1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Mayor Grimm, Jamie Davis, Robert Bell, Jay Bunting and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Chuck Burnham, City Planner; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Scott Lange, City Engineer; Mike Miller, Police Captain; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum.
2.01 Wally O’Dell
Wally O’Dell, on behalf of Darkenwald, addressed the council and expressed concern over the money being allocated toward the I94 fly-over project, stating that MNDOT has declared in past studies the 6 lanes between Monticello and Maple Grove to be priority. Mr. O’Dell provided a memorandum and a geometric comparisons sheet to the Council.
Councilmember Davis asked Capt. Miller’s opinion if a third lane or improvements were made to the freeway, would his squad been struck earlier this year. Capt. Miller responded that he could not give a conclusive answer.
No action taken.
3.01 County Commissioner Jeff Johnson
Commissioner Johnson addressed the Council and welcomed their questions and invited the Council to call his office or email his office if there is anything they can partner with them on. Commissioner Johnson provided an update on the County’s economic issues and spoke on the “fat” in the county’s budget that is being cut.
Mayor Grimm and Commissioner Johnson discussed the Hennepin County Public Works facility in Medina being a “green” building and the costs associated with building it.
Council thanked Commissioner Johnson. No action taken.
3.02 New City Website Demonstration by Jason Greninger
Web IT/Communications Specialist Greninger addressed the Council on the need for the new website and the advantages it offers over the old website. Greninger stated the site averages 7500 hits per month, the amount of content has doubled since his hire in 2007, and was receiving negative feedback regarding the navigation abilities of the old site. Greninger also stated the new site will save the City $33 per month. Greninger then provided a demonstration of the site.
Mayor Grimm questioned where the feedback Greninger was receiving came from. Greninger stated email comments and suggestions and phone calls; overwhelmingly the comments were regarding trouble finding information on old website.
Councilmember Bell questioned the transition plan for retiring the old site. Greninger explained the name change and that www.ci.rogers.mn.us was pointing to rogers.govoffice.com, now it points to cityofrogers.org. Greninger stated there was a reminder posted to direct individuals to the new site. The navigation through site, specifically through departments, is simple, quick, and easy.
Councilmember Rauenhorst provided some comments he has received from people who have accessed the new site.
Council stated the site looks great and commended Greninger for doing a good job. No action taken.
3.03 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Certificate of Commendation for City of
Rogers Waste Water Treatment Plant
Public Works Supt. Seifert addressed the Council and presented the certificate of commendation from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Seifert stated it represents a dedication by the staff and shows a competency level and consistency on a daily basis. Also present was Utilities Supervisor Janish; mentioned were Wally Knapp, Brent Tillmann, Mike Iwanok, and Patti Porosky. The award was presented to Mayor Grimm and Council. Council was appreciative of the utility department employees in receiving the recognition.
No action taken.
4. Approve agenda. The following items were added to the Agenda:
8.01 Pulled by Councilmember Bunting
8.02 Discussion on the budget
8.03 Appointments to Police Commission
5. Consent Agenda.
5.01 Approval of Minutes from March 24, 2009 City Council Meeting and March 24, 2009
City Council Workshop (pulled from consent)
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims (pulled from consent)
5.03 Approval of Temporary One-Day On-Sale Liquor License to the Rogers Lions Club
for a Mexican Dinner on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 21201 Memorial Drive,
5.04 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-14, A Resolution Requesting Additional Time
Within Which to Complete the Comprehensive Plan “Decennial” Review Obligations
5.05 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-15, A Resolution Providing Municipal Approval to
the Issuance of a Minnesota Lawful Gambling License to the Rogers Lions Club to
Conduct Raffles at the Rogers Municipal Liquor On-Sale Store
5.06 Farmer’s Market at the Rogers Activity Center (pulled from consent)
5.07 City Parking Lot – Rogers Drive and 136th Avenue (pulled from consent)
5.08 Authorization to Provide City Labor to Repair Recalled Hydrants (pulled from consent)
5.09 Authorize Execution of the Contract Extension with Hennepin County Assessors
5.10 Well No. 5 Repair Costs
5.11 Crack Sealing Quotes (pulled from consent)
Motion by Davis, second by Bell to approve 5.03, 5.04, 5.05 5.09, and 5.10 of the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.
5.01 Approval of Minutes
Councilmember Rauenhorst corrected item 8.04 of the March 24, 2009 regular meeting minutes; scratch the name Bunting and insert the name Rauenhorst.
Councilmember Davis corrected the adjournment of the March 24, 2009 workshop minutes; correct the motion to read 4-0.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to approve 5.01. Motion carried 4-0-1 with Grimm abstaining.
5.02 Bills and Claims
Councilmember Bunting questioned two claims related to water testing. Public Works Supt. Seifert provided explanation.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve 5.02. Motion carried 5-0.
5.06 Farmer’s Market
Councilmember Bunting stated he pulled this because of the location of the Farmer’s Market being at the RAC and has had several people approach him to encourage this activity to happen on the south side of the interstate. Bunting stated he is seeking clarification on why it is located at the RAC instead of at a location on the south side, such as the old Word of Peace church. Seifert mentioned staffing as a primary reason.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Davis to approve 5.06. Motion carried 5-0.
5.07 City Parking Lot
Councilmember Rauenhorst questioned why the city would pay $49,000 for a parking lot to benefit only one business. Staff explained the purpose of the request is so the taxes can be abated. Staff stated it would take two years of property taxes to be abated before money would be saved; annual taxes are $25,000. The lot is not currently being used as a parking lot. There was a discussion on how long the City is going to retain the lot.
Rauenhorst stated the issue is improvement of property for one business owner, in his mind this is no different than doing TIF for the benefit of one company. This led to a discussion of participation by the adjacent business owner or the selling of parking permits, but doing so may remove the ability to abate the taxes.
Attorney Carson provided an opinion on the ability to abate if generating an income.
Council and staff clarified that the adjacent business owner did not approach the city.
Bunting stated the ancillary benefit of the adjacent business doesn’t bother him, but wants Maynards approached to see what they are willing to do. Have staff look into partnering with Maynards.
Councilmember Bell echoed the same thoughts, if it can save money over 3 to 5 years, probably wise choice to make the investment. It would be great to get acknowledgement that it would be a benefit to the business - show good faith on their part.
Mayor Grimm stated if we ask for their participation and we get it, what happens if another restaurant goes into the strip mall and benefits from the lot, then what.
Rauenhorst stated biggest issue is the additional $25k going into it right now. Rauenhorst doesn’t think we should be burdening tax payers with the budget we have.
Councilmember Bunting clarified the money is coming from TIF.
Staff discussed the difficulties with the property being in a TIF District and the participation by another property on TIF property would generate use of TIF issues.
Council asked what is designed for an entrance. Seifert stated it fronts onto 136th Avenue.
There were comments from the public on how the City should treat the TIF parcel.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to table this item and direct staff to provide answers to the Council’s questions.
There was continued discussion on the use of TIF, ancillary benefit to the adjacent property owner, and the possibility of 2009 tax abatement.
Mayor Grimm asked when a decision needed to be made for 2009 abatement.
Doboszenski stated now. The letter is waiting to be mailed to Hennepin County and the County will do what they can to get it abated in 2009. This led to discussion on making a decision tonight or on April 28th.
Council consensus was to wait two weeks and get more clarification from staff on the questions raised.
Motion carried 5-0.
5.08 Authorization to provide city labor to repair recalled hydrants
Councilmember Rauenhorst asked if we have people on staff now to take care of this issue.
Seifert stated the most efficient way is to use a dedicated person. With existing staff, doing this as fill-in work, will take additional time; this needs to be done in a timely manner. Seifert explained some other communities are contracting the labor, however, it is too costly and they are not familiar with the city. Seifert stated over ½ of the hydrants are recalled; approximately 300.
Rauenhorst asked Seifert to keep the cost of the seasonal part time employee to a minimum; if the City could save money it would be appreciated.
Councilmember Davis commented on the amount being reimbursed per hydrant; $40 per hydrant; $12,000 with cost of seasonal employee is $5400. Davis didn’t see an issue with the hire since the manufacturer is reimbursing the entire amount and then some.
Dan Janish stated that with staff now we cannot do it this summer. There was a discussion on the length of time needed to repair one hydrant. Janish stated approximately one to one and a half hours per hydrant.
Davis questioned once this work is done, will that seasonal part-time employee do other labor? Seifert spoke on maintenance and painting of hydrants.
There was a question from the audience if this would be considered a liability issue if this is a known problem/safety issue with the existing hydrants.
Attorney Carson stated no, because we are identifying and addressing the issue. If we were doing nothing – then possibly.
After continued discussion, motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to approve 5.08. Motion carried 5-0.
5.11 Crack Sealing Quotes
Councilmember Rauenhorst stated he pulled this because no information was provided until the meeting and asked if this can be postponed until next year with a better budget?
Seifert stated the best practice is to maintain roadways; reducing amounts of preventative maintenance will speed up the deterioration.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to award to Northwest Asphalt Maintenance Co.
Administrator Stahmer asked for clarification on total cost.
Seifert stated 12,000 to 15,000 pound range at 1.28 per pound.
Motion carried 5-0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business.
7.01 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grant for
Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail form TH101 west to Hassan Elementary School
Seifert stated the City was approached by Hassan to jointly apply for the ARRA grant for a trail on the south side of County Road 144 from Highway 101 to the Hassan Elementary. The application is in the packet with letters of support from school and other stakeholders. If Council is in favor with proceeding with the project; it does involve public participation. Seifert stated this was named as a high priority in improvement plans among park boards. This would take the Safe Routes to Schools project west to the Hassan Elementary Schools.
Councilmember Davis questioned the deadline to apply. Seifert stated this project has been submitted in the City’s name.
Administrator Stahmer stated with three weeks in between Council meetings, it was submitted similar to the COPS Grant applicant due to deadline constraints. If Council is not supportive, then we can retract the application submission.
There was discussion on the local match; $125,000 from Rogers, $125,000 from Hassan Township.
Park dedication fees would be the funding source.
Councilmember Bunting questioned the cost: $900,000 to build a sidewalk how long? Seifert explained the costs involved in the construction of the trail; 10 foot wide detached.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to move forward with application process. Motion carried 5-0.
7.02 Youth Action Committee
Administrator Stahmer reported staff is working with Rogers High School to identify applicants to this committee. Mayor Grimm and Stahmer met with members of the school who applied. Five students were interested in the position. Stahmer explained the current ordinance limits it to four members and one ex-officio council member. It also limits membership to Rogers residents. Currently, three of the applicants are Rogers residents and two are from Otsego. Stahmer recommended changing the ordinance to fit the existing circumstances and provided a draft ordinance for Council consideration; highlighting the four changes.
Mayor Grimm stated the applicants are the cream of the crop of Rogers High School. Grimm asked if Council had any issues with the proposed changes.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to move forward with the changes for restructuring and adopt the proposed ordinance. Motion carried 5 – 0.
7.03 Request to Purchase Replacement Squad Car
Capt. Miller reported that on March 26, 2009, squad 68702 was involved in an accident totaling the squad. Miller stated tonight he is looking for a motion to approve the purchase and outfitting of a new vehicle.
There was a discussion on the age of the current fleet and the opportunity to view the traffic camera video from the March 26th incident.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to authorize the purchase of the replacement vehicle.
Councilmember Bunting questioned the three squads that have been ordered, when do they arrive and will this one take the same amount of time? Miller stated a pre-order can take up to 120 days for delivery.
There was discussion on fleet rotation and staggering the squads for replacement.
Miller stated this will be an unmarked unit, not a black and white, and will give the department more options with vehicles.
Motion carried 5-0.
7.04 Update on City Clean Up Day
Administrator Stahmer stated he is able to provide labor by non-hourly (salaried) personnel along with elected officials from both Hassan and Rogers to staff event. More than enough people are volunteering to work that day.
Councilmember Rauenhorst questioned the cost of dumpsters.
Seifert stated we will hopefully charge enough for the debris to break even on the cost.
Rauenhorst stated he read on the Hennepin County website and found they have a facility in Brooklyn Park open five days out of the week and they are cheaper than what we are advertising, should we just be advertising Hennepin County’s information and not hold the event?
Mayor Grimm stated we provide clean-up day out of convenience.
Rauenhorst stated he was bringing it up for discussion. We may end up having to spend money. Hennepin County has an opportunity and is open five days a week. Rauenhorst asked to link the Hennepin County information to our city website.
Seifert spoke on the curbside pick-up for the elderly.
Councilmember Davis suggested we continue with the clean-up day for this year, but if the City ends up paying more than $1,000 then don’t do it next year.
No action taken.
7.05 Issuance of $1,940,000 General Obligation Tax Increment Refund Bonds,
Series 2009 A
Finance Director Wieland reported on the call with Moody’s and the purpose of the bond issue. She then introduced Bruce Kimmel from Ehlers. Kimmel reported to Council and referenced the post sale report handed out to Council. Kimmel stated a total of four bids were received with the winning bid being United Bankers Bank out of Bloomington, MN. Kimmel stated it was very aggressive bidding on short-term bonds. The true interest rate is 1.35%. Kimmel stated this is a great accomplishment for the city for a total savings of just under $45,000. Kimmel then provided comments on Moody’s rating – affirmation of our A1 Rating and is very complimentary toward the City. Kimmel stated Moody’s recognized the challenges, but the slow down is an opportunity to re-assess policies and strategies. Also named were the conservative fiscal strategies and adequate reserves. Council and staff deserve credit for that.
Grimm and Council thanked Ehlers and Wieland for their hard work.
Administrator Stahmer also commended Finance Director Wieland on the bond call with Moody’s last Thursday. Wieland did the vast majority of prep work and speaking during the call. Moody’s rater did get detailed and Wieland provided immediate answers. Stahmer stated the call went smoothly and was part of the reason for the A1 rating.
Motion by Davis, seconded by Bunting to authorize the issuance of the $1,940,000 General Obligation Tax Increment Refund Bonds, and the resolution relating thereto. Motion carried 5-0.
7.06 Engineering Consultant Selection Process
Administrator Stahmer provided the history on what the City has done for narrowing the selection of engineering consultants and asked for a selection committee to interview two consulting firms; WSB and SEH. The committee would consist of two council members and staff. The recommendation is to appoint two council members and to direct staff as necessary to obtain more current fee information from SEH and WSB.
Council members Rauenhorst and Bell volunteered to serve on the committee.
Motion by Davis, seconded by Bell to appoint Rauenhorst and Bell to the selection committee. Motion carried 5-0.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to direct staff to obtain current fee information. Motion carried 5-0.
7.07 Schedule Stone’s Throw Work Session
Administrator Stahmer asked for a work session prior to the April 28th CC meeting, and after the April 21st Planning Commission meeting to discuss the rezoning application by Stones Throw. Stahmer and Attorney Carson stated the developer has a deadline of April 30th. This would only be to provide zoning, density ranges, and uses; not approving specific layouts. Stahmer further stated the City and developer will negotiate a very thorough development agreement.
Attorney Carson stated staff is careful to ensure it is not recommending an approval beyond what is reasonable and safe to the city.
Stahmer stated he is looking for an April 22nd meeting if possible to discuss this item specifically prior to the April 28th agenda, in the event changes are necessary.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Rauenhorst to call a work session for April 22nd at 6:00 p.m. at the RAC.
Motion carried 5-0.
7.08 Letter of Support for Hugo Tornado Recovery
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to approve letter of support for the Hugo Tornado Recovery. Motion carried 5-0
8. Other Business.
8.01 (cont.) Examples of Dealing with Expenses – Councilmember Bunting (pulled
8.02 Discussion on Budget - Rauenhorst
Councilmember Rauenhorst stated multiple cities have been making cuts in their budget. Otsego is cutting $300k from their budget with forecasting not being in a positive light. It would be wise if we start preparing for next year’s budget and making necessary changes.
Rauenhorst motioned to challenge staff to come forward with cuts to the budget in the range of $300,000 this year so that we have a good attempt in handling next year’s budget.
Councilmember Davis questioned what the basis is for the $300,000, stating Otsego had money tied to LGA.
Rauenhorst commented that with the decrease in property valuations, it would be wise to make an attempt to correct the budget now before waiting too long
Councilmember Bunting asked what staff has done already.
Administrator Stahmer stated that most of the budget modifications that are being made currently are not time specific, the money has not been spent on many of the items identified. Stahmer stated after 2009, the only changes were expected reimbursements from Hassan and MVHC cuts of roughly $145,000. Stahmer stated he received 2% modifications from all department heads. The current modifications are around $170,000; pretty well solved the $145,000 for this year with still some work to be done going into 2010.
Bunting stated we’ve all talked about a budget review in June. Bunting would like to see where we are at sooner rather than later; making the impact as little as possible to citizens and to staff.
Stahmer suggested a late May process meeting on the upcoming 2010 budget, but not talking numbers at that meeting.
Rauenhorst readdressed his motion with idea of directing staff to plan on $300,000 in cuts for 2009 going into 2010.
Bunting stated he is up in the air on the $300,000 number and suggested letting staff and council pick through the best options. Right now we are close to $200,000 what would an additional $100,000 mean?
Stahmer stated, as mentioned in March, service impacts including staffing would be brought forward as options above and beyond the aforementioned modifications.
Bunting stated he is okay with options if $300,000 makes us look at options.
Rauenhorst again asked staff to bring a list of where we can cut $300,000 out of the budget.
Davis asked if Rauenhorst is asking for an additional $300,000 to the already known savings?
Rauenhorst stated an additional $100k, the longer we wait the worse off we’ll be.
Bunting seconded Rauenhorst’s motion, stating he agrees on being presented options, and asked for a preliminary budget workshop meeting in late May. Motion carried 5-0.
Stahmer asked for clarification if Council has any areas they would direct staff to look.
Council stated nothing is off limit at this point.
Davis asked to make service level diminishments options for the Council to consider.
8.03 Appointment of Police Commissioners to Police Commission.
Doboszenski read the names of the top three candidates interviewed at the work session prior to the meeting.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to appoint Larrabee, Kraemer, and Adams to Rogers Police Commission. Motion carried 4-0-1; Davis abstaining due to absence.
9. CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS
9.01 March Police Reports
9.02 Transportation Task Force Agenda – April 28, 2009
9.03 February Financial Reports
No action taken.
10. Adjourn. There being no further business, motion by Rauenhorst, Grimm to adjourn. Motion carried 5-0. The meeting was adjourned at 9:11 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk