City Engineers Association of Minnesota

The 2022 CEAM Annual Conference was held in January at the Earle Brown Heritage Center with three days of general and concurrent education sessions and a business meeting to handle necessary association affairs. The conference offered opportunities to earn professional development hours for licensure requirements, learn about issues facing Minnesota cities, see how cities are using new technologies and developing innovative construction projects, as well as a chance to network with professionals and peers.

See below for upcoming events and 2023 conference details.


Rick Tisdale

Rick Tisdale

Cedar Creek Energy

Tracy Hodel

Tracy Hodel

City of St. Cloud


Going Solar: A Municipal Perspective

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm CDT

Featuring Rick Tisdale, Cedar Creek Energy and Tracy Hodel, City of St. Cloud


Interest in solar energy is gaining momentum with more and more municipalities considering solar energy projects. This session will focus on municipal solar energy projects from the perspectives of the owner, developer, and project engineer. The discussion will include an overview of the project process, including siting and feasibility considerations that are unique to solar energy projects. The session will also include insights and lessons learned regarding the implementation of municipal solar projects and a discussion on the role(s) of the solar energy developer in municipal solar projects.

Learning Objectives

1) Options that are available to cities related to renewable/solar energy and ways to implement full-scale solar conversions (such as the City of St. Cloud).

2) Solar project processes including siting, contracts, and feasibility that are specifically unique to solar projects.

3) Insights and lessons learned related to municipal solar projects and how roles between owner, developer, and engineer contrast during these projects.



About the Speakers:

Rick Tisdale, Senior Project Engineer, Cedar Creek Energy

With a degree in aeronautical engineering (earned on a full ride scholarship), an excellent sense of humor, and a creative streak that doesn’t quit, Rick is not quite your typical “nerdy” engineer. He is personable and able to crunch large amounts of data to develop innovative solutions for each individual client. Add to that a background in finance and you have a powerhouse who understands and anticipates proactively all the moving pieces necessary to create a sustainable solar energy system good for the bottom line of each client. A frequent speaker schools and universities on the subject of renewable energy, Rick enjoys opening the eyes of the next generation to the possibilities renewable energy has for their future.

Tracy Hodel, Public Services Director, City of St. Cloud

Tracy Hodel is the Public Services Director for the City of St. Cloud and oversees the Engineering, Public Works and Public Utilities Departments for the City of St. Cloud. She has been part of the transformation of the City of St. Cloud in becoming one of the leading cities in sustainability and innovation.

Image of DoubleTree hotel


January 25-27, 2023

Join us at the Double Tree in Bloomington for opportunities to see how other cities are using new technologies and developing innovative construction projects, as well as a chance to network with other professionals and peers.

Mark your calendar, official registration will be coming soon!

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington – Minneapolis South
7800 Normandale Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55439


Congratulations to the 2021 award & scholarship winners who were announced at the 2022 Annual Conference. 


Congrats, Rod Rue, PE!

Rod is a City Engineer from the City of Eden Prairie. Check out what his fellow colleagues & family have to say about him in the clip below.

Fast Facts:

  • Attended South Dakota State University -Bachelors of Science –Civil Engineering
  • Deans List for two semesters
  • Has been employed by current employer since 1980
  • Has been an active member in CEAM since around 1995


Congrats, City of St. Louis Park! 

Project Name: Historic Walker Lake Street and Alley Reconstruction 

Project Vision: City initiative to revive Historic Walker Lake District

  • Goal :: Enhance visitor experience and social environment
  • Goal :: Enhance the quantity and quality of mobility (bike, pedestrian, transit)
  • Goal :: Create business organization


City of Northfield

Project Name: TH 246 & Jefferson Parkway Roundabout Project

    City of Roseville

    Project Name: RCD 4 Storm Sewer Installation and Twin Lakes Trail Improvements


      University of Minnesota –Twin Cities ($4,000 each)

      • Noah Struck
      • Madeline Fidler
      • Dylan Blom
      • Lydia Anshus

      Minnesota State University at Mankato ($4,000 each)
      Molly Hill

      University of Minnesota -Duluth ($4,000 each)
      Abigail Norman

      St. Cloud Technical and Community College ($2,500 each)

      • Adam Kremer
      • Wayne Duhoux


      Click on the session title to view the session handouts! 

      Session Title

      Session Description

      Workforce Trend Changes – Impact to Development

      Workforce trends have continued to evolve with a large percentage of companies moving to work from home options, with a need for less office space. As these changes occur, it is shaping the way development and redevelopment is being considered.

      John Breitinger, Cushman & Wakefield, Jeff McMenimen, Damon Farber Landscape Architects, Stacie Kvilvang, Ehlers, Inc.
      Moderator: Will Manchester, City of Minnetonka

      League of Minnesota Cities Update

      This session will provide an overview of the League’s highest priorities and major trends happening in local government. Dave will highlight the League’s significant focus on member engagement and how this investment of board and staff time is helping the League fulfill its mission to serve all cities in Minnesota.

      Dave Unmacht, League of Minnesota Cities
      Moderator: Dan Coyle, Kimley-Horn

      Transforming into the Digital Age with Paperless Plans for the TH 169 Project

      Utilizing technology for paperless plans and the power of a new delivery method and digital transformation have provided the State and the City of Elk River incredible freedom to make flexibility designs for the better of the project. Learn about how the agencies, WSB, and Ames used the technology to see significant cost savings and to construct a more efficient project.

      Justin Femrite, City of Elk River, Jason Block, Ames Construction, Inc. Darren Nelson, MnDOT, Peter Muehlbach, WSB
      Moderator: Steve Winter, MSA Professional Services, Inc.

      Working with Elected Officials

      Here is your opportunity to receive information and tips to improve your relationships and communications with elected officials. This session will offer different perspectives and ideas for you to consider to improve your effectiveness working with elected officials at various levels.

      Ann Johnson Stewart, Minnesota Senator, Don Theisen, Washington County
      Moderator: Kristine Elwood, MnDOT State Aid

      Local Speed Limits Update

      In 2019, the Minnesota State Legislature enacted legislation to allow cities the authority to determine speed limits on local City streets. Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester were early adopters of reducing speed limits on their local roads. This session will provide two different city perspectives on reducing speed limits on local roads. In addition, an overview of two Local Road Research Board (LRRB) studies of speed limits will be presented. “Guidelines for Determining Speed  Limits on Municipal Roadways” is wrapping up and “Impact of Speed Limit Changes on Urban Streets” is just getting underway.

      Chad Millner, City of Edina, Mark Maloney, City of Shoreview, Kate Miner, Stonebrooke Engineering, Gary Davis, University of Minnesota
      Moderator: Marc Culver, City of Roseville

      LTAP Update: New Resources to Help Grow the Local Agency Transportation Workforce

      Are you struggling to hire qualified staff for open positions within your agency or department? This session will explore several new resources developed by Minnesota LTAP to introduce youth to careers in local agency transportation departments and help provide training for current staff who show interest and aptitude for advancement.

      Stephanie Malinoff, Center for Transportation Studies, Katherine Stanley, Center for Transportation Studies
      Moderator: Paul Sandy, City of Brainerd

      Practical Ethics for Tough Times

      Today’s public sector engineers face great challenges, upholding their duties to make sound decisions and provide unbiased guidance during a time of marked conflict and divisiveness in society. This session will offer ethics-based techniques and approaches for upholding professional standards in service to the public while respecting the complex needs and conflicting perspectives of multiple stakeholders. These approaches include:
      • Moral courage as a critical feature of strong professionalism.
      • Mutual respect as a necessary condition for constructive discourse.
      • Conflict mitigation and ethical persuasion as key skills for public sector engineers.
      Engineers will also learn to identify and address some of the predictable challenges that arise at the intersection of technical factors, economic factors, public policy, and politics.

      Chad Weinstein, Ethical Leaders in Action
      Moderator: Joe Rhein, CEAM Conference Planning Committee Co-Chair, Bolton & Menk

      Advancing Equity in Public Contracts and Procurement

      MnDOT has been finding ways to provide contract opportunities to small businesses for the past several years and recently some local governments have used similar techniques to open more doors for small businesses to bid and respond to Requests for Proposals. In this session, MnDOT staff will provide information on ways cities can engage with small businesses and Ramsey County will present a sample project that was completed using different contracting techniques to attract small businesses. To better understand barriers faced by small businesses, the founder and CEO of Midwest Select Contracting, LLC will discuss her experiences.

      Mary Schmidt, MnDOT, Ted Schoenecker, Ramsey County, Edna McKenzie, Midwest Select Contracting, LLC
      Moderator: Kristine Elwood, MnDOT

      Pedestrian Safety on City Streets

      This session will include practical examples of pedestrian safety improvements in Urban and Suburban cities. MnDOT will share new initiatives to engage local agencies in Towards Zero Death efforts and to improve pedestrian safety and collaboration across agencies.

      Mike Hanson, MnDOT, Ethan Fawley, City of Minneapolis Public Works, John Gorder, City of Eagan
      Moderator: Randy Newton, City of St. Paul

      Holistic Autonomous Vehicle Safety and Update on MnDOT’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Program

      Current vehicle safety standards, best practices, and approaches are not adequate to ensure the safety of an automated vehicle (AV), the motoring public, and vulnerable road users. The application of these technologies continually prompts the question: How safe is safe enough? A holistic approach to safety that considers all aspects of a safe AV deployment is crucial. The most effective way to cover all aspects of safety is an assessment and verification process, especially as an AV deployment requires many different elements, including the environment, management practices, and the vehicles. MnDOT will also provide an update on their Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Program.

      Andrew Smart, Andrew Smart Consulting, LLC, MnDOT CAV Representative, MnDOT
      Moderator: Dan Boyum, Stantec

      Session Title

      Session Description

      Walking & Biking in Rural Communities: How Planning, Partnerships, and Equity Play a Role

      This session is a panel presentation that will discuss best practices and lessons for implementing bike and pedestrian facilities in rural cities. Attendees will get an overview of how GIS tools can be used to equitably plan and construct these facilities with state highway projects.

      Cody Christianson, Bolton & Menk, Inc., Jasper Kruggel, City of LeSeur, Sonja Piper, MnDOT
      Moderator: Eric Seaburg, Bolton & Menk, Inc.

      Augmented Reality Technology for Design and Construction

      Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications. This presentation will review various AR products and uses.

      John McDonald, Stantec, Dylan Jones, Frontier Precision Inc., Matt Schwartz, Frontier Precision Inc.
      Moderator: Dan Boyum, Stantec

      Automated vehicle session presentation

      McCarrons Water Treatment Plant– Case Study in Overhaul of Aging Infrastructure

      St. Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) is currently undertaking the largest drinking water project in Minnesota history. Since the mid-1910s, the McCarrons Water Treatment Plant has been providing drinking water to the residents of St. Paul and neighboring communities. At an estimated cost of about $180M, the improvements to the aging water treatment plant will be extensive. SPRWS has opted to deliver this project via Progressive Design Build (PDB), a delivery methodology in which one firm both designs and constructs the facility. This session will include discussion on the scope of the McCarron’s Water Treatment Plant improvements, including incorporation of more modern technologies, and how to successfully begin a Progressive Design Build project.

      Will Menkhaus, St. Paul Regional Water Services, Roger Scharf, Jacobs
      Moderator: Janna Kieffer, Barr Engineering Co.

      MS4 Permit – Current Status and Lessons Learned

      By January 2022, the MS4 permittees will be well into developing the revisions and new elements of their MS4 SWPPPs to comply with the new Minnesota MS4 General Permit. Most of the permittees received their permit coverage letters from the MPCA during the summer of 2021. After the receipt of that letter, each permittee has 12 months to revise their SWPPP or create new SWPPP elements to comply with the new Permit requirements. This session will review where most of the challenges are and what ideas and materials seem to work best for permittees.

      Randy Neprash, Stantec, Representative, MN Cities Storm Water Coalition
      Moderator: Steve Dodge, City of Inver Grove Heights

      Federal Process 101 – There is no such thing as a free lunch

      Federal funding – what do I need to know? We all love free money, but money from the federal government has strings attached. Navigating the federal process is not hard if you know what you are getting into, but has some challenges and potential pitfalls if you don’t. This session highlights the before and after for federally funded projects by answering the most important questions:

      • What to know before you apply for federal funding
      • You received the funding, NOW WHAT?

      The presenters will explain the process while interweaving stories and experiences from previous federally-funded projects to help you leave the session with confidence to manage your next federal project.

      Sulmaan Khan, MnDOT, Elisa Bottos, MnDOT, Colleen Brown, MnDOT, Jack Corkle, WSB
      Moderator: Jennifer Edison, WSB

      Session Title

      Session Description

      Programs to Address Funding Shortfalls due to COVID

      This session will give an overview of the funding programs that were initiated due to COVID and the resulting economic impacts; CARES, CRRSAA, ARP, infrastructure bill, return of federal legislator designated projects (earmarks) and increased funding for existing programs. Attendees will get an overview of available programs, the types of qualifying activities and any critical dates.

      Anne Finn, League of Minnesota Cities, Daniel Lightfoot, League of MN Cities, Staff Representative, MnDOT State Aid
      Moderator: Dan Coyle, Kimley-Horn

      Going Solar: a Municipal Perspective

      Interest in solar energy is gaining momentum with more and more municipalities considering solar energy projects. This session will focus on municipal solar energy projects from the perspectives of the owner, developer and project engineer. Discussion will include an overview of the project process, including siting and feasibility considerations that are unique to solar energy projects. The session will also include insights and lessons learned regarding implementation of municipal solar projects and discussion on the role(s) of the solar energy developer in municipal solar projects.

      Tracy Hodel, City of St. Cloud, Carlos Ballinas, Barr Engineering Co., Rick Tisdale, Cedar Creek Energy
      Moderator: Paul Sandy, City of Brainerd

      Pavement Management and Maintenance

      Roadways require a large investment from agencies, with proper maintenance and rehabilitation activities applied in a timely manner the overall cost of ownership can be minimized. In this session, a local geotechnical consultant will explore practical applications of different best management practices of pavement maintenance and management. Representatives from a metro city and county will also discuss their agency’s pavement management program and their approach to pavement maintenance.

      Amy Grothaus, Braun Intertec, Trudy Elsner, Hennepin County, Mike Payne, City of Plymouth
      Moderator: Bob Simons, City of Bloomington

      MS4 Permit – Current Status and Lessons Learned

      By January 2022, the MS4 permittees will be well into developing the revisions and new elements of their MS4 SWPPPs to comply with the new Minnesota MS4 General Permit. Most of the permittees received their permit coverage letters from the MPCA during the summer of 2021. After the receipt of that letter, each permittee has 12 months to revise their SWPPP or create new SWPPP elements to comply with the new Permit requirements. This session will review where most of the challenges are and what ideas and materials seem to work best for permittees.

      Randy Neprash, Stantec, Representative, MN Cities Stormwater Coalition
      Moderator: Dan Boyum, Stantec

      Utilities 101

      This session continues the successful 101 Education Series, and will provide valuable information on the rights/responsibilities of local agencies for private utility coordination, the latest technologies in subsurface utility exploration, and utility inspections and testing.

      Paul Hornby, WSB, Michael Picha, T2 Utility Engineers, Greg Anderson, SEH Inc.
      Moderator: John Gorder, City of Eagan


      Session Title

      Session Description

      Asset Management – Let’s Innovate!

      For many cities, asset management has become an everyday activity with the core goal to maximize value from infrastructure and resources. We will be discussing the emerging technologies and approaches in asset management that are changing the way cities manage not only their assets but also projects, project lifecycle, and data.

      Our presentation will highlight these new technologies and approaches which include reality capture, 3D design, Building Information Modelling (BIM), location intelligence, digital delivery, and visualization. We will highlight each through examples from recent projects at MnDOT and other communities. You will learn how these technologies and approaches can be incorporated into your city’s future projects. Also, you will gain more insight into how they enhance design, collaboration, data delivery, and asset management.

      Justin Hansen, WSB, Trisha Stefanski, MnDOT, Chris Kufner, Hennepin County 
      Moderator: Jen Desrude, City of Burnsville

      Full Depth Reclamation for City Streets

      The Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) recently completed a study on the ability to use Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) in urban areas. It can be difficult to know if FDR is a feasible option for typical asphalt pavement rehabilitation projects. This session will describe the FDR process and urban setting considerations (curb-and-gutter, utilities, manholes, etc.) and provide helpful information to help determine if FDR is appropriate for your next pavement rehabilitation project.

      Susan Miller, SRF Consulting Group, Tom Wesolowski, City of Shoreview, Joseph Stadheim, City of New Ulm, Dan Wegman, Braun Intertec
      Moderator: Matt Hansen, SRF Consulting Group

      Public Art – It Takes Work to Look This Good!

      This session will provide a general introduction to the process of incorporating art into public projects. Using several examples of projects across the country, we will discuss what public art can do, what forms it might take, how it can be integrated into larger construction projects, and how it can be unexpected. Case studies from Two Harbors, Rochester and St. Louis Park will highlight public art in unexpected places, the public art concept development and delivery process, and funding mechanisms.

      Jen Krava, Forecast Public Art, Joe Rhein, Bolton & Menk Inc., Josh Johnsen, City of Rochester, Sean Walther, City of St. Louis Park
      Moderator: Dan Coyle, Kimley-Horn

      Bioretention Basins: Design, Construction and Maintenance, Oh My!

      Bioretention basins can be effective stormwater best management practices (BMPs) to reduce stormwater runoff volume and filter pollutants. Bioretention basins have become fairly common in recent decades as communities respond to water quality improvement goals and regulatory requirements. However, while relatively simple in concept, bioretention basins can pose some unique challenges in design, installation, and maintenance. This session will focus on sharing tips and lessons learned to promote successful installation and operation of bioretention basins, with a focus on design, construction, and long-term maintenance.

      Gregg Thompson, City of Eagan, Matt Metzger, Barr Engineering Co., Stephen Thomforde, Stantec
      Moderator: Steve Dodge, City of Inver Grove Heights

      Traffic-Transportation 101: Being a City Traffic Engineer

      What does it mean to be the traffic expert for your City? This session will explore that question in three ways:
      • Traffic Knowledge. Traffic is a very visible element that impacts everything within your City. This section will review the important City documents to understand, basic traffic engineering numbers to memorize, and key connections to make and maintain. Items reviewed could include the transportation section of the comp plan; parks and recreation plan; Capital Improvement Plan; key trip generation numbers; and daily volume thresholds for roads, warrants, etc.
      • Working with your Council and Commissions. Elected officials and appointed commission members will look to you to answer their traffic questions. Providing education on basic traffic issues can help them understand our complex system before specific concerns are discussed. We will explore potential topics to provide a foundation of traffic knowledge for your Council and Commissions.
      • Talking with Residents. It is important to be responsive to complaints, plainly discuss new development impacts, and provide important construction information to property owners. We will discuss working with the public and provide some tips and tricks to help communicate and track your communications.

      Bryant J. Ficek, PE, PTOE, MnDOT Metro District, Tony Kutzke, City of Woodbury 
      Moderator: Jack Griffin, FOCUS Engineering, Inc.

      About Fusion Learning Partners

      From learning opportunities and events to organizational development and collaborative initiatives, Fusion exists to strengthen and transform the communities where we work, live, and thrive.

      Because Innovation Begins with Learning.

      2022 Planning Committee

      Joseph Rhein, Co-Chair, Bolton & Menk, Inc.
      Paul Sandy, Co-Chair, City of Brainerd
      Greg Anderson, Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc.
      Todd Blank, Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc.
      Dan Boyum, Stantec
      Dan Coyle, Kimley-Horn
      Marc Culver, City of Roseville
      Jen Desrude, City of Burnsville
      Steve Dodge, City of Inver Grove Heights
      Jennifer Edison, WSB & Associates
      Kristine Elwood, MnDOT
      Justin Femrite, City of Elk River
      John Gorder, City of Eagan
      Jack Griffin, FOCUS Engineering

      Nick Guilliams, WSB & Associates
      Matt Hansen, SRF Consulting Group
      Debra Heiser, City of St. Louis Park
      Cody Holmes, City of St. Michael
      Jeff Johnson, City of Mankato
      Janna Kieffer, Barr Engineering
      Will Manchester, City of Minnetonka
      Bob Moberg
      Randy Newton, City of St. Paul
      Michael Payne, City of Plymouth
      Eric Seaburg, Bolton & Menk
      Bob Simons, City of Bloomington
      Jim Studenski, TKDA
      Michael Thompson, City of Plymouth
      Steve Winter, MSA Professional Services