SUNFISH LAKE PLANNING COMMISSIONMEETING – JANUARY 18, 2016
7:00 P.M. – ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Chair: Tom Hendrickson
Commissioners: Ginny Beckett, Shari Hansen, and Alan Spaulding.
City Planner: Ryan Grittman
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
1. CALL TO ORDER: Chair Hendrickson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
2. ADOPT AGENDA: Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any additions to the agenda and there was no response.
Commissioner Beckett moved to adopt the agenda, seconded by Commissioner Hansen and carried (4-0)
3. APPROVE MINUTES AUGUST 17, 2016: Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any additions or corrections to the August 17, 2016 minutes and there was no response.
Commissioner Hansen moved to approve the August 17, 2016 Planning Commission meeting minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Beckett and carried. (4-0)
4. Discussion – Engineer’s Feasibility Report Dated November 1, 2016 for Proposed 2017 Street Improvement Project: Planner Grittman referred to his memorandum dated January 11, 2016 and explained that the Planning Chair called a special meeting to discuss the proposed 2017 Street Improvement Feasibility Report as it relates to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and to adopt a resolution that sets the 2017 Planning Commission meeting schedule.
The Planner stated that the City Engineer held a Special Council Open House meeting earlier this evening in order to explain to affected property owners the proposed 2017 Street Improvement Project that includes work on Salem Church Road and Roanoke Road. He further stated that State Statutes require the Planning Commission to review such proposals to determine if the project is consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan as it relates to public transportation. He reviewed the transportation objectives listed in his report and explained that if the Commission agrees that the proposed improvement project supports maintaining streets for safety, future growth and for the use of vehicles, they should recommend approval of the project.
Chair Hendrickson opened the meeting for public comment, however, there were no audience members present. He closed the public comment portion of the meeting and asked if there were any questions from the Commissioners.
Commissioner Spaulding asked what percentage of roads in the City the project encompasses and the estimated percentage of improvements that are done annually.
Planner Grittman estimated approximately 4 percent of roads receive improvements annually and that he is uncertain of the percentage this project would encompass. He explained the project included all of Roanoke Road and a portion of Salem Church Road and suggested it could be approximately 10 percent, but noted that he was unsure of the exact percentage. He explained that the estimated cost for the proposed improvements are outlined in the Engineer’s feasibility report that was distributed to the Commission and that Council wishes to advertise for bids on the project this spring in order to complete the project this year.
Clerk Iago explained the estimated total cost for project, which includes both Salem Church Road and Roanoke Road was $414,000. She noted that this project was originally scheduled in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to be done in 2020, however, the Engineer moved it forward to 2017 due to the deteriorating condition of Salem Church Road.
Commissioner Spaulding commented that 10 percent of the City roads appears to be a larger amount to spend in one year when normally only 4 percent of the City roads are improved annually in trying to maintain the schedule.
Clerk Iago pointed out that one portion of Salem Church Road is in good condition, however, the section scheduled for improvement is in very poor condition. She explained that the Engineer reviews and rates all the roads in the City every three (3) years and this improvement was moved forward from 2020 in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) based on its rating and condition. She explained that the City prefers to make road improvements such as overlay and sealcoating in order to preserve the road surface for longer periods of time. She stated that the overlay on Roanoke Road should extend its life approximately 8 to 10 years and therefore delay its reconstruction.
Chair Hendrickson commented that the City mostly like would prefer to schedule less roadway improvements annually, however, due to weather conditions in Minnesota it may not be feasible. He stated that widening the road usually increases the estimated costs.
Clerk Iago explained that there are no plans to widen Salem Church Road, but plans do include changing the crown of the road surface to correct drainage, repairing the shoulders, and replacing the culverts, which increases the costs. She noted that Salem Church Road is a through street that runs east-west through the City and is heavily traveled, which also contributes to the condition and deterioration of the road.
Commissioner Beckett advised that the Engineer reviewed the need for a total reconstruction of Salem Church Road at the open house meeting. She stated that the Engineer explained that there are few properties that abut Salem Church Road and that residents living on the private roads that gain access to their homes from Salem Church Road are included in the assessments. She advised that the Engineer explained that the City would pay the largest portion of the costs for Salem Church Road due to its designation as a collector road in the City’s Assessment Policy. She further stated that the Roanoke Road improvement would be an overlay, not a total reconstruct as proposed for Salem Church Road, and that those residents would pay a larger share of the assessments based on its road designation.
Commissioner Spaulding asked if the residents not on the assessment roll would also be impacted by the costs.
Planning Grittman explained that the assessment would be spread to all residential properties as part of their taxes and should be a minimal amount.
Chair Hendrickson responded yes and explained that the City’s assessment policy sets cost-sharing percentages to be paid based on the road designation. He explained that the residents on Roanoke Road would pay a higher percentage of the cost since it is not a heavily traveled road and the City would pay a higher percentage of the costs for Salem Church Road since it is a collector street.
Clerk Iago advised that the City adopts the CIP to schedule projects based on the condition of the streets and to spread out the costs for the projects based on bonding requirements. She noted that the Council adopted a slightly higher tax levy for 2017 to assist with the costs for road maintenance. She pointed out that previously Council had set aside funds for “road maintenance”, however, the past few years funds had not been set aside for this purpose. She also explained that Council determined it would be appropriate to minimally increase the tax levy each year to prevent a large increase that would impact homeowners.
Planner Grittman also noted that a portion of the tax increase was due to the high cost of updating the City’s Comprehensive Plan which must be completed every 10 years.
Commissioner Beckett commented that the City Engineer indicated this may be a good time to schedule the project as oil prices may be less and the City may be able to secure a bid from the same contractor that is hired for the MnDOT Highway 110 improvement project.
Commissioner Spaulding agreed it may be less costly to combine the projects rather than do them individually.
Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any further comments or questions and there was no response.
Planner Grittman explained that the meeting held earlier this evening was informational only and that the Council would conduct a public hearing on the proposed project at their February 7, 2017 meeting to receive public comments and to consider authorizing the Engineer to prepare plans and specifications for the project. He stated that if the Commission agreed that the project would be in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan, they should recommend approval of the project based on the Findings of Fact as listed in the attachment to his report dated January 18, 2017.
Commissioner Hansen moved to recommend approval of the proposed 2017 Street Improvement Project based on the Findings of Fact as listed in the attachment to the Planner’s memorandum dated January 18, 2017, seconded by Commissioner Beckett and carried. (4-0)
5. OTHER/NEW BUSINESS: A. Resolution Setting the Dates of the Regular Planning Commission Meetings for the Year 2017: Planner Grittman explained that the Commission is responsible for setting their own meeting schedule annually. He referred to the proposed schedule to meet on the third Wednesday of each month as attached to his memorandum dated January 11, 2017 and recommended the Commission adopt the resolution if there are no conflicts with the meeting dates.
Commissioner Beckett stated she would not be able to attend the March meeting.
Clerk Iago stated she would be unable to attend the March meeting since she would be at a conference.
Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any additional scheduling conflicts and there was no response.
Commissioner Spaulding moved to adopt Resolution No. 17-01PC titled RESOLUTION SETTING DATES OF THE REGULAR PLANNIGN COMISSION MEETINGS FOR THE YEAR 2017, seconded by Commissioner Hansen and carried. (4-0)
ADJOURN: Chair Hendrickson asked if there was any further business and there was no response.
Commissioner Beckett moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:26 p.m., seconded by Commissioner Hansen and carried. (4-0)
Catherine Iago, City Clerk