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June 24, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

June 24, 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 24, 2021 at the MCWD Office, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.  President White welcomed everyone to the District’s first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.  President White read a statement explaining that she has determined that it is no longer imprudent or impractical to hold meetings in person due to the pandemic, and accordingly she has withdrawn her declaration of March 20, 2020 providing the basis for meeting electronically pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 13D.021.

MANAGERS PRESENT

Sherry White, William Olson, Richard Miller, Jessica Loftus, Eugene Maxwell, Arun Hejmadi and Steve Sando.

DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT

James Wisker, Administrator; Alex Steele, GIS Technician; Deb Johnson, Office Manager; Michael Hayman, Project Planning Manager; Gabe Sherman, Planner-Project Manager; and Louis Smith, District Counsel.

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR

None.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Sando to approve the Agenda as distributed.  Upon vote, the motion carried 7-0.

CONSENT AGENDA

It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Hejmadi, to approve the Consent Agenda consisting of approval of the June 10, 2021 Board minutes, the General Checking Account consisting of checks 41562 through 41589 in the amount of $354,724.21; electronic funds withdrawals in the amount of $37,607.42; manager per diems and reimbursement direct deposits in the amount of $3,759.52; employee reimbursements - direct deposits in the amount of $93.00; and payroll direct deposits in the amount of $157,375.93; for Total General Checking expenses of $553,560.08; the surety checking account bank service charge of $30.00; and electronic fund transfer of $56,100.00 for 325 Blake Road refinance; and adoption of the following resolutions:

Resolution 21-043: Authorization to Issue RFP for Accounting Services as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes staff to release the request for proposal for accounting services;

Resolution 21-044: Authorization to Release the 2020 MS4 Annual Report to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers accepts the 2020 MS4 Annual Report and authorizes its release to the MPCA;

Resolution 21-045: Approval to Purchase Replacement Laptops and Firewall as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby approves the purchase of 8 replacement laptops for an amount not to exceed $12,636.59; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby approves the purchase of replacement firewall, licenses and installation fees for an amount not to exceed $7,689.01; and

Resolution 21-046: Authorizing Administrator to Commit District Funds to Complete Carp Removal as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes the District administrator to commit additional district funds to complete carp removal if required in the event of a government shutdown, in an amount not to exceed $25,000.

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 7-0.

BOARD, COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCE REPORTS

President’s Report:  President White acknowledged the joint meeting with the Hopkins City Council on June 17 and thanked the managers and staff for a successful meeting.  She noted that this project will be discussed later in the agenda, but she was encouraged that the City had a strong desire to proceed with the Alatus proposal and was willing to commit to address the District’s concerns for risks in the proposal.

Upcoming Meeting and Event Schedule:  President White directed the managers to the meetings listed on the agenda. 

BOARD DISCUSSION ITEMS

325 Blake Road Planning Discussion

Mr. Michael Hayman and Mr. Gabe Sherman appeared before the Board of Managers and provided a design status update and review of the outcome of the June 17 joint meeting of the Board of Managers and the Hopkins City Council.  Mr. Hayman noted the upcoming virtual meeting and in-person event, and the design charette planned for July 13-14.  Upon questions from Managers Loftus and Hejmadi, Mr. Hayman explained the follow up on the listening sessions and the process now moving into explicit design components.  In response to a question from Manager Loftus, Mr. Hayman reviewed the status of HDR’s work and the adjustments to their scope of services.  Manager Loftus expressed concern that there was not a parallel track in development planning scenarios.  Mr. Wisker noted that staff would reflect on the need to align expectations on deliverables and progress reports. 

Mr. Hayman reviewed the key outcomes of the joint board-council meeting.  He noted a unanimous decision to select Alatus as the developer, and Wellington as the alternate, and key considerations with the city council being that the Alatus purchase price of $11.25 million is firm, to be paid in two phases of $8 million and $3.25 million; the city will not rely on the purchase price to address any financial gaps, but rather use tax increment finance or other subsidy tools; and long term operations and maintenance of the public realm at the site would be funded through shared contributions of the city, developer, and MCWD, with MCWD’s contribution focused in its remaining parcel and water resource related facilities.  Mr. Hayman further noted the discussion of the Joint Liaisons Group remaining engaged in the process. 

Closed Session: 325 Blake Road Development, Hopkins

Mr. Hayman 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 reported on the following items:

1. Staff is engaging in development of options with the landowner at the site of the MCWD County Road 6 pond;

  2. The City of Richfield has agreed to complete a process of evaluating the need for substantial modifications to the Taft Legion alum dosing facility by the end of this year;

3. Lake Minnetonka is currently at 928.87” and will soon hit the runout elevation; 75% of Minnesota is currently in a drought; and the upper watershed streams draining into Lake Minnetonka are dry;

4. The board retreat is planned for July 26 from 6-9 p.m.

Mr. Wisker thanked the Board of Managers for support of the District’s mission, noting that today was his 40th birthday.  The managers expressed warm birthday wishes to Mr. Wisker.

Adjournment

There being no further business, President White declared the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 8:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Maxwell, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers