SUNFISH LAKE CITY COUNCIL MEETING – SEPTMEBER 7, 2021

7:00 P.M. – ONLINE MEETING

Attendants:


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

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.

Treasurer Lanoue explained that the City Engineer requested a payment voucher in the amount of $168,444.97 to Bituminous Roadways be added to the agenda as the first payment for the road improvement projects. 

After a brief discussion this item was added under the Engineer’s Report for discussion.

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

Councilmember Walstrom moved to adopt the agenda as amended, seconded by Councilmember Hovey 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.  He noted that the false alarms had slowed down in July.

The Mayor asked if the case involving “child protection” had been resolved and if the child was safe. 

Chief Sturgeon explained that the child was safe and that it was not a criminal matter. He stated that the matter was referred to Dakota County Child Protection Services for handling.  He also advised that there was a recent car theft in the city that the police are working to resolve and that he would discuss it in more detail in next month’s report. 

Mayor O’Leary asked if the keys were left in the vehicle.

Chief Sturgeon responded no and explained the keys were in a different location but were found and used in the theft.

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

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

a.   Special Budget Meeting and Regular Council Meeting Minutes of August 3, 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 HEARING/PRESENTATIONS:  None.

6.  PLANNING COMMISSION/PLANNER’S REPORT:  a.  Planner’s Report:  Planner Ramler-Olson reviewed the following information listed in his report dated September 7, 2021: 

August Planning Commission:  The August meeting was cancelled due to lack of applications and the September meeting will be cancelled for the same reason.

August Planning Updates:  1.  Staff met with the property owner and contractors at 369 Salem Church Road to address several issues related to the site development and landscaping.  The meeting was amicable and there was a good resolution to the items discussed.

2.  The builder for the home at 369 Salem Church Road has indicated they are almost prepared to allow staff to conduct a final walk-through on the property.  Staff is waiting for an as-built survey prior to scheduling the final walk-through.

3.  Staff investigated some complaints against a property that may have some code violations.  Staff submitted some questions to the property owner and is waiting for a response before issuing a letter requesting the property be brought into compliance.

4.  The new owner of the property at 4 Acorn Drive has been in contact with staff, providing updates on the upcoming development application for constructing a new home on the property.

5.   Staff has not received any responses to the letters sent that informed lakeshore property owners on how to obtain the Water Extraction Permit. One inquiry was received from a property owner on Hornbeam Lake.  Staff asked if Council deemed any further action is necessary.

Mayor O’Leary asked if all the lakeshore residents had removed their pumps from the lake.

Planner Ramler-Olson responded that Forester Nayes had toured the lakes to determine if all the pumps had been removed.  He was unsure if one pump still remained and advised that he would contact the property owner to see if they had removed the pump; if the pump was not removed, he advised he would send a follow-up letter.

Engineer Sandberg stated that Forester Nayes had advised him that all lakeshore owners had removed their pumps and were in compliance. He commented that no further action should be required at this time.

Mayor O’Leary explained that he had talked to the contractor who oversees the property at 2 Sunfish Lane and was advised that the property owner wished to apply for a permit.

Mayor O’Leary asked staff to describe an “as-built” survey and asked if the property owner would have to pay for the survey.

Engineer Sandberg explained that submission of an “as-built” survey is a standard requirement as part of the planning application process and that the applicant would be aware of the cost when making application.  He stated that the survey is required so that staff can compare the as-built survey with the approved plans to make sure all conditions were met.

Planner Ramler-Olson further explained that the property owner could use the original survey and update the information for the as-built, which should lessen the cost.

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

Council thanked the Planner for his report.

7.  ENGINEER’S REPORT:  1. Engineering Activities Undertaken in August:  A. 2021 Capital Improvements Projects:  

Engineer Sandberg referred to the request for Council action to approve Pay Voucher No.1 from Bituminous Roadways for the 2021 road improvement projects.  He noted that Sunnyside Lane, Angell Road and Zehnder Road are completed with two lifts of bituminous placed on the road.  He stated that Grieve Glen has one lift of bituminous in place. He advised that there were some soft spots on the road that may need to be removed and repaired prior to the final lift of bituminous being installed.  He commented that staff had not received any complaints on any of the projects thus far.  He further advised that no change orders had been requested. 

The Engineer explained that the invoice submitted outlines all the work that has been completed by the contractor and that the request is for payment in the amount of $168,444.97, with $8,865.53 being retained at this time.

Mayor O’Leary asked if the Engineer had certified the work completed to date.

Engineer Sandberg responded that WSB staff engineers closely monitored the work in progress and agreed to the quantities and items as listed in the voucher.

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

Mayor O’Leary moved to authorize payment in the amount of $168,444.97 to Bituminous Roadways, Inc., for the Sunfish Lake 2021 Improvement Projects, seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)

B.  Salem Church Road and Delaware Intersection Improvements:  Dakota County started removing pavement markings and will place friction treatment on the road beginning September 9; the work should be completed by September 13.  The County will be restriping the lane from Salem Church Road perpendicular to Delaware so that there will be no strain on the driver’s neck when looking to the left. 

Engineer Sandberg explained that he had been working with Dakota County Traffic Engineers over the past two months in an attempt to encourage the county to install a right turn lane or a left turn lane at this intersection.  He explained that the county engineers agreed that it would be better not to install a turn lane so that vehicles next to each other do not screen oncoming traffic. 

Mayor O’Leary asked if the Engineer had received any phone calls as he had referred a resident to him.


Engineer Sandberg stated he had received two (2) calls from residents who expressed concern that there would only be one lane at the intersection. He advised that he provided the county’s explanation about screening oncoming traffic with two lanes to the residents and asked that they “wait and see” if the improvement’s help, and, if not, staff could approach the county with any new issues or concerns.

Emily Wu, 270 Salem Church Road, discussed the placement of one of the traffic cones that prohibits making a left turn onto Delaware Avenue and asked if that would be fixed with the proposed improvements.

Engineer Sandberg stated he was not aware of the traffic cone placement.

Kevin Wu explained that a vehicle must stop on Delaware prior to making a turn onto Salem Church Road and expressed concern that someone will be rear-ended at the intersection.

The Engineer advised that Dakota County left the centerline on Salem Church Road in place as they determined it would be better for the traffic flow. 

Mayor O’Leary asked the City Engineer to contact Dakota County regarding the traffic cones and then let the Wu’s know the County’s response.

Engineer Sandberg explained that that cone may have been moved by mistake and he thanked the Wu’s for their input.

C.  2021 Pavement Condition Report:  Staff advised that the update on this report was completed in July and that it is used to assist with preparation of the City’s pavement management budget for 2022.  He noted that the last review was done in 2018 and that the study rates all roads within the City and assigns each a condition number; the higher the rating on the road, the better the road condition. He noted that Sunnyside Lane, Angell Road, Zehnder and Grieve Glen were just completed and would now have the highest rating.


The Engineer advised that the roads proposed for seal coating in 2022 include Salem Church Road West, Acorn Drive, Roanoke Road and Angell Road West. He stated that assessments are not charged for these improvements and the city would pay the entire cost.  He explained $145,000 was placed in the 2022 budget for these improvements. He further advised that there is flexibility in delaying one of the projects if deemed necessary to save money.

Mayor O’Leary asked if there are any plans for 55th Street and 60th Street.

Engineer Sandberg stated that he would be working with property owners regarding the turn back of 55th Street to private ownership.  He further explained that there are no plans for improvement of 60th Street since is shared with Inver Grove Heights and they have not set aside any money for that purpose. He advised that the City would continue to keep the road safe for travel and may wish to discuss possible realignment of the road in the future.

Mayor O’Leary commented that it is not wise to let the road go too long before doing maintenance.

Engineer Sandberg agreed and explained that staff continues to monitor the road to make sure it is safe for travel.  He noted that the City would be splitting the cost for any future improvements with Inver Grove Heights if repairs are deemed necessary.

D.  2022-2026 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP FINAL):  The final draft of the 2022-2026 CIP was discussed as part of the budget presentation in August.

E.  City Lake Pumping: Water was not flowing from any of the City lakes in August, therefore no pumping was permitted.

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

     - 100 Windy Hill Road:  Site erosion controls were inspected and confirmed to be in place prior to the start of

        construction. The applicant also provided proof of their NPDES permit.

     - 2154 Charlton Road:  Site erosion controls were inspected and confirmed to be in place prior to the start of

        construction.

     - 2 Acorn Drive:  Staff has been communicating process with the applicant and a formal application is expected soon.

3.  Public Works Activities Undertaken in the Month of August:  None.

4.   Anticipated Engineering and Public Works Activities for September:  A. The 2021 CIP projects began construction the week of August 23 and are expected to be completed by September 15. WSB will provide inspections for the work through the duration of the projects.

Council thanked the Engineer for his report.


8.  NEW/OTHER BUSINESS:  a. Consider Resolution Adopting the Proposed Budget & Setting Not-to-Exceed Tax Levy for Collection in Year 2022 and Schedule Special Truth in Taxation Council Meeting on December 7, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.:  Treasurer Lanoue referred to the revised 2022 Budget documents she sent to Council earlier and explained that the budget had not changed since discussion at the August Council Study meeting. 

The Treasurer stated that the Debt Service for the 2021A Series Bonds would be $27,544 and would increase the 2022 budget to $144,827 for the Improvement Bond Debt Retirement.  She stated that the Fire Department had submitted their final request for $71,045, which was increased from the earlier estimate of $50 or $60,000.  She commented that she had placed $70,000 in the budget estimates. She further noted that the Engineer had requested $145,000 in the 2022 budget for CIP projects. She stated that $5,000 was also added to the cash reserves in August per Council request.

Treasurer Lanoue referred Council to the Budget Analysis page and the 2022 Balanced Budget column highlighted. She referred to the amount $592,071 General Revenue and the Bond Fund Levy in the amount of $144,827 for a total 2022 tax levy $736,898 which is a 9.96% increase over last year’s levy. She noted that the total 2022 budget amount would be $851,852.

Staff recommended a .28424 tax rate.  She referred to the Tax History page, which outlined the property tax levy from 2011 through 2021 and using the 6.22% Taxable Market Value and the 4.96% Tax Capacity rates. 

Treasurer Lanoue explained that after Council adopts the proposed resolution, staff will file the preliminary 2022 Budget and Tax Levy with Dakota County.  She noted that the preliminary amounts cannot be increased once they are adopted, however, the budget amounts may be decreased at the time of the Truth in Taxation hearing in December.   

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

Councilmember Hovey moved to adopt Resolution No.21-38 titled, resolution setting not-to-exceed tax levy for collection in the year 2022 and Scheduling Special Truth in Taxation Hearing on December 7, 2021 at 7:00 p.m., seconded by Councilmember Bulach and carried. (5-0)

b. Consider the following:  1. a) Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for City Project No. 2021-01 (Sunnyside Lane Improvement Project) and; b) Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing for City Project No. 2021-01; 2. a) Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for City Project No. 2021-02 (Zehnder Road Improvement Project) and; b) Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing for City Project No. 2021-02; 3. a) Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for City Project No. 2021-03 (Angell Road East Mill & Overlay Project) and; b) Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing for City Project No. 2021-03; 4. a) Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for City Project No. 2021-04 (Grieve Glen Lane Reconstruction Project) and; b) Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing for City Project No. 2021-04:  Attorney Kuntz referred to his four (4) memorandums dated September 1, 2021 and explained that there are two (2) resolutions proposed for adoption for each of the four (4) improvement projects; one resolution relates to declaring costs to be assessed for the project and the other relates to calling for an assessment hearing at the October 5, 2021 Council meeting. He noted the four (4) projects are Sunnyside Lane, Angell Road, Zehnder Road and Grieve Glen Road.


The Attorney advised that once the assessment hearings are completed and the assessment rolls have been adopted, property owners have 30 days to pay the amount in full without interest, or they can make payments over 10-years with 3% interest, or they may pay the remaining amount during the 10-year time period with interest only for the year in which it is paid in full. 

Attorney Kuntz stated that the assessment amounts shown in the proposed resolutions had not changed from the original assessments proposed. He explained that to the extent a project cost more, the excess amount would be paid from the General Tax Levy as discussed and approved by Council.  He noted that his reports contained spreadsheets for each project, which show the allocation of costs associated with that project. 

The Attorney explained that there was one correction to his memorandum regarding Angell Road East which states that the proposed assessments of about 42% is $72,164.30, however, the correct amount should be $52,350.  He advised that the correct amount of $52, 350 is included in the resolution presented to Council this evening. He offered to respond to questions.

Mayor O’Leary asked if each project should be approved separately.


Attorney Kuntz responded yes and noted that the two (2) resolutions relating to each project could be approved together.

Councilmember Wahlstrom moved to adopt the following:

Resolution No. 21-39 titled Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for Sunfish Lake City Project No. 2021-01 (Sunnyside Lane Improvement Project)

 

Resolution No. 21-40 titled, Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing with respect to City Project No. 2021-01 (Sunnyside Lane Improvement Project), seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0) 

 

Councilmember Hansen moved to adopt the following:

 

Resolution No. 21-41 titled, Resolution declaring costs to be assessed and ordering preparation of proposed assessment for sunfish lake city project no. 2021-02 (Zehnder road improvement project)

 

Resolution No. 21-42 titled, Resolution calling for assessment hearing with respect to Sunfish Lake City project No. 2021-02 (Zehnder Road Improvement Project), seconded by Councilmember Wahlstrom and carried. (5-0)

Mayor O’Leary moved to adopt the following:  

 

Resolution No. 21-43 titled, Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for Sunfish Lake City Project No. 2021-03 (Angell Road East Mill & Overlay Project)

 

Resolution No. 21-44 titled Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing for Sunfish Lake City Project No. 2021-03 (Angell Road East Mill & Overlay Project), seconded by Councilmember Hovey and carried. (5-0)

Councilmember Hovey moved to adopt the following:

 

Resolution No. 21-45 titled Resolution Declaring Costs to Be Assessed and Ordering Preparation of Proposed Assessments for Sunfish Lake City Project No. 2021-04 (Grieve Glen Lane Reconstruction Project)

 

Resolution No. 21-46 titled Resolution Calling For Assessment Hearing for sunfish Lake City Project No. 2021-04 (Grieve Glen Lane Reconstruction project), seconded by Councilmember Bulach and carried. (5-0)

c. Consider Appointment of Shannon Nelson as City’s Alternate Representative to the Lower Mississippi River Watershed       Management Organization (LMRWMO):  Mayor O’Leary explained that Planning Commissioner Shannon Nelson had agreed to serve as the alternate representative on the LMRWMO in place of his wife Patti who has served in this position for 3 years.  He thanked Patti for her service as a member of this group.  He noted that resident Dan Halvorsen serves as the City Representative to the group.  He further explained that Shannon had to attend parents’ night for her high school senior and sent her apologies that she was unable to attend.  He thanked Shannon for volunteering to serve. He asked that Council approve the appointment.

Council unanimously concurred to ratify the Mayor’s appointment of Shannon Nelson to serve as the City’s alternate representative on the Lower Mississippi River Watershed Management Organization (LMRWMO).

d. 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 8:00 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.