SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – MARCH 2, 2021
7:00 P.M. – ONLINE MEETING
Mayor: Dan O’Leary
Councilmembers: Mike Hovey, JoAnne Wahlstrom, Steven Bulach and Shari Hansen
City Attorney: Tim Kuntz
City Planner: Tom Ramler-Olson
City Engineer: Jeff Sandberg
Building Inspector: Mike Andrejka
City Forester: Jim Nayes
Police Chief: Brian Sturgeon
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
and Members of the General Public.
City Treasurer: Ann Lanoue arrived at 7:05p.m.
1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor O’Leary called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
The Mayor stated that the property located on Upper 55th Street had been discussed by Council on several occasions due to the dilapidated condition of the property and the dumping of various items that occurs in that area. He shared the news that residents Jim and Jeannine Nayes had purchased the property and had demolished much of the structure that was in such poor condition; he noted that they plan to continue with clean-up of the site.
Mayor O’Leary commented that this is a win-win situation as the City would not have to take action to order clean-up of the site and that the Nayes are excited to construct a home on the property. He congratulated the Nayes on the purchase of the property.
The Mayor noted that he had discussions with Pastor Jerry Brantham of Southside Baptist Church, which is adjacent to the 55th Street West property, and that the Pastor advised that the church had considered purchasing the property. He further stated that Pastor Brantham advised there was a young couple in his congregation that were also interested in the property and that the Pastor advised the couple would be a wonderful addition to the City. The Mayor asked staff to contact him if they hear of any lots for sale in the City so he could pass that information to Pastor Brantham.
2. APPROVE AGENDA: Mayor O’Leary 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 Hansen and carried. (5-0)
3. CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any questions or comments relating to any items on the Consent Agenda.
The Mayor explained that he had contacted Chief Sturgeon to discuss the fact that seven (7) residents were unable to leave or gain access to their homes due to the City of Inver Grove Heights investigation into the dead body found on the 60th Street bridge that crosses I-494. He asked the Chief if he had contacted the Inver Grove Police Chief and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) regarding the fact that residents were unable to access or leave their homes for several hours.
Chief Sturgeon stated he had contacted the Inver Grove Heights Chief regarding the problem and stated that if he had known about this, he would have addressed the matter. He noted that a few residents were allowed to leave prior to the BCA blocking the road to conduct their investigation. He further pointed out that it would appear the problem arose due to a lack of communication.
Mayor O’Leary asked that the police notify residents of what is happening and why the crime scene needs to be protected so that they are aware of what is happening.
Chief Sturgeon advised that he had researched installing surveillance cameras at various locations in the City. He explained that the cameras would be approximately $6,000 to purchase and there would also be an annual fee for cellular service of $500. He stated that there are no fiber lines in the City, therefore the camera would have to be linked to cellular service. He also explained that MnDOT has fiber optics installed, but they do not allow other government entities to feed into them.
The Chief further noted that camera systems could be installed on a temporary basis on an Xcel Energy telephone pole, however, if the City wanted a permanent camera in place, it would be more expensive as it would require installation of a utility pole and feed line.
Chief Sturgeon reported he received a call from a resident who wished to discuss the forming of a “Neighborhood Watch” program. He advised them a meeting could be scheduled with police staff to discuss the program and also to discuss crime prevention techniques. He stated that, at this time, this person has not called back to schedule a meeting. The Chief explained that this resident also discussed the possible installation of security cameras in the neighborhood and that he reviewed the issues with identifying subjects or license numbers on security cameras when it is dark outside. The Chief stated that he suggested other types of security cameras, such as a door-bell camera that operates off a WIFI system on the property that could be viewed from a monitor or on a cellphone.
Mayor O’Leary asked if the neighborhood security camera would be similar to the one the City had on loan and pointed out that the camera was difficult to see at night.
Chief Sturgeon agreed and explained it was difficult to identify vehicles or individuals after dark on those cameras.
The Mayor asked if there were any further comments or questions and there was no response.
Councilmember Hansen moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Councilmember Bulach and carried. (5-0)
a. Regular Council Meeting Minutes of February 2, 2021
b. List of Bills
c. Monthly Financial Statements
d. Receive Building Inspector Report
e. Receive Forester Report
f. Receive Public Safety Report
4. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC: The Mayor asked if there were any comments from the public and there was no response.
5. PUBLIC HEARINGS: a. Conduct Public Hearing on Sunnyside Lane Improvement Project 2021-01 and Zehnder Road Improvement Project 2021-02: Mayor O’Leary opened the meeting for the purpose of a public hearing on the Sunnyside Lane Improvement Project No. 2021-01 and asked the City Engineer to provide a brief overview of the project.
Engineer Sandberg referred to the final Feasibility Report dated February 26, 2021 and displayed a photo of the area proposed for improvement. He explained that the project would consist of a full depth reclamation, paving and only cleaning of the storm culverts as they were structurally sound and did not need replacement. He stated that the total estimated cost of the project would be $146,700, which includes a 10% contingency and 35% for administrative costs. He stated that the project would be scheduled to begin the spring of 2021 and completed by fall 2021.
The Engineer showed a map with the properties proposed for assessments highlighted. He noted that one of the parcels would not be included in the assessments and explained that it is a lot of record, however, due to constraints such as the powerline easement, steep slopes, and other constraints it would not meet buildable lot requirements.
Mayor O’Leary noted that the power lines run straight through the property and that it appears that a home would be directly under powerlines.
Engineer Sandburg stated that he spoke to the property owner who advised he has intentions to development the property and he was told that the City would consider any plan he puts forth that meets the City’s requirements. The Engineer noted that this person also owns the adjacent parcel and that it may be possible to combine the lots in the future in order to meet the requirements. He noted that at this time the lot does not meet buildable requirements.
Councilmember Hovey asked if they would be allowed to construct a home under a powerline.
Engineer Sandberg stated that would be a question for the powerline company, however, typically he had not seen any lots with structures built under powerlines.
The Engineer explained that the City’s assessment policy states 80 percent of the costs would be assessed to property owners and there are nine (9) parcels proposed for assessments at $12,980 per parcel. He stated that the benefit analysis report showed a benefit of up to $16,000 per parcel for the full depth reclamation project. He offered to respond to questions.
Mayor O’Leary asked the City Attorney to review the financing options for the projects.
Attorney Kuntz explained that Council would be considering four (4) public improvements, Sunnyside Lane, Angell Road, Zehnder Road and Grieve Glen Lane, and that staff proposes to bid all four (4) road improvements as one combined project with one contractor performing all the work. He stated that the City would have two potential sources for funding the City’s portion of the project; 1. City reserve funds, or; 2. Bonding the City’s portion of the costs. He advised that Ehlers & Associates would work with the City Treasurer to discuss and present the financing options at a future meeting. He stated that assessments are usually amortized over 10-years for collection. He commented that if the project remains on schedule, the assessment hearing would be held in September and the first installment payment would be paid in 2022. He further noted that the property owner would have the option to pay the full amount within 30 days with no interest or in any year thereafter, the full amount could be paid with interest only for the year in which it is paid.
Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any questions and, hearing none, opened the meeting for comments from the public.
Maynard Jacobson, 3 Angell Court, expressed his concern due to the fact that he owns Lot 10 on the corner of Sunnyside Lane and Angell Road and that he could incur an assessment for both projects. He suggested that there should be some guidelines in the assessment policy for corner lots.
Attorney Kuntz asked the City Engineer if Lot 10 would be assessed.
Engineer Sandberg stated that the vacant lot on the corner of Sunnyside Lane and Angell Road that is owned by Mr. Jacobson would only be assessed as part of the Sunnyside Lane project after he (the Engineer) determined that this lot has more frontage on Sunnyside Road. He further stated that the lot on Angell Road that contains Mr. Jacobson’s residence would be assessed only for the Angell Road project.
Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any further questions and, hearing no response, asked for a motion to close the public hearing on the Sunnyside Lane Improvement project No. 2021-01.
Councilmember Wahlstrom moved to close the public hearing at 7:32 p.m., seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)
Councilmember Hovey asked what the interest rate would be for the assessments.
Attorney Kuntz stated that information was not available at this time and that Ehlers & Associates would include an estimate of the bond interest rate when they prepare their report. He noted that in the past the interest rate was usually 1 to 1.75% above the bond rate. He noted that Council would determine the interest rate as part of the assessment hearing discussion.
Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any further questions.
Councilmember Bulach noted that there were a number of homes constructed along Sunnyside Lane in the past few years and asked if the major construction was now completed prior to starting this improvement.
Engineer Sandberg stated that as far as he knew the construction of new homes was completed.
The Mayor asked if there were any further questions and there was no response.
Motion by Councilmember Hovey, seconded by Councilmember Hansen to adopt Resolution No. 21-12 titled, A RESOLUTION ORDERING SUNFISH LAKE CITY PROJECT NO. 2021-01 (SUNNYSIDE LANE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT)
Motion carried. (5-0)
Mayor O’Leary opened the meeting for the purpose of a public hearing on the Zehnder Road Improvement Project No. 2021-02 and asked the City Engineer to provide a brief overview of the project.
Engineer Sandberg referred to the final Feasibility Report dated February 26, 2021 and explained that the project would consist of a full depth reclamation, paving and only cleaning of the storm culverts as they were structurally sound and did not need replacement. He stated that the total estimated cost of the project would be $60,900, which includes a 10% contingency and 35% for administrative costs. He advised that the properties would be assessed 80 percent of the costs and the City would pay 20 percent. He stated that the project would be scheduled in conjunction with the same time period as the Sunnyside/Angell Road project. He indicated that the projects should have efficiencies by doing them all at the same time.
The Engineer stated there are five (5) properties proposed to be assessed. He explained that there is one lot excluded due to the fact that it is a vacant lot, owned by the adjacent property owner, and that due to constraints it does not meet the standards for a buildable lot . He explained that the proposed per lot assessment was calculated at $9,740, however, the benefit analysis for the project showed benefit to each property at $9,700. He advised that Council had determined the City would pay the $40 per lot in order to keep the proposed assessment in line with the results of the benefit analysis.
Attorney Kuntz reiterated that this would be one of the four (4) projects that are combined in the bidding and that Ehlers & Associates would work with the City Treasurer to prepare options for funding the project. He noted that the assessment hearing would be held in September and that the payment schedule would be the same as previously discussed with the Sunnyside Lane project.
Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any further questions and, hearing none, opened the meeting for comments from the public. There were no comments from the public and the Mayor asked for a motion to close the public hearing.
Councilmember Bulach moved to close the public hearing for Sunnyside Lane at 7:50 p.m., seconded by Councilmember Hansen and carried. (5-0)
Councilmember Hansen asked if staff had concerns relating to improving Zehnder Road without also repairing 60th Street.
Engineer Sandberg stated that MnDOT plans to reconfigure 60th Street in the future, however, he has not seen the plans for the reconfiguration. He explained that the City of Inver Grove Heights owns half of the road and he contacted the Inver Grove City Engineer who stated they have no plans to repair the road as they had not seen any MnDOT plans yet. He pointed out that Sunfish Lake would keep 60th in repair so that it would be safe for travel and that staff had no concerns relating to improving Zehnder Road and not 60th Street at this time.
Councilmember Hovey referred to a triangular parcel on the left side of the diagram of Zehnder Road and asked about it’s status as part of the assessments.
Engineer Sandberg explained that the parcel does not meet buildable lot standards and therefore would not be included in the assessment roll.
The Mayor asked if there were any further questions and there was no response.
Motion by Councilmember Hovey, seconded by Councilmember Hansen to adopt Resolution No. 21-13 titled, A RESOLUTION ORDERING SUNFISH LAKE CITY PROJECT NO. 2021-02 (ZEHNDER ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT)
Motion carried. (5-0)
Clerk Iago advised that action should be taken to close the public hearing.
Councilmember Wahlstrom moved to close the public hearing at 8:05 p.m., seconded by Mayor O’Leary and carried. (5-0)
Mayor O’Leary thanked the Engineer and Attorney for their information.
6. PLANNING COMMISSION/PLANNER’S REPORT: a. Planner’s Report: Planner Ramler-Olson referred to his report dated March 2, 2021 and stated that the February Planning Commission meeting was cancelled due to lack of agenda items.
The Planner stated that he received an application for a Major Site and Building Plan review and a Conditional Use Permit for a shoreland lot that would be reviewed by the Planning Commission at their Match meeting.
Planner Ramler-Olson advised that he continued his examination of terms used in the Zoning Ordinance and their definitions that were available. He explained that he found a definition from the traffic code of a city in North Dakota that equates the term “House car” as part of the definition of “recreational vehicle” with the term “motor home”. He reviewed the items as listed in his report, four of which would have to be permanently installed systems to establish whether or not a “house car” would meet the definition of a “motor home”. He stated that he could continue to catalog these and other terms to be considered with future amendments of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.
The Planner stated that he responded to general inquiries from residents and/or builders on behalf of the City. He offered to respond to questions.
Mayor O’Leary stated that he would be working throughout the year with a Mendota Heights councilmember who was reviewing his city’s code for the same issues.
Council thanked the Planner for his report.
7. ENGINEER’S REPORT: 1. Engineering Activities Undertaken in February: A. Sunnyside Lane Feasibility Study; B. Zehnder Road Feasibility Study; Engineer Sandberg stated these two items were discussed during the public hearings.
C. Angell Road Feasibility Study; Engineer Sandberg referred to the feasibility study dated February 26, 2021 for the Angell Road East Mill & Overlay Project No. 2021-03. He explained that the Angell Road East mill and overlay project was initially proposed with a 2-inch surface, however, core samples showed a delamination of the bituminous surface. Staff now proposes the project become a 2.5-inch overlay. He stated that the culverts were structurally sound, and only require cleaning.
The Engineer stated the estimated project cost would be $93,915 which includes a 10% contingency and 35% for indirect costs. He explained that Angell Road is listed as a “collector” street in the City’s Assessment Policy, with the proposed assessments to be paid 60% by property owners and 40% by the City. He noted there are five (5) properties proposed to be assessed for the project; as previously discussed there is one corner lot that is not included in this project and would only be included in the Sunnyside Lane project as previously discussed. He stated that the proposed assessment would be $10,470 per parcel and that the benefit analysis supported that amount.
Engineer Sandberg asked if there were any questions and there was no response.
D. Grieve Glen Road Feasibility Study; Engineer Sandberg referred to the feasibility study dated February 26, 2021 for the Grieve Glen Lane Reconstruction Project No. 2021-04 and explained that this project would be a full depth reclamation and would include only cleaning of the culverts as they were found to be structurally sound. He advised the estimated project cost would be $166,234 and includes a 10% contingency and 35% for indirect costs. He stated that the project includes seven (7) properties and that property owners would be assessed 80% of the costs and the City would pay 20%. He advised that the proposed assessment would be $19,000 per parcel and stated that the benefit analysis supported $24,000 per parcel. He offered to respond to questions.
Mayor O’Leary asked if the benefit analysis was higher due to the fact that it is a new road that would last over 20 years.
Engineer Sandberg agreed that it was due to the fact it was a new roadway and the benefit analysis also considers that upper scale homes located on the road have the capacity to support a higher benefit than lower cost homes.
Councilmember Hovey asked if the core depth samples were only taken through the depth of the actual asphalt and the
Engineer responded yes.
Councilmember Hovey asked if there was a reason why they wouldn’t penetrate the Class 5 to determine what the underlying ground conditions are. He asked if this would be more beneficial to determine how long the road would last or if more needed to be done to that particular section of the road where the core sample was taken.
Engineer Sandberg explained that typically the Class 5 base does not degrade like the asphalt does. He noted that it is oil that breaks down in the road way which causes the degradation. He advised that in some of the other core samples from roads in the City, water was found between the Class 5 base and the asphalt, which indicates water was getting through to the Class 5 base. He noted that normally the Class 5 base doesn’t crack like asphalt, but stays intact. In the proposed projects, there may be some level of correction required in soft spots, but not likely through the entire base of the road.
Councilmember Hovey pointed out that there were soft spots that caused frost heaves in the surface of Charlton Road before it was paved. He was curious if the additional core samples would indicate that this type of correction would be warranted with this improvement.
Engineer Sandberg explained that these are two different types of issues. He noted that the Charlton Road Class 5 base was contaminated with road salts and was exposed to direct surface water for many years. That is what caused the heaving. He stated that in the case, of Charlton Road, the problems were due to those factors. He pointed out that with asphalt over the Class 5 base this typically does not occur.
Mayor O’Leary recalled that the Engineer had discussed a seminar his company conducted that discussed taking deeper core samples of a road.
Engineer Sandberg noted that usually core samples are not taken with Mill & Overlay projects. He explained that the seminar discussed the benefit of taking asphalt core samples and that his company now has a policy that all future improvements would require taking asphalt core samples for all projects. He noted that the cost to do this is approximately $1,200, however, it was determined it would be cost effective as part of future projects.
Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any further questions and there was no response. He asked the City Attorney if Council may adopt both resolutions with one motion and Attorney Kuntz responded yes.
Motion by Councilmember Hovey, seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom to adopt the following:
Resolution No. 21-14 titled, A RESOLUTION RECEIVING AND APPROVING THE FEASIBILITY REPORT OF THE CONSULTING
ENGINEER AND CALLING FOR A PUBLIC IPROVEMENT HEARING CONCERNING CITY PROJECT NO.2021-03 (ANGELL ROAD
EAST MILL & OVERLAY PROJECT);
Resolution No 21-15 titled, A RESOLUTION APPOINTING JEFF SANDBERG AND WSB & ASSOCIATES, INC., JESSICA COOK
AND TODD HAGEN AND EHLERS AND ASSOCIATES, INC., AND JENNY BOULTON AND KENNEDY & GRAVEN TO ASSIST THE
CITY WITH CITY PROJECT NO. 2021-03 (ANGELL ROAD EAST MILL & OVERLAY PROJECT);
Resolution No. 21-16 titled, RESOLUTION APPROVING A PRELIMINARY FINANCING PLAN FOR PROJECT NO. 2021-03
(ANGELL ROAD EAST MILL & OVERLAY PROJECT);
Resolution No. 2021-17 titled, RESOLUTION APPROVING THE PROJECT SCHEDULE FOR CITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT NO. 2021-03 (ANGELL ROAD EAST MILL & OVERLAY PROJECT);
Resolution No. 21-18 titled, A RESOLUTION RECEIVING AND APPROVING THE FEASIBILITY REPORT OF THE CONSULTING ENGINEER AND CALLING FOR A PUBLIC IPROVEMENT HEARING CONCERNING CITY PROJECT NO.2021-04 (GRIEVE GLEN LANE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT);
Resolution No 21-19 titled, A RESOLUTION APPOINTING JEFF SANDBERG AND WSB & ASSOCIATES, INC., JESSICA COOK AND TODD HAGEN AND EHLERS AND ASSOCIATES, INC., AND JENNY BOULTON AND KENNEDY & GRAVEN TO ASSIST THE CITY WITH CITY PROJECT NO. 2021-04 (GRIEVE GLEN LANE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT);
Resolution No. 21-20 titled, RESOLUTION APPROVING A PRELIMINARY FINANCING PLAN FOR PROJECT NO. 2021-03 (GRIEVE GLEN LANE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT);
Resolution No. 2021-21 titled, RESOLUTION APPROVING THE PROJECT SCHEDULE FOR CITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT NO. 2021-03 (GRIEVE GLEN LANE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT).
Motion carried. (5-0)
E. Review Development Process Outline: Engineer Sandberg referred to Attachment 1E in his report dated February 19, 2021 and asked if Council had reviewed the Development Review document and if they had any questions or preferred to just approve the document as presented. He noted that it is a working document and could be amended as needed.
Mayor O’Leary explained that he had suggestions for inclusion of items in the document that should be discussed during the first meeting with staff and the builder/contractor and applicant:
1. Discussion of areas that require silt-fencing;
2. Determine best location for off-street parking during construction;
3. Communication with adjacent property owners;
The Mayor also suggested including a “Project Phase” row titled “Post Construction” that lists follow-up after a Certificate of Occupancy is issued. He noted that the Forester should inspect the landscaping to ensure that it was installed in accordance with the approved landscape plan and that the Building Inspector should inspect all exterior areas to ensure the structure was completed per the approved plan. He explained that issues have come forth in the past due to the fact there was no follow-up when a project was completed and that the City should be sure the project meets all requirements prior to issuing a Certificate of Occupancy (CO).
The Mayor congratulated staff for working together to prepare an excellent document.
There was discussion regarding the fact that property owners want to move in prior to completion of all conditions that were included in the approval.
The City Attorney noted that in the past residents had asked to move into the home during the winter months prior to completing installation of landscaping and were issued a “temporary” CO.
Mayor O’Leary stated that in his opinion the City should not issue a CO prior to all items being completed.
Engineer Sandberg commented that appears to be a very ridged approach and that some things may happen that are out of the applicant’s control such as the time of year when sod or trees could be installed. He stated that he was unsure if other cities are that restrictive.
Mayor O’Leary suggested that there may be another approach such as holding funds in escrow and that it was his opinion the City needed something with “teeth” in it to ensure the construction meets all conditions of approval. He asked if there were any suggestions as to how the City could enforce compliance once the CO was issued.
Engineer Sandberg stated that during his time with the City this type of issue had not come up and he suggested another meeting with staff to discuss this matter. He commented that it may be an option to hold funds in escrow until conditions are met and the property owner wishes to obtain the final Certificate of Occupancy.
Attorney Kuntz explained that the issue had been debated by previous councilmembers. He explained that an instance was brought to the attention of Council by a neighbor who reported the property owner had substituted building materials on his home that were not approved by Council.
The Attorney noted there is a provision in the City Code that discusses a “temporary” CO and requires landowners to enter an agreement that specifies a timeline as to when outstanding items would be completed. He explained that the agreement requires funds in the amount of $7,500 be held in order to cover the costs for staff to review and ensure that completion of all conditions of approval are met before the funds are released.
Mayor O’Leary asked the City Engineer if this would be amenable as an option and Engineer Sandberg agreed.
Building Official Andrejka explained that he was not aware of the case where building materials were substituted and that it was his opinion the City would not wish to have that happen.
Mayor O’Leary suggested the Engineer insert another “row” in the Development Review document that outlines procedures associated with issuing temporary Certificates of Occupancy and that staff work with the City Attorney to draft an agreement for the property owner to sign related to this matter.
Engineer Sandberg stated that the City Attorney had referred to language in the City Code that outlines issuing a temporary CO and what fees to collect to cover staff time related to this matter and that he could insert that into the document.
Inspector Andrejka agreed that would be an appropriate method to approach this matter and that setting a time for installing landscaping would be appropriate. He noted that silt fencing should remain in place until such time as sod or seed is established and that, in his opinion, that would not be a reasonable amount of time to delay issuing the final CO.
Attorney Kuntz read Section 1209.03 and explained that this type of mechanism would assist with overseeing items that had not been completed prior to issuing a final Certificate of Occupancy.
Building Inspector Andrejka questioned whether or not the language in Section 1209.03 would be in conflict with the State Building Code as it relates to this matter.
Mayor O’Leary stated that in his opinion the City is not attempting to supersede the State Building Code but merely trying to ensure neighborhood concerns relating to projects being completed as approved are being addressed.
Attorney Kuntz explained that the question continues to be raised relating to the issuance of a temporary CO and the need for compliance. He advised that the code provision he cited had been well received in the past by property owners.
F. Updated City Map: The Engineer stated he had updated the City Map with the names of the property owners for Council and staff. He asked if the map should be placed on the City website.
Attorney Kuntz suggested that prior to posting the map on the website, the property owner names should be removed due to Data Privacy regulations.
Councilmember Hansen asked if the Welcome Committee could have copies with the names listed to distribute to new residents and the Engineer responded yes.
G. Authorize “Turnback” of 55th Street West: Engineer Sandberg explained that there were some issues related to the proposed turnback of 55th Street West to the City and that the Attorney had not yet prepared a resolution.
Mayor O’Leary stated that he had discussed the possibility of placing a barrier along the road to stop people from dumping and meeting on the property. He explained that Forester Nayes and his wife have purchased the property and plan to clean up the site. He noted that a property search found that the State of Minnesota currently owns the road and used it during the construction of I-494; he was advised that it was an oversight that MnDOT had not deeded the property back to the City when construction was completed. He explained that the City must adopt a resolution requesting that MnDOT turnback the road to the City and that it could take 12 to 15 months to complete the turnback.
The Mayor explained that Attorney Kuntz was currently researching the matter to determine who would have ownership of the road once it is turned back to the City; he noted that the City may have to obtain Quit Claim deeds to the portions of the road that could be owned by the adjacent church properties. He further advised that Pastor Brantham expressed concern that people may drive up to the barrier and dump items into a ravine adjacent to the road, however Forester Nayes stated he would install a security light in that area to deter this type of activity.
Mayor O’Leary advised that Engineer Sandberg would be working to prepare a property description for the City Attorney and then staff would determine how to proceed with turning over the property to Forester Nayes.
Attorney Kuntz explained that there was a turnback instrument used when the State of Minnesota turned back Salem Church Road to the City after construction of I-494. He noted that MnDOT condensed the title, however he was unsure who would receive ownership of this property when the turnback is approved. He indicated that the City may retain a portion of the road and then allow a barricade to be installed or a security light to be placed in the area to deter dumping.
H. Met Council 2021 CAMP Program Participation: Engineer Sandberg requested that Council approve the City’s participation in the 2021 Citizen Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP) for testing water quality on the three (3) City lakes and stated that volunteers had been secured to monitor Sunfish, Hornbeam and Horseshoe lakes at a cost of $380 per lake. He stated the cost was budgeted in 2021 for this purpose and that formal action by Council is requested at this time.
Mayor O’Leary moved to approve the City of Sunfish Lake’s participation in the 2021 CAMP program at a cost of $380 per lake for the three (3) lakes within the City, seconded by Councilmember Hansen and carried. (5-0)
Engineer Sandberg explained that the City’s MS4 Permit would be expiring soon and that staff needs to develop a proposal for submission of an application to the MPCA for a new NPDES program. He noted that staff budgeted $4,700 for this purpose and that the cost for staff to prepare the application would be $4,200. He requested Council approval of the cost to begin preparation of the application.
Mayor O’Leary asked if the City would be saving $500 from the funds originally budgeted.
The Engineer responded no and explained that the remaining $500 would be used for staff time to prepare and present information at the upcoming annual SWPPP and NPDES public hearing.
Mayor O’Leary moved to approve the expenditure of $4,200 for the purpose of preparing the application to the MPCA as requested, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)
2. Building and Site review in the Month of February: A. Staff conducted reviews for the following:
- Riley Property – Staff met on site prior to application for a Major Site Plan/CUP request. Staff spent a substantial amount
of time reviewing the CUP submittal.
- 2150 Charlton Road – Staff continues to work with the property owner on as-built issues.
- 1 Sunfish Lane – Staff reviewed the as-built survey for improvement to ensure they were constructed per approved plans;
once approved, a final Certificate of Occupancy may be issued.
- 100 Windy Hill Road – Staff responded to a number of questions as the property owner prepares to make application for
3. Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of February: A. Snow clearing/road salting and sanding occurred on at least two (2) separate events in February. Staff did not receive any complaints relating to snow removal and worked with the contractor to maintain safe roads throughout the City.
4. Anticipated Engineering and Public Works Activities for March: A. Staff will work with the snowplow contractor to keep roads clear and safe.
Councilmember Hovey referred to the “Development Review” procedures document and asked if language could be included such as “Long Term Screening” that requires applicants to replace vegetation used for screening that had died. He questioned what happens after 15 years when trees die and no longer screen the adjacent property.
Mayor O’Leary asked the Engineer to discuss this with the City Attorney to determine if the City can legally require replacement plantings after an extended period of time.
Engineer Sandberg agreed to discuss the matter with the City Attorney.
Council thanked the Engineer for his report.
8. NEW/OTHER BUSINESS: a. Discuss Staff Procedural Document: Mayor O’Leary explained that this item was discussed under the Engineer Report.
b. Discuss MnDOT Turnback of Upper 55th Street to the City of Sunfish Lake: Mayor O’Leary stated that this item was also discussed under the Engineer Report.
c. Other: Mayor O’Leary asked if there was any further business and there was no response.
9. ADJOURN: Mayor O’Leary moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m.
Catherine Iago, City Clerk Dan O’Leary, Mayor