March 20, 2017 Work Session Minutes

MARCH 20, 2017 – 6:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 6:00 p.m.

Council Members Present: Jerry Rockvam, Mayor; Pamela Horton, Gary Hughes; Catherine Kane Palen, and Megan Pavot.

Others Present: Jeff Hoffman, Planning Commission Chair.

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; Nancy Jensen Beck, City Attorney (arrived 6:05 p.m.); and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk.

1. PLANNING COMMISSION APPLICANT REVIEW - Mayor Rockvam invited Planning Commission Chair Jeff Hoffman into the discussion regarding the three Planning Commission applicants.

The City Council consensus was that all three applicants were highly qualified and would bring valuable insight to the Commission.

Council Member Horton requested a blind vote to get the consensus of the Council before voting on the issue at the Regular City Council Meeting later this evening.

City Administrator Tolsma announced that the majority of votes were for Bruce Homan.

2. SPECIAL EVENTS UPDATE – City Administrator Tolsma briefly discussed two special event applications that are scheduled to be considered at tonight’s Regular Meeting. He gave background information regarding the live music event applications at Lord Fletcher’s and stated that there are no proposed changes from last year’s approvals.

Council Member Hughes has concerns regarding the amplification system of the crappie contest.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that when they were approved last year the City sent them the City Code and State Statutes regarding the noise levels and permitted hours. Also, City staff did recommend not using the amplification system before 8 a.m. in order to be respectful of the neighborhood.

Council Member Pavot stated that she would be recusing herself from the Consent Agenda vote since Lord Fletcher’s manages other properties that one of her bands performs at and doesn’t want there to be a conflict of interest.

a. Attached for review is the staff memo from the January 17 work session. Also included is the latest proposal from Sambatek for the remainder of the study, which includes the not to exceed language that was asked for at the January work session.

Mayor Rockvam is questioning why there was no formal contract for the asset management study, how there seemed to be an original estimate of $10,000-20,000 that nobody can figure out where those numbers came from, and how that project amount increased to its current total.

Council Member Hughes read from the January 25, 2016 City Council work session minutes. He stated the Council asked about cost cutting and bringing in projects under cost and City Engineer Kuno responded that was his goal.

City Administrator Tolsma stated the study is now approximately two-thirds complete with a current total of $39,000.

Council Member Pavot stated that her interpretation of the work session was that the meeting was a general get-to-know-you with the new city engineer and that it was a very generic statement to keep the project under budget and do a comprehensive study. A budget was never discussed at that work session and believes the $10,000-20,000 amount came from the Administration Committee.

Council Member Hughes stated that in City Engineer Kuno’s defense much of the work and information that he expected to be available was not.

City Attorney Beck stated that this project seems to be the perfect storm of miscommunication, no formal proposal or contract, and a budget that was not approved by the full Council.

Mayor Rockvam stated that there were errors on both sides and we have no contract. There have been two backups on Black Lake Road so a study does need to be done.

Council Member Kane Palen recommended moving forward with the project but stated that a proposal with expectations and specific tasks needs to be put in writing.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that each one of the backups on Black Lake Road cost approximately $100,000 and also caused the City’s insurance rates to increase.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that getting on an up-to-date infrastructure schedule is what the asset management study is trying to accomplish. This will provide a full picture of Spring Park instead of doing feasibility studies on a project-by-project basis. This will help prioritize projects and take a more comprehensive approach with updating the City’s infrastructure.

Mayor Rockvam believes the City Council should offer two options for payment of the current balance due of approximately $33,000 for the Asset Management Study: 1) pay the entire balance now with an approximate 10% discount or 2) pay the balance over three years with no discount.

Mayor Rockvam added that Sambatek needs to identify the project more thoroughly so that the City knows what it is getting for its money.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that our Comprehensive Plan is also benefitting from this information because Sambatek was able to reduce the engineering charges by approximately $4,000-5,000 for that project based on the information that will come from the asset management study.

Council Member Pavot stated that the City is already a year behind in payment and concessions have been made by Sambatek for the communication issues.

Council Member Hughes stated he thinks the City needs to make a payment as soon as possible.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that the Council can make a motion at tonight’s regular meeting on how they would like to pay the amount currently owed and request a report on what tasks are still waiting for completion.

a. Chief Farniok has approached the police contract cities to determine if there is interest in adopting residency restrictions for sexual predators. Attached is an ordinance that the City of Orono recently adopted.

The City Council consensus was to proceed with having the City Attorney research the ordinance and provide guidance on the distance restriction of 1000 feet or 2000 feet.

City Attorney Beck responded that she will research the reasonableness of the distance and report back to the Council.

a. Attached for review is a summary provided by Al Brixius of the proposed changes to the City’s outdoor storage and nuisance ordinances. Copies of the draft ordinances in full are also attached.

City Administrator Tolsma requested that Council Members look at the draft ordinance and provide him with feedback and comments.


Council Member Hughes provided an LMCD handout and update.


The meeting was adjourned by unanimous consent at 6:55 p.m.

Date Approved: April 3, 2017

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator