June 23, 2014 Work Session

Present: Reinhardt, Williamson, Hughes, Bren, Sippel, Pearson, Tolsma, Lewin, Catherine and Gerald Palen, Jared Jones of MFRA.


    1. See staff memo.

Reinhardt believes a feasibility report needs to be done and Tolsma agrees that there is a process. He said there are essentially two public hearings that would have to be held if there’s going to be a special assessment needed.  Reinhardt said by ordering the feasibility, it doesn’t mean there’s going to be a road project, it’s just taking the next step.  Pearson said it can be a two or three page document and it isn’t as detailed as a plans and specs.  Pearson claims it’s almost already done and can be done quickly.  Hughes wonders what's the next step after feasibility.  Tolsma said there’s a public hearing in a couple of weeks so residents can comment (July 21st) then there’s the assessment hearing which is closer to the completion of the project.  Reinhardt felt the residents most vocal about the road project were the private road residents.  Sippel feels because they’re representative government, he’s supportive of a road project no matter what.  He said he would rather fast track option one and combine east and central and do a road project together, next year.   Reinhardt said there is merit but she thinks they are very different and on the east side there’s infrastructure, easements that might need to be gained and the assessments might be different.  She believes even if they’re done at the same time, she thinks they should be separate.  Sippel thinks it should be spread evenly no matter what.  Reinhardt disagrees but thinks it’s a discussion to have.  Sippel said he believes fixing the flooding is option one and needs to be done.  Hughes said he’s driven the east side and he hasn’t seen the quantity coming on the east side like he’s seen on the central portion.  He said he didn’t notice any runoff on Palen's property.  He admits to not being there during a downpour but he thinks these projects are different.  Reinhardt said with the east side it seems more complicated in terms of the road.  She said it’s difficult for her to separate her desires from a resident and the mayor.  She said she’s never seen such a swell towards a road project and she’s concerned that if this delays, the desire will go away.  She thinks the feasibility should be ordered for central.  Sippel said when looking at the proposed schedule and finishing this year, that only happens when the weather cooperates.  He said if they don’t have to go through the feasibility, they could skip to design and specs.  Reinhardt said the feasibility could be ordered for the road but jump to the drainage part and move forward with that.  Hughes thinks east will be more complex and he feels that’s a next year project.  Sippel is saying essentially the same in saying he wants to wait on a road project for both central and east. 


Pearson said the border for the right-of-way does traverse the pavement but there is a ten foot easement on the south side that the city has acquired. Pearson said there is adequate easement for the central portion.  Pearson said for the east side there would be required easements for that roadway and also for the drainage to the lake.  Sippel wondered about easements on either side of Kings Rd.  Pearson said they’ve attempted to contact the RR Authority and there are no call backs.  Reinhardt said she’ll call the commissioner.   Williamson asked about the proposed feasibility and wonders what it is for.  Reinhardt said the feasibility is required for the road project, not the drainage.  Pearson said he can summarize both.  Sippel makes a motion to authorize the feasibility for west arm central and order plans and specs for the drainage project. Reinhardt seconds the motion.  Hughes wonders for plans and specs when those would be complete.  Pearson said they look for a 30 day window.  Sippel adds to that because there is no meeting next week, it would be two weeks between now and then so that put this ahead.  Reinhardt said the original time was July 7th so that gives staff a head start for the drainage.  Goman said he spoke with Widmer Brothers about generalities and time frames and Goman was told no contractor would be able to get in any time soon because of weather delays.  He said every advantage that can be used to speed this along will help. All ayes, motion carries.


    1. See staff memo.

West Arm East – Pearson has a windshield study. Pearson said it might be helpful to spread materials on a table to show what’s been discovered.  Pearson thanks Goman and Tolsma for going through the files.  He said in 1998 there was a plan done for the overlay work.   The survey work shows proposed contours and this was helpful information.  He said they also have an aerial GIS map and water main docs from 1963 showing a six inch cast iron pipe.  He said the sewer and water is about 50 years old.  Pearson said there’s a televised report from 2003 of the sanitary sewer.  He said as far as the two lengths of pipe there were mineral deposits and a radial crack.  Goman said there would be another televised event because of this project and because of the infiltration due to the immense rain.  Goman said there’s been two water main breaks and three service line breaks from the main to a house.  Sippel said the sanitary was sagging and dipping on Channel Road and wonders if the same thing is happening here and Goman said yes.  Pearson said Infratech can provide evaluations of what needs to be done.  Goman said they don’t televise the water, just the sewer.  Pearson said the break history is a good gauge.  Goman said both have to be done at the same time.  Sippel wonders about the Channel Road lift station and because of the road project, was it better.  Goman said they did see an increase but it’s because of the rain.  Williamson said without an exact measurement, it’s hard to determine infiltration.   He said they don’t know how many sump pumps dump into it.  The street condition survey is going to be completed by early next week at the latest for the entire city according to Goman.  The condition survey on 2007 had an 82 rating with 100 being the best.  He said over time, it’s deteriorated.  Sippel said the ranking was based on the road surface and didn’t assess the utilities underneath.  Goman said as part of the survey one of the criteria is the drainage. 


Pearson said he went to the site using a map for the area for the ditch to the lake and using a 20 foot street width standard. If holding the south curb line and not shifting further to the south, there’d be an easement required of the first resident east of LF Apartments and LF Apartments in order to have a 20 foot road.  Palen asked about easements on the south side and Pearson said it’s not desirable because of the steep incline.  Williamson asked if there was any extra available to take and Goman said no.  Pearson said there might be a foot or so.  Williamson wonders if the easements involved include sewer and water.  Goman said those easements have been secured.  Pearson said for the lift station project the easement is in place and has been verified.  Sippel said they are suggesting that to avoid building a retaining wall due to expense but, he wonders what would happen if they did go towards the south. Goman said an easement would have to be gained from Hennepin County.  Sippel is wondering about erosion control on the trail side and thinks it might be necessary for retention.  Williamson wonders about retaining the entire area and Goman confirmed.  Goman said there would also need to be drain tile and a barrier in that area.   


Pearson said the findings are it’s feasible if residents and the rail authority would be willing to provide easements. He said there seems to be an interest in the project and it might be necessary to find out their dedication to the project. Palen said the easement would widen the road but some would be losing part of their property.  Tolsma said those at the end of east don’t have much to give.  He said an option might be to transition to an 18 foot width in that area.  Pearson wonders about survey work being done to verify and the only risk is if the project doesn’t move forward.  He said it won’t be wasted though because in the future there would be overlays.   Pearson said the good news is that there has been some soil correction previously done.  Pearson said if the council ordered a feasibility there is a need to estimate cost for the notification so they did do a ballpark estimate following the same format for central.  Pearson said there isn’t a contingency included but the site and erosion control $30K, the street work 91K, sanitary sewer (assuming replacement) 68K, water main 81K, and an option for a five foot blvd for snow storage.  Hughes asked what type of construction easements are required and what does it entail.  Pearson said if improvements are made, temporary construction easements to allow excavation and matching transition from yards to curb line.  Retaining wall (not including fence) $28,3K.  Storm sewer from catch basin and install a storm scepter, 24 inch pipe, tree removal, pipe extension, 57K under the road and to the lake.     With a 10 percent contingency it brings it close to 400K and this is just construction costs.  Grading would be 120K and retaining wall would be 150K.  Preliminary report costs based on construction costs and that number is about 3%.  $10-12K and it doesn’t include survey work.  He said there would be another 3-4K for topographical surveys. 


Reinhardt said this will take a little longer than previous. Pearson agreed, this is more complicated. Reinhardt said knowing central's timeline, this is the first step of a potential project.  She said it doesn’t mean they are going to do the project.  She said there are several jump off points.  Williamson said once survey stakes are noticed, that incites the residents to believe a project is going forward.  Reinhardt said it would be important to send a letter to residents to inform them that this is just part of the study being performed. Williamson makes a motion to authorizing the survey work including televising and once it’s done it’s in the file. Hughes seconds. Williamson said the estimated figures are about 6-7K for this.  Reinhardt wonders what is the benefit from not authorizing the feasibility.  Pearson said the televising might give a sense to an alternative to replacement and money saved.  Reinhardt said if they’re ultimately going to authorize feasibility, she wonders why piecemeal this out.  Williamson thinks by taking this in sections, more refinement can be done.  Sippel said this potential project has enough issues knowing this is going to happen next year.  He doesn’t want Pearson distracted from the priority project.  Bren said she walked with the engineer while the windshield survey was being conducted.  She believes it needs to be corrected and the longer this is put off, the worse it gets.  She also sees a need for retention as she worries about mudslides along there.  Bren agrees to going directly to a feasibility and she acknowledges it won’t happen until next year but it will be ready to go. Bren is concerned that this is an election year and things could change with newly elected members.  Hughes trusts Pearson and would like Pearson to work on the central part.  He is concerned that there might be unexpected revelations during the survey that might alter the project.  Pearson said with the ditch going to the lake, there was some survey work previously done.  He said they know there is no easement through that area.  He thinks it might be wise to evaluate and determine the ditch swale and they can use the immediate east side property owners survey for the recent fence installation. Four votes ayes, one vote nay (Sippel). Reinhardt said she is going to make a new motion to authorize staff to continue the process and do a feasibility report for West Arm Rd East and keep the council updated with the survey and televising. Sippel seconds with an amendment that it’s clear that the feasibility is third priority.  Reinhardt accepts that as a friendly amendment.  Motion passes unanimously on roll call vote. 



See attached proposal from MFRA. Additionally, Jared Jones of MFRA will be in attendance to discuss the new MS4 requirements with the Council


Reinhardt said the next item is the MS4 permit. Pearson introduces Jared Jones from their office.  Pearson said the permit process has already been started.  He said he’ll share some data for review.  Pearson said there is an actual copy of the permit.  He said he’s highlighted the effective dates.  This is a mandate.  He said there are schedules for application for SWPPP and Spring Park had 120 days for the reauthorization.  Pearson said the first part has been completed.  The city has received a document for reauthorization saying the city is in compliance.  Pearson said there are some shortfalls however.  Pearson said MFRA will review and provide recommendations to come into compliance.  Sippel asked if this is an unfunded mandate and Goman said yes.  He wonders what would happen if the City did not complete the update.  Pearson said they haven’t asked the MPCA that question.  Pearson said another city didn’t get their annual report by the deadline.  That city received a letter saying if they missed their deadline fines could be assessed. Pearson said that’s what could happen.  Sippel wonders if this is just updating documentation or does it put the city on the hook for projects.  Goman said it’s updating but it’s increasing the database for GIS rain gardens and it’s public related, not private.  Williamson asked if this will require updating the ordinances and Goman said there is the potential for that.  Pearson said the state has mandated this already and identified the shortcomings.  Pearson said cities typically have development agreements and the MPCA wants stronger requirements.  


Pearson said a proposal has been drafted along with estimates for providing the requirements. He said staff could also provide some of this material. The SWPPP document is a good document but needs to be updated.  The local water mgmt plan would be reviewed and determine what needs to be updated.  The MS4 Permit would be reviewed for compliance.  Pearson said in reviewing the city storm sewer inventory and map, and a lot of work has already been performed.  He said updates need to be identified.  Pearson doesn’t think there will be any changes to the pond inventory but pond coordinates need to be identified as well as review and update the city’s website.  Pearson said this has to do with educational information posted.  For reviewing citizen input they put together a spreadsheet to track.  Pearson said an illicit discharge ordinance was developed about a year and a half ago so that is probably what would be reviewed. 


Jared said there a few things that didn’t quite line up. For assessing project review it would be to look at city ordinance and review pollution prevention and housekeeping and there are recommended guidelines to follow.  Williamson questions the estimated budgeted times and thinks they are too comprehensive.  Pearson said this is due on February 20, 2015 so there is time to accomplish this and staff can assist.  Williamson said this can be leverage to hold up other applications if the city doesn’t comply with this.  Sippel said some of this is over-the-top ludicrous so maybe we show progress but don’t totally commit to everything.  Williamson said sometimes where the money comes from matters and in this case this will come out of the operating budget and can affect property taxes.



Reinhardt thanks Pearson for this update and recommends taking official action at a council meeting. Williamson knows this is going to have to be done and would like to take action.  Williamson moves to approve the work proposed for the MS4 Permit requirements. Reinhardt seconds.  Four  ayes (Sippel abstained), motion passes.




  • Hughes said he learned some things after the open meeting about how sewage flows and he thinks it might be beneficial for Goman to explain this to everyone.
  • Goman said he has spoke about purchasing a dewatering pump and a replacement pump and a larger sized pump to accommodate rainwater or a sewer bypass. He said this could be about 32K on the high end down to 12K. He’s looking for some feedback on this. Goman said this would be a combination of streets and road but could be sewage. Williamson is concerned about where this comes from and wants to use existing reserves. Goman said the PIR fund would be the first place to take it. He said there might be federal money. The city is eligible for a 75/25 split.       Williamson said if that’s the case, it should be authorized. Tolsma said a lot has been learned these last few weeks and he said they wouldn’t let it get to this point again. Goman said he can come before the council with a formal request.       Tolsma said what will be key is if they are able to get the 75% coverage. Goman said he has three proposals and Reinhardt recommends something be written up for the July 7th meeting. Sippel suggests not skimping and asking for more next year.


Meeting adjourned at 9:40 pm.



                                                                                                Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator