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June 10, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

June 10, 2021

 

CALL TO ORDER

The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:00 p.m. on June 10, 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  For this reason, until this determination is withdrawn by the District’s presiding officer, chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer, the meetings of the Board and its committees will be convened by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; Tom Dietrich, Cole Thompson; Anna Brown; Michael Hayman, Project Planning Manager; Gabe Sherman, Planner-Project Manager; Kim LaBo, ; 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 Hejmadi 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 Olson, seconded by Manager Miller, to approve the Consent Agenda consisting of approval of the May 27, 2021 Board minutes, and Resolution 21-040: Authorization to execute contract for Six Mile Marsh Prairie site survey as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the District Administrator, on advice of Counsel, to enter into a contract with Otto Associates for site survey of the Six Mile Marsh Prairie property, in an amount not to exceed the amount set forth in the proposal, and authorizes the Administrator to execute change orders in his discretion up to an additional 10 percent of the contract 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 reported that she recently met with Mayor Jason Gadd of Hopkins to prepare for the joint meeting to consider developers for 325 Blake Road.  She noted that their plan for the meeting will emphasize maximum equal input and foster collaborative decision making for the Board of Managers and City Council.  She thanked staff for organizing developer project tours yesterday.

Operations and Programs Committee Report:  Manager Loftus reported that the committee met earlier and received a staff briefing on the 2022 proposed budget, and a presentation from Mr. Smith of the White Paper #1 for the history project.

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

Permit 11-140G Amendment: Woodland Cove Lake 4th & 5th Additions, Minnetrista

Mr. Cole Thompson appeared before the Board of Managers to review the application for an amendment to Permit 11-140G.  He noted that this amendment would be for the 4th and 5th additions.  He reviewed the soil conditions, drainage and site constraints which have prohibited the best management practices in the original plan from functioning as intended.  Clay soils and seasonally high groundwater have dictated that the original plan for infiltration is not viable and instead the applicant proposes to use a stormwater irrigation reuse system.  The revised plan will still meet the requirements of the Stormwater Rule and results in no downstream impacts.  Upon a question from Manager Miller, Mr. Thompson reviewed the details concerning the absence of downstream impacts. 

Mr. David Newman appeared before the Board of Managers on behalf of the applicant, noted the site constraints, and thanked the staff for working through this revised plan.

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Maxwell to approve the permit amendment with the conditions recommended by staff.  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 21-041: Authorization to Distribute Capital Improvement Program for annual review and comment

Ms. Anna Brown appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  She explained that the District annually distributes its capital improvement program for review and comment and considers comments in the budget process.  She noted that this year’s program includes the Responsive Model approach to allow the District to consider new projects from community partners.  Ms. Brown also noted the revised format to reflect new planning tools and incorporation of a multi-year planning tool in the 2023 cycle. 

It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Sando to adopt Resolution 21-041: Authorization to distribute Capital Improvement Plan for annual review and comment as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes staff to distribute the Draft CIP for 30 day review and comment.

Upon a question from Manager Maxwell, Ms. Brown explained that no project has been dropped from the CIP but there have been some adjustments in timing of projects.  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 21-042:  CAC Assessment Final Recommendations

Mr. Wisker appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  He noted Kim LaBo’s involvement in this work along with Trevor Born.  He reviewed the phases of discovery and analysis to develop recommendations for the organization and scope of work for the Citizens Advisory Committee. 

It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Loftus to adopt Resolution 21-042 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby adopts the attached report as the operational direction for MCWD’S CAC and directs the District Administrator to take the actions necessary to implement the recommendations.

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 DISCUSSION ITEMS

Permitting Alignment

Mr. Tom Dietrich appeared before the Board of Managers to review the work to update the District’s regulatory program.  He noted three main areas of work: human resources, information technology, and rule revisions.  He explained that the focus at this meeting would be on rule revisions and related efforts.  Mr. Dietrich reviewed the key drivers for change in the regulatory program: 

  1. Rules are found onerous, not aligned with the standards of other agencies, the rule language is technically dense, and the rules are broad in scope, including regulation of some activities that are low risk;
  2. Compliance actions are constrained and lack a risk management framework;
  3. Applicants engage with the program late in the land use/development process; and
  4. The program is lacking an overall policy framework.

Mr. Dietrich discussed efforts to improve the regulatory program, including simplifying rule language; alignment of standards and elimination of overlap; early engagement; adding value through technical assistance and the responsive model; a refined compliance framework; and investment in staff.  He then turned to more detailed review of proposed changes to the erosion control, stormwater management, wetland protection and waterbody crossings rules.  The managers thanked Mr. Dietrich for this presentation.

Closed Session: 325 Blake Road Development

Mr. Michael Hayman and Mr. Gabe Sherman appeared before the Board of Managers and recommended going into closed session for the purpose of discussing the development of potential terms for the sale of 325 Blake Road in Hopkins.  It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Miller to move into closed session for the purpose of discussing the development of potential terms for the sale of 325 Blake Road in Hopkins.  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

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

STAFF UPDATES

Administrator’s Report

Mr. Wisker noted that he would be working to schedule a Board retreat in July or August and would circulate date options.

Adjournment

There being no further business, President White declared the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 11:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Maxwell, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers