Minutes of the Board of Managers Workshop, March 9th, 2017

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OFTHE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT
BOARD OF MANAGERS
March 9, 2017

CALL TO ORDER
The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was called to order by Vice President Brian Shekleton at 6:45 p.m. on March 9, 2017 at the MCWD office, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.

MANAGERS PRESENT
Brian Shekleton, Richard Miller, Kurt Rogness, Pamela Blixt, William Becker. 

MANAGERS ABSENT
Sherry White, William Olson.

DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT
Lars Erdahl, Administrator; Kelly Dooley, Water Quality Manager; Eric Fieldseth, AIS Program Manager; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; Chuck Holtman, Counsel.

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR
None.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW STAFF MEMBER
Jim Rudolph introduced himself as a new District field representative. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in environmental science and has worked with the Capital Region Watershed District and the Washington Conservation District. The Board welcomed him.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Manager Miller moved, Manager Becker seconded approval of the agenda. Upon vote, the motion carried 5-0.
Manager Shekleton noted the 2016 Year-End Review as an information item.

CONSENT AGENDA
Manager Becker moved, Manager Blixt seconded approval of the consent agenda, consisting of the February 23, 2017 Board meeting minutes, and the correction of Resolution 17-012, adopted at the meeting of February 23, 2017, to substitute “Painter Creek and Mud Lake sites” for “Minnehaha Creek Preserve” in the BE IT RESOLVED clause. Upon vote, the motion carried 5-0.

REGULAR AGENDA Board, Committee and Task Force Reports 
Manager Miller provided a Policy and Planning Committee report, noting that the Committee received a presentation on subwatershed plans within the draft watershed management plan. He said the document is readable and forward-looking. 
Manager Shekleton noting upcoming meetings as listed in the agenda.

2017 Monitoring Plan
Ms. Dooley reviewed the 2017 monitoring plan, beginning by presenting the strategic direction for the program previously approved by the Board. The identified purposes of the District’s monitoring program are to characterize ecologic health, diagnose change, communicate results and collaborate on management strategies, particularly with the planning department. The intent of the plan is operationalizing these purposes. Further, the three priorities of the program are to diagnose drivers of change, characterize ecologic health and identify long-term trends.

Ms. Dooley reviewed the steps staff has taken to consider and consolidate anchor monitoring stations in the upper watershed lakes, the Lake Minnetonka bays, and the upper watershed creeks and along Minnehaha Creek. An earlier statistical review reduced the number of anchor stations from 82 to 69. Ms. Dooley reviewed the criteria used to assess anchor stations and make deletions. She noted that monitoring stations losing their status as anchor stations may be used for other purposes, including as diagnostic stations or to allow for performance assessment of District projects or actions. 

Ms. Dooley reviewed the Long Lake Creek and Minnehaha Creek subwatersheds to show how diagnostic stations have been added for specific assessment purposes. Within the Minnehaha Creek subwatershed, she noted as well stations maintained by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and stations maintained in preparation to measure the effectiveness of proposed stormwater facilities at 325 Blake Road. For 2017, staff has further reduced the anchor stations to 29. 
Responding to Manager Becker’s question, Ms. Dooley noted which subwatersheds are already developed and which are subject to a greater rate of change. Ms. Dooley discussed with Manager Becker and Mr. Meehan how areas of land use change are taken into account in selecting anchor station locations. Ms. Dooley also reviewed the locations of several stations the District maintains to meet legal requirements under permits and agreements. 
Finally, Ms. Dooley reviewed the monitoring approach within the Six Mile Creek Subwatershed. The Three Rivers Park District monitors four lakes, and there is one legally required monitoring station, a number of anchor stations and substantial diagnostic monitoring occurring in conjunction with diagnostic work of the District engineer.

Contract to Conduct Stormwater Pond Sediment Surveys
Ms. Domyancich presented Resolution 17-018 to authorize the District Administrator to contract with Wenck Associates, Inc. to survey six regional treatment ponds and analyze sediment samples for the purpose of the District’s maintenance program. 

Manager Blixt moved, Manager Becker seconded the adoption of Resolution 17-018 providing as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator to execute a contract with Wenck Associates, Inc. for the amount of $30,830 and authorizes the administrator to execute change orders as necessary up to a not-to-exceed amount of $33,913 for the survey of six ponds, composite sediment samples analyzed for up to six ponds, and a technical memo summarizing results of the analysis.
Upon vote, the motion carried 5-0.

Manager Blixt asked if the District monitors and maintains the Deer Hill and County Road 6 ponds. Ms. Domyancich replied that these facilities are on the District’s maintenance list. The District surveys them, but never has had to perform maintenance.

Long Lake Creek Subwatershed Carp Assessment
Mr. Fieldseth presented proposed Resolution 17-019, supporting a partnership with the Cities of Long Lake, Medina and Orono and the Long Lake Waters Association to pursue Hennepin County Natural Resource Opportunity grant funds for a carp assessment in the Long Lake subwatershed and to authorize the purchase of trap nets. Mr. Fieldseth noted that letters of support from all four partners have been presented. He reviewed the new District aquatic invasive species priorities resulting from the District’s strategic planning process and how the proposed work fits with these priorities. He further reviewed the District’s investments in the Long Lake Creek subwatershed in recent years as well as the issues, drivers and strategies for the District’s investment in the subwatershed. He noted that carp are a driver of excess nutrients and degraded aquatic plant communities.

Mr. Fieldseth reviewed the elements of the grant proposal, which focus initially on three years of monitoring to assess the carp population, movements and spawning activities. The project cost is $205,000, which is reduced to $159,000 by a District in-kind contribution. The maximum grant is $100,000. Mr. Fieldseth noted that the grant program is more for implementation so there is a risk of not receiving funding at the requested level. He added that the three cities intend to share a $59,000 contribution and if grant funding falls short, he is not certain what further costs the cities may assume. He noted, finally, that this is an example of the District’s providing expertise and coordination to an effort that will be led by others, consistent with the District’s identified strategies.

Responding to Manager Miller, Mr. Fieldseth affirmed that the similar study in the Six Mile Creek subwatershed cost more than $500,000. He noted that this subwatershed is smaller but that the prior experience helped to define this scope. 
It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Becker to adopt Resolution 17-019 providing as follows:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby supports the partnership with the Cities of Long Lake, Medina and Orono, and Long Lake Waters Association, to pursue Hennepin County Natural Resource Opportunity Grant funds to advance a carp assessment for the Long Lake Subwatershed; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the District Administrator to purchase trap nets to facilitate MCWD’s in-kind contribution to the project, in an amount not to exceed $10,000.
Upon vote, the motion carried 5-0.

2017 AIS Prevention and Watercraft Inspection Cost-Share Proposals
Mr. Fieldseth introduced proposed Resolutions 17-020 through 17-024 authorizing cost-share funding to, respectively, Carver County, the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District, the Three Rivers Park District, the City of Shorewood and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The total requested funding is $174,902 as compared with a budget of $175,000. Mr. Fieldseth noted that staff is developing a 2018 Work Plan and has communicated to partners that the present funding may wind down. The District will meet with the partners in the spring to explore alternative funding for the effort.

Manager Blixt asked as to the status of starry stonewort evaluation. Mr. Fieldseth replied that this falls under early detection. He said the District inspects two to three times a month at access points and that boat inspectors will look for starry stonewort among the other invasive species for which they inspect. 

Manager Miller moved, Manager Blixt seconded to adopt the following Resolutions as follows:

Resolution 17-020:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the execution of an agreement with Carver County to provide these watercraft inspection services at a cost not to exceed $28,838; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, upon advice of counsel and with such further minor revisions as may be necessary to effect the intent of the parties, to enter into these agreements.

Resolution 17-021:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the execution of an agreement with the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District to provide these watercraft inspection services at a cost not to exceed $15,444; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, upon advice of counsel and with such further minor revisions as may be necessary to effect the intent of the parties, to enter into these agreements.

Resolution 17-022:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the execution of an agreement with Three Rivers Park District to provide these watercraft inspection services at a cost not to exceed $7,280; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, upon advice of counsel and with such further minor revisions as may be necessary to effect the intent of the parties, to enter into these agreements.

Resolution 17-023:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the execution of an agreement with the City of Shorewood to provide these watercraft inspection services at a cost not to exceed $42,840; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, upon advice of counsel and with such further minor revisions as may be necessary to effect the intent of the parties, to enter into these agreements.

Resolution 17-024:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the executions of an agreement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to provide these watercraft inspection services at a cost not to exceed $80,500; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, upon advice of counsel and with such further minor revisions as may be necessary to effect the intent of the parties, to enter into these agreements.

Upon vote, the motion passed 5-0.

Preliminary Budget Discussion

Mr. Erdahl noted that the Watershed Management Plan and human resources strategic plan are in process and will inform the 2018 budget. Mr. Erdahl reviewed the District’s recent budget and levy history as well as the organizational operational framework developed recently to link departments and their capacities to strategies and tactics. Mr. Erdahl reviewed the budget and work plan development steps and timeline. During April, staff will develop priorities and background information. In May and June, staff and committees will review preliminary work plans and budget/levy scenarios in workshop session. August will see review by the Citizens’ Advisory Committee; work plans will be finalized and a proposed budget and levy presented. In September, the Board will adopt the budget and levy.

As next steps, staff will refine the 2018 capital improvement program, define staff budget development roles and responsibilities, project the anticipated carry-forward, began development of budget and levy scenarios and review work plans.

Manager Miller offered that he felt very comfortable with last year’s budget process. It involved the board appropriately at decision points and was clear.

ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT 
Mr. Erdahl noted that he attended the Orono City Council meeting last week regarding the Big Island dock issue as well as the Long Lake Creek subwatershed carp study matter. He noted that the Board has received from legal counsel a memorandum on the dock issue. Mr. Erdahl also noted last week’s meeting of the Six Mile/Halsted Bay partnership group.

Mr. Erdahl reported that staff and the District engineer met with Lake Zumbro residents, Carver County, the City of Victoria and Three Rivers Park District, with the District serving in an expert advisor role while landowners determine the way forward regarding lake elevation concerns. He noted that Manager Olson is involved in that discussion. 

Mr. Erdahl noted the Minnesota Association of Watershed District (MAWD) legislative reception on March 29-30 and the summer tour scheduled for June 21 -23. He has drafted a letter that the Board could authorize to request a MAWD special meeting at the summer tour to discuss potential changes to the MAWD Bylaws. It reserves a position on any changes but, under the MAWD bylaws, 15 districts must request a special meeting for it to occur. 

Manager Blixt moved, Manager Miller seconded to authorize the letter to be sent. On further review of the proposed letter, Manager Miller withdrew his second.  The motion failed for lack of a second. There was discussion as to whether a bylaws change would be voted on in June, or whether there would simply be discussion in advance of a December vote. The Board decided not to act further on the matter.

Mr. Erdahl informed the Board that the District hosted a State of the Mississippi River presentation in Wayzata last night, involving a presentation by Trevor Russell of the Friends of the Mississippi River and attracting about 50 attendees, including Carver County and Hennepin County Commissioners and some mayors. On May 4, 2017, Steve Woods of the Freshwater Society will present on the history of watershed districts in the District’s next installment of its series of events in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Rogness, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers