October 6, 2014 Council Meeting

  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 – Williamson has a correction to the work session minutes regarding swings in the park. Williamson said to insert cable coverings should be replaced. 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 15, 2014

    2. City Council Work Session Minutes From September 22, 2014

  1. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
    1. Mayor and Council –

  • Reinhardt said this past weekend was the Twin Cities Marathon. She said there were five from Spring Park that competed: Anthony Krull, Patricia Sorenson, Jason Burley, Rebeccah Hanna and John Vogt.       She said there is a local resident from Mound, Seth Brickley, who ran in the ten mile race and finished seventh overall. Reinhardt said there is an invitation to the council to Orono’s 125th anniversary. Reinhardt said this last weekend was Lord Fletcher’s Oktoberfest and she did receive a complaint call. The music was turned down once the police responded.
  • Williamson said there was a meeting of the LMCC executive committee. He said there was a revision of the 2015 budget, which was approved. He said reserves were being drawn down for capital investment costs and some members are uncomfortable with this. They are looking for savings and they’ve discussed relieving the administrator and the assistant administrator and field out their duties. However, no vote was taken as the authority wasn’t present. The meeting is October 9th and a vote will be taken at that time. Williamson is not in favor of this and feels more deliberation is necessary. Hughes agrees with the deliberative process. Hughes wonders about drawing down the reserves for high definition. Williamson said they are in the beginning stages to adapt. He said the reserves are up over $300K and there was a planned drawn down of around $50K. He said there might be alternatives to the draw down and it’s not an emergency. Reinhardt would encourage Williamson to discuss this further.
  • Bren attended the storm water session put on by the University of MN. She said it was informative and helps her understand what is going on with Spring Park. She said she would like to encourage Spring Park residents affected by the recent construction to be patient. She saw some amazing changes made at Nine Mile Creek where water was redirected and plantings and landscaping installed making a beautiful setting. Bren talked about a certification program to learn about taking care of streets regarding chemicals for snow removal from parking lots and sidewalks. She said the information will be available at City Hall for anyone who is interested. Bren also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new 9-1-1 Hennepin County Dispatch Center in Plymouth.
    1. City Administrator

      1. Winter Trail Use –

        Reinhardt said this discussion is held every year. She said each individual community decides if they want to maintain their portion of the trail. She said Spring Park is not willing to take on this liability. Hughes moves to reject the offer and not apply for a permit. Williamson seconds. Hughes references the letter stating it won’t require city council action so he wonders who would decide then. Williamson said the city doesn’t oppose winter use of the trail but the shifting of the obligation to the city during the winter is not the way to deal with this. Reinhardt said there have been previous requests from residents to maintain the trail. All votes ayes, motion carries.

    2. City Engineer

      1. West Arm Central East Feasibility Report –

        Pearson said a report dated September 29th was prepared as a draft. He said after review, there might be some changes. Pearson said this is not a public hearing. He said he will use a map to illustrate the discussion. Pearson said West Arm Rd East is about 850 feet in length. He said the existing roadway is 16 feet in width and with the curb it’s around 17 feet until the east end where it tapers to about 12 feet. Pearson said there is a catch basin that collects water and drains to the lake. He said televising of the sewer main was done and a lining was recommended instead of actual replacement. Pearson said a sewer service repair is needed in the area of 4308 West Arm Rd East. He said the water main was installed in 1963 and a water main break showed deterioration during the repaior. Williamson asked how many houses for storm sewer drain to the east and west. Pearson said about 2.5-3 houses drain to the east. He said what’s being discussed is widening of the roadway and drainage and no storm sewer improvements being contemplated for the easterly storm sewer system.


        Pearson said the proposed improvements are a 21 foot back-to-back of the curb section. He said the easterly position would be centered on the existing bituminous roadway. Pearson said some lot corners were found as a result of some surveys previously performed. He said their proposal is the street not encroach on the adjoining properties. He said on the south side it will extend beyond the existing pavement line and it could be 4-5 feet. He said HCRRA has been very good to work with. Regarding a turnaround at the end of West Arm Rd East they are proposing a 20x20’ area for this purpose. There would be a retaining wall on the south side to provide a five foot boulevard area that is relatively flat. This would allow for snow storage and an area for vehicles backing out of driveways. A storm scepter structure is being proposed for storm water runoff before it goes to the lake. Its structure is similar to what was previously constructed at Thor Thompson Park. Power poles are not proposed to be moved other than an existing pole on the south side of the road which will be moved further to the south.


        Pearson said the report talks about the city’s assessment policy. Pearson said the total estimated costs of the project for the improvements discussed including the storm sewer extension, are $746,000. It includes costs for professional services, administrative services and ten percent contingency. The city’s share would be $598,250 and benefiting property share $147,750. Pearson said these estimates do not include easements costs for the storm sewer extension and the turnaround. He said the city will need to determine a method to assess to the benefiting properties. One proposal is to take the length of the frontage and compare to the total front footage of the property. He said Fletcher’s Apartments comes to about 36.4% of the costs and the residents would pay the remainder of 63.6% of the costs between eleven residential units. On a lot unit basis the residential parcels would be assessed an equal amount. The estimated assessment for Fletchers Apartments is $53,781 and the residential units would be $8,543 per unit. Pearson said the date of the public hearing could be on November 10th. Dependent on the results of the hearings the council could order plans and specs. Advertisement of the bids would occur on November 15th. Bids could be opened on December 11th and review of bids on the 15th. Tolsma said the November 10th meeting fits into the canvassing of the November 4th election. The end result of the timeline would be the same with a review of the West Arm Road bids potentially on December 15th. Pearson said construction would start in May with estimated completion in August with the exception of the wear course which would be placed in 2016.


        Hughes asked about the retaining wall and what is the height and what is the construction material. Pearson said a fence is recommended if the height exceeds 30 inches. Because it’s located along the trail, a fence would be advisable. Pearson said a large block, “Big Block” 18”x18”x3-4 feet in length is suggested. He said they don’t require tiebacks thereby saving vegetation. Sippel said the street reconstruction is more than West Arm Central and he wonders what percentage is related to the retaining wall. Pearson said the retaining wall is estimated to be $181K. Sippel said he believes storm sewer improvements are not assessed to the residents. Reinhardt said it’s a flexibility in the assessment policy. Sippel said the $118K sewer extension to the lake, he doesn’t view that as a benefit. He said he would not look to assess the residents for stormwater. Sippel asks about wetland credits and he wonders if there is something received for the new part south of the trail. Pearson said there is no value as a wetland, it’s intended to be a dry basin. Reinhardt agrees with the stormsewer assessment not going to the property owners so it drops the price. Also the retaining wall is an expense. Hughes wonders about the average elevation and wonders about how far above lake level. Hughes also wonders about the new watermain. Pearson said there would be 7.5 feet of cover over the watermain and insulation to protect from freezing at the sewer crossing.


        Pearson said they have adequate information regarding soil conditions where the watermain will be. Williamson said soil corrections were made in the mid to late 1990’s when the road was resurfaced. He said he doesn’t know how extensively this was done. Williamson asked about looping water systems. Pearson said it is a looped system now extending to the west and to the east through the townhomes. Williamson wants to know more about the storm scepter and why does the wetland need to be filled. Pearson said with the storm scepter system, because the storm water discharges into a ditch, there is some treatment that takes place. He said sediments are removed and water is purified somewhat in the ditch. He said this request for the storm sewer extension came from a copy of the letter and request from the neighborhood. He said there was a request from Fletchers Apartments and the adjoining property owner to get rid of the ditch. Williamson wonders how much wetland credits cost. Pearson said 5400 square feet of wetland credits would be required to be purchased based on a two to one ratio. For each square foot of wetland filled, two square feet needs to be mitigated. He said the purchase of those credits is about $1.25/square foot therefore wetland mitigation and purchasing the credits is about 10K, which includes professional services.


        Williamson asked about easement costs. Pearson said for this draft the report it was intentionally left blank because of negotiation with the property owners. Williamson wonders about easements with HCRRA. Pearson said because they would be following along the existing watermain, HCRRA prefers this installation by permit. Tolsma said there is a small cost of $750 but they might try and include it under a previous permit. Hughes asked about the east end of the road and he wonders about the easement from the resident. Pearson refers to the top of page three of the draft report. There would be one easement at the eastern end of the road for the 20x20 foot vehicle turnaround area.


        Sippel asked about the slip lining and the expected service life. He would like to see it spelled out as an option of replacing this versus slip lining it. Sippel would like to see an easement along the swale in order to maintain it. He said it isn’t functioning as a wetland because of the trees growing in it.


        Change Tape at 9:12 p.m.


        Catherine Palen 4352 West Arm Rd. Palen said she finds it difficult to think of the swale as a wetland. She said it’s become a dumping grounds. Palen said Lord Fletchers Apartments considers the swale their property and, if it’s filled in, Fletchers would use it as parking.   Palen said West Arm Bay is of poor quality anyway and she wants to see it made better. Palen said there is one fire hydrant and she thinks that will have to be moved. She wonders who built the wall around the hydrant. Palen said the slope of the hill weeps water after a rainfall. Palen said there are wires and cables and wonders about placing them underground.   She said regarding the assessing of the real estate equally, she said some lots are exceptionally larger so she thinks some consideration should be given for foot frontage. Palen recommends soil testing under the street because water shutoff piping raises in the spring and then settles back down.


        Reinhardt said when talking about covering the swale next to LF Apts and the concern about parking of vehicles, she wonders if that is actually LF’s property line. Pearson said they would have to determine the line in the final design. He said when filling in the ditch, the pipe would be strong enough for parking to take place over the top of it with a minimum of one foot of cover over the pipe. Reinhardt asked about zoning ordinances and parking setbacks and Tolsma said this could be a hardcover issue. Reinhardt asked about the fire hydrant and retaining wall. Pearson said the hydrant would be moved. Reinhardt asked about the retaining wall and sharing the costs between the city and the residents. Pearson said if seepage occurs from the side slope of the hill after rain, a granular material would be backfilled behind the retaining wall with periodic weep holes for the seepage to drain through the wall section. Reinhardt asked about burying powerlines and she thinks she remembers the unit assessment cost was double. Reinhardt asked about the assessment options regarding linear foot rule versus per unit. Pearson said he views road usage as a benefit gained by all residents whether the foot frontage is longer or not, they receive equal benefit. He said if the council deems front footage is a way of assessing, it can be changed. Reinhardt asked about soil borings and heaving of pipes at certain times of the year. Pearson said he will review this with Goman. He said frost susceptible soil correction can be expensive. Hughes said the cost of soil borings is a minor part of the cost to the entire project and if it can give accurate information, it is money well spent.


        Reinhardt said she would look for a motion to schedule the public hearing. Sippel said going back to previous comments he has made, and the potential for combining this project for West Arm Central, he wonders if the project should be recast as one big project. Pearson said with economy of scale, as far as combining and rebidding, there would be cost advantages, for example for mobilization. He said the cost analysis, because of the retaining wall, the configuration of the lots; if the two were combined they would be bid as two separate sections for assessment purposes. Reinhardt said when looking at the timeline, if there is a public hearing and ordering plans and specs, one of the specs could be a bid alternative of West Arm Central fitting in the timeline. Williamson said there was a petition received from the neighborhood with ten or eleven names. He said it just requires a majority vote. He thinks this needs to be sorted out. He thinks the public hearing could be scheduled and Beck said that is correct. She said the public hearing could be held for the east side and then request separate bidding for east and central. Sippel said when ordering plans and specs, he wonders if they should have them at the public hearing. Pearson said if the public hearing is held on November 10th and the council orders plans and specs it gives a full two weeks to complete the plans and specs. Hughes makes a motion to set the public hearing for November 10th for West Arm East project. Sippel seconds. Sippel suggests to remove the proposed improvements for storm water in terms of the assessment so that it is clearly what we're talking about with the residents. Hughes agrees with that. Reinhardt restates there is a motion and a second to set the public hearing date for November 10th and also modify the feasibility report to take out the storm water management and instead add it to the city's share. Tolsma asked about including the wetland mitigation credits and the smaller storm water replacement for $25K. He wonders if it's all of it, 100% City. Sippel answers yes. Williamson asks a technical question. He said if the motion is adopted, he wonders if the exception regarding any and all storm sewer related items yet can be modified or does it lock in. Sippel said it's not locked in until the assessment hearing. Williamson said he's concerned that LF Apartments will gain useful land and he is not in favor of that. He doesn't believe in making a gift to one entity. Hughes asks about an environmental assessment and Reinhardt doesn't know if they're talking about that much disturbance. Pearson said he could check with their wetland specialists. All votes ayes on roll call vote, motion carries.


        Reinhardt wants to know if a personal letter will be sent to affected property owners and Tolsma confirms. Hughes makes a motion to authorize soil borings. Williamson seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries. Williamson said if Goman has the records, borings won't be needed.

    3. City Attorney – nothing.

    4. Utility Superintendent – nothing.

    1. October 8 – Administration Committee – 1:00 PM

    2. October 8 – Planning Commission – 7:00 PM

    3. October 8 – LMCD – 7:00 PM

    4. October 20 – City Council Meeting – 7:30 PM

    5. October 9 – LMCC

    6. November 10 – 1st Council meeting moved due to elections.

    1. Bills & Payroll – Williamson makes a motion and Hughes seconds to pay the claims. All votes ayes, motion carries.

    2. Lift Station #5 Partial Pay Request –

      Pearson said there was a letter along with a pay request executed with Widmer and the amount is $180,032.79 which includes a retainage of 5% allowed by the contract until the work is completed. Pearson said this is a partial pay request. He said all work will be completed this year and there will be another pay request coming. Pearson said there isn’t any additional work anticipated at this time. All work is above ground. He said Goman is working on the landscaping part of this which is not included. Tolsma said Lord Fletchers Apartments have been requesting certain landscaping. Williamson moves the approve the pay request of $180,032.79. Bren seconds.   All votes ayes, motion carries.

  1. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
    1. WeCAN Empty Bowls Event

  1. ADJOURNMENT – Sippel makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adjourn the meeting at 9:56 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.




                                                                                    Wendy Lewin, City Clerk



Dan Tolsma, Administrator