November 2, 2015, Council Minutes

NOVEMBER 2, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Attendance: Various students from civil government class.
1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
2. ROLL CALL – Pavot, Hughes, Bren, Horton and Williamson.
3. INTRODUCTIONS – Williamson introduced the staff and council to the public. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin.
5. ADOPT AGENDA – Hughes makes a motion and Pavot seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Horton makes a motion and Bren seconds to adopt the consent agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes from October 19, 2015
b. City Council Work Session Minutes from October 26, 2015
7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
a. District 33 State Senator Dave Osmek –
Senator Osmek said this is an annual visit. He said he has twenty cities. Osmek said before the start of session he was promoted to the Energy and Environment committee in the Senate. He said he’s on the Economic Development and Transportation and Public Safety committees. He said a good part coming from the session is they did get a small city street fund. He said this is for cities smaller than 5000 and it’s not a lot but it will fix pot holes. He said Colton’s Law was passed regarding monitored release. Colton Gleason was a graduate of Orono High School and was assaulted by an unmonitored juvenile offender on release and Gleason subsequently died as a result of his injuries.

Osmek said tonight is the City’s opportunity to ask for assistance. Pavot asked about road construction and wonders about management of project completion and managing affected commutes. Osmek said this summer’s construction was one of the worst he has seen. He said some of it depends on when MnDot has the money and how they prioritize the construction. Williamson said it is dependent upon dollars available. He said sometimes what is being faced is something that has been delayed and it’s when the dollars flow is when the project happens. Hughes asked if Osmek knows how many of the County street lights have been switched to LED and Osmek said it’s a County project but he can check to see if those numbers are available. Williamson said Spring Park has minimal problems. He said what they’re interested in is predictability and stability in order to plan. He said changes to the plan and formulas make it difficult.
a. Resolution 15-20: Lake Minnetonka Emergency Operations Plan Update –
Williamson said these are minor changes and they’ve been discussed previously. Hughes moves to approve and Pavot seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
b. Resolution 15-21: Adoption of Assessment Deferral Policy –
Williamson said at issue is when a street improvement project is assessed to property owners who benefit from the project. He said Spring Park has various levels of housing values and there are many forms of financial need – some are retired and on fixed incomes. He said this allows those an opportunity to pay later. He said this policy has been drafted by the city attorney and is modeled after the City of Mound's policy. He said there is one issue regarding establishing hardship. He said a recent tax return is required and some other options. Tolsma said Beck’s thinking is three options, one using the standard Federal poverty guideline. Tolsma said in order to expand on this there are two more options, the 130% for nutritional supplement assistance, and the 150% minimum qualification for low income energy assistance program. He said in order to make this available to the widest group of people, the 150% would be the option to choose.

Williamson said he wants to be clear if it's the tax return and the 150% standard low income energy assistance requirement, or if it’s just the 150% option. He said providing income tax returns is sometimes difficult for some to turn over. Tolsma said some are eligible for certain programs but choose not to enroll. Williamson is wondering if this will be an "Either/Or" situation. Tolsma said it can be determined if they meet the Federal standard by looking at the adjusted gross income, they meet the standard for deferral. Hughes likes the idea of notarizing a document stated the tax return has been presented for examination and releasing the form back. Tolsma said as long as they can provide the documentation of meeting the Federal standard of poverty, that would suffice. Otherwise, if they have chose not to take part in the assistance program, they would have to provide a tax return. Hughes thinks there is some urgency here to decide in order to be ready for the assessment hearing. Pavot said examination of the tax return is all that is required where she volunteers, along with identification. Tolsma said under hardship determination most recent Federal tax return language could be added “…which shall not be retained by the City.”

Williamson said when deferring this, it doesn't mean it's waived, it’s deferred. He said an interest rate can be established one percent over the most recent bond issue or issuance of debt by the city. Williamson said the option is also available to pay this over time and it can also be paid upfront in one lump sum. Tolsma said the current assessment policy shows two percent over what can be bonded for. Williamson thinks in order to not complicate matters it might be better to keep it at the established policy of two percent. Tolsma said this could be different due to it being a deferral assessment. Pavot isn’t interested in a different rate. She feels the deferral is a benefit in itself. Williamson said this can be adopted now and any change can be made before the assessment hearing. Tolsma said any changed between now and then can be approved under the consent agenda.

Bren makes a motion to approve Resolution 15-21. Hughes seconds. Pavot suggests recommending adoption at the 150% standard. Bren agrees to the amendment and Hughes, the second, agrees. Tolsma asked about also including the language changed under the hardship determination and not retaining the tax return. Bren agrees to that amendment and Hughes also agrees. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. Mayor and Council – nothing.
b. City Administrator – nothing.
c. City Engineer -
d. City Planner -
e. City Attorney
f. Public Works Superintendent
a. November 10 – Administration Committee Meeting – 12:00 PM – changing to 2:30 PM
b. November 11 – LMCD – 7:00 PM – changed to November 4th at Mound City Hall.
c. November 11 – Planning Commission Meeting – 7:00 PM – this has been changed to Thursday November 12.
d. November 16 – Regular City Council Meeting – 7:30 PM
a. Bills & Payroll – Bren moves to pay the bills and Horton seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
15. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
16. Property Tax Comparison for Taxes Payable 2016 – Williamson said he has presumptions but doesn’t know for sure. Tolsma said if there are questions, he can go through it. He said there is an annual meeting with the city assessor and that’s where he got this information. Hughes said it is clear once it’s explained.
17. ADJOURNMENT – Hughes makes a motion and Bren seconds to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.

Wendy Lewin, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator