May 27, 2014 Work Session

Reinhardt, Williamson, Hughes, Sippel, Bren, Qualle, Pearson, Beck, Tolsma, Lewin, Goman


    1. See attached staff memo. Paul Pearson will have documents for the council on Tuesday.

Reinhardt said this has been a problem, especially lately due to the rain.  Tolsma said this is complex and thought it’s better to just jump into this.  Pearson said research and background information is important.  He went back to old file documents and talked to Tolsma and Goman.  He brought some plans this evening, one dated to 1976 and it’s the east road and extension.  He said the 1976 plan shows an 18” culvert with draining coming from the west and under the railway tracks.  Pearson said there was aerial topography with no date but it does show the old McDonalds and the Blue Lagoon.  He said there is a drainage swale identified on the south side of the RR tracks. 

 Pearson then refers to a plan dated August 1990.  He said what is shown is a drainage basin at Kings Rd, West Arm Rd East, Lord Fletcher’s Apts.  He said this plan shows a catch basin that was added.  He said a pond was proposed that was about 10 feet deep.  This project never went through and it might have been because of the railroad tracks.  Pearson said the runoff from Warren Avenue is contributing to this.  Goman said there’s a drainage problem on both the north and south side of the trail.  Pearson said there was a cost estimate dated April 2005 for street construction costs for $75,000.  Reinhardt asked if there were drainage improvements factored.  Pearson said it shows pipes, about 150 feet, but it wasn’t factored into the costs.  Sippel said if the basin was talked about in 1990 and it wasn’t done, he wonders how it appeared.  Goman said it’s more of a natural basin.  Pearson said a plan goes along with a report of September, 1991.  A drainage area was identified but what’s interesting is the boundary goes down the center of the RR track.  It also shows expansion of the basin. Williamson said the O’flanagan property was developed as well as the bank property creating more hardcover surface. 

 Pearson said he printed off an aerial in order to identify contours.  He said they’ve been working on developing a concept plan.  Pearson identified breaks in drainage areas.  Pearson said drainage from this area is towards the trail.  The back of the Spring Park Auto, Blue Lagoon drains towards the RR tracks.  The mini storage site drains to the catch basin.  He said some of the water drains towards the trail but there is a box elder tree that blocks a lot of it. 

 Pearson said in developing a concept plan what was talked about is to attempt to mimic a design and stay away from buried fiber optic, work around parking stalls and develop proposed contours.  They would look at a basin and collect sediment and an infiltration bed similar to a rain garden that allows water to percolate through the soils.  Cost estimate of the analysis to excavate to sand and back fill with rock for percolation, perhaps there might be some grant money showing they’re infiltrating and removing phosphorous.  They would also use a backup of drain tile if it doesn’t infiltrate.  That’s called a filtration system as it filters through the rock and goes through the pipe (drain tile). Pearson said that’s acceptable to the watershed based on prior conversations.  Hughes wonders about sediment filling up on top of the rock.  Goman said it would have to be maintained.  Pearson said there’d be an outlet control structure having an 8” pipe entering the bottom of the structure and concept wise about five feet at about 937 there’d be a small diameter opening and that controls the runoff so there’s no more water and the pressure is maintained.  During high water situations there is a bar grate across a four foot manhole allowing a lot of water to discharge out.

 Pearson is always thinking about costs and minimizing costs.  He said what is being designed is not extravagant but something the watershed would expect.  Four options have been looked at, two for drainage.  It shows existing contours, elevations, additional storage on the north side of the trail.  It continues the drainage and routes it to the basin, underneath the road and trail.  There’d be a drain basin and drain tile.  He recommends the catch basin in order to drain water from the street to the catch basin.  He shows a sump on the catch basin and the watershed prefers.  It catches the larger particles and cleans it.  He said it’s relatively inexpensive to do.  That is option A.  The cost estimate is $209K, ballpark.  Williamson asks what is the biggest component of this.  Pearson said there is $70K worth of excavation and hauling material and the directional drilling is around $32K. Pearson said there could be some cost participation from the Watershed District.  Pearson said his instinct is the basin is a good thing.  Reinhardt asks about specific numbers for phosphorous reduction and Pearson said this could be supplied. 

 Option B:  Pearson said to create a ditch and a swale and clean up along the south side of the trail.  Develop a new swale in the right of way.  In front of the Blue Lagoon there isn’t really a lot of room and it’s in the right of way.  It picks up the water to the catch basin north of the mini storage and across Kings Rd and into the drainage. The catch basin is slightly different but it adds the drainage from the north side.  Pearson said the drainage from the north side is very small.  The road would be directional drilled due to the traffic.  Cost $226K. 

 Option C adds street improvements for extending curb and gutter from the trail crossing to the north west and follows the design developed in 2005.  There is a turnaround area but fire trucks cannot make this maneuver.  The drainage would be pitched back towards the drainage area.  Cost is broken out according to drainage option A or B.  He said there are no sanitary or water cost estimates factored into these estimates. Option C adds in a section of storm sewer. 

Option D has erosion problems on the east and would extend curb from the north side of Warren Avenue to the trail.  There’d be a flume or swale to the catch basin.  It is the same as Option C except for the addition of the curb on the one side. 

 Reinhardt thanks Pearson for his efforts and presentation.  Hughes asked about the difference when doing the street and the cost to existing residents.  He wonders if some of the businesses should have some cost-bearing responsibility.  Reinhardt said she looked at the city’s assessment policy and it is based upon specific projects so it’s very vague.  Reinhardt said most residents that came to the previous meeting were private road residents.  She said the other residents are fearful of high costs.  Williamson said there is about a $150K spread and 25% of the difference is fractions. 


Next steps:  Reinhardt said the resident meeting was a perception of a quick, easy fix of drilling under the road to the retention plan and it’s done.  She wonders if it’s combined with a road project, this would take longer.  Sippel thinks the road project needs to be separated from the drainage issue.  Reinhardt thinks the next step is perhaps a refined plan and an open house type forum for questions and concerns.  Sippel is concerned about when to involve the Rail Authority for the right-of-way.  He thinks it should be done sooner rather than later.  Sippel said we need to find out if there is permission to use right-of-way.  Hughes thinks this should be socialized with the watershed too and at the same time.  Reinhardt thinks a couple of date options should be pulled together for an open house.  Williamson thinks the Watershed should be consulted too in order to find out where they’re at with this. Pearson said he could begin to look and explore timelines for Option B and D. 


    1. Scott Qualle will be in attendance to discuss the next steps in pursuing a rental ordinance.

Reinhardt said staff is looking for further clarification. Qualle said the important question is if this is the way the city wants to go.  He said there is expense and time involved.  Qualle said he is concerned about an incremental approach to rental licensing.  He said if they start low key, there will always be a higher standard and landlords find that to be a hard pill to swallow.  Hughes said he’s still in favor of this but from a priority standpoint, he thinks the city has more pressing issues.  He recalls his last motion being to send this back to the planning commission for more input.  He also recalls the code as setting the standard.  He wonders about approving the property maintenance code and thinks that might be enough teeth for enforcement.  Qualle remembers it being approved but not sure about who to direct this to. 

 Williamson said he doesn’t think there’s a clear yes or no.  He asks what is the problem we’re trying to solve.  Immediate safety is the obvious and it’s appealing.  Williamson is worried about adding cost burdens to people that might be wanting to rent out a room for financial reasons.  He doesn’t think it should be given to the PC without more direction.  He said the goals need to be clear. 

 Sippel said he’s conflicted.  Based upon the rental percentage in SP, it probably should be looked at closer.  He also believes intent and goals need to be determined.  Sippel would like to see bare minimum, middle of the road, over-the-top examples.  Sippel thinks the facility should be taken into consideration.  A rental ordinance for an apartment complex versus someone renting out a room should be different. 

 Reinhardt agrees that this might not be the right time to discuss this.  She’s not even sure how many complaints and of what nature the city staff receives right now.  Williamson said this should go on a pending projects list and resurface again.  Qualle said inspection costs will most likely not be in the $250 range, he thinks more around the $60-75 range that is bi-annual.  Reinhardt suggests this be put on the study session agenda in six to nine months from now.  Tolsma suggests it be put off until after the election. Hughes wonders about adopting the property maintenance code so at least there is something on the books.  Qualle said they could consider this and it could be dealt with on a complaint basis.  Beck said when nuisance questions come up, a set of standards would define this.  Reinhardt wonders if it’s adopted as a whole or if it’s cherry picked for specifics.  Qualle said chapter three is the general requirements.  He said it isn’t really that comprehensive.  Reinhardt wonders if there is an ad hoc group that wants to look at this now.  Hughes thinks with upcoming projects this isn’t the time right now.  Sippel would like to see a few bullet points and summarized concepts.  Minimal is fire safety, maximum is everything and somewhere in between is probably best.


    1. See attached water rate comparison spread sheet.

Sippel said he thinks the city’s rates are competitive.  He wonders how Wayzata does it.  Tolsma said some cities have a base rate.  Sippel asked about apartments even though there is only one hook up, they are charged according to the units.  Williamson said it used to be where the first 5,000 gallons were included in the base rate and that is no longer the case.  He said this increased the apartments water costs by a lot.  Sippel asks for the number of units. Hughes wonders about other charges attached to their water rates and what are they.


    1. See attached LMCD memo & draft budget.

Hughes said Tolsma is invited to a meeting.  Williamson said he’s always been happy with the LMCD’s budget.  Hughes encourages the council to look at the summary.  He said the only thing new is the contract viewing.  He said the third item is the leasing and storage space savings.  Everyone is in agreement that a rubber stamp saying “sold” is warranted due to the very minimum increase. 


 Meeting adjourned at 9:36