Mayor:  Dan O’Leary

Councilmembers:  Mike Hovey, Steven Bulach, Shari Hansen, and Ginny Beckett

City Attorney:  Tim Kuntz

City Planner: Lori Johnson

City Engineer:  Jeff Sandberg

Engineer: Lydia Ener

City Treasurer:  Ann Lanoue

Building Inspector: Mike Andrejka
City Forester: Jim Nayes
Police Chief:  Brian Sturgeon

City Clerk:  Cathy Iago

     and Members of the General Public.

1.   CALL TO ORDER:  Mayor O’Leary called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  

2.  APPROVE AGENDA:  Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any additions or corrections to the agenda.

Clerk Iago suggested that the bid award for the Street Improvement Project be added to the agenda.

Engineer Sandberg asked if the matter of the quotes for the improvement project could be discussed as part of his report.

Clerk Iago responded yes and stated that it would be placed under Item 7. Engineer’s Report.

Councilmember Hovey asked if Item 8.A. relating to the Deer Management Program should be removed from the agenda since the Metro Bowhunters had not sent any response at this time. 

Mayor O’Leary explained that some issues need to be discussed so it should remain on the agenda.

The mayor asked if there were any further changes and there was no response.  

Councilmember Hovey moved to adopt the agenda as amended, seconded by Councilmember Bulach 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 asked the Police Chief to elaborate on the complaint relating to possible drug deals occurring on the 60th Street Bridge.

Chief Sturgeon explained that the caller suspected drug trafficking in that area, however officers were not able to verify that it was occurring in this area.  The Chief explained that he contacted the Inver Grove Police Department to ask that they also patrol this area since it is a border road between the two cities.  He stated that the police were also doing extra patrols in Sunfish Lake due to calls regarding vehicles driving in and out of driveways in town. 

The Chief advised that there is an abandoned property located on Delaware Avenue, on the north side of I-494 in Inver Grove Heights that was the location for recovering some stolen vehicles from Apple Valley.  He explained that the property owner lives in Colorado and the site is in disarray. He noted the owner had been hesitant to sell the property, however, a City of Inver Grove Heights Code Enforcement employee has been working towards possible demolition and clean up of the site.  The Chief stated that both West St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights police departments will continue to monitor the property.  He commented that neighbors have been monitoring the site and contacting police, which led to an arrest at this location. 

There was discussion regarding a complaint of a female ringing the doorbell at a new home on Salem Church Road.  This home had audio and video of the event from the security doorbell. Chief Sturgeon advised that photos of the female were sent to police departments throughout the metro area and that the West St Paul Police were making extra patrols in this area.

Forester Nayes explained that the weight limit signs had been removed from the roads in the City, therefore, the removal of larger trees near roadway easements can now begin.  He reminded those present that a tree will be planted in memory of former Councilmember JoAnne Wahlstrom on Saturday, May 7, at 10:00 a.m. at Musser Park.

Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any further comments or questions and there was no response.        

Councilmember Hansen moved approval of the Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried.  (5-0)

a.   Regular Council Meeting Minutes of April 5, 2022

b.   List of Bills

c.   Monthly Financial Statements

d.   Receive Building Inspector Report

e.   Receive Forester Report

f.    Receive Public Safety Report

g.   Receive 2021 Annual Financial Report


4.  COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC:  The Mayor asked if there were any comments from the public and there was no response.


6.  PLANNING COMMISSION/PLANNER’S REPORT:  a.  Planner’s Report:  Planner Johnson reviewed the following information listed in her report dated May 3, 2022. She explained that there was no Planning Commission meeting in April due to lack of applications and that there would be no meeting in May.

1.   369 Salem Church Road:   The Planner stated that there is still the issue of outstanding escrow and that she had provided the contractor and the homeowner with the necessary signed site plans. She advised that she would work with the City Engineer and the Mayor on items that are still outstanding on this property.

Mayor O’Leary stated he had spoken with the Adams and they agreed to take care of the escrow issue and to meet with him and staff.  He thanked the Planner and Engineer for their efforts to resolve these matters.

2.   300 Salem Church Road:  There are no updates on the unpaid escrow for his property. $2,709.35 is still outstanding and staff requires direction on how to proceed.

Councilmember Bulach explained that the property owners are back in town and that he would discuss this with them when he visits the property to review work his company had done.

3.  New Land Use Applications:   An application for a Major Site Plan and Conditional Use Permit was submitted for property at 15 Sunnyside Lane for construction of a new home, pool and a walkway to the lake. Staff identified some drainage concerns on the site as well as additional requirements for plan amendments.  Staff made the decision to place this item on the June Planning Commission agenda to allow time for meetings with the property owners.  A letter was sent to the applicant to extend the 60-day application timeline to 120 days, therefore, Council action is required on this

project by August 10, 2022.

4.  Zoning Ordinance Update:  Staff will be working with the Mayor in the next few months on the zoning ordinance update.  This will be a time-consuming effort, but will hopefully provide the City with a better framework for moving forward with land use applications.  Staff will bring forward a potential budget for the ordinance and escrow work as these items are outside the normal scope of work that has typically been provided by the Planner and WSB.  WSB wants to be very clear with cost expectations for this work.

5.  Additional Escrow Requests:  Staff reached out to applicants and property owners for 2 Acorn Drive, 2150 Charlton Road and 2 Sunfish Lane to request additional escrow funds be submitted. Payment has now been received from all three properties.

6.  Site Plan Approval:  Administrative approval was granted to the contractor/property owner at 2150 Charlton Road for their walkway to the lake, plantings and seating area.  The contractor must stake the improvements for review by the City Engineer and Planner before any work begins.

7.  345 Salem Church Road:  Staff was contacted by the potential property owner regarding the site, and they discussed the nonconforming status of the existing building and improvements that could be made on site.  He is proposing to add a second floor to the home, a third garage stall and construct a pool.  Staff worked with the City Attorney and determined that the second floor could be constructed without a variance, the garage could also be modified without the need for a variance, and the pool would require a Conditional Use Permit.  The information submitted and reviewed was a rough sketch and no formal application has been submitted at this time.

8.  Staff Application Flow Chart:  Planner Johnson stated she had begun work on a flow chart for all staff members involved with land use applications to show direction on which staff members are involved with the different steps of the approval/inspection process.  After discussion with other staff members on a rough draft, a final draft will be completed for use as a guide by all staff members if they have questions on the approval process.

Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any questions and there was no response.

Council thanked the Planner for her report.

7.  ENGINEER’S REPORT DATED APRIL 27, 2022:  Mayor O’Leary stated that on behalf of the Council and residents he wished to extend thanks and commend the City Engineer for taking such good care of the City and for going above and beyond his duties to do so. 

 1. Engineering Activities Undertaken in April:     A.  Meetings Attended:  Staff attended a meeting for the Dakota County Regional Roadway System Visioning Study.

B.  Dakota County Regional Roadway System Visioning Study – Open House:  The Open House that was scheduled for May 16 will be reschedule to a date To Be Determined (TBD) in June, 2022.  Some Dakota County recommendations require further information prior to meeting with the public.  Engineer Sandberg stated he would work with Councilmember Hovey to ensure that the information is placed on the City website. 

C.  2022 Street Maintenance Projects:   Staff moved discussion of this to the end of the Engineer’s report.

2.  Building and Site review in the Month of April:  A.  Staff conducted reviews for the following properties in April: 

- 15 Sunnyside Lane:  Staff participated in an on-site meeting with the property owner, contractor, and engineer.  Staff had conversations with Mayor O’Leary regarding possible drainage issues that may be directed onto neighboring properties. 

Mayor O’Leary explained that he asked staff to contact the adjacent property owners in an attempt to set up a meeting to review the plans prior to the Planning Commission meeting and allow for discussion of any drainage or other issues.

Councilmember Bulach explained that the property owners at 15 Sunnyside Lane are personal friends and he asked if the matter is close to being approved.

Mayor O’Leary asked that Engineer Sandberg send Councilmember Bulach a copy of the letter that was sent and to include him on future correspondence.

3.    Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of April:  A.  Road Weight Restrictions are OFF:  Engineer Sandberg explained that since his report, the road restrictions were removed yesterday.  He stated that the City Forester would remove the signs.

4.   Anticipated Engineering and Public Works Activities for May:   A. Staff will work with a contractor to reinstall/repair two (2) street signs at Windy Hill Road and 60th Street that there damaged over the winter.

Forester Nayes stated that there is also a “No Parking” sign near the curve on the south side of Charlton Road that needs to be repaired.

Engineer Sandberg introduced Engineer Lydia Ener with WSB and explained that she had been assisting him with work on various Sunfish Lake inspections and reviews.  He stated that she has aspirations to become a City Engineer and that she had been assisting with reviewing plans and working with contractors on various projects in the City. 

Mayor O’Leary welcomed Engineer Ener and asked her to provide a brief background for Council.

Engineer Ener explained that she had been employed by WSB as an intern in 2014 and then hired as an employee in 2015. She advised she had a degree in Civil Engineering and had also done work for the cities of St. Paul Park and Mahtomedi.  She stated that she has enjoyed working with Sunfish Lake staff on various projects and working with Engineer Sandberg to prepare the information for the 2022 Street Maintenance Project.

Engineer Ener explained that in 2021 Council approved $144,000 for the 2022 Street Maintence project.  She stated that the proposed project included Salem Church Road (west), Acorn Drive, Roanoke Road, and Angell Road (west) for crack sealing and sealcoating. She advised that staff had identified Windy Hill Road and Windy Hill Court as Bid Alternatives for the quote package in anticipation that the quotes may come in favorably.  She explained that staff estimated the work to be less than $175,000 and contacted local cities to determine if they were doing similar work and what contractors were bidding that work.

Engineer Ener stated that five (5) contractors expressed interest in providing quotes and two quotes were received on May 2, 2022.  She advised that the lowest responsible bidder was Allied Paving, Inc. with a quote of $72,113.16.  She stated that the total estimated project cost including Engineering and Administration would be $88,113.16.

Engineer Ener advised that because the quotes were favorable, staff discussed with the contractor the possibility of holding their unit prices for completing work on the entire length of Salem Church Road and they agreed to hold the unit price for the alternate #2 in the quote. She stated that the remaining length of Salem Church Road was scheduled for maintenance in 2023.  She noted that $144,000 was budgeted for roadway maintenance in 2022 and the cost for Salem Church Road (east) would be $59, 916.23 based on Allied Paving’s unit prices. She explained that the total cost for the project with the Bid Alternative would be $148,029.39, including design and administration, or $4,029.39 over the approved budget for 2022.

Engineer Ener stated that staff recommends Council award the Contract to the lowest responsible bidder and determine if the award would include: 1. The Base Bid for Salem Church Road (west), Acorn Drive, Roanoke Road and Angell Road (west)in the amount of $53,699.39; 2. The Base Bid and Alternate Bid, which adds Windy Hill Road and Windy Hill Court to the project, in the amount of $72,113.15; or 3. The Base Bid, Alternate Bid, and Option #2 which would add the entire length of Salem Church Road to the project, in the amount of $132,029.39.

Mayor O’Leary asked if the design and administrative costs would be charged again in 2023 if the remaining portion of Salem Church Road was delayed until 2023.

Engineer Ener explained that additional engineering and administrative costs would be necessary if work was pushed to 2023, and that if done this year no additional engineering or administrative costs would be incurred (beyond what is anticipated for the project at this time).

Mayor O’Leary commented that it would be less disruptive for residents if the project was completed in one year rather than done over two-years.  He asked the City Treasurer if there were funds available to cover the additional costs.

Treasurer Lanoue explained that it may be possible to use the ARPA Funds for this purpose and that she would contact Ehlers, the City’s financial consultant, to determine if the funds can be used for this purpose.

The Mayor asked if surplus city funds could be used if the ARPA funds are not available and the Treasurer responded yes.

Councilmember Beckett stated that Allied Blacktop had done work for her recently and she was very pleased with the company. She agreed that it would be better to complete the entire length of Salem Church Road in one year.

Councilmember Hovey asked if future plans for maintenance of Salem Church Road would include the entire length of the road versus doing it in sections.
Engineer Sandberg responded that performing this maintenance work on the entire length of Salem Church Road at this time would put both east and west sections on the same maintenance/ rehabilitation schedule moving forward.

Councilmember Hansen asked how much money would be budgeted for road maintenance next year.

Engineer Sandberg stated that he has not projected costs for 2023 at this time, however, it is his intent to attempt to keep the maintenance budget around $150,000 each year. 

Councilmember Bulach agreed that it was better to complete the entire length of the road and asked when the project would be completed.

Engineer Sandberg state that he recalls there was a “No Later Than” date included in the quotes and indicated it may be September 1, 2022. 

Mayor O’Leary asked if there were any further questions and there was no response.  He thanked Engineer Ener for her presentation.


Mayor O’Leary moved to award the bid for the project including the Bid, Alternate #1 and Alternate #2 for a total amount of $132,029.39 and that the funds over the budgeted amount be taken from the Federal ARPA Funds or from City Surplus funds if the APRA funding is not available, seconded by Councilmember Bulach.


Clerk Iago asked if the action should be in the form of a resolution and the City Attorney agreed that would be preferrable.


Mayor O’Leary moved to amend the motion to adopt Resolution No. 22-11 titled, Resolution Accepting Quotes and awarding contract FOR SUNFISH Lake City Project No. 2022-01 (2022 Street Maintenance projects) in the amount of $132,029.39, which includes the Base Bid, Alternate #1, and Alternate #2, and that funds over the budgeted amount be taken from the Federal ARPA Funds or from City Surplus Funds if the APRA funds are not available, seconded by Councilmember Bulach and carried.  (5-0)


Council thanked the Engineer for his report.

8.  NEW/OTHER BUSINESS:  a. Consider Resolution Approving a 3-years Contract Between the City of Sunfish Lake and the Metro Bowhunters for the Deer Management Program:  Mayor O’Leary explained that the City Attorney had sent an email to Council with a newspaper article relating to issues the Metro Bowhunters have experienced in other metro communities. He noted that the article stated that one individual with a personal agenda cost the city of Mahtomedi $10,000 and the Metro Bowhunters $15,000 in an attempt to comply with onerous and unreasonable requests. He explained that in his opinion, there are good reasons to support legislation protecting personal data from being used for harassment purposes by persons who do not support the humane way of culling the deer herds.

The Mayor asked Council to authorize the City Attorney to reach out to Representative Jamie Becker-Finn indicating that Sunfish Lake strongly supports her legislation protecting such data and indicating that as Mayor of Sunfish Lake he would be happy to testify at any hearings in support of that legislation. 

Councilmember Beckett agreed with the Mayor and Councilmember Hansen stated that the City should do what is necessary to support the Metro Bowhunters.

Councilmember Hovey stated his agreement and stated that he supports hunting on his property versus seeing deer suffer from chronic wasting disease.  Councilmember Bulach agreed.

Council concurred to direct Attorney Kuntz to contact Representative Jamie Becker-Finn and convey that the City Council of Sunfish Lake supports legislation which changes to the Data Practices Act and provides privacy rights for the Metro Bowhunters and other volunteers who engage in a city-wide sponsored deer management program.  Council further agreed that the City Attorney express that Mayor O’Leary would be willing to testify at any hearings in support of this legislation and to provide her the Mayor’s cellphone number so that she could contact him with any questions.

b. Other:  Mayor O’Leary asked if there was any further business and there was no response.

9.  ADJOURN:   Mayor O’Leary adjourned the meeting at 7:55 p.m.

____________________________                                 ________________________________

Catherine Iago, City Clerk                                                  Dan O’Leary, Mayor

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.