November 19, 2020 Special City Council Meeting Minutes
Call to order: The special Randolph City Council meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Robert Appelgren.
Mayor Robert Appelgren
Council Members Sarah Podritz, Jacob Friedrich, and Jacob Toledo were present
Treasurer Sandy Nicolai was present on zoom.
Clerk Mary Haro
Brian Hilgardner and Matt Blazer from Bolton & Menk gave a presentation on the $13
million bond that we are to receive from the MPFA.
They gave an overview of the project and studies in the past. What improvements are
funded – what is eligible. The project communication and some advantages to accepting
the bonding bill grant money. We will not talk about tonight is the exact extensae of the
There will be no increase to taxes or any assessment is they just do the $13 million
project. The preliminary engineering meeting will be after they do the survey.
They can mold the project to be a $13 million project. They feel very confident they can
get the project done for $13 million and will do it how the city wants it done.
It is for sanitary sewer improvements and things affected by the sanitary sewer. It will
include funded services up to the right of way, streets construction, the holding ponds,
and administrative pieces. What isn't funded is the water main, curb and gutters, water
services. We can look at drainage issues in the ditches so they can be regraded when we
are working in the area for areas that have flooded.
They will send out questionnaires and surveys. They will have at least three project open
houses - one to get information, one closer to the preliminary engineering and one before
construction. Must use the money within three years of when the bill was signed on
October 21, 2020 so it must be completed by October 21, 2023. We should start first
with the ponds next fall and then the street construction would be two years after that.
Some questions included "If my septic system is fine why should I pay to help someone
who fails" – there is no tax dollars increase. "If someone fails why doesn't he install a
new one" – some lots are too small to install one for their home and can't be properly
treated so then they fail quicker. Some lots are just not big enough. The new lots have a
primary and secondary sites on their lots.
"Who is going to pay to maintain and operate the system." We would hire a sanitary sewer operator and we would bill for the services which covers the maintenance and operations.
"Am I required to hook up to the system if my system is working." You could hook up to when you need to.
"Can the system be expanded to accommodate growth." Yes.
"What is the cost to replace septic system." It can range from $7,000 - $25,000.
"Who is managing the money" – the money goes through Public Facilities Authority ("PFA").
"What happens with overruns" – we can trim the project back if needed.
"What if citizens don't pay for their sewer services then what are we going to do" – we will assess them. If you're not hooked up to it you won't be billed for it. They could not give us rates at this time but they will come up with some average rates.
"Are the streets going to get any wider?" That is not the plan.
"Will there be a connection fee?" This needs to be discussed. Some communities give a 15 year window or when they sell their home then they need to hookup. Every person will have a fee to hook up – it is just a matter of when. The city needs to decide the window. There may be grant opportunities to look for money. "Would the County have a say in when residents have to hook up to the sewer?" – they said no that it is up to the city to make that call. Mike Slavik. Dakota County Commissioner, indicated there are grants available for low income residents for the hook up fee.
"It was asked if the school needs to hook up." It will be up to the school if they want to hook up right away.
"If the cost came in under $13 million could be use the money for hookup fees for residents?" and the answer is no because of the way the bill was written.
Usually the hook up fee is approximately $5,000 - $6,000. The city will install up to the right of way with a stub. It will be the homeowners responsibility to hook up the system which will involve digging in yards so it will be the homeowners responsibility for their yards and landscaping. They will give us preliminary number of a range of what a hook up fee would be.
It was noted that a septic system will eventually fail. At the preliminary meeting they will include adding additional options on and let us know the cost.
If we take the $13 million and it only builds the ponds then we spend the money for just the ponds to start on the project. We do not have to go over the $13 million.
Mike Slavik did indicate that if we did need an extension there is a process that can be done to extend it past the three years.
If we would improve the county roads then Dakota County would cover the cost otherwise the cost of the road would be in the $13 million.
It was asked about our water lines and the current state they are in. If they are cast iron then we will have problems. It was told that the city has plastic water lines which is good news. If the water main has to be moved because of building the sewer then that water main will be replaced with the money but just to replace it then it would be at the city's cost.
We will be accepting bids and the city will have to make a decision on which contractor to go with.
Any resident that has a working septic system there will be no cost to them at this time as they will not be forced to hook up to the system unless their septic fails. If you have a failed system your cost would be to hook up to the system at a cost at approximately $5,000 - $10,000 and pay quarterly usage fees.
We want communication to be a relayed to residents and they indicated that they will have a website that includes everything they are doing, three to four open houses, meet with homeowners when construction starts. In the website they will have an interactive GIS mapping tool. People will be able to leave comments that they have questions to. They will do monthly newsletters once construction starts. We will have a direct line to the contractor.
Bolton & Menk do all of the communication and the council will have to make decisions that they cannot make. They are professional consultants and hired to complete the project. To make decisions to impact the city.
Clerk Haro made a motion to accept the money from the PFA and move forward with the project and hire Bolton & Menk as the project engineer, seconded by Appelgren. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 5:0.
They will get communication out to citizen of what is going to happen and get a website up and running. They will start doing a survey in the public right of way. We should note on the city Facebook page that they will see individuals doing the survey and will see them working around the city. We noted that we want to get information to citizens before action is taken.
Motion to close the meeting made by Podritz, seconded by Appelgren the meeting was adjourned at 8:22 p.m. All voting in favor, none opposed, motion passed 5:0.