|City of Birchwood Village
May 12, 2009 City Council Meeting
Mayor Wingfield called to order the May 12, 2009 Regular city Council meeting to order at 7:05 pm. Council members Brunner, Harper, Carson and City Clerk Tomnitz present. Jann absent.
Citizens present: Engineer Kristie Elfering, Herb and Kathy Weber, Sterling and Doris McKusick, Brian Lind, John Griffith, Dick Galena, Joe Prins, Ron Malles, Randy Lafoy, Doug Danks, Clint Dixon, Les Dahm John McCormick
Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Agenda
Harper moved to make changes to the agenda. Carson seconded. Motion carried.
Chad Peterson-Eagle Scout Project. Clerk Tomnitz read a thank you letter from Chad Peterson explaining what was planted and how the landscape project worked out.
Randy LaFoy recognized that scouts Chad Peterson and Jacob Cahill have participated in improving their City of Birchwood with their Eagle Scout projects. These are projects that we can enjoy for years to come and the City should acknowledge these two individuals. Council will send a thank you letter.
Sterling McKusick-404 Birchwood Avenue: Mr. McKusick commented on the replay of our April City Council meeting and that he was unable to view it. Mr. McKusick had e-mailed the City and was still expecting a reply. Clerk Tomnitz commented she was not aware the replay lasted all month and had taken he DVD out to view the last week of the month. Clerk Tomnitz apologized and noted that she should have followed through with a reply.
Ron Malles-420 Wildwood: Would like to show his support for Greg Donovan and Randy Lafoy-two candidates for Cable Commissioner. Mr. Malles also thanked them for their service to the community in the past. Also noted the government channel is available to citizens at no charge and is a good service to the community.
Judy Skiu-Vos: Clarified the government channel has been offered free to any citizen of Birchwood interested with access to cable, however with the new digital TV change coming, it will no longer be free.
WBLCD letter regarding Dellwood Dock Association dock placement
Brian Lind-Dock association representative: Mr. Lind passed out pamphlets to council containing plat maps, approval plans, pictures showing dock structures and relationships of neighboring docks, and dock alignment pages showing how alignment has been done in the past. This arrangement is what Mr. Lind believes has been agreed on for more than ten years. Mr. Lind is requesting another 16feet of dock be added to allow space for the boats. He is concerned that they have already given up four slips due to low water levels. Harper stated that the agenda item was to address complaint letter from WBCD regarding Mr. Sampair’s and Mr. Greeley’s dock placement. Mr. Lind clarified that he is asking council to revise application permit and to verify process for submitting amended application. Harper had Mr. Danks explain process of handling complaint. Mayor Wingfield asked what is city’s role in situation and clarification of measurements were needed. Couldn’t make recommendations with out further information. Regarding the complaint letter, six inches is in dispute. Mayor Wingfield hopes Conservation District will state six inches is minimal and doesn’t need further attention. Regarding the application amendment, Mr. Greeley wasn’t aware it would be discussed tonight as it was not on the agenda. Showed council a certified survey regarding parcel. Mayor Wingfield suggested the city could send representative to WBLCD to be heard regarding current dock placement and stated the immediate need is addressing the six inch issue. Suggested Mr. Greeley and Dellwood Dock Association try to work it out.
Harper moved that Carson will attend WBLCD to represent Birchwood Village. Brunner seconded. Motion carried.
Scott Howe-123 Cedar Street
Harper read prepared report regarding complaint of outdoor storage at 123 Cedar Street received March 31, 2009 and reminded council of past action regarding this address. Cited two relevant city codes and discussed property and city code requirements and potential violations. Mr. McCormick voiced concern with commercial vehicles in residential areas.
Harper moved to ask city clerk to send letter to Scott and Tracy Howe, residents at 123 Cedar Avenue requesting that they comply with the 2000 order of the city council to remove all exterior storage related to his business and to bring his property into compliance with the city code related to exterior storage. Specifically code 615.010 that requires all material and equipment to be stored within buildings or in the rear yard in a screened area as not to be visible from the adjourning properties, and 615.020 that requires any off street parking of correctly licensed and operational vehicles to be parked on a designated driveway or on open paved or gravel space located adjacent to a driveway or garage. Further, that the report of the investigation of the complaint be filed with the minutes of tonight’s meeting and further that a representative of the city council investigate in 10 days to determine if volunteer compliance has occurred and if not authorize the clerk to implement step number two in the enforcement procedures of the exterior storage code. Wingfield seconded. Motion carried.
Brunner moved that councilperson Harper do the follow up in 10 days following sending of letter by clerk and that councilperson Harper by letter or formal communication, notify clerk if there has not been volunteer compliance with the order of the council. Carson seconded, Motion carried.
Engineering search update
Clint Dixon gave update on engineer search. Have received 4 council responses to the request for Council’s priority characteristics and there is a strong consensus among responses so agreed to move forward with only 4 responses. Brunner asked if we can go forward in 2 weeks and will follow through with outline of priorities for candidate.
Mr. Dixon spoke regarding citizen Bob Manke’s interest in committee. Brunner and Harper will be on Finance Committee and will work on immediate issues and determine how to proceed. Dixon stated need for Finance Committee to have a charter and stated suggestions regarding charter and committee rules. Mayor Wingfield read e-mail regarding other municipality’s financial charters. Harper suggested committee to meet and review charter suggestions and priorities to bring before council for approval. Harper suggested committee is subject to open meeting laws and to post public notices regarding meeting times. Brunner suggests finance committee to discuss budget issues as well and asked for clarification of open meting laws. Brunner will look into the subject tomorrow.
Brunner moved to create Finance Committee of four with councilpersons Harper and Brunner, Clint Dixon and Bob Manke. Harper seconded. Motion carried.
Need a committee of four. Mayor Wingfield and Carson will volunteer and will look for 2 citizen volunteers.
Mayor Wingfield moved to form budget committee staff with Councilperson Carson, Mayor Wingfield and two citizens from community to be subject to approval by council at next council meeting. Carson seconded.
Harper suggested looking at a formal scope and charge to reduce overlap with finance committee and to be clear of direction of committee.
In Favor-Wingfield, Carson, Harper. Opposed-Brunner. Motion carried
Cable Commission Appointment
Randy Lafoy, Greg Donovan and Jim Greeley have expressed interest in the position and each spoke on their qualifications and experiences. Mr. Greeley believes he is current Cable Commissioner as he was Alternate Commissioner prior to the removal of the previous Commissioner and suggested filling the Alternate position. Mayor Wingfield discussed what the candidate would do for Birchwood and that they have a unique opportunity with regards to access to free cable. She would have liked to have known about the free cable opportunity earlier and wants better communication in the future. She believes the issue regarding the opening of the Cable Commissioner position has previously been dealt with. Harper stated that she had never heard from the commission regarding services and opportunities that were available.
Carson moved to have Greg Donovan represent Birchwood as new Cable Commissioner. Harper seconded.
Brunner clarified process of appointment.
In favor-Wingfield, Harper, Carson. Opposed-Brunner. Motion carried.
Wingfield moved to appoint Randy LaFoy as alternate Cable Commissioner. Harper seconded.
Mayor Wingfield noted the decision is not political.
In favor-Wingfield, Harper, Carson. Opposed-Brunner. Motioned carried.
Mailbox- City has a new mailbox with donated post from Tomnitz.
Accounting software-Quickbooks pro has been purchased with a payroll program and is in the process of being set up.
April bills-salaries were previously paid and adjustments were made.
Paving at Cedar/Birchwood Ave-Wingfield asked Mr. Brunner as Road Commissioner to get quotes regarding repair. Brunner asked Engineer Elfering to provide thickness and other specifics needed for bids.
Harper moved to authorize Brunner to work with clerk to seek bids to patch Cedar and Birchwood water main break area and pursue work with lowest bid. Mayor Wingfield seconded. Motion carried.
Mr. Galena-Chairman of White Bear Lake Firework Committee requested contribution of $200.00 from Birchwood Village towards the cost of their Fourth of July Pyro-Tech Display with band and fireworks. Mayor Wingfield felt it should be supported by citizen volunteers and contributions rather than governments. Mr. Galena felt is very important that every community contribute for the spirit of community within the WBL area. Harper doesn’t believe that it is a great cost for the community’s enjoyment.
Brenner moved to approve giving $200.00 for the fireworks. Harper seconded. In favor-Harper, Brenner, Carson. Opposed-Wingfield. Motion carried.
Office staffing-Need to move forward to staff office with city clerk. Wingfield believes it is time to post opening as a permanent part time position. Duties include but are not limited to; filing data with government agencies, budgeting, posting public notices, taking of minutes, and budgeting. Qualifications, experience needed, pay and hours were discussed. Will be put on June agenda to discuss further.
Mayor Wingfield moved that council would authorize Carson and Wingfield to come up with a request for application for a permanent part time city clerk and have it posted with the League of Minnesota Cities and come back to review applications with a formulashould this be recommendation at a workshop to be determined. Carson seconded. Motion carried.
Clerk Salary-comparable salaries for clerk positions were discussed.
Mayor Wingfield moved to increase the temporary clerk salary to $18.00/hour until a permanent clerk is hired. Harper seconded. In favor- Wingfield, Harper, Carson. Opposed-Brunner. Motion carried.
Hall cleaning-Is time for contract renewal with Mr Lauzon for the cleaning of city hall. Mayor Wingfield would like to post the position opening for $20.00/hour rather than the $300.00/month for 2 cleanings.
Harper moved to solicit bids for hall cleaning using the June newsletter to post the request.
Wingfield seconded. Motion carried.
Request for City Attorney to appear at future council meetings was discussed.
Harper moved to ask City Attorney to be at future city council meetings. Mayor Wingfield seconded.
Brunner feels need to have attorney available on request only.
Brunner called a question. In favor- Wingfield, Carson, Harper. Opposed-Brunner. Motion Approved.
White Bear will help clerk with utility billing for the city at no charge.
Mayor Wingfield discussed free cable access and permit requirements for cable hook up. Discussed having clerk authorize permits rather than the city engineer to save money or interpreting code as relating to new subdivisions rather than individual homes. Engineer Elfering stated she had not received permit request unless it was an underground construction.
Mayor Wingfield moved to authorize city clerk to process any permits submitted by Comcast for cable connections. Carson seconded.
The need for permits was discussed. Engineer Elfering clarified that no request had ever been received from Comcast for cable hook up. Only underground work was needed. She clarified that a letter she sent to council was regarding underground work, not new service.
Mayor Wingfield withdrew motion. Carson seconded. Motion withdrawn.
Brunner- Audit Update. Have received no return phone calls to date. Will refer item to Finance Committee.
Carson- Parks Committee. Have received 21 applications and will put together a list of 9 people for discussion at June meeting.
Harper- Received letter from WB requesting representative for boat tour on June 18. Harper will attend.
Harper-RCWD public hearing is May 13, 2009 at 9:00am. regarding gaining preliminary grant approval to install 3 catch basins this year. Council attendance is requested. Harper will attend. A requirement of grant approval is posting two educational articles. Harper asked council to give Engineer Elfering authority to write the articles with the first one being due by May 20th if approved. Mayor Wingfield asked if it was possible to have Randy Lafoy write the letter since he was instrumental in the grant process. Due to the time frame, there it was not feasible to have him write it.
Harper moved to authorize Engineer Elfering to write article regarding catch basin instillation for newsletter provided grant is approved from RCWD. Brunner seconded. Motion carried.
Harper-Recycling grant. Community receives annual grant from Washington County for $1500.00. Will have additional $179 for educational material that is sent out. May 15th is the deadline for application.
Harper moved that the council authorizes Harper to submit application ASAP. Wingfield seconded. Motion carried.
Harper-Comprehensive Plan. She looked into status of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and it was submitted in November of 2008. In December council had received letter from the Met Council stating the Plan is incomplete. The corrected version needs to be submitted. Engineer Elfering stated the work had been done and council just needs to meet with representative Lisa. Clerk will call representative and ask to review revised Comprehensive Plan.
Harper- Code of Conduct is tabled until June meeting.
Minutes tabled until June.
Bills. Corrections made and items clarified. Clerk will contact Recycling and Garbage regarding fees and services
Wingfield moved to approve bills with corrections. Brunner seconded. Motion carried.
Brenner moved to adjourn meeting. Carson seconded. Motion carried. Meeting Adjourned at 10:07pm.
Ry-Chel Gaustad, CMC (Drafted by Mary Tomnitz)