Clearwater River Watershed District
Board of Managers Work Session
September 25, 2013 - 7:00PM
Kimball City Hall, Kimball, MN

Chair Schiefelbein called the Work Session Meeting to order at 7:00pm. Managers Bob Schiefelbein, Mary Ellen Wells, Paul DeGree and Jerry Risberg were present. Others in attendance were Greg Bild, Jeff Hagg, Brandon Larkin, Jeremy Sivula, Jeff Westrum, Brian Koski (Septic Check), Dean Nelson (Septic Check), Jeff Golden, Cole Loewen, and Administrator Dennis Loewen.

Motion #WS13-09-1: DeGree, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to adopt the Agenda. All Managers voted aye.

Brian Koski and Dean Nelson from Septic Check presented on four topics regarding the Clearwater Harbor and Hidden River Sewer Systems. They are:

  1. Telemetry and alarm issues, including work performed by Telemetry & Process Controls, Inc.
  2. Updates to maintenance schedule, including new emergency signage.
  3. 215 Alder Road sewer backup – potential safe guards.
  4. System upgrades recommendations.

A copy of Septic Check's report is available for review at the District's office.

Lengthy discussion was held regarding all four topics. Summary of discussion listed below:

  1. After corrections were made, the telemetry system was tested and found to be working.
  2. Both systems are meeting current requirements from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. However, the sand filters are still not working to their design specifications. There is potential for the system to be required to conduct extra treatment for nitrogen removal in the future.
  3. Brandon Larkin, owner of 215 Alder Road, will contact the District office in the next couple of weeks after reviewing the suggested options for potential safe guards.
  4. Jeff Westrum, resident in attendance, informed the Board there will be a petition circulated among the residents on the Clearwater Harbor Sewer System to have the Board of Managers hire a third-party to investigate the root issues with the systems and make determinations on fault, if any.
  5. Septic Check will address these items:
    1. Find solution to nuisance alarm.
    2. Check into upgrading battery backups.
    3. Change inspection of battery backups to monthly.
    4. Change alarm structure so that Clearwater Harbor lift stations will continue to pump to treatment area even if recirculation alarm is active.
    5. Ensure lift station pump sequencing – lift stations down the line will not pump until confirmed above lift stations are operational (power outages).
  6. Office staff will address these items:
    1. Calculate how much has been expended per year on upgrades to the existing telemetry system.
    2. Send out reminder to residents of both system (with 4th quarter mailing) to contact the emergency number listed on the system when alarm lights are on.
    3. In investigating the question of fault for poor performance of systems regarding the sand filters and telemetry, seek input from District legal counsel on questions of: bonding, system design, faulty construction litigation and chain of fault, and Wenck Associates, Inc. exposure to fault.
  7. Board of Managers will continue discussion on these items:
    1. Formation of a task force to assist Board of Managers in discussion of upgrades.
    2. Beginning preliminary analysis of upgrades to both systems.
    3. Question of fault for poor performance of systems.

This overall discussion will continue at the Board's October 23, 2013 Work Session.

Greg Bild, Jeff Hagg, Brandon Larkin, Jeremy Sivula, and Jeff Westrum left the meeting at 8:24pm.

The Board reviewed the September 25th, 2013 financial update.

Motion #WS13-09-2: Wells, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to pay bills of $18,360.52 in 11 payments, subject to audit. All Managers voted aye.

Motion #WS13-09-3: Wells, seconded by DeGree, made a motion to pay invoice from Telemetry & Process Controls in the amount of $945.00. All Managers voted aye.

Cole Loewen gave an update on the District's insurance coverage. Due to not receiving more thorough information until today, Cole Loewen recommend this item be cover at a later meeting. After discussion, Board set this item to be included on the agenda for the October 9, 2013 regular meeting.

Cole Loewen reminded the Board of the call for annual resolutions from the Minnesota Association of Watershed District's. The Board has no resolutions to submit for this year.

Administrator Loewen reviewed the remainder of the District's Staff Report, which included:

  1. Minutes from the September 17, 2013 Advisory Committee meeting, as well as a recommendation to remove Gerald Auge from the Advisory Committee due to inactivity, and to seek a replacement.
  2. 2013 Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) Academy training event.
  3. Staff recommendation to purchase a one-year, $50,000.00 Certificate of Deposit (CD) at Annandale State Bank instead of the previous two-year CD purchase approved by the Board at their August 14, 2013 regular meeting.
  4. Request for Board to complete questionnaire from the Mississippi River (St. Cloud) Watershed Project.
  5. Attendance by Administrator Loewen at a Clear Lake Property Owners Association meeting on October 29, 2013 to discuss the future of aquatic invasive species (AIS) treatment on that lake.
  6. Open period for RFPs for fiscal year 2014 BWSR grants.
  7. Further correspondence from Paul Jorgensen regarding appealing the Board's decision to take no action on his request as presented at the September 11, 2013 public hearing on amending Project #06-1.
  8. Correspondence from the Lake Augusta Association regarding their petition to change the Lake Augusta Milfoil Treatment Project to an AIS Project.
  9. Adjustments to Timberwoods and Springdale Resort Association's units of benefit for the Clearwater River Chain of Lakes (1980) Operation and Maintenance Assessment per review of original Appraisal Report, with Wright County Assessor Office, and District attorney.

During the discussion of the Staff Report as listed above, the following motions were made:

Motion #WS13-09-4: Risberg, seconded by DeGree, made a motion to remove Gerald Auge from the District's Advisory Committee due to inactivity, and to promote the opening on the committee to the general public. All Managers voted aye.

Motion #WS13-09-5: Risberg, seconded by DeGree, made a motion to authorize registration for the 2013 BWSR Academy (and subsequent lodging) for Cole Loewen and Administrator Dennis Loewen. All Managers voted aye.

Motion #WS13-09-6: Wells, seconded by DeGree, made a motion to purchase a one-year, $50,000.00 Certificate of Deposit from Annandale State Bank. All Managers voted aye.

Under other business, discussion was held on:

  1. Wright County Board of Commissioners will be posting to fill the seat vacated by former Manager Kampa.
  2. DNR staff from St. Paul will be examining Thiel Creek sometime in the next couple of weeks to determine if there has been a change in hydrology.
  3. Legal descriptions for the easements at Kimball Stormwater Phase II have been completed by the surveyor. District attorney is incorporating them into the easements. Permitting is moving forward.
  4. Letter to the common interest holders regarding the Highway 55 component of the Cedar Lake Watershed Protection and Improvement Project were sent out last week.

Motion #WS13-09-7: DeGree, seconded by Risberg, made a motion to Adjourn. All Managers voted aye.


Chairman, Bob Schiefelbein

Secretary, Paul DeGree