August 19, 2019 Council Minutes

AUGUST 19, 2019 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 7:08 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; Brian Hare, City Engineer; Mary Tietjen, City Attorney; 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. Regular City Council Meeting Minutes from August 5, 2019
b. Resolution 19-14: Approving Local Water Management Plan

M/Pavot, S/Horton to adopt the Consent Agenda.

Council Member Hughes asked for clarification on the Local Water Management Plan (LWMP).

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the City is required to approve an LWMP every 10 years and it gets incorporated into our Comprehensive Plan. Full copies are available but I have provided the Executive Summary.

Council Member Hughes stated he believes the LWMP should be a work session discussion item. He wanted to know why the plan seems to exclusively discuss water runoff but not discuss anything about the City’s water systems.

City Engineer Hare stated that the LWMP is also called a Surface Water Management Plan which is why the plan addresses water runoff and not the City’s water systems. The LWMP is meant to identify known problems and solutions.

Council Members Hughes and Kane Palen believe the LWMP should be discussed at an upcoming work session.

M/Hughes, S/Horton to amend the original motion to remove Item #4b from the agenda so that it can be discussed at an upcoming work session.

Motion carried 5-0.

Original motion carried 5-0.


Randy Bickman, 4652 West Arm Road, stated he is concerned about the proposed rental ordinance. He stated that only two residents in the City have short-term rental properties so he is questioning why the City is spending the money. He also believes that Hennepin County and the State of Minnesota already have ordinances and regulations in place regarding rental properties so he believes the City is trying to duplicate efforts of ordinances that have been in place for a long time. He handed out copies to the City Council of “Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities” from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. He further questioned if the City has ever received any complaints regarding rental properties in the City.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that staff have received complaints on rental properties but currently staff has no avenue to address the issues. He further detailed the types of calls/complaints that staff receive. He added that none of the calls/complaints have been for Mr. Bickman’s rental properties so perhaps that is why Mr. Bickman is unaware that staff receive complaints about other rental properties in the city.

Mr. Bickman asked why the City hasn’t contacted Hennepin County to deal with the complaints they have received.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that he does refer tenants to Hennepin County because currently the City does not have ordinances in place to deal with these issues on a local level. Hennepin County provides recourse for an issue but it is after the fact; the point of a local rental ordinance is to set a standard that all rental properties in the City need to meet and maintain. There is a reason that 24 cities in Hennepin County have their own local rental property ordinances; they want to be proactive and establish a minimum standard throughout their city. He added that the rental ordinance will be a Council decision but a lot of cities do have a rental ordinance to establish a minimum standard.

Mr. Bickman stated the State of Minnesota, Hennepin County, and Orono Police already have the resources available to take care of what the proposed ordinances are trying to duplicate.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the City is not attempting to duplicate efforts of other entities. A local rental licensing ordinance does not serve the same role as the process in place with Hennepin County. A local rental ordinance establishes a minimum standard throughout the entire city and provides inspections to ensure that standard is met.

Council Member Pavot added that the goal of the proposed licensing ordinance is to inspect the property before tenants move in and before they find issues that they cannot get resolved with their landlord. She recalled some scenarios that renters have approached her about in the past including moving into their new apartment and not having running water; that a renter needs to go through an escrow process with an unknown time for resolution. Any inspections with the Hennepin County complaint process are after the fact; a local ordinance inspects before the property is rented. A local rental ordinance also gives the City the power to take away a rental license if minimum standards are not being maintained at rental properties.

Mayor Rockvam stated that the “Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities” from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office is a document that has some real value and said that members of the Planning Commission should receive copies.

City Attorney Tietjen stated that the Planning Commission also needs to be educated on what the “Landlords and Tenants” document is and what it truly does. As City Administrator Tolsma explained, local laws serve a different purpose. The document Mr. Bickman presented tonight only provides remedies after the fact and involves a legal process wherein people go to court and are spending time and money to get resolution. If local ordinances did not work, cities would not have them. There is a reason so many cities have these ordinances; they serve a different purpose than State law.

Council Member Hughes asked City Attorney Tietjen how the other cities that she represents view local rental ordinances.

City Attorney Tietjen responded that her firm represents many cities that have local rental licensing ordinances. If the city implements the ordinance the way it was intended and addresses inspections ahead of time then she has seen it can be successful and accomplishes the purpose for which the ordinance was enacted.

Mayor Rockvam thanked Mr. Bickman for his comments.



a. Back Channel Brewery Special Event September 21st & 22nd

M/Pavot, S/Kane Palen to approve Special Event Application No. 19-11 and Temporary On-Sale Liquor License for Back Channel Brewery for a multi-day event on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22, 2019 with the list of conditions that were attached to the Staff Memo.

Motion carried 5-0.


a. Mayor & Council

Mayor Rockvam requested an update on the historical plaque for City Hall.

City Administrator Tolsma provided an update and potential timeline for the plaques at City Hall and the City’s two parks, the park rededication ceremony, and Planning Commission appreciation dinner.

Mayor Rockvam asked about progress on installing temporary safety measures on Sunset Drive.

City Administrator Tolsma discussed a recent meeting with Hennepin County which included discussions concerning temporary safety measures in 2020.

City Engineer Hare stated that the discussions are ongoing but the current plan with Hennepin County is to work on Sunset Drive (CR 51) in 2022 and they would provide input on safety measures of a temporary nature.

b. City Staff – None.

c. Contract Staff – None.


a. August 19, 2019 Claims

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

Motion carried 5-0.

a. August 28 – LMCD Work Session at 6:00 PM with Regular Meeting at 7:00 PM
b. September 3 (Tuesday) – Regular City Council Meeting – 7:00 PM

a. Mound Fire Department July Report


The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consent at 7:53 p.m.

Date Approved: September 16, 2019

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk