SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – NOVEMBER 1, 2016
7:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Mayor: Molly Park
Councilmembers: Mike Hovey, JoAnne Wahlstrom, and Richard Williams
City Attorney: Tim Kuntz
City Planner: Ryan Grittman
Engineer: Don Sterna
City Treasurer: Ann Lanoue
City Forester: Jim Nayes
Police Officer: Kurt Syvertson
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
and Members of the General Public.
Councilmember Steven Bulach and Building Inspector Mike Andrejka were absent.
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.
Mayor Park explained that Eagle Scout Candidate Alden Prueher was invited to attend the meeting to show Council the benches and birdhouse project the Boy Scouts built for placement in Musser Park and asked that his presentation be added to the agenda after the public hearing.
The Mayor asked if there were any other additions and there was no response.
Councilmember Wahlstrom moved to adopt the agenda as amended, seconded by Councilmember Williams and carried. (4-0)
3. CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Park asked if there were any questions or comments relating to any items on the Consent Agenda.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that she submitted an amended List of Bills under Item 3.b. which includes payment to the Building Inspector that she inadvertently omitted.
Clerk Iago advised that there were two corrections to the October 4, 2016 Council minutes. She stated that on page 6 of the minutes it states that the City Forester mowed the meadow and street right-of-ways in Musser Park, but it was actually done by Rough Cutt. She also advised that page one of the minutes shows Treasurer Lanoue as present, however, the Treasurer was on vacation and did not attend the meeting. She asked that the two corrections be incorporated into the motion for approval of the Consent Agenda.
Mayor Park asked if there were any further corrections or comments and there was no response.
Councilmember Hovey moved approval of the Consent Agenda with the amended List of Bills and the corrections to the minutes as discussed, seconded by Councilmember Williams and carried. (4-0)
a. Regular Council Meeting Minutes of October 4, 2016
b. List of Bills - as amended
c. Monthly Financials
4. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC: The Mayor asked if there were any comments from the public.
Shannon Werb, 2165 Charlton Road, explained that he received notification from his mail carrier that the Post Office will no longer deliver mail to his address if the road near his mailbox is not repaired He indicated that the road area in front of his mailbox is in deplorable condition and asked if the City would repair the street.
Engineer Sterna stated he would inspect the road and contact Pine Bend Paving to make the necessary repairs.
Councilmember Wahlstrom commented that this is one more reason to support paving the road.
Mayor Park apologized for the road conditions and stated that the City Engineer would be in contact with the homeowner regarding the repairs.
Dan Schadegg, 2250 Delaware, thanked Engineer Sterna for the work he did on the manhole situation.
The Mayor asked if there were any further comments and there was no response.
5. PUBLIC HEARING/PRESENTATIONS: a. Public Hearing: Consider Lot Split and Combination and Vacation of Easements at 2250 Delaware Avenue, 2250 Delaware Ave, LLC: Mayor Park opened the public hearing to consider the Lot Split and Combination and Vacation of Easement for the property located at 2250 Delaware Avenue. She asked the Planner to present the request.
Planner Grittman referred to his memorandum dated October 26, 2016 and to the City Attorney’s memorandum dated October 31, 2016 and explained that the applicant owns three parcels of land, with on parcel containing a single family home. He advised the proposal for a minor subdivision would eliminate a parcel by splitting it and combining it with the two remaining parcels. He stated the north half of the split parcels would be recombined with the existing home to the north and the south half of the split parcels would be recombined with the parcel to the south. He noted that the request is considered to be a minor subdivision, which is allowed with City Council approval and the drainage and utility easements to be vacated requires a public hearing be conducted.
The Planner advised that two of the parcels are currently vacant, however, he explained that both lots are sufficient in size to meet standards for building. He noted that one parcel would be 13.76 acres and the other parcel would be 5 acres, with 2.5 acres of buildable area less the slope and wetland areas.
Councilmember Wahlstrom asked if the City requires 3 acres for a buildable lot and Planner Grittman responded that 2.5 acres is the area required for a buildable lot
Mayor Park asked if the driveway access for the new lot would be from Salem Church Road and where it would be located. She also asked if the lots had frontage on the lake.
The Planner explained that the intent is to provide driveway access to one of the newly created parcels from Salem Church Road as shown on the survey submitted. He stated that two of the lots do not have frontage, only the lot with the existing home.
Planner Grittman noted that the original plat contains a driveway easement for Lot 3 to serve a future home, however, since this lot would be spit and combined with the two remaining lots, the driveway easement is no longer necessary. He stated the applicant was asked to vacate the existing driveway easement and agreed to do so after approval of the request is granted. He explained that staff advised the applicant that Dakota County reserves the right to reject the lot realignment and require the applicant to re-plat the property. He stated that if this occurs, the applicant would need to reapply for preliminary and final plat approval, which requires a public hearing and review by the Planning Commission and Council.
The Planner stated that staff recommends approval of the minor subdivision and vacation of easements based on the finding that the proposal would have minimal impact on site conditions or neighboring property and would continue to meet all Subdivision Ordinance and lot design requirements and with the six (6) conditions listed in the Planner’s report.
Councilmember Hovey asked if easements would be granted for all three lots and the Planner responded yes.
Attorney Kuntz pointed out that no new road easements would be granted, only drainage and utility easements.
Mayor Park asked if Council action would be to grant approval of a minor subdivision and vacation of easements.
The Planner responded yes and explained that Planning Commission review is not required for a minor subdivision, but a public hearing by Council is required.
Mayor Park asked if there were any further comments and there was no response. She called for a motion.
Attorney Kuntz explained that the Mayor should first ask for comments from the public and then close the public hearing.
The Planner noted that the applicants and Bob Moser were present to respond to questions.
Mayor Park asked if there were any comments or questions from the audience and, hearing none, closed the public hearing at 7:20 p.m.
Councilmember Hovey moved to approval the Lot Spit and Combination and Vacation of Easements at 2250 Delaware Avenue subject to the findings and conditions as listed in the Planner’s report dated October 26, 2016 and to adopt Resolution No. 16-20 titled RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR VACATION OF CERTAIN PUBLIC DRAINAGE AND UTILITY EASEMENTS LOCATED WITHIN LOTS 1, 2, AND 3, BLOCK 1, ANGELL ACRES, DAKOTA COUNTY, MINNESOTA, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (4-0)
6. PLANNING COMMISSION/PLANNER’S REPORT: a. Planner’s Report: Planner Grittman referred to his report dated October 26, 2016 and stated that the October Planning Commission meeting was cancelled due to lack of applications.
The Planner stated staff continues to work with the property owner at 1 Grieve Glen Lane to remove the sport court lights and bring other lighting on the property into compliance.
Councilmember Williams asked the status of this property.
Planner Grittman explained that both he and the Mayor sent an email to the property owner which explained that Council did not wish to change the City Code to allow lighting and that the sport court lights should be removed.
Councilmember Wahlstrom asked if the property owner was provided a time-frame for removal by the City or if staff is waiting for him to remove them.
The Planner stated that he asked the property owner when the lights would be taken down after discussion with the City Attorney as to how to present the matter.
Attorney Kuntz advised that he suggested the Planner ask the property owner for a reasonable time-frame to remove the lights.
In discussion, Council concurred that staff should continue contact with the property owner to obtain a reasonable date for removal of the lights before the weather does not permit easy removal.
Council thanked the Planner for his report.
7. STAFF REPORTS: a. BUILDING INSPECTOR: Clerk Iago explained that the Building Inspector was absent this evening and that there were no permits issued or closed in the month of October.
Council thanked the Clerk for the report.
b. CITY ENGINEER: 1. Engineering Activities Undertaken in October: A. Sunfish Lake Outlet Update: Engineer Sterna stated that he checked this evening and the lake level is approximately 4 inches above the outlet; he noted that the level had dropped only 1-1/2 inches since last month and that it does not take much sediment to stop the water flow. He commented that future improvements to Charlton Road could improve the flow and that he would keep in contact with the City Forester to monitor the outlet during the winter to insure that spring rains do not cause it to be plugged.
B. TH 110 Casing Pipe Decision: The Engineer explained that he sent the plan for the casing pipe to be installed in conjunction with MnDOT improvements to Highway 110 and their engineer estimated the cost at over $100,000. He stated that initially MnDOT was going to totally remove the pavement on the highway, however, due to budget constraints, they now plan to recycle the surface materials. He advised that the cost increase is based on installation of gravel bedding, sand and an extras sand base with a large open cut on the road. He recommended that Council defer the installation of the casing pipe to a later date to eliminate the surface restoration and trench backfill costs. He advised that the City could obtain a permit from MnDOT at a later date to jack the pipe under the road at an estimated that cost of approximately $30,000, which in his opinion is far more cost effective. He also explained that St. Paul Regional Water Department would still allow the hook-up to their hydrant in the future. He commented that a new law was enacted that requires the water department to renew a water hook-up permit every 10 years and he suggested this matter be put on hold at this time.
Resident Kitzie Nye asked if the City could run a connection from the other hydrant at the end of Charlton Road to the church.
Engineer Sterna explained that it would be very costly to run the pipe from Delaware Avenue to the church location.
Mayor Park commented that the extension of the pipe may also affect private property.
Engineer Sterna further pointed out that a dead end line that is not in use needs to be flushed to remove bacteria or needs a continuous water flow. He commented that running the casing under the MnDOT right-of-way is a common practice.
Councilmember Hovey asked if MnDOT made any changes to the plan in this area due to the budget constraints.
Engineer Sterna responded no other changes were made to the plan.
Mayor Park asked the engineer to share the response received from Jon Solberg regarding the situation at Mendota Road and Highway 110.
Engineer Sterna stated that MnDOT agreed to put signage in place at the intersection requiring drivers to yield to U-Turn vehicles.
C. Charlton Road Feasibility Report: Engineer Sterna stated that he would be finalizing the draft feasibility report, costs estimates and preliminary design layout for discussion at the December meeting. He explained that the plan includes an option to flatten the curve at the guard rail and noted that the guard rail was recently hit again.
Mayor Park asked when the guard rail posts would be installed.
The Engineer explained that the wooden posts are being replaced with a new material due to the fact that arsenic can no longer be used. He pointed out that the posts are no longer stockpiled and harder to obtain. He noted that MnDOT now uses steel posts, which are also difficult to obtain as vendors are very busy with replacement orders at this time.
Mayor Park questioned if Charlton Road is paved within two years, would the posts be available for installation.
Engineer Sterna pointed out that if the curve at that location is changed it may eliminate the need for the guard rails. He advised that he would contact the vendor to determine when the rails might be available. He also stated that he would contact Pine Bend Paving to discuss the repairs at the Werb property near the mailbox.
D. Building and Site Plan Reviews: None this month.
2. Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of October: None.
3. Anticipated Engineering and Public Works Activities for November: A. Charlton Road Potential Improvements: The Engineer reiterated that he would be finalize the draft feasibility report for discussion at the December meeting.
B. 2017 City Improvement Project: Engineer Sterna stated that this matter would be discussed later on the agenda.
4. Public Works’ Activities Planned for November: At this time the only activity planned is to obtain information regarding repair of the guard rail on Charlton Road.
Council thanked the Engineer for his report.
c. CITY FORESTER: Forester Nayes stated he issued two (2) burning permits in October and planted six (6) elm trees near wildflower areas along Salem church Road. He explained that he cleared debris from the Sunfish Lake overflow outlet on three (3) occasions and also cleared debris from the Horseshoe Lake outlet several times. He noted that the Hammett family had advised hime when the outlet on Sunfish Lake is blocked.
The Forester stated that he seeded five (5) new wildflower areas along Salem Church Road. He further explained that he consulted with residents regarding oak wilt, high water levels lake weeds and how the wet summer weather affected trees.
Forester Nayes referred Council to the photos of the Eagle Scout projects that were placed in Musser Park. He explained that the benches the scouts constructed were paled in selected areas around the park so that they would not bother property owners. He further advised that 15 bluebird house were constructed and that ten (10) were placed in the park where residents may view them and five (5) were donated. He commented that this project was in keeping with the “minimal maintenance” theme of Musser Park and commended the scouts for a wonderful job with the construction projects.
Mayor Park noted that the blue bird houses must be maintained to evict other birds that might try to occupy them. She explained that Alden Prueher was the Eagle Scout candidate in charge of the project and that he had eight (8) other scouts assist with the project. She stated the Prueher family had offered to be in charge of maintaining the bird houses.
Council thanked the Forester for his report.
Councilmember Williams asked if the Mayor had any information on the status of the Watershed Management alum treatment project on Sunfish Lake.
Mayor Park advised that money was collected from residents but she was unsure if the project was started.
d. PUBLIC SAFETY: Officer Syvertson referred to the Police report dated October 26, 2016 and explained that Chief Shaver was unavailable to attend the meeting this evening. He noted that there were no False Alarms during this month.
Officer Syvertson explained that gunshots were reported in the area of Musser Park and the Metro Bowhunters determined that the gunshots may have been from goose hunters in the neighboring city of Inver Grove Heights.
Mayor Park noted that this is the first time there were no false alarms reported and that the counts was less than the same time period last year.
Officer Syvertson reminded residents if they are away from home for the holidays to set their lights on timers to deter burglaries.
Council thanked the Officer Syvertson for the report.
8. NEW/OTHER BUSINESS: a. Consider the following Resolutions for the Proposed City Street Improvement Projects 2016 -02 and 2016-03: Attorney Kuntz referred to his report dated October 26, 2016 and asked Council to consider adopting the five (5) resolutions relating to the proposed City Street Improvement Projects. He explained that Council has the option to adopt all the resolutions by one action or individually.
The Attorney stated that staff determined it would be more efficient to combine the two (2) projects of Salem Church Road and Roanoke Road into one project which would require only one feasibility report, one public hearing and may reduce the bids for the project.
Attorney Kuntz stated the estimated cost for the project if $415,000, which includes the administrative costs for engineering, legal and bond counsel. He explained that the project is proposed to be financed through special assessments and the tax levy. He explained that $123,000 would be paid by the City and that the proposed assessments are $6,000 per unit for Roanoke Road and $5,000 per unit for Salem Church Road.
The Attorney explained that the proposed assessments for Roanoke Road follow the City’s adopted assessment policy. He noted that the Salem Church Road proposed assessments are out of the ordinary since few parcels actually abut the road but use it to access private roads. He noted that there is only one vacant buildable lot on the Mager property on Salem Church Road, with the others accessing from Windy Hill Road.
Attorney Kuntz explained that Ehlers was asked to run a scenario to show the estimates taxes that would have to be levied to pay for the unassessed portion and the report showed that the City would have to levy $36,000 to $41,000 per year for 10 years to pay for the unassessed portion. He further advised that the assessments could be levied over 10 years with an interest rate of 1.5 percent above the bond rate to cover delinquencies, with the first payment due in 2018.
The Attorney reviewed the project schedule which calls for Council to accept the Feasibility Report and call for a pubic earing at the February, 2017 meeting. He noted that after the public hearing, Council would order the project and let the bids, with the contract award to be granted in April, 2017; the assessment hearing would be conducted in September, 2017 after completion of the project and the assessments would be certified to the County in November 2017, with the first payment due in 2018. He advised that the schedule may be altered as necessary.
Councilmember Williams asked if the $40,000 per year bond repayment would run concurrently the bond from the last project.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that part of the bond levy would cease, but she was unsure of the date.
Attorney Kuntz pointed out that Council may also have to consider an additional tax increase if improvement to Charlton Road are considered in 2017. He noted that Council also has the option to use reserve funds to lessen the debt and may have to further discuss that option.
Mayor Park stated that she reviewed the potential assessments and noted that one family would be assessed for two parcels; she explained that they have an existing home and a lot on Roanoke road and could potentially be assessed $6,000 for both lots.
Engineer Sterna explained that both lots were created with the Roanoke Road plat and indicated that the Council could address such issues at the assessment hearing and has the option to change the assessments at that time.
Councilmember Williams agreed that the public hearing for assessments would address such issues.
Mayor Park further noted that Salem Lane residents have never been assessed for any improvement projects because they live on a private road. She pointed out that the City legally has the ability to assess those parcels but expressed concern as to how the City would educate the property owners.
Councilmember Williams suggested that the City cannot address such issues until they are raised by the property owners and it would be appropriate to wait until the assessment hearing to discuss this matter.
Mayor Park asked if there were any further comments and there was no response. She called for Council action to adopt the resolutions with one motion or individually.
Councilmember Williams moved to adopt the following resolutions:
Resolution No. 16-21 titled, Resolution Combining City Project No. 2016-02 (Roanoke Road) And City Project No. 2016-3) Salem Church Road) Into One Project To Be Named: 2017-01 Street Improvement Project (Roanoke Road Overlay And Salem Church Road Reconstruction)
Resolution No. 16-22 titled, Resolution Receiving The Feasibility Report Of The Consulting Engineer And Calling For A Public Improvement Hearing Concerning The 2017-01 Street Improvement Project (Roanoke Road Overlay And Salem Church Road Reconstruction)
Resolution No. 16-23 titled, Resolution Appointing Don Sterna And WSB & Associates, Inc., Steve Apfelbacher And Ehlers And Associates, Inc. And Jenny Boulton And Kennedy & Graven To Assist The City With 2017-01 Street Improvement Project (Roanoke Road Overlay And Salem Church Road Reconstruction)
Resolution No. 16-24 titled, Resolution Approving A Preliminary Financing Plan In Order To Prepare A Public Hearing Notice For The 2017-01 Street Improvement Project (Roanoke Road Overlay And Salem Church Road Reconstruction)
Resolution No. 16-25 titled, Resolution Approving The Project Schedule For 2017-01 Street Improvement Project (Roanoke Road Overlay And Salem Church Road Reconstruction)
Seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (4-0)
Attorney Kuntz advised that the City Engineer wished to conduct an Open House in January to discuss the project and asked if the Engineer should proceed to schedule the open house.
Councilmember Williams stated that in his opinion the Engineer should conduct the open house prior to the public hearing. In February and that he should proceed.
Engineer Sterna stated he would provide a few dates for the open house at the December meeting.
b. Schedule Special Council Meeting at 5:00 p.m., December 6, 2016 to Conduct Consultant Reviews: Clerk Iago referred to her memorandum dated October 26, 2016 and asked Council to schedule a special meeting to conduct the annual consultant reviews. She explained that all the consultants had confirmed their scheduled meeting times.
Councilmember Williams asked if food would be served and the Mayor responded yes.
Councilmember Hovey moved to schedule a Special Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. On December 6, 2016 for the purpose of Conducting Consultant Reviews, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (4-0)
c. Other: Mayor Park asked if there was any further business.
Clerk Iago reported that she contacted Dakota County and found that the cost to mail reminder postcards for the septic pumping was $3.00 per card and they are sent every three (3) years to property owners who fail to pump their systems. She advised that the fee was not listed in the contract that was approved by Council at their last meeting.
Treasurer Lanoue reminded Council that the 2017 Budget and Tax Levy public hearing would be conducted at the December meeting.
The Mayor asked if there were any further comments and there was no response.
9. ADJOURN: Councilmember Hovey moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m. seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried (4-0)
Catherine Iago, City Clerk Molly Park, Mayor