February 22, 2016, Work Session Minutes

FEBRUARY 22, 2016 – 7:00 PM

Williamson said there are two applications and they need to decide how to deal with them. He suggests to meet one hour early of the March 7th meeting. He thinks both candidates should be interviewed. He suggests 6:30 p.m. Pavot asks about the certainty of the upcoming vacancy and Tolsma said yes. The departing commissioner has even offered to step down now if that helps with a new appointment. Hughes thinks he would like to meet both candidates. Beck said she would recommend appointing both candidates if they are qualified and then asking Sarah Struck, the resigning commissioner, to choose a resignation date. Hughes likes the idea of asking both candidates when they would like to start and give them the option. Williamson just wants to have a full planning commission as soon as possible because one never knows what may be coming up in the near future. Williamson wonders if there will be a problem for the applicants to meet on March 7th and Tolsma said he thinks they will both be available.

2. DRAINAGE EASEMENTS (10 minutes)
Williamson explained this is part of the West Arm Road project. He said this involves a negotiation with two property owners because of a cross connection nudging another property owner. He said they are looking for an indication that the council is satisfied with the terms of the agreement. Hughes asks if there are two houses affected because he wonders about where the easement actually is. Tolsma said there is a temporary construction easement for equipment access but the only permanent easements are for the two indicated properties. Williamson said the only difference now is the price originally contemplated is somewhat higher. Tolsma said Barbara Ward (4368) is the property owner with the easement running the length of the property. He said there have been negotiations and minor sticking points but earlier compensation of $7500 has changed. Tolsma said Ward discussed this with an attorney and a realtor and ultimately has now requested $15,000 in compensation. Tolsma told Ward to put her final request in writing and sign it in order to have documentation of a final offer. Tolsma said Ward did so and he has all three agreements, in hand, signed and ready to go and the negotiations are finished. Bren asked if Ward was the only property owner requesting compensation and Tolsma said yes. Tolsma said the other property owner is Hackney (4372) and because of the minimal crossing easement, compensation was not being offered. Tolsma said Hackney was okay with this. Tolsma said when Ward requested an increase, it was based on the fact that her property would be unusable during construction and she would be inconvenienced. Tolsma said there obviously are other costs involved than just the $15,000 compensation. He said a total of $75-85,000 inlcuding compensation, restoration, installation of the drainage and landscaping.
Williamson said he thinks Ward’s compensation request was also based upon the possibility of loss of income due to potential loss of leased dock space. Williamson said this request for increased compensation should not be a deal breaker and he just wants to get this done. Williamson said this is a permanent solution as the easement is perpetual. Williamson asked if the council is on board with this and everyone states this is the next best alternative as negotiation with Lord Fletcher’s Apartments had broken down. Tolsma said Goman checked the drainage ditch running to the lake and reported Lord Fletcher’s Apartments have dumped all their snow into the ditch. Pavot wondered if there was a pollution issued and Tolsma said they checked with the Watershed. The Watershed stated because it was downstream of the treatment pond, there was not a concern on their part.

Williamson asked if Goman has seen the documents that are in front of the council this evening and Tolsma said yes, they were reviewed on Friday. Williamson said since Goman has seen the documents under discussion they will move forward. He said this is an item that the personnel committee... Goman arrives. Williamson explained the discussion was just starting. Williamson repeats the previous remarks to bring Goman up-to-speed. Williamson said Tolsma has organized the reporting data.

Tolsma said they have been trying to make sure they have the most accurate report and a total year report was received from the Long Lake Fire Chief. He said he and Goman went through all the calls, one-by-one, and a lot of the calls were when Goman was off duty so those were irrelevant. Tolsma said the timesheets had to be reconciled and the council now has an accurate compilation. Tolsma said there were 52 calls responded to in 2015 during city hours. He said there were more day-time responses but some of those were when Goman was already off, it was a weekend, or he was on vacation. He said of those calls, 22 were not reported on his timesheets. Tolsma said from the report received from Long Lake Fire, the times were available. Tolsma also calculated five minutes response time to the fire station and five minutes to return to the city. Tolsma said Goman informed him 95% of the calls were to the Navarre station. Tolsma said with ten minutes response time, plus the actual time on the call was added to the 22 non reported calls it added up to16 hours found to be not recorded. Tolsma said for 2015 it was estimated the total amount of time spent responding to fire calls was 45 hours.

Tolsma said discussion should be what amount of time is the council comfortable with and liability concerns. He said when talking with the city’s insurance agent, Mark Lenz, he was told liability is a concern as liability stays with the vehicle, wherever it is. Tolsma said Lenz also said other entities can assume liability but there is a necessary agreement required. Tolsma said the auditors have been consulted and of note, in their view, this requires additional IRS paperwork and a taxable benefit would be assigned. Tolsma said something to keep in mind is whether this would be different if he was responding to Mound Fire and it was determined that it would be different. He said it’s difficult to make the argument due to potential mutual aid call out to a Spring Park fire.

Tolsma said when discussing this with Goman an important question is what is the Spring Park’s benefit other than maybe being a good neighbor. He said it’s a benefit for the employee but as far as a benefit for Spring Park, it’s a struggle to make the connection. He said for Long Lake it’s a benefit because they’re getting a day responder. He said he doesn’t know if this is a benefit for Spring Park taxpayers.

Hughes asks about the hours collected and if a call only lasts for 15 minutes and is cancelled, is the call recorded accurately. Goman said full hours are based on an hour but if they are on a call less than an hour, they still get credit for an hour. Tolsma reminded everyone that is a fire department calculation. Tolsma said he went based on the time checked in, checked out and travel time. Goman said what they’ve done since the inception is if it’s a fifteen minute call, he rounds it to a half hour so, he takes a half hour compensation time.

Beck asks about the employment agreement regarding calls during the SP work day stating calls should be critical and Beck asks at whose discretion. Goman said it is his discretion based upon the call. Williamson reads the language in the agreement. Hughes asked if he responded to every critical call if he has something going. Goman said no, he has to evaluate the situation. Tolsma said sometimes Goman doesn’t know on the initial callout if it’s critical or not. Williamson asked about judging distance to travel. He asks if Goman goes directly to the call. Goman said for the most part he goes to the station to get the truck. Williamson asked about a sprinkler activation on Kelley Avenue. Williamson wondered why Goman had to respond to that call and Goman said because they don’t initially know what the circumstance is. Williamson wonders why Goman would have to respond to something like that when he is positioned on the south end of the call (Spring Park). Williamson asks if Goman travels the speed limit because he traveled that route a lot and he knows it’s about 15 minutes each way, going the speed limit. He wonders if Goman is exempt. Williamson asked if Goman responds faster and Goman said unless they are slowed to routine, he is responding above the speed limit. Williamson wonders about the liability insurance in that regard. Goman said he’s not responding in a city vehicle. Goman said he drives the normal speed limit to the fire department. Williamson said he’s asking about responding with the city vehicle if he exceeds the speed limit. Goman said sometimes if he’s up on the north end because he’s on city business and a call comes out, he will respond directly to Long Lake Fire station in Long Lake. Williamson asks if Goman uses the city vehicle when he is not on city time to respond to fire calls and Goman said no, he uses his personal vehicle.

Hughes said living that same life while he was teaching, he was allowed to leave his position depending upon the call due to low response personnel. He said as far as liability on the truck and what if Goman is called to Orono or Mound for a street issue, he wonders what difference that would make. Pavot said that is the difference, it's city related. Beck said because he’s no longer on the time clock if he's responding to a fire call. He’s using the Spring Park truck as a personal benefit. Hughes said when he was on the fire commission they were discussing a district wide fire service and right now this is being discussed. He said he wonders about when there are fewer volunteers. He said the next step is the duty officer program with a full- time crew dedicated and paying for it. He said that will impact the budget drastically. Hughes said Goman has to make the right decision. He also thinks there were some critical calls that Goman probably didn’t respond to due to his duties and required presence in Spring Park.

Williamson said he is concerned with Goman’s ability to discern critical and noncritical calls in a moment’s notice. He said he's concerned about the accounting for the sizable amount of calls that weren’t showing up on the timesheet. He said he was being paid by the city when in fact he was on a fire call. He said he could understand if there were a few of these but this happened with a high rate of regularity, over 40%. Goman said part of what is not recorded is his lack of a lunch or a break and that’s difficult to calculate. He added this missed time has already been made up for on a February timesheet. Pavot said there is so much administration time being involved in figuring this out. She said for transparency, it’s necessary. Goman said no one knows when they’re going to take their lunch breaks or their office breaks. Pavot said she means because of the administration of calculating times away from the city and the potential liability it seems like a waste of time to go through that exercise. She feels when you’re at work, you’re at work. Bren said she’s had an uncomfortable feeling about this for a long time.

Bren said she doesn’t understand why an employee needs a take home vehicle. She doesn’t understand why a personal vehicle can’t be used. She said just because it’s always been that way, she doesn’t think it needs to stay that way. She also doesn’t understand being allowed to respond to fire calls while on city time. She said a bigger concern is if the public works superintendent (PSW) is allowed to be away from the city for Long Lake Fire (LLF), what happens if there is a critical incident in the city? She wonders if it’s time to make a choice: the fire department or the city. Goman interrupts and says he guarantees it won’t be a choice. Bren continues she knows they get paid for the fire department and there is a retirement plan and she says she has seen the benefits of this while she was city clerk at the City of St. Boni.

Bren said there is a cell phone, a laptop computer, all used for city business and she wonders how does the council know? She thinks this should be reviewed. She recalls one morning going to a police commission meeting and she noticed Goman was at Long Lake Fire, Navarre Station, lowering the flag to half-staff. She wondered what that was about. Bren said it seems to her that this is off balance. She wonders how a person justifies this as to how the other employees are treated. Do the other employees get uniform benefits and other benefits to leave to do other things and how do they feel about this. She wonders how does the city function and how do they feel when this is so one-sided. She thinks she sees stress and tension to this regard. She says she hasn’t spoken much because she feels she gets talked down for the most part but, when she saw this in the packet, she felt this was an opportunity for her to speak her opinion. She said she used to come to city hall and she’d ask where Goman was and nobody knew. She wonders who he answers to. Goman said he answers to Tolsma and the city council. Bren asked how much authority Tolsma has if the council doesn’t give him good direction. She said there are so many things with having a city vehicle and the fuel, the washes, the oil, the antifreeze, add up to a lot more expense when a city vehicle is allowed to be taken outside of the city. She said Tolsma doesn’t have a city vehicle. She said these things she has questioned. Other employees don’t get the same benefits and Goman responded because they don’t have the same job.

Pavot said a vehicle to and from home doesn’t seem necessary. Obviously while in the city a truck is necessary. Bren wonders if it’s necessary when there is a road project that the PWS watches the project. She said an engineer is paid to watch over the project. She said these are questions and observations she has had for the three years she has been on the council and she feels she should have probably brought this up sooner. Bren said she has a lot of things. Goman said now is the time. Therefore, Bren asks about shoveling the sidewalks on a holiday. When she walks she wonders who is doing this. She wonders if it’s necessary for Goman to charge overtime to shovel a walk when it’s a holiday. Bren asks about the decision on the retaining wall on Mapleton Avenue in front of Williamson’s house. She said this is bringing up a lot of things but it’s things she has questioned for a long time. She said she doesn’t ever remember having a discussion about this project and all of a sudden one day it was being done. Bren said she feels stupid. Goman said don’t feel stupid because no one sitting at the table knows every answer right away. Bren said she was surprised when the invoice for Goman’s work boots came up and Goman said he would show her the OSHA standard requiring this. Pavot said the city isn’t required to buy city boots and Goman disagrees per the OSHA standard. Bren said she sees when she is walking extension cords from Christmas lights. She wonders if they shouldn’t be gathered and put away. She wonders if Goman doesn’t have time for this. She questions why Christmas lights are left all year long on trees. She understands it costs more money to hire someone to take the lights down. She said if there is going to be a city truck and all these extra benefits, it should be part of his pay package. Bren said she is not in favor as to how this sits right now. Williamson said it's an interesting and thoughtful list.

Williamson asks for Goman’s response to this. Goman said he’d like a copy of the questions so he can answer them more thoroughly but, as part of his position as public works and being on-call, he only gets four days off per month as part of the on-call requirement. He said as part of the cell phone it’s monitoring the lift stations, taking after hours calls from contractors and vendors. He said the take home vehicle is part of the requirements for being on-call and responding to emergency situations and the like. He said the uniforms and safety apparel is part of OSHA requirements. He said regarding Christmas lights they’d have to hire this out because of lack of a bucket truck. He said the extension cords usually are frozen in the ground so they have to wait for spring. He said the Christmas lights staying up year-round is to save money. He said if they have them taken down the budget will increase. He said it doesn’t hurt the trees nor does it hurt the lights to leave them up. Bren said that brings up another question and that is because Spring Park is so small and everything is contracted out, she wonders why the city doesn’t just consider a merger with another city, such as Orono. Goman said it’s a considerable option.

Williamson said he doesn’t want to explore that at this time. He said it’s been discussed in other cities and it usually dies. He said it many times comes down to a financial advantage for one city over another and therefore because a unanimous vote is required, it doesn’t happen. He said it’s essentially what the city does now with joint powers agreements and contracting with other cities for police and fire. He said there are unique characteristics and desires for each city and he thinks it’s unlikely.

Goman said another question was the projects such as West Arm Rd. He said it’s part of his job responsibilities to inspect the water and sewer installations. He said they could contract with the engineer to do more of this but he said this adds costs to the project. Williamson asked about an example. Goman said he handles the water meter to the pipe, the pressure testing. Williamson asked if he performs the testing and Goman said no, he witnesses it. He said there are things that have to be performed, opening the fire hydrants, opening and closing the services. What Williamson said he’s getting at is they did pay an extra amount for a manager to oversee the conduct of the contractors. He said the question posed to him by several people is why did Goman have to spend so much time watching the project instead of checking in from time-to-time. Goman said a project manager who is now Mike Kuno and was Paul Pearson who is not necessarily always at the site. He said they’re paying for Tom Christianson, an inspector and Goman to oversee the physical portion of the project; the lift stations, the water tower painting. He said there are certain things an engineer or an inspector can do but not necessarily turn the valves. He said he's needed in order to witness and to perform certain functions.

Williamson said he thinks all of this needs to be explored further and in conjunction with the current staffing analysis being conducted, now might be the time to address this. He said right now there is the issue with the fire calls and the accounting and the administration of it. He said what disturbed him were the missing times and elements. Williamson said reconstruction of immediate, unrecorded detail is difficult to recall. He said it isn’t necessarily intentional. He said he’s concerned about recreating the detail this involves. He said it takes a lot of staff time. He said the administrative overhead becomes prohibitively expensive. Goman asks if it would be different if he was responding to Mound Fire Department as a City of Spring Park employee. Williamson said it’s a good question and his own observation is maybe or maybe not. He said when he lived in the City of Bloomington, city staff did respond to city fire calls but they had a large staff to draw on. He thinks the city has gotten away from that. He noted last year the fire chief from St. Boni was not allowed to leave his job to respond to a fire call. Goman said it depends upon the type of call. Williamson said this was stated in a public meeting that he was unable to respond. Bren said times have changed and Goman agrees. He said volunteerism has changed. Employers, public and private are unwilling to let employees leave.

Williamson said the increased focus on prevention has been successful so the responses are more related to medical responses. He said the whole point is the problem is with one employee, the accounting of the time and the level of errors occurring and he wonders if this is a sustainable model. He has a sense the time is in order for some change. Goman said if there is a change or modification down the road and, for whatever reason Long Lake Fire covers the City of Spring Park either directly or district wide, he wonders what the decision would be then. He understands he is only one person in his position at the city. Hughes said depending upon the nature of the fire call, multiple agencies can be called in if it goes beyond the all-call response. He said depending upon the rotation of mutual aid, Long Lake would be summoned. Hughes suggests more documentation regarding what type of call, what Goman was doing at the time allowing him to leave the city or why he couldn’t leave. He said it might help answer questions.

Williamson said he thinks they should look at something that reduces record keeping. He said by eliminating responding to fire calls in its entirety, it would solve all those other recordkeeping problems. Goman said the other thing to keep in mind is if eliminating all fire calls, if there is a fire in Spring Park, he will be on the scene performing his city functions. He said he will be still tied up on that call. Williamson said yes, but that would eliminate the recordkeeping problems. Goman said there is concern that he is responding to fire calls so just that it’s noted, if there is a fire in Spring Park, there are still duties he will perform related to the fire call. Pavot said the difference is Goman is responding as a PWS, not as a fire responder. Williamson said this would also address the liability issue taking the city vehicle out of the city to respond to a fire call.

Hughes said if the city vehicle were to be left in the city, it would be necessary to garage the vehicle versus Goman being able to watch over the vehicle while it’s at his residence. Bren said it could be parked underneath and Goman said no, based upon what was previously decided itcouldn’t be parked below. Pavot asks what is in the truck that doesn’t allow it to be parked by the water plant or the water tower Hughes said the equipment, the hand tools, the radio, the computer.

Pavot said she’s surprised parking the truck at Goman’s residence in Long Lake is deemed safer than parked at city hall. Goman said historically it’s always been a take home vehicle as part of the on-call package. Goman said he would be more than happy to leave the vehicle at city hall if there were more employees that could handle the on-call. He said he would be more than happy to leave the cell phone on his desk at 4:30 but it’s part of the on-call requirements. He said the cell phone isn’t a benefit. It sits right outside his shower.

Horton asks how much on-call he actually has and Goman said he only gets four days off per month. He said every week and every-other-weekend, he’s on-call. Williamson said he’s compensated three hours each day he’s on-call and then if there is an actual call out there is additional compensation. Williamson said the argument is the half weekends Goman is on call and instead a 100% arrangement could be made but it is beyond the scope of this discussion. Goman said he can guarantee they won’t get it for $50 per day like it is now. Pavot asks if it is a requirement of the PWS position to be on-call and Goman responds that it is. Williamson said back in time, there weren’t the new lift stations, the backup power supplies and there was one generator that had to be rotated around the lift stations to keep the flow moving and it was quite an orchestration. He said if there was a problem where a generator was needed, one was ready to go. He said at that time a take home vehicle made sense to be able to mobilize quickly. Williamson said because of the lift stations having backup generators, it’s not as critical now. Goman said he would beg to differ. Williamson said that is for another discussion. Goman said there are other things, frozen pipes, water breaks inside a house, the water tower. Williamson said the issue is to respond with a personal vehicle and get the city truck and with a city the size of Spring Park, they’re talking a difference of minutes. He said what needs to be discussed is whether that is critical or not. Goman said it could be if someone’s house is flooding.

Williamson said the fire call issue is what is before the council this evening and what is changed today can be changed again tomorrow. He thinks the other issues should be looked at in an organized and systematic fashion at a later date. Goman said based upon the two issues, the fire calls and the city truck usage, the city truck usage is a greater priority for the city to be with the PWS, whether it’s himself of someone else. Goman said it makes more sense for the PW person to have the vehicle versus parking it in the garage and because of two current staff members’ concern over vapors and fumes from the vehicle it is not allowed. Goman said it’s better parked at his residence. Pavot wonders what type of security measures he has at his residence. Goman replied there are neighborhood cameras, security lighting, adequate police patrol coverage in his neighborhood. Williamson asked about exterior cameras for city hall and Goman said there is nothing for the exterior. Tolsma said they’ve focused on city hall for the first phase of security. He said the second phase will include the water plant. Williamson said he thought there would be the ability to scale up in the future and Tolsma agreed.

Hughes said he remembers a while back there were some official claims made about the fumes being unhealthy at city hall. Beck said it was in violation of OSHA. Pavot said she was trying to compare the difference between outdoor storage: outdoor at city hall versus outdoor at Goman’s residence. Goman said outdoor at city hall has to do with security issues. Hughes said he would be very uncomfortable with the vehicle being stored outside at city hall. Hughes believes the truck should stay with whomever is on call. Pavot said she has difficulty wrapping her head around this just because the city is so small. Goman said he’ll use an example. Sewer backup on Lafayette Lane. He was able to go directly to the scene to investigate instead of stopping to get the truck and go to where it is. Whether it’s inside or outside, there is delayed response. He said watermain breaks with water running down the street, icing up, to minimize the damage and liability. He said there could be negative response from the residents because they’re used to being provided real good service. Horton asked about other cities with take home vehicles. Goman responded Wayzata, Minnetonka, Mound, Maple Plain, Tonka Bay, Chanhassen, Excelsior, etc. He said it isn’t current data but it’s not a rarity. Pavot said she sees where it makes sense in certain situations but Spring Park is very small. Goman said he’d be more than happy to turn over his keys and pager to Tolsma at 4:30 p.m. Pavot reminded Goman it is part of his job description. She said he either wants the job or not. She compares it to a doctor, either an emergency room doctor or a 9-5 oncologist. It’s part of the requirements of the job. Goman agreed and said as part of being on call, he needs – Pavot agreed, he needs a phone but she doesn’t agree he needs a take home vehicle. Bren said she’s sorry she brought all these things up as it has surpassed the allotted time.

Williamson said it would be interesting for the council to express their consensus on the fire call responses – either status quo or initiate change. Bren asked if a decision will be made tonight and Williamson said no, only a consensus because the meeting was not posted. Bren asked if this was for an opinion then and, if so, she thinks there should be no response to fire calls during work day hours. Pavot said she’s also a no. Horton said she’s a no due to IRS paperwork and liability and lack of a person in the city to respond to city issues. Hughes has a concern about the truck liability but he thinks it can be worked out. He also thinks the long-term direction of fire calls going to a district wide approach may help. He said from his perspective, if Goman were to pull together an more accurate log regarding fire calls and what he was pulled away from, if he didn’t respond, why and how Goman makes the discretionary decision. Tolsma said this can be seasonal based. He said during the winter, he is more available. During the summer, a decision log based upon what Goman is being pulled away from would be helpful. Goman said he currently forwards a copy of the call and sends it to office employees as he’s responding and once he’s back within the city.

Williamson said at this time, based upon documentation, he believes in moving in the direction of eliminating the fire call response. He said things can change depending upon how future fire calls are structured. He said for now, eliminating response to fire calls during work hours eliminates the paperwork, accounting and second guessing that goes on. He said the proposition at the next council meeting will be to modify the agreement regarding fire calls. He said at this time on call hours need to be discussed, including other issues raised tonight need to be further discussed. Hughes asked if it comes out that LLF is called to a fire in Spring Park, does that automatically bring DJ to the city as a city employee. Pavot said as an employee of the city. Williamson said if Mound Fire asks for extra support and LLF is going to respond, during work hours, Goman is not allowed to respond. Tolsma said there were 414 calls and he responded to 238 calls and only 52 while on city time.

Williamson said there is nothing written but what they’re trying to get at is if city staff runs out of supplies, they order supplies. He said if chemicals are needed, they are ordered. He said there have been some issues however, things above and beyond routine activities, noticed on claims for payment. He said the dollar amount can get up there. He said they’re not concerned about a few hundred dollars. He said this can relate to a purchase of equipment or landscaping items and it goes into thousands of dollars. He believes the council should be consulted. He said other cities have the same issues and it’s hard to write policy for all cases for all times. He said for example check valves recently came up for Lift Station Six. He said a judgment call needs to be made but furthering this was the question whether to order more than what was required due to replacement concerns and that is something the council should be consulted on. He said there have been landscaping issues regarding irrigation and berming and past philosophy has been it’s easier to ask forgiveness versus permission. He said the issue is to whether to establish policy on what to bring to the council and he thinks a written policy should be had. He said the language is what is difficult. Williamson said Mound went through this a while back but they have a city manager format who is given more decision-making power.

Horton asks if it would help to just put a dollar amount on it; depending upon the actual dollar amount whether it would come before the council or not. Williamson said he’s not sure how to distinguish what is expected and routine and what is expected to be done. He said above and beyond routine operation and maintenance is what is in question. Goman said this affects 95% of what he does. Hughes said within the budget for this year, if Goman hypothetically has a request to buy all new playground equipment as an example and budgeted is 30K and if Goman wants to spend 40K he comes to the council. If he spends $28K, that’s already been approved. Pavot said she thinks she remembers a discussion being held about construction materials versus cost and she thinks this is part of that. Williamson said what Hughes is getting at is if it’s already in the budget, is it okay to just go ahead and spend it and he said the answer is no. The budget is a plan. He said there are routine expectations but when it comes to park equipment or water valves, there should be further discussion held.

Goman said staff has been hired to make decisions so therefore a policy needs to be developed. He said trust has been put in the hands of staff. Goman said recommendations were made from the PC to the council for picnic tables and benches but not for the expenditures and it's what’s needed and get it done. Williamson reminded that only the council can make the decisions. Goman said there wasn’t a dollar amount though. Williamson said it was in the budget but it also needed the role of the council to decide what to be done. Williamson said if there is something new or different such as expanding the scope, it needs to come to the council. He said they need to know about the change and discuss whether the timing is right or not.

Goman said one of his questions is if it’s a dollar figure or is it what the expenditure is. Williamson said sometimes either or. Beck said obviously a concern has been raised and she wonders about tasking a committee to look at what other cities do to craft some ideas. Goman lists some other cities who have dollar figures attached to administrative approval or not. Hennepin County - $2,500; Chanhassen - $7,000; Orono - $5,000; Excelsior – operating budget by category, Minnetonka -$100,000. Williamson thinks Beck’s suggestion is good and Admin can get some other policies from other cities to compare. He is looking right now for anything going above the $3,000 level that is discretionary be brought to the council. He is looking for clarity of the request.

5. FIRE ALARM CODE (10 minutes)
Williamson said there are materials in front of the council. Pavot put together what is front of the council. She said she went on a tour of Pres Homes and learned a lot about protocol. She said the present code is really great but it doesn’t apply to older buildings. Hughes said there is language in the code about exceeding certain criteria, then properties need to be brought up to current code. Pavot said she thinks what’s important is education. Williamson said in the future, contingencies for redevelopment could be pressed for code compliance no matter if it doesn’t meet the threshold for State compliance. Pavot said she is talking about signage. She said there is some progress on signage and the Mound Fire Chief is looking into this. Tolsma said the City could ask multi-family units what they are doing now and maybe provide the signage for posting. Placement of signage is discussed. Williamson wonders how many it would take to sign multi-housing units and said an inventory should be taken. Pavot said perhaps a grant could be gained.

Bren asked if it was up to the city to do this. Tolsma said an ordinance could be passed. Beck said if this conversation is held at a safety meetings of multi-family structures and residents learn the fire alarm is not tied to the fire department, she said the residents may put pressure upon the owners to take action. Hughes wonders about putting it in the newsletter. Williamson said there is also such a thing as a direct mail to every resident. Pavot likes the idea of providing the signs and putting pressure upon the property owners. Williamson would like to get a price quote for the signage and have the signs available. Bren wonders if the fire marshal can deliver the signs and verify if they are displayed. Bren wondered how many buildings this would apply to and it would be Lord Fletcher’s, Park Island, Bayview, Edgewater. Tolsma thinks it’s better for uniformed personnel to deliver the signs versus himself. Language on the signage is discussed. Williamson said they’re going to check on number of signs needed, pricing and language on the signs. He said the next challenge will be the installation element. Pavot will take an inventory of her building and Horton said she will be able to get the inventory of Park Island Apartments.

Williamson said from Orono Police Chris Fischer there is information about the Heart Safe program and CPR training. Williamson asked him about the presentation and what was received was a description and elements of the program and a timeline in setting this up. He said the real issue is to sit down with Fischer in order to make decisions about a program such as mapping where AED’s are not and prioritizing new placement of AED’s and identifying groups that would desire training. Hughes wonders if the twenty minute presentation could be filmed so everyone sees it. Williamson said he’s more interested in getting an order and sequence. He wonders about where AED’s would be necessary such as Minnetonka Drive-In, Lord Fletcher’s restaurant.

Williamson said he met with three other mayors regarding WeCan and he’ll report at the next council meeting.


a. December Financial Report
b. Fire Department Press Release