October 27, 2014 Work Session


    1. Bruce Kimmel from Ehlers, Inc. will be at the meeting to discuss options for financing the project that the City has recently undertaken.

Reinhardt said there are a combination of projects and they are thinking about a bond offering. 

Kimmel said he ran a hypothetical scenario in looking at today’s market and bundling things together.  Kimmel said interest rates are still at historical lows.  He said bonds can be issued for future projects and projects already complete.  He said the reimbursement resolution has been done.  Kimmel passed out a scenarios sheet.  He said some costs are fixed so bundling makes some sense.  Kimmel said they keep waiting for interest rates to increase but that hasn’t happened.  He said rates have come up slightly but they haven’t gone up much. He said with purpose-by-purpose, statutory authority has to be determined.  Kimmel said right now the market likes shorter term debt. 


Reinhardt asked who the authority would be for stormwater. Williamson said the budget has a line item for stormwater but they don’t assess for this.  He said that money has come from other sources.  Kimmel said it can be washed by paying from public revolving funds.  Sippel wonders about bonding for future projects and Kimmel said there would have to be a plan being thought about.  He said they recommend to bond when the money is needed but since SP doesn’t bond very often, it makes sense to bundle projects. 


Reinhardt asked even though projects aren’t approved yet, can they can still bond.  Hughes wonders about timeframes.  Kimmel said they work out the wants and needs and then there is a presale meeting.  The term of the financing is discussed and the city gives permission for Ehlers to begin the bidding.  He said the sale of the bond is about a month later and the bonds is awarded.  He said then it’s about 3-4 weeks before the proceeds are received.  Kimmel said it’s about two month process. 


Hughes wonder about the difference between two small bonds versus one large one.  Kimmel said there will be more interest in a bigger issue.  He said there wouldn’t be any problem getting a smaller bond later.  He said the rate agency should be notified about the possibility of near future bonding.  Reinhardt wonders when the first payment cycle begins.  Kimmel said the market wants an interest payment fairly soon. 


Williamson is interested in bonding.  Hughes is interested in bonding and possibly enough to cover a future road project.  Sippel wants to wait a month until the road project becomes less cloudy.  He doesn’t want to issue now and then go again in the near future.  Bren said she’s in favor of the bonding but she’s not sure about whether to go now or wait.  Reinhardt said she’s leery of bonding for a project that hasn’t been born yet.  She said the road project will be coming up soon enough wherein if they wait a month or two, it won’t make that much difference. 


It’s decided that it should be told the city is interested in bonding but doesn’t know exactly when and how much.  Reinhardt feels rushed and that it hasn’t come up in a public meeting and she’s concerned about that.  Hughes thinks it would be helpful if Kimmel came back and explained bonding while on camera.  He wonders if Kimmel could come back on November 17th.


    1. See attached staff memo from City Attorney Nancy Beck from 2011 with examples from Minnetonka and St. Paul. Also included is a draft version of a social host ordinance developed by Orono and distributed to contract cities in 2013.

Reinhardt said this was discussed back in 2011.  She said there are a couple of sample ordinances included for review.  Beck said there was a work session in 2013 wherein this was discussed again.  She said they have gotten as far as drafting language but were wanting Orono PD to take the lead on this.  Beck said she consulted the list serve to ask about cities with experience with social host.  She said the best comment was the benefit that it gives law enforcement a tool with the procurement statute (buying for underage drinkers).  She said it provides a city with an educational tool, it is discussed on camera, it can be included in the newsletter and its importance is stressed.  Hughes wonders about drinking on the lake when alcohol has been provided by an adult.  Sippel said he is fine with the intent but he’s cautious.  Sippel said on the Orono proposed ordinance, second to the last under #3, definition of gathering – he would like to put the word “unrelated” after the words "...three or more...".


Reinhardt said the chief of police is for this but wants consistency among the cities.  She wonders if this can be held at a meeting and the chief can come to a public meeting and explain.  Beck can make some tweaks and then route it to the police chief for his thoughts and then perhaps he can present it at a public meeting. Beck said the local paper might want to be involved.


    1. Paul Pearson will give a brief update on some new developments regarding the design work for the West Arm East project.

Pearson said these are loose end items.  Some have been previously talked about.  He would like to discuss in more detail the drainage swale from the road to the lake and finally the retaining wall.   Pearson said one of the questions raised were water main breaks in the low area.  Pearson talked to Goman and in 1990 there was a service line break going into LF Apartments.  West of the fire hydrant there was a water main break in 2003.  Regarding deterioration of main and water main breaks in the area there was a break as the lift station was being built and deterioration of the pipes in which the sample has been previously passed around.  Pearson soil borings were directed to be performed. He said loops were discussed and it is looped in its entirety.  Slip lining or cured-in-place pipe is a flexible material, felt, that is placed through the pipe and a resin is placed around the felt.  This is relatively new (50 years) and it could last as long as 100 years. 


Pearson said Goman has ordered televising of the service lines. Pearson said water service shutoffs were mentioned and how they are handled so they don’t pop up every spring and they have to be pushed back down.  Goman said there is a device for those that are fluctuating up and down with enough room for the movement. 


Pearson said for the feasibility report, previous correspondence from Lord Fletcher’s and neighbors wanted the ditch covered which came from questions from the residents.  Extending the pipe was discussed. Reinhardt wonders if the LF property manager just was expressing an opinion about having the ditch covered.  Sippel said as long as the easement is given, leave the ditch.  Pearson said they had looked at three different options.  He said he has information from the survey crew with elevations and shows the corridor going to the lake.  He said the first alternative was 24 inch round pipe.  The cover over the pipe is minimal so there is no room to install catch basins so a swale would be required.  It’s not much different than what’s there now.  Pearson said another option is stubbing out a pipe from the street and clean the swale and leave the trees in place.  He said there’s still standing water as the end of the pipe would be underwater and staff said this is the least favorite alternative. 


Pearson said another option is using an arch pipe made from concrete so the rise is less.  He said it’s equivalent of a 24 inch pipe but it’s only 18 inches high.  Pearson said it’s important for drainage to get drainage away from the property owner because it’s lower.  The ground would be sloped and the drainage could go from the properties at a two percent slope (2 feet in 100 feet) and the corridor could be mowed and maintained.   Tolsma said it’s similar to what was installed at Thor Thompson Park.  Water would be able to overflow so there wouldn’t be any flooding.  He said this is the least amount of maintenance.  Pearson said the Watershed has to review the wetland once a project is submitted and if they agree it’s incidental, it will have to be mitigated.  Hughes wonders whose responsibility and expense is it.  Pearson said if it’s an easement, the city would.  He said there would be very little cleaning and there would have to be an access agreement. 


Pearson said there is another alternative and that is to grade a swale and all the trees would be removed because their roots would have been cut.  With the swale it will be flat, a half of percent slope from the water and the discharge of the pipe. He said it’s six inches in 100 feet. They would put down an erosion blanket and plant seed mix conducive to growing in wetlands.  Maintenance would be continuous and it might have to be cleaned out periodically.  Pearson said the least costly is to grade the swale.  He said if the property owner wants the swale, build the swale.  Sippel said if there is a planting that allows water to flow but catch the debris, it will look better.


Reinhardt wonders if it would help to meet with Fred Puzak of LF Apartments before the November 10 meeting.  She said there might be something else he’d rather see done. Sippel thinks getting the easement should be the goal.  Beck said an easement is the best way to go because it runs with the land but, there’s been a movement to go to access agreements or use agreements which is a lesser right.  She recommends to request an easement.  It’s agreed that a meeting should be held between Puzak, the city administrator and Engineer Pearson. 


Pearson said the retaining wall is shown on the drawing and when looking at proposed grades, the height varies from 6.5 feet on the east.  He said it allows a five foot boulevard.  Pearson said if the retaining wall wasn’t built and the boulevard was continued, it is wondered if they could have a steepened slope with some type of rock placed on the slope.  He said it would be steep, 45 degree angle at the highest, and a curb would be behind it.   He said a fabric would be put down and subcut six to twelve inches and put crushed rock with larger rocks. He said it would essentially be rip rap material.  The cost would be about $12,000.  Hughes wonders about rocks slipping down.  Sippel said it’s similar to what is in place on Northern Avenue across from the LMCC building.  Pearson also suggests Norling be consulted about landscaping.  Sippel thinks both options should be presented along with examples or photos. 


  1. SOUND LEVELS DISCUSSION – Hughes said there are decibel measurement requirements for Lord Fletchers restaurant and there is new technology for speakers coming where the sound volume is 30-40% greater but the decibel reading is lower. He said they’re expensive but these speakers emphasize the entire range versus the highs and the lows.


  1. TREE LIGHTING DATE & TIME DISCUSSION – Tolsma said the last two years it’s been before the November work session on a Monday. Sippel thinks it should be without fanfare but Williamson thinks there should be cookies and hot chocolate.


  • Reinhardt said November’s meetings are the 10th the 17th and the 24th. It’s three meetings in a row.

  • Hughes said with latest technology there are new LED fluorescent lights that convert present fluorescent lighting.




    1. West Metro Drug Task Force News Release
    2. AECOM Water Treatment Feasibility Study – Final Version – Reinhardt recommends this be looked at in depth.
    3. Pearson said there is a field trip to Edina’s water treatment plant and it’s been suggested to look at this on Friday at 10 a.m.
    4. Sippel said a topic for future discussion, prompted by West Arm East, he thinks the assessment policy should be reviewed for retaining walls. He thinks as more and more road projects are done, the city needs to be in front of this.
  1. Adjourned meeting at 9:52 pm.



                                                                                    Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator