Council discusses run-off options

by Lorrie Ham

The Spring Park City Council held an impromptu discussion regarding the Marina Shopping Center’s run-off area on Seton Channel at the Aug. 7 council meeting. The discussion was prompted by Councilmember Pamela Horton, who felt that water run-off from the paved parking lots resulted in an unsightly area near the transient docks.

Horton suggested that a rain garden would be a good solution to treating the run-off water and making the area more visually acceptable.

City Administrator Dan Tolsma weighed in on the discussion.

“While the parking lot was recently redone and resurfaced, the grade was not changed,” he said.

Since the area has likely always drained to that corner of the property near the docks, Tolsma said the city was limited as to what it could require of the property owner.

Tolsma suggested reaching out to the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) to see if it had any grants available or suggestions on how to improve the area. “I’d be happy to contact them,” he said.

Councilmember Catherine Kane Palen agreed that the MCWD had multiple suggestions for filtering run-off.

“This may be the perfect place for the city to become involved,” she said. “We could put our heads together and do something that will last.”

Kane Palen went on to suggest that she would join Horton on a committee to look into the situation.

Mayor Jerry Rockvam noted that the area in question was originally set up as the drainage area. The run-off does settle before it goes into the lake, which was the purpose, he said. Rockvam suggested that clear-cutting nearby has made the area more visible.

“Do we want to get involved with telling a private property owner what he has to do?” he asked.

Tolsma felt that making suggestions to the property owner about possible improvements without establishing requirements might work.

“I think it’s worth a shot,” he said.

Rockvam agreed, as long as it was a “voluntary thing.” He also thanked Horton for her input.

In another matter, the council heard an update on the 2018 Mound Fire Department proposed budget from Rockvam and Tolsma. The city’s share of the budget is proposed to increase 3.2 percent in 2018, from $140,118 to $144,688. The department uses a formula to figure each city’s share of the budget.

Rockvam gave the Mound Fire Department credit for producing an “excellent” and “very thorough” budget.

“I’m impressed with the formula,” he said. “It’s about as fair as you can get.”

In other business, the council:

-Approved a Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) port-of-call authorization at Lord Fletchers for Paddle Tap, LLC.

-Approved a special event permit for The Running of the Bays 5K Fun Run and certified half marathon to be held on Saturday, Sept. 19. The fourth-annual event is subject to safety conditions as set by the city council. Funds from the event benefit WeCAN and the Westonka Food Shelf. Rockvam commented favorably on the thorough application.

-Discussed the public works’ suggestion to consider washing the water tower. Tolsma will provide a suggested maintenance schedule at an upcoming meeting.