The Regular Meeting began at 4:30 pm and was closed to the public for a discussion of pending worker’s compensation litigation.
The Standards and Conduct committee (Chair Kummer, Commissioners Dziedzic and Fine) started at 5:00.
GM for Admin Don Siggelkow reported that he had been contacted regarding a rule about the Board Secretary reporting on all pending matters before the committees during the first meetings in the months of December and June. He had looked up the rule and also researched if it had been followed by previous secretaries to the board. He found no such reports for the past 20 years and gave the commissioners three options he felt they could choose amongst to handle the situation…
1. Have the Board Secretary prepare a list of items that “might ” come before the board during the upcoming year (would involve prediction and be rather inaccurate)
2. Report on a list of standing issues
3 Compile a report that could be a combination of both
Commissioner Kummer felt that maybe it was an obsolete rule and should changed due to lack of use during the past 20 years
Commissioner Fine asked for the exact language of the rule and Don Siggelkow provided it and added a forth option of dropping the rule.
Some discussion was had over interpretation of what pending matters meant and Commissioner Fine suggested that it appeared to mean items that had not concluded
Commissioner Erwin agreed and said it was a housekeeping issue and would help get closure on issues, especially on items that the public had brought forward and involved referral to staff.
Commissioner Kummer suggested it be rewritten to be more useful
GM Siggelkow suggested January and June would be more appropriate times for reporting and Commissioner Kummer agreed it would conflict less with December budget talks.
More discussion was had about the predicting what might be on future agendas and it was decided that it would create havoc.
Commissioner Fine stated that it was intended for cleaning up old business.
Commissioner Erwin suggested changing pending matters to unfinished business to make it clearer
Commissioner Fine (on the committee) made a motion of same and it passed
The next discussion was on agenda items, and enforcing the policy of items needing to be turned in 1 1/2 weeks before the next meeting for information to go out in commissioners packets and for mailed agendas and website agendas to conform. This would avoid items coming in at the last minute and no time to review background information.
Commissioner Kummer asked if there was an emergency what would happen.
Commissioner Hauser supported the change when it was recommended by Commissioner Mason at the last meeting and mentioned that a vote could be taken to suspend the rules and add something to the agenda in an emergency.
Commissioner Dziedzic made a motion for this and it passed.
OPEN TIME CHANGES
GM Siggelkow recommended that like the agenda items, people signing up for OPEN TIME should do so one week prior to the next meeting or that OPEN TIME should be moved in the agenda to 4:45pm prior to the start of the meeting to facilitate moving the agenda along more smoothly without the break at 6:00 for OPEN TIME. After all OPEN TIME is for the public to communicate with the BOARD not an open mike situation.
Commissioner Erwin mentions that 1 week ahead is probably too long and suggests by Monday of the week of the meeting
Commissioner Kummer agrees and suggests that someone might just sign up every week to be on the safe side
Commissiner Fine moves that the sign up deadline be moved to Monday
Commissioner Hauser also thinks Monday would be good.
As to moving OPEN TIME to 4:45 Commissioner Kummer thinks it is a bad idea but agrees that some people are abusing the opportunity to be at the microphone and that maybe it should be at the discretion of the President
Commissioner Fine asks if OPEN TIME or anything like it is used by other city boards
GM Siggelkow… NO
Commissioner Fine reiterates that it is suppose to be a time for speaking to the BOARD and is turning into a soap box for televised speeches
Commissioner Erwin suggests changing the format rather than the time
Commissioner Dziedzic refers to it as “Dziedzic Bashing time”
Commissioner Erwin suggests more explicit rules
Commissioner Berry Graves mentions that the 15 minutes the committee is alloted has been over for quite awhile
Commissioner Fine moves that OPEN TIME be moved to 4:45pm so as not to appear on TV.
Motion passes Kummer NO Fine and Dziedzic YES (the item is moved to the FULL BOARD for a vote at the next meeting)
GM Siggelkow asks that the board make a motion to move the Superintendents Report from the 1st meeting of the month to the 2nd as the current Superintendent prefers to do the report in writing and it would work better.
Commissioner Dziedzic makes the motion and it passes.
Standards and Conduct Adjourns at 5:30
Administration and Finance
2 projects on the agenda that have cost over runs and need change order $$$ increases and a low bid acceptance are moved by Commissioner Dziedzic. (all passed after discussion that follows)
Commissioner Berry Graves asks for an explanation of the perpetual project with constant increases (Lake of the Isles Restoration).
Tim (sorry no last name given) explains that because of the segmented stages of the project (voting on phase III) there needs to be adjustments
Commissioner Berry Graves asks for more detail
Tim explains that as the project has progressed more things have come up, including permitting delays at state agencies, timing changes to coincide with other projects (some of the fill used was from the berms a Jordan Park and some from the Guthrie project) and some was due to more clean up and more engineering effort than expected. The overall increase is at 10% which is considered to be reasonable
Commissioner Erwin asks if the Operating and Maintenance budget is being tapped for the extra dollars as it is a state funded project?
Tim says no, there were contingency dollars available
Commissioner Berry Graves then asks about the Mill Ruins Park project.
Rachel (also staff and I didn’t hear the last name, sorry) explained that the construction being undertaken was to have been part of Phase 1 but the money ran out and now it is to be included in Phase 4.
Commissioner Berry Graves says she just wants to make sure the information is available to the public
Commissioner Dziedzic asks why this bid was accepted since it wasn’t the lowest
Rachel explains that is wasn’t a true low bid and explained how there had been changes made from RFP requested items
Commissioner Hauser thanked her for finding this within the minute details of the contract.
Admin and Finance adjourns at 5:42
5:43 Planning Committee
Action Item 4.1 That the Board Approve the Schematic Plans for the Proposed University Rowing Facilities in East River Flats Park.
Head of Planning Judd Reitkerk showed a power point presentation on the history of the park from the MPRB acquiring it in 1883 to the present. the Mississippi Watershed Organization will provide the funding for the road, parking lot and storm water filtration system (for the run off from the road and lot so as not to feed directly into the Mississippi) and the U of M will build the proposed boathouse.
U of M representatives Joel Maturi and Gina Sullivan ( and 20 others in the audience from the rowing coach and team members to Deborah Olson who will be raising the $$ for the building) gave a presentation including drawings and park schematics of the building.
The university had approached the MPRB about building a boathouse at the site in 2001 but plans were never finalized and then there came a moratorium on sports facility building. It has been lifted and thus the presentation.
The park has been designed to give a path from the green spaces in front of Northrup auditorium all the way to the river front.
The university feels it fits into the MPRB mission by working good in the flood plain (how exactly does any building fit in a flood plain????)
Increasing visibility and making the space more open to the public
Providing opportunities for adult and youth programming (public restrooms and public dock not part of boathouse)
Utilizes the river as a focal point for the U of M
and shows a commitment to title IX compliance
The new boathouse would replace the current facilities ( a shed for the men and a tent for the women) and provide a safe environment and secure storage
There are 80 women and 60 men in the U of M crew program
Mr. Maturi and Ms. Sullivan then went on to describe the programming opportunities he U could provide and they were…
Athletic clinics, Swim and rowing classes, overnight rowing camp, youth clinics (over 25 sports represented at the U of M) and youth scholarships to the previously mentioned clinics. They could also promote internships and volunteer opportunities for their students with the MPRB, help the MPRB get access to campus facilities for programs, complimentary tickets to things and autographed sports items. (ALL FOR THE LEASE PRICE OF ????? 0$$$$?????)
They were available to take questions after OPEN TIME
6:06 OPEN TIME
Scott Vreeland came before the MPRB to ask them how he could help them complete the project at Edgewater Park in NE Minneapolis. The funding for most of the park renovation is available from the MWMO (Mississippi Watershed) but they can not fund items like benches, shelters etc… and the project needs an additional $3-400,000 to be completed. Mr. Vreeland would like to see the MPRB finish this project and would be willing to help in anyway he could to facilitate that happening.
Presentation by the MPRB on behalf of the JR NBA and JR WNBA Organization to Jonah Travis. He was nominated and won an award as an ALL REGION PLAYER (1 of 145 in the region of 575 nation wide) Jonah is a 6th grader at Marcy and participates through Van Cleve Rec +. He was presented with a medal and certificate and there was a Photo Op.
6:16 pm….the boathouse con’t
Commissioner Hauser moves 4.1.. a great day for women’s sports
Commissioner Dziedzic envisions a grand future on the riverfront…….mentions a letter from the Prospect Park Neighborhood…..2nds the motion
Commissioner Berry Graves is glad there will be programming for youth but asks about safety are lights, emergency phones, cameras?
lights and a “blue light ” campus phone yes, surveillance cameras not in the plan presently as there would be $$$ concerns over installation and monitoring
Commissioner Berry Graves believes the cost up front would be cheaper than having to add it later after incidents.
Commissioner Erwin states he will need to abstain from voting as an employee of the University. He asked on behalf of Commissioner Young if the problems with the neighborhood had been addressed and if they were considering a green roof or a solar paneled roof?
He himself was heartened to see the U working with the MPRB and was wondering if since they were eliminating green space if they would be contributing some in return and hoped they would work on the river with the MPRB on the ecology of the Gorge.
Commissioner Kummer liked this design over the previously submitted one and hoped they would include as many green features as possible
Commissioner Fine (as a U of M alumni and activist for youth sports) was glad to see this be inviting of people to the riverfront
The committee voted to send it to the full board with Commissioner Erwin abstaining
Other items passed from committee to full board
6:35 Recreation Committee
Judy and Jay Hoeschler from LaCrosse Wi gave a presentation on the ILRA (International Log Rolling Association) and about holding the World Championships at North Regions Mississippi Park (for information read this article.. http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/html/2003/07/09/46525.php)
The ILRA had hoped to secure sponsorship and support to make log rolling part of the Aquatenniel Celebration
They will have their tanks set up right along the river
Commissioner Berry Graves asks if there will be youth clinics
they could have demo stations for people to try but these items would need to be discussed
The plan is to bring the event here and then work with the MPRB to also bring the sport to the parks
Commissioner Berry Graves asks about set up and special equipment
pool, carpet log and tennis shoes are all you need
Commissioner Erwin would like to see the full plan for the event
Commissioner Olson states the rec part would need to be pursued through staff and that for the World Championships they are recruiting sponsors and will raise the $$$
Commissioner Dziedzic is for it if the money is raised
Question is called and passed
Commissioner Berry Graves makes a motion to direct staff to work with the USLRA to form a youth log rolling program.
Commissioner Dziedzic asks how it will be paid for.
Commissioner Erwin says we aren’t approving the program just getting staff recommendations
Commissioner Olson says they will try to get money for the championships and to bring the sport to the parks
Commissioner Berry Graves motions to add both to full board vote today
Passed out of committee to tonight’s full board for vote
7:05 back to the regular meeting
Jon Gurban reports that the Foundation held elections and the President will be Frank Quillacy, VP Billy Weisman, Treasurer Don Siggelkow and Secretary Trent Tucker
Head of Planning Judd Reitkerk reports that the Above the Falls TEA3 Grant for $4.5 million was resubmitted and is being processed
Consent Business was passed without discussion ($193,000 plus undisclosed workman’s comp settlement dollars)
Consulting project for no more than $57,418 passed for Mill Ruins Tunnel Stabilization
Contract changes discussed in Admin and Finance for $35,000 passed
Log Rolling Competition and Rec Sports “study” passed (wonder how much staff time will be spent on these World Championships and if the sponsors will be reimbursing the MPRB?????)
Petitions and Communications
Commissioner Dziedzic… Karen Clark not happy with delay in getting East Phillips Community Center proposal in time for bonding requests
Commissioner Erwin… Public Works committee is working cooperatively with staff in getting the Dutch Elm diseased trees down and are looking for a local staging area
Commissioner Hauser.. Getting lots of calls from both sides of the DeLaSalle issue
Commissioner Kummer.. Was contacted by the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association about helping to plant trees using NRP $$ and also DeLa Salle calls
Commissioner Berry Graves apologized for missing the commissioner retreat..family emergency, also had many DeLaSalle calls from both sides, McPhail is planning a week at Lake Harriet with Suzuki students from iceland to perform and Don Shelby will be working on the commissioners golf tourney and will help make their fundraising goal HAPPEN
Commissioner Fine brought to the attention of the board a news release on the Bureau of Mines project and feels the MPRB should be involved (the land between Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling is to be dealt with in 2005)
Meeting Adjourned at 7:15pm