SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – JULY 5, 2016
7:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Mayor: Molly Park
Councilmembers: Mike Hovey and Richard Williams
City Attorney: Tim Kuntz
City Planner: Ryan Grittman
Engineer: Don Sterna
City Treasurer: Ann Lanoue
Building Inspector: Mike Andrejka
City Forester: Jim Nayes
Police Chief: Manila Shaver
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
and Members of the General Public.
Councilmember Steven Bulach was absent and Councilmember JoAnne Wahlstrom arrived at 7:25 p.m.
1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Park opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.
2. APPROVE AGENDA: Mayor Park asked if there were any additions or corrections to the agenda and there was no response.
Councilmember Williams moved to adopt the agenda as amended, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (3-0)
3. CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Park asked if there were any questions or comments relating to any items on the Consent Agenda
and there was no response.
Treasurer Lanoue advised Council that the City received the first half of the tax payment from Dakota County and the amount was slightly higher than aniticipated
Councilmember Hovey moved approval of the Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Councilmember Williams and carried. (3-0)
a. Regular Council Meeting Minutes of June 7. 2016
b. List of Bills
c. Monthly Financials
4. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC: The Mayor asked if there were any comments from the public and there was no response.
5. PUBLIC HEARING/PRESENTATIONS: None.
6. PLANNING COMMISSION/PLANNER’S REPORT: a. Planner’s Report: Planner Grittman reviewed the following information listed in his report dated June 29, 2016. He advised that the State Legislature passed a law that requires cities to allow “Temporary Family Health Care Dwellings” on private property and also includes an “opt-out” provision for cities to exempt themselves from the law by adopting an ordinance. Staff is preparing an agenda item for the July Planning Commission meeting relating to a Zoning Ordinance amendment that prohibits such dwellings in the City. He noted that the new law goes into effect September 1, 2016 and therefore, it is imperative to pass the ordinance amendment prior to that date. He noted there was sufficient time to publish the Public Hearing notice and conduct the hearing at the Planning meeting and then Council would take action at their August Council meeting.
Councilmember Hovey asked the rationale for opting out of the law.
Planner Grittman explained that the law is fairly generic and most cities interested in allowing the dwellings are opting out of the law and adopting an ordinance that sets specific regulations for the dwellings in their communities. He advised that if Council wishes to allow the dwellings, Council could direct staff to prepare regulations that address concerns such as septic tanks hook-up for the temporary dwellings. He noted that adding an extra dwelling to the septic system on a property would be the same as adding an addition to a residential dwelling and the system may not be able to handle the additional square footage and could discharge grey water into the system. He commented that he was unsure why the dwellings are only permitted for one year. He suggested that after Council opts out of the law, staff could be directed to prepare an ordinance with specific regulations if the City wishes to allow the dwellings
Councilmember Hovey asked the City Attorney which would be more restrictive, the State law or the City ordinance.
Attorney Kuntz explained that State law would take precedence unless the City adopts an ordinance that specifically addresses this issue, then the City ordinance would take priority over State law. He advised the dwelling would be a free standing unit, such as a mobile home and would be used as a temporary dwelling to assist property owners in housing elderly relatives. He advised that there are 853 cities in Minnesota that will be required to address this matter in a short period of time and most likely that is the reason for the “opt out” provision. He commented that there was a news article I the Star Tribune that quoted the Mayors of the cities of Burnsville and Lakeville as saying their cities are trying to address the law in other ways.
Councilmember Hovey explained that he agrees with pursuing the “opt out” provisions and that he was just curious as to which entity had the most authority under the new law.
Mayor Park asked if formal action was needed this evening.
Planner Grittman advised that Council may authorize the Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing.
Councilmember Hovey moved to authorize the Planning Commission to conduct a public hearing at their regular meeting in July on the new law relating to Temporary Family Health Care Dwellings, seconded by Councilmember Williams and carried. (3-0)
Planner Grittman stated that staff researched the possibility of creating a new zoning district around Horseshoe Lake to address shoreland setbacks as directed by Council. He advised that the DNR requires a 150 ft. shoreland setback on Horseshoe Lake, however, due to the small lot sizes on and around the Horseshoe Lake area staff did not find that an ordinance change would reduce the number of variance request required in that area. He further explained that in the past five years the City received one variance request for every fourth project application submitted. He noted that this appears to be on par with expected requests and, therefore, staff does not recommend any change to the oridnance as it would not create less variance requests.
Mayor Park commented that the new home recently approved for the Birch family on Horseshoe Lake requested a slight setback from the shoreland requirements. She noted the new structure would actually be setback further than the existing structure.
The Planner stated that requiring the new home to maintain a 200 ft. setback would place the structure on Robert Street. He agreed the new structure is 1 ft. further from the shoreland setback than the existing home. .
Council thanked the Planner for his report.
7. STAFF REPORTS: a. BUILDING INSPECTOR: Inspector Andrejka stated he issued seven (7) and closed two (2) permits in June.
Council thanked the Inspector for his report.
b. CITY ENGINEER: Engineering Activities Undertaken in June: A. Charlton Road Update: Engineer Sterna gave a brief review of the Charlton Road meeting with residents. He explained that he and Mayor Park walked the road with the attendees and discussed the current conditions of the road, design challenges and drainages issues. He advised that varyig roadway widths and the possibility of utilizing different curbing to blend with the surrounding topography and drainage options were also discussed. He noted that Council had discussed three (3) options for improvement of the road including paving only he north end of the road to the church, paving to the area known as Crandall’s corner or paving the entire length of the road He commented that there was more positive input from the residents in attendance and that they appeared to understand the need of the City to have easements dedicated to the City in order to proceed with any improvements on the road. He noted that the easements would have to be between 10 and 15 ft. in order to install the drainage and utility improvements on the road. He discussed the curb sections on the ends of the road to improve drainage and noted that the water runoff and sediment collect in the drainage ditches adjacent to the road.
The Engineer advised that he would prepare preliminary cost estimates for discussion at the August Council meeting. He also noted that the original goal was to include just paving of the northerly section of the roadway as part of the 2017 Street Improvement Project and possibly tie the project into MnDOT’s proposed 2017 improvements on Highway 110.
Mayor Park advised that approximately 12 residents attended the meeting and that a group of residents wished to present a report prior to the Council review of the Engineer’s feasibility report on improvements to the road. She noted that those present discussed the possibility of “customizing” the road improvement to handle the drainage issues and also retaining the “rural” atmosphere of the road. She suggested that the Engineer meet with the resident group to review the rough cost estimates for the project prior to the August meeting.
Engineer Sterna stated he would be willing to prepare rough cost estimates for the group before the August meeting. He advised that the proposed improvement options would not be detailed or thorough but would provide an overview of the options.
Resident Ibby Hammett asked if a cost study with a comparison of just completing the ditch improvements versus the three improvement options could be included in the Engineer’s report.
Engineer Sterna commented that the City had not discussed just improving the ditches along the road, but advised that a cost comparison could be included. He noted that the ditches are shallow in some areas along the road and that curd sections maybe needed to improve drainage.
Ibby Hammett asked if the City requires 100 percent of the residents to dedicate easements before proceeding.
Engineer Sterna explained that it may be an issue if all the residents are unwilling to dedicate easement and that the City would prefer all residents voluntarily dedicate the easements to reduce costs.
Mayor Park asked if all residents must dedicate easements or only those adjacent to the roadway
Councilmember Hovey pointed out that the easements are also needed to maintain the road.
Mayor Park explained that the Engineer pointed out some areas where ditching may not be necessary on the road and therefore the improvement would be less invasive on those properties
Councilmember Williams commented that easements are necessary to proceed and if given to the City voluntarily would greatly reduce the project costs.
Councilmember Hovey noted that due to the lack of easements the City suggested three options which would to reduce the cost of improving the entire road at one time; he noted that most of the maintenance to the road occurs at the north end from the Dobranz parcel to Highway 110.
Engineer Sterna stated that the easements are key to move forward with the project and the less intrusive options may appeal to some of the property owners. He suggested Council discuss moving or burying power lines as part of the project. He commented that most residents he talked with are interested in making improvements to the road and only one resident mentioned compensation for granting the easement.
Ibby Hammett asked if the City would send a survey to all residents.
Mayor Park explained that the resident group would be preparing an executive summary for Council review which should include mention of a possible survey to send to residents.
Engineer Sterna agreed that could be discussed when he meets with the resident group.
Councilmember Wahlstrom arrived at 7:25 p.m.
The Engineer advised that one a decision is made regarding improvements to Charlton road, he would prepare a report relating to financing options for the project. He suggested that further discussion on this matter occur at the August meeting.
B. 2016-2020 CIP Update: The Engineer stated copies of the CIP were distributed to Council in late May and that the document is used as a tool to assist with the City budget process for the upcoming year. He noted that a portion of Salem Church road was reconstructed in 2009 and that the CIP schedules reconstruction of the remaining portion of Salem Church Road and Roanoke Road in 2017; once this project is completed it should extend the life of the roads for 20 years. He noted that the potential for extending the water main under TH 110 and provide two (2) hydrants at St. Anne’s Church was not included in the CIP and should be discussed at the August meeting along with the potential improvements to Charlton Road.
Councilmember Williams stated he would support including the cost of the casings under TH 110 in the CIP
Councilmember Hovey asked if MnDOT had responded to the request to install the casings as part of their project.
Engineer Sterna responded yes and advised that MnDOT does not allow funds to be spent for installation of water or utility projects for any cities within the State. He noted that they agreed to install the casings, however, the City would have to pay the cost for the installation. He explained that the City would enter into a contract with MnDOT and that they would add approximately 8% to the cost of the project for their work. He further advised that the City would need to decide by next month if they wish to install the casing as MnDOT will be finalizing the project this fall. He also advised that MnDOT confirmed they would be removing the utility pole in the island at Charlton Road and that they are still reviewing the possibility of a “right turn arrow” at Mendota Road.
Councilmember Williams asked if a “No Right Turn on Red” sign was being reviewed and the Engineer responded that he was unsure and he would ask MnDOT.
The Engineer explained that Council may change the CIP document at any time. He advised that upcoming projects would include seal coating of the remainder of Angell road, Sunnyside Lane, Grieve Glen and 55th Street West; he noted there are no residents at the end of 55th Street West and therefore the City could opt to pave only a portion of the road.
Attorney Kuntz asked the Engineer if it would still be possible to install the casing under TH 110 ask part of the MnDOT project in the event the City is unable to extend improvements on Charlton Road past the church and asked for an estimate of the cost to do so. He also asked for an estimate to include the pipe as part of the project.
Engineer Sterna responded yes and advised that the casing would be approximately $25,000 to $35,000 and an additional $25,000 to include the pipe. He pointed out that it would be an additional cost to install the hydrant and explained that it would be necessary to flush the hydrant annually.
Councilmember Hovey asked if there would be a charge from St Paul Water department and Engineer Sterna stated there would be no charge at this time, only an agreement for the installation.
C. Building and Site Reviews: The Engineer did not comment on the reviews.
Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of June: A. 2016 Crack Seal and Seal Coat Project: Engineer Sterna stated the contractor plans to start the seal coating and crack sealing the first part of this month.
B. Charlton Road Dust Control: The Engineer advised that the dust control was placed on the road, however, due to the rain it will have to be done again.
Anticipated Engineering Activities for July: A. Charlton Road Potential Improvements: The Engineer stated he would continue to coordinate with the Charlton Road Task Force group and prepare a report for discussion at the August Council meeting.
B. 2017 City Improvement Project Discussion: Engineer Sterna stated he would finalize the draft Feasibility Report for discussion a the August meeting; he stated the project cost is estimated at $286,00 for Salem Church Road and $71,500 for the overlay on Roanoke Road for a total project cost of $357,500. He explained that assessing the project is challenging due to the lack of residential properties abutting the road. He stated he would work with the City Attorney to prepare a financing plan for the project and reviewed the project schedule of events that would occur to insure that the project could be completed in July 2017.
C . 2016-2020 CIP Update. The Engineer advised he would finalize the CIP for adoption at the August meeting and asked that any comments be forwarded to him for inclusion in the document.
Anticipated Public Works Activities for July: None.
Engineer Sterna stated he asked the City Forester to provide a listing of fire numbers that need replacement so that he could place an order for the signs. He explained the cost is approximately $35 per sign and should not exceed $700.00.
Forester Nayes stated he compiled a list of number for replacement and suggested that two of the number should be changed. He explained that the 911 and 420 signs are always missing due to the connotation of the numbers. He stated there are approximately 28 signs for replacement and suggested he discuss possible numbering changes for the two signs that are always missing with the Fire Chief before submitting the final numbers to the Engineer.
Councilmember Hovey moved to authorize the City Engineer to purchase fire number replacement signs at a cost not to exceed $1,000, second by Councilmember Williams and carried (4-0)
Council thanked the Engineer for his report.
c. CITY FORESTER: Forester Nayes stated he issued one (1) burning permit in June. He explained that he annually reviews the condition of the residential fire number signs to determine if they are missing, unreadable or in extremely poor condition. He prepared a list for the City Engineer and distributed a copy to Council.
The Forester stated he removed dead trees on Angell Road and placed them in the wooded area. He met with residents to discuss various issues, spot sprayed burdock and thistles along Charlton and Salem Church Road.
Forester Nayes advised he met with Matt Muellner and Councilmember Hovey to discuss the 2016 Deer Management Program and he attended the League of Minnesota Cities conference with Co-Coordinator of the City’s Green Steps Program Shari Hansen. Mayor Park and Clerk Iago to receive the Step One Green Steps Cities award. He also met with Shari Hansen to determine a timeline and direction for moving forward with the program in order to achieve the next Step Award next May.
Mayor Park expressed pride for the staff and thanked them for their attendance at the conference to receive the award.
Council thanked the Forester for his report.
d. PUBLIC SAFETY: Chief Shaver reviewed his report dated June 29, 2016 and noted that the false alarms and fire alarms increased substantially this month over last year’s totals
Forester Nayes reported a full size van was parked on 55th St and So Robert Trail near the stop sign for several days.
Chief Shaver stated he would have an officer check on the status of the vehicle.
Councilmember Williams asked if the residents were absent when the false alarms occurred.
Chief Shaver stated that some of the alarms were due to operator error and others could be due to weather; he advised that he would attempt to work with residents to discuss problems with alarms and the necessity for training those who have to set or disable the arlams.
Council thanked the Chief for his report.
8. NEW/OTHER BUSINESS: a. Consider Feasibility Report for 2017 Street Improvement Project: Mayor Park explained that this item was discussed during the Engineer’s report.
b. Consider Draft 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP): Mayor Park stated that this item was also discussed during the Engineer’s report.
c. Schedule Special Council Meeting on August 2, 2016 to Discuss Proposed 2017 City of Sunfish Lake Budget: Clerk Iago explained that Council annually schedules a special meeting to discuss the budget for the upcoming year. She noted that the meeting is usually scheduled one hour before the regular meeting in August each year.
Treasurer Lanoue advised that the preliminary figures show a 7.2% increase in tax capacity for the City.
Councilmember Williams moved to schedule a Special Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on August 2, 2016 for the purpose of discussing the 2017 City Budget, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (4-0)
Mayor Park stated she would order sandwiches for Council and staff.
d. Consider: 1) Resolution Approving the 2016 Deer Population Management Plan; 2) 2016 Contract with Metro Bowhunters Resource Base; and, 3) 2016 Resident Volunteer Hunting Program: Councilmember Hovey explained that nothing had changed in the documents presented for the 2016 Deer Management Plan with the exception of the dates and the addition of one extra hunting weekend for the Metro Bowhunters group. He advised that the normal holiday weekends and the MEA school closing weekend were still prohibited hunting days. He pointed out that the aerial count conducted this year identified 58 deer while the DNR suggests the area could only support 112 to 15 deer. He advised that he supports the program due to the destruction deer cause on plant life, vehicles, pools and the possibility of spreading deer ticks. He recommended approval of the documents as presented by the City Attorney.
Attorney Kuntz stated that all responsibilities also remain the same for the Bowhunters group, the resident hunters and the Police and Council liaison. He explained that the contract provides that a report be presented to Council annually so that any problems with the program may be addressed prior to the annual approval.
Mayor Park noted that there are two programs for the citizens and Bowhunters group to use and she asked if the contract specifies a certain size parcel that must be used for hunting.
Councilmember Hove explained that the contact outlines the requirements that residents must pass in order to be able to hunt and Forester Nayes explained that the contract identifies the parcels must be 2 acres in size and approved by the Police liaison officer prior to allowing hunting by either the resident or the Bowhunter group.
Attorney Kuntz explained that the resident volunteer program and eligible areas for hunting remain the same and that the Police and Council liaison must approve the hunting site.
Councilmember Williams commented that the Police liaison officer had denied properties in the past if he thought the site was unsafe for hunting; he also noted that the hunters use stands and only bows for hunting.
Mayor Park asked if there were any further questions and there was no response.
Councilmember Williams moved to adopt Resolution No 16-15 titled, RESOLUTION APPROVING 2016 DEER POPULATION MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE CITY OF SUNFISH LAKE, and approve the 2016 Contract with Metro Bowhunters resource Base and the 2016 resident Volunteer Hunting program as presented, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried (4-0)
e. Discuss “No Parking” Sign Areas on Charlton Road: Mayor Park advised that she received photos from the Hammetts showing the large trucks that the lawn crews working in the City and other venders park on Charlton Road. She indicated that it may be appropriate for the City to consider clarifying parking regulations or discuss possible options for parking in the City.
Councilmember Hovey pointed out that this occurs on all public streets and he would support parking regulations that provide stronger enforcement for police. He commented that crime was not an issue in the past but recently there have been several non-residential vehicles parked in the community.
Councilmember Williams agreed that all public streets should be review for parking issues and that special event parking could be addressed with temporary permits.
Mayor Park suggested that staff could prepare a report on the matter.
Attorney Kuntz noted that police have the authority to enforce parking on public streets and suggested that if Council prefers to restrict parking they could consider limiting parking on certain “segments” of the street or limited areas where the large vehicles could park off road. He suggested that the Police and Fire departments be contacted for their recommendations on the parking ban or limiting parking to certain areas on the streets and if language to enhance enforcement should be included.
Councilmember Williams commented that this could be a political issue with residents as some may not want to have “no Parking” signs on their streets. She asked the Police Chief is he would work with staff to prepare a report.
Mayor Park commented that signage may also be an issue with come residents.
Chief Shaver stated he would work with staff and assist with investigating options for off street parking.
f. Other: Mayor Park asked if there was any further business and there was no response.
9. ADJOURN: Mayor Park called for adjournment of the meeting at 8:10 p.m.
Catherine Iago, City Clerk Molly Park, Mayor