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September 28th, 2017 Board of Managers Minutes





September 28, 2017




The regular meeting of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers was called to order by President Sherry White at 6:56 p.m. on September 28, 2017, at the MCWD offices, 15320 Minnetonka Boulevard, Minnetonka, Minnesota.



Sherry White, Brian Shekleton, Richard Miller, Kurt Rogness, William Olson, and Jessica Loftus.



Bill Becker.



Lars Erdahl, Administrator; James Wisker, Planning and Projects Director; Becky Christopher, Lead Planner-Project Manager; Chris Meehan, District Consulting Engineer; and Louis Smith, District Counsel.








It was moved by Manager Loftus, seconded by Manager Miller, to approve the agenda as distributed.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 4-0 (Managers Shekleton and Rogness absent for vote). 




It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Olson to approve the items on the Consent Agenda as follows: approval of the minutes of the September 14, 2017 meeting of the Board of Managers; approval of the general checking account, checks numbered 38491 to 38571 for a total of $210,009.83,  payroll direct deposits of $239,064.56 and approve electronic fund withdrawals totaling $2,648,706.77 for total expenses of $3,097,781.16, and surety account check registers, as well as acceptance of the 325 Blake Road checking account; and adoption of the following resolutions:

Resolution 17-060: Authorization to execute a second amendment to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Gateway Knollwood, LLC


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the District Administrator is authorized to execute an agreement amendment to extend the date to substantially complete the stormwater management facilities, and to execute and record a perpetual maintenance instrument for those facilities, to November 17, 2017


Upon vote, the motion carried, 4-0 (Managers Shekleton and Rogness absent for vote).




President's Report


President White reported that she attended the prairie see collection event, and the State of the Lake event with Friends of the Mississippi River; both were very successful events.  President White noted that Managers Becker and Olson had completed their service as board liaisons for the human resources strategic planning process, and thanked them for their service.


Operations and Programs Committee Report


Manager Loftus reported on the Operations and Programs Committee meeting held earlier in the evening (Managers Rogness and Shekleton arrived at this point in the meeting, 7:01 p.m.).  The OPC Committee reviewed file storage and record retention issues in relation to the transition planned at the Cold Storage facility, affirming that the District's existing record retention policy provides appropriate guidance.  Managers are invited to forward to Mr. Erdahl any suggestions for policy resolutions to be considered by the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts.  The Committee reviewed the status of implementation of the human resources strategic plan and affirmed with confidence that it will be implemented well and in a timely manner.  The Committee also reviewed several banking issues.


President White noted the upcoming meeting schedule listed on the agenda.


Southwest LRT Community Works Blake Road Subcommittee


Manager Miller reported that the Blake Road Subcommittee met on September 25.  The meeting included a review of the various studies that inform multiple projects in this area.  A draft request for qualifications for a master developer will be prepared for the October 12 board meeting and then reviewed by the City of Hopkins and the Subcommittee at the end of October. 



Resolution 17-061: Authorization of Comment Responses for Watershed Management Plan


Ms. Becky Christopher appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the request for board action to authorize responses to comments received by the District during the 60 day review period for the Watershed Management Plan.  Ms. Christopher noted that 34 letters were received and reflected strong support for the substance of the Plan, suggestions for minor technical or textual revisions, and the need for clarification on several policy issues.  Ms. Christopher summarized the comments and the major policy issues reflected in the comments, along with recommended responses as set forth in the request for board action. 


In response to a question from Manager Olson, Ms. Christopher explained that each commenting party would receive a letter, along with a table that summarized all comments and responses.  In response to a question from Manager Miller, Ms. Christopher explained that although the District does not consider alum treatment and carp removal to be capital improvement projects, the District typically follows project procedures. 


Ms. Christopher noted several edits to Resolution 17-061, noting that a public hearing will be held on October 12, and on October 25 the District will release an updated draft of the plan for 90 day review. 


There being no further discussion, it was moved by Manager Rogness, seconded by Manager Olson, to adopt Resolution 17-061 as follows:


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers authorizes staff to distribute the comment responses, including any final non-substantive edits.


Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0. 




Carver County Finance Agreement Draft Review


Mr. James Wisker appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the background leading to a draft finance agreement with Carver County to support the funding of projects in the Six Mile Creek – Halsted Bay subwatershed.  Mr. Wisker noted that the Carver County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to approve this agreement on October 17, and that staff is seeking approval of the Board of Managers to advance this agreement to the October 12 meeting for final Board action.


Following discussion, it was moved by Manager Rogness, seconded by Manager Olson, to advance the Master Finance Agreement with Carver County to the agenda of the October 12 meeting of the Board of Managers for final action.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0. 




Mr. Erdahl reported on the following items:


  1. Consistent with earlier Board direction, Mr. Erdahl requested a motion for the Board to approve an opening deposit in the Surety Savings Account at Alerus Financial.  It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Rogness, to direct the Administrator to make an opening deposit that maintains a balance of $25,000 in the Surety Checking account, with the balance to be transferred to the new Surety Savings account.  Since the MCWD Board of Managers approves any and all payments issued from the Surety Checking account, the District Administrator would request transfers between Surety Checking and Savings accounts as needed.  Account balances are monitored online and also via monthly statement.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0.
  2. Mr. Erdahl attended the meeting of the Minnesota Association of Watershed Administrators in Fergus Falls and reviewed plans for the upcoming annual conference, the status of the search for a new MAWD executive director, and plans for the Summer Tour in 2018. 
  3. The Edina City Council recently voted 4-0 to approve the concept plan and partner with the District on the Arden Park Project.  The Board will hold a public hearing on October 12, followed by consideration to approve the project agreement and authorize the contract for design services.
  4. The Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council met on September 28 to allocate funding recommendations, and $567,000 was recommended for the District's project to manage carp in the Six Mile Creek – Halsted Bay Subwatershed, which represents 71% of the funding requested.  The staff will work on a revised project budget, and the Legislature will make final funding allocations in the 2018 legislative session. 
  5. MCWD staff are monitoring and assisting with local partners as zebra mussels have been detected in Lake Harriet and Lake Minnewashta. 
  6. Approximately 35 people attended the Prairie Seed Collection event at Six Mile Marsh Prairie.  The District will move the celebration of Public Lands Day to Minnehaha Falls, where Wilderness Inquiry will host guided tours.  The 50th Anniversary Sunset Celebration will be held on November 2.
  7. In response to a question from President White, Mr. Erdahl noted that Manager Loftus and Mr. Erdahl met with Gabriel Jabbour to follow ongoing discussions about Big Island.


The managers thanked Mr. Erdahl for his report.


Closed Session ? DEED Unemployment Claim


Mr. Smith requested that the Board go into closed executive session for the purpose of receiving legal advice on litigation strategy and possible settlement on an unemployment compensation claim from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic DevelopmentIt was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Rogness, to authorize a closed session as requested.  Upon vote, the motion carried, 6-0.  The Board of Managers went into closed session.




There being no further business, the meeting of the Board of Managers was adjourned at 8:45 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,


Kurt Rogness, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers