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Goodview City Council (05/27/2007)
City of Goodview

Assessment Hearing on 2007 Utility and Street Improvement Project

Woodhaven I Estates

May 14, 2007

Called to order by Mayor Weimerskirch at 7:00 p.m.

Upon Roll Call: Mayor J.P. Weimerskirch, Councilmembers Dick Ledebuhr, Leon Bowman, Bruce Brinkman, and Charlie Andring were present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

The Mayor described the procedures for the meeting. He stated the purpose of the meeting was to review the proposed project, receive input from the residents, then possibly vote at the conclusion of the meeting whether to proceed with the project and the assessments. He asked everyone to make sure to sign in on the attendance sheet. Each of the Councilmembers and City staff in attendance were asked to identify themselves. This included Mr. Dan Matejka, Mr. Bill Trygstad, and Mr. Ron Benson, City Administrator, City Engineer, and City Attorney, respectively.

The City Administrator reviewed two transparencies reviewing costing and cost-sharing of the project, along with a review of the two different amounts of assessments.

Mayor Weimerskirch thanked the task force/committee involved in working the details of the project out, especially Mr. Arlan Runningen and Councilmembers Bowman and Ledebuhr. He stated this has been the most transparent project ever run by the City, and regardless of the outcome, it has been a benefit for all individuals involved. He pointed out the City is now documenting more deeply, and this process has helped the City create new ways or things the City hasn't done in the past. These new procedures will not only help this project, but future projects as well.

The Mayor opened the meeting up for discussion and questions from those in attendance. He asked each individual who chose to speak to identify themselves for the record.

Mr. Arlan Runningen, 6530 Woodland Blvd., had three questions for the Council. The first was, if a resident wanted to pay the entire assessment within 30 days from the adoption of the assessment - what amount would they pay? The City Administrator indicated the amount owed would only be the principal amount (not including any interest) of $20,247 or $15,019. His second question dealt with where the taps for the different services would be located and if the residents would have any say, and how far they will go on the individual lots. The Mayor pointed out the project will get the services to the lot line. Bill Trygstad, the City Engineer, indicated the plans say the contractor has to contact each homeowner to determine where they want the stubs to be located. He did say if a homeowner wanted separate trenches for water and sewer it could be done, but it would be more expensive and thus adding cost to the whole project. Finally Mr. Runningen asked if the nine homeowners who at this time aren't going to receive water services, can they do their own pressure pumps. Mr. Trygstad clarified that at first they could not do this, but after talking with the State Health Department it is now possible. The Health Department states that the State Plumbing codes supersede the 10-State Standards code book engineers usually follow, just as long as there is ample pressure to get the water up to the booster pump. All of this cost would be borne by the homeowner. Mr. Runningen did ask if this would have to be approved by the City Council, with a response from Mr. Trygstad that it would require a change order to get water lines to the desired areas. All change orders have to be approved by the Council. Most of the properties affected are on Grandview Court, so they would have to run separate hook up lines from the pump to the lot line down a neighborhood private drive. The City Engineer said another option, although very expensive, would be to directional drill the lines.

Mr. John Oas, 1340 Grandview Court, indicated his current septic system is about 50 to 60 feet above the cul-de-sac where his lot line is located, and asked how he was suppose to get a line to hook-in up such a steep slope. Mr. Trygstad told the group the plan gets the service lines to the lot lines, and in this case, that is the only place the plan could put it. He also indicated there are other lines in the project being run at 20 degrees or more of slope, and any plumber should know how to accomplish this task.

Mr. Rick Bambenek, 6415 Woodland Blvd., asked if it was a safe assumption each individual homeowner should contact a plumber ahead of time to help with determining where the stubs should be placed. The answer from the Council and City Engineer was yes.

Ms. Constance Buswell, 1365 Grandview Court, asked if she was to receive water service. The City Administrator informed her yes as that is the plan at this time.

Ms. Kathy Shurson, 1260 Briarwood Court, inquired if they still had to pay the assessment if hypothetically a plumber indicated to them there is no way to run a hook-up line to access the City services due to the terrain of their lot. The Mayor informed the group the services are being installed as close as possible to allow for potential hook-ups. Mr. Gary Shurson asked if the City had any ballpark figure of the cost per square foot plumbers would charge to run the service lines from the lot line to the house. The answer was no due to the fact each individual situation is different.

Ms. Marie Albrecht, 6520 Woodland Blvd., asked if a homeowner had to hook-up once the services were provided. The City Administrator informed those in attendance the City policy states a homeowner must hook-up if their septic and/or well system(s) are found to be out of compliant to standards. If they are compliant, the homeowner must prove to the City by a date yet-to-be-determined (probably sometime in June of 2008) their systems are certified by a licensed inspector of these systems. No matter the timing of the actual hook-up, the assessment costs will still be assessed against the property at this time.

Mr. Scott Tjossem, 1320 Grandview Court, inquired if the certification talked about above has to be provided on an annual basis. Mr. Matejka quoted the City Assessment policy stating the certification is required every three years as long as the property stays compliant. He did indicate it was his belief if the property sells, certification would be required as part of that transaction. Also, if the City heard the property might not meet standards they may ask for an inspection at that time. Basically for a compliant system, if it is okay in June of 2008, the City wouldn't expect anything for three more years. Councilmember Bowman indicated the City is following guidelines being proposed by Winona County.

Mr. Rick Rockwell, 1235 Kingswood Drive, is one of three residents informed by the City that their individual wells will have to be abandoned due to the fact they are too close to the proposed sewer lines. He asked if any trees will have to be removed due to this, thinking the wells will have to be taken out. Mr. Trygstad indicated the wells won't be taken out, but just filled in to make them unusable. The minimum distance the wells can be without a variance from the State Health Department is 50 feet. Mr. Rockwell also asked if he was to put another well in, would he have to get approval from the Health Department, and was told yes to make sure he meets code. Finally, Mr. Rockwell asked if the cost to have a plumber come out and give an estimate was the homeowner's responsibility. He was told yes, as this cost is outside the cost of the project.

Mr. Toby Schmidt, 6810 Woodland Blvd., informed the group he received two bids about one year ago from plumbers to do his hook-ups, and they ranged from $6,000 to $8,000. He did admit his would probably be on the high side do the length his lines will have to run. He was also quoted $12.50 per foot for boring, not including labor. Also, the two plumbers he did contact both told him to contact them either before the project actually starts or is too far along, so they can provide a more accurate estimate. He questioned what the recommended separation between the two service lines was. Bill Trygstad indicated the recommendation from the State is 11 feet of separation. Mr. Schmidt once again expressed a desire to have his service lines loop behind the private drive, so both would run below the houses. The City Engineer pointed out the plan was not drawn up to do those, but anything would be possible at a cost and probably a substantial cost for a major change order like that.

Mr. Brent Bailey, 6710 Woodland Blvd., questioned why the overlays of 66th Street were split evenly between the project and the City when City policy says overlays are all City cost. City Administrator Dan Matejka clarified it was his misunderstanding of what was actually being accomplished by looking at it as a reconstruction of the street and not an overlay. He further notified the group that after further discussion with the City Engineer, this is clearly an overlay, and that the approximate $6,000 in costs will be shifted from the project side of the ledger to the City side, thus it will be an adjustment to the assessment.

Mr. Steve Cichosz, 6425 Woodland Blvd., informed the group to make sure to get quotes from multiple plumbers for the hook-up job. He did for another project and the quotes varied greatly from one to the other. Mr. Toby Schmidt (from above) mentioned the two quotes he received were supposedly from plumbers recommended by the City.

Mr. Rick Bambenek (from above) inquired if the old septic tanks will have to be filled in once they are not used anymore. The City Engineer said the recommendation is yes by both his company and probably the County to. Councilmember Bowman informed the group the City follows the County as far as oversight of issues like this.

There were no more comments/questions from the audience, so the Mayor asked the Council if they had any comments. Not hearing any, he then asked for a motion whether or not to proceed with the project. Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Ledebuhr seconded to approve to proceed with the 2007 Utility and Street Improvement Project for the Woodhaven I Estates subdivision, with the proposed assessments (with noted adjustment for overlayment). During the discussion phase, Councilmember Bowman explained why he decided to make the motion. He indicated it was his belief it was a very good experience with a lot of input from many different people. He also pointed out he heard from a lot of residents who live outside of Woodhaven telling him to do the project and get it done. The Mayor informed the audience the Council is looking for a super majority vote based on the question of if a legal petition exists or not, which is still being reviewed by legal counsel. He then clarified with Councilmember Brinkman his intention to abstain, which he said yes to. All voted aye, with Councilmember Brinkman abstaining. Motion carried.

The Mayor once again thanked the audience for their participation, and reiterated it certainly wasn't a snap decision on the part of the Council.

Councilmember Bowman moved and Councilmember Andring seconded to approve the low bid from Griffin Construction for the 2007 Utility and Street Improvement Project for Woodhaven I Estates. All voted aye, with Councilmember Brinkman abstaining. Motion carried.

Adjournment at 7:40 p.m.

 

 

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