July 21, 2014 Council Meeting






JULY 21, 2014 – 7:30 PM


Attendance:  John Samuelson, Marilyn Ronnkvist, Edward & Shawn Tripet, Joanna Widmer, Jackie Valek, Dion Yanish, Susie Valek, Adrienne Reuss, Mark Reinhardt.

  1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Reinhardt called the public hearing to order at 7:30 p.m.
  2. ROLL CALL – Sippel, Williamson, Bren, Reinhardt.       Hughes excused.
  3. INTRODUCTIONS – Reinhardt introduced the council and staff to the public. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Engineer Pearson, Attorney Beck.
  5. ADOPT AGENDA – Williamson makes a motion and Sippel seconded to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Sippel makes a motion and Bren seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
    1. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes From July 7, 2014
    2. Administration Committee Minutes From July 9, 2014
    3. Planning Commission Minutes From July 9, 2014
  7. PUBLIC FORUM - No one.
    1. Tour de Tonka Special Event Application –

Tim Litfin, event director, said this is a bike ride coming through Spring Park on August 2nd.  A short video was shown.  Litfin said they have received the City’s conditions and are in agreement.  Litfin demonstrated some signage they will be displaying on the trail.  He also had some demographic/statistical information regarding the participants/event.  Reinhardt said she appreciates their willingness to work with the City.  She said they are monitoring this and there is concern about this becoming too large of an event.  Bren makes a motion to approve and Williamson seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries.

    1. Running of the Bays Special Event Application –

Tolsma said this is the first year. He said there will be a half marathon and a 5K and both will be in Spring Park for some part of the race.  Lisa said it’s scheduled for Saturday, September 6th.  She said it’s on the Dakota and Luce Line trails.  They enter Spring Park by Lord Fletcher’s restaurant and get on the trail at Sunset Drive.  Williamson asked about the longer element of the race.  Lisa said it starts at Grandview Middle School, goes north out of town, to the Luce Line and back to the Dakota Trail.  Reinhardt asked if staff has given them a list of conditions and Lisa replied yes and they are in agreement.  John Samuelson, 4484 West Arm Rd, wonders if there is a safety issue.  Reinhardt said this is a running event not a bike event.  Reinhardt said one of the conditions is having traffic assistance.  Williamson moves approval.  Sippel seconds.  Williamson said in the last couple of years there have been issues and the critical issue is managing the traffic and the safety.  All votes ayes, motion carries.

    1. West Arm Central Street Improvement –

Reinhardt said she wants to state on public record that she is a property owner on West Arm Road and she would be impacted on this.  She said she consulted with the city attorney about the potential conflict of interest and whether it was appropriate for her to participate in the discussion and vote on the matter, and the city attorney advised that it was her opinion that the Mayor could participate and vote. Beck said the City has a conflict of interest policy and if there is a potential for personal interest involved in a decision, it must be examined.  Beck said in the case where a council member owns a piece of property there are two ends of the spectrum.  On one end is a zoning decision where the decision has broad effect, not personal to the council member and the council member can vote on the matter.  On the other side, is a matter such as a variance application, where is a clear personal interest of the council member in the decision, it is clear cut that the council member cannot participate or vote.  Beck said this situation is in the middle, more of a gray area than black or white, and it must be evaluated.  There is case law on the matter.  Beck said one question is whether the affected council member’s property being treated differently than others and the answer is no, everyone is being treated the same.  Beck said another question is does the affected council member have a personal financial interest in the matter. Here there would be an assessment and the cost and benefit are supposed to be at least equal; the property owners would be paying for the benefit to their property so there is not a financial benefit. Has the council member used their position to influence the result?  No, in this case the mayor has made an effort not to do so. Is it a matter involving an appeal? Beck said that isn’t the case here.  She said another question is whether there is an opportunity for  judicial review of the decision. There is an appeal process for review here.  She said there are several court cases and the closest is case involving a watershed district member voting on a watershed improvement affecting their property and it was found that the member could participate in the decision.  Based on all of these factors, Beck said she thought it was appropriate for Reinhardt to participate if she feels she is able to put aside her personal interest and act in her position as mayor.

        1. Feasibility Study –

          Reinhardt asked residents to hold their comments until the public hearing. Reinhardt said at that time she will read guidelines for public hearing conduct.


          Paul Pearson, city engineer referred to a map that is displayed. Pearson said the purpose of the feasibility report is to present the proposed infrastructure project for West Arm Central. He said the roadway is approximately 470 feet in length. He said there has been resident input about the drainage and the width of the road. He said the drawing on the screen was prepared in 2005.   Pearson said they are working within the existing easement area. The proposed improvement is a 20 foot wide road with curb and gutter on each side and it ends at the west end of the public right of way. Pearson said the storm water runoff has been accumulating in a low area south of the road, and the City of Spring Park has been furnishing a pump to pump water from the depression, southerly over the trail and draining towards the east. He said the roadway was examined in a street condition study completed in 2007 and there is a method followed and the condition rating for this section of the street was a number 62 which ranked it as the 6th poorest condition street in the city. The road study was recently updated and the condition remains at 62 but it now ranks as the 9th as the poorest street. Pearson said the typical asphalt service life is 20 years based on soil conditions and the amount of traffic. He said the age of the road is reaching that end. Pearson said there was a neighborhood meeting held on June 19th to discuss the road improvement and a drainage project as well. Pearson explained drainage will be improved by expanding the retention area on Warren Avenue, it will go under Kings Road to the retention area north of West Arm Rd. He said if the project movesforward tonight, bids will be received on August 26th and the council will evaluate the bids at the first meeting in September.


          Pearson also discussed the West Arm Rd improvement. He said existing conditions varies in width from 21 feet to 12 feet. He said the 12 foot width makes it difficult for two vehicles to meet. He said the drainage along the pavement surface slopes to the north into residential property. The existing sanitary sewer and water main does not need to be replaced. Pearson said televised examination has found cracks and infiltration but they can use slip line repair so the road doesn’t need to be dug up. Pearson there are three power poles that would have to be moved to the south by ten feet and Xcel will move them at no cost to the city as a part of the proposed street improvement project. Pearson said there are cracks and alligations in the pavement identifying stress on the pavement and deterioration. Pearson said proposed street improvements would cause the road to be sloped from the north to the south so there will be no water drainage over the road towards the north and through the residential neighborhood.  


          He said the estimated project cost is $136,000. Project financing is anticipated. The improvements as described would be financed from the city’s general or PIR funds by loan. Pearson said the city’s assessment policy allows a front foot assessment or a lot unit basis. It is the opinion of the engineer that the lot unit basis be considered. The costs would be distributed evenly among the benefiting properties. Pearson said the policy states 25% would be assessed to the property owners and the 75% paid by the city. Pearson said $3,000-$3,500 would be assessed to each property. An assessment hearing would be held as required. Residents can pay in installments over a number of years. A potential timeline could start the project mid September lasting to the end of October.


          Reinhardt asked if there were questions of the council. Williamson is concerned about solving one problem and creating another problem. He said when discussing the drainage and reconstructing the street, the street would be angled to shed water away from the road. Williamson asked when this issue came up 8-9 years ago there was concern about losing old growth trees and losing well established hedges. He wonders if that would be a problem with this proposition. Pearson said there is no intent to remove vegetation on the north side. He said about two feet behind the curb is needed for installment. He said on the north end there might be a slight disturbance. There is no intent to remove trees. He said there will be some trimming required due to the moving of the power poles.


        2. Public Hearing – Mayor Reinhardt opens the public hearing at 8:39 p.m. Reinhardt reads the rules of conduct.

          Reinhardt said a letter was received from 4494 West Arm Road, Lonsbury. She said they don’t state whether they support the road project. They would, however, like on-street parking and they would like to be excluded from the assessment because they believe they are not on the public part of the road. She said the city also received a letter from John Samuelson and they don’t support the road improvement.

  • John Samuelson 4484 West Arm Road. He said they are here tonight because of the water/drainage issue experienced early this year. He said at some point the water issue was the prime subject but another option could be a complete rework of the road. Samuelson said he did speak to several residents and they looked at the road and where the lift station would go. Samuelson said his observations were widening West Arm Road to 20 feet to a possible two lane road, speed has been a problem in the past and is concerned it could get worse. He said he doesn’t want to see West Arm Road Central made into a two lane highway. He doesn’t see the need for 20 foot width access for emergency vehicles as a concern. He said the referenced fire took place on the private portion of the road. He said the telephone poles there already sit towards the middle of the road and there is no reference to correcting the location of those poles. He said if the road is widened they will eliminate vegetation and open up the trail and they like the privacy offered presently and don’t want to lose that buffer. Samuelson said he is in favor of option one and thinks that will be the answer to the problem. He said option two can be done at a later time if found necessary. He believes West Arm Road Central could be resurfaced.

  • Jackie Valek, 4452 West Arm Road. She refers to Samuelson’s letter and she is in agreement with the letter. She said they came to the city to have the drainage issues addressed and not a road project. She said she believes the road can be slanted to direct the water. Valek said she wonders if Blue Lagoon has been contacted or the neighboring property. She said there is so much water that runs from that property, across the trail and contributing to the extreme runoff coming onto their properties. She is concerned that all of the drainage problems have not been addressed. She doesn’t want a two lane road; she is concerned about the speeders on the road as it is. She wonders about emergency vehicles responding and she thinks the safety is more the speeders on the road. She doesn’t want the quaint neighborhood impacted.

  • Edward Tripet 4428 West Arm Road – He has a couple questions. He wonders if the water problem prompted the road improvement and how long has the city been looking at potentially doing the road improvements and if the proposal for the road is for fire safety issue or safety to the neighborhood, he thinks it would be an improvement for city purposes.

  • Susie Valek, 4464 West Arm Road. She said this spring they were affected by the runoff from the trail. She said at the beginning they thought they were addressing the drainage issues. She said not knowing the condition of the road, she has a safety issue with widening the road into two lanes and crossing the road to get to her mailbox. She said this is a small dead end road.   For ten houses to have a two lane road, she doesn’t think it’s necessary. She thinks it’s already wide enough for safety vehicles. Valek said if doing option two plan, she sees 11 residences and she wonders why there is a question about ten or eleven residences. She also wonders about Lord Fletcher’s apartments being considered just one residence.

  • Adrienne Reuss, 4446 West Arm Road. Adrienne said she is in favor of option one fixing the runoff. She said since the sandbagging has been done she has not had any drainage issues. She said if this is a safety issue, she wonders why the residents have to pay for something that is for public safety.

  • Shawn Tripet, 4428 West Arm Road. Shawn asks if only option one was done, would that stop the drainage issue and she doesn’t know why they’re talking about option two.

  • Mark Reinhardt, 4490 West Arm Road. He said he commends the council for undertaking the drainage issue. He said the road is old, it’s too narrow and it needs to be fixed. He said to him it makes no sense to make drainage improvements and not fix the road. He said councils turn over and the assessment policy could be changed. He said the next council might not view drainage as a city problem. He said if the project moves forward at a later date, it could cost even more. Reinhardt said his taxes fluctuate and he has repairs. He views this project as part of maintaining a home.


    Questions raised by the residents restated by Reinhardt:


    Widening West Arm Road to a two lane road and speed issues being created and wonders about speeding complaints over the years. Pearson said regarding the width of the roadway there are guidelines for civil engineers to follow. A 20 foot width to a roadway allows for outriggers on fire trucks to be put into place. He said guidelines for traffic lanes are 11-12 feet being the standard. For a 10 foot lane width, the gutter takes up 18 inches, therefore the pavement surface width is 17 feet. Pearson said speed bumps are difficult for snow plowing purposes. He doesn’t believe the city has any speed bumps on city streets at present.


    How many feet wider from the narrowest. Pearson said eight feet wider.


    Concern about brush and vegetation being removed from the south side of the road next to the trail. Pearson said with discussions with the HCRAA and Three Rivers Park District, the intent is to save the brush and vegetation in that area. He said there is concern about tree removal and it is their intent to not remove trees.


    A suggestion regarding repaving the road only. Pearson said typically an old section of a roadway, if a city was to do any improvement in the future, an overlay could be considered. There is no curb and gutter and as far as sloping the pavement, it would have to be studied closely. He said he doesn’t know if it would be feasible without removing pavement and redoing it, because driveway gradients may become excessive.


    Power poles will be moved at no costs to the city. Reinhardt wonders if Xcel would move the power poles even if there isn’t a road project. Sippel wonders if the private road poles could be moved at the same time. Pearson said it would have to be studied. Xcel might have protocol.


    Regarding the south side of the trail and have any of the property owners been contacted. Pearson said two weeks ago staff met with HCRRA and talked about the drainage contribution from the property owners on the south side of the trail. He said HCRRA is going to investigate and look at the possibility of removing trees and the fence and grade a so there will be a swale to allow drainage currently coming off the properties to the south and draining to the catch basin to the east. Sippel said the objective is no rainwater crossing the roadway and Pearson agreed.


    Why is the road improvement being looked at now? Pearson said the emergency vehicle access concern and the inability for two vehicles to meet on the road. Pearson said it was talked about with staff and these were the concerns that were identified. Council input and public works has adjusted these items of concerns. Reinhardt said the road improvement came up as a partial solution to the drainage issue and Pearson agreed with this assessment.


    About how long has the city looked at a potential road improvement. Reinhardt said she believes 2004 and 2005 is her first knowledge of a potential road project – approximately ten years ago. Williamson remembers the fire and there was some damage done to a fire hydrant, utility poles and fire equipment. He said what generated the discussion was the substandard condition of the road at the time of the fire. He said it’s not the only substandard road in the city. He said it’s the practicality, the expense and future projects.


    Since the road project is just for the safety factor, why are residents being assessed? Beck said the special assessment statute has a special benefit test which allows a city to assess a resident. She said the project has to show that the properties affected do receive a benefit. She said emergency vehicle access and drainage is a benefit and the assessment cost cannot exceed the cost of the benefit. Therefore, the city is paying the majority of the project.


    If the city only did the drainage problem, would it stop the water problem? Pearson said sloping the street from the north to the south would allow drainage to go to the south and correct the drainage on the street. Tolsma said this was discussed at the open house last month. He said the street component would serve some drainage benefit, it’s just difficult to quantify it. Pearson said a benefit would be to keep snow meltrunoff from running down hill towards some of the homes.


    Reinhardt talked about the road assessment being 10 or 11 properties and Lord Fletcher Apts being considered one dwelling. Tolsma said when properties affected were looked at, Lord Fletcher Apts were left out because they didn’t front West Arm Road Central. He said they realized they do have frontage. Tolsma said the apartments have a lot of frontage on West Arm Road East and the council would have to come up with options for them.


    Reinhardt said she opens this back up for second comments from the public. Reinhardt said if there are no further comments, the public hearing is closed and that is the end of the public comment period. Reinhardt closes the public hearing at 9:25 p.m.


    Sippel asks about the 4/5ths vote requirement and Sippel said it would be a unanimous vote. Reinhardt explained Hughes is absent due to a birth of a grandchild and Hughes has asked that no action be taken this evening. Beck said there is some flexibility. The requirement is the improvement public hearing. Then there are six months to take action on the project. She said action is not necessary tonight. She said they can process the information received tonight and make a decision whether to proceed with the project at a future meeting. She said one option for the next step can be taken in authorizing the engineer to do formal plans and specs and solicit bids so they have a more concrete number to work with. However, the project cannot be awarded until the Council has officially approved the project. She said there is an estimate from the engineer and the final number can be presented at the assessment hearing.

    Williamson said he is concerned about what Sippel has raised. He said 4/5th is required whether the neighborhood wanted it or not. He would be much more comfortable with the full council voting. He said it has to do with accountability. He said for that reason he would rather leave this over until Hughes can vote on this. Williamson wonders if this is ambitious to get this done this year. He said he wonders if this shouldn’t be put off until spring so West Arm Road East can be considered and the private road property owners. Williamson thinks the project is good and it is a good value. He also believes in what the residents want. He would like to hear further from the people affected.


    Bren said she feels strongly to continue with the project - both option one and two. She said she has lived on a Spring Park street for over 30 years and there have been times when you can’t even meet a vehicle. Someone has to pull over or the car has to back up. She thinks it’s necessary for the city of Spring Park to look at their streets and begin improvements and make them safer. She said there was a fire on Mapleton and there were a lot of problems. She said her driveway was used as a staging area for the fire department. Bren said safety of the streets have to be considered. She has walked and driven the road during the rain. She said costs have increased greatly in ten years. She feels it has to start somewhere. Reinhardt agrees that the council needs to wait for Hughes. She wonders if the council should authorize to go forward to the bidding process so there are real numbers to work with. Sippel said he agrees with Reinhardt about consolidating the projects between West Arm Road Central and East as better pricing can be gained. He said they are different projects. He said there are four conditions to be looked at, the condition of the road, the condition of the utilities, safety concerns and drainage concerns. He said the safety and drainage concerns are paramount. Reinhardt said she would be in favor of waiting for Hughes to be present. Williamson doesn’t know if action is necessarily required but for clarity he makes a motion that the matter before the council and any action resulting from the public hearing be deferred to August 4th. Sippel seconds. All votes ayes, motion passes. Williamson said he would like to enter into some discussion with residents to perhaps modify the project or make it more acceptable. Is it money, it is the characterization of the area? Williamson said he might make some unsolicited phone calls.


    Tape change.


  1. Resolution 14-15: Ordering Improvement

  2. Resolution 14-16: No Conflict Finding With Comprehensive Plan

    1. Resolution 14-17: CDBG Joint Cooperation Agreement –

Tolsma said the city has been involved in this as long as 2008.  He said it pools other cities for the purposes for collecting grant money from the federal government and distributing the funds to various organizations.  He said this usually automatically renews.  HUD changed some of the language so that’s why it is in front of the council again.  Sippel asked if there is anything that is concerning.  Beck said she hasn’t had the opportunity to review this.  Williamson said it appears to not have made a fundamental change.  He said there has been advantage to being in it and he doesn’t want to lose out of the opportunity.  He makes a motion to adopt Res 14-17 accepting the change.  Bren seconds.  Reinhardt added We-Can is a recipient of these funds and she agrees it’s important to adopt this.  All votes ayes, motion carries. 


    1. Mayor and Council –

Reinhardt said speaking for Hughes, the LMCD representative said the high water declaration will be in effect until 930.3 is held for three consecutive days.  She said when the lake remains before 930.0 for three consecutive days the executive director might remove the 600 foot restriction.  Reinhardt said PC Mike Mason’s mother passed away with a funeral service on July 28th.  Williamson suggests flowers be sent.  Reinhardt wants to thank the Spirit of the Lakes festival for the wonderful event put on this past weekend.  She said she appreciates the inclusion of the City of Spring Park and she looks to maybe included as an official sponsor next year.  Sippel said he took some yard waste to The Mulch Store that brush requires for a fee to be paid by the residents.  He said the main issue is Emerald Ash Borer.  Sippel looks for clarification between paying for brush and not yard waste.  Williamson said if they’ve made a modification they have an obligation to inform us if they are changing the rules.  Sippel suspects it was misinformation.

    1. City Administrator
    2. City Engineer –

Pearson said the lift station precon meeting is attempting to be scheduled for  Thursday and they’ll determine the construction schedule.  Drainage plan will be brought to the work session and there is good progress being made.  Continued dialogue with the Watershed District.  Sippel said that won’t go out for bid until after August meeting.  Pearson thinks they were authorized to go out for bids and this is confirmed.  Williamson asked about the authority and the motions passed to move forward on this.  He said that is non controversial. 

    1. City Attorney
    2. Utility Superintendent
    1. July 28 – Work Session – 7:00 PM
    2. July 23 – LMCD – 7:00 PM
    3. August 4 – City Council – 7:30 PM
    1. Bills & Payroll – Sippel makes a motion and Williamson seconds to pay the claims. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  4. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
    1. June Fire Department Report
  5. ADJOURNMENT – Sippel makes a motion and Williamson seconds to adjourn at 9:53 p.m.       All votes ayes, motion carries.



                                                                                    Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator