September 26, 2016, Work Session Minutes

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 – 7:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Mayor Williamson at 7:41 p.m.

Council Members Bruce Williamson, Mayor (arrived 7:38 p.m.); Shirley Bren; Gary Hughes; Megan
Present: Pavot; and Pamela Horton.

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk.

Others Present: Michael E. Mason, resident; Catherine Kane Palen, resident

a. Resolution 16-15 is attached for council approval. The resolution will establish a preliminary levy of $1,027,143, which is a 1.9% percent increase from the 2016 levy.

M/Bren, S/Hughes that the following resolution be adopted and that it be made part of these minutes:



Motion carried 5-0. This resolution appears as Resolution No. 16-15.

a. The council is required to set a truth in taxation meeting date between Nov. 25th and Dec. 28th where the final levy and budget will be discussed. Staff proposes setting the Dec. 5th council meeting as the truth in taxation meeting.

M/Pavot, S/Horton to schedule the Truth in Taxation meeting on December 5, 2016.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. PeopleService has approached the City about purchasing the public works truck. They have made an offer of $12,900 for the truck and all accessories, including a plow and salt spreader. The truck is a 2008 model with 59,000 miles. Staff consulted with numerous value calculators to determine the estimated value considering mileage, condition, and accessories. Based on staff’s findings, $12,900 is a fair offer within the appropriate range.

Mayor Williamson supports the sale of the public works truck so that the City can put money in the bank and no longer pay maintenance and upkeep expenses for a truck that is rarely used. He stated that the City logo is on the truck so it is good that PeopleService can use the truck in the community.

Council Member Hughes stated he has concerns and questioned whether that truck would be used exclusively in Spring Park after it is sold or if it would be used in other communities. He also believes that the PeopleService truck that is assigned to Spring Park should have a Spring Park logo on it for the residents to identify them as legitimate contractors with the City.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that once the truck is sold it will be up to PeopleService where the truck will be used. It will likely be brought to other cities but used primarily in Spring Park. PeopleService has contracts in other cities and the City was well aware of this prior to signing the contract for public works services. He stated that he hasn’t had a thorough discussion with PeopleService about their plans for the truck after they purchase it but it makes sense that they would remove the Spring Park logo and replace it with a PeopleService logo; however, he believes they would be open to putting a small Spring Park logo on the truck after the sale.

Council Member Pavot stated that once the truck is sold to PeopleService that it will be their truck to use as they see fit and they will probably want to put their own logo on the truck for advertising. However, it would be nice to put a small Spring Park logo magnet on the truck so that residents know that PeopleService represents the City for public works services.

The City Council consensus is to sell the City’s public works truck to PeopleService for $12,900 at a future meeting so that the City Administrator has time to discuss the details with the City Attorney prior to the sale.

a. At the July 13th Planning Commission meeting they voted to make a recommendation to the City Council to have sign applications handled through an administrative process instead of coming to the Planning Commission for review. A copy of the minutes from that meeting is attached.

Mayor Williamson discussed the history of sign permit applications being reviewed by the Planning Commission. The current Planning Commission recommendation is to change the process because they believe it slows down the process for new businesses and is not business-friendly. He stated that if the sign permit application process changes then he would still want the City Council to receive a report of what has been approved.

Council Member Hughes agrees with concept but wants there to be something written in the policy that if staff senses something wrong with a particular permit application that staff should have the ability to bring it to the Planning Commission or City Council.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that if a sign permit application is submitted and there is a question of interpretation then staff would not approve the application and it would be forwarded to the Planning Commission for review. The administrative process is for sign permit applications that meet all requirements without question.

The City Council consensus is to move forward with changing the sign permit application process to an administrative process with City staff.

City Administrator Tolsma stated he will create a policy regarding this new process.

a. Attached is a blueprint of City Hall showing the proposed upgrades.

Mayor Williamson stated that two concerns prompted the City Council to consider this upgrade: 1) day to day safety for City staff and 2) the shooting that occurred at a New Hope City Council meeting in 2015.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that when looking at the proposals he was considering three scenarios: 1) weekdays during office hours with City staff, 2) after hours when no staff is here, and 3) City Council and Planning Commission meetings at night. He noted that when looking at the components of this upgrade the City wants to have a cost effective approach to make those three scenarios safer. He further stated that the City Council and Planning Commission meetings are the hardest scenarios to cover because meetings need to be open and accessible to the public.

Council Member Pavot stated that she attended an emergency management seminar earlier this year with City Administrator Tolsma. Her suggestion is to have a police officer at every City Council meeting to help make that scenario safer. She remarked that the New Hope shooting could have been much worse; police officers were being sworn in when the shooter arrived so there was a large police presence at City Hall.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that there are three extra steps that the Council could consider that are not in this proposal: 1) putting up a stronger dais, 2) having an exit plan behind the dais, and 3) having a police officer at each meeting. Many cities have a police officer attend night meetings but it would be slightly different for Spring Park since we do not have our own police department; however, he believes Orono Police would be open to the idea.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that the biggest physical change to the building would be having two cameras in the hallway and a solid door with a transaction window. The system is expandable up to 10 cameras.

The City Council consensus is to move forward with the proposed security upgrades and to further discuss having a police officer attend all night meetings.

6. MISCELLANEOUS – City Administrator Tolsma distributed invitations to the City Council for an event introducing a proposed brewery that would like to operate in Spring Park.

a. MFD Press Release

ADJOURNMENT – The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consent at 8:45 p.m.

Date Approved: October 3, 2016

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator