February 27, 2012 Work Session

Attendance:  Mayor Reinhardt, Council members Stone, Hughes, and Williamson.  Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Planner Brixius, Widmer excused.


    1. Darin is finalizing work on the report. He will be in attendance on Monday to present the findings to the Council.

Reinhardt said a soil boring report has been provided to the council.  Tolsma said sample #1, closest to the outlet, a small amount of sediment was found.  It was about an inch but could be closer to 2 inches because of the bore.  Tolsma said all of the other samples drawn were consistent with a typical lake bottom. Control bores were taken at east and west locations.  There was no sediment consistent with runoff found.  Hughes wondered when the dredging was done, how close did they come?  Tolsma illustrated the dredge on the bore map.  Hughes wondered about prevailing winds.  Tolsma said there was a containment curtain in place.  Reinhardt wonders if Ellingson had a recommendation.  Tolsma said it was decided to wait for a hard recommendation at the next council meeting.  Hughes recommends this report be sent to Bud Groth.  Reinhardt agrees that he should see this but believes the city should have more information and a chance to discuss the report with the city’s engineer before doing so. 


    1. A memo from Al Brixius is included for review. Al will be in attendance to discuss the proposal in more detail.

Brixius said in staff discussion it was revealed that Norling potentially received permission slips from the property owners at the time.  Brixius said it’s questionable that the trees removed by Certified Auto were planted by Norling. More information will be forthcoming.  Brixius said the beautification plan was adopted and the businesses agreed to the plantings.  He said it’s advised the maintenance section of the ordinance be enhanced.  Hughes wonders whose responsibility it is to replace removed landscaping.  Like replacement or an alternative planting is recommended.  Brixius said there could be pruning requests to open up visibility and he thinks regulation of pruning is necessary to prevent someone from pruning the tree too much.  Tolsma said the permission slips have yet to be located.  He said Norling seems to recall it was more handshake agreements.  Reinhardt wonders if there is no written record, how does that change what is being presented.  Brixius thinks if the tree dies for whatever reason, there needs to be a plan in place as to replacement.  Brixius wonders about the minutes for the approval of the plantings and that should be kept with the file.  Williamson said this is a city project and it should be the city’s responsibility to watch the progress of the trees.  Some may never thrive.  Reinhardt wonders about enforcement or what penalties will be assessed if a tree is removed.  Brixius said an alternative landscape plan needs to be presented or replacement.  Brixius said an administrative fine can be levied if they refuse or it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.  Williamson said a mailing needs to be done to property owners who have a city tree on their property informing them of the responsibility they owe to the city.  Brixius said he wants to see if Norling has any other defining documents before this goes to the Planning Commission. Brixius thinks this could be a discussion item for the PC.


    1. A copy of the draft ordinance amendment is included for review. Nancy will not be in attendance on Monday.

Reinhardt said Beck has made some changes to take into consideration political fund raisers and who is responsible for paying for associated exceptional costs.  Hughes said he is concerned about estate sales.  Reinhardt said a special event permit would have to be sought.  Williamson said it’s already regulated to a degree.  Reinhardt said under examples “estate sale” could be added.  Williamson said the regulation is because of additional expenses incurred for police and maybe fire.  Stone would like a contingency plan that charges the home owner for these added expenses, if the estimated amount doesn’t cover the cost of the event.


    1. A draft set of conditions and a copy of the application are included for review.

Reinhardt explained this is a first draft.  Reinhardt thinks posted staffing needs to be specific.  She thinks Sunset Drive and Kings Road should have a uniformed police reserve.  Hughes thinks along with staffing there should be something that identifies this is a special event in progress.  Reinhardt agrees that a public posting should be placed in the newspaper and she wonders if more than once would be better.  Hughes thinks the pre-event postings of signage should be at least 24 hours in advance and Reinhardt thinks a week in advance might be more informative for trail users.  Williamson agrees that the trail should be closed for this event.  It’s agreed that publication should be made in the Lakeshore Weekly News as well.  Signage and other items associated with the event needs to be removed within a stipulated time-frame following the event.  Reinhardt suggests this list of conditions be solidified and then invite the police chief to comment before asking the applicant to appear before the council.  


    1. Included for review is a spreadsheet detailing pertinent information about the ipad pricing and data plans, a memo from Nancy Beck, and correspondence from other cities that have been discussing the purchase of iPads on the League of Minnesota Cities email forum.

Reinhardt said there has been some research done regarding I-Pads.  Tolsma said he can answer questions to clarify.  He said there aren’t necessarily any opportunities among vendors to price shop but some will offer some incentives such as free covers.  Reinhardt thinks they should all be 3G capable whether they need it now or not.  Hughes wonders about using the wireless phone line to download data and if it would count against his data plan.  Tolsma said it will always default to a wi-fii signal.  Hughes wondered about duplicate access without changing anything if that debits the data plan.  He said downloaded Facebook changes are debited.  Tolsma said the data is cached so it’s assumable that only changes are debited.  Hughes is in favor of going paperless in some fashion.  Hughes wonders if there is a place to check about the usage and what is remaining.  Hughes thinks the next step should be a draft as to how this will be used.  Hughes wonders if documents projected onto the screen if they could get it on their I-Pad.  Dan said they could follow along but they’d have to manually advance to the next frames.  Reinhardt suggests an investment in one I-Pad in order to work through the process and to determine the advantages.  Hughes thinks an investment would need to be made in a protective covering whether it be a carrying case or a sleeve with a handle.  Williamson thinks this needs to prove public benefit.  He thinks it needs to be scalable and transferable. It’s decided that it would be acceptable to purchase one I-Pad for purposes of researching the usefulness of this technology.  



Tolsma explains the auditors found a discrepancy in the benefit paid to the utility superintendent as a fringe benefit.  Williamson asked about going forward.  Tolsma said it can be corrected by issuing a 1099 or the vehicle can just be considered a part of his contract.   Tolsma recommends a consent agenda item to discontinue the auto allowance to the utility superintendent because of an error in the calculating of the tax burden to the superintendent.


    1. Thor Thompson Draft Schedule – Reinhardt explained the document shows the multiple requests for use of the field. Tolsma said team Corneya has since withdrawn their request.
    2. Dog License Information – Tolsma said he has researched this and found cities have the ability to license but it is not required.  He said he thinks staff would be happy to see dog licensing go away.  Williamson wonders if absolution is being considered this evening.  Reinhardt believes there are enough ordinances to protect against animal invasion.  Williamson wonders about a transitional process.  Perhaps suspend the licensing process.  Reinhardt thinks Beck should weigh in on this.  Williamson agrees that state law should be abided by, if there is such a thing. She suggests this be brought back to a future council meeting. 
    3. Unemployment Insurance Information – Tolsma said the answer is the city must pay slightly over $1500 if the former employee is granted his maximum benefit. Reinhardt thinks this position should be contracted out if this is going to be the case.  Reinhardt thinks Beck should be consulted.  Williamson thinks temporary seasonal employees need to be researched more.  He said rink attendants and summer park employees shouldn’t be able to collect unemployment. Williamson said this needs to be revisited.  He is not suggesting suspending the position as this needs further research.  
    4. Channel 8 & 20 Schedules
    5. January Fire Department Report
    6. Email Discussion With Orono Resident Regarding Lord Fletcher’s Music Permit




  1. OPEN SPECIAL MEETING – 9:17 p.m.
    1. Approve Bills – Costs to remove Christmas decorations was $1600 and Reinhardt thinks that is excessively high.  She remembers the cost being around $1000.  Hughes asked about the water main break on Shoreline Drive and wonders about it being brought back to standards.  Tolsma said yes, it will be repaired.  Williamson said he’s pleased about the descriptions being defined more.  Stone moves to pay the bills and Hughes seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries.  Hughes makes a motion and Stone seconds to adjourn the special meeting at 9:22 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.


    1. Adjourn – 9:30 p.m.