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September 9, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF

THE MINNEHAHA CREEK WATERSHED DISTRICT

BOARD OF MANAGERS

 

September 9, 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 September 9, 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 For this reason, until this determination is withdrawn by the District’s presiding officer, chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer, the meetings of the Board and its committees will be convened by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; Helen Schnoes, Outreach Manager; Erin Manlick Permitting Assistant; 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 6-0 as follows:

Hejmadi:         Aye

Loftus:             Absent

Sando:             Aye

Miller:             Aye

Olson:             Aye

Maxwell:         Aye

White:             Aye

INFORMATION ITEMS/CORRESPONDENCE

Staff Introduction

Mr. Wisker introduced Ms. Helen Schnoes, the District’s new Outreach Manager.  Ms. Schnoes appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed her background and experience.  The managers welcomed Ms. Schnoes to the MCWD.

CONSENT AGENDA

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Hejmadi, to approve the Consent Agenda consisting of approval of the August 26, 2021 Board minutes, and Resolution 21-056: Amendment to the 2021 Budget  as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby amends the 2021 budget as follows:

• Capital Finance (fund 2004) – increase of $118,097 (from $2,713,750 to $2,831,750)

• Outreach Program (fund 4002) – decrease of $118,097 (from $519,344 to $401,247)

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, COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCE REPORTS

President’s Report:  President White noted that the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts is planning its 50th anniversary observance; MCWD was an original founding member of MAWD.  She further noted that the City of Orono is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Big Island Nature Park, and MCWD staff have continued to coordinate with Orono to assure consistency with the MCWD’s conservation easement at Big Island.

Operations and Programs Committee Report:  Manager Olson reported that the committee met earlier and received a briefing from Ms. Kate Moran on the opportunity updates under the pilot phase of the Responsive Program.  She reviewed three potential projects and further review is planned.

Upcoming Meeting and Event Schedule:  President White directed the managers to the meetings listed on the agenda, noting that the District will be meeting on the first and third Thursdays of October, and all meetings will be conducted remotely. 

ACTION ITEMS

Adoption of the 2022 Budget and Certification of the 2022 Tax Levy

Mr. Wisker appeared before the Board of Managers and reviewed the annual budget development process.  He recommended the Board adopt two resolutions, one concerning the 2022 budget and work plan, and the other concerning the adoption of the 2022 tax levy.

Resolution 21-059: Adoption of the 2022 Budget and Workplan, and Notice of November 18, 2021 Public Meeting

It was moved by Manager Miller, seconded by Manager Olson to adopt Resolution 21-059 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby adopts the 2022 budget of $15,027,532, and associated workplans and fund transfers, presented to the Board of September 9, 2021.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board of Managers hereby announces a public meeting for further comment on the 2022 budget, scheduled for November 18, 2021.

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 21-060: Certified 2022 Tax Levy

It was moved by Manager Maxwell, seconded by Manager Miller to adopt Resolution 21-060 as follows:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Secretary, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, shall certify to the Auditors of Hennepin and Carver Counties, in amounts bearing the same proportion to the total levy as the net tax capacity of the area of county within the watershed bears to the net tax capacity of the entire watershed district, the following sums to be raised by a levy on all taxable property in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Number 3 for the year 2022 and the purposes noted below.

2022 Levy: $9,675,993 for the purpose of paying the cost of watershed management and implementation as provided by Minnesota Statutes, Sections 103B.241 and 103B.251.

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

Permit 18-153: LifeTime Fitness Regional Stormwater Planning Update

Ms. Erin Manlick appeared before the Board of Managers and the background for Permit 18-153, including the Alternative Stormwater Management Agreement that came from the process to approve a variance from the District’s stormwater management requirements.  The District agreed to use its capacities to identify and implement regional stormwater management to provide an equivalent amount of stormwater treatment that would have been achieved on-site. Under the Agreement, the Applicant agreed to bear the cost of these stormwater facilities, provided that the identification and analysis of potential projects was conducted by the District.  Ms. Manlick reviewed the District engineer’s analysis of various site options within the Twin Lakes subwatershed (labeled MC-101 in the District’s Watershed Management Plan), and also the Lamplighter subwatershed (MC-100) directly west of Twin Lakes. Lamplighter is a formerly landlocked area that discharges into Twin Lakes by means of a pump station. She noted that the District engineer considers Lamplighter as functionally a part of the Twin Lakes subwatershed.  Ms. Manlick explained that a manufactured treatment device (MTD) proposed to provide filtration at the Lamplighter Pond lift station is considered the most viable option of those considered. City staff support this option due to its accessibility, low-risk location, and alignment with the City’s Local Water Management Plan goals.

Ms. Manlick recommended as next steps the engagement of the District engineer in a feasibility analysis of the proposed project, and engagement with LifeTime Fitness to review these developments and the recommended project option.  In response to questions from Manager Miller, Ms. Manlick reviewed the estimated phosphorus removal and the challenges with finding any site to accommodate infiltration.  Manager Olson stated that he was pleased that this site could provide the phosphorus treatment.  In response to a question from President White, Ms. Manlick noted that any tree removal at the site would need to comply with the St. Louis Park tree replacement ordinance. 

Mr. Smith noted the location of the Lamplighter site and its connection to the Twin Lakes subwatershed, indicating that it would be logical and prudent to review this situation with LifeTime Fitness.  Manager Hejmadi and Manager Miller affirmed the value of a good working relationship with LifeTime in this and other potential collaborations.  Mr. Wisker stated that the District’s best practice is to keep LifeTime engaged and informed about these project developments.  The managers concurred with this approach and the recommended next steps, and also expressed their appreciation to Ms. Manlick for excellent work on this project. 

STAFF UPDATES

Administrator’s Report

Mr. Wisker reported on the following items: 

1. Lake Minnetonka is at 928.3, or 0.3 feet below the runout elevation.  Minnehaha Creek is flowing at 2 cubic feet per second.  Precipitation in the metro area is now 3.3 inches below normal, and Minnehaha Creek is flowing at 6 cfs at Hiawatha. 

2. Mr. Wisker shared the sad news of the unexpected passing of Craig Churchward, the landscape architect leading the design process for the MCWD’s improvements at 325 Blake Road.  Managers Miller and Hejmadi suggested preparation of a resolution honoring Mr. Churchward’s contributions to the District and the 325 Blake Road project.  Mr. Wisker said that staff and counsel would prepare such a resolution.  He noted also that Alatus is reviewing the purchase agreement and preliminary development agreement, and the City of Hopkins took action on August 17 to advance the tax increment finance process. 

3. Mr. Wisker noted that the MCWD staff, along with representatives of the Three Rivers Park District, Hennepin County, the Department of Natural Resources, and Lake Minnetonka Conservation District attended a meeting of bay captains in the Lake Minnetonka Association concerning vegetation management.  The agencies were largely observers in the meeting, and a summary of the meeting is expected to be forthcoming. 

Adjournment

There being no further business, President White declared the meeting of the Board of Managers adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Eugene Maxwell, Secretary

Minutes Type: 
Board of Managers