June 3, 2019 Council Minutes

JUNE 3, 2019 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 7:00 p.m.

Council Members Present: Jerome P. Rockvam, Mayor; Gary Hughes; Pamela Horton; Catherine Kane Palen; and Megan Pavot

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

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


M/Hughes, S/Horton to adopt the meeting agenda.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. City Council Work Session Meeting Minutes from May 20, 2019
b. Regular City Council Meeting Minutes from May 20, 2019
c. Liquor, Cigarette, & Dinner Dance Annual Licenses

M/Pavot, S/Kane Palen to adopt the Consent Agenda.

Motion carried 5-0.




a. Lord Fletcher’s Fireworks Special Event – June 14th

City Administrator Tolsma presented a summary of the application and went through the draft conditions with the Council. He discussed condition #5 and stated that the application is still being reviewed by Orono Police and Mound Fire in regards to the location of where the fireworks will be located for safety and jurisdictional purposes.

M/Pavot, S/Horton to approve Special Event Application No. 19-09 for Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge for an event on June 14, 2019 with the list of conditions that were attached to the Staff Memo.

Motion carried 5-0.

b. Back Channel Brewery Fourth of July Special Event – July 4th

M/Pavot, S/Hughes to approve Special Event Application No. 19-10 and Temporary On-Sale Liquor License for Back Channel Brewery for an event on July 4, 2019 with the list of conditions that were attached to the Staff Memo.

City Administrator Tolsma discussed the application and the requested hours of live music. The requested hours are the maximum allowed per City Code but it is up to the Council to adjust the approved hours if they believe the hours requested are excessive. He suggested monitoring the situation to see if any complaints are received. He added that the list of conditions states the event organizers need to comply with any instructions and recommendations from the Orono Police Department on the day of the event regarding noise.

Council Member Hughes asked why the City isn’t notifying the neighborhood about the proposed event before a Council decision is made for an event featuring outdoor music.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the City Code for special events does not require notifying neighbors about an application being submitted; the event organizers are only required to send out notices at least 10 days prior to any Council-approved event.

Council Member Pavot stated that other local breweries have similar times for events taking place on the 4th of July. She added that events on holidays tend to be longer than different types of special events so she does not believe it is extreme or unusual.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that Back Channel Brewery has had many prior special events with live music since they opened in 2017 and the City is not aware of any complaints. The event organizers have always pointed the amplification systems away from the residential neighborhood and towards the commercial business area instead.

Motion carried 5-0.


a. Mayor & Council

Mayor Rockvam stated he received a letter from a resident about nuisance properties in the City and asked staff for an update about the ordinance and process that was adopted in 2017. He also stated that staff has made significant progress on some properties but the entire process can be slow and cumbersome.

City Administrator Tolsma discussed the nuisance complaint and abatement process including building relationships with homeowners to understand violations, get on a cleanup timeline, and also possibly sign nuisance abatement agreements. He stated that these violations were not created overnight and they will not be solved overnight either but staff is working hard through the process and are seeing some progress throughout the city. He continued to say that some homeowners have refused to correct violations and have stated they will not do anything with their properties until forced by law; some of these properties could possibly be going to litigation.

Mayor Rockvam stated he wanted to clarify his reasons for voting against the West Arm Road West feasibility study that was approved at the May 20 Council meeting. He stated that one of the options the study is going to consider is moving the lines closer to the road but he didn’t believe there was any point in including that cost in the study because he doesn’t think it is a real possibility based on the elevation in the area. That portion of the study is not worth $27,000.

City Administrator Tolsma stated he could speak with the engineers to get more of a line-item cost breakdown and see how much the City could save if that option were not considered. However, the study was not broken down into cost based on options considered so there would be cost savings by narrowing the scope of the project but does not believe the total would be $27,000 since topographical studies and surveys will still be required.

Mayor Rockvam stated that there haven’t been any main breaks in that area in over 50 years and there is no evidence of sewer lines collapsing in the area. He added that the City does have evidence of some infiltration because of televising. He asked what a new topographical study would show compared to previous years.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that there would be greater detail with elevation due to newer technology that is now available compared to the last time the area was studied.

Michael Mason, resident at 3950 Del Otero Avenue, asked if the asset management plan covered the same things that are being considered in the feasibility study. He asked why the City is paying for the same information again.

City Administrator Tolsma responded no, the asset management plan was about evaluating the condition of infrastructure to help determine and prioritize challenges the City is facing. A feasibility study focuses on details for a specific project area to determine what options are available.

Council Member Pavot understands Mayor Rockvam’s comments that the City hasn’t had a main break in that area but results from televising and the asset management plan have shown the deteriorating conditions of pipes in that area. She added that sliplining is a good option when pipes are in good condition but she is interested to see what the options are available to make sure the project is done right. She stated that the City’s engineers were able to say that the City is losing approximately $50,000 annually due to inflow and infiltration (I&I) throughout the entire city and they are pretty confident that the City can regain some of its project costs with the I&I savings to the Met Council. She continued that by the time the City completes an upgrade to the infrastructure on West Arm Road West, some of the City’s other pipes will be 70-80 years old so the City needs to start moving on some of these projects before aging causes the conditions to deteriorate further.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that the City needs to look at the cost benefit for this project. The end result of the feasibility study will tell the City what the best course of action is, not necessarily what the cheapest option is.

Council Member Hughes discussed the parks improvement project.

Mayor Rockvam asked about the new plaques for the City’s two parks.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the draft text for the plaques was approved at the last Planning Commission meeting and the next step is to get renderings of sign options.

b. City Staff – None.

c. Contract Staff – None.


a. June 3, 2019 Claims

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

Motion carried 5-0.

a. June 11 – Administration Committee – 12:00 PM
b. June 12 – LMCD Work Session at 6:00 PM with Regular Meeting at 7:00 PM
c. June 12 – Planning Commission – 6:00 PM
d. June 13 – LMCC – 7:00 PM
e. June 17 – City Council Work Session – 6:00 PM
f. June 17 – Regular City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

a. LMCD Boater Safety Education Program Flyer


The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consent at 7:51 p.m.

Date Approved: June 17, 2019

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk