May 2, 2016 - Council Minutes

MAY 2, 2016 – 7:30 PM
Those Present: Catherine Palen, Mike Mason, Jim Eichten
1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Williamson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
2. ROLL CALL – Pavot, Hughes, Bren, Horton, Williamson.
3. INTRODUCTIONS – Williamson introduced the council and staff to the public. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Attorney Beck, Commissioners Mason and Palen.
5. ADOPT AGENDA – Horton makes the motion. Tolsma recommends adding under his report to discuss the city clerk hiring process and timeline. Horton accepts the change and Hughes seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
6. ADOPT CONSENT AGENDA – Hughes asked about the shopping center and Lord Fletcher’s Restaurant. Williamson said the ordinance was designed for the residential usage and Pres Homes has residential housing, therefore they are licensed as similar to R-3’s. Bren agreed that Pres Homes is licensed due to the apartment dwellings. Bren makes a motion and Horton seconds to adopt the consent agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. City Council Regular Meeting Minutes from April 18, 2016
b. R-3 Dock Licenses
7. PUBLIC FORUM – No one.
a. 2015 Audit Presentation – Jim Eichten –
Williamson said he welcomes back Jim Eichten, representative of the firm that audits the city every year. Eichten summarizes the management report provided. Eichten directs the council to the management summary. He said the audit is required to be submitted to the State by June 30th. He said there were no findings to report so an excellent report. He said there are notable bullet points and the first one is regarding the unfunded liability at the state level with PERA. He said that liability is about $229K. He said it didn’t change operationally. He said due to the size there is limited segregation of duties and they adjust to that level. He said they did help with the financial statements.

He said the second part is how the city is doing financially. He said there is information provided to compare to other cities in the State. He said the City’s tax rate declined, revenues were unchanged and expenditures declined slightly. He said there are increases in the capital outlay. He said the general fund balance did increase and the policy equates to a 60% fund balance and any excess gets transferred to improvement funds. He said budgeting was on mark within $9,600. He said expenditures came in under budget by about $80K. He said the sewer fund is declining somewhat but funds are healthy none-the-less.

He said the findings are good to excellent. Williamson said the city’s average tax rate is lower statewide and he said this is a good town to live in for cost benefit. Williamson states if any of the council members have questions at a later date he encourages them to contact Tolsma. Pavot asked about less revenue than what’s going out on both water and sewer and Eichten said that includes depreciation. Hughes asked about depreciation on the sewer as it is almost fully depreciated and he wonders if they are spending more on the sewer side because the water hasn’t decreased as fast. Eichten said they are extruding depreciation out of that number. Williamson said they’ve thought about this being a unified fund because they are metered the same. Williamson makes the motion to accept the report from MMKR for providing the audit for year 2015. Pavot seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries. Williamson commends the staff about managing the expenses and maintaining a good cash flow and he wants to especially thank Sharon Farniok, the bookkeeper.
a. Mayor and Council –
• Williamson said he has nothing new.
• Hughes said as part of the packet there was the annual Mound Fire report but no charts. He said he would like to reference the apparatus replacement and efficiency plan. He refers to a chart showing a 21 year average. He said they just ordered a new pumper with a ladder. Hughes also referred to statewide and rescue calls exceeding fire calls. He said keeping recruits and volunteers can be difficult. He said they are looking at duty crews and perhaps a district wide response. Hughes said Pederson does a good job on projecting the budget in terms of equipment replacement. Horton asked about replacing the ladder and the pumper. Horton wonders how this is funded. Hughes said they are funded through an equipment bond through the City of Mound so the City of Spring Park inadvertently pays too. He said they bonded because they got good rates versus paying out of their capital fund. Bren said they have fund raising such as the Fish Fry. Williamson said they build funds ahead of time and they sell equipment in order to upgrade. Pavot said from a multi-unit residential, if the alarm sounds, 9-1-1 needs to be called because the fire department is not directly notified.
b. City Administrator
1. Seasonal Employee Wage Discussion –
Tolsma said it is that time of year when bringing on the part-time seasonal employee, Paul Lewin. He said he has years of experience and very mechanical, he doesn’t need any supervising and works on his own. Tolsma is proposing an increase in the neighborhood of $14-15 per hour is what he recommends. Hughes asked about how many hours per week. Tolsma said he’s in 20-25 hours per week and they are limited to six months. Williamson said there is a limit or threshold for paying pension benefits. Williamson said he’s been impressed with the repairs that have been made that don’t require sending repairs out. Williamson said he has no problem with increasing the wage. Hughes moves to increase the pay to $15 per hour. Bren seconds the motion. All votes ayes, motion carries.
2. Clerk Hiring –
Tolsma said the deadline was April 22nd and 22 applications were received. He said there were a number of applicants that are well qualified. He said a timeline memo was handed out to the council. He suggests the council form an interview panel to interview the top 6-8 candidates. Tolsma would like to send out notifications to the semi finalists and schedule the upcoming interviews. He is hoping for consensus of top finalists recommended to the council. He anticipates a start date around the middle to the end of June. Hughes likes the structure and he assumes the interview committee will go through the resumes but, he said he believes that committee is missing DJ Goman, Scott Qualle and Al Brixius. He said building inspections and the planner deal with the City Clerk routinely. He thinks they may have some expectations from the new city clerk. He thinks they should be part of the initial group. He said once it’s culled to 6-8 candidates and then reduced to 4, background checks should be conducted. Hughes thinks this could be outsourced in order to move the process along. He wonders about the council involvement and how that would be done. Tolsma said he would leave that up to the council and to be decided at a later date.

Williamson said he’s concerned about this becoming a large mass of interviewers. He said this could be scheduling nightmare. He believes the initial screening of the many could be done by those few to eliminate those who are not a good fit. He said more are involved the closer to the finish line. Hughes thinks up front sitting down to voice concerns and to get their input as to what they consider important. Tolsma said he can request their priorities and look for a consensus on what is desirable. Tolsma said he has ranked the applications so they’ve been gone through and are organized. He said they can start with the top half. Hughes still believes Goman, Qualle and Brixius’s input should be sought. Pavot said there is a job description and she thinks the first cut would be done by those who understand the position. She believes it’s not the timing in the first cut to include some of those that don’t necessarily fit. Hughes said he is suggesting contact be made in order to determine what they would look for in a city clerk and what is important. Pavot said regarding background checking, she doesn’t want to waste time to do this. Williamson said this is something that could be performed by the police department. Horton agrees and thinks a drug test is also performed along with drivers' license and credit checking. Bren said she agrees that too many people involved can complicate the process. She agrees a phone call to those Hughes has mentioned. Bren makes a motion for the interview panel as outlined and as stated and presented by Administrator. Horton seconds. Hughes would like to amend the motion to include those three individuals input via phone conversation. Bren agrees. All votes ayes, motion carries.
c. City Engineer –
Williamson asked about the new engineer conducting an inventory of the City’s needs and capital projects in order to assess priorities and objectives. Tolsma said he spoke with Mike Kuno and there has been some internal draft work and a presentation will be forthcoming at the next work session. He said it’s been requested that a proposal be presented in terms of the financial costs involved. Tolsma believes this could be in the area of $15-20K but because this will be the steering document for many years, he thinks this would be good and necessary. Williamson said the planner, Brixius, has been following the comprehensive plan update timeline and he believes this is merely a tweaking. He said housing and traffic related issues need to be explored. Williamson wonders where this is at. Tolsma said he did discuss this with Brixius and a proposal will be presented to the Admin Committee and a timeline would be discussed from that point. Williamson said this will involve the Planning Commission. He said an orientation to the PC would be good to have.
d. City Planner -
e. City Attorney -
f. Public Works Superintendent
a. May 10 – Administration Committee – 12:00 PM - Williamson asks if this could be at 12:30 PM. Hughes agrees.
b. May 11 – Planning Commission – 7:00 PM
c. May 11 – LMCD – 7:00 PM – Hughes said Jim Brimeyer has been officially hired as the acting director. He said he’s been very helpful in the future hiring process. Hughes said he will have more to report in the future, some of which relates to noise coming from boats' straight pipes and music related complaints.
d. May 16 – City Council Regular Meeting – 7:30 PM
Williamson wanted to add the City’s work session on the 23rd.
13. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Williamson mentions the noise complaint recently received regarding The Mist’s rooftop equipment noise. He said this came up about four years ago and he thought the problem was solved through baffling. He said clear protocol needs to be defined for staff in order to be able to systematically deal with the complaint. He said he researched the state statute and he believes the city is not allowed to enact a higher standard and he wonders if the city attorney can research this further. Hughes suggests Qualle should be consulted on noise but he said it boils down to what’s enforceable.
a. Bills & Payroll –
Williamson asked about the Temaca Sprinklers and he wonders about the $200 to turn on the irrigation at city hall. He said there was a previous concern about ongoing costs and maintenance. Tolsma said he’ll research this further. Williamson said he is concerned with a pattern about buying something and then continuing maintenance costs. Bren also wondered about this. Tolsma said many times sprinklers are in right-of-ways so they can be damaged by snowplows. Bren makes a motion to pay the bills, Hughes seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.
15. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
a. MFD Fish Fry Informational Flyer – Williamson said this is an excellent event in support of the Fire Department.
b. MFD 2015 Annual Report Summary
c. May Channels 8 & 20 Schedule
16. ADJOURNMENT – Bren makes a motion and Hughes seconds to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.

Wendy Lewin, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator