May 14, 2024 Council Meeting

Agenda (click to open)

View the meeting (click to open)

Current Events

  • If you or people in your area want to meet and discuss current/future topics related to the city, reach out to me to set up a time to visit. (email, phone call, zoom, or in person)
  • As you're driving on the river road by Stephens' park, you'll notice construction on the south side of the road. That's the new central water system treatment facility in progress.
  • Many of you are familiar with the phrase "rural look and feel" or "rural character." Dayton residents have said this is important to them and I agree. It's even in our mission statement. We've had a couple work sessions on the topic and I believe it'll result in a list of ideas we will be prioritizing for the future. If you have ideas, please let me know.

One council member was not present for this meeting.

Last Minute News

The city was just notified we are on the final list for a state grant to put a water tower on the Old Village water system. Although it would have been better news had it been last year (before we redid the internal storage tank), it Is good news for guaranteeing good water volume in that system. EDIT: The resulting mess with the MASSIVE last-minute omnibus bill at the capital, resulted in no bonding bill even voted on.

Old Village Boat Landing

As part of our water trails project, the DNR has decided to spend $570k on the boat landing in the Old Village to provide a launch point for the trail. We don’t know what all the details of the design will be but at a minimum it’ll provide a nice launch for boats. 

Item E (Treatment Facility Review)

Given the complexity of the new water treatment facility, the council thought it would be wise to get another set of eyes on the overall design. This item was to discuss the independent firm results. For details on their findings see the agenda. They did find a few things and those were submitted to the build contractor for their response. Nothing significant, which is good. 

Item H (City Yearly Accounting Audit)

Once a year the city’s accounting books are audited against best practices. The only finding was one that comes up every year and will continue until our population grows significantly. The finding is Lack of Segregation of Accounting Duties and it’s basically a reflection of having a smaller staff. 

Item I (Quarterly Financial Report)

This is an internal report prepared by our administrator on how all the accounts are doing. For details look at the agenda, but there were no surprises in here. It did reflect the significant amount of overspending that happened last year due to a number of reasons (most of which consisted of equipment repairs), but we had discussed these a month or so back.

Item J (Territorial and Rush Creek Intersection)

This item wasn’t very well prepared and I believe took the council by surprise. It consisted of the possible purchase of the property to the NW of the intersection of Rush Creek and Territorial and discussion about a trail system going North on the back of that property, up through the wetlands, and across 117th and on... 

For a few years, there’s been a concern that we should change the intersection at Rush Creek and Territorial. It’s currently a T and the concern is it needs to be a curve of some sort. The land needed to do this curve, along with the need for right of way for the possible trail was driving the idea of purchasing the property. 

Staff wanted the council to make a decision about the intersection. So, we did. The majority of the council didn’t see the need to do anything with the intersection. Especially given the intersection along with Territorial to the west is in Maple Grove and subject to a possible increase in traffic. 

Then we moved on to the trail and it didn’t take long for it to be clear that this wasn’t very well thought out before it was sprung on us. 

  1. It’s a wetland and while it’s possible to put a trail through a wetland, it’s likely a painful paperwork process and will require more of a boardwalk type trail. Not cheap. 
  2. The land is owned by the HOA which is transitioning management. 
  3. It almost seems like it’s a trail to/from nowhere...  

I suspect we’ll stay in talks with the new management of the HOA since there are still possibilities with the trail. 

I suggested we have a separate meeting to talk about a possible purchase offer.

Item K (Hennepin County River Road Work)

Hennepin County is looking at significant maintenance of the river road from the Champlin border west all the way to Brockton over the next 5-10 years. They’re looking for the city to kick in 20%. Some of that might be justified given that the city and Three Rivers Park District wants trails along the roadway. But... Until we have some idea of the details and a significant buy-in from Three Rivers Park District, the council agreed we might be interested in going forward.

Item L (Chip and Fog Seal Plans)

The pavement industry is still fairly divided on whether or not applying the tradition sealant and rock chips extends the life of a road... compared to the extent that it costs. In the mean time, the road has an added sealer that is sprayed on top of the rocks to keep them in place. From the sounds of it that adds significant life to the road. The roads that will get this treatment are listed in the agenda and it was approved 4-0.

Item M (Well House Contract)

This was just an approval to take the low bid on construction of well house #5. It came in at about the estimated price of $1.1M. It was approved 4-0.

Item N (City Employees on Council)

The election before the last resulted in one of the city's part time employees being elected to the council. At that time there was a lot of discussion about why that was allowed. Our city attorney looked at it and found that state statute only forbids full-time employees from being on the council. It was fairly vague about part time and he concluded only local ordinances would clarify it. Since then we've made changes which helped cleaned up conflicts of interest in our commissions and hiring contractors that were also employees (due to suspicions of rigging bids), but this one got dropped. I told staff that I thought we should be looking at this but there were lots of other issues that were higher on the priority list at the time.

Recently, that employee was made a supervisor which made the topic slightly more significant. Staff was asked to put the discussion on the agenda.

3 of us acknowledged it was clearly a conflict, 1 did not. One of the council members had concerns it was too close to the election and didn't smell right... and I agree with that.

The issue was referred back to our new attorney to look at options and I have asked to add language that exempted current council members to mitigate the election question.

At some point, a resident who has an issue with me (outside of my city role) claimed I had voted to give money to a non-profit I am a board member on. The city has never given money to that specific organization. However, the city did partner with the DCF and Lions for Heritage Days events. The city sponsored (and separately paid for) the events Friday evening. I suspect this issue was brought up because it is almost campaigning season.

Item O (Treatment Facility Grant) - Added at the meeting

The last couple years I had spoke to a couple of our representatives about getting a grant for the treatment facility (as had others), but one of our EDA members convinced state senator John Hoffman to advocate for the facility. Last fall, the city was notified it had received a grant from the state for $1.75M for the treatment facility. Unfortunately, the legislation had an error in the wording so we had to wait for this session to get it reworded. That finally got through. This was an action to enter into an agreement with the state for the award. It passed 4-0.

As always. contact me for questions or to give me your opinion on issues.