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Board of Managers Meeting Minutes June 22nd 2017





June 22, 2017





The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was called to order by Vice President Brian Shekleton at 6:50 p.m. on June 22, 2017 at the District offices, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.




Brian Shekleton, Richard Miller, William Becker, Jessica Loftus.




Sherry White, William Olson, Kurt Rogness.




Lars Erdahl, Administrator; James Wisker, Planning and Projects Director; Becky Christopher, Lead Planner-Project Manager; Chuck Holtman, Counsel.








Manager Becker moved, Manager Miller seconded approval of the agenda. Upon vote, the motion carried 4-0.




Manager Loftus moved, Manager Becker seconded approval of the consent agenda, consisting of the June 8, 2017 board minutes; the general checking account, consisting of checks 38275 through 38357 in the amount of $458,688.72; payroll direct deposits in the amount of $151,428.25; and electronic fund withdrawals in the amount of $1,014,452.65; the surety account, and the 325 Blake Road checking account. Upon vote, the motion carried 4-0.





Board, Committee and Task Force Reports


Vice President Shekleton deferred the President's Report in light of President White's absence.


Manager Miller reported that the Policy and Planning Committee met just prior to the Board meeting and discussed the human resources strategic plan and upcoming budgeting, with both discussions to be continued.


Manager Shekleton reviewed the upcoming meeting and event schedule as stated on the agenda.


Resolution 17-043: Authorization to Distribute Comprehensive Plan for Review and Comment


Ms. Christopher briefly reviewed the history of plan development and discussions with the Policy and Planning Committee.  She noted that staff has collected a set of further revisions and refinements to the draft plan to which the agenda is linked, and will incorporate those before releasing the draft for public review.


Ms. Christopher reviewed the plan and reiterated the focus on the Balanced Urban Ecology approach of partnership, focus and flexibility. She reviewed the internal and external processes for developing the plan. She noted new sections since previous board review, including sections 3.5, 3.7 and 3.9. Section 3.5 is the discussion of district programs, which is consistent with the strategic plan and Minnesota Rules 8410. Section 3.7 concerns means of evaluation and contains measurable goals and metrics. Section 3.9 constitutes the subwatershed plans, which lay out for each subwatershed the resource issues, drivers and strategies; land use conditions; implementation priorities and a capital improvement program.  Ms. Christopher noted the emphasis on the three identified focal geographies of Minnehaha Creek, Six Mile Creek/Halsted Bay and Painter Creek. Implementation priorities include capital projects as well as the range of other services that the District offers. Finally, an appendix is drafted describing the public process in developing the plan.


Ms. Christopher also referenced the new Section 3.10, which is the implementation table. She noted that annual program budgets are proposed consistent with recent-year budgets. The capital improvement program also is similar in annual outlays. Of the $76 million in total capital spending indicated for the 10-year period, $21 million is suggested for Minnehaha Creek, $36 million for Six Mile Creek/Halsted Bay, $9 million for Painter Creek and $9 million for the remaining subwatersheds. She noted that the plan communicates that these estimates don?t constitute a ?real? budget but reflect the range of potential District projects.


Manager Miller asked how this would be clearly expressed to avoid incorrect expectations. Ms. Christopher replied that the District will follow past examples. She noted also that the numbers represent a total capital project budget, not just District funds from levy.


Manager Shekleton remarked that he receives calls from public officials and others asking that the District proceed with projects listed in its plan, suggesting that a project's listing creates the expectation that it will be implemented. Mr. Wisker replied that staff has discussed this tension and will address the text, but he noted as well that the numbers are not deeply unrealistic. He added that the plan also talks about the District's approach to leveraging other funds and about the project development and budgeting processes and how the real numbers do get set.


Finally, Ms. Christopher reviewed the plans for distributing the draft plan.  The District will distribute by cover letter and CD to cities, counties and other public agencies; will email a broader set of stakeholders with a link to the draft plan; and will link the plan from the District website. Subsequently, there will be meetings with the advisory committees and public officials, presentations to city councils as requested, and a public hearing presently scheduled for October.


Managers Miller and Shekleton complimented staff for a very strong effort and work product.


Manager Miller moved, Manager Becker seconded adoption of Resolution 17-043 as follows:


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes staff to distribute the Draft 2017 MCWD Comprehensive Plan for 60-day review and comment, following the incorporation of final edits.


Upon vote, the motion carried 4-0.




Mr. Erdahl reported that on June 17, Methodist Hospital in coordination with the District held a butterfly release for cancer survivors and boardwalk tours. He noted that the upcoming Lake Minnetonka shoreline tour is sold out. The District has released a call for Watershed Hero nominations for the 50th Anniversary event and managers are invited to forward nominees.  


Mr. Erdahl reported good press on the shoreline tours and District projects. This week, the planning staff met with the Mayor of Victoria and the Wasserman Lake Association regarding ongoing work there. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is concluding public engagement regarding the Hiawatha Golf Course for a decision intended in July. Work continues on the Minnehaha Creek Preserve trailhead.


Mr. Erdahl reported that Managers White and Miller, along with Mr. Wisker and Renae Clark, attended a public meeting in the City of Edina regarding the Arden Park project, with further public meetings to follow and City Council consideration probably in July. Manager Miller interjected to state that he was very pleased with staff's involvement at the meeting to keep the discussion informative and positive. He also complimented the Interfluve representative for his factual and authoritative presentation.


Mr. Erdahl concluded by noting that the request for qualifications for Federal Emergency Management Agency repairs has been completed, with two or three interviews involving the MPRB soon to occur and the matter to come to the Board at the end of July.




There being no further business, the regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Rogness, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers