SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – AUGUST 1, 2017

SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – AUGUST 1, 2017

7:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Attendants:


Mayor: Richard Williams

Councilmembers: Mike Hovey, JoAnne Wahlstrom, and Daniel O’Leary

City Attorney: Tim Kuntz

City Planner: Ryan Grittman

Engineer: Don Sterna

City Treasurer: Ann Lanoue

Building Inspector: Mike Andrejka
City Forester: Jim Nayes
City Clerk: Cathy Iago

and Members of the General Public.

Councilmember Steven Bulach and Police Chief Manila Shaver were absent.

1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Williams opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

2. APPROVE AGENDA: Mayor Williams asked if there were any additions or corrections to the agenda and there was no response.

Councilmember Hovey moved to adopt the agenda as presented, seconded by Councilmember O’Leary and carried. (4-0)

3. CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Williams asked if there were any questions or comments relating to any items on the Consent Agenda and there was no response.

Councilmember Wahlstrom moved approval of the Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Councilmember O’Leary and carried. (4-0)

a. Regular Council Meeting Minutes of July 11, 2017

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: Mayor Williams noted that the Planner had not yet arrived at the meeting and explained that Council would move forward with the agenda items.

7. STAFF REPORTS: a. BUILDING INSPECTOR: Inspector Andrejka stated that he issued eight (8) and closed four (4) permits in July.

Council thanked the Inspector for his report.

b. CITY ENGINEER: Engineering Activities Undertaken in July: A. Charlton Road Improvements Update: Engineer Sterna stated that he and Council representatives met with 12 of the 17 residents from whom the City would request dedication of easements to construct the improvement project. He advised that he would be meeting with representatives from St. Anne’s Church tomorrow to discuss the easements. He explained that there are a few residents he was unable to reach and that have not responded to the letter he sent.

The Engineer advised that the general consensus from the residents residing on the north end of the road prior to the 90 degree bend supported the improvements and easement dedication. He stated that the property owners that reside after the curve of the road, with smaller parcels of land, expressed concerns relating to vegetation impacts, traffic volume and speed and why such a wide drainage and utility easement would be necessary. He noted these residents advised it was their opinion the improvements are not needed, they would prefer the road to remain as is and the costs are too high.

Engineer Sterna pointed out that over the years the residents were equally split in their opinion regarding whether or not to improve the road, however, after talking with residents along the road, it appears that three-fourths of the property owners are aware of the issues and the need to have the road improvements done.

The Engineer explained that he could make some modifications at the south end of the road that may lessen the easements necessary to proceed with the project. He advised that in discussions with the City Attorney it was determined that the City may have prescriptive rights to make improvements within the road right-of-way which would lessen the easements that the City may be unable to obtain from residents in that area. He pointed out that the property owners discussed keeping the outlet running on the south ditch area prior to directing the flow north. He stated that the property owner nearest the outlet asked to see the easement area staked out prior to making a commitment on dedicating the easement. He discussed the possibility of reducing the curve and replacing two (2) driveway culverts in that area.

Engineer Sterna stated that the majority of residents are supportive of the improvements and were in favor of the curbing proposed along the road. He noted that some of the residents requested speed tables be installed on the road to reduce traffic speed. He advised that the majority of the residents expressed their willingness to provide the easements to the City in order to move forward with the project.

The Engineer explained that the next steps in the process would be to authorize staff to order title work for the 17 parcels at a cost of $500 per parcel. He stated that the title work would assist staff in determining the exact area needed for the easements in order to physically stake the location to show residents on their individual parcels. He noted that the City Attorney would be able to discuss the financial analysis which would determine if the City could proceed with the bond issue. He further noted that it would also be beneficial for staff to proceed with delineating the wetland area before the growing season ends.

Attorney Kuntz explained that Council had directed staff to contact property owners to determine if they would be willing to provide the easements necessary to proceed with the project and that is appears the majority of resident would support providing the easements to the City. He commented that the question appears to be what to do with the property owners that do not agree with providing the easements for the project. He pointed out that the City Engineer indicated that he may be able to modify the project to limit the areas at the south end of the road where drainage issues are prevalent. He stated that the City has prescriptive rights and would be able to use that area for the project. He recommended that the title work proceed in order to determine what area the City may use for the project. He suggested the Engineer include the Dobrantz property as part of the group where the City may have to use prescriptive rights since the City has not been able to contact the property owners to discuss the easements.

The City Attorney recommended that Council consider authorizing staff to proceed with the following items:

1. Obtain from Ehlers & Associates the financial impact analysis of the tax levies for the bonds with regard to the following three projects:· Windy Hill/Windy Court, Salem Church Road/Roanoke Road, Proposed Charlton Road;

2. City Attorney will obtain title commitments with respect to all the properties along Charlton Road;

3. Once title commitments are obtained, City Engineer will begin surveys of the easements that will be necessary from the property owners and surveys of the existing road and drainage areas with regard to those property owners that may not be giving easements;

4. City Attorney and City Engineer will proceed to draft preservation road standards and also draft a resolution memorializing the reasons for installing traffic calming devices along Charlton Road; and,

5. City Engineer will prepare a wetland delineation for the existing wetlands and stormwater ponds that will be receiving the stormwater runoff from Charlton Road.

Councilmember Hovey asked if the “preservation” road standards would be similar to those drafted for the Acorn Drive project.

Attorney Kuntz responded yes and explained that staff would create a different road standard to fit Charlton Road and it would state the rationale for creating the road standard. He explained that Council could proceed at this time or wait one more month. He commented that it is his observation there appears to be growing support for the road improvements however, until the title work has been completed and the easements are drafted it poses difficultly for staff to determine the full extent of the project, any changes that may be made, and to update the cost estimates.

Mayor Williams asked if the City may include prescriptive rights on Torrens property.

Attorney Kuntz explained that the law does not allow prescriptive rights on Torrens property and the City would have to review alternatives.

Councilmember O’Leary distributed his notes that summarized the meetings he attended with the property owners, Councilmember Bulach and Engineer Sterna. He stated that the property owners on the south end of the road appeared to be very opposed to the road improvement and he reviewed the eight (8) items listed which included concerns relating to speeding, cut-thru traffic from surrounding neighborhoods, changing the rural atmosphere and the fact that the assessments are too high and would provide a hardship on them as they are not as wealthy as others who reside on the road.

Councilmember O’Leary also reviewed the notes relating to the property owners on the north end of the road and noted that almost all of the residents very much favored the road improvement. He explained that they expressed concern that the road is an extreme danger for vehicles and pedestrians and they commented that it is impossible to keep their windows open during the summer months due to the fine silt dust from the road. He noted that one resident had a car accident due to icy conditions on the road. He expressed special thanks to Meg Gehrig and Shannon Werb at 2165 Charlton Road and explained that Shannon had indicated he would be willing to donate another 10 ft. of his property to the north of the road which may eliminate the need for easements from the south end residents. He commented that while the group was walking the dirt road, Meg stumbled due to a dangerous large hole on the side of the road.

Councilmember O’Leary stated that as member of the Council it is their duty to protect all residents and keep City road safe. He pointed out that the south end residents noted there had not been a “head-on” collision on the road yet, and he stated that he does not wish to wait for a tragedy to occur on the road to proceed with the improvements. He stated that in his opinion it is incumbent upon Council to take action and that there is a moral obligation to proceed with the project. He commented that he is compassionate about the costs for the project, but noted that wealth should not be an issue when determining if an improvement project is necessary and that the decision should be made based on the condition of the road, drainage issues, and safety factors.

Councilmember O’Leary moved to direct staff to proceed with the five (5) steps outlined by the City Attorney as follows:

1. Obtain from Ehlers & Associates the financial impact analysis of the tax levies for the bonds with regard to the following three projects:· Windy Hill/Windy Court, Salem Church Road/Roanoke Road, Proposed Charlton Road;

2. City Attorney will obtain title commitments with respect to all the properties along Charlton Road;

3. Once title commitments are obtained, City Engineer will begin surveys of the easements that will be necessary from the property owners and surveys of the existing road and drainage areas with regard to those property owners that may not be giving easements;

4. City Attorney and City Engineer will proceed to draft preservation road standards and also draft a resolution memorializing the reasons for installing traffic calming devices along Charlton Road; and,

5. City Engineer will prepare a wetland delineation for the existing wetlands and stormwater ponds that will be receiving the stormwater runoff from Charlton Road.

Councilmember Wahlstrom seconded the motion.

In discussion, Mayor Williams noted that some residents oppose the road improvement, however, the City has been paying enormous costs to maintain the road and the improvements would significantly reduce the maintenance costs. He indicated that many vehicles have gone off the road at the curve and that the City had been lucky so far that no tragedies have occurred. He stated that in his point of view there are a number of factors to support proceeding with the project and asked if part of the road could be done with Class 5 bituminous surface and a portion remain gravel.

Engineer Sterna explained that a gravel shoulder could be placed in the wetland area on the south end of the road and that speed tables could be installed at each end of the road to slow traffic. He pointed out that public safety vehicles and school buses do not favor speed bumps although they are an effective tool and may cut down on traffic using the street as a cut-through street. He commented that a stop sign could be placed mid-way along the road, however, he has found that vehicles pick-up speed after the sign to make up for lost time.

Councilmember Hovey stated in his opinion the City needs to do the five (5) steps proposed by staff whether or not the project proceeds so that it would be accomplished for the future.

Sharon Hutchinson, 2194 Charlton Road, asked if the three (3) options for improving the road were off the table at this time.

The Council concurred that they wished to proceed with Option 3, improvement of the entire road.


Councilmember O’Leary moved to amend the original motion to include language that Council chose to proceed with Option 3, improvement of the entire road, unless some prescriptive issues arose that would require modification of the plan.


Councilmember Wahlstrom seconded the motion as amended.

Mayor Williams called the question.

Motion as amended carried. (4-0)

Engineer Sterna stated that the outlet for Sunfish Lake had been cleaned three (3) times this year and that he would recommend staff review the possibility of keeping the water flow on the south side of the road ditching and then taking the water from the road to the north side. He suggested that a weir could be installed and piping to move the water to the north side of the road. He stated that the pipe would have to be placed at the correct slope to lower the lake level and stated that he was sure Mendota Heights could handle the water flow since his firm had reviewed the model flow rate information for that city. He stated that he continues to recommend the Sunfish Lake outlet be correctly installed as part of the project.

Mayor Williams asked how much it cost to clean the existing pipe and what the cost would be to correctly install a new outlet.

Engineer Sterna stated that the last cleaning cost $650, however the City had spent approximately $2,500 in the past to clean the pipe. He pointed out that the cleanings are due to the large rain events that have occurred recently. He advised that the estimated cost to install a new pipe and to slope it correctly would be $35,000. He also noted that the existing pipe appears to be broken as he had seen evidence of broken piping during the clean-up operation.

There was discussion relating to the size of the pipe that would need to be installed to maintain flowage from the outlet and fixing the slope of the pipe. The Engineer indicated that the pipe is currently 12-inches and that he would recommend at 15-inch pipe be installed. He commented that the increase in the size of the pipe and slope correction should end maintenance issues, unless large branches get trapped in the outlet. He also advised that the City would have to amend the permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) if a new outlet is installed.

Dick Bancroft, 100 Windy Hill Road, explained that the outlet was installed in the 1990’s and that he had personally entered the manhole to clean out the debris from the box in the outlet. He explained that the reason the outlet requires maintenance relates to the fact that gravel accumulates with in the box and plugs the outlet. He commented that if the gravel is removed from Charlton Road, the maintenance of the outlet should not be required or as expensive. He stated that he was very supportive of Engineer Sterna and commented that engineer hired to install the outlet did not do a good job.

Sharon Hutchinson stated that in her opinion the north end of the road should be paved and that the paving should stop at the curve of the road which should resolve the problem with gravel entering the outlet.

Meg Gehrig, 2165 Charlton Road, stated that as the road degrades traffic has to move to the left to make a right turn at the curve. She pointed out that the maintenance costs would remain if a portion of the road is left with gravel.

Mayor Williams asked if there were any further comments and there was no response.

B. 2017 Street Improvement Update: Engineer Sterna stated the work remaining included topsoil, regrading and clean up and is anticipated to be done by August 11, 2017. He stated he would be requesting Council call for the public assessment hearing at the September 5, 2017 meeting, conducting the hearing and certifying the assessments to Dakota County in October 2017 for collection in 2018.

C 2018-2022 CIP: The Engineer explained that the document includes both scenarios with and without improvements to Charlton Road and that the City is currently reviewing the bonding capacity for the project. He advised that he would present the document to Council at the September meeting and explained that it is a tool for Council to use for planning and budgeting purposes and that may be amended as necessary. He noted that some roads would need overlay which is not as expensive as reconstruction. He pointed out that no determination had been made regarding improvements to Upper 55th Street.

D. Charlton Road Grading: Engineer Sterna stated he would recommend that Charlton Road be graded to prepare for the winter months; he suggested the grading be done in September prior to winter. He indicated that MnDOT should allow right out traffic from Charlton Road by August 7 which would assist with reducing the longer traffic patterns on the road.

Councilmember O’Leary moved to authorize the Engineer to proceed with the grading on Charlton Road in preparation for the winter months, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (4-0)

Councilmember Hovey asked if MnDOT was on schedule with opening for right out traffic and if the Engineer plans to wait to grade the road until the MnDOT project is completed.

Engineer Sterna stated that he would contact MnDOT regarding the right-out turns and that he would wait until the project is completed to grade the road. He noted that he had completed a traffic study prior to preparing the feasibility report and he found that the traffic counts are equal on both ends of the road. He indicated that this information supports the fact that there is not as much cut-through traffic from Delaware Avenue to Highway 110 since the signal was replaced at the Delaware/Highway 110 intersection.

E. Building and Site Review: The Engineer attended one (1) pre-application meeting for potential home improvements at 2130 Charlton Road.


Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of July : None.


Anticipated Engineering Activities for August: A. Charlton Road Improvements: Anticipate meeting with the remaining four (4) residents along the road in August and meeting with the City Attorney to review options based on discussion at the August Council meeting.


Anticipated Public Works Activities for August: A. 2017 City Improvement Project: Prepare and finalize construction contract and documentation for the public assessment hearing for the project.


Council thanked the Engineer for his report.


6.a. Planner’s Report: Planner Grittman reviewed the following information listed in his report dated July 26, 2017 and stated that the July planning meeting was cancelled due to lack of agenda items.

The Planner stated that the Comprehensive Plan task Force met on July 19, 2017 to discuss the first draft of the Comp Plan Inventory and Policy Plan sections of the document. The Task Force recommended that the plan should remain mostly the same as the existing plan with a few changes as outlined in the Planner’s report dated July 26, 2017. In lieu of the previous discussion regarding Charlton Road, he stated that the Task Force recommended that the Sunfish Lake overflow pipe should be replaced and that the Comprehensive Plan should support the rebuilding of the pipe. The Task Force also recommended that responsibility for keeping the pipe clear of debris should be clearly delineated. He advised that the task Force would meet again on August 16, to discuss the Development Framework section of the Comp Plan.

Planner Grittman advised that staff met with a builder representing the homeowners at 2130 Charlton Road who wish to construct an addition onto their existing home. He explained that staff anticipates that the project classifies as a Minor Review and would be approved administratively.

Councilmember O’Leary questioned if there was a typing error on page 1 of the Comprehensive Plan documentation distributed by the Planner and pointed out that the information states the City of Sunfish Lake is 1.7 square miles in size.

Planner Grittman stated he was unsure if the information was in error and that he would research the matter and report back to Council.

Forester Nayes stated that it is not an error and that the City is actually 1.7 square miles in size.

Council thanked the Planner for his report.

c. CITY FORESTER: Forester Nayes referred to his report dated July 26, 2017 and stated he issued one (1) burning permit in July; he noted the permits would be available until fall.

Councilmember O’Leary thanked the Forester for removing another sofa along Salem Church Road. He questioned what could be done to deter the dumping of trash in the City.

Forester Nayes commented that signage stating “No Dumping” may encourage rather than deter dumping in the City. He suggested that a sign stating that there was video surveillance in the area may be helpful.

The Forester stated he mowed Musser Park and that the wild flower plantings are in bloom along Salem Church Road. He also noted that the water in Sunfish Lake is the clearest he had seen it in the past eleven years.

Mayor Williams asked if the clear water was due to the Alum treatment of the lake and the Forester agreed that could be the reason.

Forester Nayes stated he received a request to look for poison Hemlock in the City, but he did not find the plant. He explained that he was working to remove the Wild Parsnip in Musser Park.

Council thanked the Forester for his report.

d. PUBLIC SAFETY: Mayor Williams referred to the Public Safety report dated June 30, 2017 and explained that Chief Shaver was attending the Night to Unite activities this evening. He noted that the false alarms are well below the number from the same time period last year. He explained that a resident had contacted the Police Department regarding a solicitor in the City and advised that the police had not issued any soliciting permits to date. He encouraged residents to call the police if anyone comes to their home for solicitation purposes.

8. NEW/OTHER BUSINESS: a. Consider Resolution Declaring Costs to be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for Street Improvement Project 2017-01; and Resolution Calling for Assessment Hearing for Street Improvement Project 2017-01 (Salem Church Road and Roanoke Road): Mayor Williams referred to the City Attorney’s report dated July 26, 2017 regarding the resolutions declaring costs to be assessed for the 2017-01 Street Improvement Project and calling for an assessment hearing.

Councilmember O’Leary moved to adopt the following resolutions, seconded by Councilmember Hovey:

Resolution No. 17-13 titled, RESOLUTION Declaring Costs to be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for Street Improvement Project 2017-01

Resolution No. 17-14 titled, RESOLUTION Calling for Assessment Hearing WITH RESPECT TO SUNFISH LAKE 2017-01 Street Improvement Project (ROANOKE ROAD OVERLAY AND Salem Church Road RECONSTRUCTION)

Motion Carried. (4-0)

b. Discuss the Proposed 2018 City of Sunfish Lake Tax Levy and Budget: Mayor Williams referred to the memorandum from the City Attorney dated July26, 2017 regarding the City’s Truth in Taxation process for taxes payable in 2018.

Treasurer Lanoue explained that the proposed 2018 was discussed by Council and staff at a Council Study Meeting earlier this evening. She advised that Council directed staff to bring forward the proposed 2018 Budget and Tax Levy at the September meeting in order to adopt the preliminary budget. She stated that once the preliminary budget it adopted it would be sent to Dakota County for certification and then notices would be mailed to residents with the 2018 tax information. She advised that Council retains the ability to reduce the proposed budget and tax levy at the public hearing held in December, however, they cannot increase the tax levy at that time.

The Treasurer explained that the Truth-in-Taxation public hearing would be held at the December 5, 2017 Council meeting in order to receive public comments. She advised that the final budget and tax levy would be adopted by Council at that meeting and certified to the County for tax collection in 2018.

c . Consider Revised Request for Sunfish Lake to Participate in Inver Grove Heights Fall Clean-up Day: Clerk Iago referred to her memorandum dated July 26, 2017 regarding the revised request to participate in the Inver Grove Heights Clean-Up day. She explained that it was brought to her attention that Council had authorized funds for this purpose at their July 11, 2016 meeting. She advised that City’s participation in this event would serve to meet one of the requirements set forth in the recycling grant.

The City Clerk further advised that the City of Inver Grove Heights had revised the original cost estimate from $500 to approximately $300 as it would be based on the number of Sunfish Lake residents that participate.

Councilmember O’Leary pointed out that Council determined residents would take items to the Recycling Center and that it would not be necessary for the City to participate.

Clerk Iago agreed however, she recommended that the City participate this year to determine if there actually was a need for residents to utilize the clean-up day. She pointed out that if there is a lack of participation, the City would not partner in future events.


Mayor Williams asked if there were any further comments or questions and there was no response.

Councilmember O’Leary moved to authorize staff to partner with the City of Inver Grove Heights Clean-Up Day at a cost not to exceed $500, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (4-0)

d. DEER HUNT ITEM WAS MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 AGENDA.

e. Discuss Charlton Road Easements and Financial Analysis: Mayor Williams explained this item was discussed earlier on the agenda.

f. Review Final Draft 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP): The Mayor stated this item was also discussed as part of the Engineer’s report.

g. Other: Mayor Williams asked if there was any further business and there was no response.


9 . ADJOURN: Mayor Williams adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m.


____________________________ ________________________________

Catherine Iago, City Clerk Richard A. Williams, Jr., Mayor