Board of Managers Workshop Minutes February 9th 2017
MINUTES OF THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT BOARD MEETING OF
February 9, 2017
CALL TO ORDER
The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was called to order by President Sherry White at 6:45 p.m. on November 17, 2016, at the District office, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota 55345.
Sherry White, Brian Shekleton, Richard Miller, Pamela Blixt, William Olson, Kurt Rogness, and William Becker.
DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT
Lars Erdahl, Administrator; James Wisker, Planning and Projects Director; Michael Hayman, Planner-Project Manager; Renae Clark, Planner-Project Manager; Heidi Quinn, Permitting Technician; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; Louis Smith, Counsel.
MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
It was moved by Manager Shekleton, seconded by Manager Blixt, to approve the agenda as distributed. Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.
It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Shekleton, to approve the Consent Agenda, consisting of the minutes of January 26, 2017. Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.
Board, Committee, and Task Force Reports
President’s Report and Executive Committee Report:
President White reported that she attended the recent meeting of the Metropolitan Chapter of the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, which included a presentation on MAWD’s upcoming organization and financial planning;
The District has received a letter and petition from the Carmen Bay Lake Improvement District; there has been an initial response to offer to meet and discuss this petition;
The Board of Managers held their retreat on February 2, and reviewed strategic planning, governance, and roles for the Citizen’s Advisory Committee.
Policy and Planning Committee Report
Manager Miller reported that at the Committee meeting earlier this evening. The staff presented an update on the Comprehensive Plan, including a detailed outline of the proposed approach to implementation of projects and programs, as well as a schedule for completion of the plan; the Committee also received an update on planning in the Six Mile Creek/Halsted Bay Subwatershed, with included highly informative maps.
Citizen’s Advisory Committee
Manager Olson reported that he attended the annual meeting of the Carver County Water Management Organization, along with CAC members, which included an interesting presentation on climate change by Paul Huttner; the CAC discussed the cost share and grant program restructuring.
The CAC also unanimously approved strategic planning recommendations that came from Board retreat; the CAC embraced the roles for involvement that had been identified at the retreat and also discussed the pros and cons of District re-naming.
Permits Requiring Variance or Discussion
Permit 16-659: 14600 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka Civic Center Board Walk and Trails
Ms. Heidi Quinn appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the permit application. She noted that the City of Minnetonka is requesting a variance from the minimum wetland buffer requirement. Approximately 285 feet of the pathway is within the minimum buffer zone and therefor requires a variance. Ms. Quinn reviewed the criteria for a variance under the District rules as described in detail in the staff report.
Ms. Quinn also noted that future trail construction is identified in the application documents, but are not included within this permit and merely shown for context. Manager Blixt inquired, given the invasive nature of the trail construction within the wetland, why the entire trail is not constructed all at once. Ms. Quinn stated that it was her understanding that the phased construction plans had to do with City budgeting, given the cost of boardwalk construction. Following discussion, it was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Becker, to grant the variance for the reasons set forth in the staff report and approve the permit with conditions recommended by staff. Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.
Resolution 17-007: Strategic Planning
Mr. James Wisker appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the strategic planning process, expressing his appreciation to the entire staff for their intensive involvement and learning across departments, as well as to the Board of Managers. He also thanked Becky Christopher for designing the process.
Manager Miller referred to the Strategic Direction for MCWD programs, paragraph three, Organizational Planning, and noted that he felt that the Operations and Support Services Department will have the ongoing responsibility to address budget, rather than finance. Manager Miller stated that he felt that finance and financial planning would be a function of capital project planning in the Planning Department. Manager Miller also stated that he felt it was important that the human resources consultant report be provided directly to the Board. Manager Becker asked about the public nature of the data included in this report. Mr. Smith explained that there may be some private data concerning individual employee performance, as opposed to broader organizational assessment information which would be considered public data. President White stated that she felt that Managers Olson and Becker may be a valuable resource in continuing their liaison to the consultants in this process. Mr. Wisker stated that he would consult with managers Becker and Olson, as well as legal counsel, in the presentation of the consultant’s findings to the Board of Managers.
Following discussion, it was moved by Manager Shekleton, seconded by Manager Miller, to adopt Resolution 17-007.
It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Shekleton to substitute the word “budget” for the word “finance” in paragraph three concerning the ongoing responsibility of the Operations and Support Services Department. Upon vote, the motion on the amendment carried, 6-0-1, with Manager Rogness abstaining.
Manager Blixt stated that she will not be voting in support of this resolution, noting that she had not been able to attend or participate in the Committee meetings for the strategic planning process, and that she was also concerned with the plan to eliminate the memorial aspect of the Cynthia Krieg grant. President White stated that there would be recognition of Cynthia Krieg at the upcoming Watershed Heroes event. Manager Miller noted that all managers other than Manager Blixt had attended the Committee meetings in the strategic planning process, and that all votes had been made at meetings of the full Board of Managers.
The managers then voted on adoption of the following resolution, with the above noted amendment to the strategic direction, as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby approves the summary of strategic direction (Attachment 1) for the organization and individual programs, to guide the MCWD Board and staff in aligning programs and their operations with the MCWD’s mission and organizational strategy;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers hereby accepts and adopts the attached report, 2017 Strategic Alignment Plan, to provide further background and guidance in this alignment process;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers directs the Administrator to proceed to incorporate and implement these strategic program priorities into the District’s new Comprehensive Plan, and in the development of budgeting and financial planning, human resources plans and strategies, and information technology investment plans.
Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-1 (Blixt).
Resolution 17-008: Authorization to Award Construction for the Minnehaha Preserve Enhancement Project Trail Connection and Parking Lot
Mr. Michael Hayman appeared before the Board of Managers to review the Request for Board Action. He noted that the staff recommended Board approval of a construction contract for an amount not to exceed $217,683. Following discussion, it was moved Manager Shekleton, seconded by Manager Olson to adopt Resolution 17-008 as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the MCWD Board of Managers awards the contract for construction to New Look Contracting in the amount of $197,894.00; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers authorizes the Administrator to execute a construction contract for the Minnehaha Preserve Enhancement Project Trail Connection and Parking Lot, and directs that the Administrator return and otherwise administer bid bonds in accordance with the terms of the request for bids; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers establishes a project construction budget in the not-to-exceed amount of $217,683.00 and authorizes the District Administrator, in his judgment and on the recommendation of the District’s project engineer, to authorize change orders obligating the District up to that amount; and
BE IT FINALY RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers authorizes the Administrator to issue a formal notice to proceed to New Look Contracting in accordance with the terms of this resolution on advice of counsel, receipt of a signed contract and required bonds and insurance documentation.
Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.
Resolution 17-009: Authorization to Enter into a Cooperative Agreement with the Metropolitan Council and City of Hopkins for the Lake Street Storm Water Diversion Project
Mr. Michael Hayman reviewed the Request for Board Action. Following discussion, it was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Shekleton to adopt Resolution 17-009 as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Managers hereby approves and authorizes the Board President, on advice and consent of counsel, to execute the cooperative agreement with Metropolitan Council and the City of Hopkins for the construction of the Hopkins Lift Station L27 Project; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers establishes a project construction budget in the not-to-exceed amount of $249,753.00 and authorizes the District Administrator, in his judgment and on the recommendation of the District’s project engineer, to authorize change orders obligating the District up to that amount.
Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.
Resolution 17-xxx: Cottageville Park Regional Stormwater Plan
Ms. Renae Clark and Ms. Heidi Quinn appeared before the Board of Managers to present the City of Hopkins Regional Stormwater Plan for the stormwater facility at Cottageville Park, pursuant to the District’s stormwater rule, paragraph 7. They also noted the proposal of an easement affording Hopkins all rights necessary to meet its inspection and maintenance obligations pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the District and the City of Hopkins. Ms. Clark explained that the Board of
Managers would act in approving the stormwater management plan, while the permit would be issued by the staff.
At the request of Ms. Clark, Mr. Smith reviewed the nature of the obligations under State grants for this project and stated that he felt there was no legal impediment to the City’s approach in allocating credits for redevelopment, but nevertheless recommended that the proposed resolution to be adopted by the City be revised to acknowledge that the City will be responsible for any accounting or funding adjustment resulting from this transaction if the Clean Water Fund Grant support of the treatment system construction should so require. Following discussion, it was moved by Manager Shekleton, seconded by Manager Blixt, to place adoption of the proposed resolution on the Consent Agenda of the February 23 meeting of the Board of
Managers. Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.
BOARD DISCUSSION ITEMS
Arden Park Concept Plan Briefing
Ms. Renae Clark appeared before the Board of Managers and provided an overview on the status of concept planning for the Arden Park project in Edina. Mr. Ross Bintner, Water Resources Engineer for the City of Edina, also appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the concept plan in detail. The managers discussed the various elements of the plan including creek improvements, stormwater management, park facilities and trails, and the respective budgeting responsibilities for the District and the City. Mr. Bintner explained that there would be an additional meeting in March to review this plan in greater detail with the community. He noted the appreciation expressed by the Mayor of Edina to the District for its collaborative partnership in this project. The managers expressed their concurrence with the direction of the concept planning, and thanked Ms. Clark and Mr. Bintner for the presentation.
Human Resources Strategic Planning Report
President White noted the earlier discussion about the process for the Human Resources consultant to present findings to the Board of Managers and suggested further discussion of the details of this process. She stated that following legal review, she would prefer for the Executive Committee to review these findings first. It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Becker, that the Human Resources consultant findings be first reviewed by the Executive Committee, and then the full Board of Managers. President White noted that Managers Olson and Becker would also be involved in an initial discussion with the consultant. Manager Blixt noted that she was neither a liaison manager nor a member of the Executive Committee. Manager Rogness also stated that he was in the same position. Following discussion, upon vote, the motion carried, 6-1 (Blixt)
Mr. Erdahl reported on the following items:
· The field work for the 2016 audit has been completed;
· Mr. Steve Woods, Executive Director of the Freshwater Society, presented a talk on watershed management planning to the District staff;
· A fact sheet summarizing District Activity has been mailed;
· The District will co-host a meeting on the State of the Mississippi River on March 8;
· A review of annual activities for 2016 will be completed by the end of February;
· The District has started to use the 50th Anniversary logo in communications;
· Communications staff person Trevor Born has accepted a new position at the University of Minnesota;
· Mr. Erdahl noted that he has completed two years of service with the District and thanked the Board of Managers and staff.
There being no further business, the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 9:32 p.m.
Kurt Rogness, Secretary