- DRAFT –
SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – DECEMBER 5, 2017
7:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Mayor: Richard Williams
Councilmembers: Mike Hovey, JoAnne Wahlstrom, Steven Bulach 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
Police Chief: Manila Shaver
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
and Members of the General Public.
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 Wahlstrom moved to adopt the agenda, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)
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 Hovey moved approval of the Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Councilmember Bulach and carried. (5-0)
a. Regular Council Meeting Minutes of November 7, 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: a. Public Hearing to Consider Budget and Tax Levy for the Year 2018: Mayor Williams opened the public hearing at 7:10 p.m. for the purpose of reviewing and receiving comments relating to the proposed 2018 Budget and Tax Levy for the City of Sunfish Lake. He asked the Treasurer to review the proposed budget and tax levy for those present.
Treasurer Lanoue stated that the City annually conducts a Truth in Taxation Hearing to review the proposed City Budget and Tax Levy for the upcoming year for residents and to receive their comments. She distributed a handout with the proposed budget and tax levy information. She explained that the information also contains budget information for School District 197, Dakota County and special taxing districts; she noted that the City would not discuss that information this evening and that interested residents could contact those entities with questions. She explained that Dakota County sets the property valuations for the City and sends notices to residents.
The Treasurer explained that Council conducted a special meeting in August to discuss the budget requests from the staff consultants and review information from Dakota County on the tax capacity rates. She explained that the Council must adopt the preliminary budget and certify it to Dakota County in September and would adopt the final budget this evening after the public hearing.. She noted that the proposed budget amount could be decreased prior to final adoption but could not be increased.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that the tax capacity rate for the City taxes are .26168 or 33.6%% of the tax dollar. She advised that the School District, County and Special Districts make up the remaining tax dollar collected. She stated
There are two (2) levies in the City; the General Tax Levy which is used for the City Budget and is proposed to be $481,163 for 2018, and the Bond Levy which is proposed to be $81,957. She noted the bond levy increase was due to the bond issue for the Salem Church Road improvement project that was completed one year earlier than the City initially proposed to begin the project. She explained that the total Tax Levy for 2018 is proposed to be $563,120 which is a 9.54% increase from the 2017 Tax Levy that was $514,063. She commented that the tax rate remained the same as last year and she revised the tax comparison schedule for the average home values as shown in her distribution materials.
The Treasurer explained that there was an substantial increase in the bond issue from $41,827 to $81,957 due to the Salem Church road improvement project She stated that the tax rate would remain the same in 2018 due to the increase in property values. She further stated that City Budget expenditures decreased due to the fact that new election equipment was purchased last year and the majority of the costs for the Comprehensive Plan were used in 2017; she noted the Comprehensive Plan update only occurs every 10 years. She stated there was a slight increase in the police and fire protection costs and that street maintenance was also increased.
Treasurer Lanoue stated that the overall budget documents are similar to prior years and that Council would be requested to adopt the 2018 Budget and Tax Levy later on the agenda in order to certify the documentation to Dakota County in December. She advised that the information is also filed with the Minnesota Department of Revenue and State Auditor. She offered to respond to questions.
Mayor Williams thanked the Treasurer for her presentation.
The Mayor asked if there were any questions from Council or the audience and there was no response.
Mayor Williams closed the public hearing at 7:30 p.m. and explained the resolutions would be considered later on the agenda.
b. Presentation Regarding Sibley High School Band: Clerk Iago introduced Band Director Amy Powers who was present to discuss the Sibley Marching Band nomination by Governor Daytona and Senator Klobuchar to be Minnesota’s only representative at the 2018 National Independence Day parade in Washington D.C. She advised that Gisele Taylor was also present representing the band and that information regarding fund raising efforts to send the band members to Washington D.C. was distributed to Council prior to the meeting.
Amy Powers explained that there are 60 members of the marching band that has earned the title of “The Little Band That Could” due to their passion and confidence while performing. She advised that the goal is to raise funds to pay the full expenses for all members of the band to attend the event and asked for the City’s assistance in any capacity to promote sponsorship or donations to the band.
Councilmember Bulach asked the cost per student to attend and Ms. Powers responded $1,300 per student for a total of $92,000.
Councilmember Hovey asked that Ms. Powers send him the information for placement on the City website.
Mayor Williams asked how soon the group needed the funds.
Ms. Powers explained that she must raise $60,000 by January 1, 2018 for the first installment. She advised that the group may advertise sponsors by carrying a banner with the company or individual’s name on the banner. She commented that the parade is expected to have a viewership of 4 million people. She thanked the Council and the City for any assistance in the fundraising efforts.
c. Introduce Recycling Coordinator Cassandra Schueller: Clerk Iago explained that Council had recently authorized hiring a shared person to serve as the Recycling Coordinator for the City and she introduced Cassandra Schueller. She stated that Cassandra was present to provide information regarding her background and recent projects she had completed for the other cities she currently works for on recycling matters.
Cassandra Schuller reviewed her background as a Green Corp intern with Dakota County and explained several events, such as organics collection, parks container inventories, paper shred and clean-up events, curbside pickup of appliances, safety camp presentations, pumpkin recycling and assisting with Eagle Scout projects to obtain their badges. She explained that she looks forward to working with Sunfish Lake to expand the recycling program, to assist with newsletter articles, and to expand recycling opportunities at the Arbor Day event. She noted that residents of Sunfish Lake would be invited to attend and participate in all recycling events in the surrounding communities due to the shared position. She thanked Council for the opportunity to work with the Council and staff to promote recycling in Sunfish Lake.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if the documents are shredded on-site at a paper shred event.
Cassandra responded yes and noted that the documents are shredded in the truck provided by the company so that residents may observe the process.
Clerk Iago explained that Cassandra would begin working in January, 2018 and provide updates to Council during the upcoming year.
Council thanked Cassandra for her presentation.
6. PLANNING COMMISSION/PLANNER’S REPORT: a. Planner’s Report: Planner Grittman reviewed the following information listed in his report dated November 29, 2017. He stated that the Planning Commission held a brief meeting to discuss the 2018 meeting schedule and changed the November meeting due to it being the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
The Planner noted that the Comprehensive Plan Task Force met for the final time in November to discuss additions and changes to the Comprehensive Plan Update. He advised that the discussion items resulted from the Open House topics raised earlier this year. As a result of the meeting, the Task Force recommended two (2) items be included in the update; 1) Include the option for a community trail with specific details such as no pavement and no infringement on private property; and, 2) Encourage plantings along I-494 and in other appropriate areas of the City for screening purposes.
Planner Grittman noted that staff approved a minor review for an addition to the home at 2130 Charlton Road and also a minor review at 45 Windy Hill Road for a monument address sign on the property.
Mayor Williams asked if all tree plantings approved as part of the application are sent to the City Forester and applicants are told that they must seek the Foresters approval as to correct placement of the trees and correct species planted.
Planning Commissioner Tom Hendrickson stated that the Planning Commission includes a recommendation to contact the City Forester prior to planting to insure correct placement and species of trees and other landscape materials as approved on the landscape plan.
Council thanked the Planner for his report.
7. STAFF REPORTS: a. BUILDING INSPECTOR: Inspector Andrejka stated that he issued eight (8) and closed four (4) permits in November.
Council thanked the Inspector for his report.
b. 1. CITY ENGINEER REPORT: Engineering Activities Undertaken in November: A. Charlton Road Improvements Update: Engineer Sterna stated he would discuss the Charlton Road Improvements after presenting his report.
B. 2017 Street Improvement Update: The Engineer advised the erosion control materials were removed from the project which finalized the remaining punch list items. He stated that the final payment documents would be presented to Council at their meeting in January, 2018.
C. Fire Number Clarification: Engineer Sterna stated that the review of the Fire Numbers on properties within the City was completed this month to determine if any signs were missing or needed replacement or adjustment to insure all the signs are visible. He explained there are approximately 180 numbers in the City and it was determined that 37 signs are either missing or not included on the advanced Fire Number signs. He noted that he would send the list to the City Forester. He recommended that the City focus on replacing the missing and damaged signs and insure the numbers are in the correct order to provide consistency, efficiency, and visibility for emergency vehicle access.
The Engineer stated he would estimate the cost for this project and present the request to Council at their January, 2018 meeting. He advised that normally the City Forester replaces damaged signs or gives them to the resident to install.
Forester Nayes explained that he had replaced some signs, however, he was unsure if residents installed the replacements signs that he provided.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if the Fire Numbers actually match the address of the property.
Engineer Sterna explained he had a list of the numbers and a map that was provided by the Fire Department.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if the Police Department also had the list and the Police Chief responded yes.
Forester Nayes asked if any of the current signs are two-sided and the Engineer responded they are not at this time.
Mayor Williams stated that in his opinion it is important for the City to insure the signs are installed properly and that they may be easily seen for emergency vehicle access.
Councilmember O’Leary volunteered to assist the City Forester with the sign installation and recommended that a checklist be provided for all the properties with the numbers listed.
D. TH110 Frontage Road Meeting with MnDOT: Engineer Sterna stated he scheduled a meeting on December 7 with MnDOT representatives to determine if MnDOT has any interest in funding a frontage road from Sunfish Lane to Mendota Road. He advised that he would insure that MnDOT is aware of the fact that the City would not have any funds available for this project. He explained that if the Council does not wish to pursue the frontage road, he would let MnDOT know that at this time.
Council indicated that the Engineer should meet to determine if MnDOT would be willing to fund the project.
The Engineer commented that he would also discuss with MnDOT the need to distribute information in an effort to be more interactive with cities needs for projects such as Trunk Highway 3 and 60th Street.
Councilmember O’Leary suggested that the Engineer bring Jeff Sandberg to the meeting so that he is aware of the discussion.
Mayor Williams explained that the City of Inver Grove Heights recently expressed their concerns relating to the impact that the new Minnesota Vikings complex would have on adjacent communities. He noted that the long-range plan proposes shopping, hotels and multi-family residences. He stated that the development would have a huge impact on Delaware Avenue and also on Salem Church Road. He commented that all stakeholders should be involved in the planning process prior to approval of this type of development.
Engineer Sterna stated he would discuss the traffic issues related to Delaware Avenue and Salem Church Road with MnDOT. He pointed out that when Highway 110 was improved there was a study relating to placing a frontage road near Angell Road to Mendota Road and that there was dedicated right-of-way in this area. He explained that two residential properties would have been impacted if the frontage road were installed.
Kitsy Nye commented that meetings were held to discuss the planning for the Vikings complex and the Mendota Heights City Engineer was under the impression that traffic would be diverted to Piper Road.
Mayor Williams noted that the traffic would most likely utilize South Robert Street and he was unsure if the City of Eagan had reviewed this with MnDOT. He commented that in his opinion there needs to be a change in the initial planning process and more communication between adjacent cities prior to approval of such large developments.
2. Building and Site Reviews: Engineer Sterna stated that two (2) plans for minor reviews at 45 Windy Hill Road and 2130 Charlton Road were submitted for review and were approved by the City Engineer on November 17, 2017
3. Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of November: None.
4. Anticipated Engineering Activities for December: A. Charlton Road Improvements Update: The Engineer stated he plans to finalize the Feasibility Report to present to Council at their January 2018 meeting.
B. Snow Plow Monitoring: Engineer Sterna stated he would continue to monitor street during the winter to insure issues are resolved and proper procedures are followed. He asked that he be notified if any unsafe conditions occur.
The engineer advised he received some calls from residents relating to the Sunfish Lake outlet and that also that he would contat Pine Bend Paving to remove a pile of gravel on Salem Church road in the spring.
5. Anticipated Public Works Activates Planned for December. None.
2. Charlton Road Update/Feasibility Report: Engineer Sterna stated that he distributed the easement documents to residents and that two (2) of the documents were signed and returned. He advised he met with the Church representatives and they indicated it is their preference to have the easement reduced so that the concrete culvert under the road need not be removed. He stated that in his opinion this would be reasonable solution.
The Engineer discussed the fact that some residents voiced their preference to sharpen the curve and correct the slope and that some of the easement documents may need to be re-drafted. He noted that he was unable to find any documentation regarding the sewer and water lines at the north end of the road and indicated that these utilities may have been privately installed. He indicated that it appears the utilities were install sometime in the 1980’s.
Attorney Kuntz stated that he had not invested in a title search for these properties, however, the property owners had the right to privately install the utilities if the street existed at that time.
Engineer Sterna pointed out that if something goes wrong with the utilities, the costs for repair work would be borne by the property owner. He indicated that he wanted to make Council aware of this fact in the event a future problem arises.
Mayor Williams asked if the City has prescriptive rights, who would be responsible for maintenance if the utilities fail.
Attorney Kuntz explained that whoever installed the utilities maintains ownership and responsibility for maintenance.
Mayor Williams suggested that the City may wish to inform those property owners that they would be responsible for maintenance.
The Engineer stated that he received one (1) response from a resident who refused to grant an easements. He noted that of the seventeen (17) documents sent out, only two (2) had been returned with signatures.
There was discussion relating to options for obtaining easements and Council concurred that they would prefer not to pursue condemnation at this time.
Engineer Sterna stated he would be finalizing the Feasibility Report for presentation to Council at their January, 2108 meeting. He reviewed the calendar of events as shown in his report dated November 29, 2017 and recommended that Council continue to move forward with the project. He stated that he anticipated responses from residents relating to the easements this month.
The Engineer explained that a resident contacted him regarding the Sunfish Lake outlet and several residents have expressed concern relating to dying vegetation around the lake. He explained that the new outlet pipe is proposed to be increased from 12 inches to 15 inches and would serve to better manage the water flow and would be maintenance free.
Mayor Williams questioned if residents had concerns relating to the new outlet or the costs associated.
Engineer Sterna explained that the residents he heard from expressed their opinion that the pipe is fine as it is, however, in his opinion, the cost may be part of the issue.
Mayor Williams commented that if the outlet is not corrected, the water running across the road would damage the road improvement.
The Engineer stated that he recommended the residents contact Councilmembers with their concerns.
Shannon Werb, 2160 Charlton Road, asked why the City doesn’t just fix the outlet.
Engineer Sterna explained that although the City has ownership of the pipe, the Council would prefer to have the support of the residents to make the improvements.
Mayor Williams noted that Council would not make the decision relating to the outlet until a decision is made to proceed with the road improvements.
Shannon Werb asked what would be the next step in the process.
Mayor Williams explained that Council was waiting to determine if all the easement may be obtained prior to making a decision.
There was discussion regarding the sewer line at the north end of the road and the Engineer pointed out that the line could be scoped to determine its condition.
Councilmember Bulach supported the City scoping the sewer line.
Planner Grittman noted that he had found a Joint Powers Agreement with the City of Mendota Heights relating to the sewer and water utilities and offered to forward the document to the City Engineer and City Attorney for their review.
The Engineer explained that most of the residents he talked to were agreeable to granting the easements and that he would meet with the City Attorney next week to review the number of easements that were returned. He stated he would also obtain the cost for scoping the sewer line at the north end of the street.
Engineer Sterna advised that he discussed changing the curb for the median on TH 110 at Charlton Road with MnDOT and they stated they would not reduce the curb height. He explained that they wished to deter cross-over traffic and that emergency vehicles could drive over the curb at this height.
Council thanked the Engineer for his report.
c. CITY FORESTER: Forester Nayes stated he issued four (4) burning permits in November and recommended that residents wait until the first snowfall prior to burning. He stated sixty-one (610 trees were planted in the City along Salem Church Road, near the wildflower plantings, and in Musser Park north meadow. He advised only two were not native species.
The Forester advised that broth Horseshoe and Sunfish Lakes had been iced over and partially opened again twice during the fall. He stated that pruning and dead tree removal along Angell Road by SaveATree Company was completed on November 28 as specified. He advised that he had various discussions with residents regarding tree questions during the month.
Council thanked the Forester for his report.
d. PUBLIC SAFETY: Chief Shaver reviewed his report dated November 28, 2017 and complimented residents on doing a great job with false alarms during the year. He noted that there were 50 percent fewer alarms this year than last year. He advised that there were five (5) suspicious person calls in the City and encouraged residents to attempt to get license plates and be mindful of vehicles they do not recognize in the City.
The Chief explained that there were two (2) neighborhood meetings where residents formed Neighborhood Watch groups and he encouraged other residents to consider forming a group with their neighbors.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if the Chief had any theories relating to the increase in suspicious persons and vehicles in the City.
Chief Shaver stated that it appears to be happening in all cities and could be due to mental health issues, homeless persons, and burglars canvassing homes or just curiosity. He stated it is important residents attempt to get license plate numbers and report any suspicious activity in a timely manner, not after the fact.
Council thanked the Chief for his report.
8. NEW/OTHER BUSINESS: a. Consider Resolution Adopting the General Fund Operating Budget for Collection in the Year 2018 and, b. Consider Resolution Adopting the Tax Levy for 2018: Mayor Williams referred to the City Attorney’s report dated November 29, 2017 regarding the proposed resolutions adopting the 2018 General Fund Budget and Tax Levy for 2018. He asked if there were any questions or comments and there was no response.
Councilmember O’Leary moved to adopt Resolution No. 17-20 titled, RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE GENERAL FUND OEPRATING BUDGET FOR THE CITY OF SUNFISH LAKE FOR THE YEAR 2018, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)
Councilmember Hovey moved to adopt Resolution No. 17-21 titled, RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE TAX LEVY FOR COLLECTION IN THE YEAR 2018, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (5-0)
b. Consider Resolutions Setting Dates for the Regular City Council Meetings for 2018, c. Consider Setting the Dates for the Planning Commission Meetings for 2018, and, d. Consider Resolution Setting the Dates for the Planning and Land Use Application Deadlines for 2018: Mayor Williams referred to the City Attorney’s report dated November 29, 2018, relating to the three (3) resolutions that set the dates for the regular City Council meetings for 2018, set the dates for the Planning Commission meetings for 2018 and set the dates for the Planning and Land Use Application Deadlines for 2018. He noted that the resolution setting the Planning Commission meeting dates is normally referred to the Planning Commission to review and adopt. He asked if there were any questions or changes recommended and there was no response.
Councilmember Hovey moved to adopt Resolution No. 17-22 title, RESOLUTION SETTING THE DATES OF THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS FOR THE YEAR 2018, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (5-0)
Councilmember Wahlstrom moved to adopt Resolution No. 17-23 titled, RESOLUTION SETTING THE DATES FOR PLANNING AND LAND USE APPLICATION DEADLINES FOR THE YEAR 2018, seconded by Councilmember Bulach and carried. (5-0)
Council concurred to forward the proposed resolution setting the dates for the Planning Commission Meetings for 2018 to the Planning Commission for review and adoption.
f. Consider Resolution Authorizing Submission of the 2018 Small Community Funding Application to Dakota County Requesting Funding to Operate a Citywide recycling Program: Clerk Iago referred to her report dated November 30, 2018 requesting adoption of the resolution authorizing submission of the 2018 recycling grant. She offered to respond to questions.
Councilmember O’Leary moved to adopt Resolution 17-24 titled, Resolution Authorizing Submission of the 2018 Small Community Funding Application to Dakota County Requesting Funding to Operate a Citywide recycling Program, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)
g. Discuss Appointment of Council Sub-Committee to review employee Salaries for 2018: After a brief discussion, Council concurred that Councilmembers Hovey and O’Leary would review employee salaries and provide a recommendation to Council at their January, 2018 meeting.
h . Report on 2017 Deer Management Program: Councilmember Hovey reported that eleven (11) deer, two antlered and nine (9) without antlers were taken during the MetroBow Hunters time period. He noted that one deer without antlers was not recovered, two deer were killed in a vehicle accident, two deer were taken by a resident and one deer was taken by a possible poacher, for a total of seventeen deer removed this season.
Chief Shaver commented that Sgt. Muellner advised him the Deer Management Plan appears to be working well.
i.. Other: Mayor Williams asked if there was any further business and there was no response.
9. ADJOURN: Mayor Williams adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.
Catherine Iago, City Clerk Richard A. Williams, Jr., Mayor