June 22, 2015, Work Session

JUNE 22, 2015 – 7:00 PM
Attendance: Williamson, Hughes, Bren, Horton, Pavot, Tolsma, Lewin, Beck

1. Sewer Back-up Status Update
a. The portion of sewer line where the obstruction was located is being jetted and televised today (Friday) so we will hopefully have a better idea of what caused the blockage by the time of the meeting on Monday. Additionally, staff will give the council a full status update regarding the claim process.
Tolsma said what’s in the packet is what he got from the insurance adjustor on Friday. He said one property owner not filing with their personal insurance is Spaeth as they were told their insurance would drop them if they filed a claim. Therefore, they are being paid outright. They will supply cleanup receipts. Tolsma said the others will have to go through the subrogation process by working with their insurance companies. Hughes asked why general liability instead of no-fault. Tolsma said in the no-fault sewer backup agreement there is language stating the city agrees to maintain sewer lines 3-5 years. Tolsma said the last time the line was maintained was 2003 so there has been no maintenance. Tolsma cautions the council that this probably won’t happen again. Williamson said what’s critical is why is the city paying for no-fault if they won’t cover it. Williamson is worried about increased rates due to this. Williamson said he’s been told televising of the lines has been done more frequent. He doesn’t feel the council has been accurately informed as to what’s being done. He feels the city has not been professionally served. Horton wonders if no-fault means it’s the city’s fault. Tolsma said it’s a no-fault of the city’s actions but, because it’s been determined there is fault, they will use general liability.

Horton said last year it backed up because of flooding. Williamson said that is correct. He said even if the city is entirely rebuilt, there will still be that problem because of overburdening the system. He said this is different. Williamson said Goman said when jetting the system by forcing water through a hose, they hit tree roots. Williamson said it’s an indicator that a router moved through the system, moving the mass and blocking the entire system.

Pavot said back flow preventers can run in the area of $800-1200 including installation costs. Hughes wonders where the check valve goes and Pavot said when excavation is done. Hughes wonders about requiring check valves on the sewer line on new builds. Williamson said he wants to pursue an incentive plan because of potential increased insurance rates for the city. Tolsma said in the city he lives there is a requirement for an I&I inspection at sale and problems have to be corrected. Hughes wonders about changes to existing sewer lines. Williamson thinks if there is a street project, it makes sense; however, he said it isn’t always the fix. He said things can sit in pipes and congeal creating another blockage problem. Hughes wonders about future development and thinks splitting the overloaded line should be considered. Bren is concerned about aging infrastructure first. If it isn’t replaced, deteriorating lines will continue to be a problem. Hughes would like to know, not counting last year, how many sewer backups have there been and where. Williamson said policy and capital investment needs to be examined. He thinks redevelopment needs to be looked at but he doesn’t anticipate a lot of that. Pavot said sewer line maintenance needs to be looked at first. She said according to the maintenance plan, those lines need to be brought up-to-date. Beck is concerned about incentives being offered and what to do with those residents who have already paid to have them installed. She is also concerned about those who do not chose to use the incentive plan, she wonders how effective it would be if only 20% of residents take advantage of the incentive plan and the others do not. Bren is concerned about the lack of compliance with city codes as it is. She said nothing ever happens so she wonders why anything should be done. She feels it’s a city that looks like it doesn’t care. Williamson wants to see an official maintenance log produced showing what sewer lines have been examined. He wants the history of sewer backups and modification of city code requiring sewer inspections. Beck said Tolsma could look to what Golden Valley does.

2. Met Council Population Estimate
a. Included for review is the letter drafted by City Planner Al Brixius in response to the most recent Met Council population forecast dated May 14 (also included).
Williamson said he’s been concerned about the numbers the Met Council provides annually; therefore Brixius was asked to conduct more research on this and came back with an increased count due to occupancy rates being boosted. Hughes wonders about snowbirds and short-term occupancy.

3. Strategic Planning Session Discussion
a. It has been discussed that the Council should conduct a strategic planning session in the near future to discuss some long-range planning goals of the City. Staff would like to discuss potential dates and times when this planning session can be held.
Williamson said he feels step-by-step processes need to be discussed. Williamson said Brimeyer put together a brainstorming session wherein input was taken, votes were taken, revotes and winnowing the list down to priorities and numbering the urgencies. Williamson is suggesting Brimeyer be brought back to conduct this process. Tolsma said he wants feedback from the council as to who to include and wonders about the Planning Commission and whether to do it on a Saturday or a weekday night. Hughes wonders about the update to the comprehensive plan. Williamson said the first steps start next year. Hughes suggests this before a main meeting like what the LMCD does. Williamson would like to include the planning commission but not necessarily at the same time. Williamson thinks Brimeyer should be consulted as to how to proceed with the plan. Tolsma thinks it’s important to mesh this with the budget process.

• Williamson wonders about the status of the drainage project and Tolsma said it’s essentially finished except for the final landscaping. He said it ties in with West Arm East coming up in the next month.
• Hughes wonders about safety at City Hall. Tolsma said he spoke with Correy Farniok about this and emergency management and coordinating schedules. He thinks the August work session is the soonest he can get to a work session.
• Williamson also wants to keep the discussion about protecting the property files alive.

a. Mound Fire Department News Release
b. LMCD Public Meeting Notice
c. July Channel 8 & 20 Schedules

Adjourned: 8:30 p.m.

Wendy Lewin, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator