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May 28, 2020 Board Minutes

 

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

May 28, 2020

 

 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 23, 2020.  President White noted that this meeting was convened electronically through WebEx, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 13D.021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and her determination that it is not prudent for the Board of Managers, or any committee thereof, to meet in person, and it is not feasible to provide for any member of the Board, or of the public, to meet at the regular meeting location.  For this reason, until this determination is withdrawn by the District’s presiding officer, chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer, the meetings of the Board and its committees will be convened by telephone or other electronic means as the presiding officer determines appropriate.  All such meetings will be noticed and conducted in accordance with §13D.021 and all other applicable terms of the Open Meeting Law.  President White noted that, pursuant to §13D.021, all votes will be by roll call.

President White called the roll to note attendance:

Hejmadi:         Present

Loftus:             Present

Rogness:         Present

Miller:             Present

Olson:             Present

Maxwell:         Present

White:             Present

DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT

James Wisker, Administrator; Michael Hayman,  Project Planning Manager; Janna Jonely, Project and Land Management Technician; Tom Langer, Aquatic Ecologist; Anna Brown, Planner – Project Manager; Laura Domyancich, Planner – Project Manager; Becky Christopher, Policy Planning Manager; Kate Moran, Policy Planning Coordinator; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; and Louis Smith, District Counsel.

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR

None.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

It was moved by Manager Rogness, seconded by Manager Hejmadi to approve the Agenda as distributed.  Upon roll call vote, the motion carried 7-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:             Aye

Rogness:         Aye

Miller:             Aye

Olson:             Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

CONSENT AGENDA

President White noted a correction on line 108 of the May 14, 2020 Board Minutes, to change the reference to Mr. Woodruff.

It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Rogness to adopt the items on the Consent Agenda, consisting of the approval of the May 14, 2020 Board Minutes (with the correction noted by President White); the General Checking Account consisting of checks 41142  through 41175 in the amount of $275,683.26; electronic funds withdrawals in the amount of $26,598.43; manager per diems and reimbursement direct deposits in the amount of $2,027.60; employee reimbursements - direct deposits in the amount of $897.26; and payroll direct deposits in the amount of $142,322.98; the surety checking account consisting of checks 41176 and 41177, and EFT for service charge for a total of $12,530.00; and the wire transfer of $154,134.38 in payment to Hennepin County for bond payments; and adoption of the following resolution:

Resolution 20-042: Authorization to Release RFQ for Legal Services

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the District Administrator to issue a request for qualifications for legal services.

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 7-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:             Aye

Rogness:         Aye

Miller:             Aye

Olson:             Aye

Maxwell:         Aye                                    

White:             Aye

BOARD, COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCE REPORTS

President’s Report:  President White reported that she and Manager Maxwell met with the Hopkins City Council liaisons to discuss 325 Blake Road, which will be reported in further detail in the Administrator’s Report.

Policy and Planning Committee Report: Manager Miller reported that the Policy and Planning Committee met and received further briefing on the 2021 budget; the budget process is now three months ahead of the normal schedule.  The committee also received a briefing on the discussions about possible acquisition of 2301 Brunswick in St. Louis Park; the sense of the committee is that this would not be a cost-beneficial undertaking and further discussion will occur at a June board meeting.    

Upcoming Meeting and Event Schedule:  President White directed the managers to the meetings listed on the agenda; all of the meetings to be noticed and held via WebEx. 

ACTION ITEMS

Resolution 20-043: Box-Netting in Parley Lake

Mr. Tom Langer appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  He traced the background of the District’s carp management efforts with the support of funding from the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. These efforts have led to identifying Parley Lake as a key location for further carp removal. 

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Rogness to adopt Resolution 20-043 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that on the basis of the specific experience of Carp Solutions, LLC, and the finding of District staff that the contract fee is competitive, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers finds it appropriate to authorize a professional services contract with that firm without competitive process;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Administrator is authorized, on advice of counsel, to execute a contract with Carp Solutions, LLC, for services to remove common carp in Parley Lake within the Six Mile Creek-Halsted Bay Subwatershed, consistent with the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Grant Accomplishment Plan, in an amount not to exceed $47,920.

In response to questions from Manager Hejmadi, Mr. Langer and Ms. Brown described the cost effectiveness of carp removal as the population decreases, and the general goal of ultimately relying on District resources for maintenance and rapid response, once the carp population is under control. 

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 7-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:             Aye

Rogness:         Aye

Miller:             Aye

Olson:             Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

Resolution 20-044: Approval of MCWD Campus Improvements 90% Design Plans and Authorization to Solicit Bids

Ms. Laura Domyancich appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  Ms. Domyancich reviewed the updated design and cost estimates, including bid alternates for enhanced improvements to the parking lot. She noted agreements with the two neighboring property owners and discussions with the City of Minnetonka.   

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Rogness, to adopt Resolution 20-044 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers approves the 90% design plans for MCWD campus improvements and authorizes the District Administrator to solicit bids for construction.

Manager Miller noted his safety concerns with the lower level and the need for strong barricades at the edge of the parking lot.  Ms. Domyancich noted that this issue had been considered and costs were a concern, but she would investigate further options.  In response to a question from Manager Maxwell, Ms. Domyancich stated that there would be a permanent easement with Westdale. 

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 7-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:             Aye

Rogness:         Aye

Miller:             Aye

Olson:             Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

Minnehaha Preserve Decking Issues

Mr. Michael Hayman and Ms. Janna Jonely appeared before the Board of Managers to provide a status report on the most recent repairs of the boardwalk.  Ms. Jonely noted that 157 boards were replaced, consisting of 149 deck boards and 8 rails; all of the work was documented by Wenck.  At the June 11 meeting, staff will present proposed revisions to the interim maintenance protocol in light of accelerated decay in the boardwalk this Spring. 

Mr. Smith noted that the next discussion of legal remedies with responsible parties for the boardwalk failure required the need for absolute confidentiality in discussions with legal counsel, including construction litigation counsel Mr. Thomas Radio. 

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Maxwell, to take up this discussion in closed session for the reasons stated by Mr. Smith.

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 7-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:             Aye

Rogness:         Aye

Miller:             Aye

Olson:             Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

The Board of Managers went into closed session.  The Board of Managers returned to open session. 

BOARD DISCUSSION ITEMS

Long Lake Creek Subwatershed Partnership Update

Ms. Becky Christopher and Ms. Kate Moran appeared before the Board of Managers to provide an update on work in the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed.  They traced the background of the Partnership initiative; findings from the District’s monitoring and analysis of water quality issues in the subwatershed; and potential projects to address nutrient loading issues.  Upon a question from Manager Hejmadi, Ms. Christopher stated that no memorandum of understanding among the parties is planned for the next stage of work, but the plan is for the Long Lake City Council to adopt the proposed road map.  The managers thanked Ms. Christopher and Ms. Moran for the presentation.   

Administrator’s Report

Mr. Wisker provided a further update on working arrangements in light of the Board’s direction through Resolution 20-033.  Mr. Wisker continues to review District needs, the ability to perform work from home and necessity for work to be performed at the District office or in the field.  Pursuant to Resolution 20-033, he is reviewing those steps with President White and legal counsel Smith.  Mr. Wisker has prepared a draft guidance plan for when staff return to working in the office.

Mr. Wisker noted his report in the previous week on algae blooms at Cedar Lake, as well as Lake Nokomis and Lake of the Isles.  The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is taking the lead, and the District will consider making spot checks on other lakes in the District with similar conditions. 

Mr. Wisker will present the District’s work as it relates to Lake Minnetonka to the Lake Minnetonka Association on June 15.

The meeting of the liaisons from the Board of Managers and the Hopkins City Council met today to discuss 325 Blake Road.  They discussed an approach to the redevelopment process, and the liaisons expressed a strong interest in being involved in the process through to completion.  They acknowledged the value of technical expertise, and pledged to transparent, open and frequent communication.  The liaisons agreed that this framework and the related commitments should be memorialized in a cooperative agreement. 

Manager Maxwell stated that he felt the meeting went well, and that ongoing meetings of the liaisons would be key.  President White stated that she was impressed with the dedication of the City’s liaisons.  Manager Maxwell stated that the liaisons will need to keep the Board of Managers and City Council fully informed as the process continues.

Adjournment

There being no further business, President White declared the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kurt Rogness, Secretary 

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers