January 23, 2012 Work Session

Attendance: Reinhardt, Stone, Hughes, Widmer, Beck, Brixius, Lewin, Tolsma, Williamson.


    1. Attached is a draft set of conditions for the 2012 music permit. The proposed conditions were discussed at the Administration Committee meeting on January 18th with Police Chief Farniok, Lord Fletcher’s Owner Tom Emer, and Sound Technician Ryan Kline.

Reinhardt said at the recent meeting item 7 and 8 of the conditions were going to have some changes.  She said Fletcher’s has hired a sound technician to monitor the noise levels for the outdoor music.  Reinhardt said Fletcher’s is interested in getting this right.  The technician will be on site on the weekends and will monitor the decibel levels. Widmer wonders about wind effects on the noise.  Reinhardt said they cannot exceed established decibel levels.  Hughes asked about load limits to the deck.  Reinhardt said there is not a hard and fast rule but 400 bodies is full capacity for seating.  She said once it gets hard to navigate from one end to another, they start counting people.  They have staff posted at the entrances and they would start limiting access.  Beck said at an establishment she was at in Chicago there was a security person just to keep a path open at all times.  Reinhardt said, in addition, cooler space has been added to the restaurant so refrigeration trucks should not be an issue like they have been in the past.  Beck said she would like “sustained periods of time” in #7 defined in more detail. Brixius thinks decibel numbers should be established at the nearby residence and then to work from there. Tolsma said Orono PD’s decibel meter isn’t as sophisticated as some. Reinhardt wonders if a lewd language stipulation should be included and Beck said it’s difficult due to free speech.  Beck asked about the permit fee and whether the permit fee actually covers the city’s costs.  An escrow is discussed. Tolsma will pull past invoices for the sound consultant last year to evaluate the city’s past costs. Hughes wonders about a recheck meeting to see how things are going.  He thinks probably before the 4th of July it might be a time for review. Widmer wonders about #15 and whether people from across the lake are supposed to be invited.  It’s decided that what they are doing now is sufficient.


    1. Attached is an email and corresponding documents from City Planner Al Brixius regarding landscape maintenance. The issue of a separate boulevard tree policy should also be discussed.

Tolsma explained there is an insert from Brixius and a sample ordinance.  He said there was also a past resolution that was never adopted because Certified Auto’s application was withdrawn.  He said the issue now is some boulevard trees were cut down and in going forward, the city wants to protect all boulevard trees.  A permitting process for taking down trees is discussed.  Widmer argues it’s silly to think that someone needs to get a permit to take a tree down on their property.  Brixius cautions there isn’t protection of boulevard trees at the moment.  Hughes wondered about trees that need to be replaced and whose responsibility it is.  Brixius said most of the city’s plantings are on private property.  Reinhardt said she is mainly concerned with those trees that are cut down without the city’s permission.  Widmer wondered about whose responsibility it is then with Ash Borer.  She said in the beginning permission was sought to plant the trees on the boulevard on private property.  Brixius wonders if a letter of intent should be drafted and presented.  Brixius said he will look at St. Louis Park’s ordinance as he believes they have something similar to what we’re looking for. 


    1. Attached for the Council to review is an excerpt of the Orono city code regarding the payment of expenses for special events.

Reinhardt said Spring Park typically does not host these types of events but Orono has had their share and they’ve developed an ordinance to recover expenses.  Beck said the city does have language already adopted but it should be amended to include more specific language as it relates to reimbursement of expenses incurred.  Hughes thinks extra costs incurred because of estate sales and auctions should also be considered. Stone would like to see unpaid expenses certified to the property. 



Tolsma said there has been some discussion about keeping the council technologically connected.  He said he monitors the League’s Administrator’s List Serve and it looks as though this is the way a lot of cities are going.  Tolsma thanked Beck and Stone for bringing their IPads in tonight.  Hughes likes the concept but he’s concerned about the ability for note taking to specific documents.  Reinhardt thinks the benefit would be e-mail capability for all council members versus laptops.  Council members would have specific e-mail addresses through the city. Williamson is concerned about viruses.  Tolsma said IPads do not require anti-virus because they are inherently secure.  Tolsma said the electronic calendar would be a benefit as well.  Hughes wondered about being able to print from the IPad.  Williamson wonders how he would be connected.  Reinhardt said there are a couple of options; one being Wifi and the other being a data plan through a cellular network. Hughes wonders about closing the network capability.  Reinhardt isn’t sure about that as it may be too prohibitive.  Tolsma said there is a separate password to get into the server so it’s secure. Williamson would want to know what the true cost of having this would be.  Reinhardt suggests writing down questions as they are thought of so they can be researched. 


    1. MNSPECT Minute



Hughes said the Drive-In had a 50th anniversary last year and he suggests recognizing long-term businesses such as Fletchers, Rockvams, Norlings and Meisels.  Widmer said it could also be recognized through The Laker.  Hughes thinks it might be nice to do it once a year to some way recognize these businesses. Hughes asked about police calls that are dispatched to Pres Homes.  He wonders if those numbers could be provided.  Reinhardt said they’re usually first responders so they are going.  Hughes said there is the potential that the nursing home will not be lifting patients any longer.  He said it may be a corporate decision to call rescue instead of having staff lift patients and the city needs to watch this.  


Adjourn at 9 p.m.