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Olivia City Council Meeting Minutes – February 23, 2022

Home » Olivia City Council Meeting Minutes – February 23, 2022


The Regular Meeting of the City Council of the City of Olivia, Minnesota, was called to order by Mayor Hawkinson at 11:57 A.M.

Council Members Present: Jon Hawkinson, Blanca Ferguson, George Ebbers, and Landon Padrnos.

Council Members Absent: Tom Kalahar

Others present: Dan Coughlin, City Administrator; Kendra Lyngaas, SEH Engineer; Aaron Walton, City Attorney; Richard Parr, SEH Engineer (via Zoom); and Nikki Pregler, Deputy Clerk.


Ferguson requested to add and item to the agenda, which Mayor Hawkinson added to V. Agenda Additions / New Business.

Motion by Ebbers, second by Ferguson: to approve the agenda including the one item addition. Motion passed unanimously.


Motion by Padrnos, second by Ebbers: to approve the presented Consent Agenda items:

  • Regular Meeting Minutes of February 7, 2022
  • Resolution 2022-18, Approval of Donation to the Library
  • January Check Register and February Payables #2

Motion passed unanimously.


Reverse Osmosis Pilot Project

Richard Parr from SEH joined the meeting via Zoom. He provided an updated cost summary from WesTech for their reverse osmosis pilot project proposal following the Council and PUC requests for more information from water systems companies WesTech and Water Surplus. WesTech’s updated products, services and overall cost summary was much closer to, yet slightly less, than the estimate originally provided by Harn. He stated that WesTech is working on a containerized pilot unit, but it will not be ready to meet our schedule. Instead, they offered a canopy for weather protection, however the City would still need to supply a heating unit. Parr asked Water Surplus if they could provide automated data logging and what that cost would be. Water Surplus stated that their pilot is not set up for that service. Considering this new information, Parr stated that SEH continued to recommend Harn for two reasons. One, because Harn is experienced in these installations and they have been around since 1972 working on specifically membrane/RO technologies. Two, their past experiences with Harn have been positive and eliminate any questions regarding the quality of the work Harn will do. Parr then offered to answer any remaining questions.

Mayor Hawkinson thanked Parr for gathering the additional information. The Council first determined that Water Surplus was no longer to be considered. Mayor Hawkinson added that the PUC met and brought forward many of the same questions which were addressed at the last Council meeting. The Council then agreed to select the recommended provider, Harn, for this project.

Motion by Ferguson, second by Padrnos: to approve the Harn bid for the Reverse Osmosis Pilot Project for a three-month duration.  Motion passed unanimously.

Hwy 212 / Rainbow Park Water Main Replacement

Kendra Lyngaas from SEH joined the meeting to share information and imagery regarding a potential water main replacement on the west end of town on the north side of highway 212. Dave Ervin from the City Water Department requested replacement of this 1000-foot stretch of water main near Rainbow Park and J&R Electric. Recently city staff were working on a water main break in this area which quickly and unexpectedly became a very dangerous situation. Ervin suggested replacing this section, from gate valve to gate valve, and connecting it to the already replaced water main below Beaver Creek. Lyngaas stated that J&R Electric is the only connection to this stretch of water main. She also indicated that the best plan and process to replace this section of water main would be part of a feasibility report.

Mayor Hawkinson confirmed with Lyngaas that this water main would be an ongoing problem and would require future repairs if it was not replaced. She stated that it is ductile iron, is likely collapsing and hasn’t been updated since approximately the 1960’s. It was the recommendation of Lyngaas and SEH to replace this main with PVC, as the replacement would have an expected life span of 80-100 years. Lyngaas stated that she was looking for approval to move forward with the feasibility report regarding this project. She referenced the provided packet of additional information and scope of services which included a “not to exceed” estimate of $6500.00

Padrnos asked the approximate age of the existing main further west and east of the indicated gate valves. Lyngaas surmised that they are likely the same age. Padrnos asked if it was cost effective to replace more than was indicated. Coughlin shared that the impetus for this request was a repair that was recently completed and narrowly averted peril to Water Department staff. Padrnos and Coughlin agreed that the replacement of this dangerous stretch of water main should be completed and further water main replacement in either direction could be budgeted for as a future project. Coughlin suggested that SEH could research this further as an addendum to their feasibility report. Lyngaas estimated that the next logical section to replace, looking east, was approximately 1300 feet and could be researched within the report.

There was a request to table this topic and revisit it at the next Council meeting where Lyngaas would provide an updated proposal for the Council to consider. Lyngaas stated that she could provide the Council with updated documents and that the project timeline would not be adversely impacted by the slight delay.  Mayor Hawkinson noted that there was consensus of the Council to table the discussion until the following meeting. 

Agenda Additions / New Business

Ferguson asked the Council if they would consider allowing residents to have chickens in the city limits of Olivia. Coughlin shared that current Ordinance does not allow chickens in town. He noted that there was anecdotal evidence that chickens may already be kept by residents within city limits. He added that the Planning Commission has discussed this same topic in the past but suspended their discussions when the resident requesting consideration of allowing poultry in city limits withdrew their request.  He said that Planning & Zoning Administrator Jasmine Miller certainly could certainly pull the old files and undertake some additional research on the topic in order to provide the Council with an overview of what had been discussed in the past and the options available to the city at present.  Walton shared that nuisance calls could be avoided by allowing a certain number of hens but not roosters.

Mayor Hawkinson thanked Ferguson for bringing the topic to the Council.  He asked on behalf of the Council that further information on the topic be prepared for a future meeting.


Mayor Hawkinson temporarily recessed the regular meeting and opened the public forum at 12:34 P.M.

No public comments were offered so Mayor Hawkinson reopened the regular meeting at 12:34 P.M.


EDA – February 9

Mayor Hawkinson shared news that the EDA accepted a development plan for the former hospital space.  In the plan, two duplexes are set to be built in 2022 and an additional two will be built in 2023.

PUC – February 9

Mayor Hawkinson stated that the topic was the RO pilot project and the members of the PUC echoed the Council’s request for more information before a decision was made on that project.

Other Reports of Council / Staff

No additional reports were presented.


No additional communications were presented.


Motion by Ferguson, second by Ebbers: to adjourn the meeting at 12:37 P.M.  Motion passed unanimously.

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