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May 13, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

May 13, 2021

 

CALL TO ORDER

The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:15 p.m. on May 13, 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  For this reason, until this determination is withdrawn by the District’s presiding officer, chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer, the meetings of the Board and its committees will be convened by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; Trevor Born, Outreach Manager; Michael Hayman, Project Planning Manager; Gabe Sherman, Planner-Project Manager; Laura Domyancich-Lee, Planner-Project Manager; Kate Moran, Policy Planning Manager; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; and Louis Smith, District Counsel.

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR

None.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

President White noted that Item 11.2 of the agenda, concerning the 54th St Streambank Investigation, would be pulled from the agenda as noted in the Operations and Programs Committee report.  It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Miller to approve the Agenda with this revision.  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 April 22, 2021 Board minutes.

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 participated in Manager Sando’s orientation and a meeting of the 325 Blake Road liaisons.

Operations and Programs Committee Report:  Manager Loftus reported that the committee met earlier and received a staff briefing on the Lake Nokomis Groundwater and Surface Water Evaluation, a three-year, multi-agency study.  The staff reviewed the draft white paper which will undergo third party review and be finalized in the next few months.  Manager Loftus also noted that the Committee added to its agenda the discussion of the proposed contract for 54th Street Streambank Investigation, and the Committee directed that the staff reframe this project as a pilot demonstration of the Responsive Model and bring it back for future board consideration.  Manager Loftus further noted that the first quarter financial report was generally uneventful, but that more discussion may be warranted upon receiving the second quarter report.

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 21-034: Authorization to Execute Contract for Six Mile Marsh Prairie Trail and Interpretation Design

Ms. Laura Domyancich-Lee appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the request for board action.  She noted that the District received eight proposals and interviewed three firms.  Staff recommends the selection of Damon Farber for the reasons set forth in the staff memo.  

It was moved by Manager Sando, seconded by Manager Hejmadi to adopt Resolution  21-034 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the

District Administrator, on advice of Counsel, to enter into a contract with Damon Farber Landscape Architects for design, engineering, and communications services for the design of the Six Mile Marsh Prairie Trail and Interpretation, 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 a question from Manager Miller, Ms. Domyancich-Lee note that no board walks are intended for this project as the trail will be located entirely on upland.  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 21-036: Authorization to Execute a Contract with Stantec for Outreach Support

Mr. James Wisker reviewed the request for board action, noting that will staff transition, additional support for outreach services is needed and Stantec is able to provide the described services.

It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Hejmadi to adopt Resolution 21-036 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes the District Administrator, on the advice of counsel, to execute a contract with Stantec to provide outreach services in an amount not to exceed $48,703.

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

Mr. Trevor Born appeared before the Board of Managers to review recommendations on realignment of the work of the Citizens Advisory Committee.  He noted that this is the fourth phase of review of the CAC’s work, focusing on operational considerations based on the CAC’s value proposition.  He reviewed each recommendation concerning scope of work, meeting frequency and schedule, content planning, preparation materials, and information flow between the CAC and the Board of Managers. 

Upon a question from Manager Hejmadi, Mr. Born noted that input and advice from the CAC could be memorialized and included in the Board’s meeting packet.  Upon a question from Manager Maxwell, Mr. Born explained the thought behind trying a CAC meeting time of 4 p.m. Managers noted with approval the idea of staggering two year terms for CAC members.  Upon a question from Manager Hejmadi, Mr. Born noted plans for specific outreach to BIPOC communities.  The managers thanked Mr. Born for his work and wished him good luck in his adventures ahead.

STAFF UPDATES

325 Blake Road Listening Session Findings and Developer Engagement Update

Mr. Gabe Sherman and Mr. Michael Hayman appeared before the Board of Managers to provide an update on the listening session findings and engagement to date with potential site developers.  Mr. Sherman reviewed the listening session findings in detail.  Upon a question from Manager Loftus, Mr. Sherman and Mr. Hayman reviewed the removal of some trees from the site related to light rail transit construction. 

Mr. Hayman reviewed the process to date in requesting proposals from developers; five proposals were received.  Manager Loftus expressed a hope that selection would consider the “triple bottom line” of social, economic and environmental considerations.  Upon a question from Manager Sando, Mr. Sherman noted that groundbreaking is expected in 2022.  Managers Maxwell and Miller expressed their thanks and support for the thorough staff work to date.  Manager Loftus expressed her appreciation for the dual track approach to consider private and public development on parallel tracks. 

Administrator’s Report

Mr. Wisker reported on the following items: 

 1. The Gray’s Bay dam is open, but with a dry forecast, flow from the dam is likely to be low. 

2. The alum treatment a Lake Wassermann began today. 

3. Work on the strategic review project continues.  Mr. Smith is working on the history research for development of the first white paper. 

4. Mr. Wisker is working on planning for return to work as the pandemic subsides.  Current plans are for staff to work through a hybrid model through the summer months, with some in office work that involves masks and social distancing.  Discussions will continue for the CAC, which currently prefers to meet remotely, and plans for returning to in person board meetings.

Adjournment

There being no further business, President White declared the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 9:44 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Maxwell, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers