September 15, 2014 Council Meeting

Also present: Catherine Palen, 4352 West Arm Rd.; John Samuelson, 4484 West Arm Rd.; Richard McCullum, 4372 West Arm Rd.; and three students from MWHS.

  1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Reinhardt called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
  2. ROLL CALL – Sippel, Williamson, Bren, Hughes, Reinhardt
  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 Hughes seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Sippel makes a motion and Bren seconds to adopt the consent agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
    1. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes From September 2, 2014
    2. Administration Committee Minutes From September 10, 2014
  7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
    1. County Commissioner Jan Callison –

Callison said the tax levy was passed last Thursday. She said this will affect taxes in 2015. She said values have been rising in real estate, there has been more construction and more TIF districts. Callison said the commercial burden will shift to residential.  She said two years of wage increases have been negotiated and human resource staffing has been increased.  An increase to the levy of 2.75 and that is after four years of a levy essentially kept flat.  She said Truth and Taxation is scheduled for December 2nd.  Callison some new initiatives are the Excelsior Library opened on September 13th and this week battery backups will be installed for semaphore lights.  She said Ramsey and Hennepin Counties are looking at a collaboration for a joint juvenile detention facility.  Callison said community services are moving to the suburbs with a new hub opening in Hopkins. She said the No Wrong Door initiative deals with sex trafficking and the need for special services.  Sippel asked about the Vikings Stadium having an impact.  Callison said it’s being funded by the city of Minneapolis, not the county.  She said there will be some impact.

    1. Resolution 14-15: Ordering West Arm Central Street Improvement –

Reinhardt said the bids came back and the engineer will give a recap. Pearson said in the packets is a letter from him dated September 11th.  He said there were four bidders and the low bid was from Midwest Asphalt $135,522.  The three other bidders were Barber Construction, New Look Contracting and Bituminous Roadways.   He said the bid tabulation summary was attached for reference.  An opinion of probable construction costs was calculated at $113,300.  Pearson said it didn’t include engineer, surveying and administrative services and that would be approximately 20% bringing the cost to roughly $136,000.  He said the bids were only for construction costs so, adding the engineering costs, those bids increase.  Midwest Asphalt is in the opinion of the engineer is a reputable contractor.  Sippel said in the letter the original estimate was $113,000 and he sees a conflict with another estimate of $106K.  Pearson said the $113K includes a 10% contingency.  Williamson asked since this is the end of the construction season and contractors are plugging in wrap-up projects to just end  the year, he wonders if those that don’t really want the project bid it high.  He wonders about posing this project for next year and wonders about the strategy. Pearson said if the project were to wait, there is an inflation factor based on oil prices and that is an unknown.  He said this could mean a 3-5% increase.  Pearson said in his opinion availability of contractors in the spring are usually looking for work.  He said how this affects the price, he doesn’t know the impact. 


Reinhardt asked about timing. She said it was originally thought this would be a fall project.  Pearson said if the council awards the project, it takes about one to two weeks to develop the contract and bonds are supplied.  He said once the city attorney has reviewed the documents, a preconstruction conference would be held.  He said the construction could proceed the week of September 29th and the specifications do require an on or before completion date of October 31st, weather dependent. 


Reinhardt asks for residents input although this is not the public hearing as it’s already been held. Reinhardt outlines the rules of conduct.  Public comment period opens at 7:49 p.m.  No public comments taken. Public comment period closes.


Council deliberations:

  • Hughes said he has gone through the documentation once again and tried to look at the residents’ opinions. He said he is having trouble supporting the project at this time due to the comments received. Hughes said the bids came in higher than anticipated.

  • Williamson said he thinks it’s a good project, it’s well conceived. He said it’s discretionary and he said the residents’ opinions matter a great deal. He said when people want it, it’s supported. He said this project is struggling. He said some residents strongly want it but most are lukewarm or against it. He said if he lived there, he would be for it. He believes this should be delayed but continue conversation with residents to work out a way for an approach they can support.

  • Bren said she is in favor of this project. She feels strongly that Spring Park needs to look at streets and if this street is not sloped the correct direction she thinks it should be taken care of at once. She said there’s going to be construction with the drainage improvement. Bren said residents are paying for this yet she wonders if there will come a time when everyone is agreeable. She said that is why they are on the council, to make decisions.

  • Sippel said in general he would be in favor of most street improvement projects. His main issue is the scope. He thinks it’s too small to stand on its own. He would like to see it coupled with the West Arm East project and he thinks there would be better economies of scale and it becomes a better value, in his opinion.

  • Reinhardt said this started because of drainage issues in that area. She said in conjunction with the approved drainage project, the drainage will still go towards the north. She said there have been safety issues on this road and this project would address this. She said a reconstructed road will result in a safer condition. She said there are favorable recommendations from the fire and police chiefs. She said what is being proposed is a minimum width road of 20 feet. She said the fire code was drafted for safety reasons and Spring Park has adopted the fire code. Reinhardt said there have been problems on the road with vehicles striking the power poles and three and four trucks have been stacked up to address the disabled power poles. She said emergency response is compromised. Reinhardt said it is rated the 9th worst road in the city. She said there is no sewer and water in the road therefore making it an easy road project.


    Due to timing, Reinhardt is looking for a motion as it needs to be acted on by January 21st. Hughes said he is opposed to this at this time. He agrees with what Sippel has said. He said he thinks the residents need to know that the assessment estimate is now higher. He said he would like roads improved too. Reinhardt said the comment “at this time” is vague. She said this was said ten years ago. Reinhardt is asking for a motion. Williamson said to take a vote, yes or no, would lead to failure of the 4/5th necessary. He said this issue would go back to ground zero. He wonders if there shouldn’t be further visits with the neighborhood and exploring where this would fit as a joint project with West Arm Rd east. Reinhardt asked Pearson about the feasibility study of West Arm Road east. Pearson said the council did order the feasibility report and the surveying has been completed for that corridor. He said the next step is to analyze the project and complete the feasibility. He said he expects this in the next three to four weeks. He said at that time the council could review the draft and schedule a public hearing for the project. If the council is favorable, plans and specs could be ordered.


    Sippel asked Pearson for lining projects up for spring and he wonders if there is a point where it’s too early to bid. Pearson said it’s difficult to estimate oil prices and that’s what affects pricing. Williamson said there are valid bids presented tonight. Sippel asked if no action is taken to accept the bids, he wonders how long the bids are good for. Pearson said 60 days from the date of the receipt of the bid. Williamson wonders about the timeline then, accepting the bid on the 59th day. Sippel said when proceeding with bids and specs for West Arm central, his rationale was he was fine with the design as proposed and it was not throw away work. He said it would, for the most part, always be relevant other than the bidding. Pearson said that is correct. Beck said there is no action necessary tonight. She said the bids have to be accepted or rejected within 60 days. Sippel makes a motion to reject all bids and defer the project to a later date. Hughes seconds. Motion passes three to two on roll call vote. Reinhardt and Bren vote nay, the rest vote aye.

    1. Resolution 14-16: Finding No Relationship Between Street Improvement & Comprehensive Plan –
    2. Resolution 14-20: Approval of 2015 Preliminary Levy -

Reinhardt said at the Admin meeting it was discussed that they might need a little more buffer than 1.9%. Tolsma said it’s the same budget but is considering potential increases.  Tolsma said the truth and taxation needs to be set tonight. Williamson said Tolsma did a very good job of putting this together.  He said he’s happy with the minute increase and it really matches the anticipated snow plowing costs.  He said this is a modest increase and it’s possible they will be able to find ways in which to hold the levy flat in the next few months.  Williamson makes a motion to adopt Resolution 14-20. Sippel seconds.  Williamson reminds that this is proposed.  He wants to hold this until the final days in case there is a change.  Hughes asked about contracts that will be coming up for renewal before next year.  Tolsma said snow plowing is in place through this snow season.  Landscaping expires at the end of this year and they are meeting soon to start negotiations. All votes ayes, motion carries. Williamson makes a motion to establish December 1st for the Truth and Taxation hearing.  Sippel seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries.

    1. Mayor and Council – Reinhardt said the city received the state’s superfund designation and there are discussions being held about removing the TCE contaminants. She said everyone should have received a letter outlining the phasing approach.
    2. City Administrator – nothing.
    3. City Engineer – nothing.
  • Sippel asked about an update for the start date of the drainage improvements. Pearson said the contract documents were received and they are under review by the city attorney. He said there will be a pre-con meeting set and they are anticipating starting at the end of this month. Sippel has looked at the trail area and it’s much more apparent now that the area has been cleared. He wants to make sure the trenching is adequate and the flow of water goes to where it’s meant to go. It’s been agreed that the city will establish a berm and it will be channeled. The county has agreed to the restoration work.

  • Williamson asked if they are pursuing grant money because of phosphorous removal. Tolsma said it’s going through the process. Williamson asked about Lift Station 5. Pearson said it’s on schedule and no real surprises. He said the completion date is mid-October and the contractor doesn’t anticipate problems with that date.

    1. City Attorney – Nothing.
    2. Utility Superintendent – Nothing.
    1. September 16 – LMCC – 5:00 PM – No meeting in September but they will be meeting in October.
    2. September 22 – Work Session – 7:00 PM
    3. September 24 – LMCD – 7:00 PM – Hughes said the lake tour was canceled but it will be held this upcoming week.
    4. October 6 – City Council Meeting – 7:30 PM – Reinhardt said there’s a possibility she will not be at the October 6th meeting so she is giving Sippel a heads up.
    1. Bills & Payroll – Hughes makes a motion and Bren seconds to approve the claims. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  4. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
    1. Appreciation Dinner Date & Time – suggested date is Tuesday, October 14th.       Reinhardt has a conflict and wonders if there could alternate dates suggested. She said October 23rd works. Reinhardt suggests asking planning commissioners if the 23rd works.
    2. Mound Fire Department Press Release – Williamson asked about a vehicle fire referenced in the report and he thinks it’s a wrong address; he thinks they mean Commerce, not Shoreline.
    3. Mound Fire Department August Report - Williamson asked about a vehicle fire referenced in the report and he thinks it’s a wrong address; he thinks they mean Commerce, not Shoreline.
    4. Heroin Town Hall Meeting Notice
    5. Met Council Inflow & Infiltration Workshop -


Hughes said there was a big packet from the county about the boat launch project. Hughes said Brixius was given the direction to take thoughts to the contracted designer.  Hughes said there are matching funds through Save the Lake.  Reinhardt asked if Brixius has indicated when this will happen.  Tolsma said this is probably going to be a next year project so it’s not urgent. 

  1. ADJOURNMENT – Sippel makes a motion and Bren seconds to adjourn at 8:41 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.



                                                                                    Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator