1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jamie Davis, Jason Grimm, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Bret Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum.
Leonard Kirscht, President of the I94 West Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Council to further discuss the I94 corridor coalition project. Mr. Kirscht thanked the council for the opportunity to present the request and asked Council to consider joining the coalition.
Mr. Kirscht continued to discuss the project and stated the coalition is seeking to have the project included in the Franken and Klobuchar’s project lists.
Council thanked Mr. Kirscht for his presentation.
Judy Hanson addressed the Council and thanked them for the wonderful honor of citizen of the year. She stated she appreciates the once in a lifetime honor very much.
4. Approve agenda. The following items were added to the Agenda:
8.01 Bunting – Discussion on acquiring a building for a senior and youth center
5. Consent Agenda.
5.05 Acceptance of County Road 81 Realignment Appraisal Proposals
5.06 Accept Resignation of Officer Matthew Hayen
5.07 Approval of Temporary One-Day On-Sale 3.2 Liquor License to Mary Queen of
Peace for a Pig Roast on Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 21304 Church Ave
5.08 Acceptance of Miscellaneous Concrete Repair Quote
5.09 Authorize Clerk’s Signature on Fire Relief Assoc. Form SC-09, 2010 City
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst the remaining consent agenda as revised with additional claims and letter of support for Dayton. Motion carried 5-0.
The following items were pulled for further discussion:
5.01 Approval of Minutes from June 23, 2009 City Council Meeting and June 23, 2009
Workshop meeting Pulled by Rauenhorst
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims and Additional Claims List Pulled by Rauenhorst
5.03 Request for 1 Year Extension of the CUP for Holiday Pulled by staff
5.04 Request by Marlon Weber to Hold an Annual Knights of Columbus Trap Shoot
Event on His Property Located at 22510 Territorial Road pulled by Bunting
5.01 Rauenhorst stated the workshop meeting minutes need to be corrected to show a 3 – 0 approval on the adjournment; not 4 – 0.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to approve 5.01. Motion carried 5 – 0.
5.02 Rauenhorst discussed the claims relating to the consumer confidence report with Seifert. Rauenhorst stated the City needs to practice to cutting spending before we cut people and asked that Seifert does what is required by law for the report; not high gloss tri-fold brochures.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bell to approve 5.02. Motion carried 5 – 0.
5.04 Bunting stated he pulled this item to discuss it further for the public’s benefit. Bunting stated as Rogers continues to grow, but there will be the day these types of events (trap shoot) will not be able to be held in town anymore. He stated he has received comments from neighbors for years regarding the amount of shooting that goes on in town. He reassured the public that this event will not put any homes or pets in danger.
Chief Luther addressed the Council on the event. He stated he informed Mr. Weber of the ordinance and the need to apply to the council for approval. Luther continued to describe the approvals given under the ordinance and reassured the Council this event will not be a hazard.
Bunting requested that Chief Luther send a squad car at dusk to make sure the shooting has stopped.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve 5.04. Motion carried 5 – 0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
An unidentified resident requested to address the Council during this portion of the agenda. Mayor Grimm stated generally these items are taken during open forum, but allowed him to speak.
The resident spoke on the City’s decision to stop paying for the dumping of grass clippings and brush taken to the Maple Grove site. He asked Council why the service was cut.
Bunting explained that it resulted in an approximate $30,000 savings over the next 1 ½ years. Bunting gave him an option of a curb-side service.
There was continued discussion between the resident and Council regarding this reduction in service.
Bunting stated that when the financial condition of the city improves, this is something that could be put back on. Bunting explained the brush and clippings can still be taken there, but the residents will be charged a fee.
The resident commented there will be black bags of clippings found in City ditches due to the reduction in service; people will just put their garbage in the ditches.
Grimm stated the people leaving garbage will be fined. The moment the budget gets back in order will do our best bring back that service.
Staff and Council discussed that the contract has been suspended not terminated, so that it can be reinstated at any time the Council chooses.
There was continued discussion regarding the people that use the service having to pay for the service. Council reminded the resident that materials will be accepted without charge until August 1st.
7. General Business.
7.01 2009 COLA for Salaried and Non-Union Employees
Administrator Stahmer stated this was a carry-over item from a January agenda. Stahmer explained the present situation of the budget and stated the City is currently operating on multiple salary structures, which should be corrected in the future as budget allows.
Stahmer recommended maintaining the existing pay structure without the additional 1.5% increase to non-union employees. Stahmer also stated that for both the union and the non-union, the recommendation will be a 0% COLA for 2010 as well.
Council consensus was to accept the recommendation.
7.02 I94 West Chamber of Commerce on Corridor Coalition - Funding
Administrator Stahmer reported on the potential use of TIF funds to pay for Rogers share of funding the corridor coalition. Stahmer stated in posing the question to the bond TIF attorney, the answer was “maybe” and needs a further review of the development plan and TIF plan which would exceed the expenditure. Stahmer stated the only place funding could be used, in light of the budget discussion, would be reserves or capital funds, not TIF.
Council discussed their options.
Bell stated he agrees with what they are doing and stands behind them for the effort but in this budget we can’t spend the money on this right now.
Bunting stated it is tough to say yes to something like this, and he is going to try to keep an open mind on this.
Rauenhorst suggested not withdrawing, but to table this item and revisit it in six months to see where we are financially.
Stahmer stated Council can consider this as a line item for the 2010 budget or otherwise fund through existing funds later in the year.
Davis suggested deferring any discretionary spending until City positions are solidified.
No action was taken.
7.03 Public Works Reorganization
Stahmer reported, as discussed in the budget work session, staff is requesting a reorganization to better serve the City. The revision includes the creation of positions; a street/storm lead worker and parks lead worker and a small revision to the Public Works Maintenance II position to a Public Works Maintenance III position. Stahmer stated the positions will be posted internally for a five day period as per the union contract and will discuss with the union where the salaries for these positions sit on the city’s pay plan. Stahmer stated Doboszenski pointed out the positions and they do point out at a salary grade 8. Negotiations with the union on salaries are yet to be determined.
Seifert then addressed the council on the item of reorganization and explained how the Public Works Department is matrixed across multiple departments and staff ends up doing both utility work and street maintenance duties. Seifert provided history of the creation of the utilities supervisor position and the current Non-UBC/Inspector III position. There was discussion on the amount of work being dedicated to the maintenance of aging streets within the community and the need to develop a pavement management program. Seifert stated we are currently maintaining 56 miles of roads and will increase to 83 miles collectively with Hassan.
Seifert addressed the Parks position and the challenge of how to stretch limited dollars in park dedication fees.
Seifert stated the Non-UBC portion will be addressed in the Maintenance II to Maintenance III position; taking the salary from a grade 7 to a grade 8 which is a $250 impact to the general fund budget. Three positions are looked at and three positions revised, but not cutting any positions with this reorganization.
Grimm asked if Seifert would be coming back to us with an inspector when development comes back?
Seifert stated it will need to be readdressed at that time.
Grimm stated the reorganization eliminates no positions, but it eliminates the Inspector III position.
Seifert stated the duties are added into the other three positions.
Stahmer stated the three incumbents in the three existing positions would be able to do the work in the three newly created positions.
Grimm stated assuming the individuals who apply for the positions and get them, there is no reduction in staff. He asked where the savings are.
Stahmer stated there is no savings in the budget for the reorganization.
Grimm is confused where he is getting the $30,000 in savings (referring to the memo). This led to a discussion the funding of the positions.
Bunting reiterated, there is no elimination of positions, therefore there is no savings.
Grimm asked with the reorganization that nobody in public works would lose their jobs.
Seifert stated that is correct. Seifert further stated if the positions posted are not taken, then this would have to come back to council for reconsideration.
Rauenhorst asked what the Inspector II position is doing at this time. Rauenhorst suggested putting that as a part-time position or contracting the work out.
Seifert spoke on the amount of work being done in house. The current job description states he is matrixed.
Rauenhorst stated we were talking about getting rid of one person because we don’t have building permits. Where are his (Inspector II) permits?
Seifert explained the Engineer Tech IV was forwarded because of the workload of construction inspection is low.
Rauenhorst stated he does not believe that doing a redirection of work at this time is what is needed and doesn’t agree with it.
Bunting stated he wants to save money and keep everybody and asked if the City is outsourcing anything that we can do internally and save money; mentioning the existing contracted work with Metro West Inspections.
Staff explained that Metro West is the UBC inspector and the one discussed tonight deals with non-UBC. This led to discussion on doing building inspection in house. Stahmer talked about the amount of training necessary to become certified.
Bunting stated given the complexity of the issue and that Council is uncomfortable or confused, he would rather make a decision slowly.
Rauenhorst stated that maybe we want to advertise for the positions externally. He stated he is in favor of two of the recommendations, but not the third.
Bunting suggested tabling the reorganization to give it some thought.
Rauenhorst stated tabling it would be a fine idea. Rauenhorst then opened the meeting to public comment.
Jaynie Atanasoff, 13343 Fawn Trail, stated she works for Human Resources for a public company and one of the things she sees is when a job is posted internally, it doesn’t always mean it will be accepted internally. Ms. Atanasoff then suggested considering the reorganization and elimination of positions all at once. Ms. Atanasoff stated that some of these salary grades are lower than her husband’s and he needs the opportunity to consider the bumping into those positions.
Davis stated we should table this.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to table the reorganization. Motion carried 5- 0.
7.04 Update on Dial-A-Ride – Met Council Transition and Termination of Senior
Transportation Board JPA
Doboszenski provided the Council with an update on the future of the dial-a-ride program. Throughout the course of 2009, the Senior Transportation Board (STB) has been updated on the transition of the dial-a-ride program currently being operated and managed by both the Met Council and the STB, to a county-wide system to be fully funded through the Met Council with the assistance of federal grant funds and operated by Hennepin County and the Met Council.
Doboszenski stated the transition is scheduled to be effective February 1, 2010. The STB is no longer needed once this transition occurs. According to the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), in order to terminate the JPA by December 31st, two-thirds of the member cities need to withdraw by August 1st. This is set to happen at a meeting on July 29, 2009. Any fund balance in the STB account at year-end 2009 will be transferred to the Met Council to “bridge the gap” in funding between 12/31/09 and 02/01/2010; approximately $7000, which is the approximate cost of one month’s service.
Doboszenski explained those individuals or groups currently receiving standing order service, through the existing provider, will be grandfathered into the new system.
Council asked if this savings was already factored into the 2010 budget; staff stated yes. Last year’s budgeted amount exceeded $26,000; 2010’s would have been higher.
No formal action was taken.
7.05 Accept Resignation of Chief City Planner Charles Burnham
Stahmer read Mr. Burnham’s resignation letter verbatim to Council.
Grimm informed the audience Chuck is leaving the City to be a special agent for the FBI.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to accept the resignation.
Bunting thanked him for all his time and he did a very professional job and his expertise will be missed; Bell echoed his comments.
Davis stated Chuck did a lot in his short time. Motion carried 5 – 0.
7.06 Update on Sale of Word of Peace Church
Attorney Carson stated the property closed on July 6th with net proceeds of $874,500; the purchase price minus the agent fees. Carson stated the funds are placed into escrow to be used toward the defeasance of the bonds.
Council expressed their pleasure in the sale of the property.
No formal action was taken.
7.07 Authorization to Fill Vacant Police Officer Position
Chief Luther addressed the Council on the request to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Matt Hayen; a vacancy in the night shift. Luther stated the newest officer, Anton, should be completing his field training process on September 1st. Luther explained the length of time needed to get an officer into the position.
Luther requested permission to offer a conditional offer to the next candidate on the list.
Grimm stated the Chief is good at articulating why we need this position. Grimm asked how far down the list we go. Luther explained that four people remain on the list.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to begin the hiring process to fill the vacant police officer position offering a contingent officer to the top candidate on the existing hiring list.
Bunting asked the Chief if there was a way we could not hire this officer and maintain coverage with two on. Bunting stated the Chief informed Council given the current staffing level we are not capable of having two on at all times and that is the reason he is supporting the recommendation. Bunting also wanted to state publically that he (Matt Hayen) was a phenomenal asset to the City and will be missed as an employee of Rogers.
Motion carried 5-0.
7.08 Budget Update
Grimm informed the audience of the budget workshop discussion regarding the potential elimination of positions. Grimm stated he is hopeful that we will not need to raise tax dollars while still maintaining positions that are meaningful to the City.
Council discussed setting the next budget workshop session.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to set the Budget Workshop session for 5:30 p.m. July 28, 2009 at the community room. Motion carried 5 – 0.
Stahmer suggested not discussing any staffing reductions; the only action he would recommend is the approval of the Community Room/Admin. Assistant increase from 32 hours to 40 hours to end the temporary service in the Public Works Department, if this were implemented.
Bunting asked if there was any chance that any other department reorganizations would affect this. Stahmer stated not that he can think of.
Dan Janish stated this is a union position at 32 hours – it’s in the contract as 32 hours.
Grimm stated he believes the City is okay at offering her 40 hours.
Jackie Fields stated she is checking to see if it would be applicable for her to work downstairs (Public Works) since her position is one that is being discussed to be reduced to half time. Fields stated this would give her 56 hours a pay period instead of 40.
Davis suggested deferring this item.
Stahmer stated the two positions are different classifications at different pay grades.
Fields stated this is the same situation as before; discussing this as a whole – so that it is all looked at together.
Bunting stated he would rather table this for two weeks; to see this in black and white.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Davis to table for two weeks. Motion carried 5 – 0.
8. Other Business.
8.01 Acquiring a Senior and Youth Facility
Bunting stated acquiring a senior/youth facility is a topic that comes up on a regular basis at the senior meetings. Bunting referred to the property located on Main Street; former Fastenal building. Bunting stated he has talked with Lefty Schaber, the property owner, and Mr. Schaber is willing to allow the City to use the building for the cost of the taxes, whether or not we intend on acquiring the property.
Bunting stated has done all he can do by himself and is asking that the Council look at the options as a City. Bunting spoke on the possibility of getting if for free with grant money.
Rauenhorst stated he is okay in looking into this, but not to make any promises.
Bell agreed with exploring options of the building.
Rauenhorst stated not to put a whole lot of time into it and the City doesn’t have the money to put into it.
No formal action was taken.
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 July Public Works Project Update
9.02 Brockton Meadows Neighborhood Park Update
No formal action taken.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bell to adjourn the meeting at 8:22 p.m.
Motion carried 5-0.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk