Finance Committee Special Meeting Minutes – February 10, 2021

Metro Flood Diversion Authority Finance Committee Special Meeting

Minutes from February 10, 2021

Metro Flood Diversion Authority Finance Committee Special Meeting Minutes

A special virtual meeting of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority Finance Committee was held on February 10, 2021. The following members were present: Bernie Dardis, Mayor, City of West Fargo; Dr. Tim Mahoney, Mayor, City of Fargo; Chad Peterson, Cass County Commissioner; Chuck Hendrickson, Moorhead City Council Member; Dan Jacobson, Chairman, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Kent Costin, Fargo Finance Director; Lori Johnson, Clay County Auditor/Treasurer; Michael Montplaisir, Cass County Auditor; Michael Redlinger, City of Fargo Assistant Administrator, Rick Steen, Cass County Commissioner and Karla McCall, City of Moorhead Finance Director.

Member absent: Tony Gehrig, Fargo City Commissioner.

  1. CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Dardis called the meeting to order at 4 pm. Mayor Dardis thanked those in attendance for their commitment and participation in these additional Committee and Board meetings.

Roll call was taken and a quorum was present.

  1. APPROVE ORDER OF AGENDA

MOTION passed

Mr. Steen moved to approve the order of the agenda as presented and Mr. Jacobson seconded motion. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.

  1. CONTRACTING ACTIONS

DA Board Approval Contract Actions

Mr. Paulsen also thanked the committee members for their commitment and flexibility to attend the additional meetings that will also be held in April and May.

Mr. Paulsen reviewed the following contracting actions:

  • New Service Agreement – Communications Support PR for Good – $237,000
  • New Service Agreement – Communications Support Eighteen92 – $48,000
  • TO 26, Amendment 8 – SEAI Local Drainage Updates and Utilities Subtasks HMG – $277,220
  • TO 6, Amendment 6 – P3 Procurement Support Jacobs/CH2M – $1,206,084

The new services agreement for PR for Good is to support the communications program as we transition away from AE2S. The services will be provided by Joanne Henry and Mike Klein.

Eighteen92 is a polling company that has been retained to support the Communications department as well.

Mr. Steen asked if the $1.7 million reduction in the AE2S contract is a multi-year reduction. Mr. Barthel indicated that $787,000 was reduced in 2020 and $981,000 was reduced in 2021.

Dr. Mahoney stated that the consultant in Iceland is not close to Fargo and that we have received criticism from the legislature in the past for not utilizing local staff. He asked if we are not able to find these services locally. Mr. Paulsen indicated that the reason for utilizing Ms. Henry and Mr. Klein is because we need someone that is Project specific.

Ms. Darling stated that Mr. Klein is from this region and that Ms. Henry is a Concordia College graduate. Ms. Darling also stated that it works out well with the time change because Mr. Klein is working after our workday is over. Dr. Mahoney asked again if there is no one locally that can do the same. Ms. Darling indicated that going forward, new hires will be local.

Dr. Mahoney inquired about the $48,000 for polling services and wanted to know what we will learn from it and what it will change. Ms. Darling stated that it has been useful tailoring the message and providing information and boiling down the complexity of the Project. Dr. Mahoney stated Burgum has used them in the past and does this send a bad message? We should not be spending money on something like this.

Mayor Dardis asked if we had experience with Ms. Henry’s and Eighteen92’s work. Ms. Darling indicated that she has done work with Mr. Klein in the past but not with Ms. Henry or Eighteen92. Ms. Darling reiterated that going forward, any new hires will be local.

Mr. Steen questioned that we already engaged a firm for legislative support for $55,000 and was wondering if this was a duplicative. Mr. Paulsen indicated that the GA Group was approved for legislative services in Bismarck since we need representation there five days a week and that they are not utilized for Communications support.

Mr. Costin asked if Eighteen92 is an overlap since $36,000 is already being paid to Frederickson and Byron for lobbying. Mr. Paulsen indicated that the Frederickson and Byron agreement expired at the end of the 2020.

After discussion, Mayor Dardis asked for a motion to approve item i, the new service agreement for PR for Good.

MOTION failed

A motion was not initiated to approve the PR for Good new service agreement.

Mayor Dardis asked for a motion to approve item ii, the new service agreement for Eighteen92 to provide polling/communications support.

MOTION failed

A motion was not initiated to approve the new service agreement for Eighteen92.

Mayor Dardis asked for a motion to approve item iii, TO 26, amendment 8 for HMG services.

MOTION passed

Mr. Steen moved to approve the task order and Mr. Montplaisir seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.

Mayor Dardis asked for a motion to approve item iv, TO 6, amendment 6 for Jacobs procurement assistance and P3 support.

MOTION passed

Mr. Steen moved to approve the task order and Dr. Mahoney seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.

Mayor Dardis reminded the executive director of the need to have a spreadsheet to show the cause and effect of these items and their related expenditures.

Executive Director Approved Contract Actions

  • PR for Good – New Service Agreement
  • Changing the Terms – New Service Agreement
  • AE2S – New Task Order #2
  • Jacobs/CH2M – TO 4, Amendment 3
  • Jacobs/CH2M – TO 5, Amendment 6

Mr. Steen asked if the resiliency regarding Jacobs had changed. Mr. Barthel indicated that Luuceo was hired by Jacobs to double check on the P3 and establish a baseline. The original $420,000 is spread across three phases and it is the total amount but it has not been approved under the TO. The intent was to hire them as a subcontractor under Jacobs.

There were no contracting actions for CCJWRD or MCCJPA to report.

  1. OTHER BUSINESS

Diversion Authority Contracting Resolution         

Mr. Shockley provided an overview of the contracting resolution that would increase the executive director’s signature approval from $150,000 to $200,000. This will be revisited again when we are in construction phase and will likely restore to the original agreement. The executive director will continue to report approvals to the Finance Committee.

MOTION passed

Mr. Steen moved to approve the contracting resolution and Mr. Peterson seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.

  1. NEXT MEETING

The next meeting is scheduled for February 24, 2021.

Prior to adjournment, Mr. Steen asked Mr. Paulsen to readdress the communications discussion and to come back with additional information. Dr. Mahoney suggested that a SWOT analysis be conducted to help us address what is needed to move forward and what we are lacking. Ms. Darling stated that we are trying to utilize the same services that we had before. Mr. Paulsen also indicated that the communications approach was presented to Public and to Finance and it might be beneficial to clarify.

Mr. Shockley noted that the Diversion Authority received the permit from the Minnesota DNR.

  1. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 4:51 pm.