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April 25, 2019 Board Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

April 25, 2019

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:05 p.m. on April 25, 2019, at the MCWD office, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.

 

MANAGERS PRESENT

 

Sherry White, William Olson, Richard Miller, Kurt Rogness, Jessica Loftus, and Arun Hejmadi.

 

MANAGERS ABSENT

 

Eugene Maxwell (Manager designate).

 

DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT

 

James Wisker, Administrator; Brian Beck, Research & Monitoring Program Manager; Anna Brown, Planner-Project Manager; Cathy Reynolds, Operations Manager; Tiffany Schaufler, Project and Land Manager; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; Louis Smith, Counsel.

 

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR

 

None.

 

OATH OF OFFICE

 

Mr. Smith administered the oath of office to Manager Arun Hejmadi.  The managers welcomed Mr. Hejmadi to the Board.

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

It was moved by Manager Miller and seconded by Manager Olson to approve the agenda as distributed. Upon vote, the motion carried 6-0.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Rogness, to approve the consent agenda, consisting of the minutes of the April 11, 2019, meeting; approval of the Check Register, with the general checking account register, voiding check 39687, 39696 and 39737, consisting of checks 39688 through 39736 totaling $ 675,903.34; payroll direct deposits totaling $147,184.28;  electronic fund withdrawals- general checking totaling $116,954.41; and electronic fund withdrawals – surety checking totaling $10.00; for total expenses of $940,052.03; and adoption of Resolution 19-048: Authorization to submit BWSR Annual Report:

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers accepts the 2018 Annual Report and authorizes its release to BWSR and DNR.

 

Upon vote, the motion carried 6-0.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

 

Board, Committee and Task Force Reports

 

President’s Report: President White thanked Manager Miller for serving on the panel to interview strategic communications consultants.

 

Policy and Planning Committee Report:  Manager Miller noted that the committee reviewed an initial draft of the Capital Improvement Program for the upcoming 2020 budget.  The committee noted the need for some more flexibility in the timing of projects, depending upon various factors such as local partner readiness. 

 

President White noted the upcoming meetings on the calendar as noted in the agenda.

 

Permits Requiring a Variance or Discussion

 

Permit 19-064: 28th Avenue South Bridge Replacement & Trail Improvements

 

Ms. Heidi Quinn appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the request for board action.  She noted that the City of Minneapolis is requesting an exception to the minimum buffer requirement.  She reviewed the various applicable rules, and explained that the site constraints do not allow for compliance with the minimum buffer provision.  Ms. Quinn explained that the staff and District Engineer have found that the applicant has submitted sufficient evidence for the MCWD Board of Managers to consider the Exception request that the project will achieve a greater natural resources benefit by the incorporation of stormwater management BMP than that would be achieved by strict compliance with the buffer provisions of the Wetland Protection rule.  It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Rogness, to grant the exception from the minimum buffer requirement as requested, based on staff finding that the project will achieve a greater overall natural resources benefit.  Mr. Smith noted the additional condition noted in the report that the pre-treatment sump be amended from a one-foot in depth sump to a four-foot in depth sump, which staff notes as a pre-treatment practice is in conformance with the District’s BMP design criteria;  he stated that this change is properly viewed as part of consideration in overall natural resources impact of the project to justify the exception. Upon vote, the motion to grant the exception carried, 6-0.  It was moved by Manager Rogness, seconded by Manager Miller, to approve the permit application with the conditions recommended in the staff report.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0.

 

Action Items

 

Resolution 19-049: Authorization to Execute Contract with Carp Solutions for Carp Removal Services in Six Mile Creek-Halsted Bay Subwatershed

 

Ms. Anna Brown appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  She noted that carp removal is a key strategy for the District’s work in the Six Mile Creek – Halsted Bay Subwatershed, and this work is supported by a grant from the Lessard Same Outdoor Heritage Council.  Upon a question from Manager Miller, Ms. Brown and Mr. Brian Beck explained the electrofishing process used in carp surveys.  In response to a question from Manager Hejmadi, Ms. Brown reviewed the field monitoring process for tracking biomass removal, and the stocking of bluegills as natural predators of carp eggs.  It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Rogness, to adopt Resolution 19-049.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0.

 

Resolution 19-050: Authorization to Execute Contract with Consultant to Conduct the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed Carp Assessment

 

Mr. Brian Beck appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  He reviewed the partnership history to pursue improvements in the Long Lake Subwatershed, and the issues and drivers to address the subwatershed’s water quality problems.  He reviewed the RFP process and the staff recommendation of WSB for this work.  Following discussion, it was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Olson, to adopt Resolution 19-050.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0. 

 

Resolution 19-051: Authorization to Execute Contract with Wenck to Draft a White Paper Synthesis on the Evaluation of Surface and Groundwater Interactions in South Minneapolis

 

Ms. Tiffany Schaufler appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  She reviewed the background of the District’s involvement with partner agencies in analyzing the high water problems in South Minneapolis.  It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Hejmadi, to adopt Resolution 19-051.  Manager Miller asked whether staff had an estimate of the costs to remedy the impacts of high water conditions on the affected residences.  Mr. Meehan stated that a rough estimate would be approximately $5,000 – 10,000 per house, or a total of approximately $200,000 – 300,000.  Manager Miller suggested that this might be an option to address this issue.  Mr. Wisker noted that while such a measure may be a policy option, to date, the science about the high water problems has not been widely accepted, and the cause of the problem has not been widely understood, hence this proposed effort to synthesize the research and prepare for wider discussions of potential policy responses.  Manager Olson asked whether a perched water table can be effectively mitigated, and Mr. Meehan stated no.  In response to a question from Manager Hejmadi, Ms. Schaufler explained that this project would not be focused on solutions, but rather the analysis of the problem.  Manager Hejmadi asked about the timeline for a potential broader review of these issues for the metropolitan area by the University of Minnesota, and Ms. Schaufler explained that that would be a legislative funding decision.  Upon vote, the motion to adopt Resolution 19-051 carried, 5-1, with Manager Miller voting against the motion.  Manager Miller stated that he voted in the negative because he believes that the science and explanation for this problem is already known. 

 

Resolution 19-052: Authorization to Approve IT Consultant Contract

 

Ms. Cathy Reynolds appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  President White noted that the materials for this item appeared to have been omitted from the meeting packet.  It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Olson, to table Resolution 19-052.  Upon vote, the motion carried.

 

Resolution 19-053: Renewal of MCWD Employee Benefits

 

Mr. Wisker reviewed the request for board action.  It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Rogness, to adopt Resolution 19-053.  In response to a question from Manager Loftus, Mr. Wisker reviewed the board authorization for salary and benefit increases in the current budget.  Manager Loftus stated that it would be helpful in the future to track salaries and benefits as separate line items in the budget.  Following discussion, upon vote, the motion to adopt Resolution 19-053 carried, 6-0.

 

Staff Updates

 

Administrator’s Report

 

Mr. Wisker reported on the following items:

 

  1. The District received an award from the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators, and Telly Mamayek has been elected President of the Association;
  2. Interviews have been held or are scheduled for hiring of a planning/program manager; IT consultant; web site consultant; and strategic communications consultant;
  3. Mr. Wisker made presentations to the Sensible Land Use Coalition and the Minneapolis Real Estate Journal; and
  4. Mr. Wisker, Ms. Schaufler, and Ms. Christopher recently attended the American Planning Association conference.

 

Ms. Schaufler reviewed up to date spring flooding conditions.

 

Adjournment 

 

There being no further business, the meeting of the board of managers adjourned at 8.38 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Rogness, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers