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April 8, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

April 8, 2021

 

CALL TO ORDER

The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:01 p.m. on April 8, 2021.  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  For this reason, until this determination is withdrawn by the District’s presiding officer, chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer, the meetings of the Board and its committees will be convened by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

Sando:             Present

Miller:              Present

Olson:              Present

Maxwell:         Present

White:             Present

DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT

James Wisker, Administrator; Alex Steele, GIS Technician; Tom Dietrich, Permitting Program Manager; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; and Louis Smith, District Counsel.

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR

None.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

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

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Aye

Sando:             Aye

Miller:              Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

CONSENT AGENDA

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Hejmadi, to approve the Consent Agenda consisting of approval of the March 25, 2021 Board minutes; and the following resolution:

Resolution 21-026: Authorization to Execute a Contract for Six Mile Marsh Prairie and Laketown Wetland Vegetation Maintenance

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, on advice of District Counsel, to execute a contract with Prairie Restorations, Inc., in the amount of $31,900 for vegetation maintenance at the Six Mile Marsh Prairie Restoration & Laketown Wetland and establish a project maintenance budget in the not-to-exceed amount of $35,090 and authorizes the District Administrator, in his judgment, to authorize change orders obligating the District up to that amount.

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

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Aye

Sando:             Aye

Miller:              Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye                                    

White:             Aye

BOARD, COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCE REPORTS

President’s Report:  President White noted that briefing meetings with Hennepin and Carver County Commissioners, and legislators are now complete.  She expressed her appreciation for the positive response in these meetings, and in particular noted the alignment of the MCWD’s work with Hennepin County’s climate action plan, and support expressed for the MCWD project at 325 Blake Road. 

 Operations and Programs Committee Report:  Manager Loftus reported that the committee met earlier and received a staff review of the organizational assessment of the Citizens Advisory Committee. 

 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.  She noted that Executive Committee will meet to review the annual audit on April 22.

ACTION ITEMS

Resolution 21-027: Authorization to Renew GIS and WISKI Maintenance

Agreements and Licenses

Mr. Alex Steele appeared before the Board of Managers and provided an update on the implementation of the MCWD’s strategic information technology plan.  He reviewed the request for board action to renew GIS and WISKI maintenance agreements and licenses. 

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Olson to adopt Resolution 21-027 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the renewal of GIS software maintenance and licenses for an amount of $15,662.00.

AND, NOW THEREFORE, BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the renewal of WISKI software maintenance and licenses for an amount of $14,520.00.

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

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Aye

Sando:             Aye

Miller:              Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye                                    

White:             Aye

Resolution 21-028: Authorization to Submit Part II of the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Application to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)

Mr. Tom Dietrich appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the background and process for the issuance of the new MS4 General Permit, which was issued on November 16, 2020 and provides for 150 days for the MCWD to apply for coverage.  Mr. Dietrich noted that the new General Permit does not establish any significant impacts to MCWD operations, but does create partnership opportunities with cities. 

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Sando to adopt Resolution 21-028 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers: authorizes the District Administrator to submit the application for reauthorization under the NPDES/SDS General Small MS4 Permit to the MPCA.

Upon a question from Manager Miller, Mr. Dietrich provided examples of partnership opportunities with cities to collaborate in site inspections.  Manager Loftus expressed her appreciation for this collaborative approach, noting the high costs for consultants for many smaller cities and the value of efficiencies to city partners.  Manager Hejmadi expressed his appreciation for the value of this collaborative approach. 

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

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Aye

Sando:             Aye

Miller:              Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye                                    

White:             Aye

STAFF UPDATES

Administrator’s Report

Mr. Wisker reported on the following items:

1. Recent rainfall amounted to about 1.5 inches; Lake Minnetonka is currently at an elevation of 929.12.  The Gray’s Bay dam is ready for operation, but with a dry forecast for the next two weeks, it is likely to remain closed for the near term.  Minnehaha Creek is flowing at 60 cubic feet per second. 

2. Questions from potential developers for 325 Blake Road are being collected for provision of collective answers.  Manager Miller asked that the Board be provided with the questions posed by potential developers.  Review of proposals is planned following May 5.  Staff is following up on partnership discussions with Hennepin County, Three Rivers Park District, and the Metropolitan Council.  A walking tour of the site with Commissioner LaTondresse is planned for late Spring. A public listening session was held on March 31, with about 30 people attending and providing diverse perspectives.  Common themes in this discussion were about an excitement for opportunities to interact with nature at the site.  A synthesis of the listening sessions and approximately 100 survey responses will be provided to the Board of Managers for an upcoming meeting. 

3. A walking tour of Arden Park is planned for April 27.

Adjournment

There being no further business, President White declared the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 7:53 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Maxwell, Secretary

 

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers