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May 27, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

May 27, 2021

 

CALL TO ORDER

The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was called to order by President Sherry White at 7:10 p.m. on May 27, 2021. President White noted that this meeting was convened electronically through Zoom, 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 For this reason, until this determination is withdrawn by the District’s presiding officer, chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer, the meetings of the Board and its committees will be convened by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:            Absent

Sando:             Present

Miller: Present

Olson:              Present

Maxwell:         Present

White:             Present

DISTRICT STAFF AND CONSULTANTS PRESENT

James Wisker, Administrator; Alex Steele, GIS Coordinator; Tom Langer, Aquatic Ecologist; Anna Brown, Planner – Project Manager; Kate Moran, Policy Planning Coordinator; Becky Christopher, Policy Planning Manager; Chris Meehan, Consulting Engineer; Louis Smith, Counsel.

MATTERS FROM THE FLOOR

None.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Sando to approve the agenda as distributed.  Upon roll call vote, the motion carried 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

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 May 13, 2021 board meeting minutes;  the General Checking Account consisting of checks 41538 through 41561 in the amount of $332,694.74; electronic funds withdrawals in the amount of $36,159.62; manager per diems and reimbursement direct deposits in the amount of $3,662.73; employee reimbursements - direct deposits in the amount of $440.80; and payroll direct deposits in the amount of $158,623.83; for Total General Checking expenses of $531,581.72; the surety checking account bank service charge of $30.00; and electronic fund transfer of $190,012.50 for land conservation finance; and adoption of the following resolution:

Resolution 21-037: Authorization to Trade in One Vehicle and Purchase a New Vehicle

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers approves the trade-in of one District vehicle towards the purchase of a new vehicle of similar make and model, and authorizes the District Administrator to sign the dealership purchase order reflecting same with a not to exceed price of $17,171.42.

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller: Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

REGULAR AGENDA

Board, Committee and Task Force Reports

President’s Report: President White reported that five developers were interviewed for the 325 Blake Road project, and three will be recommended for the joint meeting of the Hopkins City Council and the Board of Managers for consideration.  President White also noted her participation in legislative outreach meetings to support the District’s application to the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources.   

Citizens Advisory Committee Report: President White reported that she attended the most recent CAC meeting and the focus of discussion was the report of recommendations for the CAC’s scope of work.  She noted that some CAC members were concerned that the changes could mean that the CAC provides less value and that members of the CAC could see a decline in their working relationships with each other.

Policy and Planning Committee Report: Manager Miller reported that the Committee heard a presentation from Mr. Wisker concerning an overview of the 2022 budget, noting that the proposal is for a zero increase in the annual tax levy and that the process is on a comfortable schedule.

President White reviewed the upcoming schedule of meetings as noted in the agenda.

Action Items

Resolution 21-038: Authorization of Microsoft 365 Migration and

Implementation Services 

Mr. Alex Steele appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the request for board action.  He explained the purpose and benefits of migrating from a server to Microsoft 365.  He discussed the general security precautions, and that there is not a concern for compatibility with other District software which will be maintained on the server.

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Olson to adopt Resolution 21-038 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby authorizes vendor services for the migration and implementation of Microsoft 365 for an amount not to exceed $17,385.00.

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller: Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

Resolution 21-039: Authorization to Contract for 2021 Box Netting in

Parley Lake

Mr. Tom Langer and Ms. Anna Brown appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action. 

It was moved by Manager Olson, seconded by Manager Miller to adopt Resolution 21-039 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that on the basis of the specific experience of Carp Solutions, LLC, and the finding of District staff that the contract fee is competitive, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers finds it appropriate to authorize a professional services contract with that firm without competitive process;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Administrator is authorized, on advice of counsel, to execute a contract with Carp Solutions, LLC, for services to remove common carp in Parley Lake within the Six Mile Creek‐Halsted Bay

Subwatershed, consistent with the Lessard‐Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Grant Accomplishment Plan, in an amount not to exceed $44,900. 

Upon a question from Manager Maxwell, Ms. Brown described communications planning for the project so that the public may learn about its success.  Upon a question from Manager Sando, Mr. Langer noted the market for carp, and the role of aeration and barriers to prevent a resurgence in the carp population.  Upon a question from Manager Miller, Mr. Langer reviewed the data collection process and multiple surveys to develop confidence in the data about the carp population.  Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller: Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

Resolution 021-035: Authorization to Execute a Contract for 54th Street Streambank Investigation

Ms. Kate Moran appeared before the Board of Managers to review the request for board action.  She noted that the City of Edina has requested technical assistance from the District to

investigate concerns with streambank stability and the formation of a sandbar within Minnehaha Creek located downstream of the West 54th Street bridge.  She noted from the earlier committee discussion that the managers felt this project is best positioned as a pilot demonstration of the District’s responsive model, developing potential projects in response to partner requests.  Discussions to date have affirmed that any future requests for MCWD funding relating to this project would be evaluated separately. 

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Hejmadi to adopt Resolution 21-035 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the MCWD Board of Managers hereby authorizes the District Administrator, on the advice of counsel, to enter into an agreement with the City as necessary to formalize the City's $7,000 contribution to the study cost, and to enter into a contract with Inter-Fluve for the 54th Street Streambank Investigation for an amount not to exceed $38,600.

Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller: Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

Board Discussion Items

MAWD Recommendations for Watershed-Based Implementation Funding

Ms. Becky Christopher appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed policy discussions that the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts has had with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources concerning watershed-based allocation of Clean Water funds.  Ms. Christopher noted that MAWD recommends that funding be distributed to organizations with state approved comprehensive multiyear 103B watershed management plans that deliver on multijurisdictional priorities at a watershed scale.  In response to a question from Manager Miller, Ms. Christopher stated that MAWD’s recommendation would result in funding being more stable and predictable. Mr. Wisker stated that he felt MAWD’s recommendation reflected a strong position, especially in contrast to the past approach of BWSR. 

Following discussion, it as moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Olson that the staff prepare a letter supporting the MAWD recommendation for review by legal counsel and signature by President White.  Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller: Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

COVID-19 Return to Work Discussion

Mr. Wisker reviewed his memo providing a framework for returning to work in a phased approach.  Following discussion, the managers expressed support for Mr. Wisker’s approach for staff and also stated that managers would be ready to return to in-person meetings after July 1.  It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Sando to express the Board’s support for Mr. Wisker’s return to work framework as set forth in his memorandum.  Upon roll call vote, the motion carried, 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:            Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller: Aye

Olson:              Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

Staff Updates

Administrator’s Report

Mr. Wisker reported on the following items: 

  - Staff is continuing to work with Mr. Carlson on outreach to the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources concerning the District’s application for a 2D model.

- Staff continues to work on the developer selection process for the 325 Blake Road project, and as President White noted, three developers were selected for presentation to a joint meeting of the Hopkins City Council and the Board of Managers.  Mr. Wisker expressed his appreciation to the managers for their engagement in this process.

- Lake Minnetonka is at 929.28 and the Gray’s Bay dam was opened on May 14, though discharge is minimal, and the Creek is flowing about 115 cubic feet per second at Hiawatha.

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Maxwell

Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers