July 27, 2015, Work Session

JULY 27, 2015 – 7:00 PM
Attendance: Williamson, Hughes, Bren, Horton, Pavot, Goman, Tolsma, Lewin, Beck
Williamson asks for a motion to adopt the agenda and Hughes so moves with Horton seconding. All votes ayes, motion carries.

Williamson said it’s a heavy agenda so he suggests to avoid diversions.

a. Included for review is a map showing sections of the City’s sanitary sewer system that have been televised, cleaned, or spot repaired since 2010. The large portion highlighted in yellow (2015) was done after the backup last month. Also included for review is the City’s Sewer Maintenance Policy.

Tolsma said there is a lot of information to present tonight and it depends upon what the council wants to discuss. Tolsma said there is a map that shows when the city was televised and there are reports, CD’s and video. He said previous years' backups are shown with red X’s on the map. He said the maintenance policy was also asked for. Tolsma said the lift stations are cleaned and maintained every year as well as the problem areas. Williamson said he sees a gap in the map between Sunset and CR 15 and the corner of Interlachen. He asked about services to the Yacht Club. Tolsma said they are color coded based on size so they are there, they are just difficult to see.

Tolsma said claims involved with the League's no-fault insurance coverage determined the sewer coverage couldn’t be used due to an unrealized maintenance schedule. He said that’s the issue: to meet the obligations going forward. Horton said the map could be presented to show it has been maintained but it’s determined it hasn’t been maintained for ten years. Pavot asked about sewer cleaning records or maintenance and Tolsma said the records go back to 2007 when Farniok started. Beyond that time they were more vague. Hughes asked about designation of the size. Goman said it’s difficult to see based upon the copier duplication. Goman said there’s only been five backups in 20 years.

Williamson asked where we are at with the insurance claims. Tolsma said no change. Homeowners who had their own coverage are in the process of subrogation and the one or two homeowners who did not have coverage were compensated directly from the League’s Insurance Trust. He said there are no outstanding claims, and now it’s between the insurance company. Williamson asked if they’ve said anything else about going forward. Tolsma said he will get a notification of what the payout was and what next year’s premium will be. Williamson said in order to avoid this happening again there should be some discussion about adjusting the policy or something else. Tolsma said the policy is because the city desired to get the coverage but he would be leery about changing it too much. He said if there’s an area to make the change, he can research it. He said he thinks the agreement is standard language for those cities who choose to have no-fault coverage. Tolsma thinks it’s still desirable to have it. Goman says he doesn’t count 2014 as a back up because it was due to heavy rain. Goman said he is looking at redirecting the flow. He has talked with the Met Council about redirecting some of the flow to CR 19. He said they are checking to see if their pipes would accommodate the flow.

Beck asked Goman if there was a lapse in the cleaning and Goman said yes. He said it has to do with budget constraints and weather. Beck said Goman needs to plan for this and up the following year’s budget in order to get these cleanings accomplished. Hughes asked about infiltration into the sewer and Goman said about 25%. Hughes asked about zebra mussels and could that impact this in the future. Hughes said we’re spending a lot of money to pump out lake water.

Goman showed on the illustration that 1100 feet behind Pres Homes needs to be replaced or cured in place piping. Goman said it decreases the size of the pipe by about a quarter of an inch. Goman said it’s $30 a foot. West Arm Drive, Channel Road and a short section on Spring Street is plastic and the rest of the city is clay tile installed in 1963. He said West Arm Rd East will be slip lined.

Williamson wondered if there is a way to tell if the flow rate is reaching a capacity limit, for instance on Lift Six. Goman said yes and no. He said they typically pump about 200-250,000 gallons per day but during the rain event they pumped about 600,000 gallons. Bren thinks action needs to be taken now. She said they’ve been talking about this for 45 minutes now and the answer is to start fixing this. Hughes asked about directing the flow to CR 19. He said with the rain event where there was more water versus typical sewage, he would think a rain event would flow easier with less chance of clogging. Goman said with the infiltration areas, all seams have to be treated. You can’t miss one seam because the hydraulic pressure just moves to the next seam. He said they have infiltrated seams treated as well as both seams on either side.

Williamson asked about what the charge would be without the excess. Goman said the city is still under the I&I cap so we’re not mandated yet. Williamson said it’s necessary to maximize what we have. Williamson said he is concerned about the lack of maintenance. Goman said partially based on the flow going through the pipe, based on the industry average. He agrees ten years is too long but based on the budget, based on time, based on developments. Williamson asked why this wasn’t brought forward during budget discussion. Goman said it has been. Williamson said he doesn’t recall this. Williamson said he understands laying it over for a year but not a decade. Williamson said he is concerned about this not being brought forward sooner and wonders why this was not done. Goman said he’s blown the budget this year and it’s going to be about 300% over. Horton said in making projections going forward, shouldn’t it be talked about so they are prepared. Goman said when it’s gone it’s gone in the operating budget. Williamson said the reserves are there for the ability to take care of these things. Williamson asked if the televising is done on a capital plan and Goman said it’s done on operating. Williamson said so they are not part of the CIP. Goman said it’s looked at for overall improvements. Williamson said gaps need to be determined in order to get back on plan. Williamson said as a result of finishing the televising, a budget needs to be developed for this. Goman said there is a line item budget. He said under the $31K about $15 was for cleaning and televising and a separate line item for repairs. Williamson said some repairs will be added to the list as a result of the televising. He said they need a plan but the first priority is to finish the televising. Goman said some of the televising is cleaning. Williamson is asking Tolsma to take a look at the budget where money can be transferred. He said there is a lot of latitude for this.

Williamson said they need a plan and organized into prioritizes and Tolsma to come up with a financial analysis. Beck said her comments are if there’s going to be a policy for no-fault insurance then the policy needs to be complied with. Goman said the policy can be broadly interpreted, for instance popping the manhole covers. He said it’s not just the pipes, it’s the manhole structure. Hughes said there are the repairs, to fix something that’s broke. He said if they sleeve certain lines there will be savings gained to fix repairs. Goman said the policy recommends 3-5 years. He said there are cities that have stretched this out longer. Williamson said he doesn’t want to change the policy. There is a policy and the policy needs to be followed. Beck said this ties in with the CIP and the road plan and things need to be prioritized. Goman said planning has to go into this in terms of and road projects and making this work together. Pavot said she also wants to talk about the maintenance policy regarding budget constraints. She would like to see deviations approved by the council. She said she thinks the council needs to be made aware of budget constraints. Williamson said regarding documentation, it says documentation needs to be prepared for the purpose of maintenance activities. He said this needs to be more specific in regards to reporting. Beck said if this is something the League has approved, she said an internal policy might be necessary. She said it gives the League opportunity to not cover the policy. She likes the lose language in the policy presented to the League but an internal policy outlining the required reporting could be developed. Williamson suggests a resolution coincide with the policy. Horton asked about problem areas, and said something has been cut off from the language. Pavot asked about reporting communications. Williamson said bi-annually would be good. Hughes suggests Tolsma put together a worksheet to be reviewed. Williamson wants Goman to shop around for a contractor. Tolsma will look at the financials and he’ll make suggestions about where and when and he’ll give options.

a. Related documents and correspondence from City Planner Al Brixius in attached for review. Staff is seeking direction from Council on how firmly staff should pursue compliance.
i. Original zoning verification request.
ii. March 2, 2015 letter sent to property owner.
iii. April 8, 2015 letter sent to property owner.
iv. Pictures from July 23, 2015.
Williamson said this is dealing with code compliance. He said the memo explains it all. Hughes said he drove by and it looks different. He thinks it looks better. Hughes said stuff from the yellow area has been moved to the blue area. Tolsma said he was up there today and he doesn’t agree. Hughes said he saw some clean area. Tolsma said it’s somewhat organized. Tolsma said O’Flanagan will not do anything willingly. It’s going to take legal action and he wants to know where the council is at. He said it’s going to cost money, it’s going to be messy. He said there have legal injunctions and O’flanagan keeps saying he’s grandfathered. Tolsma said this all started recently because of a zoning verification letter requiring the city to sign off in order for O'flanagan to get his license. Tolsma is really wondering how he was able to get his license since the city said he was not in compliance. Bren said trailers are parked along the street and she wonders if that is legal. Tolsma said O’flanagan said he made an agreement with Bill Weeks to store items in the road right-of-way. Tolsma said Weeks didn’t have the authority to grant this, if he did. Williamson said for many years adjoining residents to the trail put items on the public right-of-way with the rail authority. Some had even built structures. He said this isn’t the only one. Shoreline Place stacks their docks partially on city of right-of-way. Williamson said the authority for enforcement is worthless unless the city takes a stand on this.

Beck said administrative fines can be levied and abated to O'flanagan's taxes. She said there was a court order levied in the 90’s and it never was complied with. Pavot suggests towing these things. Hughes is concerned about how he supposedly got his license. Williamson said part of the problem is he did some things that benefited him and thumbed his nose at what he didn’t want to do. Williamson thinks a plan for enforcement needs to be made and this will probably mean an open checkbook. Williamson said if the council starts down the path of enforcement, they need to stick with it. He said it might be difficult due to influence.

Horton asked if this is winnable. Williamson said it depends upon what judge hears it. Pavot asked about being a pest. Beck said she thinks you start out gradually. She said some enforcement action could be taken with a fine. Bren said it looks like he’s managed to control things his way so far. Williamson asks for a list of the violations and prioritize what needs to be done. He said enforcement actions need to be identified. Pavot thinks the approach is to start with small numbers. Bren said when she walks through the city, she sees so many vehicles with expired tabs and rusty trailers, etc. She said something has to be done or the city is going to look like a junk yard. She said people assume they can do what the other junk guy is doing. Bren said just on her street alone there are several vehicles including a snowmobile with expired tabs. Williamson said the limo is displayed for sale again along Shoreline Drive.

Tolsma said these cases are exhausting to city staff because for most cases they are dealing with a mental illness. Hughes asked if a resident filed a complaint against Tonka Motorsports. Hughes wonders if the city only enforces if there is a complaint on file. Williamson said it’s an enforcement option but not the only thing. Williamson said going forward Tolsma will develop a list of items and prioritize. Williamson wants to know how the council will be involved in the approval of the plan. Tolsma said he’s apprehensive of moving it to the council level. He thinks it should be held at the administrative level for now.

a. Staff will give a status update on the structural concerns at Park Island Apartments. –

Williamson said this is ongoing. Tolsma said Park Island at this point has made improvements under one of the two permits. He said the most critical improvements necessary have not been made. Tolsma said the building permit for the critical repair has expired and Park Island now needs to come to the city to reapply for a new permit. He said when the permit is applied for it gives the building official the authority to gain access to the property. Tolsma said the building official wants to meet with the engineer that Park Island has hired in order to get the engineer’s written word that the repairs are okay according to their credentials. Beck said the owners are regressive and they have a lawyer on retainer. She thinks they’ll be able to resolve this but maybe not to the building official's satisfaction. She said there could be some personal animosity involved. Beck recommends she send them another letter as they haven’t responded to her first letter. Beck said she thinks we’ll probably get to where they want to get but it will take time. Tolsma said the city has decided to acknowledge Gorra’s structural engineer but the city wants to bring an engineer into this.

a. City Attorney Nancy Beck will discuss a fee ordinance. –
Beck said she pulled together the fee ordinance provisions she could find and put them in chapter order versus alphabetical. She said there are references to specific code sections. Williamson would like to see what the old fees were in order to double check this. She said it is pulling things together and reorganizing it. Williamson asked about a public hearing and publishing. Tolsma said the soonest will be second meeting in August before this comes to the council meeting. Beck suggests publishing a summary ordinance versus the entire ordinance.

Williamson said there should be some discussion about R-3 docks and capping the number and to reassure there is teeth in the ordinance granting first priority to residents. Beck wonders about the sign late fee. She said for permanent and temporary late fees are different.

5. ELECTRIC SHOCK DROWNING UPDATE – Hughes has an assignment and hands out a handout. He said there is website on the back. He said the LMCD heard a presentation. He said in the state of MN there have been four documented deaths. He is going to make a detailed report at the next Council meeting.

6. MISCELLANEOUS – Williamson said the updated crime reports are on the website. He said there has been a slight increase in robbery/burglary and the actual net effect isn’t that severe. Williamson said another complaint has been received regarding Lord Fletchers music. He understands the aggravation. He said standards have been set and compliance has been set. He said there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done to shield the noise as the affected complainant is in direct exposure to the noise. Hughes said he was at Lord Fletcher’s on Sunday and noticed they had a live band on the wharf. It was determine the live band was within the concert permit allowance.

a. Mound Fire Department News Release
b. August Channel 8 & 20 Schedules

Meeting adjourned 9:40 p.m.