March 28, 2016, Work Session Minutes

MARCH 28, 2016 – 7:00 PM
Those Present: Shirley Bren, Nancy Beck, Megan Pavot, DJ Goman, Gary Hughes, Bruce Williamson, Dan Tolsma, Wendy Lewin.


1. TOUR OF CITY HALL AND PUBLIC WORKS FACILITY – Hughes asked about the Norling lease and Tolsma said it’s gone up about $200. He said it will be the fourth summer coming up. Williamson said he is concerned about the mold business in the lower level of City Hall. Bren asked if there was a lot of mold down there now and Goman said not a lot. He said it needs some scraping and cleaning. Williamson said there was always a drainage issue in that particular corner. He said they’ve tried to redirect the water and short of redesigning it, it’s been delayed due to a larger improvement considered. Goman anticipates a lot of restoration due to the water plant upgrade. Hughes asks whether the handicap accessibility will be available for elections and Goman said the contractor is aware of the need to be vacated during election time.

2. PORTS OF CALL UPDATE – Tolsma said last week Hughes stopped in and a phone call was made to the LMCD. Tolsma said there are three boats and Serenity and Sarah are paddle boats using Lord Fletcher's as a port-of-call. He said that means where they pick up guests and drop off guests. Tolsma said Serenity is proposing to use 5th Street Ventures (4787 Shoreline Dr) as it’s Berth for overnight parking. He said the LMCD said they don’t have permission to load or unload at that site because it’s not a port-of-call. When the boats are using Lord Fletcher's, guests can bring their own beverages or purchase beverages at LF. He said they are allowed to bring a cooler aboard. The boats cannot sell alcohol to the guests. He said there can be an agreement between the boat and LF.

Tolsma said the city doesn’t have an ordinance to control docking. He said the way they get around it is multi-family housing dock licensing says they can’t use it for commercial purposes. He said there is nothing about a commercial property allowing a boat to dock overnight. Williamson said the question is Serenity is a cycle boat but Sarah is not identified. Tolsma said Sarah is also a paddleboat. Tolsma said Emily from the LMCD said these are the two paddleboats. Williamson said he maintains Lord Fletcher's Apartments not be used as a commercial enterprise. Hughes said they aren’t parking any of them at Lord Fletcher's Apartments this year. Tolsma said under the LMCD’s rule, the Marina Shopping Center is not allowed as a port-of-call. Bren asked where the Escape will park. Tolsma thinks it’s Bayview in Excelsior. Williamson said it looks as though the City's questions have been answered and satisfied. Hughes said he’s comfortable that it will only be a berthing spot in the commercial district. Hughes said the LMCD did approve this in concept but was waiting for the City’s feedback on this.


a. Included for Council review is Mound’s highly detailed procurement policy. Mound was the only neighboring City that had a written policy, but some of our other neighboring cities had unwritten policies that staff will share with the Council Monday night.
Williamson said Mound's document is good and well thought out but is tailored to a city far larger than Spring Park. He would like to visit above and beyond budget and what is not in a line item of a budget. He said for routine and normal operations there are some good definitions so there aren’t surprises after the purchase. He said the key elements are there is a prohibition to breaking things up to get under the threshold. He said there are exceptions to making immediate payments to avoid late charges, interest and getting discounts.

Tolsma felt there isn’t an issue with this. Tolsma said this is highly detailed and he thought about only including a part of it. He said it is well developed and he was surprised that Mound is the only one with a written policy. He said Orono said non-routine over $5000 needs council approval.

Williamson said if something is budgeted for, there isn’t a problem. He said the concern is when things come up that haven’t been discussed. Hughes said he feels this is too comprehensive for Spring Park. He likes the idea of a dollar figure. He said he thinks the city does an excellent job getting RFP’s and keeping under the threshold as a general rule. He said for landscaping items, he wonders about a line item that says landscaping projects and a certain dollar figure. Goman thinks they used to do that and it was $50,000. Williamson thinks it’s earmarked though. He said the biggest thing is it hasn’t been discussed.

Hughes wonders if Tolsma can put together a one-page document that takes the applicable Mound language and craft it to fit Spring Park. He wonders about a short statement saying why the request and what is trying to be accomplished. Williamson said Certified Auto was proposed to have extensive landscaping and it was dismissed due to the cost of maintaining it. Goman said he remembers having a conversation with Tolsma about the landscaping and the boring under the road and he was doing what was okayed. Tolsma remembers it being discussed at Admin Committee. Williamson said he’s talking about things that show up on claims for payment and they don’t have the slightest idea about it. Goman said he and Tolsma are department heads and they’re given an operating budget and they haven’t exceeded it. He said they are given discretion to operate within. He wonders about the emergency situation. Tolsma said they can come up with situations that are defined as emergency situations. Beck said she likes Hughes idea of one to two page document and to use Mound’s framework. Goman said that’s what he and Tolsma have to do, how it's presented and what is necessary to be kept informed. Tolsma said there can be miscommunication and different understandings therefore a policy will clarify. Pavot likes the table as a quick reference but she would tweak it somewhat. She said she likes the idea of another quote. Tolsma said he’s always felt like they’ve gotten good business quotes because businesses like to work with cities because they know they’re going to get paid. Tolsma said he tells vendors that he’ll be getting another estimate and he feels they get competitive bidding that way.

4. APRIL WORK SESSION MOVE TO APRIL 11TH - Tolsma said Pavot will be gone for the scheduled work session so the suggestion is changing it. He said Springsted is about a week out from the organizational analysis. Goman wonders if there is a draft available and Tolsma said there will be a draft but they are ready. He said there will be a copy of the report and there will be a PowerPoint. Williamson suggests in order to form a basis to advertise for the City Clerk’s position this could be used for that too. He said there probably won’t be modifications regarding the solicitation. Tolsma said he wonders how much council involvement versus going to the personnel committee. He said if the council is comfortable with just a few developing the ad, it can save time without the full council weighing in on this. Hughes thinks small is better and there isn’t any violation of open meeting law. Tolsma said he thinks an advertisement could be ready to go by the end of the week. He said an initial review of applications can be narrowed and brought to the council. Hughes suggests the small group put the advertisement together but the council should see it first. Bren suggests the preliminary ad be sent to them via email. Tolsma said he could do that but it would be sent individually. Williamson suggests an ad be created, the personnel committee look at it and then sent around the council via email to approve. Tolsma researched the League and the longest posting of an ad was 20 days so he suggests three weeks. He said the Laker and the website will have the ad. Hughes suggests an end date for applications, an anticipated hire date and interview dates. Williamson asked Lewin about the vagaries such as when to end employment, how available she'll be, and third for the election. Lewin said she's stated on or around September 1st for her end date and the other two questions depend upon who is hired. She said if someone is hired that has experience, she might leave sooner and not have to assist with elections. If someone doesn't have election experience, Tolsma has been kindly suggesting she might have to assist. Tolsma agreed, it all depends upon who answers the ad.

5. BILLS & PAYROLL – Williamson said it’s a short list. He asked about Gopher Sport. Tolsma said it’s for the soccer goals. Williamson asked about the payment for West Arm. Goman said this was miscellaneous items for the project, concrete, curb and gutter, the base. Williamson wonders if this is the final claim and Goman said there will be at least one more. Bren makes a motion and Hughes seconds to pay the claims. All votes ayes, motion carries.

6. MISCELLANEOUS – Pavot reminds everyone of the security and loss workshop scheduled for April 20th, Brooklyn Park, City Hall and thinks it will be a great subject. Pavot said Chief Farniok is looking for adding to weather stations and the Highway 12 efforts to make the corridor safer. Tolsma said Fischer will be at the next work session regarding Heart Safe. Williamson said he wants to identify where AED's are located.

Hughes said he brought this up a couple years ago. The wood timbers along the sidewalks as retaining walls and he asks if Goman has documented this recently. Hughes wonders about this for budgeting purposes. Goman said the space between Norlings and Kings Road is the highest wall. Hughes wonders when it has to be done. Goman said he has photos and they’ve moved somewhat. Goman said they are tied back into the hill about eight feet. He said that design isn’t used anymore. Hughes just doesn’t want this to disappear from the radar. Bren thinks it makes more sense to do it all at once versus breaking it up over time. Williamson said it becomes difficult when there are other projects that come along and what’s put in now becomes something that is torn out.

a. Channels 8 & 20 Schedules
b. Fire Department Press Release

Adjourn the meeting at 9:12 p.m.