May 5, 2014 Council Meeting

Attendance:  CJ Lunning, Kevin O'Neil, Tom & Laura Geib, Marilyn Ronnkvist, John Samuelson, Jackie Valek, Sandy Karlak, LuAnn Fransen, Susie Valek, Adrienne Reuss.

 CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Reinhardt called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

  1. ROLL CALL – Sippel, Williamson, Bren, Hughes, Reinhardt
  2. INTRODUCTIONS – Reinhardt introduced the council and staff to the public. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Attorney Beck, Engineer Pearson, Utility Superintendent Goman.
  4. ADOPT AGENDA – Williamson makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adopt the agenda. Reinhardt would like to move agenda item number nine to the public forum because of the number of residents. Williamson withdraws and remakes a motion to amend the agenda by switching #9 to the public forum. Hughes seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  5. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Williamson said there is a correction to the work session minutes on page two, a typo and correction to change the LMCD to LMCC. Beck has a change on the work session minutes, #2 of the water tower discussion meeting where it says it is closed to discuss litigation strategy not strategizing. Williamson makes a motion to adopt the consent agenda and Bren seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
    1. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes from April 21, 2014
    2. City Council Work Session Minutes from April 28, 2014
    1. Expecting West Arm Road Residents Regarding Drainage Issues

Reinhardt said there are a number of residents in the audience.  She suggests three to five minutes per person and each person is allowed to speak once, first.  She said questions will be addressed at the end of the meeting.  Reinhardt said the current council had no plans to do a road project but knows there are drainage issues on West Arm Road and, after hearing comments, the council can direct staff further. 

  • Susie Valek, 4464 West Arm Rd. She said for 34 years she and her neighbors have some issues. She said her husband Randy and Randy’s sister have lived in the area their entire lives and they have never seen it so bad.       She said it’s flooding houses, eroding driveways and deposits sediment in the yards. She said it’s been brought to the city’s attention for three years. She said there has been an asphalt berm constructed to redirect the runoff.       They’ve resodded the flooded areas.       She said they used to have plush yards. She wonders if Dakota Trail is partially responsible for this problem. She feels the trail slants down towards the mailboxes and she wonders if this site could be diverted under the road to another holding pond. She wonders about a rain garden. Valek said she’s been told there would be an update and something would happen.      
  • John Samuelson, 4484 West Arm Rd. Samuelson said he’s lived there for 22 years. He said there has always been a drainage problem. Samuelson thinks the trail does have something to do with it and it flows across the road and flows into Valek’s property.       Samuelson said 7-8 years ago they came to city hall about the drainage problem as it would go across their yard and down their driveway. He said there has been a lot of damage. He said a curb was put in that went across their driveway and it helped but it created another problem further down.       Samuelson said last year they had a landscaper come in and dig a swale and that has worked out perfectly for them. Samuelson said there has been some action by the council that helped them out. He said this isn’t just in the spring, this happens whenever there is a rain.       Samuelson thinks a culvert under the road and the trail would help to divert the runoff.
  • Adrienne Reuss lives with her grandmother and they’ve replaced molding and drywall because of the flooding.


  • Reinhardt said staff put together a memo about options that the council may consider.       Tolsma said the earlier options are minimal options in scope and cost and the obvious concern is they are bandaid approaches. Tolsma said one option is an earthen berm to increase the capacity to the pond (south side of West Arm Rd). He said they could improve the retention capacity by creating an infiltration basin (commercial style rain garden) however the clay soil might not be good. Tolsma said the third option is to drain the ponding to the retention pond on the south side of the trail and the east side of Kings Rd. He said capacity would have to be measured. Tolsm said they could install a curb and gutter system with storm sewer infrastructure and that would be a more significant project. He said the final option is to do a complete road, curb and gutter and stormwater project. He said he thinks there might be some interest in this option.       Hughes asked about distinguishing the holding pond water going through the yards and before it goes to the yard, what kind of runoff are they getting. Adrienne said it’s a constant flow and once the pond fills up they can see current running through the yard. Samuelson said the comprehensive fix is a concern because he doesn’t think anyone is unhappy with the road itself. He said it’s the runoff situation and the reason why they are here tonight. Samuelson said it’s more about what do they do about the water, not necessarily a new road project.
  • Laura Geib, 4550 West Arm Rd. She said the third option was a drain at the corner to the other side of the trail.       She said it’s already a drainage ditch. Tolsma said it’s true. He said the elevations don’t match because the elevation is actually higher.       He said they are pumping the water to the other side. Tolsma said the drainage option is to drain it to the south and the east side of Kings Road. Geib said she agrees with Samuelson with the fact that the road isn’t the problem, it’s the drainage. Tolsma said that’s the type of feedback their looking for.
  • CJ Lunning, 4564 and 4568 West Arm Rd. She agrees, she doesn’t see a problem with the private road but needs to have the drainage fixed.
  • Reinhart, 4490 West Arm Rd, said she also lives on the street and, as a resident of the street, she would like to see the road reconstructed. She said tax dollars pay for public improvement and she feels they’re not getting improvements. She is speaking as a resident and not as the mayor. She thinks some pricing needs to be done. She said there should be some additional study to see if it can be done.       Lunning asked about Reinhardt wanting to see improvement and where. Reinhardt said she is interested in seeing the public road improved. She said if she’s acting as mayor again, she would be open to the private road weighing in on this.


Reinhardt said there is clearly a drainage problem and it is unacceptable.  Reinhardt is looking for a recommendation to staff.  Sippel said the sense he gets is there is a trend towards the lowest cost option to fix the road.  He thinks the city needs to fix the runoff from the street.  He wonders if the culvert idea is worth pursuing to see if it works.  Bren wonders about the retention pond where the water is being diverted and wonders if that pond would be able to handle that runoff.  She doesn’t want to make it worse.  Hughes asked about before the pond fills up the city needs to look at all the drainage to make sure it’s diverted before it goes into the yards.

  • Tom Geib, 4550 West Arm Rd. He said he’s on the private road. He doesn’t believe berming is a good idea as he believes it will spill over.       He thinks that most of the water is coming from the top of the hill.


Reinhardt directs staff to further refine these options at the study session with some prices and after the study session invite the residents of West Arm to talk more about the options.  Williamson said this is a difficult problem.  He has observed this.  Williamson said the discussion comes down to how to move the water.  He said it’s not only the cost, it’s the effectiveness.  Williamson is concerned about considering running a culvert because the capacity needs to be measured in the amount of what can be handled.  He also is concerned about diverting the runoff into the lake because the runoff can be quite polluted.  He said the water should be percolated in order to filter it and treat it.  Williamson believes this should go to work session so the engineer can study this and present best options.  Reinhardt said if there are any other significant rain events, they will pump.  Goman said the road sheds towards the houses and he’s not in favor of the berm.  He said it’s also the road surface.  He said what they do now, might have to be redone if there ever is a full road reconstruction project.  Reinhardt said she appreciates the residents for coming in and working towards a solution.  Tom Geib, asked about whether this will be for the private road or the public.  Reinhardt thinks the invitation should be extended to everyone on the public and private. 


    1. Jim Eichten – 2013 Audit Report –

Eichten has a Powerpoint presentation. He said they will be going through the management report.  He said there are no findings beyond the capability of staff.  Eichten said the first part is how compliance with laws and regulations and the second is how things are going.  He said property taxes and values were declining and they are now on the upswing.  He said tax rates and  market values come into play.  He said the average tax rate went up.  He said that’s a function of market values.  He said the average tax rate is below average and debt service is above average.  Eichten said cash flow at a city increases only twice a year so a fund balance is important so city operations can cash flow.  The water fund and the sewer fund are positively cash flowing.  He said financially the city is doing quite well.  He said the audit resulted in a clean opinion and there is no corrective action.  Eichten said the general funds are very good and the enterprise funds are very stable.  Williamson said there is a major component to the numbers and the revenue per capita.  He said other cities around the state of similar size receive state aid.  He said it should be understood that how much money comes from the public we get $700 and the average is over $1000.  He said the city runs a tight ship.  Sippel said he noticed a dip in the income in 2012 for the water fund and is surprised.  Goman said part of it was the water pumping was higher than the water coming in.  Tolsma said that was the year the wells were redone and there was a big line item in the expenditures.  Sippel wonders if depreciation is taken into account, is the city still in the black.  Eichten said he thinks there was a net loss of about $70,000 and he thinks that was depreciation. 

  1. Resolution 14-13: WeCab Week Proclamation –

Reinhardt suggests 10b be discussed before 10 a.  Luann Fransen is a new resident of Spring Park, 4201 Sunset Drive.  She said she is the program director and it was a grassroots initiative.  She said they provide transportation to those that need it for a very minimal cost.  She said it’s for shopping, medical, church, work.  She said they have about 35 drivers and they have about 250 clients.  She is very proud of her drivers and she would like to honor them.  She said there is a volunteer party tomorrow night.  Williamson said he makes the motion to adopt resolution 14-13 and Hughes seconds.  Williamson said he’s impressed because it was started on a shoestring.  He said the earlier transportation program was sad to see end.  He said there is a very vital need for this and it’s increasing.  Reinhardt said she appreciates them serving this area.  All votes ayes, motion carries.


  1. Resolution 14-12: Authorizing Scenic Byway Feasibility Study –

    Reinhardt explained this comes from the city of Wayzata and they are looking to explore this to be modeled after the state scenic byways but on a smaller scale. She said they are looking for support to study this. She said no financial participation is being requested at this time. She said the gauge she’s gotten is it’s very neutral. Williamson said he thinks it’s highly relevant to a Wayzata and Excelsior. He said it’s kind of a return to roots to re-establish a destination. He’s concerned and has a hard time imagining the routing. He said he wonders what they are contemplating. He said in the second whereas clause the designation of a route imposes no financial restrictions. He said he’s concerned about a stewardship group to further study the feasibility. He said this usually means it’s not free. He’s concerned about the unknown level. Hughes said it does talk about a local match of 20%. Reinhardt said according to the meeting she attended, when the feasibility is done and if there is a potential cost, this might be the breakdown. She said right now there is no commitment for funds. Reinhardt said this is a very loose concept. Williamson asked about the stewardship group, he wonders who that would be. Reinhardt makes a motion to approve to authorize a feasibility study. Sippel seconds. Sippel said he doesn’t have a problem with it going forward. He said his initial sense is it already is in place. All votes ayes, motion carries.


    1. Mayor and Council –
  • Reinhardt has nothing.
  • Hughes said the LMCD will be doing their boat count this year. It happens every other year. Hughes said the LMCD boat is being kept at the Water Patrol. He said the boater safety education just completed and there is good feedback. He said there probably will be another course at the end of June for 12-13 year olds.
    1. City Administrator – nothing.
    2. City Engineer
      1. MS4 Public Hearing (Annual Requirement) –

        Reinhardt opens the public hearing at 8:46 pm. Pearson said the reason for the public hearing is the stormwater prevention and the permitting program for the MS4 is regulated by the MPCA. Pearson said earlier this evening they were talking about drainage and this applies and part of their responsibility will be to evaluate the stormwater runoff and to eliminate pollutants from flowing to the lake. He said an annual report is prepared by the city and it’s required to be submitted to the MPCA by the end of June. He said a public hearing is mandated and required to be held and it is to receive input from residents regarding stormwater pollution concerns. He said one item in the annual report is asking about illicit discharges in the community and for calendar year 2013 there have been no illicit discharges. Sippel asked about the sewer line break by Rockvams and Goman said it was two years ago but the volume wasn’t enough. Pearson said a lot of this is documentation such as where the ponds are located in the city and the coordinates. Williamson said he thought that’s what was done in 2006. Pearson said that’s correct but they are now asking for coordinates and Pearson said that can be obtained from GIS sources. Williamson said the process has been ongoing from 2001 through 2006 and there have been delays and he’s concerned about inventing work. He said the city has been very proactive and done preventive. He said they’ve followed the plan and beyond. He said if there is meaningful work, it should be done but if it’s playing around and editing a document the he wonders. Pearson said the MPCA has identified some items to be updated including modifications in the city’s ordinances. He said they are working on a proposal and will be submitting it for review. Pearson said these mandates can be debated and argued. Reinhardt asked about the timing of the modification. Pearson said the cities are treated alike and they are given one year from February 2014. Reinhardt closes the public hearing at 8:58 pm. Reinhardt said they’ll look forward to future updates.

    1. City Attorney
    2. Utility Superintendent –

Goman said lift station number five plans and specs are on track to send out in about two weeks. He said there was a water main break on Northern Avenue.  He said there is no frost in the ground.  When the break happened it didn’t come to the surface right away and there is about 150 feet of blacktop that had to be removed. Williamson asked about the timing and is it warm enough and how soon the paving project can be done.  Goman said they’ll try to let it settle through this week so more than likely looking at next week.  Williamson asked if the county is patching Sunset Drive.  Goman said it’s the city’s responsibility.  Sippel asked about the water running east and west.  Sippel said there was a cavity and he wonders where the dirt ran to.  Goman said it was in the sewer ditch and once it popped through it ran towards Hazeldell.  He said there wasn’t a major washout but some settlement.  Goman said road restrictions are not off but will come off this week. 

    1. May 7 – Fire Commission (Rescheduled) – 11:00 AM
    2. May 14 – Administration Meeting – 1:00 PM
    3. May 14 – Planning Commission – 7:00 PM
    4. May 19 – City Council Regular Meeting – 7:30 PM

Hughes would like the LMCD meetings added routinely. 

    1. Bills & Payroll – Hughes makes a motion and Bren seconds to pay the bills. All votes ayes, motion carries.
  3. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
    1. MCFOA Education Credits – City Clerk Wendy Lewin & Office Assistant Sharon Farniok Reinhardt thanks Lewin and Farniok for attending these learning classes.
  4. ADJOURNMENT – Sippel makes a motion and Bren seconds to adjourn the meeting at 9:07 pm.       All votes ayes, motion carries.



                                                                                    Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator