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February 14, 2019 Board Minutes





February 14, 2019



The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:00 p.m. on February 14, 2019, at the District office, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.



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



Brian Shekleton.




James Wisker, Administrator; Mike Hayman, Project Planning Manager; Anna Brown, Planner-Project Manager; Alex Steele, GIS Coordinator; Chris Meehan, District Consulting Engineer; Chuck Holtman, District Counsel.








Manager Miller moved, Manager Olson seconded approval of the agenda as distributed. Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0.


Mr. Wisker introduced Alex Steele, who began District employment on January 31 and will organize all of the District’s geospatial data.  Mr. Steele introduced himself.  He holds a B.S. in Geography from the University of Minnesota, has worked in county government for engineering, public works and planning functions; has done mapping work in the private sector; and most recently was employed in public works at the City of Minneapolis.  The Board welcomed Mr. Steele.




By unanimous consent, approval of the January 24, 2019 minutes was postponed.  Manager Miller moved, Manager Rogness seconded approval of the Consent Agenda consisting of adoption of Resolution 19-016, as follows:


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator to dispose of the 2010 Ford Escape currently in the District inventory through Minnesota Department of Administration live auction process.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the District Administrator is authorized to purchase one new vehicle with a make and model similar to the 2010 Ford Escape for a value not to exceed $32,000.


Upon vote, the motion carried 6-0.



Board, Committee and Task Force Reports


President White advised that she had nothing to present under the President’s Report.


Manager Olson reported that the Operations and Programs Committee met tonight and reviewed the information technology work on the District website.


Manager Becker attended the most recent Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, which covered three topics: Tom Dietrich presented on permitting systems revision; Telly Mamayek presented on the District’s strategic communications plan; and elections were held, with Peter Rechelbacher being elected as CAC Chair, and Bill Bushnell elected as Vice Chair.


President White reviewed upcoming meetings as shown on the agenda.  Manager Miller will attend the March CAC meeting.


Action Items


Resolution 19-017: Authorization to Execute an Easement for Carp Barrier Construction


Ms. Brown reviewed the background of the District’s habitat restoration and enhancement project within the Six Mile Creek subwatershed, which is funded principally by a Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) grant.  The easement is for the purpose of installing and maintaining a barrier on the Crown College campus to eliminate the connection between Parley Lake and upstream carp spawning areas.

The easement is for a term of 10 years, and will renew automatically for 10-year terms, except that at any time after the first term, the property owner may terminate the easement with one year’s notice to the District.  Also, to accommodate any possible owner improvements that may conflict with the barrier location, after three years the owner may request that the barrier be relocated to an equally effective location within the channel.  Ms. Brown suggests this option is unlikely to be exercised.


Ms. Brown noted that there is statutory language that could be read to mean that an easement to support LSOHC grant-funded work must be perpetual.  Staff has reviewed the issue with District counsel and they believe that the proposed easement is legally adequate and that the District will address the question administratively with LSOHC staff as warranted.


Manager Miller moved, Manager Olson seconded adoption of Resolution 19-017, as follows:


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the Board President to execute, on advice and consent of counsel, and with any non-substantial adjustments, an easement with Crown College.


Upon vote, the motion carried 6-0.


Resolution 19-018: Authorization to Execute a Contract with the University of Minnesota to Assist in the Evaluation of Surface and Groundwater Interactions in South Minneapolis


Mr. Hayman reviewed the background for and purposes of the proposed work.  The work will support a partnership that includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Hennepin County and the District that is exploring high groundwater levels in South Minneapolis and their impact on public and private infrastructure and residential structures.  The University would review and edit existing data, define questions related to groundwater concerns and gather data to answer those questions; identify data gaps that remain; and make recommendations on how to address those gaps.


Manager Rogness moved, Manager Becker seconded adoption of Resolution 19-018, as follows:


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the District Administrator to execute a contract with the University of Minnesota, on advice of legal counsel, for review and evaluation of surface and groundwater interactions in South Minneapolis for an amount not to exceed $16,859, and authorizes the District Administrator to use an additional contingency of 10 percent of the not-to-exceed as in his judgment circumstances require.


Upon vote, the motion carried 6-0.


Board Discussion Items


325 Blake Road - Minnesota Ice Lease Claim


Administrator’s Performance Review


Manager Becker moved, Manager Olson seconded, to convene in closed session both to receive attorney-client privileged advice from District counsel and litigation counsel Shelley Ryan of the Hoff Barry law firm regarding pending litigation with Minnesota Ice, and to evaluate the performance of District Administrator James Wisker.  Mr. Holtman noted that Minnesota Ice has served a summons and complaint on the District and so has commenced litigation.  Upon vote, the motion carried 6-0.  The Board convened in closed session to discuss the pending litigation.


The Board reconvened in open session, and Attorney Ryan departed the meeting.  The Board convened again in closed session for the purpose of the performance evaluation.


The Board reconvened in open session.




There being no further business, the regular meeting of the Board of Managers was adjourned at 8:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Rogness, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers