Weekly Memo 6-15-2012

Each Weekly Memo to the City Council is also provided on the City Council web page.

WEEKLY UPDATE:

Waste Water Improvements

As discussed at Tuesday’s work session, the Mayor and I spoke on Monday with Gil Hantzsch with MSA Professional Services. Mr. Hantzsch is performing the peer review regarding the City’s waste water treatment facility plan. The peer review is due on June 30. I have asked Mr. Hantzsch if there is any possibility of expediting the report in light of the pending City Council decision regarding the state’s bonding funds grant process.

Boat Ramp

Mayor Stauss, Council Member DeMers, Barry Wilfahrt from the Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, and I met on Wednesday with officials from the Department of Natural Resources regarding a new boat ramp for LaFave Park. The DNR staff indicated that the City will be eligible for a new boat ramp within the next 2-3 years assuming current state funding rates. The City could opt to expedite the process if the city chose to hire its own design team for the boat ramp and associated facilities (e.g. parking).

O’Leary Park

Council Member Tweten convened a group including Council Member Pokrzywinski, the City’s Recreation Coordinator (Mark Dragich), the City Engineer, and Chip Shea of Shea’s Nursery and Landscaping to discuss a “master plan” for O’Leary Park. The City Engineer and Mr. Shea will propose a redevelopment plan for the area that includes updated playground equipment, enhanced landscaping, and possibly new park shelters. The Council will consider the proposal in the 2013 budget discussions.

Labor Relations

Council President Buckalew, Council Vice President Gregoire, and I attended the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Labor Relations and Employment Seminar on Thursday in Staples. The Coalition staff provided a wealth of information including how to deal with past practices, recent negotiation settlements in Minnesota, and experiences from other Minnesota cities actively negotiating with their bargaining units. Incidentally, we learned of a web site from the federal Department of Labor: www.unionreports.gov. The site includes annual required filings from labor unions throughout the country. The filings include union expenditures on bargaining, overhead, and political activities. They also include the salaries of officers and employees. One can obtain from the Administration Office upon request the most recent annual reports for the labor unions that represent City bargaining groups.

The City’s five labor agreements expire at the end of 2012.

Rep. Deb Kiel visiting

Representative Deb Kiel will visit City Hall in the training room on Tuesday, June 19 at 4:30 pm just prior to the City Council meeting. The City Council members may have received invitations in the mail.

League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference

I will attend the annual League of Minnesota Cities conference next week in Duluth. I will be out of the office on Wednesday through Friday.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS:

Public Works Department, Jason Stordahl

Construction: On June 18th the Army Corps of Engineers will be working on sill plate repair projects at the flood wall closures on Demers Ave. and Bygland Rd. SE. The projects will take approximately two to three weeks to complete. During this time period expect minor traffic delays, as traffic will be rerouted around the construction areas.

Reminder to residents: Please do not mow grass clipping into your street gutters. During rain events grass in gutters washes down storm water catch basins and causes them to plug, in turn flooding adjacent street. Thanks.

Parks and Recreation, Dave Aker

1 – We are finishing the second round of tree planting this week; we have planted 80 trees so far this year.

2 – I would invite everyone to visit the cemetery this week; we have dirt to level in the uprights and then pour slabs where the marks go.

3 – Our bandwagon and park sites are filling up for the summer.

4 – We helped with the animals that are around town in setting them up.

5 – The campground is filling up as the camp sites are 90% full this summer on the weekends.

6 – The Senior Center board went over to the Senior High and got a tour, they are holding a free supper there for the 125th on August 8.

7 – I don’t think we give our summer help enough credit for the work they do. Most of them are still kids and they take a lot of responsibility and ownership. Thank You!

The Labor Relations section has been updated to include the correct link to www.unionreports.gov.

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