1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Acting Mayor Davis on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 5:40 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Acting Mayor Jamie Davis, Robert Bell, Jay Bunting, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Council excused: Mayor Jason Grimm.
Staff present: Chuck Burnham, City Planner; Gary Buysse, Liquor Manager; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator/Clerk; Randy Jenniges and Scott Lange, Engineering Dept.; Jeff Luther, Chief of Police; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. 2009 Budget Workshop Session
Administrator Stahmer provided worksheets detailing the 2009 budget changes made to date and the impacts of the $97,000 Market Value Homestead Credit cuts by the State of Minnesota for budget years 2009 and 2010, and for half of 2008. Stahmer also commented on the levy limits that will more than likely be in place for upcoming budget cycles. Stahmer explained what would happen to General Fund Reserves if they were continued to be used as gap financing to balance budgets.
Council was informed of approximately $54,000 that is needed to balance the 2009 budget. Stahmer stated this could be achieved by reducing costs, increasing revenues, or a combination of both. Stahmer stated he had all department heads submit possible 2% budget reductions out of their specific budgets. The information was not shared with Council, but Stahmer would like to create a list of budget reduction recommendations and options to the Council for their consideration at a future meeting.
Councilmember Bunting asked for an explanation on the levy and levy limits and how it relates to taxable market value and tax capacity. This led to a discussion regarding the upcoming decertification of TIF districts and whether or not the City will be able to realize the additional tax capacity due to levy limits. Also discussed was getting in touch with legislatures for special legislation that will allow the city to utilize the additional tax capacity to avoid any drastic movement within the City's tax rate.
Councilmember Davis questioned the amount of transfer from Liquor to General Fund. Finance Director Wieland stated the transfer was increased in 2009 from $90,000 to $140,000. This led to a brief discussion regarding any thought by Liquor Manager Buysse on the alternate liquor store site. Buysse discussed advantages and disadvantages to the second site location and wants to keep open the possibility of a future site with the development of the Stone's Throw property. Also questioned was if the Muni was remaining profitable. Buysse stated yes; and due to transfers that occur, the Muni is more profitable than it appears.
Administrator Stahmer stated that staff will go back and take potential cuts and/or revenue enhancements and prioritize them into two categories: (1) No impact to service levels and (2) items having service level impacts that will be presented as Council options.
The City's annual clean-up day was then discussed and Council was asked by staff if they want to continue with the event given the budget concerns. Staff stated the out-of-pocket costs for clean-up day are roughly $5000; $3400 in labor and the rest paid to vendors. This would be a $5000 net savings to the budget if the event were cancelled. Council consensus was to put this item under other business at the regular meeting for discussion.
Councilmember Rauenhorst discussed the 1.5% cost of living increase given to non-union personnel and stated the City should be taking that back. Rauenhorst stated the City should hold the line with no increases and 0% increases for 2010 for both union and non-union.
Council questioned when the 2010 budget process will start. Finance Director Wieland stated it is best to have six months of good financials first; sometime after June.
There was discussion between Bunting, Davis and Rauenhorst regarding the option of cutting personnel as an option.
Administrator Stahmer stated that we are experiencing a budget crunch not a budget crisis as we still have a healthy fund balance.
3. Adjournment. There being no further business, motion by Bunting, second by Bell to adjourn the workshop session.. Motion carried 4-0. The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk