March 11, 2013 Special Meeting

Attendance:  Reinhardt, Hughes, Williamson, Bren, Sippel, Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Engineer Pearson and Attorney Beck.


  1. CALL TO ORDER – Reinhardt calls the special meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  She said this meeting would be informal in nature.  Therefore they will do away with some of the agenda items listed.
  11. REPORTS OF OFFICERS & COMMITTEES – Reinhardt said this special meeting relates to the previous council meeting on March 4, 2013 wherein the motion was made and seconded for the cobra street light pole (option one) and the vote was four to one in favor.  Reinhardt said the next morning council member Williamson notified Reinhardt saying he was unaware that the selected pole was unpainted and he believed other council members were unaware of this as well.  Williamson makes a motion to reconsider and Hughes seconds.  Williamson said if there is any modification to the light pole selection, a different motion will be called.  He said the motion on the floor is to strictly reconsider.  All votes ayes, motion carries unanimously.
    1. Mayor and Council

i. Street Light Options Presentation & Discussion – Reinhardt said she has put together a Power Point and she appreciates the council’s willingness to indulge the reconsideration.  She said paint quotes were requested and received and those numbers are part of the slides for the presentation.  Reinhardt had a slides explaining

·         expected life of street poles

·         Cost savings between LED and high pressure sodium

·         Maintenance costs for changing out bulbs and

·         saved labor costs are shown


Reinhardt said because LED bulbs cost more initially but their useful life is much longer the decorative pole option is covered by the cost savings.  Reinhardt said a decorative element can promote community pride.  Reinhardt shows the annual beautification costs in the budget and the five year average has been $49,000.  She said decorative lighting is about 5-6% compared to what’s spent on beautification.  Reinhardt spoke about the Shoreline beautification plan of planting, trimming and performing preventative maintenance on the boulevard trees.  Reinhardt said many code changes have been implemented within the commercial district as to how things look.  She said metal buildings are now prohibited, trash enclosures are required, landscape plans requested.  Reinhardt discussed the recent Channel Road rain garden beautification upgrade due to continued complaints from residents about the way the original garden was growing.  Reinhardt talked about plans implemented to assist Certified Auto with some screening landscaping.  She spoke of banners, flags and Christmas decorations and the costs associated.  Reinhardt said council pay was recently increased and shows an impact of $3,000 to the annual budget.  She said these are just some comparisons to show that beautification is an important element to the community of Spring Park.  Reinhardt discussed the comprehensive plan and said it was a document passed unanimously in 2008.  It is the steering document for the city. In it, Reinhardt said it talks about what streetscapes can do for a city.  She said there has been a lot of discussion about this streetlight project and many months and meetings have gone into this well thought out plan. 


Hughes said regarding the assumptions from a week ago, he asked if he can assume all the options were the stainless steel and the same material and the only difference from the style was the paint.  Williamson said he was happy with almost any of the options but then he wondered what color the lights were going to be.  He said it’s one thing to look at shape and another to look at color.  Reinhardt added that paint on a highway light is still just paint on a highway light.  Reinhardt said she doesn’t think $2,000 a year is worth shackling businesses with this long-term highway pole design.  She said as elected officials they are to be good stewards but it’s not always the cheapest option.  Williamson said money is spent that is consumable each year for boulevard beautification. He said offsetting the cost is the electrical savings and also mentions Xcel’s current projected price increase of as high as 11%.  He is concerned that electrical costs could continue to increase rapidly.  He wonders if the city might not even wish they had done all the street lights.  He said the difference to do decorative will be offset by energy savings increasingly over the coming years.  Hughes said a fairly consistent approach has been taken with the levy.  He said it’s remained flat or very minimal.  He said the little bit of savings realized through LED in comparison to the entire budget will be consumed by increased gas prices and costs increasing.  He said the cost savings might afford to keep the levy at its current flat rate.  Hughes likes the idea of option number one being painted and this surprised him.  Williamson said he doesn’t want to see a raw metal fixture.  Sippel said in the beginning he was for the decorative lights.  He said this has been helpful.  He thinks the decorative lights are a great first impression but it fades fast.  He said poles last but the bases don’t last. 


Hughes said from a CIP standpoint he is concerned about the upcoming issue with a public works facility.  He said he is in favor of perhaps leasing something first in order to get a feel as to what is necessary and needed.  Hughes said the savings from the street lights can be put to good use elsewhere.  Reinhardt said there is not one project for $2000 a year that will have a bigger impact than decorative street lights.  Reinhardt agrees that initially lights will be noticed right away but will blend in after time.  She said there is an ambiance however created with the flowers and streetscape beautification.  She said it’s not only for the commuters but for visitors who will be seeing it for the first time.  Bren is wondering why the comprehensive plan wasn’t brought forward sooner as it looks as though this is what is required.  She said a tone for the city is being set and wonders why option one was even included after looking at the comprehensive plan.  Reinhardt said her initial choice was much more decorative.  Sippel said he agrees that other cities are choosing to go with decorative lighting but, at the same time, he couldn’t tell which cities the examples were shown which lends to his belief that it fades from memory, if even noticed.  Sippel said he is concerned about the huge potential for hidden costs.  He said if he could be guaranteed that only 14 bases and no more wiring was required, he would be okay with this.  Hughes said the height is going to be reduced by ten feet and as the trees get bigger, the decorative lighting will be covered by the tree canopy.  Tolsma said a lot of the ash trees will have to be replaced. He said they are being treated but this is only buying some time due to Emerald Ash Borer. Tolsma said immature trees will have to be replaced so there will be many years of low tree canopies. 


Reinhardt said she feels so strongly about this decorative lighting that she would be willing to reduce her mayor’s pay increase.  Reinhardt asked about staff’s feelings.  Tolsma said the staff believes in the council making good investment decisions and knows they will consider all factors.  Paul Pearson speaks about the Maple Grove area and the efforts put towards streetscape design and how it does have a big impact.  He said Otsego has done the same thing and it lends an overall feel to a community. Lewin said she believes residents pay a lot of money in taxes to live here and sometimes it’s nice to see a visually pleasing investment versus everything going towards roads and infrastructure.  Williamson said if there is an error to be made he prefers making the streetscape more pleasing than the other way. 


Sippel said he looks at the detail and the city’s contribution for Thor Thompson park was about $56K.  He said to him there was obvious, greater benefit.  He said on the flip side, he agrees it’s hypocritical to hold the developers to a different standard and then not live by the same rules.  Williamson initially wanted the bare bones minimum; something safe and efficient was what he was looking for.  As time has gone on he has opened his mind to some different options.  Williamson said with Thor Thompson a big part of it was grant money received.  He thinks grant money should be pursued in the future for the other streetlights.  Sippel said others have spent their own money on improving the streetscape and mentions Presbyterian Homes and the money they’ve invested in Shoreline Drive.  Williamson said there could be future development and investing in Spring Park and they will look at these things.  Reinhardt said she cannot offer a motion to rescind since she was the nay voter.  Williamson makes a motion to rescind the action by which the council selected option one and instead select option three.  Sippel asked about rescinding one motion and then offering an alternative motion.  Hughes said there is consistency on control panels and banner poles.  Williamson makes a motion to rescind previous Resolution 13-11, the action selecting option one.  Bren seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries.  Williamson makes the motion to select option three and Reinhardt seconds. Williamson said he actually prefers option two but he thinks the attorney will ask for either rebids or select a different vendor for option two and that means at a slightly higher price.  He said if it’s rebid there are additional costs and time delay.  Williamson said he personally likes option two but makes the motion for option three.  Beck said the best way to go forward is with the motion Williamson made if there is interest in a decorative street light.  She said option two would require the next lowest bidder.  Beck said this has been discussed.  She said the pole manufacturer has been consulted and if option three was chosen, the decorative arm of option two could be a change order.  She said at this point if the council considers a decorative option two or three she suggests going with the motion on the floor and discuss the decorative pole or option one.  Hughes questions if we go with option three because of the bid and then want to make a change order would it be easier to pick another arm – not option two – something similar but different enough. He wonders about picking something that has a slight variation so they can’t claim they went back.  Reinhardt asked Pearson to explain a material change.  Pearson said the first consideration is the material itself. He said materials are exactly the same between option 2 and 3.  However, it’s not just the material itself but is there a significant change in going from option 3 to option 2.  He said the cost difference between option 2 and 3 when looking at Kilmer and Egan is the differential was about $1600.  He said that’s .4% of a change and is insignificant.  Hughes said there has been a dollar value put on the material.  Sippel said in financial accounting that term “material” is used a lot.  He said does it significantly alter the financial reporting and spread over 40 poles this is immaterial.  Sippel prefers option 3 anyway because he thinks it’s a cleaner look.  Beck said with the competitive bidding statute the question is would they, if they knew the change, would their bids have been different.  She said in this case they bid it correctly.  If this went out for bid again, this would probably not change their bid.  She said the other piece is do you look like you’re doing something unfair and that’s where the material standard comes in.  Hughes said he believes something other than two might be okay.  Reinhardt said that might even be more risky as it isn’t something that was put out for bid in the first place.  She said there is a motion and a second to approve option three for the street light.  She said she assumes removing the banner poles and the control panels still stands.  Beck said a new resolution will be needed but the only change would be the street light option.  The other items would remain the same.  Sippel said therefore it would be identical to 13-11 but instead use option three.  Beck said the cleaner option is to rescind the entire resolution and make a new motion.  Reinhardt calls for any further discussion.  All in favor ayes, one nay, Sippel.  Passes four to one.  Reinhardt calls another motion to re-affirm Resolution 13-13.  Williamson wants to be clear.  What was just done was to pick option three under the auspices of 13-11.  Beck said 13-11 was rescinded.  Hughes makes the motion to approve Resolution 13-13 choosing option 3 for the light poles, deleting the banner poles from the bidding and to replace all three control panels.  Sippel seconds.  All votes ayes, motion carries unanimously.  Hughes wonders about color.  Sippel thinks they should be the same color as the poles at the mist. 


LMCD $75,000 Levy Discussion – Hughes said the LMCD has taken the position to go to councils to get official reactions.  Select a representing body in charge of chemical treatments; $75,000 increase to the budget and $35K increase for harvesting.  He said there is some dissension regarding chemical versus harvesting.  Some cities said their increased levy is disproportionate.  Reinhardt is concerned about paying for things that don’t even benefit the areas in Spring Park.  He said the other part is who becomes the manager of this.  Sippel is more comfortable with the LMCD managing but if the LMA can get better funding, he’s for that. Williamson said he likes the idea of LMCD governing this or maybe a partnership. 

    1. City Administrator
    2. City Engineer
    3. City Attorney
    4. Utility Superintendent
    1. March 13, 2013 – Administration Committee – 11:00 AM
    2. March 13, 2013 – Planning Commission – 7:00 PM
    3. March 13, 2013 – LMCD – 7:00 PM
    4. March 18, 2013 – City Council – 7:30 PM
    5. March 19, 2013 – LMCC – 5:00 PM
  4. MISCELLANEOUS (Information Only)
    1. Mound Fire Department Press Release


  1. ADJOURNMENT – Williamson makes a motion and Reinhardt seconds to adjourn at 9:21 p.m.