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June 5, 2019 CAC Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

 

Members Present

Drew McGovern, Richard Nyquist, John Salditt, Peter Rechelbacher, Brian Girard, Dave Oltmans, Sliv Carlson, Bill Bushnell, Linda Jahnke, Elizabeth Crow, Marc Rosenberg

Mangers Present

Manager Sherry White

Manager Arun Hejmadi

Others Present

Administrator James Wisker

MCWD Staff: Becky Christopher, Mike Hayman, Kim LaBo

Approval of Agenda and Minutes

Kim LaBo requested an agenda addition regarding the July CAC meeting date. Agenda item was added by Rechelbacher. It was moved the amended agenda be approved by Sliv Carlson.  All members approved the June agenda.

The CAC reviewed the May minutes and Girard moved to approve minutes. All members approved the May minutes.

Kim LaBo was introduced as the new staff CAC liaison.

New board manager Arun Hejmadi was introduced to the CAC and CAC members introduced themselves and provided some background for manager Hejmadi.

Discussion Items:

July CAC Date

Rechelbacher moved to change the July 3 CAC meeting to July 17. All members approved the date change. It was noted Manger Hejmadi has a conflict with that meeting date and will have to find another manager to serve as liaison for July 17.

MCWD Strategic Alignment

Administrator Wisker discussed recent staffing changes at the District. There are a number of staff who have recently left the District and others who have recently joined the District or will be soon. The staffing changes are a reflection of the District’s continued organizational realignment.  It was noted there is a large amount of change at the District to support the strategic initiatives of the Board. Administrator Wisker expressed appreciation for the direction and feedback the CAC has provided on these initiatives.

Budget Priorities Presentation- Christopher

The purpose of the presentation was to provide a preliminary overview of the project, program and operational priorities for 2020 and a preliminary budget-levy projection. 

The following items were the focus of the presentation:

  1. Budget process and format
  2. Program and operational priorities
  3. Capital improvement plan
  4. 2020 budget-revenue projection
  5. 5- year budget model

Christopher provided the CAC background on the District’s budgeting process and how it relates to the 2016 strategic planning process to focus and align the organization around its highest priorities. As part of this process, the MCWD Board of Managers implemented a series of fiscally responsible measures to maintain high levels of mission focused output and service, while carefully managing its levy, including:

  • Aligning program budgets around strategic priorities and making targeted reductions
  • Implementing operational efficiencies
  • Evaluating, aligning, and investing in human resources
  • Developing and implementing a strategy to secure increasing levels of outside funding
  • Reallocating funds from activities that were delivered under budget or deprioritized

The District is currently engaged in fourteen strategic initiatives and five of these initiatives were highlighted because of their budget significance.

  1. IT plan implementation: a new permit system, web site redesign and GIS mapping are a couple big systems that will be updated and improved.
  2. Parking lot improvements: the District created a new operations capital improvement plan and is looking at parking lot improvements to fix drainage issues and incorporate stormwater management and demonstration projects.
  3. Permitting alignment: engineering and legal support for policy and rule revisions.
  4. Monitoring equipment: The Research and Monitoring Department is recommending investments in remote sensing equipment for getting real time data to inform dam management, and to free up staff time to do analysis.
  5. HR plan implementation: continued implementation of the new pay plan that was approved following the 2018 classification and compensation study.

Apart from personnel costs, all increases are one time increases.

Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Presentation- Hayman

Hayman reviewed how the District is implementing the organization’s strategic priorities, and provided background on the District’s project implementation and subwatershed models.

The CAC was provided an overview of the District’s CIP and process:

  • None of MCWD’s projects are one year projects even though the District releases an annual CIP
  • CIP is only for projects that are in implementation phase, not planning phase
  • Priority projects within the Minnehaha Creek Subwatershed that are in the implementation phase are the Minnehaha Greenway, Edina, and Minneapolis
  • Priority projects within the Six Mile Creek - Halsted Bay Subwatershed that are in the implementation phase are East Auburn S.W., Wasserman West and Carp Management
  • As part of the District’s responsive model, MCWD continues to look for CIP opportunities District-wide

Next steps with the 2020 CIP involve going to the Board for authorization to distribute for review and comment in June and further refinement during the budget process.

2020 Budget/Revenue Projection- Christopher

The District is currently estimating an increase of approximately $165,000 in the 2020 budget and has discussed a levy increase of 1-2% with the Board to cover the budget gap or use of District reserve funds.

District staff also created a five year budget model based on rough assumptions to project into the future. Based on current projections, staff are anticipating the need for a 1-2% increase over the next 5 years to meet the projected budget.

Information Items and Updates:

CAC member updates

Girard discussed that he usually sees carp in his local water and has noticed a drop off in sightings and this apparent population decrease has been noticed by others.

Board updates – Manager White

Gray’s Bay dam communications has been a success.  The Board will be talking about climate change at the Board retreat in June.  A team of managers and staff have been meeting with legislators and will keep that up going forward. There was an addition of a conservation easement on Wayzata Bay and it is a wonderful contribution. The Board approved the city of Mound local water plan and are almost done with all the city plans.

Staff updates- LaBo

MCWD is partnering with Freshwater and the city of Minnetonka on an Adopt-a-Drain event (see attached flyer for details). Since the metro-wide launch of the Adopt-a-Drain program in March, over 600 MCWD residents have adopted their local storm drains. The June 25th event is for MCWD Master Water Steward Graduates, lake association members and interested community residents who want to learn more about the program and how to involve others.

Girard made a motion to adjourn and Carlson seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 8:41 p.m.

Next Meeting is Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Board of Managers Liaison Arun Hejmadi (Hejmadi will be switching dates due to a conflict).

Minutes or Agenda?: 
Minutes