September 23, 2013 Work Session

    1. The Mayor and I will be meeting with Joel Buttenhoff on Tuesday, Sep. 24th to discuss his request for sewer credits at Boomerang Labs due to the amount of water they incorporate into the products they manufacture. The administration committee discussed the issue at their last meeting and agreed that they would consider allowing a credit of some kind if the amount of water they use for their products could be accurately quantified.


Mayor Reinhardt informed the council that she had received a request from Joel Buttenhoff of Tonka Ventures to look at what the city could do to develop a sewer credit for Boomerang Labs. Reinhardt said that she would be meeting with Joel and other representatives from Boomerang Labs the next day and wanted feedback from the rest of the council regarding their request. Council member Hughes noted that the city already has an existing policy that allows residents to receive a sewer credit for water used for irrigation and that we could apply something similar to Boomerang Labs. Council member Sippel said that he agrees with Hughes. Council member Williamson stated that reliability and accuracy of the approved metering system would be the key to making a sewer credit work and that as a condition of any agreement the city should be allowed to have the metering system approved and verified for accuracy by a consultant of the city’s choosing.


    1. Included for review is a map highlighting the sections of street light wiring that showed some defects when tested by GLE as part of the street light installation process, as well as a quote from GLE for the work they are recommending. GLE have indicated that seven sections are in “bad condition” and need replacement (part A in the attached quote), while four other sections have been identified as being in “marginal condition” where replacement is recommended but not absolutely necessary (part B in the attached quote).


Also included for review is an email from Stuart Stephens of Barr Engineering explaining the test results and what the numbers listed for each section actually mean.


Engineer Paul Pearson gave the council an update on the status of the street light project. Pearson noted that a pay request had been submitted and that due to being able to reuse the foundations the city would end up saving close to $40,000 on the project from the original bid price for the project. Pearson also stated that the council would potentially be getting liquidated damages from the contractor due to the delays in the project. The council reviewed the wiring quote provided by GLE and asked City Attorney Nancy Beck for input on how to proceed. Beck noted that because the projected cost for the wiring upgrades was between $25,000 and $100,000 it would only necessitate soliciting 2 quotes at a minimum. Pearson also reminded the council that the work is not time critical so receiving quotes would not be a major burden to the project, although he noted that the ground usually freezes by around Thanksgiving and that if something were to be done yet this year the work would need to begin by the end of October or beginning of November at the absolute latest to ensure that there would be enough time to complete the project before the ground freezes.


The council agrees that at a minimum the “bad” wiring should be done and council members Sippel, Bren, and Hughes state that they are all in favor of replacing both the bad wiring and the marginal wiring. Council member Williamson raises concerns about Hennepin County doing a project along the corridor in the near future and that it may be more cost effective to do something at that time. Council member Sippel asks if the project costs could be significantly reduced if the city decided to forgo the proposed conduit. Pearson says he is not sure how that would affect the overall cost and that he would look into that and report back. Mayor Reinhardt recaps the discussion and feels that there is a general consensus to do both the bad and marginal wiring. Pearson says he will move forward with soliciting quotes and will come to the council with more information at an upcoming meeting.


    1. Included for review is a draft social host ordinance that was discussed at the most recent police commission meeting this past Thursday. Police Chief Farniok noted that the ordinance was essentially taken verbatim from the City of Minnetonka and that they are hoping to have all of the contract cities and Orono adopt similarly worded ordinances.


Mayor Reinhardt states that the police commission recently met and discussed having the contract cities all adopt social host ordinances. Reinhardt noted that there was a recent situation in Spring Park and that she would like feedback from the city council. Council member Williamson says that he is generally in favor of a uniform social host policy among all of the contract cities, but wonders if it would be better to let Orono take the lead and adopt an ordinance first. Council member Sippel says he is okay with passing a social host ordinance and that the majority of the language in the draft ordinance is fine, although he has some concerns with the interpretation of section 2. City Attorney Nancy Beck says that she did some research on a social host ordinance a couple of years ago and has some ideas for updating the language in the draft ordinance to better match up with the desires of the council. Beck says she will look at drafting up a new ordinance with improved language and bring it back to the council in the near future for review. Reinhardt says that she will follow up with the Orono Police Chief and Mayor in the meantime and see what their timeline is for adopting a social host ordinance.




Council member Hughes informed the council that the LMCD discussed winter safety at a their recent meeting and were looking at ways to better convey the message that ice is never safe on Lake Minnetonka and that people going on the ice are doing so at their own risk. Hughes said this is an attempt by the LMCD to reduce their liability in instances where someone falls through the ice and then tries to claim that the LMCD didn’t proactively warn people.


Adjourn 8:32