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January 9, 2020 Board Minutes


January 9, 2020


The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:00 p.m. on January 9, 2020, at the District offices, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.


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




James Wisker, Administrator; Laura Domyancich, Planner-Project Manager; Janna Jonely, Project and Land Management Technician; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; Michael Welch, Counsel.




Manager White stated that item 11.2, a resolution to purchase permitting software should be removed from the agenda. Manager Olson moved and Manager Maxwell seconded approval the agenda as amended. Upon vote, the motion carried 7-0.


Manager Miller moved and Manager Rogness seconded approval of the consent agenda, consisting of approval of the minutes of the December 19, 2019, meeting, and the following resolutions:

Resolution 20-001: Appointment of the 2020 Depository of District Funds

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby names Bremer Bank as the 2020 official depository of District funds.

Resolution 20-002: Approval of the 2020 District Official Newspaper

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby names the Star Tribune as the official newspaper of the District for 2020.

Resolution 20-003: Approval of the 2020 Fee Schedule

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby approves the following 2020 fee schedule.

2020 District Fee Schedule

District professional staff*                              $ 65.51

District administrative staff*              $ 46.69

Consulting Engineer/Technician                  $ Contracted Rate

District Counsel                                              $ Contracted Rate

Permit Application Fee                                  $ 10.00

B&W Copy Costs (8/12 x 11 page)                $ 0.25 + actual staff time

Color Copy (81/2 x 11 page)                          $ 1.00 +actual staff time

Electronic Records                                         $ cost of production

District expenses for postage, mailing labels, contracted services, and other miscellaneous services will be billed at cost. The “Application Fee” applies to all permits, including fast track permits.

*Blended/burdened professional rate.

Resolution 20-004: Authorization to Close Alerus Bank Accounts

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes staff to close the four accounts maintained at Alerus bank when all checks and obligations clear the accounts and zero balances are achieved. The four accounts authorized to be closed are:

• Surety Savings (3370)

• Surety Checking (7509)

• General Fund Checking (8557)

• ICS Sweep General Fund (8557)

Resolution 20-005: Authorization to Execute a Contract for Government Relations Services

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby selects Joel Carlson as the government relations consultant and authorizes the District Administrator to execute a contract with an termination date of December 31, 2022, on advice of counsel and with any non-material changes, for government relations services on retainer for an annual amount not to exceed $28,000 or $56,000 for the term of the contract.

Upon vote, the motion carried, 7-0.


Board, Committee and Task Force Reports

President White reported that she, James Wisker, and Michael Hayman met with Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene and Commissioner Jan Callison to discuss planning for disposition of 325 Blake Road. The meeting went very well.

Manager Loftus reported from the meeting of the Operations and Programs Committee earlier in the evening, noting that the committee also received a report on the plan for disposition of the District’s property at 325 Blake Road, as well as a report on the interpretive plan for Wasserman Lake Park.

President White stated that the upcoming schedule of meetings is as noted in the agenda and that Manager Olson is the liaison for the next Citizens Advisory Committee meeting. Manager Hejmadi will be attending the next Metro Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts meeting.

Action Items

Election of Board Officers and Appointment of Committee Assignments

Manager Miller moved and Manager Maxwell seconded the nomination of Sherry White as president. Upon vote, the motion carried 7-0.

Manager Miller moved and Manager Maxwell seconded nomination of Manager Olson as vice president. Upon vote, the motion carried 7-0.

Manager Miller moved and Manager White seconded nomination of Manager Loftus as treasurer. Upon vote, the motion carried 7-0.

Manager Miller moved and Manager Maxwell seconded nomination of Manager Rogness to continue to serve as secretary. Upon vote, the motion carried 7-0.

Big Island Nature Park Improvement Update

Janna Jonely and Laura Domyancich presented an update emanating from the 80 percent plans for the upgrade and improvement of Big Island Nature Park. Ms. Jonely started with some history of the District’s involvement in the property, noting that the District purchased a conservation easement on Big Island in 2006 that is has owned ever since. She stated that the District’s involvement in the redevelopment planning and implementation currently being pursued is under the District’s project maintenance and land management program. Ms. Jonely reviewed the 80 percent design plans, noting that in the natural area of the park Americans With Disability Act-compliant trails would be constructed. No trees would be removed. Removable bollards would be installed to prevent vehicle access to the natural area. She said signs in the area would be replaced and provided an example of the type of signage that would be installed. In the recreational area of the park she stated that an ADA trail would be installed and signage would be upgraded. She also said that one or two vault toilets would be installed. A shade structure is planned, with a picnic table underneath. In response to a question from Manager Maxwell, she stated that the picnic table will be made of concrete and therefore will not be movable.

She concluded by advising that staff will document the District’s feedback to the City of Orono on these 80 percent plans and provide it to the City for its review. Then, when the 95 percent plans are completed, staff will again conduct an analysis and provide a report to the managers in early February. She stated that the project will go to the Orono City Council for approval on February 24.

Administrator’s Report

James Wisker stated that Manager Miller has obtained a number of copies of a City of Edina magazine that has a very nice article about Arden Park that includes numerous quotes from Ms. Domyancich. He stated that in September of last fall Ms. Domyancich briefed the board on the drawdown of the stormwater facilities in the park. Those facilities remain off line but have received some sediment from the construction activities. Wenck is preparing a plan for removing the sediment.

He reported that the Gray’s Bay dam was closed December 23, which is the latest that it has ever been closed. He said that Tiffany Schaufler is working with city and county staff and others on preparing an analysis of spring flooding risk. He said that he and President White will be meeting with Hennepin County Commissioner Irene Fernando to provide her with an update on District’s programs and projects. He said that the City of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is conducting next week citizen advisory committee meeting number 11 for the Minnehaha Parkway redesign and reconstruction; this is meant to be the final such meeting.

Mr. Wisker reported that he and Tiffany Schaufler are presenting to the City of St. Louis Park on January 28 from 6 to 8p.m. on the Twin Lakes area and the District’s involvement in management of that resource. He said neighbors around Twin Lakes have concerns about lily pads, which inhibit recreational use. Options for management will be discussed. Finally, Mr. Wisker reported that Ms. Schaufler is presenting as part of the climate adaptation conference January 22.


There being no further business, the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Rogness, Secretary


Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers