Tricounty News

CRWD Minutes Meeting Dec. 11, 2013

UNOFFICIAL MINUTES Clearwater River Watershed District Board of Managers Meeting December 11, 2013 - 7:00PM Annandale Middle School, Annandale, MN

Chair Schiefelbein called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Managers Jeff Golden, Jerry Risberg, Paul DeGree, Mary Ellen Wells and Bob Schiefelbein were present. Also in attendance were Russ Anderson, Greg Bild, Jeff Hagg, Roger Halford, Rolf Hogan, Orv Jonsrud, Brandon Larkin, Jeremy Sivula, Jeff Westrum, Cole Loewen, Engineer Rebecca Kluckhohn, Attorney Stan Weinberger, Advisor Merle Anderson, and Administrator Dennis Loewen.

Motion #13-12-1: Wells, seconded by Risberg, moved to adopt the agenda. All managers voted aye.

Advisor Anderson gave a brief introduction for Attorney Weinberger. Weinberger informed the Board he would be retiring from legal practice at the end of the year, and thanked the Board for the strong working relationship. He also praised the Board for the work the District has accomplished during his tenure as District Attorney. Weinberger began working with the District in May of 1977.

The Board thanked Weinberger for his years of service, and wished him a happy retirement.

Motion #13-12-2: Risberg, seconded by DeGree, made a motion to adopt the consent agenda. All managers voted aye.

The Board reviewed the December 11, 2013, financial report.

Motion #13-12-3: Degree, seconded by Golden, made a motion to pay bills of $38,654.40 in 24 payments, not including the $170.00 amount that was approved at the November 2013 regular meeting but is recorded on December’s financial report, subject to audit. All managers voted aye.

Motion #13-12-4: Golden, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to purchase a six month certificate of deposit in the amount of $150,000.00 from one of the three District depositories, based on which bank is offering the most favorable interest rate. All managers voted aye.

Administrator Loewen opened continued discussion on the Clearwater Harbor Sewer System with a review of the letter sent to District legal counsel in October, as well as the response received from said counsel on December 10, 2013. Both documents are available for review at the District Office.

Administrator Loewen went on to recommend the Board hold off on taking any action until the next regular meeting to allow time for all involved to think through the response from District legal counsel and any potential future actions. Administrator Loewen also reviewed the other tasks remaining on this discussion that were assigned to Septic Check and District Staff.

Open Discussion was held with those in attendance. A summary of that discussion is listed below:

1. Administrator Loewen urged caution and careful consideration of direction going forward to the property owners that make up the Clearwater Harbor system.

2. Advisor Anderson also urged caution and reminded those in attendance of certain aspects of this project’s history that were germane to the discussion.

3. Jeff Hagg, claiming representation for the Clearwater Harbor Property Owners Association, indicated he, along with others from that association, would review the legal response, and would likely make requests for copies of existing project documents, such as design specifications, as-builts, performance bond, etc. Administrator Loewen indicated those requests would be met.

4. Chair Schiefelbein encouraged those property owners in attendance to carefully consider what they are hoping to accomplish, and the likely costs that will need to be born to achieve that end.

Greg Bild, Jeff Hagg, Rolf Hogan, Brandon Larkin, Jeremy Sivula, and Jeff Westrum left the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Engineer Kluckhohn presented the Technical & Cost Specifications for alterations to the Lake Augusta Eurasian Watermifoil Project #01-2, along with next steps.

Motion #13-12-5: Golden, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to accept the Technical & Cost Specifications, and to send said report to the MN Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR) and the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR), per state statute. All managers voted aye.

Manager Risberg left the meeting at 7:52 p.m. and returned at 7:53 p.m. Roger Halford left the meeting at 7:53 p.m.

Administrator Loewen gave an update on the Old Highway 55 component of the Cedar Lake Watershed Protection & Improvement Project. So far, office staff has received four signed letters of intent from the common interest owners. Once the remaining two are received, plans & specifications will be created by Wenck Associates, Inc.

Engineer Kluckhohn gave an update on the Kimball Stormwater PH II Project. Wenck Associates, Inc., engineering firm for the project, will meet with US Army Corps of Engineers staff December 12 to discuss the permitting issue. Kluckhohn anticipates resolution of this matter. Kluckhohn and Administrator Loewen also recommended the board take action to award the bid for this project to Kuechle Underground, low bidder on this project, contingent on receiving the appropriate permits.

Motion #13-12-6: Wells, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to award the bid for the Kimball Stormwater PH II Project to low bidder Kuechle Underground, contingent on receiving the appropriate permits, and to authorize the Board Chair to sign the notice of award and all subsequent contractual documents. All managers voted aye.

Administrator Loewen gave an update on the geothermal issue at Wandering Pond Sewer System. After speaking with service provider Bernie Miller and District legal counsel, Loewen recommended the following actions:

1. Staff begin drafting a rule to exclude non-graywater from being discharged into any District-owned sewer system.

2. Send letter to serviced property on all District-owned sewer systems informing them of this issue and the steps the Board is undertaking.

3. Send letter to both Stearns
County Environmental Services and the DNR Hydrologist for the area informing them of this issue and the steps the Board is undertaking.

Motion #13-12-7: Risberg, seconded by Golden, made a motion to have staff begin drafting a rule to exclude non-graywater from being discharged into any District-owned sewer system, and to send a letter to: 1) serviced property on all District-owned sewer systems, 2) Stearns County Environmental Services, and 3) DNR Hydrologist informing them of this issue and the steps the Board is undertaking. All managers voted aye.

Administrator Loewen explained the Wylie agricultural incentive enrollment.

Motion #13-12-8: Wells, seconded by Golden, made a motion to approve the Wylie enrollment, and to pay the incentive after the first of next year. All managers voted aye.

Engineer Kluckhohn reviewed a new grant opportunity through the MN BWSR, known as the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. This is considered a pilot program, and is fairly unique as compared to other grants, as it is focused on watersheds that: 1) are the 10 to 12-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes size (i.e. the size of the CRWD), 2) have current water quality impairments, 3) have threats to water resources clearly identified, along with a thorough understanding of the pollution sources and pathways within the watershed, 4) have baseline water quality data against which change can be assessed, 5) have actions to achieve desired results identified, and results can be implemented within a four-year timeframe.

The amount of funding available is $12 million, and it requires a 25% local match. Staff time dedicated to the project can be used as local match, as long as staff is paid using local or federal funds. Engineer Kluckhohn feels the District has a very good chance of being selected for this program.

If the Board is interested in pursuing this opportunity, a filled out request for interest must be submitted to BWSR by December 13, 2013. This request for interest is not a formal application, but a request to be considered as a watershed to pilot this program. Engineer Kluckhohn recommends the Board pursue $2 million through this program. Proposed projects would likely be Watkins Stormwater Treatment System, Lake Betsy Hypolimnetic Withdrawal, Extension of Targeted Fertilizer Application Reduction Project (to District-wide), and other agricultural BMPs (ex. cover crops)

As part of this discussion, Cole Loewen reviewed CRWD Financial Commitments spreadsheet for End of Year 2013. Based on this analysis, District Staff feels the Board is in strong enough financial position to pursue this opportunity.

Manager Wells noted that during the District’s strategic planning workshop several projects were identified as priorities for the District, but were not able to move forward due to lack of funding. With this opportunity, these projects could be achieved.

Motion #13-12-9: Wells, seconded by Golden, made a motion to authorize Engineer Kluckhohn to complete and submit a letter of interest to the MN BWSR for the Targeted Watershed Demonstration Program. All managers voted aye.

Cole Loewen also indicated to the Board that District staff recommends the Board apply for a grant with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota/Iowa for 20 crew days for 2014 to continue Streambank stabilization efforts in the upper watershed, as well as provide labor to clear and treat woody vegetation growing on the berms at the District’s wetland treatment systems and Isolation Unit.

Motion #13-12-10: Risberg, seconded by DeGree, made a motion to apply for 20 crew days from the Conservation Corps of Minnesota/Iowa for 2014. All managers voted aye.

Administrator Loewen and Cole Loewen reviewed the District’s Office Staff Report, which included:

1. Request from Jim Halek, Lake Augusta resident

2. Final Levy Certification

3. Premium Selection for Workers’ Compensation Coverage

4. Total Prepayments and Certified Assessments for 2013 Special Assessments

5. Bankruptcy at 233 Alder Rd

6. 2013-14 Coverage Changes, Rates, and Dividends from the League of MN Cities Insurance Trust

7. Proposed 2014 Property Taxes for Watkins Stormwater Treatment Property

8. Burkhardt & Burkhardt, Ltd. results of 2013 Peer Review

9. Septic Check Monthly Report

10. Future Agenda Items – District’s Education Programming; Presentation by Engineer Kluckhohn, Wenck Associates, on Targeted Fertilizer and Kingston Wetland Projects

During the discussion of the Office Staff Report as listed above, the following motions, comments, and recommendations were made:

Motion #13-12-11: Golden, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to indicate the newly created parcel as a results of Mr. Halek’s purchase to straighten his existing parcel’s lot line is considered to be part of his existing parcel and is therefore not subject to special assessment for District projects, per documentation received from Wright County. All managers voted aye.

Motion #13-12-12: DeGree, seconded by Wells, made a motion to approve the final levy amount at $250,000.00 for the ad valorem, and to submit the final levy certification to Wright County. All managers voted aye.

Motion #13-12-13: Golden, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to choose the regular premium option for Workers’ Compensation Coverage from the League of MN Cities Insurance Trust. All managers voted aye.

Manager Wells suggested having the advisory committee attend the January Work Session to hear Engineer Kluckhohn’s presentation.

Advisor Anderson and Administrator Loewen did not have any further new business. The December 2013 Work Session has been canceled by the Board due to the Holidays.

Items noted for the January 8, 2013 regular meeting are:

1. Presentation – Jeff Golden, MN Assoc. of Watershed District’s annual conference

2. Cedar Lake Watershed Protection & Improvement Project: East Swartout survey results & Old Highway 55 component update

3. Kimball Stormwater Phase II – update on permit issue

4. Proposed rule for non-graywater discharge to District-owned sewer systems

5. Potential presentation of 2013 Water Quality Monitoring Report

6. Potential discussion on Clearwater Harbor – dependent on property owners

Manager Risberg indicated he will resign from the Board of Managers later this month due to time constraints. He reminisced about his time on the Board, commented on the good work the District is doing, indicated he would remain involved in District activities, and thanked the Board and staff for the good working relationship through the years. Manager Risberg has served on the Board since ____.

The Board thanked Risberg for his years of service to the District, and wished him best of luck in his future endeavors.

Motion #13-11-14: Risberg, seconded by Wells, made a motion to adjourn at 9:04 p.m. All managers voted aye.

THESE MINUTES ARE AVAILABLE AT: www.crwd.org.

CRWD AUDIT REPORTS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE ANNANDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Chair, Bob Schiefelbein

Secretary, Paul DeGree

Published in the Tri-County News Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013.