September 8, 2015, Council Minutes

SEPTEMBER 8, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Attendance: Catherine Palen, Richard McCollum, Barbara Ward,
1. CALL TO ORDER - Mayor Williamson calls the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
2. ROLL CALL - Hughes, Bren, Horton, Williamson. Pavot excused.
3. INTRODUCTIONS - Williamson introduces the council and staff to the public. Administrator Tolsma, City Clerk Lewin and Engineer Pearson.
5. ADOPT AGENDA – Hughes makes a motion and Horton seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Williamson said he has corrections to the August 24th minutes. Williamson makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adopt the consent agenda with the noted changes. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes from August 17, 2015
b. City Council Work Session Minutes from August 24, 2015
• Richard McCullum, 4372 West Arm Rd. McCullum said about a week ago the neighborhood got word that the drainage to the lake from the collection basins was not going to happen due to Lord Fletcher’s owner non cooperation. He said with major projects such as what is going on on West Arm Road East, the water load is going to go up. He said as the trees continue to grow, less and less water is going to flow. He said he's the only one who opens up the flow when it bottlenecks up. He said the recent rain flooded the area and pumps had to be brought in even though this wasn’t a heavy rainfall. McCullum said he thinks the water load will triple from the holding pond and the new road being four feet wider. He feels this will be an unsatisfactory resolution in the end. McCullum believes it’s time to force the issue with Lord Fletcher’s owner.
• Catherine Palen, 4352 West Arm Rd and she agrees with McCullum. She said the catch basin is beautiful and there is more water from WAC going to the catch basin. She fears more problems after all of the effort being put into the new street. She said they are still lower than the trail and rain runoff if visible. Palen said the erosion of the road doesn’t allow them to grow grass.
• Barbara Ward 4364 West Arm Road. She is concerned about the drainage into the lake if it’s not corrected. She said the road heaves and sinks and cracks and a little patch is put on it. She is concerned about building a new road and not having this solved. She said this was a big part of what they voted on when they agreed to the road. She wants this reconsidered.

Paul Pearson, city engineer says in his opinion it might be best until the engineer’s report and he can give an update at that time and he will cover the concerns.

a. Mayor and Council –
• Williamson said he’s had a number of conversations with residents lately, some concerned with lack of restoration after road work.
• Hughes said he received an email from the director of the LMCD, Greg Nybeck. He said it will be necessary to call the LMCD if there are questions. There is a proposal for commercial sales on the lake and they are requesting the ordinance be amended to allow sales on the lake besides watercraft for hire.
b. City Administrator – nothing.
c. City Engineer –
Pearson referred to a diagram displayed on the overhead. Pearson said they expected 60 days to complete the project. He said Northwest Asphalt has been working diligently. He said the water main has been installed to about 100 feet from the lift station. He said they discovered a pocket of wet soils so they consulted a soil engineer. Pearson said the water services will be installed tomorrow and when the hydrant is installed a pressure test can be performed. Pearson said all the water main improvements should be completed by the end of this week.

Pearson said the grading of the roadway and install of the rock material will take place next and the curb will be in about two weeks. He said they have to go with the weather. Pearson said he feels the contractor has been diligent, they are on schedule with the improvements and they have not shut down for rain days. Pearson said storm sewer has been stubbed and does pick up water from the cross culvert and the newly constructed pond. He said the concern that he is picking up on from the residents is the culvert fills up with water and overflows into the ditch. He said it’s not a free flow condition. He said when storm water builds up in the pond, it can drain through the area but the existing ground will cause some ponding. He said in their opinion it will not flood in the street area. He said if it freezes in the winter there could be some problems.

Hughes asked if the anticipated finish date puts it around October 17th. Pearson said the contractor feels they might not need the entire 60 days. Hughes asked what percentage of the work is completed at this point. Pearson said about half. Hughes asked if they compared the previous drainage and how much more runoff will be going through there, and he wonders about a percentage increase in the water runoff. Pearson said the rate of runoff, which is considered flow, has decreased. He said with the volume that runs through, even though the rate decreases, there is more water draining through. He said they are concerned about the rate of runoff as that affects erosion. However, with volume, that means the water will drain for a longer duration.

Horton asked about the road and she wonders if there will be enough material to consider potential sinking and cracking. She also wonders which way the road will tilt when it’s finished. Pearson said the soil is clay and there will be frost heaves. He said with construction of the roadway a geo fabric is placed on the roadway and then the base and finally the bituminous. He said the fabric distributes the load so if there is a frost heave, it’s done uniformly. Pearson said the water will drain towards the south side of the road and drain it to the catch basin and drain to the ditch. Horton wonders about opening up that swale to the lake and Pearson said they looked at a couple of options, one being a swale and the other being a pipe. The preference was a pipe but an open swale would work too.

Williamson said he recalls cleaning out the trees and brush too. He said this required an agreement with the property owner as the city does not own the property. Williamson said on the pipes there was discussion about installing a catch basin type product at the lake but would require an agreement for access to it. Williamson said the frustration is the property owner will not agree and therefore limits the options. Tolsma said there is frustration all around on this. He can try and reach out to this person again but he doesn’t hold out much hope on a change. Hughes asked about the “handshake agreement.” Tolsma said there wasn’t a handshake but consensus was reached, all in favor of the property owner but, State statute states money can’t just be doled out to a satisfy someone’s desire for personal gain. Williamson said there was hope reason would prevail but to the contrary the property owner would not allow it.

Williamson asked if there have been any surprises. Pearson said there is one item that has come up and that has to do with the install of the water main. He said there is an existing jacking with existing valves in the roadway area. He said the gate valves could not be shut off completely so another gate valve was installed on the north side and the cost was about $5K. He said additional aggregate was factored for this project but some wet soils were discovered. He said because of this, the rock section may be increased and they may use a more free draining type of rock versus the class five. He said this is currently under evaluation in order to decide what to do. But, Pearson said because the storm sewer was not extended, it reduced the cost significantly. He said overall cost has gone down even including the additional gate valve cost.

Williamson asked if the improvement along the apartment is not made and the pooling occurs, he wonders about the impact on the other residents. Pearson said in his opinion, it will not be worse because the north side of the road is tilted higher so it shouldn’t drain into the driveways of the residents. Williamson asked if there was permission to do cleanup in that area and he wonders if it was a one-time thing. He wonders if that could be made available, if necessary. Tolsma said he doesn’t think that would be an issue. He said the city has a good relationship with the property manager and property maintenance person. He said there is a history of cooperation with them. Tolsma said the city attorney has stated certain instances would warrant mitigation measures.

Bren said she is not happy with this. She feels it should be done right the first time. She feels there has to be some way that this can be resolved. She wonders if there is any other way to get this to drain to the lake. She thinks a meeting needs to take place with the owner. Hughes agrees with Bren. He wonders if the Watershed District would lend some support for this. He said there are grants for this sort of thing and maybe something could be worked out. Tolsma said when the plan was developed and the Watershed was consulted, the preference was what is being pursued now. Bren would hope that an agreement can be reached to periodically clean out the accumulated sediment in the ditch. Williamson said there are different opinions and different regimes that serve and things change.

Catherine Palen addressed Bren regarding the Watershed District cleaning out the swale and plant plantings to collect the water and clean it out and they were happy with the choice. She said snow plowing measures have deposited sand, salt and other debris into the swale. She thinks the Watershed should be aware of what is in the swale. She said this needs to be worked together on. Palen points out where rain runoff exits to the lake and she asks Pearson if rain still runs off in the wrong places, what will the remedy be. She thinks soil correction needs to take place. She said there is clay and then sand forms a balloon of water. She is concerned that soil correction might need to take place in other places. Pearson said regarding the drainage of the roadway it will tip towards the south to the collection area. He said there still will be drainage on the north side of the road but the road cannot be lowered enough due to the elevation of the water in the lake and the outlet of the pipe. Pearson said typical runoff should drain the way it was designed. He said frost heaves will be continually evaluated. McCullum said in the swale is a massive willow tree and it blocks the swale. He said runoff leaks through the willow tree. He is also concerned about infringement of the willow tree onto his property as it is heaving his sidewalk and now encroaching close to his house.

Williamson asked Pearson, even if the easement was gained, how practical is it to deal with this now or what happens if the project is concluded without it but they still work towards it. Pearson said either cleaning the ditch or extending the storm pipe the contract and price has been previously factored so a change order could happen. He said a storm scepter unit was going to filter some of the water before discharging to the lake but it could be problematic because of the depth. He said the ditch option could be done at any time, either now or in the future. Williamson said it sounds like no door is closed.

Horton said McCullum is concerned about water standing in an area all the time and she wonders if it could be adjusted to drain better. Pearson said he pondered other alternatives. He said if the ditch was lowered a foot, it would allow for drainage. He said there would be maintenance required and they have the means to clean it but lowering the swale by a foot would be a significant difference.

Barbara Ward is curious about the details for the negotiations that the property managers were amenable to but the owner was not. Tolsma said the contention was the ten foot off the property line. He said the other big point was to create additional parking space over the storm sewer. He said the city was not necessarily in favor of this but in hopes of gaining the easement it was agreed that parking could take place on top of the drainage pipe. Ward wonders if Puzak could be consulted and asked what it would take. Palen said Bren mentioned bringing in others. She said Tolsma has worked hard on this but Puzak should be invited to meet with the council. She feels this should be attempted once again.

Pearson said regarding the pond north of city hall, it has standing water and they are working with the contractor to pump down the pond and cleanout sediment and complete the punch list items. He said this will be completed this fall. He said the pond system is designed to be a dry system. There is a layer of fabric over the rock but it is temporarily plugged. His advice is to wait until the construction to the water treatment plant if finished and they then take off the fabric and let it flow, sometime next spring.

Williamson asked if Pearson is involved in the water treatment plant. Pearson said another firm is handling it but there are some other improvements that have been suggested and they will be working on this.
d. City Attorney
e. Public Works Superintendent
12. UPCOMING MEETINGS & TRAINING – Hughes asked about Admin Committee. Williamson said Tuesday, September 15 at noon.
a. September 9 – Police Commission Meeting – 8:00 AM
b. September 9 – Planning Commission Meeting – 7:00 PM
c. September 9 – LMCD – 7:00 PM
d. September 21 – Regular Council Meeting – 7:30 PM
a. Expand Finance Committee to Include Personnel –
Williamson said this is to take the finance committee and look at budget impacts, for instance medical insurance change for staff and the other the potential retirement of Lewin as City Clerk. He said Pavot holds a master degree in Industrial/Organizational management and since Pavot serves on the finance committee it was suggested to add the personnel function. Williamson makes the motion to expand the finance committee to include personnel issues. Horton seconds. Hughes said his expectation would be to come up with an updated evaluation process for all staff. All votes ayes, motion carries.
b. Bills & Payroll – Hughes moves to pay the bills and Horton seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries. Hughes wants to invest in a wireless microphone for speakers at the meetings and Williamson agrees. He said the Cable Commission is thinking about establishing a fund in order to update some of the technology and this might be good timing. Hughes makes a motion and Bren seconds to investigate a wireless microphone. All votes ayes, motion carries.
15. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
a. LMCD Public Meeting Notice
b. July Financial Report – Williamson said the city is in good shape. He said the challenge will be liquid money and investment.
c. Tolsma said as an information item a press release was put before the council this evening. He said that’s the only information he has. Bren asked what testing was affected and Tolsma said he doesn’t know. He said they’ll be following up with this.
16. ADJOURNMENT – Horton makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adjourn the meeting at 9:27 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.

Wendy Lewin, City Clerk
Dan Tolsma, City Administrator