders about it. Williamson asked about HD Water Supply for radio readers. Williamson said there has been a long history on radio reads. He said the council has rejected this in the past. He wonders if this is being broken into small pieces to sneak this through. Tolsma said he spoke with Goman about this and was told there was some criteria that would be met about replacement of the meters. He said replacement meters were going to be installed with shut-offs, defects, etc. Williamson said reading meters faster or more efficiently was going to be the goal. He said it was decided that recouping the cost of the meters would take a long time to break even and it wasn’t worth it. Williamson said this matters because this hits on the water fund and, when it comes to raising rates on the customers, it’s because the fund has been depleted. Reinhardt said this needs to be discussed further and a policy should be developed. Hughes makes a motion to pay the bills including the V&S Jewelry recently added. Stone seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
16. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
a. October Financial Report
b. November Financial Report
c. November Fire Report
Hughes wanted to add that he brought his laptop with that had the e-packet loaded. He said he likes the idea of pursuing this process.
17. ADJOURNMENT - Williamson makes a motion and Stone seconds to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.